‘An Encouraging Word’ – The new idolatry

Father J. Ronald Knott
Father J. Ronald Knott

You knit me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13-14

I find myself these days being “amazed” more often than in any other time of my life. I am not talking about some music group, sports star, recent movie or electronic gadget. I mean the things that have been around almost forever, things we most often take for granted, things such as the process of human conception and gestation, the workings of our digestive systems, the functioning of our hearts and brains, the interplay of our senses and the delicateness of our home planet.

These amazing things seem, many times, to be ignored in favor of the “man-made miracles” of technology.

I find myself these days being “amazed” more often than in any other time of my life. I am not talking about the technology that took us to the moon, the invention of the computer, organ transplants or sophisticated weaponry. I mean the nastiness, cruelty and deliberate meanness with which we treat one another — those, along with us, who were “wonderfully made.”

This escalating war against each other is being waged between the “respectable” bookends of abortion and euthanasia.

I find myself these days being “amazed” more often than any other time in my life. I am not talking about the speed of communication, the options for travel or the discoveries in astronomy. I am amazed at the ease with which we take credit for all that God has created.

Idolatry is the worship of false gods. Isaiah said a long time ago, “Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the works of their hands, what their fingers have made.” Paul said much the same to the Christian church in Rome, “They revered and worshipped the thing created, rather than the creator.”

When we lose our sense of awe at all that God has given us and make ourselves the center of the universe, gratitude becomes unnecessary. When gratitude becomes unnecessary, prayer and worship seem useless.

When we make ourselves the center of the universe, seeing others as beloved of God, being ‘our brother’s and sister’s keepers” appears nonsensical. When we start seeing good human relationships as antiquated, we begin to treat others as competitors who need to be eliminated and life becomes “every dog for himself.”

We need to keep our heads, but recover our hearts. We are smart but not wise. Like the mythological Narcissus, we have fallen in love with our own reflections. A narcissist lacks empathy, is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others and has a grandiose sense of self-importance. “Amazing.” is probably not the right word for it.

To read more from Father Knott, visit his blog: FatherKnott.com.

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