Christian Idolatry
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"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry." (1 Corinthians 10:14 KJV)

This is a strange verse, is it not? After all, the Apostle Paul is addressing Christians. How can Christians be guilty of idolatry? I thought idolatry was something that only heathens could be guilty of committing. Yet, Paul plainly addressed believers when he said, "my dearly beloved."

Christian idolatry: I submit it is more rampant than anyone wants to admit.

Simply put, idolatry is the sin of giving someone or something a place of preeminence above the Lord God. It is the violation of the First of the Ten Commandments. And, yes, Christians can be just as guilty of this sin as unbelievers.

In these United States, there is perhaps no area where the sin of idolatry is more universally practiced than in the area of government. Call it civil affairs, or politics, or affairs of state. Call it what you will, the result is the same: Christians by the millions have surrendered Christ's authority and principles to humanism and pragmatism.

For one thing, a sizeable number of believers allowed President George W. Bush to redefine their Christian principles almost out of existence. They willingly looked the other way while Bush betrayed his word (not to mention the Constitution) and catapulted conservative principles into outer darkness. To the point, that they can now even support someone as liberal as John McCain and still call him a "conservative."

I will say it straight out: any Christian or conservative who supports John McCain has no principles left worth defending!

Can anyone remember when George W. Bush ran for the White House in 2000, promising the American people that he would pursue a non-interventionist foreign policy? So much for that promise.

George W. Bush has orchestrated the most meddlesome, interventionist, and nation-building foreign policy of any President in modern memory. And Christians became his most vocal supporters. Now, John McCain gets in front of international television and jokes about bombing Iran, and once again, Christians stand up and cheer.

Christians have swallowed the Bush/McCain Kool-Aid as surely as did the followers of Jim Jones. They are drunk with denial and deception.

Bush promised the American people that he would promote less government spending. He then turned around and led the U.S. government to borrow and spend more taxpayer dollars than any President since Lyndon Johnson. And, again, Christians looked the other way.

President Bush promised the American people that he would preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. He promised to respect the Bill of Rights, including the Fourth Amendment.

Since becoming President, however, George W. Bush has ignored the Constitution and trampled the Bill of Rights, especially the Fourth Amendment, with utter abandonment. And what did Christians do? They either looked the other way or, in some cases, even lauded his unconstitutional conduct.

How could Christians sacrifice their principles and convictions so easily? How could they be so willing to surrender their loyalties—both to Christ as the organic Sovereign of this land, and to constitutional government, which is, itself, built on Biblical principles?

Some Christians would say they are supporting President Bush because he is "one of us." Of course, this reasoning betrays logic. If George W. Bush is truly "one of us," he should be held to a higher—not lower—standard. That we would be willing to look the other way because Bush is "one of us" is repulsive to true Christian principles. Plus, it brings Christianity as a whole into disrepute with unbelievers. And this is exactly what has happened. Instead of unbelievers being attracted to Christ and His Word, George W. Bush—and the Christians who follow him—have turned unbelievers away from Christ. Bush and Company have made it harder—not easier—to present Christ to a lost and dying world. And that goes for people in foreign countries as well as people in America.

However, I am convinced that the reason Christians support President Bush is not because he is a professing born-again Christian. I say that because these same people are now also supporting John McCain, a man who has never professed a born-again relationship with Jesus Christ. Oh, he claims to be a "Christian" in a general sense, but what politician doesn't?

McCain is also a man who has consistently betrayed conservative principles throughout his political career. He has even lampooned and denigrated Christian people, calling them "agents of intolerance." Yet, today Christians are supporting John McCain. Why? It is not because of his religious profession. It is not because of a conservative track record. Why are they supporting him, then? Why are they willing to surrender their convictions? There is only one reason: John McCain (like George W. Bush) is a REPUBLICAN.

There it is: countless millions of professing Christians will eagerly abandon their commitment to constitutional government and Biblical principles in order to accommodate a Republican Presidential candidate. In the minds of many Christians, the Republican Party is more important than the U.S. Constitution. It is more important than conservative principles or even Biblical injunctions. In essence, the Republican Party has become an IDOL in the hearts and minds of many professing believers.

So, how can we ask God to bless America when God's children have set up the groves of idolatry in their hearts? How can we expect God to heal our land when Christian pastors, Sunday School teachers, deacons, ushers, and faithful church members place more loyalty and allegiance in a political party than they do in the very Word and principles of God?

As surely as the pagans of the Old Testament worshipped before the gods of Baal and Ashtoreth, many Christians worship before the GOP. They are willing to sacrifice their children to the policies and practices of unscrupulous, evil politicians—as long as they have an "R" behind their names. They will turn their back on their pastors, their churches, their friends, and their commitments before they will turn their backs on the Republican Party.

To many Christians, God cannot work in America outside the Republican Party. God cannot bless America, except through the Republican Party. There is no success, no help, no assistance, and no redemption except through the Republican Party. If this is not idolatry, I do not know what is!

If Christians will support John McCain, they will support anyone. Support for John McCain means no principle is sacred; no conviction is secure.

It is one thing for radio and television talking heads to allow themselves to be Republican lackeys for profit. It is quite another thing for pastors and Christians to allow themselves to idolize the GOP for no good reason at all.

Why can Christians not see what their blind loyalty is doing to our country? Why can they not rise, as did Daniel and the Hebrew children, for truth and right? Do they not realize that God may want to use some other vehicle, some other source, some other instrument than the GOP to bring restoration and revival to America? And if He did, how would Christians today recognize or understand it? Has it not dawned on our brethren that the GOP may have become lost beyond redemption, and that they are being led as blind men—by blind men—into the ditch? And would they know it, if they were?

Oh, Christian friend, please open your eyes! Take a good, hard look at truth. Remember our history. Put your confidence in God and right, and throw off the fetters of blind loyalty to Republican compromise. Bind our civil magistrates down with the chains of the Constitution. If you do not, they will certainly bind us down with the chains of oppression (which they are already doing). If we, as Christians, cannot hold our civil leaders accountable to the Constitution, how in the name of common sense can we hold our churches and our children accountable to the Bible? It is no coincidence that we are losing constitutional government and Biblical practice simultaneously. They indeed go hand in hand.

When our Christian forebears fought our War for Independence, they had one motto: No King But Jesus. The day that our brethren reclaim that spirit and tear down the political altars they have erected to the GOP is the day God might begin to bring life and restoration back to America.

"Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry."

Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He hosts a weekly radio show. His website is here.

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