Every man builds an altar to something. Every man shows esteem and deference to someone or something, even those who insist that they are atheists. To hear them talk, however, you realize that atheists worship atheism. It has become their de facto god, and they are tireless in their struggle to convert as many souls to their side as they can.
Men build altars. It’s what we do, whether we realize it or not. It is an inherent driver, perhaps because in the purest recesses of our beings, within that spark, that breath of life, that sliver of the divine that animates this creaky flesh, we all acknowledge the existence of God, whether the intellect wants to submit to Him or not.
Once a man builds an altar, he must bring sacrifice upon it. If no sacrifice is had, it’s just a rock formation, stacked stone upon stacked stone, that means nothing.
What we come to realize is that the altars of men require far greater sacrifice than the altar of the One True God ever will. The gods of men are merciless, and because they are merciless the sacrifices they require at the hands of their faithful are trauma-inducing.
Whether it’s spilling the blood of the unborn on the altar of choice, sacrificing every ounce of individuality and independent thought on the altar of socialism, or doing away with any semblance of morality and decency on the altar of perversion, the gods of men are cruel taskmasters, demanding heavy tolls.
For some, the pain is too much so they resort to pills by the fistful to numb it, then when the pills no longer take the edge off, they crawl into a bottle to drown the pain altogether. Ever wonder why the most prosperous country in the world is also the leader in antidepressant consumption? Ever wonder why in a nation such as this, where there is no famine or war thousands upon thousands are dying of drug overdoses every year?
It’s not because they are happy. It’s not because they are pleased as punch at the choices they’ve made, and the sacrifices they’ve carried out on self-made altars to self-made gods. They are drowning in misery crying out to dead gods, waiting for an answer that will never come, and growing all the more despondent for it.
The gods of men desire their destruction. The God of the Bible desires to give them life and life more abundantly. The God of the Bible will not ask you to hoist dead carcasses upon a stone altar in order to please Him. The God of the Bible asks you to surrender your life that He may transform you, renew you, and perfect.
What He asks you to surrender, what He asks you to sacrifice, what He asks you to lay down are things detrimental to your wellbeing. Serving Him, and not a god of your own making will never lead you to darkness, emptiness, or death. Serving a god of your own making, however, will inevitably lead to disillusionment and despondency given enough time.
This is why the whole notion of serving God on your own terms, in the way you see fit, and giving yourself a license to go beyond the written Word in what is deemed acceptable unto God will always end badly. When you add to the Word, what you have done is created your own god, build your own altar, and commenced with the bringing of sacrifices. God is God, His Word is clear, and He is not mocked. Sin is sin because God said that it is. Whether men say it is or it isn’t, it does not change the reality of what God said.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.