America is a land filled with idols. These idols have ancient, pagan counterparts: Zeus, Baal, Aphrodite, Molech, Loki, Vishnu. But the modern, American iterations of these gods are profoundly bland. America has left off faithful worship of the Triune God, opting to worship a pantheon of commercialized gods (which are the Great Value knock-offs of the ancient deities).
Culture is downstream from worship. The God you serve shapes the contours of your culture. American culture is increasingly boring, dull, and weak-sauce because our nation worships impotent gods. Impotent gods have given rise to an impotent culture. The virtues of courage, chastity, patience, duty to family & country are––as the prophet Isaiah might have put it––turned away backward, standing afar off, fallen in the street, and cannot enter (Cf. Is. 59:14).
A nation that worships these gods is a nation that won’t stand long. Our gods are feeble. The dollar isn’t worth the paper it is printed on. The sex is disembodied & fruitless. Our men voluntarily castrate themselves both literally & figuratively. We aren’t battle ready, nor do we have a keen sense of what we should even fight for.
A return to faithful and biblically ordered worship of the God of Abraham is our nation’s only hope. You’re here this morning not to render praise to paper deities. You’re assembled not to put a pinch of incense on the styrofoam altars of these feeble gods.
As we come to the Living God, to sing these songs, to receive His Word, to observe His covenant signs, we’re fortified to romp through land knocking over these impotent idols. You serve the God who made the world, raised His Son from the dead, and has bound the prince of this world. Christ scattered & defeated the old gods. So remember, these idols in our land are papier-mâché gods.
Our nation has become a hollow shell of the former glories. We’ve traded the Calvinist work ethic, for a Marxist living wage. We’ve abandoned the fruitful union of man and wife in marriage, and chosen the barren wasteland of pornified hook-up culture. We’ve forgotten the old, rugged cross, and chosen the unforgiving matrix of trying to remedy power imbalances. All of this because we in the church first left our first love. The church capitulated to these idols first, and now the culture that’s emerged is impotent, shallow, and feeble for the fight of our hour. As one Puritan once said, “Our prayers can earn no pardon. But Your mercy says, ‘Your sins which are many—are all forgiven!’”
Turning from your sin is just another way of saying, “turn away form idols.” Turning from these idols to the Living God, is the only way for our lives, nation, and culture to truly be robustly alive. Because as we worship the Living God, downstream from that worship is a living culture.