We are all familiar with the statues, carvings and paintings depicting various gods from different cultures. In the West the gods of Olympus, Rome and Egypt have shaped and guided our psyche for millenia. Other cultures such as the sub-continent, mesoamerica and the orient all have their own, though surprisingly similar, ruling deities. Even a cursory glance at these gods shows an alarming concentration of anthropomorphic expressions. They display characteristics expressed in us, such as: creativity, destructiveness, love, hate, concern, jealousy, loyalty, betrayal. In fact, they tend to often show the 2 faces of Janus, their actions often appearing arbitrary or contradictory.
Usually these gods are understood as being the progenitors/creators of humanity so that we could fulfil their designs. This corresponds superficially with our Biblical understanding from Genesis 1:26 where God said, “let us make man in our image”. However, the other gods maintained a hierarchy of gods between themselves and humanity, with humanity at the bottom of creation. And none of the other gods created humanity to be in their own image and likeness (Would you really like to be jackal-headed or 6-armed?).
In the epistle 1 John 4:8 we are told that God is love, and from Numbers 23:19 we are told that God does not lie or change. If humanity displays the contradictory characteristics of the other gods, then either our God did not create us in His image and we were made with the natures of the other gods, or Yahweh told the truth and we have distorted the image and then created the other gods in our Janus-image to explain our warped reality. A prime example of this is when the Israelites made a golden calf to represent Yahweh. Their construct of reality, which had been warped by 400 years in Egypt, demanded an external physical focus for their worship. In the second chapter of Genesis we see that God infused the physical body of humanity with His own spirit, effectively placing Himself into Adam. In the New Testament we are told that we are the temple of God in which He dwells. Through Christ Jesus we were raised as the adopted co-heirs of God’s Kingdom, co-seated with Jesus, co-reigning. In you the fulness of the Godhead dwells (Colossians 2:9-10).
Therefore, any concepts we create contrary to the true reality of our inclusion in the fulness of God which place any form of a god external from us is a false image and is an idol of our own making. Indeed, atheism/humanism is the ultimate form of idolatry for it promotes the self as its own god.
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