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False Gods

You can listen to this week’s Devotional here


 Author: Carolyn Gard


The local paper here in Missoula does a feature on Saturdays in which local clergy write a short faith column. Most of them are very thoughtful; however, one recent column appalled me. The author stated that ancient pagan cultures worshiped false gods. He further states that the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ. I suppose this means that anyone who lived before Christ has no chance of salvation.

Pagan in its broadest sense refers to people whose religious beliefs are different than the main religions {whatever they are}. The author of that piece says that these people worshiped more than one god, and often worshiped nature with the implication that they were uncultured. The author has no facts to back up his statements except to throw in a few Bible verses. How do we know that pagan cultures worshiped many gods? Maybe these gods were manifestations of one god; after all, Christians have a Trinity. In addition to worshiping their many gods, ancient pagan cultures also made up stories about the world and the universe, I suppose to try to make sense of the world. Besides worshiping, I think they were having fun.

We need to remember that ancient cultures didn’t have the advantages we have of having instruments that can penetrate to the depths of the universe and can explain many of the features of our world, such has what makes rain, and why crops grow. We look at the stars with our powerful telescopes and contemplate the vastness of the universe. Ancient pagan cultures looked at the stars and drew pictures.

Rather than disparaging ancient pagan cultures, I find it more important to realize that, for all of humanity, people have looked further than the earth and decided that there is something more. We would do well to accept the spirituality of all peoples.

In summer I can sit on the deck, gaze at the stars, contemplate the vastness of the universe and wonder about quantum mechanics, but sometimes I find it much more fun to simply draw pictures in the stars.

God, we know there are many ways to worship you. Help us to honor those whose ways are not our own.

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