Survey the idols which you are called upon to worship!
(J.A. James, "The Young Man's Friend and Guide Through Life to Immortality")
"If Jehovah is God, follow Him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!" 1 Kings 18:21
There are other Baals in this age, in all the various forms under which they are objects of human idolatry.
It is true that you are not called, invited or disposed—to bow the knee to idols of wood, stone or metal. These, however, are not the only way in which idolatry may be practiced. Everyone has a god, and if man does not love and worship Jehovah, he will make a deity of his own image. Survey the idols which you are called upon to worship:
Among them, sustaining a high place, is the vile idol of SENSUALITY. This goddess is decked out with all that can pollute the imagination, inflame the passions, or excite the evil propensities of the heart. Before this image, multitudes of devotees of both sexes bow the knee and offer the most costly sacrifices of property, health, virtue and reputation!
Near her is the bewitching and smiling image of WORLDLY PLEASURE, with the sound of music, the song and the dance—alluring the giddy and thoughtless to its orgies; and throwing the spell of its fascinations over the imagination of multitudes who go merrily to their eternal ruin!
MAMMON, the despicable deity of wealth, is there—glittering with gold, and offering riches to his eager followers as the reward of their diligent and faithful adherence. His liturgy is the cry of "Money! Money! Money!" His sacrifices are the time, the bodies, the comfort, and the souls of his worshipers!
Near this is the shrine of HUMAN KNOWLEDGE. This idol is only evil, when raised above the place of faith, piety and virtue. When thus exalted above Scripture, it is a deceiving, corrupting idol—the false goddess of a Pantheon of Vices.
Nor must we leave out the idols of FALSE RELIGION, the chief of which is Popery—the anti-Christ of the Apocalypse, "the Man of Sin sitting in the temple of God, exalting itself above all that is called God." This idol, taking the name of Christ as its designation, assuming the cross as its symbol, and boasting of an apostle as its first pope; enriched by wealth; venerable for antiquity; dignified by learning; decorated by sculpture, architecture, and painting; and adding the abysmal policies, and most serpentine craft to all these other dangerous qualities—has fascinated countless millions! And, notwithstanding the monstrous absurdity of its doctrines, the blood-stained page of its history, and its hostility to the liberties of mankind—is now putting forth the most arrogant claims, and making the most audacious attempts for the conquest of our country!
These idolaters have chosen their god, and are the determined and devoted worshipers of their Baals! They have hardened their hearts and seared their consciences.
They congratulate themselves upon their having thrown off all the weaknesses and fears of Christianity, and upon their being now enabled to pursue their Hell-ward course unchecked by the restraint of conscience. Duped men, blind, and boasting in their blindness—are benumbed in all their moral faculties, and exulting in their stupidity! With every tie cut, which held them to piety and truth, they account it a privilege that they are drifting unobstructed to eternal destruction—determined to be lost, and rejoicing that nothing bars their path to the bottomless pit!
"These men have set up idols in their hearts!" Ezekiel 14:3
"Their hearts were devoted to their idols!" Ezekiel 20:16