Recently Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church encouraged the people of the world to stop their idolatry of money. Judging from people’s behavior yesterday (Black Friday) it appears that his message has fallen on deaf ears, sadly. At least one store employee was killed at a Walmart by crowds who stomped him to death as they ran right over him to get all those gadgets they so desired just in time for Christmas. Across the Christian world there were brawls, rudeness, and violence all in the name of materialism. One man was stabbed over a parking spot and another was shot as he walked home with that TV he always wanted. Shoppers and employees alike were trambled and as if this were not enough mayhem some of the Salvation Army’s donation kettles were stolen. Ah yes, all in that wonderous spirit of Christmas! It was insane! Insanity brought about by the world’s worship of money and materialism.
Sadly, to a very large extent people have been turned into mere consumer machines. The obsess about money. They obsess about material things. They are like children in a candy shop only watching out for themselves and ensuring that there immediate WANTS are satisfied and they’ll do ANYTHING to make sure their WANTS get satisfied. Meanwhile, they ignore the spiritual aspect of their lives and, sadly, they come to idolize money and materialism. And this is to their own peril for in the midst of their consumer insanity and idolatry they ignore God and instead worship money.
If you haven’t already figured it out, we are living ina LOST world. It’s a world turned upside. It’s a world in which right has been made into wrong and wrong has been made into right. It’s a world in which the natural is shunned and the fake is esteemed. It’s a world all about self and self gratification and to hell with others. A world in which man has come to be an idolater of greed, selfishness, materialism, and money. A world in which, sadly, true compassion for others is all but gone. So how has the world come to this point?
Sociologists offer a lot of explanations for the answer to that question but what it really comes down to is that mankind has turned away from God and towards the world. Humanity has rejected God and now worships the things of the world. Jesus taught that if you esteem anything more than God then it becomes your God and you are an idolater. There is no doubt in my mind that we are living in the days which the biblical book of 2nd Timothy terms the “Great Apostacy” or “Great Rebellion” against God. The world has come to be the way it is today because humanity has turned against and away from God and THAT is to our own peril as time is proving already.
The Holy Qur’an teaches that idoalaters are unclean and it forbids them to go into a Mosque. It further teaches that if we fear poverty then we are to turn to Allah even more, not less. In Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, idolatry is a big SIN and believers are admonished to avoid becoming idolaters because the idolater is going to end up burning in Hell for Eternity.
Anything you value more than God (Allah) becomes your FALSE god and even though you might not think so, you DO come to worship it. As believers we are suppose to value God more than anything else and we are admonished over and over again to focus our thoughts on God and not the things of this fleeting and LOST WORLD. Materialism, selfishness, greed, and egotism all go hand in hand and in the person who idolizes materialism and money you’ll find all of these traits very strong in them. Such a person is not one who worships God but who worships this passing material world. He/she is a person who is lost and, frankly, he/she is a person on their way to eternal Hell.
The Qur’an teaches that it is the duty of EVERY Muslim to tell these people God’s Truth. It is our duty to instruct the unbeliver in Allah’s Truth. If the person listens and turns to God then that’s great but it the person continues in their egotism and idolatry then their sin becomes a matter between them and Allah who will ensure they pay the price for their great sins. The duty of the Muslim is to ONLY give warning to the idolaters. It is NOT our duty to force idolaters to turn to God! Faith in God has to come from the human heart and mind not at the edge of a sword. When you force someone to belief something they NEVER truly believe. They only PRETEND like they do!
In the modern world believers are finding it increasingly difficult to resist materialism, egotism, and idolatry of money but we must continue to resist no matter what because the alternative is to give into these things and, thus, turn against God. And, to turn against God is to ensure that we ourselves will burn in the eternal flames of Hell just like the idolaters in the world today will. We live in times when the believer MUST be strong and he/she MUST strengthen their faith MORE not less. Yes, many times it looks hopeless and Sodom and Gomorrah don’t even begin to compare to our modern world. We’ve far surpassed those two cities of sin! Whether you be a Christian, Muslim, or Jew NOW is the time to a STRONG FAITH and now is the time to RESIST these sins of the world MORE now than ever before! Pope Francis is right and I fully agree with him in that the world MUST put an end to the idolatry of money. Until we do the global condition of humanity will only continue to worsen and if you don’t believe that just take a look at humanity’s spiritual health. Spriitually the human race is very, very SICK. In fact, we have a spiritual global PLAGUE going on in our midst and most people don’t even realize it and even more just don’t care because all they can see is this world and not the next. That sort of vision is to their own peril and carries some very BAD eternal consequences as they will discover when they die. But then….it will be too late for them.