By Chris G
Twenty-first century Western culture views itself as advanced--an evolved people far beyond those of previous centuries. Transportation, both of things and information, has indeed developed. Healthcare has progressed by leaps and bounds, too. But one area that remains mostly unchanged in its essence is religion. Of course, from the eye and even ear, the spiritual element of society appears vastly superior to temple- and idol-based worship of millennia past. Yet most of this is merely skin deep.
Drawing from the book of Acts, we see the decadent lifestyles of many Roman cities. Antioch of Syria maintained the temple of Apollo at which worshippers reenacted Apollo's pursuit of Daphne by chasing and catching temple prostitutes in the surrounding park and forest. Ephesus held similar sexually-oriented rites in service to Diana (also known as "Artemis"), a goddess of fertility. Corinth, the melting pot of the Roman world due to shipping and trade, was known as one of the most luxuriant and debauched cities of its time. To be "Corinthian" meant to be loose, promiscuous, and openly immoral. And here, too, was another temple focused on faux worship.
How many of these so-called worshippers performed their religious "duties" out of a genuine urge to be more pleasing to their god(s)? Is it not more likely that for many the temples were an excuse to carry out their sensual desires under the guise of religion? Worship of sex rather than any specific god?
Thus today the name of the god has changed, and the places of "worship" have grown more convenient. The god, Sex, can be served at a host of bars and clubs and in numerous magazines. And the newest frontier where more than a million new altars are erected each day is the Internet.
The nations of the past would be amazed at the level of depravity that goes from camera to hard drive and then streams through wire and airwave. The world has not changed. The Gospel of Jesus Christ remains the same as it did two thousand years ago: repent of your sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ that His sinless life and innocent, sacrificial, substitutionary death has made you pleasing to God, and be saved. Conversely, the hell-bound alternatives from the past several thousand years are alive and well today--with new names and more acceptable temples--satisfying the flesh and leading the soul to an eternity of darkness.
"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." ~Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV