Published 8:21 am Friday, January 13, 2023
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: The New Yorker printed a story about cults blurring the lines concerning religion. To me, it’s obvious the difference since cults worship idols and religion worships people, right? — C.C.
Dear C.C.: Seekers of God believe in some kind of god. Whatever period of history or culture we examine, all peoples — primitive or modern — acknowledge some kind of deity.
Archaeology has unearthed the ruins of many ancient civilizations, but none has ever been found that did not yield some evidence of a god who was worshiped. Man has worshiped the sun and carved idols. Man has worshiped a set of rules, animals, and other men. Some seem to worship themselves. Man has made gods out of his imagination, although basically through a fog of confusion he believes that God does exist. Some people give up the pursuit of God in frustration, calling themselves “atheists” or “agnostics,” professing to be irreligious. Instead, they find it necessary to fill the vacuum left within them with some other kind of [imagined] deity. Therefore man makes his own “god” — money, work, success, fame, sex, alcohol, food, or even another person or themselves. Some search for peace in the occult, or Transcendental Meditation, or Eastern religions. Some make crime their purpose in life. Others who fail to find the true God declare their allegiance to various causes, looking for truth and settling for folly. The list is endless. But only God is to be worshiped — He is the One who holds the world in His hands.
But God placed in the hearts of people a desire for fellowship with Him, and the first commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (see Mark 12:30). He meant that man, unlike a stone or an animal, has the capacity to love God, and we should faithfully pray that those around us will find faith in Almighty God.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)