The modern idolatry of cultural acceptability

We, like our spiritual ancestors, are attempting to worship the one true God in amongst the cultural distractions of our day.

Throughout its history, the prophets of Israel had to continually contend with a nation that was distracted with practices other than those that God had provided for them. They were perpetually seduced by the culturally acceptable practices of the nations around them, the very thing that Moses had warned them against when they became a nation.

Deuteronomy 8:19: “It shall be, if you shall forget Yahweh your God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.”

Deuteronomy 12:29-31: “When Yahweh your God shall cut off the nations from before you, where you go in to dispossess them, and you dispossess them, and dwell in their land; take heed to yourself that you not be ensnared to follow them, after that they are destroyed from before you; and that you not inquire after their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? I will do likewise.” You shall not do so to Yahweh your God: for every abomination to Yahweh, which he hates, have they done to their gods…”

By the time of the prophet Jeremiah, the country had become so corrupt that they were openly worshiping the local gods (the “queen of the sky”) in blatant defiance to the word of God that had originally been given them by Moses along with the urgent warnings of the prophet Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 44:16-17: “As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of Yahweh, we will not listen to you. But we will certainly perform every word that is gone forth out of our mouth, to burn incense to the queen of the sky, and to pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then had we plenty of food, and were well, and saw no evil.”

The logic of the people in that day was that their rebellious practices actually provided a bountiful economy for their people, so they had no intention of changing their practices. This was a fateful choice that led to the destruction of the nation.

It’s easy to view these ancient examples and point the finger at the unfaithfulness of the people of that time. But how we are like our faithless spiritual ancestors! We attempt to worship the one true God in amongst the cultural distractions of our day, claiming a similar necessity to maintain the status quo within our society.

This culture today, at least in my corner of America, is infected with the philosophies and practices of many different idolatries: polytheism, gender rebellion, environmental authoritarianism and self-directed hyper-tolerance. These are only some of the prevalent new gods of this age.

We must be vigilant in maintaining our devotion to the one true God in the face of these culturally acceptable norms that are diverting this generation, and succeeding ones, away from God.

These idols, and many others like these, have arisen due to our lack of vigilance in successfully implanting our faith in our children. We have allowed the seductive nature of unregulated online communication and social media to easily capture their attention, exposing them to unhealthy spiritual alternatives which quickly take root among the fertile soil of immature spirits.

While there are many positive aspects to digital communication in this age, we must actively engage in helping them discern what is true and right, not only what is flashy and trendy. We must continually ask for God’s help in alerting this generation to the social errors they are repeating within the cycle of worshiping false gods of cultural acceptance that they are not even aware of. Our vigilance must be firmly placed in God’s Word as we seek to help them to recognize the truth of who God is and to be cognizant and respectful of his sovereignty in this world.

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive here. Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at

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