There are over 150 countries on this planet and each one of them is autonomous, separate, but most generally connected by unseen borders. They are nearly all linked in one form or another, trading goods and services across the globe, many times just for financial gain, but in other areas for the betterment and continued sustainability of the human race. Different regions have different cultures and structured ways of expressing themselves within that culture, tending to adhere to the known and accepted.
Nearly all these countries and regions have a dominant religious ideology, a structured system of beliefs in a deity or deities that they generally believe to have a greater power than they themselves possess. It matters very little the names that they give to these gods, each of them has at least one attribute that sets them apart, and usually above, the ones that serve them, they are believed to be more powerful than those who worship them. Whether it is greater strength, knowledge, wisdom, the mastery of a path that they themselves do not yet understand, they are served for the single reason that the deity that they worship is more powerful than they are.
There is almost always a dominance and submission mentality, one of slave to master, and if the prescribed protocols of that deity are not followed expressly, there will be negative consequences. Those who have imagined and brought into being these gods and set up the worshipping of them most generally prey on the superstitions that seem to be inherent to man, but as man will ultimately do, he tests the boundaries that have ben placed upon him by the deity that he has chosen to serve. Herein a great problem arises for those that have imagined these gods into existence, how to get people to follow them, and of course themselves.
The initial reason for the individual who first thought up this new-found god must be placed into the equation here, why this desire for others to serve his imagined god, and ultimately him? Men seek power, always have, always will, it matters little where this power originates, as long as the end result of it is directed towards them. Many religious organizations that are still alive and thriving today started this way, if they will not follow me, I must find someone that they will follow, and then convince them that this one, this god, is worthy to be followed. This deity must give them the things that they need and want, more than what they can acquire on their own, but they must also be shown that if they do not adhere to the precepts set forth upon them by this god, there will be dire consequences in one way or another towards them. This god must be a divine provider and a dictator at the same time, listen and obey, and all will be well, if you do not, you will suffer.
Fear is the key to any false religion, fear of the consequences of your actions if you do not obey, there must therefore be a way to enforce the rules and standards that this deity requires of the individuals. The natural inclination of man is to follow, but pride is what keeps him from inadvertently giving his complete allegiance to anyone, much less an invisible god or even the image of one created by man. The god cannot always be a ruthless dictator, he must balance that power with benevolence, fear is the key, but the one who harms must also be able to caress. This intricate balance is vitally important, to much pain and suffering and they will flee, to much goodness and they will become apathetic. The followers must always be reassured that the deity is both loving and kind but will strictly enforce the laws of correction upon all who will not obey.
The benevolence part is easy, simply collect money and goods from the first to follow, usually the most superstitious of the group, and redistribute it as necessary to those who are a little more hesitant, promising even more blessings in the times ahead if they continue to do so. They must be shown first that their new god cares for them and about them, that he exists only to serve them and their wants and needs, and greater blessing are virtually guaranteed as long as they give more and of course stick to the rules that have been set upon them. Their continued works will allow them to partake in the fulness of all that the deity has to offer them when their life is ended here as well, if they continue to obey.
There are of course those that obey to a greater degree, are closer to the god, and so all should expect this one, or that group of individuals, to benefit more in this present time from the blessings of this god. These are closer to him, obey his laws to the fullest, have given themselves to him to a greater degree and so should be expected to receive more from him. Those below them are expected of course to accept and recognize this action, and are promised that if they to adhere to all the prescribed laws, they also could be a part of this elite group within the congregation, they also will find greater favor from this god. These individuals that are the closest to the deity are usually recognizable by their attire, flowing robes or amulets of gold and precious stones adorn them, headwear that denotes a special place in the eyes of the god, and the closer one is to the adherence of the precepts set upon them by the deity, the more elaborate the costume, right up to the top, the speaker for the god, the lawgiver.
Praise and honor of the one who first “discovered” the deity, the one who first began the religious organization and the worship of the false god, is finally shifted to its proper place, to where it should have been all along, to him. The god is now irrelevant at this point, he has served his purpose, he did not exist in the beginning of the plan and he has not become more real just because the masses are now worshipping him. Fear of retribution and occasional rewards are all that are necessary for the continuation of the religious organization, the plan has succeeded. Every country has one or more of these deities, every unsaved person on the planet in one form or another follows one of these false gods, and lives in a continued existence of fear and hope, balanced almost perfectly. Hope that they will be good enough, that their continued works will be rewarded, that their worship and words will be enough to gain them entrance into the life ever after that the god that they have chosen to serve has promised them. Fear, because they never truly know if they have done enough, if they have been obedient enough, that at any moment they could stray from the path and all the promises will be lost to them.
It is really a quite simple system if you stop and think about it my friends, think up a name for a god, give him strong and powerful attributes, sprinkle in a lot of kindness and care, promise rewards if he is followed, and dire consequences if he is not. The consequences can even be shifted to others, those who will not follow the will of this god, and then all will follow for fear that they themselves may be next. If it wasn’t so simple and eloquent a plan, there would not be hundreds of thousands of different gods and religious organizations around the world. The rewards do not even have to be immediate, some of course must be given occasionally or the masses may revolt and the plan will fail, but the majority of these promises can be held back until the follower dies and enters inti the presence of the deity. The more you follow, the closer to the inner circle you are, the greater the rewards.
Punishment though must be immediate and severe no matter in what form it appears and must always be done in full view of the other followers so that there is no question of the need for strict obedience to the rules set down by this god. Of course, again, the closer you are to this god, the more forgiveness is offered, and the standards are modified, those at the top never need suffer.
It is very simple to accomplish this plan, for man seeks to follow and to be a part of the group, to never be ostracized from it, and man does not even need the help of Satan in most of these, in fact, I would suggest that our adversary has probably been quite amused by some of the gods that man has dreamt up without him. Of course, not all of them serve him, which is his end goal, but at least it keeps the eyes and thoughts of those who do off the cross, off the One true God. Satan has set up many of his own false religious organizations, religions that are meant to serve him and him alone, and they are doing quite well, in fact they have always grown faster than the fellowship of believers, because “wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction.”(Matt. 7:13) Moloch, Dagon, Ashtaroth, this path is nothing new to him, those that he has set up today were probably much easier to begin and maintain than any of the others in the past, the promises are so much simpler, just give them the things of the world and they will follow, nothing to it. In fact, it isn’t even necessary to add that many punishments anymore, humiliation will do the job just fine.
Why would they need Jesus if they have color televisions, nice cars and houses and some money in the bank, the job fulfills all their needs, and what it doesn’t cover most governments will. What more could they ask for? And what does Jesus offer? Let’s see, suffering, persecution, hatred from those in the world towards us, mocking, the loss of family and friends, and oh yes, food and clothing. And while we are at it, he wants us to die to self, forsake all the things that the world has to offer, give him all the glory and serve Him continuously and without question. Sounds good to me, but I am afraid that far too many who call themselves Christians don’t like it very much these days.
Is it any wonder that the lost will not listen to us, are there any questions left in your mind why they have chosen to serve the gods of this world and themselves? Most men listen to the world instead of God, and when the world cannot satisfy their appetites, they will seek a god that will. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22:14) You have been chosen, behave accordingly, do not be part of the world, do not be conformed to it, do not leave or rest on the path that the Lord your God has set before you, but do not shy away from your responsibilities to Christ while you are here.
Until you reach the port of your citizenship, keep serving with all diligence, continue to serve the One true God. The reward that awaits you walked out of a tomb to prove who he said He was a long time ago.