Summary: The Christian church of today is worshipping not God, but large Golden Cows.
"THE GOLDEN COWS"
Thesis: The Christian church of today is worshipping not God, but large Golden Cows.
Abraham’s Object of Worship
The Jews have a legend that when Abraham started on his journeys, he saw the stars in the heavens and said, "I will worship the stars." But ere long the stars set. Then Abraham saw the constellations -- the Pleiades and the rest of them -- and he said, "I will worship the constellations." But the constellations also set. Then Abraham saw the moon sailing high in the heavens and he said, "I will worship the moon." But the moon also vanished when her season was over.
Then Abraham saw the sun in all his majesty, coming out of his chamber like a bridegroom and rejoicing as a strong man to run a race. But when the day was spent, he saw the sun sink on the western horizon. Stars, constellations, moon, and sun -- all were unworthy of his worship, for all had set and all had disappeared. Then Abraham said, "I will worship God, for He abides forever."
John White states, "Faith in the invisible God can be demonstrated by power over material things, either power to manipulate them or power to escape enslavement to them. If someone’s life is controlled by material things, it is possible that such a person knows nothing of saving faith.
Golden Cows have been erected and are dominating as the gods of today. They have gained control of many Christians and many churches. God is very concerned about this man-made god society we live in because it has affected our relationship with Him.
Dr Maynard Pittendreigh observes that today many people view the 10 Commandments like some of the out of date laws of the past. He states:
Some time ago, there was an article in the newspaper listing several strange laws that had been written years ago, that meant nothing today, but were still on the books. There was, for example, the South Carolina state law that required, and still requires, adult men to carry swords to church. Anyone caught in church without a sword was subject to being fined…. Another law in Vermont required a driver of an automobile to stop at every intersection, turn off his car, get out and look to see if there were any horse back riders, then push the car across the road, get in, start it, and drive off until he reached the next intersection he would have to go through the entire process all over again.
In all probability, these archaic laws had some legitimate reasons for their adoption, but the reason no longer exists, so fo us, they seem ridiculous.
Take for example the New York law that was adopted in 1918, and that is still on the books. It makes it illegal for anyone to sneeze in public. That sounds silly until one realizes that in 1918, the entire world was in the grip of a flu epidemic, in the end, it claimed more lives than all the battles fought in the first World War….
There are countless other laws that may have sounded logical at one time, but now have lost their meaning and relevancy.
Many of us might be inclined to list the second commandment among those irrelevant laws. It forbids the making and worshipping of idols” (page 2, from Sermon - Recreating God in Our own image, Sermon Central).
The sad fact is many calling themselves Christian have rationalized that the 10 Commandments are out of date laws for today. They really believe that God does not mind if they don’t follow the 10 Commandments. He understands how these laws don’t apply today to our society and culture.
John White states, "The 20th Century church has forgotten which master she belongs to, painting herself like a hussy in her silly pursuit of Lord Mammon. Or to use another image, a church has gone a- (lusting) after a golden cow."
There are many Christians today who have become like sponges soaked to the max with the value system of this god-making society. They are really no different than the Israelites lead out of the bondage of Egypt to Mt. Sinai by Moses. Lets explore what happened there.
Illustration: Movie clip from the 10 Commandments on the Golden Calf.
I THE GOLDEN CALF, A MAN-MADE GOD (Exodus 32: 1-35)
A. Exegetical Study of the Text
Verse 1: The people in the wilderness could not wait for Moses to return. They had no patience. They wanted a god now, so they formed their own.
· This is why God gave the first four commandments in Exodus 20:
o Verse 3 – “You shall have no other gods before me.”
o Verse 4,5,6 – “You shall not make for yourself and idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; I the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me but showing love to a thousand of those who love me and keep my commandments.