The ancient, heathen “gods” of old have been replaced—and their replacements are no better. The pagan temples of many false gods of the past may be turning to dust around us, but modern man is no less “creative” than his heathen ancestors. Welcome to modern-day idolatry in a world of “new gods,” new dogmas, new demands—and new sins.
Many believe that the age of religion and superstition is over—that mankind has finally moved past its days of condemning sins, obeying lists of commandments, and worshipping gods. But they are mistaken.
Our “secular” world is in fact a world of “new gods” and “new sins.” It might seem strange to speak of “new gods,” so please don’t misunderstand—what Jesus Christ told His disciples on that Passover evening 2,000 years ago is still true today: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). But the more we examine the world around us, the more we see a wilderness of “new religions” growing up like weeds.
These aren’t the traditional religions of the past, focused on the ancient gods of, say, Greek, Egyptian, or Norse mythology. Yet their followers are every bit as fiercely passionate as those ancient pagans surely were, and their devotion to their deities every bit as complete. These modern “gods” are reflected in the words God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel in His condemnation of ancient Israel—a condemnation that rings just as true today. Ezekiel wrote, “And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity’” (Ezekiel 14:2–3).
It’s easy to think of idols simply as statues of stone or gold—or even as engravings, icons, and other artwork. And, to be sure, such images often do violate the second of the Ten Commandments. Yet God reveals here that idol worship goes far beyond items we create with our hands. Man is particularly adept at creating idols in his heart—false gods to which he devotes himself religiously, submitting his mind, his actions, his morals, and his conscience.
And today we are living in a virtual pantheon of idols of the heart, including political philosophies, social causes, identity issues, and new worldviews. The world around us promotes a growing collection of “new gods,” demanding that all “reasonable people” agree with and embrace their lists of enlightened “new doctrines” and “new sins.”
Worse yet, the priests and followers of these “new gods” are increasingly ready to force their faith upon the world and ready to punish those who will not fall into line. Unlike biblical Christianity, which from the beginning sought to win people’s hearts and minds through sound words and good examples, the acolytes of these “new gods” are willing to use force to spread their new faiths, conducting inquisitions and “witch trials” to do whatever it takes to forcibly compel either confession or compliance.
Whether through the courtroom, the legislature, the markets, or the media, the faithful acolytes of these “new gods” seek to punish anyone who dares defy the faith to which they have devoted themselves so fully. Let’s look at some of the man-made philosophies, worldviews, and mindsets that have been elevated to the status of “godhood” in society today.
Proverbs 25:2 tells us, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter,” and scientific practice is one of the best examples of searching out a matter. Advancements that came through the scientific method have greatly enhanced our lives and addressed many sources of human disease, discomfort, and distress. We’ve learned some of the secrets of the universe, and our understanding of our world is richer for it.
Yet science isn’t God. It doesn’t tell us right from wrong. The theories and experiments that revealed the secrets of the subatomic world also allowed us to build the atomic weapons that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing hundreds of thousands.
As people kick God out of civilization, something must take His place, and those who don’t understand the limitations of science—or don’t care—are happy to build altars to its name and declare it one of the “new gods.” And, like any other, the religion its worshippers create has its orthodoxies, dogmas, and sins. Invoking the name of their god, people seek to win arguments by claiming they have “science” on their side—regardless of other scientific studies that support the opposite position.
Scientists are treated like priests delivering the word of God—and the views of some of them are considered canonical truth, such that those who dare to disagree are considered heretics to be “burned at the stake,” even other scientists with evidence that supports a different view.
Think that’s harsh? Real-life experience says otherwise. FreeScience.today lists the names of several scientists who have essentially been “excommunicated” for their willingness to dissent from the dogma of evolution. They have lost their positions, lost jobs, and been investigated by their departments, and their courses have been canceled. In one case, that of double-PhD biologist Richard Sternberg, the United States Office of Special Counsel concluded in its investigation that “It is… clear that a hostile work environment was created with the ultimate goal of forcing you out of the SI [the Smithsonian Institute]” (“Richard Sternberg,” FreeScience.today)—all because he had allowed a peer-reviewed paper that didn’t disparage evidence of intelligent design to be published in a scientific journal.
When science is elevated to the status of a god, even a hint of disagreement with evolution is heretical—and heresy is not tolerated.
Let’s be clear: It makes sense to be good stewards of the earth. Man was not made for the earth, but the earth was made for man, and it makes sense to wisely manage our resources. God expects us to be good stewards of the planet (Genesis 2:15), and we at Tomorrow’s World don’t wish to argue about whether the global climate is changing—or, if it is, whether mankind is the chief cause of that change.
Those debates are beside the point, because once climate change has been elevated to the status of “godhood” and environmentalism has become a religion, all discussion is thrown out of perspective. The supreme good becomes accepting the “divine dogmas” of climate change, and moral good and evil are determined by nothing more than the tenet of environmental impact, valid or not.
Destroying a nation’s productive capacity, economic systems, and social structures to achieve a Green New Deal and save the environment is considered no problem, because for the “new god” of climate change, the ultimate moral good is caring about the earth—or at least appearing as though you care about the earth.
Political Science professor Michael Munger made this point in a 2019 article for the American Institute for Economic Research. At a recycling conference, when he explained how recycling glass is actually bad for the environment—given the pollution involved, the carbon costs, expense, etc.—he expected outrage from the attendees, all of whom were die-hard recyclers. However, the response surprised him:
One fellow was perfectly forthcoming: “Oh, we all know it makes no sense to recycle glass. The economic case is easy. But people should still recycle, because it’s simply the right thing to do. It’s not about the actual environment. It’s about enlisting people to care about the symbol of the environment. Overall, recycling is still worth doing, regardless of its effects.”
A young woman piped up: “It’s okay to say that sort of thing here, because we are insiders. But it’s better not to talk about the economics of things to the general public. We need to help train them to care about the environment, and recycling is one of the best ways to do that.”…
The message I had worried about, and expected to be controversial, was old hat to the industry folks. But it was beside the point, because recycling was for them a moral imperative. Once you begin to think of recycling as a symbol of religious devotion rather than a pragmatic solution to environmental problems, the whole thing makes more sense (“For Most Things, Recycling Harms the Environment,” emphasis added).
Going meatless because you are concerned about the cattle industry’s impact on global warming, or deciding not to have children so as to reduce humanity’s “carbon footprint”—such steps are considered small prices to pay to satisfy the demands of the “new god” of climate change. So, if you eat a burger, have a large family, or fail to recycle that soda bottle, be prepared to be called out as a “sinner.”
The biblical model for sex is simple: Humanity was created male and female, biologically obvious categories. Each was created for the other so that when man and woman choose to commit to each other in God-designed marriage, the benefits of marriage become available to them—including sexual intimacy and any resulting children.
In sharp contrast, the “new god” of sexual anarchy dictates that sexuality is not bound by any rules, constraints, or natural laws. This “new god” proclaims a long and detailed list of sins, but it can be summarized fairly simply: Anyone professing belief in biblical concepts of gender, sexuality, or marriage is at best a prude, and at worst a bigot. Biblical standards are considered far too restrictive by the worshipers of sexual anarchy.
As the word “anarchy” implies, everything is up for grabs. Sex is no longer confined to marriage—and “marriage” itself has been redefined to include any arrangement of individuals, regardless of number or gender. In fact, even gender has been redefined, no longer just male or female, but now “freed” to move fluidly along a spectrum of possibilities—a spectrum without rules, constraints, or boundaries.
Like ancient Moloch, this “new god” of sexual anarchy demands children’s lives as sacrifice. People not old enough to vote, drink alcohol, or drive a car are increasingly permitted—even encouraged—to make fundamental and far-reaching gender decisions that can permanently alter their lives.
At least a few courts have recognized some of the problems with this. On December 1, 2020, BBC News reported on a case brought against the UK’s National Health Service by a young woman who as a teenager had been prescribed hormone blockers to help her irreversibly prevent puberty, in line with her then-desire to be a male. She and her fellow claimants won the case, arguing that children simply do not have the capacity to make such decisions. In the words of one of the judges, “It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers. It is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers” (“Puberty blockers: Under-16s ‘unlikely to be able to give informed consent’”).
But don’t expect the true believers in sexual anarchy to abandon their faith after one small setback. They will continue to seek to punish those who believe biblical sexuality and morality is best for society—and sacrifices will continue to be made as they march their faith forward.
In fact, faith in the “new god” of sexual anarchy is only one sect in a host of “new religions” that fall under a broader “new god”—much as Zeus was over the gods of ancient Greece, and Jupiter over the gods of the Romans.
The “new god” of social transformation has a special power—it casts itself in the worshiper’s image. If you believe sexual and gender norms are the “Great Satan” preventing society from progressing, the revolution centers around that. If you believe that the world won’t be safe until the patriarchy is destroyed, the “new god” of social transformation is prepared to bless your cause. If you believe capitalism is the real bane of society, the revolution is ready with placards, signs, and even Molotov cocktails to help you press for socialism, communism, or even anarchy, as you prefer. If you believe that your children being judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin is not enough, the god of social transformation is ready to arm you with Critical Race Theory for battle on social media and indoctrination in schools and workplaces.
All “new gods” bring “new sins.” For the god of social revolution, the greatest sin is, increasingly, thoughtcrime—taken right out of the pages of George Orwell’s 1984. Those who think differently from the acolytes of social revolution are “canceled” and publicly disavowed. University professors are threatened with loss of tenure. Popular writers such as J.K. Rowling are threatened with boycotts. Even media superstars find their livelihoods endangered by discoveries of past tweets or comments to the media, as inquisitions examine every public statement to ensure their thinking is “pure.” Sometimes, after paying penance through very public apologies and declaring fidelity to the new faith, individuals may be forgiven—though they tend to be viewed suspiciously even after slavish “repentance.”
These “new gods” and their followers simply do not tolerate the “sin” of “wrong” thinking. In a sense, these “new gods” are more like the “old gods” of ancient mythology than they might at first seem. As though acting out the stories of the Greek gods bickering back and forth in jealousy and spite, these false gods do the same. For instance, scientific studies that disagree with the conclusions of sexual anarchists are deemed hateful and inaccurate—not on factual grounds, but ideological ones. And even within the individual faiths generated by these “new gods,” there is internal strife and conflict. Some of the most passionate and ugly debating you will find on the Internet takes place among feminists and gender-identity advocates.
But these “new gods” are older than they appear. Each is a manifestation of a very different sort of false god, a real being who has reigned here on earth for quite some time: Satan, the devil.
Calling him “the god of this age”—or, in the King James Version, “the god of this world”—the Apostle Paul explains how Satan uses tactics like these false gods and idols of the heart to distract people from the truth that the real God would have them understand: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3–4).
Ever since the devil enticed Eve to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil—and Adam readily followed his wife’s lead by doing the same—human beings have trusted in their own philosophies, systems of government, and assumptions about the world around them, instead of being guided by the God who made them and who has a purpose for them. Today’s “new gods” are simply the latest examples of deceived humanity’s misplaced trust in our own foolishness.
Thankfully, God has not abandoned us to such foolishness.
He will send Jesus Christ back to this earth to restore all things and to usher in the Kingdom of God—the only true hope for humanity. In the light of that Kingdom, the “new gods” will be judged and found wanting, just as the false gods of Egypt were when the Almighty freed the children of Israel.
Science will return to its natural place as scientists use their God-given minds to explore and understand the world He created. Sexual anarchy will end as men and women follow the guidelines given by the One who created sex. The environment will be healed, and people will learn balanced ways to maintain it for the good of all. The ultimate social transformation will have taken place—all of society will look to the real God for His guidance, wisdom, and love.
May Christ soon save us from these “new gods” by pointing the world to the true One.