Finite Gods: “When I interpret some particular possibility as a threat to some value I consider necessary for my existence, I experience anxiety,” writes Thomas Oden. “Anxiety becomes neurotically intensified to the degree that I have idolized finite values that properly should have been regarded as limited. The more I worship finite gods, the more I make myself vulnerable to intensified anxiety” . Yet our worshipping finite gods does not stop with anxiety. Where else does it go?
Child Sacrifice: The Psalmist laments that our idol worship can hurt the next generation: “They served their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood” . In other words, we sacrifice our sons and daughters to our counterfeit gods.
Counterfeit Gods: Tim Keller writes, “Our contemporary society is not fundamentally different from these ancient ones. Each culture is dominated by its own set of idols … We may not physically kneel before the statue of Aphrodite, but many young women today are driven into depression and eating disorders by an obsessive concern over their body image. We may not actually burn incense to Artemis, but when money and career are raised to cosmic proportions, we perform a kind of child sacrifice, neglecting family and community to achieve a higher place in business and gain more wealth and prestige” .
Prayer: Lord, You are the only God that leads to joy, not anxiety, for you offered yourself as a sacrifice to save us. Yet we confess that we worship finite gods and, as a result, we sacrifice our families and friends at their false altars. Lord, break the bond that they have over our hearts and reveal their lies to us. Cause us to hate our sin—not only for our own sake, but also for the sake of those around us whom we love dearly. Amen.
M’Cheyne Weekend Readings:
 Thomas C. Oden. Two Worlds. |  Psalm 106:36-38 ESV |  Tim Keller, Counterfeit Gods.