Note how each of the idols covered thus far in this series provides the opportunity to engage in one or more of the seven deadly sins (What are the seven deadly sins?).

  • Part 1: The Worship of Stuff – When we worship stuff, we fall prey to our greed, envy, gluttony, and pride.
  • Part 2: The Worship of Sex – When we worship sex, we can give expression to our lust and pride.
  • Part 3: The Worship of Science – When we worship science, we seek to justify ourselves, to protect our pride.

Note that sin of pride is at the root of all idolatry. The same true of the following.

The Worship of the State

Note the figure above. That figure portrays the abuses of slavery. When we worship the state, we seek power over others. Ultimately, we seek the enslavement of others. We worship the state because we want to elevate ourselves over others. Why? When we dominate others, we can seek to appease our lusts, try to sate our greed and our envy by taking what belongs to others, and we can feed our pride by lording over others.

What should we call the worship of the state? Some would suggest Statolatry, but Statism seems to be in more common use.

The term “statism” was tirelessly promoted by Ayn Rand. A computer search of her published works for “statism” or “statist” gives over 300 hits. She described statism as the idea that “man’s life and work belong to the state–to society, to the group, the gang, the race, the nation–and that the state may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own, tribal, collective good.”

Fascism and communism are two variants of statism. Both are forms of dictatorship. Neither one recognizes individual rights nor permits individual freedom. The differences are non-essential: fascism is racial statism and communism is statism of economic class.

from => https://www.forbes.com/sites/harrybinswanger/2013/11/13/statism/?sh=869fd7c5f5c4

The opposite of Statism is anarchy (see What does the Bible say about anarchy/anarchism?).

Anarchy, derived from a Greek word meaning “having no ruler,” is a belief system that rejects governmental authority in favor of self-governing or community consensus that has become a synonym for chaos and the breakdown of civil order.

from => https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/anarchy.asp

Neither extreme, neither Statism nor Anarchy, provides a form of government that is compatible with Christian teachings. As the people who founded the United States understood, obedience to God requires a balance between Statism and Anarchy.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, 

from => https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript

Why must Statism fail to meet God’s standard?

In totalitarian societies, governments suppress the church and religious worship. That’s because dictators believe citizens should worship them as the highest authority and not a Higher Authority, which they view as a threat to their power and position.

continued => https://townhall.com/columnists/calthomas/2020/12/01/cal-thomas-worship-the-state-or-else-n2580822

Socialists, of course, argue that they only have the best of intentions. They don’t seek to make the state our god. Yet consider.

The paternal state not only feeds its children, but nurtures, educates, comforts, and disciplines them, providing all they need for their security. This appears to be a mildly insulting way to treat adults, but it is really a great crime because it transforms the state from being a gift of God, given to protect us against violence, into an idol. It supplies us with all blessings, and we look to it for all our needs. Once we sink to that level, as Lewis says, there is no point in telling state officials to mind their own business. ‘Our whole lives are their business.’ The paternalism of the state is that of the bad parent who wants his children dependent on him forever. That is an evil impulse. The good parent prepares his children for independence, trains them to make responsible decisions, knows that he harms them by not helping them to break loose. The paternal state thrives on dependency. When the dependents free themselves, it loses power. It is, therefore, parasitic on the very persons whom it turns into parasites. Thus, the state and its dependents march symbiotically to destruction.– Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction

from => https://caldronpool.com/as-worship-of-the-living-god-shrinks-worship-of-the-state-grows/

Is not this exactly the sort of behavior we are seeing in the modern welfare state? How much different is the modern welfare state from a government which tolerates or promotes slavery. Didn’t slave owners in America want their contemporaries to believe that they were just taking proper care of their slaves. As members of an inferior race, could their slaves really be expected to take proper care of themselves?

If you have difficulty imagining the end of the modern welfare state, you are in good company. Our ancestors also had difficulty imagining the end of slavery.

To Be Continued

  • The Worship of Self
  • Can We Imagine the World Before Noah’s Flood?


A Related Series, What Do Atheists Worship?


Add yours

  1. Tom,

    The current news about SVB and other banking failures can be discerned in my opinion to be a sign of another falling idol in the near future created from USA beliefs in Statism governing, and the moral hazards of the USA government policies to accumulate a staggering 31.4 trillion National Debt.

    Chunk out my post today if interested.

    Regards and good will blogging

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