Category Archives: America

Don’t Worship The Image Of Gold

Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold on the plain of Dura. It was commanded publicly that when the appropriate signal was given that all would “fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace” (Daniel 3:5-6). God’s people at this time were in captivity and subjected to the rule of Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel, and three young Hebrew men named Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah had risen to prominence in those trying times and in those trying conditions (Daniel 1:17-21). It was found that their wisdom and understanding were ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm (Dan. 1:20). These three young men, whose names were changed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, but Daniel sat in the gate of the king” (Daniel 2:49).

These young Hebrew children were also faithful to their God. God had said in His law “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” (Exodus 20:3-5).

Because they were faithful to Jehovah, there arose a conflict in their lives. Should they obey the command of the King, who told them not to worship Jehovah as Jehovah had said or should they obey their God, Who told them not to bow down to man-made idols? For them, there was really no conflict at all, no trouble in deciding which way they should go. Not even when the king commanded in spite that the furnace to be made seven times as hot as normal (Dan. 3:19).

They responded boldly to Nebuchadnezzar: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up (Daniel 3:16-18).

There was no compromise on their part, no wavering even in the face of death. No fear of the retribution promised by earthly dignitaries. Only a solemn determination to follow the commands of their True King, Jehovah God. What an example of courage. What an example of faith. Oh that God’s people would have such courage. Oh that they would have such faith today.

These three Hebrew children were not alone. Daniel found himself in a similar situation under Darius the Mede. Daniel was appointed by Darius over all the princes of the kingdom. But those jealous princes connived a way to attack Daniel by getting Darius to pass a law, by playing to his pride, which would have cast into the lions den anyone who prayed to anyone except the king. Daniel knew this law was put into place and yet he chose to obey His God instead of the king. God protected him from the lions when the king reluctantly carried out his arbitrary, man-made laws.

The apostles faced a similar situation when they were commanded by the authorities not to teach or to preach at all in the name of the Lord. What do you think the apostles would do? “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men'” (Acts 5:29).

Brethren, the application of the lesson is clear. Don’t fall down and worship the image of gold. We ought to obey God rather than men.

Eric L. Padgett

Freedom of Religion

There has been a lot of attention given to the Freedom of Religion law recently passed here in Indiana. I don’t know enough yet about all the legal issues involved and I won’t go into them here. This only will I say, this country was founded on Judeao-Christian values, i.e., the values we find revealed by God in the Bible. Those basic values are what made this country the great nation that it is and, I am afraid, to willfully remove ourselves from them will be to remove ourselves from the protection of God’s Providence which brought us to this place of distinction in the world.

Quote after quote could be produced showing the favorable disposition of the Founding Fathers to God, Christianity and the Bible. For example, President Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” In a speech to the Delaware Indians, he stated:

“You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do every thing they can to assist you in this wise intention; and to tie the knot of friendship and union so fast, that nothing shall ever be able to loose it.”

Truly, so long as this country adhered to it’s Judeao-Christian heritage, God blessed this nation. But since, through the threat of financial ruin and intimidation of an influential minority, the constant drone of the liberal media against conservative, Christian points of view, and the passing off of the perfidious plague of political correctness as serious thought, we have devalued human life by adopting the insanity of abortion, we have glorified the sickest kind of immorality and debauchery through Hollywood’s hypnotic “eye,” we have sanitized and “normalized” the unnatural, sick and perverse abominations of homosexuality (which until 1986 was classified as a mental illness in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and, of late, powerful people in high places have attempted to foist upon the American people the rejection of Christ and the gospel in favor of the adoption of Mohammed and Islam.

It is only natural that sincere and conscientious Christians voice concern about their place in this increasingly hostile-to-Christian society. We should not expect things to get significantly better anytime soon for the Christian or even the nation. Indeed, expect them to worsen considerably. But this much we know: God is ultimately in complete control and shall work out His will in His own time, in His own way (Dan. 4:17,25,32; 5:21).

In the meantime, however, we should know that anytime the government attempts to force Christians to do that which they cannot conscientiously do–and make no mistake about it, this is happening even now!–they must adamantly refuse. Clearly “we ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:9). This action, of course, will have serious consequences and we will be persecuted as a result but all that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (II Tim. 3:12). We must have enough faith to not fear men but God (Matt. 10:28).

Unless we Christians stand up and loudly voice our opposition to the godless agenda being advanced while we are still free to do so, there may come a time when it will be impossible to do so. It is terribly ironic that God does not even force us to do His will like the government is now trying to force us to do it’s will. God made us free and makes us free. We have freedom of religion with God, but not with man. Our federal and many state constitutions promise us that these God-given freedoms will not be abridged but in this day of lawlessness that may not mean anything.

Eric L. Padgett