Golden Calves of the 21st Century

“They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, “This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!”    

Exodus 32:8

Everyone has a golden calf, or two, or three, which we worship. For some of us, the luminous calf is social media. For others, it can be fashion or exercise and diet programs, television series, music, food, make-up, video games, premium coffee, boyfriends, girlfriends, sleep, sex, status, money, money, and money; the list goes on. Now when I say “worship” I don’t mean that you put these things on an altar, bow down to it, and proclaim “Almighty and ever-living Starbucks frappuccino, you are the one who makes the stars and the moon blahblahblah…” (Okay, now if you do actually do that, you have a problem and should seek help immediately)

What I mean is that there are certain things we put above God and scripture. We put our favorite television programs above time spent pouring over His word. We would prefer to shop and drool over female fashion pins on Pinterest or get our nails done every other week, rather than sit in His presence, at His most holy feet. We would rather have sex with our significant others or spouses in order to avoid having an intimate talk about the Gospel or pray a rosary for peace and chastity. We love listening to the newest hit on iTunes, blasting it loudly in our speakers, but cannot stand to be in the stillness and silence of the Word made flesh. (John 1:1, 14)

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“He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.”    

John 1:10-11

 

Our Lord is largely unknown and widely unaccepted because we choose to be like the people I highlighted for you in Exodus. We choose to bring forth our distractions, objects, ideas, and people to the almighty alter of today’s secular world and in that, we have failed to know Him, our Creator. The Church in her wisdom has given us an annual opportunity to change this: Lent. You have forty days to give up everything that pulls you away from His desire for you. Lent is a time of great struggle but an even greater reward lies ahead! Through the struggle of sacrifice, God is at our side at all times. (Psalm 136) Lent is about forgiveness and repentance, and that means more than asking for God’s forgiveness, but also asking yourself for forgiveness. In doing so you reclaim your right in acknowledging your faults, but more importantly you proclaim His mercy. Take the time to examine your conscious and take stock of what it is you’ve been doing for the past year which causes you damage. If you are doing something that causes you to drift and fall into the hands of secularism, stop doing it! (Matthew 5:30) Lent is your opportunity and now is the time to take it.

We have less than a week before Ash Wednesday and our world is bleeding with sin and profound moral damage. This is your time to bring yourself closer to Christ, and to help heal the world of its false gods. As Christians, we must arm ourselves with “the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation” (1 Thess 5:8), which means we enter the battle spiritually armed. We are in the midst of the greatest spiritual warfare we have ever known, and it is up to us to show the world how to love. This means removing our golden calves and bolstering our obedience to the Lord. He will not fail us nor forsake us (Deut 31:8) as all of the worlds false gods will. Make strong roots this Lenten season and make a promise to uproot your golden calves.

“Taking the calf they had made, he [Moses] fused it in the fire and then ground it down into powder, which he scattered on the water and made the Israelites drink.”    

Exodus 32:20

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One thought on “Golden Calves of the 21st Century

  1. Thank you for writing this!

    I’m currently taking a scripture survey class and something the professor mentioned during the lecture on the Exodus was how “easy” it was to remove Israel from Egypt (you know, all the plagues and the parting of the Red Sea) compared to the process of removing Egypt from Israel. Israel made a golden calf (an Egyptian god), called it the LORD (you know, that special name that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush). All this after the LORD had freaking parted the Red Sea and give them miraculous bread from the sky (this is like “visiting” a prostitute after your wife bore you 5 kids and stood by you at you went through heart surgery, then having the audacity to intentionally call the prostitute by your wife’s name)!

    It’s a good reflection on our own sinfulness. How often we call on the Lord during the hard times and then proceed to forget about him until the next life tragedy. How often we bear the name “Christian” yet stay up late watching White Collar making you unable to wake up early to say morning prayer (too specific?). Lent is the time to rectify our life and purge the Egypt from our souls.

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