It wasn't long ago I used to work at an old folk's home. I had some co-workers who found out about my faith and began to ask me questions. Some of them were simple, like, "Did God really flood the earth?" Some were sort of funny because I didn't expect them, like, "Do you think God could be a woman?" Once in a while, maybe most of the time, I got a serious question that turned into a lunch break-long discussion.
During one dinner shift, a cook went into some fit about churches getting tax breaks and said America's biggest religion didn't need it. "Christianity isn't America's biggest religion," I said.
He stopped and looked at me. "Really? What do you think it is?"
"Sex. More people worship that than Jesus." I think I said it because I knew he was a sex addict and I wanted to shake him up.
Fast forward to a youth group meeting where we got into a discussion about worship and idolatry. One of the girls asked, "What idol do you think people worship most?"
And because half of what I say is rehearsed to death, the word "Sex" began to form in my mouth when two things happened. First, I saw the look on my wife's face because she knew what I wanted to say. Second, I realized it wasn't the right answer. So instead, I told the girl, "Ourselves."
Of all the idols we worship instead of Jesus, I think we worship ourselves. Yeah, sex plays into that. But so does food, relationships, entertainment, and even religious activities like going to church. We do whatever we want to make ourselves feel good.
I wonder if some people hate themselves because something about their looks or personality doesn't please the idol of Self. Does that make sense? Can people hate themselves because they actually love themselves too much? Could it be such a person unconsciously knows they make for a poor god, unworthy of the worship it demands?
After all that, I don't want you to read this and think I'm promoting a new asceticism. Jesus told his disciples not to worry about themselves, but instead to seek God's kingdom first and He would give them everything they needed for their joy and happiness. I don't think Jesus meant, "Don't eat or wear clothes, but worship God," but rather, "Worship God, and you find your contentment and joy in Him."
What do you think is America's biggest religion?