A subject was heavy on my mind for time... Someone I have a relationship with is deeply involved in teaching Christianity internationally. Mostly in South America but recently she taught in Tailand. When I spoke to her after that trip to Asia... she was both encouraged and deeply sad. She saw miraclulous things... but she faced some challenges in forms she didn't expect... at least not to the degree they were presented.
One of these challenges was not a lack of belief... but the belief and worship of other gods.
Now this isn't a problem we westerns deal with much. If you believe, then you are either a Christian, Muslim, or Jew... that's really about it. We don't find ourselves debating much with each other about God.
Instead we find ourselves debating with atheists, not about which god is the true creater, but if there is a creater at all. A popular atheist debate tactic is to point out that different regions of the world worship different gods... therefore they conclude that all of them must be false.
Now this is sort of the long way around the barn but it occured to me that the questions are actually the same, and should be dealt with the same way.
***Warning: God and I did not have breakfast together this morning. He didn't tell me this over bacon and eggs. While I pray that these words glorify God... I do not claim divine infallibility here. Proceed with caution.***
So why are there these regional gods? Well... the short answer is... we're not the only ones here that are being judged. Job mentions a council meeting in Heaven... attended even by Satan. What was this meeting? Well... I suggest that it was a meeting of Principalites and Powers called by God.
See... God sent out these Principalities and Powers to govern various areas of the earth. They were to defend the weak... help the poor... and do God's will. God also makes it clear that these beings will be judged just as we will.
So how did we end up with all these regional gods worshipped throughout the world? Well.. because God put them there... and they gave in to temptation and allowed themselves to be worshipped in God's stead.
So who is the Great Spirit worshipped by the American Indians? He was a principality created by God and sent to watch over North America.
Who is Allah? In short... if not Satan himself... he's just another principality. Perhaps more clever and more powerful than most... but nothing before the might of God.
Ah... but why have all of these beings failed? Why are all of them being worshipped? I don't know but I know the Bible speaks of God reading them the riot act for being such abyssmal failures... which is how we know they'll be judged.
Think of the bizarre behavior of these so-called "gods". Tell me this doesn't make all the sense in the world.
Now this is basic stuff. .. sunday school stuff. But then I am reminded... Sunday School stuff is rarely taught in Sunday School anymore. Now days Sunday School is a means to insure that Christianity is a Church of eunuchs.