No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else. he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24)
Associating money with the sacred lets us believe that there is some magic to its accumulation. Those in the western culture have been transformed into pagans worshiping false idols in the guise of millionaires like the Kardashians. Becoming rich isn’t like gaining enlightenment or becoming a world-leading theoretical physicist or a master of martial arts. Chance and circumstance come into play a lot of the time, and we end up following the entertainers rather than the educators. Deceived by money worship3. The loss of sacredness speaks to the godlessness in our time and the loss of what it means to be a real human being.
The 20th century saw the fall of widespread religious influence like we have never seen before. At home, many people still practiced their beliefs, but the dominant cultural narrative was one that lacked a firm confidence in God, and in turn a cohesive philosophy. The notion of divinity for example, no longer held a position of paramount importance in our lives, as it had done for millennia. Millions of individuals in the Western world seemed to keep their religious affiliations for cultural rather than spiritual reasons.
The number one reason people hate America, the number one reason is because of our religion. Americans worship money, we worship money. Separate God from school, separate God from work, separate God from government but on your money it says in God we trust. All my life I’ve been looking for God and he’s right in my pocket! Americans worship money, and we all go to the same church, the church of ATM.
Paganism has left a profound gap in our culture. Man has always needed a story, a myth by which to arrange his belief systems in a way that his psyche can digest. The narrative that took the place of traditional Judeo-Christian values in Western culture was fundamentally based upon the ideals that came with capitalism. One key underlying belief was that men were in control of their own destiny and should build, produce, and own the fruits of their individual labor. Nothing embodies the idol worship more than the 1980s and the phrase: greed is good.
In the United States, the American Dream — the pursuit of happiness — was intrinsically tied to these notions. The dream was initially a modest ideal: basic freedoms and the potential for financial stability. Though what has spawned in the last half a century is a culture obsessed with consumption, and one that expects nothing less than extravagance. Covetousness is forbidden by the 10th commandment, and as greed is defined as idolatry In the New Testament. Real change starts with creating a new culture.
לֹא-תַעֲשֶׂה לְךָ פֶסֶל, וְכָל-תְּמוּנָ,
Thou Shalt Not Worship False Idols, 1st Commandment of God
The Harm of Western Colonial culture
The scientific worldview of Western civilization is what anthropologists characterize as an exploitative worldview. It assumes life's materialistic nature rather than reality's divine nature. In it, religion and spiritual disciplines are less a part of daily activities and tend to be restricted to special occasions.
Since God is outside of nature, the attitude is held that nature exists only to be used by humans. By extension, anthropologists observe that societies that adopt a worldview may find nothing wrong with manipulating other societies to assure their survival. This exploitative worldview, prevalent among food-producing peoples, contributes to inter-societal warfare.
When we take God out of nature and out of humankind, we establish the basis for an exploitative worldview. When an exploitative worldview gains international strength through 1500 years of “progress,” we now face nuclear catastrophe and the potential destruction of earth’s natural ecosystems.
When I think about western culture, I see a society suffering from spiritual decay that is bleeding into all facets of life. That is because western culture worships the false idol of money