Friday, July 31, 2015

Idolatry and Political Power

When spiritual principalities and powers get control of a political leader, they release a spirit of idolatry among the people to cement their authority in place.

The children of Israel had picked up this spirit in Egypt by watching the Pharaoh. Once God delivered them, they transferred this idolatry to Moses, so when he did not come down the mountain, they created an idol (golden calf) to worship (Exodus 32).

Nebuchadnezzar was Emperor of Babylon. He created an idol reflecting his empire for the people to worship (Dan 3). This was natural because the principalities and powers that controlled him, also released a spirit of idolatry.

We can see the same pattern throughout Europe. Whenever a powerful king, died the people built a statue of the king on a horse in the centre of their town. This reflects the link between principalities and powers that controlled the king and the spirit of idolatry at work amongst the people.

We can see the same thing in the United States. The idolatry manifests in an physical idol when a popular political leader dies. The best example are the Washington and Lincoln memorials, but the same thing exists in many state capitals. The monuments and statues reflect the link between principalities and powers and spirit of idolatry.

The link explains why crowds of people gather to see the British royal family and the US President. It explains why people feel honoured when they get to meet their senator or representative, usually for nothing in return. When the principalities and powers get control of a politicians life, they release a spirit of idolatry.

This phenomenon creates a problem for the church in nations where the political leaders are controlled by spiritual powers. They release a spirit of idolatry among the people to shore up support for the leader they control. This spirit of idolatry leaks into the church. People afflicted by it will not accept plurality of leadership, even if they have complementary giftings. They will demand a strong pastor as their leader, so they can unconsciously attach their idolatry to him.

1 comment:

August said...

I think there should be some differentiation with regard to honor given to nobility. They tended to function as a model, encouraging people to improve themselves. You will see something similar even if you get your way somewhere on the globe. It is due, in large part, to the fact that women like to marry up, so they will quickly imagine a hierarchy even if one is not there. Thus it is best to have one- I don't know if your country is suffering from the proliferation of tattoos, but it is here, and I think this is one of the many signs of lack of a formal hierarchy. If they were trying to marry into a higher class, women wouldn't dare do it. Instead they are going for the thugs- in lieu of a formal hierarchy, those that seem capable of brute force are more highly valued.

Obviously, I do think deference to a king can be overdone, but in most cases, I would suspect- especially in a small realm- these statues are more familial in nature rather than idolatrous. An expensive tombstone of sorts, rather than something to sacrifice to.