Saturday, December 15, 2007

Placebo of the Week

This week's placebo comes courtesy not of an errant church or a false prophet, but of one of Hollywood's elite leading men--Will Smith. Smith was recently interviewed by film critic, Bob Strauss, for LA.Com (the entertainment section of the the Los Angeles Daily News).

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

I've chosen Smith for the "Placebo of the Week" because of statements he made in the interview that reveal not only his own brand of idolatry, but a form of idolatry that is so very prevalent in the world today--the creation of a god to suit one's self.

Here's the last question and answer of the LA.Com article:

Q. "There was a recent statement in a magazine other than Newsweek that indicated you're interested in Cruise's faith, Scientology.

A. "I don't necessarily believe in organized religion. I was raised in a Baptist household, went to a Catholic church, lived in a Jewish neighborhood and had the biggest crush on a Muslim girl from one neighborhood over. Tom introduced me to the ideas of Scientology. I'm a student of world religion, so to me it's hugely important to have knowledge and understand what people are doing and what the big ideas are. But I believe that my connection to my higher power is separate from everybody's. I love my God, my higher power, but it's mine and mine alone, and I create my connection and I decide on what my connection's going to be."

Sadly, like untold millions of other lost souls in the world, today, Smith--who, by most accounts, is a sincere, thoughtful, intelligent man, who is one of the best at his chosen profession--has fashioned a god in his own imagination. Listen again to Smith's revealing words.

"But I believe that my connection to my higher power is separate from everybody's. I love my God, my higher power, but it's mine and mine alone, and I create my connection and I decide on what my connection's going to be" (emphasis added).

So, who is sovereign in Smith's relationship with his god? The answer should be obvious. Smith is.

Smith's god is nothing more than an it (to use his word). Smith's god is nothing more than a divine butler (to use my friend Ray Comfort's term)--quickly present when called upon, doing his master's bidding; and otherwise out of sight, out of mind, and out of the way.

Of course Smith love's his god. Why wouldn't he? Smith refers to his god as his "higher power"; but his god has no more power than what Smith ascribes to him--what power Smith allows him to have. Smith's god is not holy, righteous, and just. Why? If his god had such character traits and attributes, then the relationship would radically change, with the divine butler becoming the Master, and the present master becoming the servant. But sadly, Smith's god is not the omnipotent God of the Universe--the God of the Scriptures. No, sadly, Smith's god is an impotent figment of his imagination who will worship him--just as his adoring fans do.

Smith is certainly not alone in his violation of the First and Second Commandment. Every false religion (whether organized or, as in Smith's case, a denomination of one) has idolatry as the cornerstone of its sandstone foundation. In fact, I've talked to many people who profess to be Christians whose view of their god isn't far from Smith's view of his god.

Many people who claim to be Christians say things like, "My god is a loving god. He doesn't judge us." Or, "To me, god just wants me to be happy and he knows I'm not perfect. So, he sees the good in me and that's how he's going to see me when I stand before him." Or, "I believe in Jesus, but I think there are many paths to god." Sadly, the examples of this kind of idolatry of the mind are endless.

If you believe in a god similar to Will Smith's god, or you profess to be a Christian yet you hold opinions similar to the one's articulated above, then your god is a placebo. The dictionary defines a placebo as “a substance containing no medication and given merely to humor or please the patient.”

Your god, like a placebo, has no power to cure your disease. The disease is called sin and, without a cure, it is fatal. Examine yourself and see if you have any of the symptoms.

Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever taken God’s name in vain? Then by your own admission, you are a lying, thieving, blasphemer at heart. When you die from this disease (sin) and stand before God, He will find you guilty of breaking His commandments and sentence you to eternity in hell.

But there is good news. There is a real cure, and there is only one.

God doesn’t want to send you to hell. So, He sent His sinless Son, Jesus Christ—God in the flesh. He took upon himself the punishment you deserve for your sins against God when He shed His innocent blood and died on the cross. Three days later, He defeated death when He rose from the grave. So, what must you do to be saved? You must confess your sins against God, repent (turn away from your sins), and put your trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. Receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, right now. Stop taking the placebo. It cannot save you.

Repent and believe the gospel. It is the only cure and your only hope. Having received the cure, having received the free gift of eternal life, you will then enjoy a real relationship, for all eternity, with the only real God.

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