Baal was a false god the feckless Jewish King Ahab and his wicked wife, Jezebel, attempted to force upon the nation of Israel during the time of Elijah the prophet (see 1 Kings 18). Consequently, during this tumultuous time, most Jews kept their faith and identity outwardly but bowed to Baal when necessary to appease Jezebel as well as mainstream culture.
The same is happening today with so-called Christians who espouse anti-biblical views that honor the prevailing culture but dishonor God.
During his opposition to Jezebel, Elijah grew weary because nobody else came forward to stand with him and the Lord. At that point, God told him that there was a remnant of 7,000 who had not bowed their knee to Baal (see 1 Kings 19 and Rom. 11:2-4).
The challenge Elijah had was that the preponderance of this remnant was hiding in caves (see 1 Kings 18:13), leaving him all alone to battle the dark forces working through the political system.
In the present day, it also seems as though there is only a remnant of biblically based confessing churches and believers willing to stand against the forces of hell manifesting itself through intolerant group-think activists who want to abolish the first amendment, squelch religious freedom and silence all opposition through Jezebelian laws.
In the context of this article, I use the term "Baal worship" or "bowing to Baal" to refer to professing Christians who acquiesce to the world and compromise the Word of God.
The following are 10 signs you have already bowed your knee to Baal:
1. You accept, celebrate and teach that God blesses alternate forms of marriage and family that dishonor the God of Scripture.
Jesus said "in the beginning God made them male and female ...." when affirming that the form of marriage He affirmed was between one man and one woman (see Matt. 19:4-6). Not marriage between one man and multiple women, robots (humanoids?), or other unbiblical expressions outside of this one-man/one-woman rubric. Truly holding onto this biblical view of marriage has become the telltale sign of either fidelity to Scripture or cultural compromise.
2. You live out the values of pop culture even when they collide with the way of Jesus.
Many (church-attending) Baal-bowing "believers" may not say or preach the wrong thing, but their life choices belie and betray the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (see Jude 3).
3. You are afraid to represent Christ in public because of a fear of persecution
Many believers allow themselves to be intimidated by mainstream culture and kowtow to Baal because of their intense desire to "fit in" with the crowd. They ignore the fact that Jesus taught that those persecuted for righteousness will be blessed (see Matthew 5:11,12).
4. You put personal happiness above the will of God.
Many "Christians" desire above all a life of comfort and ease. Many have falsely been brought into a church with the false claims of the prosperity gospel. However, the moment their quality of life is threatened legally, they will prostate themselves so low before Baal they will clog their nose with the dust of the ground!
The apostle John had something to say to you when he admonished believers not to love the world nor the things of the world (see 1 John 2:15-17).
Your desire for happiness causes you to worship God only when convenient, which means you bow to Baal when it's inconvenient!
5. You love the praise of men more than the praises of God.
You're so insecure that you bow to Baal and sell your soul for the affirmation of your co-workers, neighbors and culture.
The apostle John illustrated your life when he wrote that many of the rulers among the Jews believed in Jesus but were afraid to confess Him because they loved the praises of men more than the approval of God (see John 12:42-43). Furthermore, the apostle James said that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with God (see James 4:4). In your desire to appease the world, you unfriend God and friend Baal.
6. You lack a biblical worldview.
Your view of reality and truth is shaped more by secular culture than the Scriptures. As a matter of fact, your lifestyle choices demonstrate that you lift the values, views and vision of secular culture above the Word of God. However—one day—while the world and its Baal worshippers are licking the dust in disgrace, those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars in the firmament (see Dan. 12: 2-3). Your ignorance and lack of pursuing biblical truth are your downfall, resulting in your pathetic obeisance to Baal.
7. You drink the Kool-Aid of groupthink.
Instead of studying the Scriptures with a goal of cultivating the fear of the Lord and discernment so you can apply His truth in culture, you superficially believe and advance the views of pop culture, secular media or your political party without digging beneath the surface. Consequently, you bow your knee to the Baal of celebrity pundits who make a living off of your ignorance.
8. You seek first "self-actualization" instead of God's kingdom.
Jesus called His true followers to lose their life so they can find it (see Mark 8:35). Some popular preachers allure people by promising them they can be true to themselves and their desires while serving God. This is only true if a person delights in the Lord (see Ps. 37:4) which enables God to trust their desires since they emanate out of a love for Him.
In this world, the most sacred principle is self-expression. In the Scriptures, the most reasonable act is to offer your body wholly up to God so as not to be conformed to this world (see Rom. 12:1-3).
If your main desire in life is self-actualization, you will bow your knee to the Baal god of self-love. If your main desire is the worship of the one true God, your self life will be crucified so Christ can live through you (see Gal. 2:20).
9. You are beholden more to a political party than to His kingdom.
It is so easy to allow other people and/or a group to do the thinking and speaking for you. The problem with this is, in a two-party system like we have in the USA, it is virtually impossible for a political entity that depends upon playing to its base to stay in power to always remain true to biblical standards.
Hence, when you blindly support your political party or leaders (because of entitlements, skin color, racism, economic empowerment or rhetoric), you will invariably find yourself at times bowing your knee to Baal
10. Your identity is intentionally shaped by things other than God's design for you.
As a God-lover, you derive your identity primarily from the fact you are a child of God (see Eph. 1:3-7, 1 John 3:1). When your primary identity emanates from your ethnicity, vocation or sexual preferences, you will bow your knee to Baal any time you have to choose between those things and biblical standards.
Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally known author, interpreter of culture and activist/theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence nations. He is renowned for addressing current events through the lense of Scripture by applying biblical truths and offering cogent defenses to today's postmodern culture. He leads several organizations, including The United Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (uscal.us). He also has a blog on Charisma News called "The Pulse." To order one of his books or to subscribe to his weekly newsletter go to josephmattera.org.
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