AMERICAN IDOLS: The Land of the Free or Home of the Enslaved?

Idolatry can take many forms.
Alcoholism and drug abuse are forms of idol worship.
They lead to spiritual bondage. Abusers are addicted and enslaved.

And God spoke all these words:

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20: 1-6

More than 1/3 of all high school seniors in America have admitted to using marijuana in the past year. These self-reports of drug use among high school seniors may under represent drug use among youth of that age because high school dropouts and truants are not included, and these groups may have more involvement with drugs than those who stay in school. Although overall drug abuse has declined since the late 1970s, the use of inhalants has increased among teenagers. Inhalants encompass a range of substances as diverse as glues, aerosols, butane, paint thinner, and nail polish remover. Use of inhalants has consistently been highest among 8th graders, likely because these products are inexpensive, legal, and easy to obtain, making them more attractive to younger adolescents who have less access to illicit drugs.

More than 70% of high school seniors in America have admitted to using alcohol in the past year, while nearly 50% have reported that they have had a drink in the past month. Most high school seniors are between the ages of 16 – 18 years old. The legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years of age. Therefore 7 out of 10 high school seniors have admitted to breaking the law by underage consumption of alcoholic beverages in the past year and half have admitted to having a drink recently.

Worldwide, more than 2/3 of all countries have a cocaine problem. By conservative estimates, there are over 2 million cocaine addicts in the United States alone.

Seven of the 20 countries designated by the President as major drug transit or major illicit drug-producing nations are located in Latin America-Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. The strategic deployment of approximately 38 percent of DEA’s foreign workforce to Latin America is testament to the important role the region plays in feeding America’s appetite for drugs.

Latin America is the source of all cocaine, most of the heroin, and significant amounts of marijuana consumed in the United States. Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru remain the primary centers of cocaine production, although DEA remains concerned about the production potential of other countries in the region. Cocaine continues to be produced in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru in vast quantities to supply the United States’ and world’s demand. Non-existent 10 years ago, heroin produced in Colombia now supplies over 50 percent of the United States’ heroin market.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, over 22 million Americans need treatment for a drug or alcohol problem!

The World Health Organization estimates that 1.1 billion people smoke, about one-third of the global population aged 15 and older. In the United States, over 25 million men and over 21 million women smoke tobacco products.

During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in adult obesity in the United States. Approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million obese, and 9 million severely obese. There has also been a dramatic increase in childhood obesity in the last decade. Childhood obesity rates have quadrupled in the last twenty five years. Diabetes, hypertension and other obesity-related chronic diseases that are prevalent among adults have now become more common in youngsters.

Alcoholism and drug addiction are impacting families and communities around the world. Here in affluent America, we are drinking, drugging, smoking and overeating ourselves to death.

You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them…

People turn to idols because they are seeking pleasure or comfort apart from God. When trials and troubles come, when you experience emotional or physical pain, when you are lonely or bored, where do you find your comfort? Do you smoke cigarettes or eat junk food when you are nervous? Do you have a few beers or watch pornography when you are lonely or feel rejected?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

Those who have placed their trust in the finished work of Messiah Jesus are not only promised a full and abundant life but will experience an eternity of pleasures.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Our God is the God of all comfort and the Father of all compassion. When we stand in faith, we will experience an abundant life and we will experience an eternity of joy in God’s presence.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

If we stand in faith in the midst of our circumstances and hardships, we will be pleasing to God and will reap rewards. But the LORD our God is a jealous God who punishes those who are guilty of idolatry to the third and fourth generation. Have you sought pleasure or comfort by drinking, gambling, drugging, smoking cigarettes, by overeating or indulging in pornography? Are you a workaholic or a shopaholic? Who are you serving?

Why is idolatry such an abomination before the LORD? The Apostle Paul exhorts us to flee from idolatry. In speaking about the communion table Paul wrote:

Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 1 Corinthians 10:19-21

Addictions and compulsive behaviors are not only physical bondages but demonic strongholds.

Pharmakeia is a word found three times in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is the root word from which we get our English word pharmacy or pharmacist. Pharmakeia is translated as witchcraft or sorcery. It speaks of the occult magical arts which are often found in connection with idolatry. Drug and alcohol abuse including nicotine and caffeine addictions, like witchcraft, are powerful, demonic strongholds.

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16

Here in America and around the world, people are drinking, drugging, smoking and overeating themselves to death. They are in bondage to their addictions and compulsive behaviors and are enslaved by sin which leads to death. Many are unknowingly offering up their bodies as sacrifices to demons. Not only are they slaves to their addictions and guilty of idolatry, they have placed a curse on their families which extends to the third and fourth generation.

The prophet Hosea warns us that the people of God are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16

We who have put our trust in the finished work of redemption that Christ accomplished on the cross are not in darkness. We are no longer ignorant as God’s elect. We must walk in the light as He is in the light. We and our children, and our children’s children do not have to be destroyed for lack of knowledge. We must no longer conform to evil desires. We need not be enslaved. We must not serve other gods. We need to be obedient children and be holy as our heavenly Father is holy.

“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17

Are we willing to commit to living a life worth of our calling and seek purity as did King David who proclaimed:

I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life- when will you come to me?
I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing.
The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me.
Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil.
Psalm 101:1-4

About Just Pray NO!

Steven L. Sherman is founder and president of “Just Pray NO!” Ltd. Since April 7th, 1991 “Just Pray NO!” has sought to unite Christians from around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families. During the past twenty plus years, CBN, Family News in Focus, Decision Today, Charisma Magazine, as well as several major radio networks including K-Love Radio, USA Radio Network and the Ministry of United News and Information have helped to publicize the annual “Just Pray NO!” Worldwide Weekend of Prayer event and have been instrumental in spreading their message of hope and healing. Mr. Sherman was born in New York City, where he has made frequent appearances on Christian radio and television to help promote his work. For more information concerning this ministry go to: http://justprayno.org. As a Jewish believer in Christ, Steven Sherman understands the feasts, fasts, and festivals found in the Old Testament, which are most valuable in comprehending Bible prophecy. He is the author of THE LAST DAYS CALENDAR: Understanding God’s Appointed Times and THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST: Understanding the Apocalypse. Steven has had numerous radio and television interviews concerning his books including two half-hour interviews on the Herman and Sharron Bailey Show on CTN 22, as well as had his personal testimony of coming to faith featured on the "700 Club." For over twenty years Steven has taught Bible studies and conducted seminars on The Feasts of the LORD and biblical prophecy. Many of his unique insights and teachings can be found on line at: http://lastdayscalendar.net. Mr. Sherman has five children and two grandchildren, Alexandria, his granddaughter and Benjamin, who was born October 19, 1997, on his 50th birthday. The Shermans currently reside in Florida.

Posted on December 17, 2011, in Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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