Living near Madrid has given me the opportunity to go to the National Archeological Museum of Spain. When I looked at the artifacts from the time of Roman rule, there were metal idols that homeowners placed in their gardens for good luck. Sculptors made stone idols to position by the streets in hope that they would bring good fortune to the passersby. Parents gave an amulet to their young son to wear around his neck for protection.
The next display after the Roman era was from the Christian era. A plaque by a table said that type of church furnishing often had a shelf for holy relics. An object from an ancient church had an inscription intended to protect Lucius and bring him prosperity. I marveled at the similarity between the Roman era and the Christian era. In place of the gods, artisans began to make images of saints. I gained the impression that in general during both eras, a relationship with God did not count but, rather, the convenience and prosperity of individuals and families.
We can smugly say we know better than that, but Jesus said to take up our cross daily because as humans who forget, we need to continue to evaluate our priorities in light of the cross. Have materialism and the quest for entertainment, comfort, and pleasure become our idols? As we consider our priorities, these statistics from Bible.org give us food for thought:
- Ninety-five percent of all Christians have never won a soul to Christ.
- Eighty percent of all Christians do not consistently witness for Christ.
- Less than two percent are involved in the ministry of evangelism.
- Seventy-one percent do not give toward the financing of the Great Commission.