Top 10 False God’s of Today

Back in Bible times, false gods were easy to identify. Baal, Molech, Ashtoreth, Chemosh, Artemis, and others are all present in the pages of Scripture as gods competing for devotion to the God of Israel. In todays day, these names don’t really seem to pop up quite as much. But don’t be fooled—just because we don’t use the same names for false gods doesn’t mean our culture doesn’t have any. We most certainly do! I’ve put together a list of the top ten false gods of our day. There are only a few things to remember about this list.

  • I am defining the term “false god” as someone or something that is highly revered, followed devoutly, sacrificed for, and looked to for meaning in life and deliverance from problems.
  • I actually have no idea if these are ranked in order, but that they belong on a list of false gods I am fairly certain about.
  • This list isn’t perfect.
  • Ranking #1 I got right for sure.

Let the list commence!

Dishonourable mentions: power, entertainment, popularity

10. Education

These days we bow at the altar of education. We believe that the problem with criminals is that they lack education and believe that having better access to it will turn them into decent human beings. We gasp at the thought of someone trying to amount to anything without a formal degree. We spend tens of thousands of dollars, and even go way into debt, in order to get an education we aren’t even sure we really want to pursue as a career path. We ignore what anyone has to say unless they have a bunch of letters at the end of their name. In short, we treat education like it is a god that will deliver us from the messy state we find our world in. And while education is important and an extremely valuable thing, it cannot deliver on that promise.

9. Beauty

We revere people who are attractive and dismiss those who aren’t. Whole racks of magazines are devoted to all the beautiful people in the world and all the insignificant details of their lives. They tell us how we too can lose weight and become like them—you know, people who actually matter. We fat-shame overweight people. We spend money on products that promise slimmer waistlines and smoother skin. We fight back father time hoping to look young forever. We dismiss people if they are bland or bald, even if they are wise. We overlook horrible character flaws if someone is good-looking (ex. 50 Shades of Grey). In short, we put way too much stock in a god that is constantly fading away.

Beauty is fleeting (Proverbs 31:30)

8. Comfort

We looooove to take it easy. The reason we work so hard is so that we can relax. Heck, even at work, if we can cut corners here and there to lighten the load we are more than happy to do so. People constantly talk about how they can’t wait for the weekend or the next vacation or the upcoming holiday. We frequently choose the path of least resistance in many areas of life. We do everything we can to avoid hardship, even if the hard things is the right thing to do. We desire life to be smooth sailing and when instead we hit stormy seas we are apt to complain about it. Somehow we have come to expect that life should be a breeze, enjoying the pleasure and leisure and good things in life without having to earn them with blood, sweat, and tears. The problem is that if comfort is our top priority, we are less likely to do the hard things in life—such as love difficult people, sacrifice for others, and follow through on commitments.

7. Substances

We infuse our bodies with all kinds of things to forget about our hurts, numb the pain, or spice up our boring lives. There are the big and obvious ones, like hard drugs, whether they be street drugs or pharmaceuticals. But there are less ominous substances we turn to also, such as pot, nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol. Heck, sometimes we even use just regular old junk food because it makes us feel better (aka comfort food). Our bodies react favourably to these things at first because they make us feel good, but in the long run they are addicting substances that harm us in other ways. They promise a better life but can’t deliver on that for the long haul. It eventually becomes self-inflicted slavery to an addiction.

6. Family

Wait a second…family? What is something like family doing on this list? Well, family is a wonderful thing—don’t get me wrong. But family makes a lousy god. People often think, If I could just get a husband I would be happy, or If I could just get a wife I would be happy, or once we have kids and a picture perfect family I will finally be happy. But these things aren’t true. Yes, family can bring great happiness, but it is a complicated happiness that is not unconditional. For example, if you are trusting a spouse to bring meaning to your life, you will inevitably disdain them when they let you down. If you are trusting in kids to make your life worth living, you will be left empty when they grow up and begin their own lives. The truth is that families are messy and difficult. They bring a lot of pleasure but also a lot of pain. Because people aren’t perfect (and hey, neither are you) family will never end up being exactly the way you always pictured it to be, which means you are destined to live in perpetual disappointment if that is where you have placed your hope.

5. Religion

Religion and God are not the same thing. Some people trust in God, but other people trust in religion. The first is a good bet, but the second in a major mistake. Religion itself has little it can do for you. Sure, religious people gain some benefit from their beliefs and devotion. They might have great peace in their lives. Prayer might help them to relieve anxiety. But in the long run, religion without God is an empty shell. You can tell when someone is trusting in religion and not God because they might say something like it doesn’t matter if it’s true because it works for me. This is flawed thinking. The belief that there could be life after death, for example, might bring a sense of comfort when a loved one dies (or you are facing your own death), but that is a false sense of comfort unless it is actually true. Religion offers comfort, but not necessarily real hope. Only God rightly known and understood can bring true hope, because it is a hope that is grounded in reality and not blind faith. Religion can’t deliver you, but God can.

4. Science

It might be true that in our increasingly secular society, more people trust in science than trust in religion. We believe that science has all of the answers for us. We believe that if science confirms something to be true, it must be true—despite the fact that science changes all the time depending on recent findings. We trust that science will give us the solutions to all the plagues that face humanity. Science certainly does benefit us greatly. We enjoy the benefits of technology and medicine and physics every moment of every day. But if we think that science is the one hope for mankind we are fooling ourselves. Mankind cannot save itself. Rather, the one thing mankind is an expert at is self-imploding. Science can help ward that off for a while, but it cannot be counted on to deliver us in the end.

3. Sex

Fifty years ago people would talk freely about death but never hush a word about sex. Nowadays it is the complete reverse. Sex is everywhere. It dominates music, movies, video games, TV shows, advertising, and even just everyday life. To some degree this makes sense: sexuality is a part of human nature and an important and powerful one at that. But when we take a good thing and make it a god-thing we have gone too far. Sex, perhaps more than any other area of life, is considered to be untouchable by moral restraints. The one moral guideline for sex of any kind is consent. Other than that, have at it! But such a sexual free-for-all is also wreaking havoc in the world. Marriages fall apart left and right. STD’s and unplanned pregnancies are common. People are hooked on pornography in increasingly violent forms and at increasingly younger ages. We are destroying ourselves because of our licentiousness. We are even willing to kill our own children to have consequence-free sex. We really aren’t that far off from the ancient gods who required child sacrifice.

2. Money

I’m on the fence about flip-flopping money and sex in the #2 and #3 spots. In the end I went with money here since even a lot of the sex industry is built on the love of money. Sex trafficking, for instance, doesn’t just demonstrate people’s love for sex but also their love for money. The Bible tells us “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Truer words have never been spoken. People will do just about anything if it means they can make money off it. We are willing to compromise our integrity if it means that profit is possible. I’m not sure that corruption happens more frequently than when money is at stake. While money is a necessary part of societal living, it should not be the dominant influence in our decision making. Unfortunately, it usually is. Money is one of our culture’s greatest gods.

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24)

1. Self

You can cut down a troublesome weed by mowing over it, or you can pull it up be the roots once and for all. Every false god on this list is a ultimately just a symptom of an underlying god that rules over all: me. People are inherently self-centred and self-focused. Though we are still capable of being selfless at times, when push comes to shove, we demonstrate who we really are. We all are inclined to put ourselves first. If we can do something that benefits us, even at the expense of someone else, and if we know we can get away with it, we do it almost every time. Even some of our acts of generosity are self-congratulating. We post it on Facebook and make sure everyone knows that we are a good person. This runs completely contrary to what the Bible teaches. The Bible says not that we should embrace our true selves but rather that we must die to self in order to live as God would desire us to. We must put aside selfish ambition and put God and others first. Ultimately, we need to be “born again” and become new people, changed by God from the inside out.

Humanity is broken. We all know it. Things are not as they should be. As a result, we are all looking for answers to solve our problems. My fear is that people are turning to the wrongs things for hope. They are trusting in false gods that cannot deliver them. In that sense, we are lost. As I have said before, humanity needs intervention from the outside. We need help and deliverance by a force more powerful than we. God is our only hope. He alone is the real God of this universe, and the good news is that he loves us and can help us and has a plan for us. But that is of no use to us if we continue to ignore him. I realize I might just sound like a wacko nutjob to someone who doesn’t believe in God or is not particularly “religious”. Nevertheless, I would encourage you to think long and hard about it. Is there anything in this world that is truly worthy of our hope? Or are we broken beyond repair? Thousands of years of human existence has proven that we are not on an evolutionary trajectory upward. We are on a never-ending cycle of chaos. The only way we will ever escape this mess is stop turning to gods that can do nothing but let us down. We must turn to the One True God who is our ever-present help in times of trouble and know that he has it all under control and will sort everything out in the end.

22 Comments on “Top 10 False God’s of Today”

  1. Thank you for this insight into the Word of God. I am a Christian but still learning something new every day. God bless you.

    • Hello! I’ve recently been doing some research on the words “idolaters” and “idolatry”. Yesterday, Thursday, July 30, 2020, I read where it said that our phones can be an idol god and a false god. I also read where idolaters will go to hell. Is any of this true? If so, which one/ones are true? I am addicted to my phone, but I also read/study the Bible, and driver license book, as well on there. Is that wrong? I’m literally so scared, and nervous, because I don’t want to go to hell. Especially, not for something I didn’t know I was doing until yesterday. How can I overcome this?

      • Idolatry and addiction is not always the same thing. Do you worship your phone and trust it to give you meaning and satisfaction in life? I doubt it. Do you use it too much? Probably. 1 Corinthians 10:23 points out that some things are not sinful (like using a phone) but can still be unhelpful. I would not treat this as something you should be concerned about in terms of your salvation, but it probably is something worth working on since your life would be better if you weren’t addicted to your phone.

      • Nothing you do or don’t do on your own will save you. If you are Born Again Jesus will save you. Check out the ABC’s of Salvation on JDFarag.org for a good understanding of salvation. Work with God to give up your love of anything but God (Jesus) and give up the sins that easily beset you (repent).

    • I have truly been educated this day about things l dont know about and or really not sure about. For my greatest desire is to be like Him. I think while we still live on earth there will be ko end to these false gods bombard ing us but if we shall continue to abide in Him relentlessly we shall be changed into His likeness yet being watchful. Thank you for the educative piece.
      Godson Ewle .

  2. Thank you for posting this , I believe you hit everything exactly how it really is. I am starting a study on the 10 Commandments and I was unable to come up with anything that I put above God, if that’s not vanity I don’t know what is . God Bless You, thank you for opening my eyes through Christ Jesus.

  3. Thank you for putting God and Truth together with Total Spirit Energy. I have been looking for the True God which will make all things New. HOPING AND TRUSTING in GOD.

  4. Thank you for sharing this very necessary truth. This article has help me evaluate the idols in my life. I know God is my only help in these trying times of life. Thank you!

  5. Thanks for posting this, l was studying 1Samuel 7:1-4 and was looking up the gods of America today and found this: thought enlightening and provoking.God forgive us.

  6. I am reading Exodus for the first time and found this list very helpful to apply towards modern day examples. The section on family and accepting they are both painful and a blessing really hit a chord as I am experiencing a great deal of conflict and division with my own. Would appreciate a prayer for any readers experiencing difficulties with their families. Such events can leave a person feeling very lost and, at times, quite punished. Thank you again for your wonderful insight.

  7. I was studying Isaiah 46 getting ready to have devotional with my kids while on quarantine. I wanted to look up modern day idolatry so I can help my kids understand the passage better. These points are spot on, and I also learned new things about #1. Self. Thank you for the write up God bless.

  8. O Hallel Yahh,. So so encouraging, that I may do the needful; mortify the deeds of the flesh which are the gods so clearly referred.
    The Lord bless and do you good.

  9. Wow! I love this list. Truth hurts as I find myself on this list at number 1. The great news is that once we identify our sins, in this case idolatry, we can repent and be forgiven all unrighteousness. This is the good news of Jesus Christ, Who bore my ( taking it personally) sins on that Cross so that I can have a relationship with Him in this age and the one to come guilt free. Praise the Lord!

  10. Money is not the route of all evil, the route to all evil is what is in the heart. So the heart desires is the route of all evil. Satan (enemy and Ruler of this world) should of definitely made the list since he is the false God of them all and is the master deceiver

    • Very much enlightened with the article, indeed there is much apostasy in the modern world many people seem to worship what they don’t understand. They fall away from the true worship at the expense of God.

    • Very much enlightened with the article, indeed there is much apostasy in the modern world many people seem to worship what they don’t understand. They fall away from the true worship at the expense of God.

  11. I’m sorry for my sins pertaining to a life of over indulgence, if I am guilty of this, which I may be. I don’t really see as God sees things, hence my arrival at this list, hoping someone else had identified all the false gods of today – I am not sure if this in itself is a form of idolatry because hopefully God would disclose said false gods today directly. Unfortunately one of the consequences of the sins described in lamentations appears to be losing access to the voice of God. I think it is possible this article is correct, but it leaves one suffering to read it, I feel. It is hard as a parent to sincerely say “I do not care if my children have an education or not”; it is hard to feel like a responsible parent not teaching the children, or hoping that they avoid poverty without a college education, when we ourselves benefited, it would seem, from one, though it was a painful, dehumanizing process obtaining that education. I do not personally look at other people with degrees, I would hope, and wish to be a respecter of persons, but I cannot get to the point yet of thinking “with or without an education, it’s all the same to me, if my children have to suffer poverty so be it.” It is especially hard because every charity I encounter stresses that even for the poorest of the poor, education is an act of charity. Can it be a disservice to God to invest in teaching children skills that would perhaps encourage them to creative efforts rather than being helplessly picked up by military recruiters? I thought I read in the Bible about people being under spiritual teachers; hopefully education is God’s idea, even if the world has corrupted its implementation. That said I also have comfort, perhaps, as mentioned on the list. However I still wonder – because I enjoy having a bed and a blanket, or a comfortable home, is that necessarily a form of idolatry? When do things gifted by God become idols? Can it really be said that I love my comforter more than God simply because I enjoy a comforter? Sometimes I feel people just randomly make up some of this stuff in that, you could take anything, I guess – even water – and say, well I haven’t given up water, therefore I prioritize water over God. Or I prioritize nature because I enjoy God’s beautiful gift of nature. Would God be randomly pleased if someone gave up admiring the nature that He made, or would it really bring a person closer to God to go full blown ascetic? I have considered it. One thing is clear to me though in this list – and one thing most clearly, it is also written in my conscience. I think if any of the above items are clearly coming at someone else’s expense, and causing oppression of the poor – then we’ve got a problem for sure – especially if it is widows or orphans, but also perhaps, more generally the poor. I am not saying I have revelation from God – I don’t. But lately I watched a video about sweatshops involved in making shoes and clothing for the world; they say that in some Indian countries the materials used in making the shoes caused mental retardation rates to soar because of the chromium involved in the process. I’ve seen similar things about coffee, even the mica used in cars. I’ve seen an entire webpage about how Amazon exploits their employees, and actually, when I look at almost all consumer products – it seems like the vast majority have this backdrop of extreme suffering just behind the items. So I think for this reason perhaps reducing one’s use of consumer products – perhaps this would align with not having comfort be a god – because if it involves volition-ally hurting another being for self gain – then this strikes me as the opposite of mercy. Admittedly this seems to be a very hard request to make to someone today. Nearly all shoes are made this way. Mica is in all cars and electronics, and I guess it is mined by children in Madagascar. Coffee is drunk by nearly everyone, yet on one documentary, a man said that “they eat my flesh” because he is subjected to slave labor to obtain that coffee. Cashews are harvested by people who incur large burned areas in picking them. I have lately even heard that tomatoes in some areas of the world – France – are the products of some kind of insane exploitative slave system with refugees and immigrants at the base. I got to the point where I really don’t know if a person can be entirely sin-free on the front of not exploiting people through consumer purchases. I think minimization on that front is good, but, I still actually don’t feel like I am a person who has found some perfect solution to the rampant corruption and exploitation in the consumer products industry. One thing I was surprised that was not mentioned was the military and defense involvement, patriotism and flag worship. These things are sort of overt – it seems as though they literally require you to place God’s law second for the sake of profit, or a feeling of allegiance. Should one’s allegiance be to anything less than God? So there’s those things. I haven’t found a church yet that doesn’t give some kind of blessing to the military system. But I was surprised that nobody mentioned actually more overt false gods – like the celebration of Halloween or pagan holidays (including possibly Christmas with the trees and consumerism?) I honestly have gone back and forth on this; I don’t know how God views it so I don’t do it – however, if I’m still exploiting the poor of the world through personal consumer purchases, is it really any good to say “well, at least I don’t celebrate Halloween and dress up demonically”. I guess maybe the two are disconnected – maybe it’s good to reduce this on both fronts. I have not found the perfect way of following Christ so that I feel that everyday I don’t sin against anyone – not against God, not against others. It is one thing to say asceticism is the way, but quite another when you are then giving your children less than you yourself had; what parent would look at their children and say, “I had a college education, but you, don’t seek that, it’s idolatry, suffer for God in this world and be rewarded in the next, by eschewing even the concept of worshiping a degree and going without; good luck at the fast food facility”? Or what parent would say “I had clothes growing up but since I know shoes and clothing involved someone else suffering elsewhere, you need to go naked for all of your existence until we find ethically made clothing – even if nobody or almost nobody makes that affordably today – or even at all.” Or – we are going to throw out the beds, the blankets, the car and all consumer electronics – because they were all made with the byproducts of suffering; people in China are throwing themselves off of buildings to produce these things, so, we will not use the internet, the phone, the computer – or the car. We will try to walk everyday to the grocery store and buy nothing from there because it’s all made with exploitative labor practices. This sounds like an ideal response, but my heart hurts to say we have not achieved it. We try to “minimize” our sin but we have not eliminated it, and I don’t actually see how we can. We pray for the Holy Spirit – perhaps it will show us a better way of being – maybe even leaving the US, I don’t know. I do think of the orphans in Haiti living so close to the land, suffering their miserable short existence, and then perhaps going straight into the arms of Christ. Will we miss out on this all of us living in the US in hypocrisy? I hope that God’s mercy outweighs His justice, but I don’t know – I read lamentations. I also wonder about the food industry – how animals suffer. This at least seems easy to abstain from in the end, Lord willing. A sad part of my soul feels that, even though I want in my heart to turn away from “all idols” in living a life of total asceticism (and I cannot really imagine how else a person would make absolutely sure that money is not their God) – I don’t know how a person with a family can do this and still say they have fulfilled the call to love their family, and provide for their family. I hope I can walk in a way pleasing to God without it being said of me, “she compromised with the world”. I hope God can see when a person is trying to improve, and will be merciful; I worry that I will never get to that full repentance but then even this is questioning God I guess because He said that He would perfect His believers. I think too you could break some people by transforming every single respite or small joy in life into an opportunity for guilt and shame. I guess a person should feel guilt and shame doing the wrong thing. But I think God also knows that to some degree we didn’t choose this. I don’t know a single Christian who would say “if I could choose between a shoe that caused mental retardation in a child, or one that didn’t, I would prefer to choose the one that caused mental retardation in an entire village!” Or “if I could choose to shoot someone for profit, versus have a constructive, beautiful, uncorrupt job – I would choose the former in a heartbeat!” I know of no Christian who volition-ally would prefer and choose the former. But I don’t see a lot of shoeless people either. Shoeless, carless, highly-effective for Christ, abstemious non-electronic users – totally separate from the world – and yet, somehow effective in it? Is anyone able to become righteous solely on the basis of their meticulous abstinence? Without also becoming self righteous, even if it were possible? Or without wronging their children or others depending on them to use these means to produce some kind of value to society – perhaps even one that would be critical like – providing food and shelter to the poor, etc.? I want to do better than I did yesterday. That is all I can say, and perhaps going to my deathbed, that is all I will be able to say before God. I want to do better, and I am sorry for the state of things. I haven’t managed to be perfect yet. Lord help me and help us all, and I am sorry if I have put any of these things above you. Help increase my faith so I can live in a way that is most pleasing to you, even if that is as a hobo on the street.

  12. I guess I have been thinking about it more. I have been thinking a lot. I’ve been thinking of Jeremiah 5. I want to say that I do fear the Lord. I want to say that I do live in a way such that it could not be said of me the following: “They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.”

    The right of the needy they do not judge. I’m desperately trying to figure out a way that I can not violate the rights of the needy in American society. I feel deep unrest when I purchase a product – and later find out that someone suffered terribly for it. This has become so commonplace, I actually feel constant anxiety purchasing anything. I feel a little less anxiety purchasing books, especially used books, used items. At least maybe this helps a little. I think a lot about how everything in our house is made in China. I think we’ve all heard about the exploitation of fabric workers, and small electronic workers, and the mica problem, and the coffee problem, and the shoe problem. I think a lot about my purchases through Amazon. I think – will God forgive this or say that it was too close to conformity with the world? Is buying things off of Amazon or from Walmart – perhaps? not great employers – or as such they are reported to not be the best of employers – is this in and of itself “waxing fat” by ignoring the “right of the needy.” I worry about this a lot. Is buying things used a way to escape association with that? What about food items? Is the only way to minimize to the simplest items, and local? Will these changes result in not having ignored the right of the needy? If I buy a frivolous item, will God no longer love me? If I buy a shoe – have I “sold your brother for a pair of shoes” – if I buy it knowing that there are people who suffered chromium poison for it? Can I meet God’s high standards of ethics in a corrupt and fallen society? I don’t mean to say “am I my brother’s keeper” but – am I responsible for what every corporation chooses to do – am I complicit if I buy the product even if I have no leverage in saying how it’s made at all? What about the poor who themselves buy these products? Even in orphanages people are wearing clothing that is used but still was the byproduct of exploitation. Even in India the sweatshop workers are wearing makeup and other frivolities – even there they are using electronics to teach their children. Perhaps only in Haiti and Madagascar are people so ascetic as not to be involved in exploitation because they are too busy being exploited themselves. So what is the result…must I move to Madagascar and sink into poverty there to be right with God? This cannot be right either – this neither helps the people there, only spreads the suffering.

    The workers have said that they do not want people to abstain or boycott from their products (except that one guy with the coffee). So then what? Okay, so I send an email to these companies telling them this is immoral – and I get some standard thing back saying “we adhere to the highest moral standards”. Okay nothing has been achieved; am I still strengthening the hands of evil doers purchasing a shoe? What if the shoe is used, then? If my children go without shoes, they will certainly call CPS on us for neglect. If we don’t use the car, because it has mica in it, my husband cannot keep his job. How strictly is God going to look at us in this? How can we be right with God? So I try to, unfailingly, cut out all the non essential products at least. Then my husband says “congratulations, now you have tanked the economy with the others – someone was getting paid to do that and they have no income now.” And then there are people who say exploitative or not, they want those jobs to feed their families. How do we protect the right of the needy?

    Perhaps used products will alleviate some of the problem. Perhaps minimization would help. What would God have me do in this situation, I don’t know? Can I ever overcome my selfishness and my fear for the children to be following Him wholeheartedly? Is He going to come down in judgement while I wrestle with all this and say – time’s up – you failed – now here is a bunch of wrath? I mean it would be right – because I am not any better than any of those people in the slave situations that they are in. And it would do nothing for me if someone were part taking in an exploitative system but only had feelings of remorse without any action. But I do not have a solution.

    I keep thinking of the children in Haiti. There are some people who live in self sustaining farm environments. None of them wear shoes. I guess theoretically we could go without shoes in the summer. Is buying something and having it shipped to my home being a jerk to the Amazon workers – or buying something from Walmart – is that wanting to profit off of someone’s back breaking work. If a farm is half a million dollars, and I can’t farm everything myself – am I not sincere enough?

    I don’t know what to do anymore. My mind is already half gone.

    God help us all.

  13. Pingback: Narcissistic Personality Disorder - True Health - Waynesville, NC

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