“You must not have any other god but me. - Exodus 20: 3 (NLT) When I first saw the story I assumed it was a joke. Just another "fake news" story on a satire website designed to make Christians seem stupid and naive. After some searching however it appears it may very well be true. It appears that a woman in Atlanta has started her own new religion, she calls "Beysim." The "divine deity" she worships is none other than pop music star Beyonce. She claims to have over 200 people already in her following. The National Church of Bey website asks if you have accepted Beyonce as your lord and savior and says that "mother bey" is worthy of your praise. To be honest, this story is barely worth mentioning because of the sheer lunacy of it all but the reactions from Christians is what caught my eye. In fairness to the "worshipers", the world has bowed down to Hollywood and the music icons for decades anyway. This is nothing new other than the official organizing of it. But the outrage from Christians on social media seems to miss two vital issues. The first is that worshiping false gods is currently what is happening across Christendom to begin with. Is there really any substantive difference between people who follow a prosperity preacher or Beyonce? Is there any substantive difference between those who follow hyper-grace or Beyonce? The answer on the last day will be a resounding "no." There are millions of people who claim the mantle of being "Christian" but follow obvious false teachers and prophets. When you remake God into your own desired image you are in fact doing the same thing the church of bey is doing. And though they worshiped the Lord, they continued to follow their own gods according to the religious customs of the nations from which they came. And this is still going on today. They continue to follow their former practices instead of truly worshiping the Lord and obeying the decrees, regulations, instructions, and commands he gave the descendants of Jacob, whose name he changed to Israel. - 2Kings 17: 33-34 (NLT) These verses come from a period of time in the history of Israel when Assyria had conquered Samaria and repopulated the region with foreigners. The King of Assyria sent in one of the exiled priests to teach the new residents the customs of worshiping the one true God. But that was just a show to these foreigners. A pretense while they continued to worship and serve their own gods whom they had made. As the verses say - it is still going on today. It is still going on in the church today. We have churches filed with foreigners to God. They know how to sound the part because they have a priest around to instruct them. They know how to dress the part. When to bow down in sackcloth and when to shout hallelujah. But the reality is that behind the show and the lip service are the real gods they still serve. The still serve mammon and surround themselves with preachers who will assure them that God wants them going to heaven in gold plated Rolls Royces. They still serve the gods of this world and gather around them preachers who will point them away from their own sin. To cheapen grace to the point that the work of the cross becomes a caricature. They still serve the gods of this world through relevance and distorting the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Of brash arrogance and pride; believing themselves somehow as special and the role of God reduced to that of a kindly adviser. They continue to follow the same practices they engaged in before they entered the church building instead of truly worshiping the Lord and obeying the decrees, regulations, instructions, and commands He has given to us. They sit in this week after week and year after year. Hearing messages about their importance, their relevance, and their majesty. Sure there are plenty of references to God and Jesus but nothing that penetrates the heart. Nothing that is aimed at regeneration. Nothing that saves. You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! - 2Timothy 3: 1-5 (NLT) These verses are about those who claim faith in Christ! Acting religious but denying the true power that could make them godly. Whether it be the church of "bey" or the church of "me"; it matters not to God. The other point missed by the outraged in Christendom is what alternative are we offering the lost? How badly must one view the current state of Christianity that you would seek to deify a pop music icon? The number one reason always given by unbelievers for why they do not attend church is the hypocritical state of those that call themselves Christians. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot have a show face for the real God while continuing to worship the gods of this world. It is certainly not lost on God and it also is not lost on those who need God. Likewise, you cannot continue to blur the line between the church and the world. Those leaders who seek relevance with the fallen world give no reason for the unsaved to desire coming to church. They are supposed to see something different in us. When you dumb down the Gospel all you really do is teach people the customs and rituals of religion while allowing them to remain foreigners to God. Allowing people to live in the land without giving up what they truly worship. I know Christians may balk at this because no one wants to take a serious look at what the current state of their own church is like. Better to hold hands, sing kumbya, and continue living in the land as foreigners to God. Easier to look upon the church of bey and laugh. What a silly idea to organize a church around a false idol and a different god then what is taught in the Bible. What a silly idea indeed. Rev. Anthony.