And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If Yahweh1 be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. (1 Kings 18:21)
Historically, Baal is the name of the chief god of the ancient Canaanites and Phoenicians. But, more importantly, what is Baal?
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. (Psalm 115:4-7)
[W]e know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. (1 Corinthians 8:4)
In reality, there is no such thing as a living, breathing god known as Baal. Baal, like all false gods, exists only in the minds of its adherents:
Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made. (Isaiah 2:8)
[T]hese men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face…. (Ezekiel 14:3)
And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err…. Thus saith Yahweh of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of Yahweh…. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.” (Jeremiah 23:13, 16, 26)
Identifying Baal Today
If idols such as Baal are nothing, why then does Yahweh consider them such a “threat”? The danger in idolatry does not come so much from the idol as it does the idolater:
Whenever man begins by establishing his own approach to God, he ends up by establishing his own will, his own lusts, and finally himself as God.2
The issue is not what idols are, but who they represent. Baal is nothing more than what its adherents have made it—a representation of themselves, resulting in a competing ethical code of their own invention. In other words, Baal is merely an ancient form representing what today we know as humanism.
For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against Yahweh their God … and had feared other gods, and walked in the statutes of the heathen…. And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree…. And they left all the commandments of Yahweh their God, and … served Baal. (2 Kings 17:7-16)
Identifying Baal Today in America
George Bernard Shaw reportedly said, “The art of government is the organization of idolatry.” Robert Ingram warned, “The other gods about whom we must be concerned are, as they ever have been, to be found in the seats of temporal, or human, government.”3
…[Yahweh’s] law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth…. …their judgment [justice, NASB] and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. …imputing this his power unto his god. (Habakkuk 1:4, 7, 11)
The New American Standard Bible renders Verse 7 more accurately: “…their justice and authority originate with themselves.” This should sound all too familiar:
WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The Preamble4 of the United States Constitution is arguably the most brazen human claim to sovereignty ever written. If you stop and think about its presumptuous claims, you will see this Constitution is humanism (Baalism) of the rankest sort.
The Preamble declares that “WE THE PEOPLE,” for various reasons, do “ordain and establish this constitution….” In other words, constitutionalism is a collective, agreed-upon form of humanism.
Authority, and thus jurisdiction, is at the heart of idolatry. In one of his many arguments on behalf of the Constitution, James Madison revealed the ultimate authority in the United States Constitutional Republic:
As the people are the only legitimate fountain of power … it is from them that the constitutional charter under which the [authority of the] several branches of government … is derived.5
Alexander Hamilton stated it similarly:
The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority.6
This emphasis on the people (by both the federalists and anti-federalists alike) is evidence that they had lost sight of Yahweh and His ultimate authority. George Washington (who presided over the Constitutional Convention) confirmed this self-originating sovereignty in his “Farewell Address”:
This government, the offspring of our own choice uninfluenced and unawed … and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and support.7
James Monroe, the Constitutional Republic’s fifth president, concurred:
The people, the highest authority known in our system, from whom all our institutions spring and on whom they depend, formed it.8
John Adams confessed to the same humanism regarding the States’ Constitutions:
It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service [the establishment of the States’ Constitutions] had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of Heaven … it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses…. Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone….9
Such human sovereignty cannot be found anywhere in the Bible. Instead, the Bible is replete with condemnations of such humanism:
In those days … every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25)
It is better to trust in Yahweh than to put confidence in man. (Psalm 118:8)
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 16:25)
According to Habakkuk, not only did the Chaldeans’ authority originate with themselves, but so did their justice. And so does the justice of WE THE PEOPLE: “WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice….” What an audacious assertion. Only Yahweh is just, and only He can establish justice:
Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy [Yahweh’s] throne…. (Psalm 89:14)
Establishing justice implies the ability to create laws in order to legislate moral behavior. Yahweh never delegated this duty to man or to any government created by man.10 Any time autonomous man attempts to establish justice outside Yahweh’s moral laws, the result is always injustice. In Isaiah 5:20, this transposition is depicted as calling good evil and evil good. Instead, Yahweh expects man to instate and enforce His justice as codified in His commandments, statutes, and judgments.
The word “autonomous” comes from two Greek words: auto meaning self and nomos meaning law. The word, which literally means “self-law,” is just another way of describing humanism and, in this instance, constitutionalism. We the People is therefore a contemporary expression of Baal. Constitutionalism is just a modern form of Baalism.
Only a supreme being or god can generate a supreme law. By proclaiming We the People’s Constitution the supreme law of the land (per Article 611), patriots (including many Christians) have made We the People a god:
[The Christian test ban in] Article VI, Clause 3 of the Constitution closed the door judicially to any transcendent god beyond the political order itself. The Constitution is therefore an apostate covenant; a wholly new god is ordained in it, a god acknowledged by the Framers in order to ordain it and ratify it: The American People….12
The first three words of the Preamble disclose who created the United States Constitution. Because WE THE PEOPLE created the Constitution (the Supreme Law), man must be its Supreme Being.
Idolatry is not so much about statues as it is statutes. To make the Constitution the supreme law of the land is the epitome of idolatry.
Identifying Baal Today in America in Ourselves
Are you a disciple of today’s Baal? You are if you’re a champion of We the People and an advocate of the Constitution.
If We the People be god, then follow them; if Yahweh be God, follow Him:
[C]hoose you this day whom ye will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh. (Joshua 24:15)
Chapter 3 “The Preamble: WE THE PEOPLE vs. YAHWEH” of Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective.
Chapter 4 “Article 1: Legislative Usurpation” of Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective.
Chapter 9 “Article 6: The Supreme Law of the Land”
1. YHWH, the English transliteration of the Tetragrammaton, is most often pronounced Yahweh. It is the principal Hebrew name of the God of the Bible and was inspired to appear nearly 7,000 times in the Old Testament. It was unlawfully deleted by the English translators. In obedience to the Third Commandment and the many Scriptures that charge us to proclaim, swear by, praise, extol, call upon, bless, glorify, and hold fast to His name, we have chosen to memorialize His name here in this document and in our lives. For a more thorough explanation concerning important reasons for using the sacred name of God, see “The Third Commandment.”
2. Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1973) p. 65.
3. T. Robert Ingram, The World Under God’s Law (Houston, TX: St. Thomas Press, 1981) p. 33.
4. Chapter 3 “The Preamble: WE THE PEOPLE vs. YAHWEH” of Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective.
5. James Madison, The Federalist, No. 46 (New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1888) p. 217.
6. Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist, No. 22 (New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1888) p. 135.
7. George Washington, Worthington Chauncey Ford, ed., The Writings of George Washington, 14 vols. (New York; NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1892) vol. 13, p. 297.
8. James Monroe, “Views of the President of the United States on the Subject of Internal Improvements,” 4 May 1822, http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/preambles20.html.
9. John Adams, The Works of John Adams, 10 vols. (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Company, 1865) vol. 4, pp. 292-93.
10. Chapter 4 “Article 1: Legislative Usurpation” of Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective.
11. Chapter 9 “Article 6: The Supreme Law of the Land” of Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective.
12. Gary North, Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989) pp. 528-29.