Who should get the credit?

I had a chance to visit a southern part of China because a company wanted a group of us to go teach there.  The company was very successful.  As I talked with the students, and asked them why the company was so successful, they stated it was due to Buddha and what he had done for them.  They were so appreciative of what Buddha had done for them that they built a temple inside their company building so that they could worship him.  As I went throughout the town, I noticed that altars for Buddha were in stores, shops, and a lot of places.  I was amazed at the honor they gave their god for what they believed he had done for them.  When I got back to the United States, I noticed in Chinese restaurants that  they did this as well.  There is typically a little Buddha with a red background and some food around him.

As a believer in whatever faith you may have, do you give credit where you should?

For me I have two thoughts on this:

First, God teaches me that no other God is to be worshiped other than the one and only God.  This excludes any and every God.  “You shall have no other gods before me.  Exodus 20:3(NIV)

Second, I should: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  5:16-18(NIV)

How do you honor God?  Do you have an altar and what is it?  Do you need to refocus on what your altar is or should be?

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5 Responses

  1. Frank

    I understand what you’re asking, but it could be taken differently. What I wouldn’t want to see is people making little altars in their homes for Jesus as it would break the second commandment. On the other hand, and this is what I think you’re getting at, is we need to remember that everything we have comes from God and we need to recognize it and be thankful. Everything physical: our homes, cars, loved ones, jobs, food, etc are all a gift from the Lord. Everything spiritual: our faith, our salvation, our belief itself, is all a gift from the Lord.

    Apart from God’s grace and mercy, we are nothing and we have nothing.

  2. You got what I was trying to say. The goal is not to build a physical altar but rather show the gratitude to who really supplies you with the grace and mercy.

    What do you think if someone built an altar to Jesus to remind you of God? Not to worship the image or altar but rather remind you?

    1. Summer

      I think I may have a bit of a different point of view on this for you guys. Its not exactly what your talking about but it somewhat adresses the issue of a sort of alter to worship Jesus at.
      A friend of mine that I’ve gone to school with since fourth grade is from india and has been raised to believe in the hindi gods because thats what her grandmother VERY strongly believes in. Her grandmother lives with her for half the year and makes her go into the prayer room in their house with the pictures and figurines and whatnot of the hindi gods to pray to them at least once a day. She has tried to talk to her grandmother for years about Jesus but her grandmother refuses and throws a fit if she wont go into the prayer room. So instead of going in there and prsying to the hindi gods, my friend brings a small cross she has in there with her, faces away from the hindi idols, sets down her cross, and prays to God.
      So thats a bit of a different view on litteraly worshiping at an altar.

  3. Frank

    I think that would be skating the edge. I think too many people (Christians included) take many of the ten commandments too lightly. For instance, we are told to not make an image of God, right? What about the Jesus Film? Granted, it has reached many tens of thousands of people, but isn’t it presenting the image of Jesus?

    We are told to worship in “Spirit and Truth”. I don’t think its wise to see how close to sin we can get, but flee from it whenever we are aware of it being close. In that light, I do not think it would be a good idea to have an altar for remembering Jesus.

    Now, there are many cases in Scripture of memorials because as a people, we are very forgetful. But that was in the Old Testament where they had no access to God directly. We have Christ who has torn the veil and given us access to the Father. I don’t think there are any instances of people building a “reminder altar” in the NT, is there?


  4. It seems that the altar in the NT were in reference to OT or things coming from it in Revelations.

    I believe we generally put things in our life that are taking our focus from God rather than aiming our focus toward God. If we give credit to self or focus on stuff, these things become a metaphoric altar.

    I believe we should worship in Spirit and Truth and we need to make sure we do not allow things between us and God.

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