Today in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), I read an article in section D entitled, "When It Takes a Miracle to Sell Your House."
Because the housing market is in a slump across the nation, some people are employing some pretty drastic measures to sell their homes. The WSJ article says people are buying statues of St Joseph (the step-dad of Jesus) because he's the patron saint of home-related matters--he was a carpenter after all!
They buy these statues, bury them upside down, sell their homes, and then (if they remember) dig up the statues again to place in their new homes. This is the ritual.
If one or two people were doing this, it wouldn't be newsworthy. But these St Joseph statues are flying off the shelves as Real Estate Kits!
Is Your House Not Selling?
St Joseph Statue Home Sales Kit.
The opening story in the article tells of a Jewish woman who is a practicing Buddhist and a discouraged home seller. So she added a Christian statue to her yard for good luck.
This attitude is very present everywhere we travel. When it comes to religion, in general, Americans want what they want. Otherwise, they'll employ drastic measures.
St Joseph's views of God are very different than the Buddhists. Joseph would say there is a God to pray too. Buddhists would not. Joseph would say that Jesus really is the world's hope. Buddhism would say Jesus is one way, but only if he's a way compatible with Buddhism. Joseph would say that you matter as an individual. Buddhism would say that, in reality, there are no individuals that can matter.
With all the science we claim to have today, polytheism (the belief there is more than one god) is growing rapidly. And this does not surprise me as the value of common sense is replaced with superstition.
People are afraid. People want results.
A question I often hear is 'how on earth can the ancient Israelites be so gullible to run after other gods.
When Israel wanted something and couldn't get it out of Jehovah the way they liked, they found another god fill their order. This is exactly what prompted Baal worship--he was a fertility god and Israelites really, really wanted babies. So instead of trusting, they became polytheists.
This is the same thing that happened in with the church in Ephesus. Read 1 Timothy and you get a whole polemic against the goddess, Artemis (though her name is never mentioned). She was the goddess of unapproachable light and the savior of child bearing. Paul writes Timothy and says in chapter 6 that God is the immortal one of unapproachable light (not Artemis) and that God will save in childbearing (not Artemis).
The problem with following after other gods is no different yesterday as it is today.
Yet don't we want to base our lives on is something real?
Do we really want to pull out the latest trendy rabbit's foot, pretend that it is a REAL comfort, and then live our lives on trinkets buried in our yards, hung from our rearview mirrors, or worn around our necks.
Trinkets, no matter how we play with them, will never give us what we want.
Only a God who is there can do that.
Paul had it right. There is a better way.