Baal’s Stimulus Package


Does the Bible really contain everything the man of God requires? The curve balls of history call the church to greater and greater wisdom, but the principles remain the same. What if one of the oddest books of the Old Testament contained crucial advice for modern western culture and the Christians attempting to deal with its tragi-comic apostasy?

James Jordan has the gift of identifying universal themes and principles in Scripture. Many times these initially sound far-fetched, but I have found he is always vindicated. The observations in the following excerpt from his Judges: God’s War Against Humanism concerning worship can be easily applied to every area of life, but most interestingly to the understanding of evolution as a mere philosophy, and more recently to our secular culture’s ungodly (and therefore failing) approach to economics.

Baalism: Ancient Humanism

We often distance our culture from that of the Canaanites, thinking that since modern man does not literally bow down to idols, he must be somewhat better off. Let the reader, however, consider whether he as a Christian ever literally bows down to his God. How many Protestant churches that have kneelers has the reader ever been in? Do Protestants show their respect for the King of kings by at least standing for prayer, or do they pray sitting down, a posture nowhere encountered in Scripture for prayer? If modern Christians have no more respect for their God than to address Him sitting down, why should we expect the modern Baalists to bow down to Nature? Ancient man bowed before his god, whether it was Nature (Baalism) or the Creator (YHWH). Modern man does not bow before his god, whether Nature (humanism) or the Creator (Christ).

Similarly, for ancient man, the heart of religious exercise was adoration, worship, prostration, sacrament (a fellowship meal with the god). This was true of Israel before the LORD, and of the Canaanites before Baal. And this is the Biblical view of worship: Preaching/proclamation is the Word from God, which leads to a response of adoration, prostration, sacrament. The modern Christian, however, sees the heart of worship as entertainment (from a choir and an entertaining preacher) or as philosophical meditation (from a scholarly preacher). The sermon, instead of leading into worship, has become itself the climax of worship. And, just as the modern Christian view of worship is not much more than studying doctrine, so the modem humanist worships his god in the same way. We don’t see humanists bowing down to their gods, but we do see them studying them, lecturing about them, writing books about them. And we don’t see Christians bowing down to the LORD either, but we do see them studying Him, preaching about Him, and writing books about Him.

Thus, there is indeed a big difference between ancient religions and modern ones. Ancient man primarily worshipped his gods, while modem man primarily studies his. This is true both of pagans and of conservative, orthodox Christians.

Once we understand this, however, we can see that the opposition between the Truth and the Lie is the same now as it was then. Ancient pagans worshipped Nature, while modem pagans philosophize about Nature. The belief is the same, however: the belief that Nature is self-creating. Similarly, ancient believers worshipped the Creator, while modern Christians tend mainly to philosophize about Him, but the belief is the same.

So, what was Baalism? In essence it was the ascription of power to Nature: The universe has within itself the force of life. The world as we know it is the result of the union of the ultimate male and female principles of the universe, which may be called Baal and Ashteroth (or Astartes). (A similar goddess is Asherah, mistranslated as “groves” in the King James Version. The difference between the two goddesses is technical, and both were expressions of the same religious principle.) Canaanite philosophers believed, of course, that these ultimate forces were impersonal, and that their union was not sexual; but the common people preferred to think of the matter mythically. The sun god copulated with the original mud of the world, and the animals and man resulted. How does such a myth differ from a more sophisticated expression of the same principle, such as can be found in any 20th century high school science textbook? Once, we are told, there was a vast primordial sea. Then one day, sparked by sunlight, an organic molecule appeared, which evolved to become our present world. A “male” principle, sunlight, inseminates a “female” principle, the primordial sea, and life is born.


Christian faith is a religion primarily of submission, not of stimulation. For the Christian to get himself all worked up (through “speaking in tongues” or some other means) avails absolutely nothing in the sight of God.”


The Baal-Ashteroth religion understandably was intimately concerned with fertility. The Creator God of the Bible had promised fertility to Israel if they were faithful to Him (Dt. 7:13-14), but what He demanded was moral loyalty, including especially sexual chastity (monogamy). The religion of Baalism, however, advocated exactly the opposite method of getting fertility. Chaotic sexual orgies would stimulate Nature (Baal and Ashteroth), and fertility would be the result (human, animal, and crop fertility). The true religion of Israel said that fertility was obtained by submitting to the Creator, while Baalism said that fertility was obtained by stimulating Nature. Thus, in true religion, man is the servant/slave of God, in submission to Him; while in Baalism, man is the LORD of his god (Nature) who needs to be stimulated by him.

Nature religion is a religion of stimulation. Man has to stimulate Nature in order to get results. Like the Baal priests of the ancient world, he may engage in sexual orgies, or cut himself with knives (1 Kings 18:28), in order to arouse the sleeping god. This is also the philosophy of the modern world. Stimulating nature is not seen (as in Christian faith) simply as a form of technological dominion. It is also seen as a way of salvation, so that modern medical scientists believe they will solve the problem of disease by learning how to control nature, and modern philosophers believe that controlling nature will permit man to control evolution and advance humanity, while modern revolutionaries from Marx to Marcuse believe that simply stimulating society through the imposition of social chaos will automatically lead to a better world.

For the Christian, however, the problems of disease and social inequities are solved by submission to God and His law. Medicine is not wrong, but it can only help a little bit. Disease will not go away until God is pleased with humanity (Dt. 7:15). The same is true for other areas. Thus, Christian faith is a religion primarily of submission, not of stimulation. For the Christian to get himself all worked up (through “speaking in tongues” or some other means) avails absolutely nothing in the sight of God.

Thus, the heart of ancient Baalism was secular humanism. Secular humanism says that the universe is self -creating, so that Nature is ultimate (this being the “secular” aspect). Secular humanism also teaches that man is the LORD of Nature, and that man must rule over (stimulate) Nature (this being the “humanism” aspect). There used to be such a thing as “Christian humanism,” which taught that man was LORD of nature, but only in submission to God. This is the true doctrine, although the term “humanism” has come to be offensive to Christians, so we no longer speak of “Christian humanism.”

So, for the ancient Baalist to bow before his idol was not an act of submission, but an act of stimulation. What he believed was the same thing modern secular humanists believe: that man is the LORD of Nature, and that there is no Creator God to whom man is responsible.

Share Button

One Response to “Baal’s Stimulus Package”

  • Robert Murphy Says:

    I was heavily into Buddhism before I was saved. Alan Watts used to about evolution, “Why does it have to be that we are advanced mold? Why can’t it be that mold us early intelligence? Figs don’t grow on thistle. Why does it have to be that we are advanced rocks? Surely it’s just as valid to say rocks are early people!”
    Our atheists, like Hitchens and Dawkins, shape what atheism looks like for us: cold, scientific, unspiritual. Baal “atheism” is much more common throughout the world and throughout time.