If you instantly recognize that movie line, then you are no doubt an 80’s B-movie connoisseur. That line, of course, comes from the movie, “The Highlander.” It is pretty much known for two things: 1) that one memorable movie line, and 2) sword fights in the strangest times & places.
Here is the basic premise of the movie: there are a number of “immortals” roaming the earth. They cannot die (or even age!) . . . that is, unless they lose their head. So basically whenever one of them would meet a fellow immortal, there would have to be a fight to the death – a sword fight. They can’t coexist because (you guessed it), there can be only one.
I know, I know, a Presbyterian quoting a movie involving a Scotsman – how shocking, right? (Maybe I will try to work in a “Braveheart” reference in a post at some point – probably something involving the word “freedom!”)
That brings us to our topic: Monotheism.
Not exactly a popular concept these days, as it doesn’t play well with today’s pluralistic mindset. It’s one thing to tell people that you believe in God – even the God of the Bible – many will at least appear to tolerate that view. That is, until you explain that the God of the Bible makes the ultimate claim to exclusivity – that He and He alone is the one true and living God. And there is no other.
There can be only one.
In the 10th chapter of the book of Jeremiah the LORD tells the house of Israel that the idols of the nations are vanity because they are nothing but the works of their own hands. He says,
“Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.” (Jeremiah 10:5)
All other gods are figments of the imaginations of men or the work of their hands. And yet men put their hope or trust in them? They can’t even talk. And they can’t walk, but must be carried by their worshipers! Nothing but helpless nothings!
But what about the LORD?
Jeremiah 10:10 says,
“But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.”
The LORD is no scarecrow. His power and wrath are truly to be feared.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it this way:
“Q.5. Are there more Gods than one? There is but one only, the living and true God.”
If you want the Cliff Notes version, the answer is a resounding “No!”
And the true and living God will tolerate no rival for our worship, fear, and love. The very first of the 10 Commandments makes that clear:
“You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)
No other gods. There can be only one. And there can be only one because there is only one. So pluralism is not an option for believers. Accommodation to the pluralistic age that we live in is a violation of the first commandment. We do not worship one God among many – we worship the one true & living God!
There can be only One!