All created gods are endowed with the desire to be appeased. They are copied after the One True God whose objective is appeasement! God does expect one thing from his creation... that we all love him! If people reject their Creator and make gods of mere images, God is jealous! Jealousy creates wrath. You Joel Osteen worshipers may not like it, but God must discipline those who fail to love him! He is a wrathful God. Now look at why:
Romans 1:18 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things."Wrath is having vengeful anger (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). God said that he is vengeful, but he is only so if he is angry! Why would he be angry? Because his creation is unrighteous! He has reason to be because mankind ignores him and even make gods of other created animals. What an insult! Because people can't visually see God they make gods which they can see!
In order to be righteous it's imperative to understand what is unrighteous. God desires our love and created standards for love. Foremost is that only the living God can save people! That's all the standard we need. We must show love for God and how we demonstrate that love is by loving others. Written in stone and never subject to change are the Ten Commandments. That's standards for loving God (1-4) and others (5-10).
In these passages (above) Paul examines the First Commandment and the Second Commandment which are:
Exodus 20:3 (1st Commandment) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 (2nd Commandment) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.Romans 1:22 tells of the error of the people. Because they don't honor an unseen God they create gods which they can see. (My contention is that ultimately because people reject authority, each are their own god because they all do what is right in their own eyes. They make idols which seems right to them, but all those idols are the "self" in disguise.)
Some will say that pagan third-world peoples may not have heard of God so they create their own and as such are vicariously worshiping the same God. That is the heresy of universalism. False gods are not representations of the One True God. That includes Allah, Buddha, Confucius, animals of all types, Ascended Masters and even Obama!
Because they are ignorant is no excuse! "Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."
What Paul is saying that the glory of God who we cannot see is reflected in what he has created! Because our world and the universe is beyond random chance, even ignorant people must come to the conclusion that an unseen Almighty God must have created it!
This is a basic in Judeo-Christian belief! It's imperative to believe in the Creator God because he is our Father. If he didn't create us, he's not our Father, and is not Almighty. Let's look at the first mention of God in scripture:
Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."God's word says that he IS he who created everything. Those who accept the THEORY of evolution break the "First, Greatest and Paramount Commandment": To love God with every fabric of your being! That's not happening because most people fell for the lie of evolution: that creation "just happened". With that belief people create an idol and violate the Second Commandment: Have no idols. What is the idol of the people? "Chance!" If you don't like her under that name, another name for her is "Reason". That's man elevating the "self" to the level of God!
So the first error unrighteous people make is "I believe in evolution." That condemns God as a liar because the first thing he said to mankind is "I did it all!" For those who create an evolution idol, they deny God who is the Creator. In their eyes of the first thing he said is a lie, then anything after that would be a lie as well. Evolutionist Christians have a liar God, and he lied when he said that Jesus is Savior. Christianity falls for those who disbelief the creation. It's not THEORY. It's TRUTH because chance cannot explain it. Only a Creator God makes sense!
And because of the creation all serious people must recognize a Creator. It's stupid to worship the creation which can be seen because it's obvious that what can be seen can't create what we see. It must be God who we cannot see who did it! This is a basic and essential belief and Paul presents that case first thing!
Paul is espousing the essentiality that Almighty God the Creator must be credited and revered. If that isn't the case, people don't truly love him and are foolish, believing a lie and not him! As fools they don't deserve God's mercy and God, being just, allows Satan to accompany the unbeliever to hell. That is a vengeful God, Mr. Osteen, and all the positive talk in the world does not negate the wrath of a just God.
All gods are not God and pagans who worship other gods will suffer God's vengeance. That's not "Religiously Correct", but truth seldom is! Likewise, those who think they can impress or remold God with positive affirmations have made themselves their own idol. God is not a genie to be rubbed and good stuff come about. He examines our hearts and sees if we are with him or against him. Woe to those who do what's right in their own eyes!
The first thing to do to rectify the sin of pagan worship is to recognize that Creation is not an option for a true believer. It is a first step right before one sees the Light: Idols nor self can ever save us, but only God can because he sacrificed himself for us out of love in spite of the fact that most cannot even call him Father and Creator.
Ditch the other distractions Satan propagates. Believe in God and truth and you shall be saved!