The Apostle Paul best describes early man's religions and the results which follow when God is dethroned (Rom. 1:21-32). This description by Paul would be hard to believe unless archaeology had revealed evidence to support his claims --- and, if we were not living in days such as Noah's before the flood (Matt. 24:37-39), and in times such as Lot's after the flood (Luke 17:28-30).
Ever since Cain insisted on going to God ''his'' way, man in general has gone the ''way of Cain'' (Gen. 4:4-5; Jude 11).
There is some evidence that the sun was man's first object of worship when he turned away from God. They found an image of a sun-god seated with outstretched arms, ready to receive a sacrifice as the worshiper gazes heavenward to pay homage to the sun, moon, and stars.
Clay tablets tell of religions and gods by the score. Idols ---images of gods --- varying in size and shape have been discovered, and reveal that man was polytheistic in belief. He had gods (plural) for all areas of his life --- including seasons, rain, harvest, storm, war, sex, and wine.
When early man changed the glory of the living God into images such as Paul mentioned, we see proof of man's love for sin. The gods were made evil so that man might practice sin under their approval and patronage. Practically all man's deities were the product of depraved passions and guilty fears --- such as Intemperance, lust, jealousy, hate and revenge.
Man also began to worship four-footed beasts and creeping things. The whole land of Egypt was covered with temples and buildings dedicated to dogs, lions, birds, crocodiles and beetles. We need only to be reminded that in India today the cow and monkey are sacred, and that an Indian will starve before offending one of these ''gods''.
While evolutionists would pick man up from some mud hole of the past and elevate him to a place of dignity, man has demonstrated that he is the type who will stoop to any level so he does not have to acknowledge his maker.
Satan surely did a good job making man ''hit bottom'', both in flesh and spirit. The fertility goddess is the original ''pin up'' girl, having many breast. As many as 20.
They have tablets showing a nude priest pouring some ointment on an altar of sacrifice. Another shows a prostitute priestess on a lion, ready to perform her ''act of worship''. One account mentions a sex-act between a god and a heifer.
Both men and women committed unnatural sex-acts. Nothing is more sinful and wicked than the act of sodomy. Its very meaning is ''licentious idolatry''. What a blight on the human race that a city (Sodom) had a name related to this sin.
Girls used a ''serpent'' headdress while performing. A statue was found of a priestess kissing a snake as it coiled around her waist and breast. (In a California night club, ''not even a nip on the back by her pet boa could keep 'topless' dancer Tara from performing'' --(United Press. 7/16/66).
Man's vain imagination created a demon god. Worship turned from God, to man, to beast, to creeping things, to Satan.
The bible stands as a testimony that not all men rejected God. Adam accepted the provision which God made for him (Gen. 3:21). Godly Seth's line produced a man like Enoch, who walked with God (Gen. 5:22). Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord when all mankind had forsaken righteousness (Gen. 6:8). Abraham was called by God to leave idolatrous Ur of the Chaldees and he became the ''Friend of God'' (James 2:23). Moses was known as the ''man of God'' (Deut. 33:1). David was known as a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22). and through his flesh came the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:1-4).
Faithfulness on the part of godly men down through the centuries (Heb. 11) led to the coming of the Savior for sinful men. Indebted as we are to mankind's culture in general, none compares with the evidence left by those who kept a knowledge of God in their minds and walked according to His statutes. Since we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us live this life of faith in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation . ''Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of out faith'' (Heb. 12:1-2; Phil. 2:15).