James Michener, in his book The Source, tells the story of a man named Urbaal, who was a farmer living about 2200 B.C. He worships two gods: one, a god of death; the other, a goddess of fertility. One day, the temple priests tell Urbaal to bring his young son to the temple for sacrifice – if he wants good crops. Urbaal obeys, and on the appointed day drags his wife and boy to the scene of the boy’s "religious execution" by fire to the god of death.
After the sacrifice of Urbaal’s boy along with several others, the priests announce one of the fathers will spend next week in the temple, with a new temple prostitute. Urbaal’s wife is stunned as she notices a desire written more intensely across his face than she had ever seen, and she is overwhelmed to see him eagerly lunge forward when his name is called. The ceremony over, she walks out of the temple with her head swimming, concluding that, "If he had different gods, he would have been a different man."
What you believe determines where you go, what you do, how you spend your time. What you believe determines how you respond to hard times, temptation, and pressures around you. What you believe determines where you will spend eternity, and how quickly you get there. Really, what you believe determines who you are. (Pat Cook, SermonCentral newsletter, via PreachingNOW newsletter 5/13/08 issue)