October 24, 2011

We’ve been talking a lot about idolatry at church lately. The working definition that seems to be used for an idol is “anything that you express or feel more love for than you do for God”. Given that most folks don’t worship idols in the same sense that they did hundreds or thousands of years ago, that makes some sense. That means that we can make idols of spouses, kids, cars, or just about anything really. This leads me to a few thoughts.

When it comes to non-believers would it make sense to say that their undoing is ultimately idolatry?

You can tell that you’ve made an idol of something if you’re angry when it’s disrupted or damaged. True or false?

How do you tell when you’ve made your family an idol?

If it’s also taking something that’s one of God’s good gifts and abusing it (sex, alcohol, money) then can avoiding those same gifts out of some sense of morality also be an idol?

What are some ways we can use to uncover the idols in our lives? And once they’re out in the open, what’s next?

What are some of the more common and perhaps more unusual idols that we have as a result of our culture (Christian or American)?

I don’t know that I have answers for all of these things, but that’s never been what this here blog is about. Let’s talk about it.

5 Responses to “Idolatry”

  1. My personal opinion is that many churches could be seen as idols as people spend more time celebrating individuals in a given church instead of the god they intended to worship.

  2. I guess I can answer a few of these:

    I think that the “anger reaction” is a good way to tell if something is an idol. I know that my “success” as a writer is something of an idol to me. If something doesn’t do well I get down in the dumps.

    I think “holiness” can definitely be an idol.

    Sports and politics for American culture and the old Christian white wash (putting crosses and fish on everything and those kitschy Christian tees).

  3. My thought is that, like the ones made of stone, modern day idols are usually visual representations of deeper problems.

  4. For some years I have been attempting to live simply. It is my way to get read of false needs, false idols.

  5. Fascinatingly similar to buddhist non-attachment

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