5 Feb 2012

Idolatry

Submitted by Stephen Winters

It is easy for us to look at someone kneeling before a small statue of a Buddha or some other "idol" and condemn that person for worshiping an idol. At least "we" don't worship an idol, right?

Think again. What things do we put great value on. A fancy new car, a big house, that new high-paying job? and the list can go on and on. Are these things idols? What is an idol? What is worship? Let's have a look ....

It's so easy to say, "That thing over there (that someone else has) is an idol. We make idols out to be things that are outside ourselves and which are owned by other people. It's also easy to say that things that are big or fancy or expensive are the idols. As an example, we might be living in a modest $150,000  house and say that a person who owns the $5,000,000 has is living in his idol. OR we might own a modest used $4,000 car and say that a person who owns the $200,000 dollar has an idol. After all, who needs a 5 million dollar house or a two hundred thousand dollar car. It's easy (for us) to see how waistful and idolatrous "they" are. But, what about the people in this country, or in foreign countries, who live in one-room adobe huts an who only own a donkey for transportation. How do we with our "modest" possessions look to them?

Idolatry of the Mind

There is nothing in this world that is inherrantly good or bad. For example: A new car is not good or bad, it is just a hunk of metal that takes you places. A Big house is neither good or bad, it is just a collection of wood, glass, floors, walls and a roof. It is place to eat, rest and sleep.  A higher paid job is not good or bad. Its is just a place to earn money to live. A cross is neither good or bad. It is just wood, metal, or clay, etc. Gold is neither good or bad. It is just a mineral, a rock, or metal. The Bible, or any other religious book, is not good or bad. It is just ink printed on paper.

However, how many people buy an expensive car (that perhaps they can't afford) just to impress others? How many people buy a big house to show off. What about that high-paying prestige job? Why do people want to have or be the best?

What is an idol? An idol is anything in our lives to whiich we give our time and attention, to the detriment of our family, relationships, our duties and responsibilites

What is idol worship? Worship is the (act?) of giving an excessive value ....

We humans are so quick to make idols out of anything that we find attractive or desirable. Anything that we put great value on.....But the problem is not the item. The problem begins and stays in our minds, it is our distorted way of thinking. It is good to get rid of idols out of our lives. But more important is to get rid of our perverted way of thinking that allows us to make idols out of anything. There is no benefit or improvement to getting rid of one idol just to replace it with another.

"Taking every thought captive ...."

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