Modern Idolatry

Idolatry seems to be the least of our concerns in modern time. Idolatry is something weird guys did back in Bible times, sticking idols under menstruating women’s saddles et al. Weird stuff like that.

We don’t have idols and the closest your pastor gets to talking about idols is mentioning your television viewing habits. However, a proper definition of idolatry will bring this sin into perspective.

Idolatry is imagining things about God and acting as if they were true. It’s inventing a god that suits your understanding, inclinations, and doesn’t bug your happy thoughts. In other words: idolatry is making a God just like you, or at least what you think you are just like.

Idolatry is believing things about God that are not biblical, things that are not consistent with God’s revelation of Himself. Every verse in the Bible that you ignore, explain away, find loopholes for because they just don’t feel right, if left undealt with will lead to idolatry.

People don’t like the God that makes hell–welcome an idol.
People don’t like a God that destroys cities–welcome an idol.
People don’t like a God that lets injustice exist–welcome an idol.
People don’t like a God that condemns their favorite fleshly activity–welcome an idol.
People don’t like a God that lets sinners get away with sin for a season– welcome an idol.

Anything you believe about God that is not consistent with who He says He is, brings on idolatry. Many believe in God; few believe in the God of the Bible. Idols are all over our churches. You may not see them, you may not think you are praying to them, but they are there and the God of the Bible is not too thrilled about this.

These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
Psalm 50:21

9 thoughts on “Modern Idolatry”

  1. “Many believe in God, few people believe in the God of the bible”. What you really mean is “few people agree with me and my personal interpretation of the God of the bible”. Jeff wake up!! Every Christian community sincerely believes they know a “biblical” God. Your ideas flow from an assumption that you get it and those who disagree with you don’t. Why are you so blessed with spiritual discernment and most others just don’t get it like you? Why is the bible so easy to understand for you but trips everyone else up? You believe your position within Christianity is to correct everyone else. Take a look at your blog roll and all the conflicting “truth” (everyone thinks they get it!!). Have you every considered the possibility that there are lies you believe in, and truths you reject? Paul tells you in 1 Tim the church is the pillar for truth, but you disagree and claim it is the bible. Jesus tells you to submit to the church in Matthew 18, but since you can’t find one you want to submit to, you start your own. Hebrews 13 tells you to submit to your spiritual authorities (who are men), but since you can’t find anyone you want to submit to, you become your own authority. The bible never teaches you it is your sole and final authority, but you conveniently declare it to be anyway. Friend, you have elevated yourself in an unbiblical way. Who is guilty of idolatry?

  2. I am grateful for your wisdom. I never claimed to be all right. I do claim to be diligently seeking the God of Scripture.

  3. Jeff, I think it is great that you are diligently seeking the God of Scripture. I don’t doubt your sincerity for a second and I appreciate your heart for Jesus. If you don’t put any roadblocks in the way, I am sure God will continue to lead you toward the fullness of truth. I am challenging you to see yourself the way you see the “heretics”. The people you disagree with are diligently seeking the God of Scripture as well. You have your biblical interpretation that is so obviously correct it pains you that everyone doesn’t see it. The heretics are looking at you the same way. I see unbiblical teachings on your blog but you are convinced they are true. Who is the heretic? You say you never claimed to be 100% right as a theologian. If that is true, that means to some extent you believe and are teaching others false doctrine. You write, “Idolatry is believing things about God that are not biblical”. Are you 100% sure everything you believe and teach about God is “biblical”. If not, you should step down lest you unknowingly lead people and yourself into idolatry. How did the church handle heretics and settle doctrinal disputes 1000 or 1500 years ago? Did everyone go home and read their bible? How much do you know about historical Christianity? Is it possible the form of Christianity you adhere to is more 20th century American, then it is biblical, historical and orthodox? Do the early church fathers from the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th century believe and teach what you do? If not, are they the heretics or are you?

  4. I am quite familiar with Church History, which is one of the main reasons I am not Catholic and do not fall for this “infallible church” business. I have no problem submitting to men who search the Scriptures daily. The test of the spirits is whether they agree with the words spoken in the scriptures.

    This is about the third or fourth time you’ve asked me to step down from my ministry over the last year. I got that point. Thank you. I will take it into consideration. Thanks for your concern over my soul and my inability to be as infallible as folks who forbade Scriptures out of the hands of common folk so they could get rich off their scam of getting people out of “purgatory.”

    I will give you the last word on this post and the age of grace post. Then I think I’ll go ahead and use my blog writer’s ability to delete all further comments from you. Unlike your religious forefathers, I will not burn you at any stakes. I’ve given you a year to point out my idiocy. Again, thanks. I needed that. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling and I’ll do the same.

  5. Love you brother. I’m proud of the way you have handled, and represented your self on this blog.

    Paul

  6. You have handled yourself well. It’s never easy to have someone tell you they think you are wrong. I appreciate that we can have a conversation void of low blows.

    Your comments about church history prove you are uninformed and probably willing to hear from biased sources only. You write, “The test of the spirits is whether they agree with the words spoken in the scriptures”. This is a perfect example of you (unintentionally) twisting scripture and teaching an unbiblical, man made tradition that suits your preference for discerning truth. This approach requires literacy and bible ownership, luxuries the vast majority of people lack to this day. An educated 21st century American will see this as practical, but what about the illiterate peasant living in 9th century Scotland, or the blind beggar in 6th century Italy? They had only one option.
    Why do you trust the authority of the Catholic Church to take hundreds of letters and books (all claiming apostolic authority) and narrow them down to 27? Your source for all truth has been given to you by the Catholic Church.
    I doubt you go to the bible alone to understand the truth it contains. I am sure you use your high speed internet to understand the Greek and Hebrew definitions and search the various commentaries from various theologians, and then narrow it down to what seems right to you.
    The bible teaches a different approach from yours to test the spirits and know truth…
    “ Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
    “We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood”.
    The bible never teaches us to sort through all the self appointed teachers and then privately study and interpret the scriptures to test them. The Jews in Thessalonica took this approach and rejected Paul because his new teaching did line up with how they understood the scriptures. The Jews in Berea were commended for listening to Paul with an open mind and allowing him to explain the scriptures in a new light. Jesus gave the world a non subjective source that does not require literacy, ownership of expensive bibles, or high speed internet to recognize the Spirit of truth. Are you willing to listen?
    Is it possible God sent me to your site to rattle your cage? I trust you are a prayerful man. Do you have the courage to pursue truth even if takes you where you never believed it would?
    The sins of Christian leaders seem to be a stumbling block for you. Don’t let the unfaithfulness of Judas cause you to reject the teaching of Peter.

    Grace and peace to you.

Comments are closed.