Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Todays Idols

"An idol (in this case a statue or representation of another god) is nothing at all in the world and there is no god but one." Paul makes a pretty solid, simple case for that. But that doesn't really fix the problem.

While some groups work diligently to keep it alive, the creation of little household statues for personal worship has certainly diminished over the centuries. The heart of the problem has is still alive and kicking, however.

An idol was something that was set up in place of God. It was something that took away from the worship of YHWH and placed it somewhere else. In ancient times this was normally another god - whether a powerful bull or a fertile goddess or a golden calf. These gods took all shapes and sizes and they all promised things to their worshippers - success, power, riches, happiness, fertility.

When Jesus came, he took the law of Moses and applied it to the heart. He took things that had been considered matters of the outside life and made them part of people's inner life. Idols have gone the same way. Power doesn't need a little Baal to represent it anymore - we can worship naked power just by our constant pursuit of it. Fertility doesn't need an Asherah pole to place outside our house - TV constantly brings its presence inside.

Idols of today are the same as they were before - anything that takes our worship away from YHWH. It might not impact our dinner plate like the Corinthians Paul wrote to, but it impacts our bank accounts and our calendars and our hearts just as much.

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