Idolatry. In our time

Discussion in 'Speculative Reasoning' started by פNIʞƎƎS, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

    Is there such a thing as Idolatry in our modern time?

    Most of the time when I hear preachers/speakers touch on the topic, it seems that anything from family to jobs to vacations to money to food, is an idol because it's more a priority than God in one's life.

    So what's the deal? Is it just another form of manipulation? Or is there genuinely idolatry? I honestly don't know. It may be idolatry that I'm asking this question here instead of praying about it.
  2. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    While there is certainly some worship of actual idols in various world religions, I think what you are describing is often a great deal of hyperbole related to "do you love Jesus."

    I think the issue is not as much idolatry as it is "do you actually love Jesus."
  3. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

    I wish they'd just phrase it that way, instead of running around in circles making us confused as to whether or not we've built an alter to our god of __________

    The way it's phrased sometimes confuses people. I remember once, one of the pastors, who i'm connected to via Social Media, made a comment about "those things we give time to, and our check registers show we pay to, are the ones we love", and I said, "I guess I really love my family then" and he said, "yes, loving your family is very important", and just left it at that. Perhaps he didn't expect that answer.

    Either way, thanks for your input RK, I always appreciate it.
  4. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    This is a topic that one of my previous pastors was very big on and presented in fairly compelling ways. I know not everyone necessarily agreed with him, and, yes it could be a bit hyperbolic at times. We had a day in the Christian school here very recently focussing on the idols of our day. As RK mentions we don't really carve out little figures and hope they will send rain.. Anything that gets in our way with our relationship with God can become idolatrous. Society at large has many broad idols, particularly around economic matters.
  5. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

    It just seems it's just vague enough, that it can apply to anything. And, of course my skeptical side kicks in, when the finances are down, and they're promoting a "Financial Peace Program" and then touching on idolatry, it raises an eyebrow. At least for me. Like I told one of the pastors once, if money is needed to do things, just ask me honestly. I fully support our church and all the things they do for the community. You don't have to manipulate and twist my arm to get me to do it. Just be honest.
  6. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    To be honest, I think some people over-spiritualize things...
  7. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

  8. TrustGzus

    TrustGzus Don't make me hangry Staff Member

    So then are NT comments on idolatry and John's last command in 1 John not relevant to 21st century Western Christians?
  9. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

    Perhaps, seeing it was written in the 1st Century. Either way, that's why I asked the question. I just see that almost everything now a days in church is labeled as idolatry.

    I'd love to hear your insight in the matter.
  10. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    I don't know. What was the context of the "idols" in those scriptures? Was it literal stone, wood, etc., type idols being condemned or do you believe it also included things like, say, the enjoyment of pizza that our current preachers like to ascribe to "idol worship?"
  11. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    In the NT, one of the larger threats to the early Christians was the pressure to offer sacrifices to Caesar. All were expected to and those who refused could be imprisoned or killed. And it was not a major undertaking, simply a splash of wine or pinch of incense.
  12. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    Sometimes church programs do appear to be presented along the lines of "don't let your money be an idol, give it to us", to which the obvious retort is "I wouldn't want to cause you to stumble".

    I saw one guy on a chat forum say that you can tell what idols someone has by shaking their shelves. If they jump up to protect something, it's an idol to them. Which is really stupid reasoning when you think about it, all he could determine is that I assign some value to the item I seek to protect. The fact I don't want some bonehead breaking my stuff means it has value to me, not necessarily that it has more value than God does.

    Fundamentally the problem where idolatry is concerned is when we place something above God, in other words whether we would refuse to do what God wants rather than give up some other thing. Whether that thing is watching or playing sports, money, social status, beer or the collection of dust bunnies under the bed, if we'd refuse God's call to get rid of them then we could have a problem.
  13. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

    See now that makes a lot of sense to me. And I can certainly relate to that. Thank you for your input.
  14. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    What is your understanding of the idols being discussed in those verses?

    IMINXTC Time Bandit

    Ascribing supernatural or god status to anything or any person other than the one (only) true God. Offering reverence to that idol.
  16. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    According to your definition here, most of what is ascribed to having "idols" in one's life in America couldn't apply. Like gluttony indicating food is an "idol" for somebody since one doesn't give supernatural status to food nor does one offer reverence to food...
  17. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

    Yeah. That's what I was thinking as well.
  18. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    Where money is concerned it's very easy for people to point at things like the rich young ruler, challenge us to give up all our money and accuse us of idolatry if we refuse to do so. Needless to say the person concerned has no surplus to give up and somehow the same challenge doesn't apply to them and their life.

    As far as I can see a generic encouragement to not put things above God is a good thing to do. A concerned friend might talk to you in private to express their concern that (whatever) was perhaps too important to you, but as soon as they started to have a vested interest in you giving something up their concern starts to look suspect.

    When people presume to speak for God in telling you that you have to give something up to prove it isn't an idol, chances are they have a bigger issue than any idolatry that may be in your life. That would seem to fall foul of taking the name of God in vain, if someone presumes to speak for God if God has not actually spoken.
  19. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

    Not sure if you saw this Joe, but I'd love to hear more from you about this.
  20. DaniH

    DaniH You're probably fine.

    Honestly I think the words "idolatry" and "heresy" have both morphed into something outside their rather narrow and precise biblical definition, which is why their application of them nowadays is overly broad and extremely confusing.

    That's why we now have people who think a Christmas tree has anything to do with what they did to trees in the days of Jeremiah. Or why someone who has trouble defining the Trinity gets accused of heresy because they don't believe in it just so according to what's supposedly the only acceptable teaching or whatever.

    I prefer to define idolatry and heresy both by their original biblical meaning.

    Idols are actual beings that people worship which they regard as actual authority over their lives and believe to be in control of their fate and the most powerful of whom were/are believed to actually have created our world and the people in it.

    Idolatry, by biblical definition, is the act of worship of those "gods". There have been many such false gods throughout history, and each of them had a religious structure built around them, with priests and prophets and temples or shrines and whatnot. Back in OT times you had the Egyptian gods of Ra and Horus and such, and other pagan gods like Molech and Baal and etc. During NT times you had the Roman and Greek pantheons with their temples and such. Today we have Hindu gods and African gods and whatnot.

    In the OT and the NT alike you have these false gods set against (Yahweh/Jesus Christ) who is the only true God there is and the only Being worthy of our actual worship.

    Which is why football or food cannot be idols. Because they're not actual god-beings.

    Heresy has to do with an idol actually being claimed as Yahweh/Christ Himself, and that false Yahweh and/or Christ being proclaimed by a false prophet or priest or teacher "in the name of the Lord." This is especially damnable and worthy of Yahweh's direct intervention and judgment, because falsely impersonating God is a big no-no. Antichrist is someone who comes in Christ's stead, impersonating Him, getting people to believe they're dealing with the actual Christ. They're wolves in sheep's clothing because they look like sheep and pretend to be sheep and pretend to come in the name of the Shepherd. Antichrist is not some political leader but a false Christ proclaimed by a false religion pretending to be "Christianity." They get people to put their trust in someone other than Yahweh/Christ, while pretending to be Yahweh/Christ.

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