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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Sins of the flesh and "idolatry"

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docs
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Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2400


 Sins of the flesh and "idolatry"

I saw a book I had heard about for a number of years and borrowed it to take a look at it because I had read some of the author's other books and was helped and I sort of wanted to skim read it. In the book he is discussing Christians and pastors and evangelists etc. who fall into sins of the flesh etc. sometimes many years after they have been saved and have led a good holy life in the Lord and he offers a hypothesis from scripture on why this may occur. He calls many of these sins as the sin of idolatry And I don't quite get the connection between these sins as being IDOLATRY at their basic root and foundation. I don't disbelieve it and see a bit what he is getting at but idolatry? I've never seen it in this light. He says they should confess the sin of idolatry before addressing or confessing any moral failings. I was thinking about this and shot up a quick prayer as to where is this in scrupture. I was impressed with Colossians chapter three seen below. I went there and,

1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. (Colossians 3:1-5)

I've read those scriptures many times but I guess its emphasis on idolatry sort of just got past me. I would have said something like, "Well, these folks should have been more careful. Those are just carnal sins of the flesh." Yet there it is right in Colossians. Scripture calls these sins IDOLATRY. I looked up the NT word for idolatry and the only defintion given for this word was "idolatry." I think of idolatry as worshipping another false god so I see some but don't quite see fully the connection having idolatry as their basic cause that just manifests itself in these sins and their outowrking. Can naybody help? What would your insight or comment be? How are these sins so often labelled as just outright carnality (which they are) tied in with idolatry? I don't want to make a blanket statement covering all but it seems that there may be few Christian counseling ministries or pastors who would have a person or Christian immeshed in these things to first and foremost confess them as idolatry. I guess. Yet if the inspired word says they are idolatry then they are idolatry. But how?

Just wondering.

Comments welcome.


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David Winter

 2016/3/17 12:22Profile
yuehan
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Joined: 2011/6/15
Posts: 510


 Re: Sins of the flesh and "idolatry"

Hi docs, I shared a great excerpt from Tim Keller's "The Reason for God" on idolatry a while back:

https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=54588&forum=35

 2016/3/17 13:29Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5827
NC, USA

 Re:

Docs-

I read the Colossians verse to be referring only to greed (in some versions covetousness) as amounting to idolatry- not the other things noted.

I think it is more understandable taken that way. Setting sights on wealth and things instead of relying on God is particularly distasteful to Him. Matthew Henry describes covetousness as a "malignancy" (i.e. malevolence). Perhaps that is why Ananias and Sapphira were judged so harshly.


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Todd

 2016/3/17 15:05Profile
TrueWitness
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 Re:

Romans 1:24 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and WORSHIPED AND SERVED THE CREATURE rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.…

Sexual lust is most definitely a form of idolatry.

 2016/3/17 15:10Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5827
NC, USA

 Re:

That means that any sin could be called idolatry because sin boiled down to basics is preferring and choosing self rather than God.


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Todd

 2016/3/17 15:45Profile
docs
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 Re: TMK - greed and idolatry

/I read the Colossians verse to be referring only to greed (in some versions covetousness) as amounting to idolatry - not the other things noted.

I think this is perhaps possible and remember thinking the same thing or at least asking the question does the word idolatry refer to all these things or just to the greed aspect? I forgot to mention this possibility in my post.

But then TrueWitness wrote,

Romans 1:24 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and WORSHIPED AND SERVED THE CREATURE rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.…

Sexual lust is most definitely a form of idolatry. (END)

I don't see howe a more prcise defintion of idolatry could be given than worshiping and serving the creature more than the Creator. And the verses preceding this are concerned withg the sexual sins of the flesh. At any rate, whatever it be, the author (John Sandford) seems to have some real insight and revelation as he tied together the sins of the flesh and connects them with idolatry. If he wasn't altogether right I can't say he is altogether wrong in my opinion. He does though have some rather intriguing insight and explanations as to why some Christns can go for years and years in their Christian walk walking in a proper and seemingly proper sanctification and then find themselves immeshed once again in things they thought were long gone when they were redeemed and for which they walked in victory for many years. And he offers insight into why some gain substantial and lasting victory over most all things but continue to be bound in some particular area they NEVER seem to be able to subdue by the Spirit. He does strongly advocate though that idolatry can only be defeated and subdued by the cross. Many would say why of course what is insightful about that because everyone understands that. Then why are so many Christans still bound by things they have long fought against but have been unable to overcome?

But I don't want to get preachy. I still say idolatry as explained by the author may be a area seldom examined by many counseling ministries etc. He asks why do people attack a certain sin and receive pastoral advice to pray more and more against it while the sin continues to grow and manifest itself while at the very same time people are praying more strongly than ever against it. What is the root cause of such a spiritual predicament?




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David Winter

 2016/3/18 9:17Profile





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