| Re: |
Respectfully, brothers. I will pick on politics. It has become idolatrous to the Christians. It seems there are far too many Believers that consider allegiance to a political party or ideology more important than allegiance to Christ.
Simply my thoughts.
| 2016/3/28 19:22|
| Re: |
In addition to what has already been said, I would say an idol is anything we find our fulfillment in or from and defines who we are, instead of Christ. I'm thinking of the idol of ministry, or a husband/wife/children. I know of a young woman whose identity is wrapped up in being a wife and mother, instead of Christ. There are too many who are looking to be married to find happiness. Unless the Lord intervenes, It's a recipe for a disastrous marriage. Having true wholeness and satisfaction and dependency in Jesus is the only thing that will keep us from any kind of idolatry.
| 2016/3/28 20:18||Profile|
Northern Rockies, BC, Canada
| Re: Idol Worship- what does it really mean?|
In all christian love, I will respond, because of lack of time, to just one of your thoughts,
You wrote, "Surely a mere watching of a ballgame on TV does not amount to worship"
I have witnessed, in my own life and in others, (the Lord knows I lie not as I write these things), that a 'mere watching' as you've said, can lead to a continual watching.
Now, where are my affections - "I want to watch a ballgame"... Then, I may, and rightfully so, use the question, "Do I want to watch the ballgame more than performing some duty...Like say, reading the Scriptures or prayer?" I'm being honest, and taking things from my own experience. It is a "hard" question , nevertheless an honest one. I question what I do quite a bit - "Will this bring me closer to God?"; "Is this well for my soul?"; Will this profit me in the christian religion?", etc, etc... Or do I compromise, "Well, other christians are watching it, so why can't I?" Do I make some kind of excuse?...
I say these things not to judge, nor condemn... In all reality, will I grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ by doing thus and thus? Am I loving the Lord with all my mind when I'm watching a ballgame? A little sleep for the soul, a little folding of the hands... Then I'm watching ungodly commercials... Are my senses to be controlled by the Spirit? Are my eyes and ears my own?
Lastly, what does the Word also say besides "Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, with All your soul, with ALL your mind, and with ALL your strength"? It says many things concerning this. "Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth (Col 3:2)"; "Wherefore gird up trhe loins of your mind (1Peter 1:13a); "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise (Psalm 57:7), etc, etc. Does not the body follow the affections?
Now, if I am my brother's keeper, I want to love my brother as myself - therefore, i want you to be everything God is willing to make you to be, by His grace. Let us remember that with His promises there are conditions.
I hope this is of some benefit to the reader. God is able to do all things, yes; although, are we not saved to walk in His ways and glorify Him, and bear much fruit, and let our lights shine? I would suggest doing some studies on the "sluggard" and find out what his end is - spiritual poverty comes on him - and that is not God's will - (Provrbs 20:4; 6:27-28; 6:4-11) The Lord taught me yrs ago, that there is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is spiritual decay and death. Our hearts can fool us if we keep not a careful watch over them, and guard them with the Sword of the Spirit.
These maybe hard things to grasp for some. I am no legalist; however, I believe in asking myself hard questions and examining my ways and my own heart. I respond to this post in love and not condemnation - for the benefit of the brethren and the glory of Christ Jesus.
| 2016/3/29 0:37||Profile|
| Re: |
Dear brother Richie,
That was probably one of the most important things I have read on this forum for a very long time. At least for me it was, thank you.
| 2016/3/29 6:26|
| Re: |
Personally, and this is just my opinion, when we take the leap from defining in a general way what idolatry is to then naming specific outward actions as idolatry we are treading on thin ice, and in danger of being legalistic, walking around with a critical eye and judging our brothers.
For instance, if you say that watching a ball game is idolatry (and I don't really care about ball games) what will stop a brother with the same view as you, from then judging something you do as idolatry?
We then make Christianity a rule based, book based religion rather than a life to be lived by another LIFE and everyone then slays each other daily with their metaphorical swords.
I have seen a lot of these threads devolve into judging actions so just to be fair to those who choose to vote for a politician, I will say that I do not judge a person who chooses to do that as engaging in idolatry and none of us should. Only the Lord knows the heart and what is not of faith for one person may not be true for another.
Imagine the carnage in Christianity if every time we judged one another as unfit to be a Christian, how many of us would be left?
You can actually see the carnage as men divide into separate camps and have no fellowship with one another.
Men's doctrines have become idols. And they will do whatever is necessary to safeguard their doctrine even hating their brothers.
So, maybe that is another definition of idolatry, anything or anyone that one loves so much that it causes you to not walk in love towards others.
Idolatry then seems to not only have an effect on God but also man, for in the end it is nothing more than pure selfishness.
The Pharisees loved their doctrine more than God and it caused them to walk around with a critical, judgemental eye, binding burdens on men that they themselves would not carry.
| 2016/3/29 7:12|
| Re: A Distinction |
Brothers and sisters this thought came to me this morning as I reflected on this thread. Is it possible that we need to make a distinction between idolatry and distraction. For sure a distraction can become idolatrous. But is merely indulging the occasional dedire to watch a football game or an old classic movie or a baseball game being idolatrous?
In my own personal life an example comes to mind. Growing up, Highway Patrol with Broderick Crawford was my favorite TV show. This television show was made in the late 1950s when television was very tame. I recently discovered old Highway Patrol television shows posted on YouTube. (For you young Millennial types you'll just have to bear with me here. I am 64 years old. A baby boomer. :-)).
There was a time when I got really absorbed in watching these videos. They brought back memories of my childhood. They reminded me of a more innocent time in which I lived. For a time they became a distraction. But were they idolatrous? I don't think so. Merely a time of distraction. Now I'm not justifying the distraction. But merely making a distinction between distraction and idolatrous.
If I could follow through the example of Highway Patrol. I think the distraction could become idolatrous in this way. I recently heard about a man who was so obsessed with Highway Patrol. He went out and got an old 1956 or 57 Buick that Broderick Crawford would dtive in the TV show. This man put thousands of dollars into restoring the car. He wanted it to look like a 1950's style highway patrol car as seen in the TV show. After he restored the car. He admitted in a television interview that he lined up his children. And told him though he loved them, the car was more important to him than the children. Now honestly, I do not know if this man was being serious or not. But I hardly think lining up your children and telling them that the restored car is more important than his family is wise. This is how I think that a distraction can turn into an obsession and become idolatrous.
I do not think to watch a baseball or football game. Or to go see a whokesome movie is idolatrous. And the Spirit will give release to do such. However we must guard our hearts to make sure that a sports game or movie or anything else do not take us away from Jesus.
Brothers and sisters simply my thoughts.
Post redited for grammatical clarity and correction. Voice recognition still not listening too well. :-)
| 2016/3/29 9:15|
| Re: |
I am pretty sure I line up with your thinking on this.
The sin of idol worship seemed to be related to praying and actually worshiping idols. I know that the NT calls things like covetousness as akin to idolatry because coveting is desiring very strongly in your heart (idolizing) what someone else has.
I found the below signs that someone is "addicted" to their mobile phone. The article said if you answer "Yes" to 6 of these questions you may be addicted. I think this would apply to any type of activity. Obviously if I must watch every game by a certain team or I am thrown into a depression, that would certainly seem idolatrous. I have a very dear Christian brother and friend, and who is also probably the strongest Christian I know personally, that has struggled because he is a HUGE fan of Pittsburgh sports teams. He grew up there, has fond memories of watching and listening to games with his dad, and just really enjoys the sports- particularly baseball. He has stated this was a struggle that he has overcome- although he still watches a game now and then.
Here are the questions to see if you may have an addiction to something; I think you could substitute anything for "mobile phone."
** “My mobile phone is the most important thing in my life”
**“Conflicts have arisen between me and my family and/or my partner about the amount of time I spend on my mobile phone”
**“My mobile phone use often gets in the way of other important things I should be doing (working, education, etc.)”
**“I spend more time on my mobile phone than almost any other activity”
**“I use my mobile phone as a way of changing my mood”
**“Over time I have increased the amount of time I spend on my mobile phone during the day”
**“If I am unable to use my mobile phone I feel moody and irritable”
**“I often have strong urges to use my mobile phone”
**“If I cut down the amount of time I spend on my mobile phone, and then start using it again, I always end up spending as much time on my mobile phone as I did before”
**“I have lied to other people about how much I use my mobile phone”
| 2016/3/29 9:48||Profile|
| Re: Todd|
Oh boy bro. Ouch! Such good thoughts for thought and reflection. I must admit I'm afraid to apply that test to my use of mobile phone. Or anything else for that matter. But very good questions to consider in prayer before the Lord on any activity that may be questionable.
Thank you for sharing.
Your brother Blaine.
| 2016/3/29 11:11|
| Re: |
We don't worship what we don't love and if we love the object, then we give it extravagant love and extreme submission.
From Websters 1828 Dictionary
WORSHIP, verb transitive
1. To adore; to pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration.
Thou shalt worship no other God. Exodus 34:14.
2. To respect; to honor; to treat with civil reverence.
Nor worshipped with a waxen epitaph.
3. To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission; as a lover.
With bended knees I daily worship her.
| 2016/3/29 11:30|
| Re: Dear sister Leslie, your reply resonated with me so much!|
Ever since I read your reply, dear Leslie, I felt compelled to encourage you with a hearty "AMEN" to your post. Thank you and bless you!
| 2016/3/29 13:41||Profile|