Idols of the Heart

Idolatry. This is one issue that seems to be fairly evenly treated in most of the traditions that I’ve been exposed to. It’s bad. A clear violation of the Second Commandment. Furthermore, an idol doesn’t have to be something that we overtly worship as God. It is, rather, something that we place on the throne of our lives instead of God. I could be a car, money, a nice house, your job, etc. Whether you are a Calvinist or Aminian, Baptist or Presbyterian, Charismatic or Cessationist, Emerging or non-Emerging. Everyone seems to agree that these “idols of the heart” are the modern application of the Second Commandment.

Me? I’m not so sure.

Don’t get me wrong. Anything that takes your focus off of God is sinful. I’m just not sure that we can equate it to idolatry. You see, I just think that there is something more sinful in consciously worshiping something that is not God as God.

It’s kind of like this: Suppose my kids love to play video games. In fact, they love it so much, they don’t pay attention to me. They don’t listen to me. They just play there game. We all agree that this is bad. BUT – on the other hand, suppose they draw a picture of a handsome guy with hair and say that from now on, this is their daddy and they are going to obey him, have him tuck them in at night, and read them stories. Both are bad, but there is something a little more creepy about the second scenario, and it just seems to be more of the heart of the Second Commandment.

I know I’m kind of out here on my own on this, and that makes me a little uncomfortable. In fact, probably the only ones who agree with me are the Word of Faith types (for different reasons, I assume), and that freaks me out a little more.

So what do you think? Am I off base? Are we committing idolatry when let other priorities get ahead of our walk with God? Or is that another type of sin? I really am interested in your thoughts, and I’ll admit that I haven’t done a lot of study on this and am more than willing to be proven wrong.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for the comment, Emmeline. I see that you’re in the insurance business. I’ve spent my career in insurance the most recent half in Risk Management for a large corporation.

  2. I agree with you about the idolatry thing. I agree that it is sinful to give top priority to things other than God, but I also agree that top priority does not constitute ‘worship.’ And btw, I am not a ‘word of faith type.’ (I don’t even know what that is.) I am . . . well, I don’t really know what I am. I am most used to the Nazarene tradition, as that is how I was raised.

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