Idolatry has got to be done right, ya know? I’ve gotten very tired of modern worship services. It just doesn’t seem to connect anymore.
Wait what? Oh, you’re confused by the idolatry thing. Yes, well I’ve kinda come to the conclusion that in the broadest terms we all use idols.
According to Wikipedia a cult image (another term for idol or graven image) is “a man-made object that is venerated for the deity, spirit or demon that it embodies or represents.”
It’s hard not to put the cross in that category in many churches. The Bible seems to fit that bill for many as well. Couldn’t this also include images in ones mind? Or images created through well crafted words or lyrics? Even theologies perhaps?
Now I’m not suggesting we go all puritan and get rid of all art or nothing. Creating symbols, art, reading the Bible, singing songs, imagining, and all that are all good things. Discussing who God is is a good thing.
But my experience of churches lately has been heavy on some of those things, and hardly seem to address the idol of our God at all.
Oh right, I haven’t explained the idol thing yet. It’s one of those things our Sunday school teachers missed.
Come to find out, the creation of the garden parallels the creation of a temple, and the final act of that creation is the installation of the idol (the image of the god).
It wasn’t until the last couple years that I heard what the phrase, “in the image of God” meant. Actually it came from the Phil Vischer Podcast (the guy who created Veggitales). They were having a discussion with Dr. John Walton about Genesis.
What was the last thing installed in the garden? Humans… “in the image of God.”
Now don’t get all upset thinking I’m saying humans are gods. That’s just a bad understanding of idolatry.
Does this mean we worship each other? Yes. Worship is simply the expression of adoration and reverence/the ascribing of insurmountable worth. It is different, I guess, from acts of worship toward God without an idol… but the idol must not be ignored (as it is today).
The Bible is quite clear about this:
That sums up EVERYTHING! From the beginning! Where other gods have their gold idols, rites, and rituals to love… We have our neighbors, friends, and enemies to love. There’s nothing else to do. No religion comes before this.
So, now what? How can we orient our lives, our communities, and our churches toward this? I wish this was a rhetorical question, but I would love your input. The status quo is killing me.