We are often tempted to dismiss idolatry as a serious threat to our spiritual well-being. When we think of idolatry, we can easily retreat to Old Testament days and believe that it was their problem. We confine idolatry to the work of wood or stone, and thereby dismiss it as an ancient sin with no impact to our generation.
However, in the New Testament, idolatry is mentioned as a major spiritual peril for the believer in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul in no uncertain terms warned the Corinthians to “flee from idolatry.” (I Cor 10:14) Paul also placed idolatry in the noxious list of behaviors called the deeds of the flesh and as a root behind the insatiable appetite of greed. (Galatians 5:20; Colossians 3:5)
The Apostle John concluded his first epistle with this pastoral warning, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (I John 5:21)
God allows no substitutes. At times He permits certain symbols to represent Him, however He never allows these symbols to replace Him. God alone is to be the center of our worship.
Idolatry pollutes true worship and obedience as we create objects of worship that exalt other things as more worthy than God Himself. Idols that grip the heart come in many packages. A few of the popular include: power, prestige, education, relationships, money, business, addictions, religion, entertainment, popularity, ego, and pornography. (more…)