Wednesday, November 19, 2014
An Idol on Every Street
Just about everywhere you look these days, even in the midst of the most beautiful parts of God's good creation, are idols! These, according to definition ( Dictionary.com ), can be anything from 'an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed', to 'any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion' or even 'a false conception or notion; fallacy'. There are parts of God's good creation that people have made into idols & there are constructs of men & women, whether material or intellectual, that were made, if not expressly for that purpose, for no other real purpose then the admiration & adulation of others!
Just south of Glacier National Park, here in beautiful Montana is a slightly down-sized rendering of one of the largest & most infamous idols in the nation, The Washington Monument! Not much more will be ( or need be ) said here concerning this most famous phallic symbol, but suffice to say that this 'erection' is very significant of the sexual 'bent' of this nation! Although this is actually, by far, not the largest such 'erection' or construction in this Nation of Whoredom, it is maybe one of the best-known symbols of the idolatry for which she is known!
Just as in the days of Israel according to the flesh, much of God's good creation has been utilized as idols as well! The reason for this is that idolatry rests securely within the hearts of men & women who have not actively sought & cultivated a right relationship with their Creator ( Heavenly Father )! An example could be the difference between one who looks at the beauty of Nature & ascribing it to our Almighty & Beneficent Creator, enjoys it as such, and another, who looking at the same Beauty, ascribes it to Chance & so approaches it with a reverence & worship due the Creator alone!
Not only can the material good Creation or construction of man be worshiped as idols, they ( idols ) can also be the property of the intellect! One example of this, particularly in this day & age, is the very Constitution of these United States itself! How often do you hear people from every walk of life, including most Christians, lamenting 'if ONLY this country would return to the Constitution!'? The Constitution is by far not the only culprit when it comes to the intellectual property of idolatry ( in fact, you could almost say that idolatry is a merely intellectual property ); in many cases, what we know as the Holy Bible has itself become almost an idol, not unlike the Law & the Temple did in the Days of Israel ( according to the flesh )! Many Christians maintain, irregardless of the truths of Audience Relevance & Covenant Context, that it's Eschatology refers to our own day, and not only that, but that it is the VERY Word of God & not simply the Revelation of that Word ( as interpreted by man over several millenia ) which now dwells, in His Fullness ( Colossians 1:23 ) within His people, the ( Corporate ) Body of Christ!
Idolatry, just as in former days, takes many forms, as we have noted! It can include anything from the misplaced adoration & adulation of the Natural Creation itself, human & material, to the worship of the pro-creation, materiel & intellectual of the creature! This could include the Sunday Worship of crazed football fans at the local center for idol-worship on some mountain ( or at the foot of a mountain ), but it also has to do with our priorities! What importance do we place on certain activities? Would we rather do one thing over another? If so, 'why'? If not, 'why not'?
Now, having said all this, placing more importance on one activity, place or thing ( even person ) does not make that activity, place or thing wrong, or evil! As we saw earlier, idolatry stems from the heart, the innermost being! It is why one reveres this over that, or even worships in the midst of God's good Creation that makes an idol out of it! Even our own intellectual property ( I speak mostly to myself here ), as well as that of others, can become an object of Misplaced Worship to us!
Let us determine in our own hearts ( innermost being ) to remove these idols from this temple & to place our adoration & adulation solely where it belongs, at the Feet of our Heavenly Father ( metaphorically speaking )! In our determination, let us live our lives in worshipful Adulation & Adoration, Exultation & Exaltation of our Heavenly Father! Nothing more & nothing less than this will do!
Charles Haddon Shank