Thursday, June 02, 2011
There Are No "Good" Idols
The rejection of traditional religion in these quarters has created a vacuum unlikely to go unfilled; human nature seems to demand a search for order and meaning, and nowadays there is no shortage of options on the menu of belief. Some searchers syncretize Judeo-Christian theology with Eastern or New Age spiritualism. Others seek through science the ultimate answers of our origins, or dream of high-tech transcendence by merging with machines — either approach depending not on rationalism alone but on a faith in the goodness of what rationalism can offer.I think that is exactly right and it puts several thoughts into my mind.
For some individuals and societies, the role of religion seems increasingly to be filled by environmentalism.
The first is the wisdom of the prohibition against idolatry throughout scripture. Evan as Christians we seems to make idols of only portions of the package (worship, church growth, emotional well-being....) This is one of those "Thou Shalt not's" that is really a positive. YOU SHALL FOCUS ON THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.
The second thought that occurs to me is that the apologetic that is inherent in all this. Without Christianity, there is a void we seek to fill. That void is a very powerful apologetic.
Finally, there is the idea that we let very good stuff become our idols. Worship is good, provided we do not make an idol of it. Creation Care is good, provided we do not make an idol of it. When we become enthusiastic about something, anything, we must guard against the temptation to make an idol of it.
So what are the idols in our lives?