Worldliness Part – 15 / What? Me and Idolater?

Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture
From: Psalm 106 – Worldliness Part 15

Idolatry comes in all shapes and sizes. There is pure or formal idolatry, and it
comes in two basic forms. It’s the kind of paganism we think of in terms of the
actual crafting of wood, stone or metal idols. Literal objects or figures endowed
with a species of divinity. Natives beating on drums and falling into trances.
Magical, repetitious chants to manipulate the spirits. Sacrificial rites to appease
bloodthirsty gods and goddesses who care nothing at all for their subjects, but
are as petty and sinful as any that serve them – but have more power and live
in another realm and somehow can be goaded to use their influence for good or
bad. You and I don’t run into to too much of that these days, though you might
be surprised to hear how much it is actually on the increase. And if you look
carefully, you’ll see hints of it in some organized religion as well. This is also the
idolatry of Atheism, where self, the human intellect or the universe is the god of
choice. We may not form its images physically, but they are just as really
present in our hearts and minds. Then there is mixed idolatry. It is the idol
worship of the religious. It shows itself in 2 primary ways as well: Either just
adding Jesus to the god(s) (or religious system) someone already has (this can
happen when remote groups are “evangelized” and asked to embrace Christ,
without turning from their present religion), or, (and far more insidiously) when
someone embraces Christ (ostensibly) but does it merely as a means to achieve
earthly ends. In other words, “I already serve greed or covetousness, and I add
Christ to the mix, so I can accomplish the accumulation of money and goods (or
whatever) – Thanks to HIM, I can be “truly” happy with THEM.” This kind of
idolatry is rife in our churches today. And that, not subtly, it is celebrated. It is
the mass marketing of “come to Jesus so you can have everything the World
lives for and loves – only without the bad side-effects.” Greed without guilt. It is
as rank and evil an idolatry as exists in the most depraved and demon infested
corners of the uncivilized world. 1 John 2 warns us: “Do not love the world or
the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in
him.” And it doesn’t make it any less idolatry, worldliness, to baptize it in Jesus’


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