Sunday, February 19, 2012

What is Your Idol?

I'm convinced that we're all idolaters.

The last verse of 1 John says, "Little children, keep yourself from idols." This seems to be a strange way to end a letter that didn't really address idolatry at all.

My opinion is that John realized how easily and quickly idolatry can creep into our lives and our churches. I don't think he was terribly concerned about the Christians turning to worship of Baal or Ra or Dagon. I don't think he was concerned about them carving fish-like ducks out of wood and then bowing down to them. I think he was concerned with the subtle, every-day idols that sneak into our lives and take our priorities away from God.

A survey of the entire letter reveals at least these ten idols that we need to keep ourselves from:
  1. The idol of walking in darkness (keeping our sin hidden rather than confessing it).
  2. The idol of false security (basing our salvation on a prayer rather than faith).
  3. The idol of disobedience.
  4. The idol of worldliness.
  5. The idol of squeamish theology.
  6. The idol of pet-sins (habitual sins).
  7. The idol of grudges.
  8. The idol of brotherly hatred.
  9. The idol of prayerlessness.
  10. The idol of whatever gets between us and God.
  11. There's lots more in this book, but these ten are a start.

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