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:
- The idol of walking in darkness (keeping our sin hidden rather than confessing it).
- The idol of false security (basing our salvation on a prayer rather than faith).
- The idol of disobedience.
- The idol of worldliness.
- The idol of squeamish theology.
- The idol of pet-sins (habitual sins).
- The idol of grudges.
- The idol of brotherly hatred.
- The idol of prayerlessness.
- The idol of whatever gets between us and God.
- There's lots more in this book, but these ten are a start.