Do you worship an idol?
A silly question, you may think. For the notion of an "idol" conjures up to the modem mind a leering, bloated, cross-legged carving in wood or stone, worshipped by some ancient primitive savage tribe, and to which are sacrificed infants or virgins. There aren't many of these idols around today! Then, of course, we talk of a "pop idol", and perhaps even point to someone who makes an idol of his new Rolls-Royce - or World Cup soccer!
We get the picture that an idol is something dear to us and which perhaps consumes much of our time and affects our behavior. And certainly any Christian worth his or her salt would abhor the idea of idol-worship. However, let's look a little more closely at "idolatry" in the context of your Christian faith.
Do you believe that the Bible is God's revealed Word for mankind - which it claims to be? Then you must accept that there can be only one religion that enacts the way to God. That religion is Christianity, which the Bible says supersedes all other worship forms.
A problem immediately arises: which "christianity"? For there's more difference between some Christian groups than there is between them and other non-christian religions - religions which a Bible-believing Christian would class as idolatrous!
Among large denominations there is a move to blur these differences. The buzz-word is ecumenism. Church leaders are intent on what they see as "healing the rift in the Body of Christ" and, further, the rift with other world religions. Even Britain's Queen - the head of the English national Church - has lent her support to this movement by her presence at interfaith services. Prince Charles, too, detests the idea of Christian supremacy. Indeed many Royals are reputed to court non-christian religions and even to embrace occult Practice. [See, for example, The Prince And The Paranormal, or Diana - Her True Story.]
Throw away the Bible, of course, and there's no such thing as idolatry. Anything goes. How come, then, that those who claim to base their religion on the same Bible, and who teach their flock from that same Bible, arrive at such different conclusions? How come they - from the highest prelate to the newest teacher of the faith - are at such variance with the Scriptures? How come they actively promote idolatry?
The message of the apostles was: "Don't believe me - believe the Scriptures". That's what Paul wrote to Timothy (2 Tim 3:16). It was, too, the message of John, and Peter, and Jude. And of Jesus himself.
Jude urged his readers to "...contend for the faith which was, once for all, delivered to the saints" (v.3). Paul told Timothy: "What you have heard from me [i.e., God's Word] before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim 2:2). And he commended (Acts 17: 11) those who "...searched the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so".
So - what happened? How come idolatry is actively taught in the churches?
Is The Church Idolatrous?
We ought to look to the Scriptures as the authority for our belief. Where, in Scripture, are the commonly-observed "christian" holy days? They are not there! Christmas is idolatry. So, too, is Easter. And - a real shocker for most - also Sunday worship. (That is sure to make some readers angry!) Yet nowhere in Scripture does God the Father or Jesus Christ approve a change from Saturday-worship to Sunday- worship!
Why then has your minister or pastor or priest not told you this? When did you last hear a sermon in your church proving from the Bible that you should observe such practices? With their extensive seminary training and years of Bible study, could they be ignorant of this? Or - do they choose to hide from you the fact that their "christianity" is a different religion from that of the New Testament? Are they in fact wedded to idolatry? Could they be idol shepherds over God's flock?
Choose For Eternity
Given that all of us face eternity - today, tomorrow, at best in a few short years - isn't it vital you get it right? Shouldn't you check - from the Source, the Scriptures - whether these men and women have deceived you? If they are indeed idol shepherds then it's possible you, with them, will miss that glorious first resurrection to be with Christ as a king and priest, then to reign with him for all eternity.
It's worth checking.
Read our three related articles - on Christmas, Easter and Sunday.
To comment on this article or request more information, please contact James McBride by e-mail at the comment form below.
For PDF or mailed copy, see CGOM. Excerpt from New Horizons Issue 10, July/August 1998. Edited by James McBride of the Churches of God, United Kingdom.
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