Have we Allowed Idols to Creep into our Worship?
In the majority of Christian circles the thought of worshiping idols would be considered a major sin. It is something that the average Christian would not want to do. It is pagan. It is wrong. We all know it, but do we do it? "Of course not." Someone might even be offended that I asked such a "stupid" question. "We would never bow down to a statue or an idol." However, it seems that many idols HAVE crept into our worship.
I think that it is important to stress at this point that worship is more than just what we do on Sunday within the church building. Worship is a daily attitude.
John 4:24 "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
What does that mean? Jesus was speaking to a Samaritan woman who was asking where the proper place to worship was located. The Samaritans had built a temple on Mount Gerizim, located in Samaria. This was to rival the Temple located in Jerusalem. Jesus is emphasizing that the location is not what is important, but the Who. Who are we worshipping? The Christian knows the expected answer is God, but is that the who we are really worshipping. In many churches today, the members have become more focused on the where. Just as the Samaritans and the Jews were in that day. They can only see proper worship taking place within the four wall of a specific structure. A structure that must be painted a certain color, have a specific style of seating, and a specific style of pulpit. The lighting must also come from a specific style and color of light. Another words, people begin to worship the building and their preferences within that building not God. In fact, by putting so much emphasis on their preferences they demonstrate that they are actually worshipping themselves. The Scripture above makes it very clear the person we are to be worshipping is God.
Since location has been discussed I think it is important to briefly discuss corporate worship, or the gathering of a church together to worship. Some will take John 4:24 and use it to say that there is no need to gather together as a church. (Church being defined as a body of believers, not the building they meet in). Hebrews makes it clear that it is important to gather together to encourage one another to continue to do good works demonstrating love to others.
Hebrews 10:23-25 "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
Does the above verse mean that we can only worship within the church? Of course not. John 4:24 makes it clear that we can worship everywhere and anywhere, but Hebrews 10 makes it clear it is still important that we gather together. We can and should worship God daily. We should worship Him throughout the day. We are told in
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
When we are going about our day we should be praising God. We can silently pray throughout the day. We can thank God no matter what is occurring. This is worship.
Unfortunately, there are other idols that creep into modern Christianity. If we think of an idol as anything that we worship, other than God, we may see that we have several idols. I already mentioned a building and self. Other idols can be government/political parties, family, career, money, etc. It is very important to ask God to show us if any idol has crept into our worship. Who do we look to as God? In and of themselves, there is nothing wrong with government/political parties, family, career, money etc., but their priority in our life may make them a sin against God.
Have you allowed idols to creep into your worship? I'm thankful that we can go to God when we have sinned against Him and He will forgive.
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.