Romans 1:25 – They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen
Someone once said “The opposite of Christianity is not atheism but idolatry” and Mark Driscoll has made the point that because we are created to worship we will worship something but what we worship determines if we are Christians or not.
Those things we make priority, those things we give our money to, those things we spend our time doing are our idols and it seems to me that it has become far to easy to put things in front of and in place of God in our lives.
Talking to people I have been told that my attraction to theology and my desire to read the Bible are a result of my calling as a pastor or my training in Bible College but I have been thinking a great deal about it recently and I do not think that is the case. It seems to me that we have lowered the bar of what it means to be a disciple of Christ from the biblical definition. Biblically it meant to give up everything family, business, hopes, dreams when necessary and to make Christ and his Gospel the center of your life.
In our new Christian culture however it is far too easy to become a Christian; we only speak of “taking up our cross” later in the process as if we are using some sort of spiritual bait and switch. We speak of all the good things that come from Christ without bothering to mention those things which we would consider negative such as discipline and sacrifice, albeit trivial in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps it is due to the fact that we don’t face persecution in our western culture but that exclude us from our responsibility to make Christ the centrality of our lives.
By lowering this discipleship bar, I believe it is possible we have abandoned our great commission which is to create disciples, a word that has the same root as discipline, but what discipline is required outside of getting up on Sunday morning and attending a meeting where you are required to do nothing but listen.
My hope with this thought process is not simply to bash the institutions that exist because I believe they do a great deal of good, but as I do believe good to be the enemy of great, my hope it do perhaps point out some places where idolatry may exist as I have recently realized it exists in my own life.
Consider the idea “I didn’t have time to pray, or read the Bible today,” this inherently means that everything you did that day took priority over God in your life and hence became and idol, this can be TV, games, even your family. If these are the things you serve and spend your time and money on you are effectively worshiping them over the God of the universe even if you are not bowing down to a candle lit alter around your TV.
Muslims stop what they are doing several times a day to pray and we may write them off because they are just “being religious” and we have relationship but what kind of relationship do you have if you aren’t spending any time with one another, perhaps we need to be a little more “religious” without dedication to God until a relationship has the change to flourish, I know I need to do something.