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Posts Tagged ‘idolatry’

God detests idolatry, even in the form of parental love. (1)

 

It’s the first week of school and school buildings across the nation are filled with parents.

 

Yes, there are kids present, but you have a hard time seeing and hearing them through the thicket and over the buzz of the parents hovering around their kids.

 

Young adults are heading off to college and pictures are popping up all over Facebook of parents unpacking, decorating, and rearranging their children’s rooms, while the adult-child sits on the side with a perturbed look on his face.

 

When I was in school, parents never made it past the table set up 25 yards before the front door.  It was at this table where we learned who our teacher would be for the next year.

 

When I went to college, my Dad (Mom stayed home) helped me get my suitcases and boxes out of the trunk of the car and onto the sidewalk before shaking my hand and telling me he’d see me at Thanksgiving.  I had to haul the stuff up to my room by myself.

 

It use to be that most Christians only practiced idolatry at the bank, in front of the mirror, or at sporting events of their college or professional team.

 

That has all changed.

 

Parents, including the Christian-kind, have become idolatrous in their worship of their kids.  

 

God would rather we worship Him instead of our kids.

 

Sarah Young wonders if this is why God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac.  In the voice of God, she writes:

I took Isaac to the very point of death to free Abraham from son-worship. Both Abraham and Isaac suffered terribly because of the father’s undisciplined emotions. (1)

 

God instructs parents to love their kids, not to worship them.  We have become a nation of child worshippers.  It is an addiction that is reinforced everywhere we go, including church.

 

I love my boys deeply.  I love them so much I refuse to worship them.  After they were married, I told both of them, “I relinquish my parental rights over you.  However, I will always love you as your father.”

 

It was a freeing moment for them and for me.

 

I am the Lord your God, “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.” (2)

 

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  1. Young, Sarah (2004-10-12). Jesus Calling – Deluxe Edition: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (p. 247). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 
  2. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Exodus 20:2–5.
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Dare I really let God be to me all that He says He will be? (1)

Most of us want God to be a half-god to us.  

  • We want Him to be present in our lives, but not ever-present, because then He will interfere in our plans.
  • We want Him to be all-powerful, but not when credit is being given for a job well done by us.
  • We want Him to be holy and just, but not when we are enjoying an adventure in darkness and sin.

In 1952 J. B. Phillips published Your God Is Too Small.  His book became an instant devotional classic, from which comes this quote:

We create God in our own image, resulting in an anemic deity no more wise or powerful than we are, and certainly incapable of creation, maintenance, or salvation.

A small god begins with the misreading of Genesis 1:27: God created man in his own image.  

Our greatest sin is that we create god into our own image

Yes, this is idolatry:

The re-creation and re-imaging of God as a deity who meets our every need, desire, wish, and concept of how to best run the world.

We create idols because God is too much for us in all of His God-ness.  Thus, we prefer to slice and dice Him into palatable bits and pieces.  

We prefer to encounter God in small doses.  This is why we insist on worship being an hour long and assume worshipping Him twice a month, except on vacation and during the summer, as commendable for any believer.

We prefer God to give us a daily baby aspirin, rather than be our heart transplant surgeon.  Yes, we want Him to place a new heart in our enemies, spouses, and kids, but as for us, we simply want Him to give us a God-vaccination, just enough to save us in times of tribulation.

However … 

If you are tired of your god, whom you have made far too small, then pray to Him and ask Him to be all He can be for you.

You’ll be glad you did

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  1. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year (Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering, 1986).

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