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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Do Christians Worship Idols?

I have preached the answer to this sermon before. The problem was that I didn't preach all the message. I preached that Christians are worshiping their boats, houses and bank accounts. We worship that which we spend our most valuable assets on. Our time and money are given in homage to our possessions. These are idols which we see clearly.

Lately, I have noticed other idols Christians are worshiping. They are found in the church. They seem natural and even beneficial but they are idols which take away from, rather than enhance the worship of God.

Christians can worship the form of their worship. They will fight to keep that form exactly as they had it when they grew up. Their desire for this form is comes from a remembered feeling. They want to feel like they have worshiped and may even say this when their "idol" form is used. They will employ the rhetoric of others to discount any change in worship. They will say that the new song isn't honoring to the Lord or that it is too difficult to sing or that it isn't what they want. It indicates a worship of the form regardless of how the Christian has presented it.

Amazingly, this worship of form applies to both sides of the aisle. I have heard younger people saying things like, "I don't want to sing these old hymns." They believe that anything without a guitar and drum set is not worship. They are just as guilty or worshiping form.

Christians may also worship the stained glass windows, the organ, the Lord's Supper Table, the old pulpit, the preacher (though, I must admit I'm not as upset about this one as I should be) or an item in the budget. They will fall down before these idols and defend them to the end. The will leave the church if they are removed or even moved. They will make them idols which will destroy the fellowship of the church.

The Bible tells us to guard our hearts. This isn't a one time or even a once in the morning commitment. The heart has to be guarded at all times. The Bible tells us to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, all of our minds, all of our souls and all of our strength. Anything that diminishes this love is an idol which needs to be removed from its place of worship.

I am not telling you to break your stain glass windows, throw out your organs or fire the pastors you love. I am saying that our commitment to the Lord must be established before any of these things. I am saying that you must check your heart and make sure that these items are not replacing your love for the Lord and thus becoming idols.

The Christian life is one of diligence. We must always be on our guards to keep our hearts completely His. We must admit when we have wandered and come back like prodigals who are repentant and only seeking to be in our Heavenly Father's presence. We must worship God alone and make sure that is Who we are worshiping.

Think of the conflicts which churches would avoid if Christians got rid of all their idols.

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