Hi everyone, this question came up during a study on the first two of the Ten Commandments. The two are “no other Gods before me” and “you shall not have idols.” My question is can the Chruch be involved in other gods and idols through their worship and how can we discern where we should fall. There are just a few things that I perceive within the Church, and this list may go on. We often make a god of our pastors/ministers, our worship services (music being a rock show and paying orchestra members). We also have images made of God and the cross and sometimes I think these are abused, giving power to that image and not using it as a way to remember God and to revere God. What are some of y’all thoughts on this issue?
@calebeldridge As Calvin said, the human heart is an idol making factory. But my question would be, how do you know when someone is making an idol out of a pastor or style of worship or image of the cross? Only God, who sees the heart, could truly know whether someone is making an idol out of something within the Church. So I think this is one of those issues where we really ought to be searching our own hearts rather than passing judgment on others or upon the Church in general.
What do you think? Perhaps a better question is how can we encourage people to exalt Christ over and above His servants or a preferred means of participating in worship? How can we live our lives so that those around us and within our Church understand that we worship the living God, who does not dwell in church buildings or images or in a particular style of music?
@calebeldridge from reading your post I get the sense that there are some issues you are noticing that trouble you. As @SeanO mentioned it is difficult for us to truly know the heart of others. Believe me, I have tried this before and errored badly. Some individuals make Gods of their pastor and a good pastor will always turn them back towards Jesus, but if they don’t we can’t always assume we need to fix it.
These types of relationships with pastors, musicians, teachers, denominations etc exist everywhere and in likely every church. So my answer is yes, these can exist in the church and God still bless, because God blesses everyone. Thankfully, this is true for what if God were to repay our own iniquity in the manner we would repay others?
Matt 5:45 He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
There are lots of things in the church that should not be. God, in His great and infinite wisdom, allows them because is lovingkindness is everlasting. He is patient and is willing to wait until our faith is complete. Thanks be to God!