Updated: Jul 12, 2021
The Bible is big on idolatry. It speaks a lot of these statues that people would create...and worship! God had this to say of such gods that His people would pursue, and eventually be exiled from their land by following:
"And there you will serve gods of wood and stone, the work of human hands, that neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell."-Deuteronomy 4:28
I think many modern (And especially Western) Christians scoff at the concept of idols. We don't make statues any more, right? We don't build our lives around something we create, right? And yet, we build stadiums larger than temples so that we may all watch a ball be thrown or kicked around. We build shrines to our entertainment, and build our living rooms around the television, we build our lives around the businesses we build, or the toys we buy to go out on the weekend with, we trek for days to vacation, we sacrifice and stop our lives for our pursuits, and yet for our God, what do we sacrifice? Idolatry is alive and well, and yes, it exists in the church.
If someone were to examine your life, who would they say you follow? If your social media were an indicator, what do you care about the most? If your life were the subject of a reality TV series, what would people say you follow the most? I say this because I am as guilty as anyone. I often give up my time, treasures, and talents to pursue things that can't love me back, entertainments that, while not bad in and of themselves, take up too much of my focus. The Bible calls God a jealous God, and He is jealous in much the same way that a husband will not share His wife with anyone else, only His love is more pure and wholesome than ours. He wants our absolute good, and sees the things in our lives which distract us from that goodness or destroy our lives and souls. He seeks for us to be like His Son, and those things which draw us away from that can easily become the idols of our lives. Our lives demonstrate what we care most about. Choose this day whom you will serve.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.