Friday, 2 December 2011

From Idolatry to Ideology aka From a Rock to a Hard Place.

In a sermon I listened to recently, a passing comment was made that Israel gave up worshipping idols after the Exile. Up until that point, they had been repeatedly warned by the prophets not to go "whoring" after images of created things - contravening the second commandment (see Exodus 32 for the most famous example).

That didn't mean that everything was OK though...

By the time Messiah arrived, the problem was not overt idolatry but overt legalism. Jesus never once said: "put away your idols," but in Matthew 22, he does rebuke them for their worthless belief that their ideology of rules (and inconsistent ones at that) would justify them before God.

Idolatry and Legalism
Of course, idolatry and legalism / ideology are both alive and well today even if they are not as obvious as in the above examples. We continue to lust after created things, (materialism / eroticism etc.) And whilst traditional political ideology may be totally discredited in the West, the self-help sections of the internet, bookstore and broadcast media prove that we are just as prone to think that the main thing we need to fix our problems is a legalistically executed three, five or seven point action plan.

The human heart cannot transform itself, it can only find ways covering over its imperfections - trying to make itself look good when deep down it is utterly flawed. We may be able to fool each other some or even all of the time. But he who sits enthroned in Heaven looks incredulously upon it all. We think we look good, but we are about as sophisticated as a dog chasing his own tail.

We need transformation, not reformation. We need the reality of God through Christ by the Spirit, not the image of God through Man (Adam) by the Law.

1 comment:

Adrian said...

Amen! Greetings from Argentina.
With brotherly love,