Thoughts on idols (icons that might need to be smashed just to show that God is all in all)

29 Sep

I John 5:21, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.  Amen.”

This is from a note I wrote to a friend today (Disclaimer:  I promised, when I started Iconobaptist, that I would never smash someone else’s icon/idol, and I abide by that promise.  If this post makes you think about smashing one of your own, well, that is between God and you!):

The older I get, the more I am fixated by watching people’s faces.  And the more I become aware of how fragile we all are, even in Christ, and how little it takes to hurt someone else and how hard it is to look at someone’s face when someone has just hurt that person.

I find myself pulled in two directions.  There is the need to speak truth about theology.  A lot of theology is mushy or downright scary.

But people identify themselves with their theology and therein lies a problem.  If somebody has spent years clinging to something and defending it, they may find it feels like part of their identity.  And if we oppose it, they may feel their very essence is being opposed.

That is in their perception, but it is there.

You may see where I am getting to with this.

I am seeing, wherever I go, that Christians are very similar in defending the extrabiblical traditions of their particular branch of Christianity, no matter where they worship.

We all have found idols that need to be replaced by God’s good grace in our lives.

In fact, since there is no perfect denomination or church, I would dare say that every single Christian on this planet has some man-made doctrine they are defending as though it is in the Holy Scriptures.

One blogger I read said that, if we can’t identify such a doctrine in our lives, it is only because we have not formally written down our denominational infrastructure in order to objectively examine it.

Try changing the offering at a Baptist church.  Make it an ATM at the exits where people can transfer funds to the church rather than throwing an envelope into a plate.

I’ll bet that would get a howl of outrage.  Why? Did God tell us in the Bible we have to pass an offering plate?

In fact, I love the offering plate, but I acknowledge it is a man-made tradition.

That is why we need to write Iconobaptist.  Too many good people have not thought through their cherished icons.  And thus they become idols.  For all of us.

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