Saturday, November 30, 2013


Why have people from the beginning of time created idols for themselves? Does it really make sense to create something out of wood, stone or metal and then turn to worship it!

Some of the reasons are simple:

To control the simple minded.
Religious and political leaders want to control people. An idol is a graphic, visible, tangible object on which followers can focus on.

Religious leaders have constructed statues or point to natural landmarks as objects to worship! "Let's see what the volcano says!" "Look the statue is bleeding!" That piece of toast looks like a religious figure!" Of course, only the "highly trained, spiritually experienced leader" can tell us what these signs mean.

Politicians create their own idols! We have organizations controlled by a few "choice members" of a political party. We have procedures and demands of "the common people" which are so difficult to understand, question or resist, that most are forced to throw up their hands in surrender.

To control God!
An idol which we have created with our own hands has no mind or will of its own and therefore cannot command us, give us wisdom or even communicate with us at all!

But it can be molded into whatever image I may desire. The "will" of an idol which I create coincides with my will! If I want to have many wives, I can create a ""god" which advocates polygamy. If I want to embrace all religions, I can create an amorphous god who will comply with my wishes.

There may be a small amount of liturgy or ritual if I am so inclined. If I desire greater outward, rigorous discipline of mind, soul or body, I may opt to create a "god" who demands such rigors. If I want to sit on the beach sipping a cool drink, I can choose to create a "god" of pleasure.

There is a smorgasbord of gods out there for the taking. What suits my pleasure - or perhaps what suits me today or at this particular moment? If I am tired of my "god," I can simply move on, choose another or create another!

That is one reason the beliefs that "all religions are valid and equal" or that "there are many roads to God" are invalid. It is difficult to worship, or even respect, a God who advocates or demands so many conflicting beliefs! If he so capricious that he demands opposite actions based on his present audience, i.e. pleasure/discipline, it would be completely impossible to appease him or obey his commands. If a god reveals conflicting characteristics about himself based on geographical location, it should be obvious that the same "god" is not in both locations!

It becomes obvious that one of the main reasons we reject our creator is that He is the opposite of an idol! He does have a will apart from our own.

In the book of Exodus, He revealed Himself as "I AM," indicating some important facts about Himself:

1. He exists apart from man!
God is the Creator - not man! He did not need man to form, chisel or mold Him. All things have come into existence through His design and the work of His hands - not ours!

2. He has a mind of His own!
We fall into the trap of believing that God must explain Himself to us or be comprehendible to our finite minds! He is not under our authority, nor is He required to give account of Himself or make Himself palatable to the senses of mortal man! He has His own wisdom and keeps His own counsel and and does not have to explain His reasons to any man or men!

His mind and His ways are infinitely above the ways of man!

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

3. When He reveals Himself, it will transcend our imaginations
Idols by definition are created from our own imaginations - God is not!

He will contradict any preconceived ideas we may have of Him! We may indulge in any amount of endless speculation about what God might say but it would fall far short from the ways and thoughts of the genuine living God!

We all might presume to speak for God from time to time. Like a ventriloquist, we can "project" His voice into a "dummy."Some are so proficient that the dummy almost seems alive. So it is with idols! A talented artist might be able to create an idol that almost looks alive. The "spokesman" or "prophet" of the idol might be convincing enough to make us believe that the idol is speaking through him. But alas, he can only speak words which originate in his own imagination!

Have we "molded" God into our own design or image? Or do we seek the true God who may, and probably will, contradict our misconceptions, upend our theology and realign our priorities?

If we genuinely seek Him, we will discover a reality and truth far above all that we imagined! But we must also heed this disclaimer:

Warning! He will not be controlled by us or speak only what we want to hear!

BUT... what He does speak will be far greater that anything we could ever imagine!

If you agree, disagree or would like to add an insight or comment…

1 comment:

  1. Amen! God is God and Man is Man. Good words.