Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
Quantity:
Subtotal
Taxes
Shipping
Total
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

Blog

Blog

Three Common Idols in Churches

Posted on February 5, 2016 at 1:55 PM

Three Common Idols in Churches

By Eric Geiger



 

“God’s people still struggle with taking tools for transformation and making them objects of worship.”

Hezekiah is affirmed in Scripture as doing “what was right in the Lord’s sight” (2 Kings 18:3). The next verse details what Hezekiah did: “He removed the high places, shattered the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake that Moses made, for the Israelites burned incense to it up to that time” (2 Kings 18:4).

Surely people understood a strong, spiritual leader removing the idols (the high places and the Asherah poles) that grabbed the hearts of the people and stole worship from the Lord. They would expect their spiritual leader to insist they stop worshiping other gods. But what Hezekiah did next must have been really unexpected and really controversial. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses made—intentionally. Not by accident. Not “I was carrying it and it fell.” To break bronze takes some effort.

Eliminating pagan idols is one thing, but “that was the snake Moses made!” It was the bronze snake God told Moses to make, the one people looked at to be delivered from their snakebites (Numbers 21).

Hezekiah broke the snake because the people were burning incense to it. They were worshiping a bronze snake. Tools for transformation can become objects of worship. In our sinfulness, we can make an idol of just about anything. In our sinfulness, we tend to make idols of things that are important to us. Thus, a bronze snake that God used to bring healing, held by the leader of God’s people during their liberation from slavery, became an object of worship.

Today is not altogether different. God’s people still struggle with taking tools for transformation and making them objects of worship. Here are three common idols in churches:

1. The Place

Because the Lord does a great work in the hearts of His people when they gather, the places of gathering can move from a tool for transformation to an object of worship. Thus, if a leader mentions “relocation,” the leader is essentially threatening to cut a bronze snake into pieces. We must remind people that the building is not the church, that His people are the church. God does not live in the place where we gather; He lives in the hearts of His people.

2. The Past

Because the Lord worked in amazing ways in the past, the past can become an idol where people long for the past more than they long for the Lord. Being grateful for the past is one thing, and worshiping it is quite another. If “former days” were great, they were only great because of the Lord.

3. The Programs

Because God changed lives through a program or event, people can elevate a program to an unhealthy place. Programs can become ends in themselves and not tools used in a church’s discipleship process. When this happens, they exist as modern-day bronze snakes.

How can leaders be like Hezekiah? How can modern-day bronze snakes be removed?

Leaders must constantly point people to the person of Jesus. Only He is worthy of our worship and only He can transform hearts. When we help people see the greatness of Jesus, idols look less attractive. As we turn our eyes on Jesus and look full in His wonderful face, the things of this world (place, past and programs included) grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

Leaders must also continually remind people of the purpose of the church. (Yes, I know it is another “p,” but it fits.) A church exists to make disciples. When a church embraces the mission of making disciples, programs are viewed as tools and not as ends in themselves. When making disciples is what a church is all about, the place is rightly seen as merely a place to help make disciples.

Though the Lord instructed the snake to be made, the Lord affirmed its destruction. And of Hezekiah, the Scripture says:

Hezekiah trusted in the Lord God of Israel; not one of the kings of Judah was like him, either before him or after him (2 Kings 18:5).

 

 

Categories: Food for Thought

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

2041 Comments

Reply balenciaga speed trainer
8:25 AM on October 2, 2020 
After research just a few of the weblog posts on your web site now, and I truly like your approach of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site list and shall be checking again soon. Pls try my web page as nicely and let me know what you think.
balenciaga speed trainer http://www.balenciaga.us.com
Reply jordan 13
7:59 PM on October 2, 2020 
very good publish, i definitely love this website, keep on it
jordan 13 http://www.jordan13.us.com
Reply off white jordan 1
8:08 AM on October 5, 2020 
Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So nice to find any person with some unique thoughts on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this website is one thing that is wanted on the net, somebody with a little bit originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the web!
off white jordan 1 http://www.offwhitexjordan1.com
Reply lebron shoes
3:43 PM on October 6, 2020 
That is the right weblog for anyone who wants to seek out out about this topic. You notice so much its almost arduous to argue with you (not that I actually would need?HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, simply nice!
lebron shoes http://www.lebronjames-shoes.us.com
Reply balenciaga sneakers
10:24 PM on October 6, 2020 
There are actually loads of details like that to take into consideration. That could be a nice point to bring up. I provide the ideas above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where crucial factor shall be working in trustworthy good faith. I don?t know if finest practices have emerged around things like that, however I'm sure that your job is clearly recognized as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impression of just a second?s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.
balenciaga sneakers http://www.balenciaga.us.com
Reply kyrie 6
3:39 PM on October 8, 2020 
I?d should test with you here. Which isn't one thing I often do! I take pleasure in reading a submit that will make folks think. Also, thanks for permitting me to remark!
kyrie 6 http://www.kyrie-6.com
Reply yeezy 700
10:40 PM on October 8, 2020 
I?m impressed, I must say. Actually rarely do I encounter a blog that?s both educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you may have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is outstanding; the difficulty is something that not enough individuals are speaking intelligently about. I am very joyful that I stumbled across this in my search for something regarding this.
yeezy 700 http://www.yeezy700.us.com
Reply jordan shoes
12:35 AM on October 11, 2020 
Would you be enthusiastic about exchanging links?
jordan shoes http://www.jordan11retro.us.com
Reply adidas yeezy
3:24 PM on October 12, 2020 
It�s exhausting to search out knowledgeable people on this topic, however you sound like you know what you�re talking about! Thanks
adidas yeezy http://www.adidasyeezys.us.com
Reply lebron 17
9:49 PM on October 12, 2020 
Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thank you However I am experiencing concern with ur rss . Don�t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting an identical rss drawback? Anyone who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx
lebron 17 http://www.lebron17s.us
Reply bape clothing
11:32 AM on October 14, 2020 
I�m impressed, I have to say. Actually hardly ever do I encounter a weblog that�s both educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you've gotten hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent; the problem is one thing that not sufficient persons are speaking intelligently about. I'm very completely happy that I stumbled across this in my seek for one thing regarding this.
bape clothing http://www.bape-clothing.us
Reply supreme clothing
7:41 PM on October 14, 2020 
Howdy! I just wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the good info you have got right here on this post. I might be coming back to your weblog for extra soon.
supreme clothing http://www.supreme-newyork.us.com
Reply jordan shoes
6:59 AM on October 16, 2020 
This web page can be a walk-by for all of the information you wanted about this and didn�t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and also you�ll definitely uncover it.
jordan shoes http://www.jordan12.us.com
Reply chrome hearts online
6:59 AM on October 18, 2020 
I would like to express my love for your generosity for those individuals that should have help with the question. Your very own commitment to passing the message up and down was quite significant and has all the time permitted others like me to get to their desired goals. Your own interesting guidelines signifies a lot to me and far more to my mates. With thanks; from everyone of us.
chrome hearts online http://www.chromehearts.com.co
Reply lebron shoes
5:56 AM on October 19, 2020 
I intended to send you a very little word so as to say thank you once again on the lovely advice you have contributed on this website. It was certainly surprisingly generous of people like you to offer without restraint what exactly a few individuals could possibly have advertised for an ebook to earn some profit on their own, chiefly given that you could have done it if you considered necessary. The tricks additionally served like the fantastic way to understand that some people have similar dream much like mine to realize lots more pertaining to this problem. I know there are numerous more enjoyable times in the future for people who look over your site.
lebron shoes http://www.lebronjamesshoes.name
Reply kd 10
5:56 AM on October 19, 2020 
I have to express thanks to you for rescuing me from such a matter. After exploring through the the web and getting ways which are not beneficial, I figured my entire life was well over. Existing minus the strategies to the difficulties you've resolved by way of your post is a crucial case, as well as ones which might have in a negative way affected my entire career if I had not encountered your website. Your personal skills and kindness in controlling almost everything was priceless. I'm not sure what I would've done if I had not come upon such a solution like this. I can also at this moment relish my future. Thank you very much for this specialized and sensible help. I will not hesitate to propose the blog to any individual who needs to have direction on this area.
kd 10 http://www.kd10.us
Reply yeezy 380
5:56 AM on October 19, 2020 
I as well as my friends were found to be digesting the good secrets from your site and suddenly developed an awful feeling I had not expressed respect to the web site owner for those tips. All of the boys had been so warmed to read through them and have in effect in actuality been loving them. I appreciate you for indeed being considerably considerate and then for going for this kind of very good topics most people are really desirous to know about. My personal honest apologies for not saying thanks to you earlier.
yeezy 380 http://www.yeezyboost380.us
Reply supreme clothing
5:56 AM on October 19, 2020 
I together with my guys appeared to be reading through the nice tricks on the blog and all of a sudden I got a horrible suspicion I never thanked the web blog owner for those tips. Most of the boys came totally excited to study all of them and now have really been tapping into those things. Many thanks for turning out to be simply kind and for considering varieties of great subjects most people are really eager to be informed on. My honest regret for not expressing gratitude to you sooner.
supreme clothing http://www.supremehoodies.us
Reply curry shoes
5:56 AM on October 19, 2020 
I happen to be writing to make you be aware of what a exceptional experience my cousin's princess developed going through your web page. She realized many pieces, with the inclusion of what it's like to have a very effective giving heart to get a number of people completely understand several multifaceted matters. You actually exceeded readers' expected results. I appreciate you for rendering those invaluable, healthy, explanatory and unique guidance on the topic to Mary.
curry shoes http://www.stephcurry.us
Reply yeezy
5:56 AM on October 19, 2020 
My spouse and i have been quite cheerful that John could conclude his analysis from the ideas he was given out of your web site. It's not at all simplistic to just always be releasing information and facts that some people may have been trying to sell. And we also remember we've got you to be grateful to for that. The most important illustrations you have made, the simple site menu, the friendships you make it easier to create - it's got all excellent, and it's making our son and our family know that the matter is awesome, which is incredibly essential. Thank you for everything!
yeezy http://www.yeezys700.com