Idolatry and Idols
idolatry is any worship given to images or likenesses

Exodus 20:3-6 states-
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thy self to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

Idolatry can be seen and heard when someone says things like:
"To me, God is..."
"In my opinion, God is like this..."
"My god doesn't judge people..."
"My god doesn't judge people by the 10 commandments..."
"My god told me to kill... (or rape, commit adultery, steal, cuss, fornicate, etc)"
"God is actually the human heart..."
"Humans are their own gods."
"I don't believe in the God of the Bible..."
"There is more than one way to God..."
"My god is a god of love and would never create Hell..."
"My god is evolution..."
"My god is Satan or Lucifer..."
"I don't believe in God..."
"My god is a liberal..."

As people make the above statements, they break the first and second commandments by dreaming up their own versions of God to suit themselves. They commit idolatry.

Putting something before God in Christianity means that you have given more time to an activity more than you have given to God.

An idol is an image representing any symbol or object of devotion. It is the love or adoration of an idol and generally involves some form of ceremony/ritual. The term is derived from the Greek eidolon and Latin idolun meaning "image, likeness". Idolatrous practices include, but are not limited to; ceremonial prostitution, child sacrifice, drunkeness, and self-laceration. Deities are portrayed as being greedy, gluttoness, intoxicated, and vindictive. They had furious tempers and hated one another.
- above paragraph from

Nine Things Not To Worship
Deuteronomy 4:15-19, 23 states-
"Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire; Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heavens, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven... Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee."
· Graven image of male/female likeness
· Graven image of beast likeness
· Graven image of fowl likeness
· Graven image of creeping things on the ground
· Graven images of fish likeness
· sun, moon, stars
· Hosts of heaven (heavenly bodies)

2 Kings 17:16-18 states
"And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger. Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only."

God will not tolerate the mixing of idolatrous practices and true worship.
So are crosses, Christian fish, nativity scenes, angels, images of Jesus, and the star of David idols? Well let me ask this, “Do you bow down to them in reverence and worship? OR. Do you simply have them around because you like them?”

If you aren’t bowing to those things then it isn’t idolatry. Think of the Christian fish that was used through history by Christians as well as the cross, not to mention the star of David. What about the angels that were on the ark of the covenant? Were those images worshipped? No, they weren’t.

A dove rested upon Jesus after the baptism but we do not worship the dove though we are always reminded of God’s Spirit when we see a dove. Throughout the Bible, people built mounds to commemorate visitations from God. Those places were adored and remembered but never worshipped.

The items mentioned are not idolatry unless you worship them. Don’t look at the items as protective devices or anything. Just as items you enjoy and like to have for remembrance. Nothing more. So, get over yourself.

Items and images that are from false religions, however, are idols. Images whether Christian or not that are used in false religions should be viewed as idolatry.

Other forms of idolatry include:
--Doing things for the flesh when you should be doing something for God.
--Sin / Disobedience to God.
--Mixing Greek philosophy with Christianity.
--Mixing mythology with Christianity.
--Mixing false religions with Christianity.
--Worship of nature, people, angels, or demons.
--All religions except for Judaism and Christianity.
--Praying to anyone other than God and Christ.
--Occult, witchcraft, sorcery, spiritism, channeling, horoscopes, astrology, and fortune-telling.
--Becoming too materialistic.
--Trying to keep up with the Jones' buying the biggest and best all the tiem to impress.
--Greed and the love of money.

I’ll go as far as to say that watching too much television or playing around too much on video games is idolatry. How much times do you sacrifice to things other than God and for His work? Think about it.


Truly, then, God overlooking the times of ignorance, now He strictly commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world in righteousness by a Man whom He appointed, having given proof to all by raising Him from the dead. Acts 17:30-31

--Jeremy Brown 2003-2004--

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