on Idolatry

“Earthly goods are given to be used, not to be collected. In the wilderness God gave Israel the manna every day, and they had no need to worry about food and drink. Indeed, if they kept any of the manna over until the next day, it went bad. In the same way, the disciple must receive his portion from God every day. If he stores it up as a permanent possession, he spoils not only the gift, but himself as well, for he sets his heart on accumulated wealth, and makes it a barrier between himself and God. Where our treasure is, there is our trust, our security, our consolation and our God. Hoarding is idolatry.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

“I believe a significant segment of American evangelicalism is guilty of nationalistic and political idolatry. To a frightful degree, I think, evangelicals fuse the kingdom of God with a preferred version of the kingdom of the world (whether it’s our national interests, a particular form of government, a particular political program, or so on). Rather than focusing our understanding of God’s kingdom on the person of Jesus—who, incidentally, never allowed himself to get pulled into the political disputes of his day—I believe many of us American evangelicals have allowed our understanding of the kingdom of God to be polluted with political ideals, agendas, and issues.”
― Gregory A. Boyd, The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church

“The first sin was rebellion, idolatry, treason, and pride, all rolled into a single bite. Both Adam and Eve made a conscious choice to rebel against their Creator and live on their own terms. And we imitate their decision every time we choose our desires over God’s.”
― Francis Chan, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples

“The universe shudders in horror that we have this infinitely valuable, infinitely deep, infinitely rich, infinitely wise, infinitely loving God, and instead of pursuing him with steadfast passion and enthralled fury — instead of loving him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; instead of attributing to him glory and honor and praise and power and wisdom and strength — we just try to take his toys and run. It is still idolatry to want God for his benefits but not for himself.”
― Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel

“He who loves father and mother more than me is not worthy of me.’ That’s not really cruel. Loving Christ more than our fathers and mothers simply saves the love we have for our parents from idolatry…. God, as the source of love, is the proper head of every loving household.”
― William Sloane Coffin

“If the heart be chiefly and directly fixed on God, and the soul engaged to glorify him, some degree of religious affection will be the effect and attendant of it. But to seek after affection directly and chiefly; to have the heart principally set upon that; is to place it in the room of God and his glory. If it be sought, that others may take notice of it, and admire us for our spirituality and forwardness in religion, it is then damnable pride; if for the sake of feeling the pleasure of being affected, it is then idolatry and self-gratification.”
― Jonathan Edwards, The Life and Diary of David Brainerd

“When something becomes so important to you that it drives your behavior and commands your emotions, you are worshipping it.”
― J.D. Greear, Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary

“Here’s the point: idolatry is the tree from which our sins and struggles grow.”
― Kyle Idleman, Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart

“When anything in life is an absolute requirement for your happiness and self-worth, it is essentially an ‘idol,’ something you are actually worshipping. When such a thing is threatened, your anger is absolute. Your anger is actually the way the idol keeps you in its service, in its chains. Therefore if you find that, despite all the efforts to forgive, your anger and bitterness cannot subside, you may need to look deeper and ask, ‘What am I defending? What is so important that I cannot live without?’ It may be that, until some inordinate desire is identified and confronted, you will not be able to master your anger.”
― Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters

“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
― Anne Lamott

“One of the dangers of having a lot of money is that you may be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give, and so fail to realize your need for God. If everything seems to come simply by signing checks, you may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God. Now, quite plainly natural gifts carry with them a similar danger. If you have sound nerves and intelligence and health and popularity and a good upbringing, you are likely to be quite satisfied with your character as it is. “Why drag God into it?” you may ask. A certain level of good conduct comes fairly easily to you. You are not one of those wretched creatures who are always being tripped up by sex or dipsomania or nervousness or bad temper. Everyone says you are a nice chap, and between ourselves, you agree with them. You are quite likely to believe that all this niceness is your own doing, and you may easily not feel the need for any better kind of goodness. Often people who have all these natural kinds of goodness cannot be brought to recognize their need for Christ at all until one day, the natural goodness lets them down, and their self-satisfaction is shattered. In other words, it is hard for those who are rich in this sense to enter the kingdom.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

“My point is that when we ask people what they want in church instead of giving them what they were created to long for, we play into the very idolatry that church was created to dismantle.”
― James MacDonald, Vertical Church: What Every Heart Longs for. What Every Church Can Be.

“Every man becomes the image of the God he adores.
He whose worship is directed to a dead thing becomes dead.
He who loves corruption rots.
He who loves a shadow becomes, himself, a shadow.
He who loves things that must perish lives in dread of their perishing.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

“Five obstacles block our access to the benefits God wants for us: Unbelief, which hinders knowing God Pride, which prevents us from glorifying God Idolatry, which keeps us from being satisfied with God Prayerlessness, which blocks our experience of God’s peace Legalism, which stops our enjoyment of God’s presence”
― Beth Moore, Breaking Free

“What are you really living for? It’s crucial to realize that you either glorify God, or you glorify something or someone else. You’re always making something look big. If you don’t glorify God when you’re involved in a conflict, you inevitably show that someone or something else rules your heart.”
― Ken Sande, Resolving Everyday Conflict

“God is most high. To choose God, his light, his way his truth (all Christ), means everything flows from the highest point. To choose something lesser is to compel your life to flow from a lesser rise — a hill, rather than a mountain.”
― Elizabeth Scalia

“If you uproot the idol and fail to plant the love of Christ in its place, the idol will grow back.”
― Tullian Tchividjian, Jesus + Nothing = Everything

“Idolatry is when you become the source of your own joy. Poverty of spirit is a wonderful thing.”
― Paul Washer

“We have lived for too long in a world, and tragically in a Church, where the wills and affections of human beings are regarded as sacrosanct as they stand, where God is required to command what we already love, and to promise what we already desire.”
― N.T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense

“When human beings give their heartfelt allegiance to and worship that which is not God, they progressively cease to reflect the image of God. One of the primary laws of human life is that you become like what you worship; what’s more, you reflect what you worship not only to the object itself but also outward to the world around. Those who worship money increasingly define themselves in terms of it and increasingly treat other people as creditors, debtors, partners, or customers rather than as human beings. Those who worship sex define themselves in terms of it (their preferences, their practices, their past histories) and increasingly treat other people as actual or potential sex objects. Those who worship power define themselves in terms of it and treat other people as either collaborators, competitors, or pawns. These and many other forms of idolatry combine in a thousand ways, all of them damaging to the image-bearing quality of the people concerned and of those whose lives they touch.”
― N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

Advertisements

All comments welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s