Friday, October 09, 2009

American Idol Worship

For many of us when we think of the biblical concept of idol worship, we think of golden calves and false gods. But for those of us in 2009 America, idol worship is very much real and alive. In the midst of an examination of the Ten Commandments, well-known Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll was recently interviewed on ABC's Nightline concerning the topic of idols. He pointed out how our modern-day gods of sex, money, image may be just as destructive, if not more so, than those of antiquity.

Driscoll defines an idol as follows:
"An idol is someone or something that occupies the place of God in your life," he said. "[It] gives you identity, meaning, value, purpose, love, significance, security. When the Bible uses the word 'idol', that's what it's getting at."
Simply put, an idol is anything which replaces God as the rightful center of our lives. We can look to idols such as movie stars, athletes, singers or politicians. Or our idols may be materialism, physical gratification, our work or even leisure. It could be anything where we say, "God, this is more important than you and I will give my time, thoughts, money and my heart to it in a way that not even you can compete."

Our hearts can easily stray and living within such a self-centered, consumerist culture such as ours does not help much. We are constantly bombarded with messages about what we deserve, what we owe ourselves and the luxuries that cannot be done without. If we are not careful, our affections wander and we end up investing our lives in selfish pursuits that will ultimately not matter when the final accounting of our lives takes place.

Pastor Driscoll's interview on Nightline can be viewed below. Please click here if the video player doesn't show up.

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