1 Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments; Genesis 35:1-3 (NASB) (Read verse 3 on the site.)
idolatry 1: the worship of a physical object as a god 2: immoderate attachment or devotion to something (from Webster’s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary)
I’m sure that most Christians’ conception of idolatry is one in which people fall down and worship some statue or image or a facsimile of something that appears to resemble a god. While that is an example of idolatry there is a more subtle form of idolatry that all people are neck deep in outside of the grace of God. …
If we look closely at the dictionary definition above, we will see that the first definition is our conception while the second is the reality of which we must all agree that we are guilty. The last word in that definition could easily be changed from “something” to “someone.” Then all we have to do is look in a mirror to see who that someone is. We are all guilty of idolatry to some level.
All in Christ have been forgiven and are guiltless before God because at the moment of salvation He declared them Righteous. He imputed Christ’s righteousness to them. Christ’s blood covers their guilt. When the Father looks at His children he sees His son’s blood instead of their guilt. Christ is the Passover Lamb whose blood on their doorpost causes the Angel of Death to “Pass over” them.
Another form of idolatry that Christians seem to fall for all the time is to “idolize” their Christian leaders. They place their pastors or favorite evangelist or Bible teacher on a pedestal they by no means deserve. They see them as a quasi-Saviour or one that at least hears directly from God face-to-face in their tent of meeting as Moses did. God most definitely gifts some of His people to be leaders, pastors, preachers, and teachers. However, they are just people like everyone else. We must not become guilty of idolatry by seeking to place these people between us and God as if they are Saints that must intercede for us because our guilt (in our own minds) is too great for us to come to the throne of grace. This is idolatry.