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The Two Sides of Idolatry

I just returned from a great two weeks in India! We had a tremendous time encouraging pastors with some of the DNA of our Living Stones Tribe…The Kingdom of God, Cultural Transformation, a Culture of Honor, and Building with Spiritual Sons and Daughters. It was awesome.

I am continually stunned by the sheer amount of idol worship still occurring in this Hindu nation. One of the religious festivals I read about in the daily newspaper explained how a baby cobra came out of the wall of the temple while the people were worshipping one of the 30 million gods in India. People began tossing flowers and spraying perfume on the cobra as an act of worship. I drove past numerous statues of the monkey god and thought to myself, “These people cannot be serious! This is your god?” In the West, we look upon this behavior as sheer nonsense, wondering how educated and enlightened people could believe in such foolishness.

Yet in the West, we are equally guilty of our own culturally bound forms of idolatry. In his book, Earth Restored, author John Barber writes, “We forget that idolatry can be practiced in two ways: by worshipping too many gods [like Hindus], or by making the one, true God too small.” I think Americans have sinned by the latter form of idolatry. 

Jesus Christ is Lord of All. When we compartmentalize our faith, making false distinctions between the sacred and the secular, or the separation of church and state, we shrink God. We suggest that He is not really in charge of the universe and everything and everyone in it. So whether we put perfume on serpents or we compartmentalize Christ, we are both equally guilty of idolatry.

There is One, True God….and He’s really BIG! Got it?

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