Idols of Religion

   Update: In recent weeks (Nov-Dec 2011) Mark Driscoll has gone on record with some explicit claims of continuing revelation. We appreciate Driscoll’s ability to formulate and teach a few aspects of Reformed theology quite well, but we do not in any way agree with the notion that God continues to reveal himself to us apart from His word. Driscoll’s “visions” sound like divinations; we believe this is a dangerous element in his teaching. See THIS POST for more information.

“…In our own day religious people continue in various idolatries when they elevate their denomination, church building, liturgical order, Bible translation, worship music style, pastor, theological system, favorite author, or ministry program to where it is a replacement mediator for Jesus, one in which their faith rests to keep them close to God.  This also explains why any change to the tradition of a religious person is met with such hostility – people tend to cling to their idols, including their church buildings, which are worshiped as sacred, just as the temple was (by the NT religious leaders). 

“Religious idolatry is often the most pernicious of all.  Religious idolatry uses God for health, wealth, success, and the like.  In this grotesque inversion of the gospel, God is used for our glory; not only do we worship ourselves but we try to make God a worshiper of us.  This kind of false gospel preaching is evident whenever Jesus is presented as the means by which idolaters can obtain their idol.  Examples included promises that Jesus will make you rich, happy, healed, joyfully married, parentally successful, and the like, as if Jesus exists to aid our worship of idols.”

Indeed, we are professional idol makers.  I’ve even caught myself making an idol out of my idol making.  Thomas Watson talked about people making an idol out of their repentance.  Calvin said our minds are like factories producing idols (if he would have written in the 20th century he’d talk about our assembly lines of idols). 

This is a good reminder that we’re to flee to the cross, and the cross alone: crux sola est nostra theologia.

Quotes taken from chapter 11 (Worship: God Transforms) of Driscoll and Breshears’ Doctrine.

shane lems

sunnyside wa

2 Replies to “Idols of Religion”

    1. Thankfully Christianity isn’t really a “religion” in the present day sense of the term; thankfully it isn’t an asprin we take to alleviate pain; thankfully Jesus frees his people from guilt and takes them out of evil’s control; thankfully he is slowly restoring his people to a perfect human nature like his own; thankfully he forgives his people when we do make idols.



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