As we established in our last post on the subject, idolatry takes place when we make a good thing an ultimate thing. Essentially an idol is anything that we consistently make equal to or more important than God in our attention, desire, devotion, and choices.
Idolatry is sneaky business. More often than not, the person ensnared by idolatry is oblivious to the fact. They still go to church, they still believe in the God of the Bible, they still affirm the gospel. They do not repudiate the Trinity, rather they add to it.
Take money for instance. A Christian who has made an idol out of money will not deny God. In fact, he will even claim that God gave him such prosperity. When the stock market surges, he’s whistling a happy tune, but when it dives he becomes angry, irritable, and depressed. In his despair, he decides that the way to recapture such zeal for life is to find ways to make more money. He may cheat on his taxes, pull a questionable business maneuver, or ignore his family by pouring himself into work. All of this is driven by the belief that money will give him that allusive joy. His hope is not in heaven, but on the earth. While he may still hold to Christian beliefs, his soul is in danger.
Jesus explains why:
Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."
The danger of idolatry is that it leads you to turn your back on God. What does God think of such actions? In the next post we will find out.