Idols of the heart, church, & Christians

Idolatry isn’t just an ancient thing. It’s all around us today. Modern idols are hard to detect. Most go unnoticed.

Anytime I choose my will instead of God’s, I’m making a idol. When beliefs about God, become a substitute for God’s presence, that’s idolatry.

When people get hostile and call other people evil, it usually means that their idols feel threatened. However, it’s hard to see people as a threat if you let your heart connect with them.

Idols are often good things that override the ultimate thing in life–God’s love! They are sneaky. They can secretly set up in your heart and control you. Anything that causes God’s love for people, to leave your heart, is an idol. The more we surrender to the risen Jesus, the more we love everybody.

Modern Christianity has embraced and supported many substitutes for the risen Jesus. When you close your heart to people who disagree with you, you deny the love of Jesus. Idols in a stony heart distort Christian spirituality more than idols made of stone.

Anything that blocks your view of the living Jesus, is an idol. Open our eyes, Jesus, so we can continually see Your presence and reality.

We are made in God’s image. To try to make Him in our image is idolatry.

Pride uses idols to prop itself up. Humility surrenders to God for help and strength. Pride is the worst idol because it enthrones self as the ultimate ruler.

It’s hard to think outside society’s cultural, entertainment, and political idols. Political power, too often, becomes a substitute for God’s kingdom and power.

When any human leader is seen as a godlike figure, a nation is in trouble. To maintain democracy, we need to avoid making an idol out of any politician.

Jesus introduced the kingdom of God. Let no human government replace it in your heart. Our idols (religious and nonreligious) are poor substitutes for the living Jesus.

Following a church system and following the living Jesus, are not the same thing. Church lectures people. Early Christianity cultivated an environment where the living Jesus changed people from within. Titles, religious lectures, and rituals are poor substitutes for the risen Jesus. The slightest encounter with the living Jesus is more powerful than the best sermon.

People don’t need weekly lectures about their best friend. Jesus is my best friend. It’s liberating and exhilarating to connect with the living Jesus un-institutionally.

I’m continually astonished by the living Jesus. When I look at how Jesus died, I’m cross-examined and deeply humbled by His love for me.

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @ http://amzn.to/2nCr5dP
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