"Little children, keep yourself from idols."
This last verse of the book of 1 John was the subject of this morning's sermon. Perhaps it may seem like a strange text for advent, but the conclusion to my pastor's series on 1 John was tied in beautifully to the message of "Angels from the Realms of Glory" -- "Come and worship Christ, the newborn King."
I found myself incredibly convicted this morning, especially by the definition given for idolatry. To paraphrase what was said this morning, idolatry happens when the absence of anything makes me doubt God's goodness. In other words -- if I am sick, and that makes me doubt God's goodness, my health has become an idol. If I require anything beyond salvation to believe God, I have become guilty of idolatry.
Another, perhaps more subtle example of idolatry was pointed out in my philosophy class just last week. Can't philosophical systems become idols as well? My philosophy professor raised this question, reminding us students that philosophers, by nature, claim to have the answer to the way the world works. Whether it be Descartes or Kierkegaard, empiricism or rationalism, a philosophical system explains everything... even God's actions. It's very easy for that philosophical system to start not just describing how God acts, but defining it. In essence, we can easily elevate a system as an authority over God, creating an idol of our own intellect.
So -- the question I've been pondering all afternoon: Who am I worshiping?
With love from an absolute doll,
P.S. -- Listen to Pastor Worley's sermon, entitled "Idols," here: http://www.gracechurchofdupage.org/online_sermons.html