The Inward Dimention Of Idolatry…

…  it can be as hidden as covetousness.

Colossians3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

My contention would be that of the commandments God gave to Moses, the 10th is the most inward.  It is possible to be sold down the river of covetousness and have no one know the true condition of your heart.   Paul declares that this very inward sin is in fact idolatry.  

It is the inwardness of idolatry that is damning.  It is a sin we are so prone to Calvin said, “Every one of us is, even from his mother’s womb, a master craftsman of idols.” 

We can slip into idolatry with ease.  I think it can be seen best when we subtly personify an object.  Since the statue on your wall has eyes it is very easy to feel that Saint Joseph is watching over you, keeping you from sin.  Our feelings be damned, the bible says the Joseph statue has eyes, but he does not see, it has ears but he does not hear. 

Think on that as we move forward in our discussion…

al sends


3 responses to “The Inward Dimention Of Idolatry…

  1. But what if the statue is a symbol which conveys the fact that St. Joseph is watching you?

    (Aside from the questions of whether he is. Make it a statue of Christ and you get the point.)

    Or to see that another way, if a husband had a picture of his wife on his desk, wouldn’t he want to put it down if he was going to surf porno? Better not have her see him doing that. That personification of signs of someone seems to be a natural reaction to the fact that it is a sign.

  2. Matt, when we begin to look at the statue and believe that its eyes are Joseph’s eyes we sin. When we talk to the statue and whisper our prayers into its ears we sin. When we ask of Joseph what God almighty only provides we sin.

    If you ask a Hindu if the statue they bow down to is the presence of Shiva they would point to a reality beyond the statue. Every idolater does.

    al sends

  3. Pr. Al,

    Let’s try to keep discussions of prayers to the saints and icons separate. We could decide (as most Protestants do) that both are wrong; we could decide in favor of icons, but against prayers to the saints (thus only Christ icons); against icons, but for prayers to the saints; and (as Orthodox and Catholics do) for both.

    So, let’s make it not a statue of St. Joseph, but a Rio style statue of Christ victorious.

    The way I get at what would be proper in the presence of a Christ icon.

    Consider the treatment of Mark That Hideous Strength. When wither and the others brought him a crucifix and told him to stomp on it, could he have legitimately said “it’s just wood, I’ll stomp on it.”? If someone brought you a picture of your daughter, or an American flag for that matter, and told you to stomp on it, could you say “it’s just paper, I’ll stomp on it.”?

    Why not?

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