Thinking Out Loud: That Sneaky Idolatry

“You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when God hates all the same people you do.”

I heard this quote a while back and it reminded me that idolatry is sneaky.  I remember thinking to myself, “I hope I don’t do this.”  Upon further reflection and a severe beating with the humility stick I realized that I do! 

Seriously.

I thought of all the people that I was annoyed with, and sure enough they were the same people that seemed to annoy God.

If we are not careful, the God whom we worship becomes a simplistic representation of who we want to be.  In doing this, we create idols.  We create things that we worship.  It is far easier to be a disciple of our own ideals than of a living God of the Bible who demands a radical faithfulness.

We create a golden calf.

It may sound a little too “Sunday Schooly’ to answer in this way…  but we need Jesus.

Never trust a theology that doesn’t acknowledge human brokenness and a need for Jesus.  Or I would venture a guess and say that it will most likely mirror it’s own baggage, or that of it’s community.  This is the very same reason why communities and faith traditions need to acknowledge past baggage.  Otherwise theological praxis becomes founded on that baggage.

I am reminded of the book on the AA 12 steps and spirituality I am reading.  The first step, acknowledging powerlessness, assumes that we are indeed a broken humanity held powerless to our and our baggage.  It is important to acknowledge this as we seek to practice our faith.  Sometimes we forget.

As we do our theology, or practice our faith may we be reminded that our relationships with others and with God is predicated on a humility that allows the presence of Jesus to radiate in all we do.

Just thinking out loud!

Do you see baggage impact theological praxis in your context?  What are the idols of your community? 

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4 comments

  1. Robert Martin · April 4, 2013

    Never trust a theology that doesn’t acknowledge human brokenness and a need for Jesus

    This is some of my problem with certain theological streams that seem to discount human capacity for evil deeds and sinful ways. “We’re all good people, really. We just need to get along.” It should be more, “We’re all messed up and broken people to the point that, sometimes, we don’t realize that we are even broken.” And I consider myself one of those self-delusional people as, daily it seems, I find new ways in which I’m broken.

    Thanks, Chris, for this excellent reminder.

    • Chris Lenshyn · April 4, 2013

      Indeed sir!

      I agree. I get worried when our theologies don’t acknowledge our brokenness… Yikes. Myself included!

  2. Karl Langelotz · April 4, 2013

    Thanks Chris. I often delete your blog emails, because I feel “too busy” to read it right at this moment. When I do choose to click, I find myself blessed and suitably chastised. Thanks for the simple yet profound reminder that we can too easily create our own gods to suit our selfishness.

    • Chris Lenshyn · April 4, 2013

      Heh, thanks for the encouragement Karl. Idolatry is certainly something that smacked me in the face a while back…

      I hope those email’s aren’t getting too annoying. 😉

      Peace and all good!

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