Monday, June 30, 2008

Temptation to Idolatry

1 Cor. 10:6-13 (ESV)
Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. [7] Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play." [8] We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. [9] We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, [10] nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. [11] Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. [12] Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. [13] No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

To a certain extent this passage boggles my mind. I can’t imagine how the early church grew while competing with the idol worship that surrounded it. Reading this I completely understand why the Jews fell to the temptation of idol worship so often. What red blooded young man with a pulse isn’t at some level intrigued or tempted by the prospect of an orgy? Maybe when you get older you are less intrigued, I don’t know. I’m still quite young. But that was worship! I don’t know that it is all that far divorced from our society today either. Seems the church will do anything to attract people, and often times they don’t seem to discerning in what to teach them when they get there. Churches are now challenging couples to sex marathons as a gimmick to get them to come to Church. It isn’t that I think sex is bad. I think it has its place. Paul himself never shied away from talking about it, the bible is down right crude in speaking about it by today’s self-righteous standards. I just think that a sermon series telling couples how and when to do it, and challenging them to a month straight of sex every night, (By the way, this is something that would be absolutely impossible by Old Testament standards, which gives the woman at least one week off a month.) seems to be confusing Christianity and culture a bit too much.
I think too many congregations have chosen the “if you can’t beat them, join them” philosophy towards culture. We are no longer very discerning about what we do in church or why we do it. We are coming into the presence of God in worship. It is holy ground. God is coming to us there forgiving our sins, and sanctifying us. We should not be testing him. He, not us, should be the focus of the service. We should be a little bit more worried about worshiping God as He sees fit, than worshiping Him as we see fit. That is the point of idolatry, a deaf and dumb statue can't tell you what is fitting in its presence. In essence, idolatry is worship of the self, worship that begins and ends with what you yourself want, or think you need. If what we see fit is our only concern, we are only a couple years away with collecting offering at the stripper poles replacing the pulpit. So let’s not mimic culture with our worship, lest we fall into sexual immorality. And let’s not grumble if our worship is a little more subdued than the orgiastic festival down the street. Rather let’s rejoice that God has come to us all with the forgiveness of sins, strengthening us to face yet another week of temptation.


Es ist das Heil said...

Das ist gut!! Ja!!

"Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God ACCEPTABLE worship, with REVERENCE and AWE, for our God is a consuming fire!!"
Heb. 12:28-29 ESV

Bror Erickson said...

Es ist das heil. Du hast recht.

Es ist das Heil said...

Danke Pastor!
Du hast ein Blogsite gute!(I hope I said that right!).
By the way, how's the fishing? We don't have any good fishing holes here in So. Cal. any more and I haven't been able to get to the Flaming Gorge in about 10 years!

Bror Erickson said...

Fishing, everyonce and a while a soul bites, or gets snagged.
Tell you the truth I haven't been out much yet. My son comes up for four weeks on saturday, then I'll be fishing. But right now I have to get ahead of my work schedule.