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What is an Idol?

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Stemming from a thread that was recently closed because it got heated, I would like to ask the question, and get opinions as to what constitutes an Idol.

If it gets too heated or personal I am going to have to close it, so please debate the subject.

Here is some scripture pertaining to Idols...

Isa 44:13 The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house.

Isa 44:14 He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it.

Isa 44:15 Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it.

Isa 44:16 Half of it he burns in the fire. Over the half he eats meat; he roasts it and is satisfied. Also he warms himself and says, "Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire!"

Isa 44:17 And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god!"

2Ki 17:14 But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the LORD their God.

2Ki 17:15 They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them that they should not do like them.

2Ki 17:16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal.

In both of the above scriptures the idols were man made, out of wood or metal, and they were worshiped. There is a lot more, this I know, but to get the thread off what I want to know is your opinion on what else is an idol?

Can for instance a person be an idol, a possession, a habit, etc?

No need to quote this entire intro, it will just get too long and tedious....

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In both of the above scriptures the idols were man made, out of wood or metal, and they were worshiped. There is a lot more, this I know, but to get the thread off what I want to know is your opinion on what else is an idol?

Can for instance a person be an idol, a possession, a habit, etc?

Anything can become an idol, especially in a culture like ours where God is limited a one-hour time lot per week. I once organized an evening of prayer at my church and many people said that they wanted to come because they needed it. But, then they checked their calendar and noticed that it would conflict with "American Idol" and they NEVER miss ".American Idol". They begged me to change the night so they could attend.

I thought it was quite ironic that a show called "American Idol" could be so strong in their heart that they would miss an evening of prayer and fellowship with God for it.

So, yes, idols can be anything that we value the way we should value God.

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I would think that an Idol could be anything that you put high importance on in your life. Basically what you would put on a higher level than you would God. Many people's Idol are themselves. That's basically what Satan teaches....... that you are god and you should treat yourself as such.

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Deuteronomy 4

15 “Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire,

16 lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female,

Any religious image in the form of male or female.

Edited by man
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Deuteronomy 4

15 “Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire,

16 lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female,

Any religious image in the form of male or female.

You should have continued with the quote:

16 So do not corrupt yourselves by making an idol in any form—whether of a man or a woman, 17 an animal on the ground, a bird in the sky, 18 a small animal that scurries along the ground, or a fish in the deepest sea. 19 And when you look up into the sky and see the sun, moon, and stars—all the forces of heaven—don’t be seduced into worshiping them.

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Deuteronomy 4

15 “Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire,

16 lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female,

Any religious image in the form of male or female.

You should have continued with the quote:

16 So do not corrupt yourselves by making an idol in any form—whether of a man or a woman, 17 an animal on the ground, a bird in the sky, 18 a small animal that scurries along the ground, or a fish in the deepest sea. 19 And when you look up into the sky and see the sun, moon, and stars—all the forces of heaven—don’t be seduced into worshiping them.

Thank you for posting that.

The point I was trying get across was the "male or female" images. Know anything that fits that description?

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LOL. What doesn't fit that description in our media-driven world? TV, sports teams, celebrities...they are all images to be worshipped by a secular society. Look at advertising. We sell cars, beer, whatever by showing the beautiful people enjoying the product. Most advertisements barely mention the product or why you should buy it. They just project an "image" of the kind of hip and sexy people who use the product. One local air conditioning company never shows an A/C unit in their ads. They only show a sexy blonde striking a pose with an ice cream cone or a wrench. It is all idolatry, or at least training our minds to accept idolatry.

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LOL. What doesn't fit that description in our media-driven world? TV, sports teams, celebrities...they are all images to be worshipped by a secular society. Look at advertising. We sell cars, beer, whatever by showing the beautiful people enjoying the product. Most advertisements barely mention the product or why you should buy it. They just project an "image" of the kind of hip and sexy people who use the product. One local air conditioning company never shows an A/C unit in their ads. They only show a sexy blonde striking a pose with an ice cream cone or a wrench. It is all idolatry, or at least training our minds to accept idolatry.

Those aren't idols in the religious sense. They are distractions that satan uses to draw our attention away from God.

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Is money an idol?

Mat 6:24 "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Then what of Wall Street and the money market, sub prime lending, etc?

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Those aren't idols in the religious sense. They are distractions that satan uses to draw our attention away from God.

That is the purpose of any idol. After all, most Americans don't pray to a statue of Shiva or Buddha. They pray to images of Pittsburgh Steelers and Jimmie Johnson on their TV screen. They wear team colors with pride and they talk smack to people wearing the colors of a different idol. Most Americans aren't spiritual enough to worship an idol in a strictly religious sense, but they still worship idols without even knowing that they are idols. Idolatry is much more common today than it ever was thousands of years ago because we have so many more images to worship.

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