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Christmas and Easter for starters. They aren't really modern but ancient. How people celebrate them today is "modern", but the Father us warned about participating in them thousands of years ago. Jeremiah 10:2-4 "Here is what Yehovah says: 'Don’t learn the way of the Goyim (nations)... for the customs of the peoples are nothing. They cut down a tree in the forest; a craftsman works it with his axe; they deck it with silver and gold. They fix it with hammer and nails, so that it won’t move.'" Jeremiah 7:18-19 "The children gather the wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and, just to provoke me, they pour out drink offerings to other gods! Are they really provoking me,” asks Yehovah, “or are they provoking themselves, to their own ruin?" If we keep these festivals, but say they are for God, then we are no different than those who worshiped the golden calf and proclaimed “Tomorrow is to be a feast for Yehovah.” Exodus 32:5
I happened to view the recent MTV Awards show that televised from Brooklyn NY. My mouth hung open and my stomach wrenched. It's not just a generational thing. I'm a musician and can appreciate talent. Actually, I thought Lady Gaga was tame compared to Miley. FROM: First Corinthians-- "Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? L Are we stronger than he?"
One modern form of particularly abominable idolatry can be found in dictatorships, especially in Third World countries. This form involves idolizing a dictator either out of fear or for the sake of gaining favours. The dictator can be described as a special person, higher than ordinary citizens, or sent by God or in some extreme cases an angel. There are cases where a dictator has been described as "better than Jesus Christ", all for the sake of hoping to land a ministerial post in government! The worst part is that the dictator does not publicly dispute the blasphemy or chastise the people indulging in it. By their silence they seem to enjoy and encourage it.
Idolatry is believing in anything else but Jesus work on the cross can save us. It is Jesus plus something else. What ever that else is can not save us. Keeping Gods laws can not save us. Galatians 2:21. Doing good works can not save us. Nothing we do can save us. Jesus alone by faith alone is salvation by grace. We can add nothing to what He has done. Romans 11:6 You can not add works to grace. Oil and water. We can only be saved by what He did, not by anything else. To believe anything else can save us is idolatry. It is either Jesus or nothing. It is either a free gift, or it is not salvation by grace. Romans 4:5
"Modern" idolatry is just the same as the idolatry of other time periods--as it is written: "History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new". (Ecc 1:9 NLT). Many people today think our "modern" age is a lot different than past times, because of the inventions that have given us a different lifestyle. But mankind is the same as always. Idolatry is very simple: if you worship anything other than the true and living God, that is idolatry. Particularly if you worship some physical thing, which is known as an "idol". Around the world, people still worship statues, pictures, animals, the sun and moon, and gods by various names. People have little statues of Buddha. People bow down and worship Mary and the "saints". People in tribes around the world today, offer sacrifices to spirits. People go into religious buildings of various religions and worship gods of various names, who are not the true and living Almighty God that revealed Himself to mankind through prophets, His Son Jesus, and the apostles--whose writings have been collected and are known as the Bible. Some "modern" people outright worship Satan and demons. In the west, there is a resurgence of interest in religions like those of the native American Indians who worshipped spirits associated with animals and nature. Interest in Buddhism and Hinduism, Taoism abound. The "New Age" practices are just Hinduism with a modern slant. Hinduism has many gods who are worshipped. All this is idolatry. Now the Bible shows us one more aspect of the human heart that God defines as "idolatry": "For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God". (Eph 5:5 NKJ) God defines coveting material things as idolatry. So, in God's eyes, it is not just a matter of bowing down before a picture or statue, or sacrificing things to various gods. If there is something in your heart that you desire more than God--that is also idolatry. And that is not a "modern" problem. It's been around all the way back, as you can see from this verse. So: "modern" idolatry is just the same as "ancient" idolatry.
Anything that the Holy Spirit does not provide in support of our Spiritual Nature. Think about it. You'll be up all night, all day tomorrow if you can stay awake, completing a list. Did I say "completing?" Yikes. No way I could complete the list. Anything that puts self-satisfaction before God, before our service for Him in the Name above all names, Jesus, is idolatry. Watch your words and deeds this coming week. Shudder at some of the stuff you entertain. Don't fail to hurry to 1 John 1:9 as you shudder.
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