Sunday Sermon Prep…

Preparing this week’s sermon I keep noting that anything can be an idol:
Success, respect, money, personal freedom, your career, being known, your family, your country, power, your heritage, your rights, your political heroes, your sports team, your job…

And any of them can be addictive – causing you to sacrifice what’s really important for what’s, in the face of eternity, trivial and even destructive.

We tend to think of idols as statues that people might bow down to or kiss. Sometimes we think of them as ugly – particularly if they are from cultures unfamiliar to us. We tend to think we would recognize them right away and stay clear from them.

from pixabay – stunning free images & royalty free stock

But idols are much trickier than we may think – and much more commonplace.

In my study, I came upon this quote from Andy Crouch. I’d read Crouch’s Playing God, some years ago. It’s a great book.

In modern, secular societies perhaps the clearest example of idolatry is the pattern we call addiction. Addictions begin with essentially good, created stuff; even the chemicals that become addictive drugs are part of God’s good creation and often have beneficial uses in the right context. But in the throes of addiction, we invest that created stuff with transcendent expectations.

It begins to hold out the promise of becoming like a god. The most powerfully addictive substances, like crystal meth, are the ones that can deliver the most dramatic sensations of godlike freedom, confidence and abundance—in other words, power. A behavior like gambling promises to give us a sense of mastery over the random forces of nature and the ability to bring something out of nothing, to create wealth without having to work. Pornography promises intimacy without risk, commitment and the limitations of our often awkward and vulnerable bodies.

Taken from Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power by Andy Crouch. Copyright (c) 2013 p.56 by Andy Crouch. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL.

While you may not think of your idol as addictive, you might chuckle as you hear yourself saying, “It’s not an addiction. I can stop any time. I’ve stopped dozens of times!”

If it is an addiction, then it’s all the more dangerous, for you know the destructiveness of addictions to us personally and to our relationships.

As you prepare for Sunday morning at Curwensville Alliance, you might want to ask God to show you what idols you may be dealing with.