Idols and Idolatry

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Dictionaries define an Idol as an image of a god constructed of wood, stone etc and worshipped as if it were the god it represents// a person, or object, of intense admiration or love.

Idolatry is defined as the worship of an idol or idols.

Throughout the entire Bible Idolatry has been condemned and the cause of God’s judgement upon His people.

The Apostles of Christ warned the Christians against it:

Ac 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

The Greek word translated as Pollutions is ALISGEMA which means To soil.

The word translated as Idol is IDOLON which means an image or a likeness of anything that is meant to represent the form of an object, either real or imaginary.

The Commandment of God is quite plain:

Ex 20:4-5
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

The instruction of God to his people was DO NOT MAKE ANY KIND OF REPRESENTATION OF ANYTHING THAT GOD HAS CREATED NOR KNEEL BEFORE OR PROSTRATE ONE’S SELF, CROUCH, and STOOP OR REVERE BEFORE THEM!

Exhortations are given to the followers of Jesus against having images or being involved with those (called Christians) that use them.

1Co 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

In fact the warning is very clear:

Eph 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

The bible describes three forms of idolatry:

1. Fetishism, or the worship of trees, rivers, hills, stones, etc.
2. Nature Worship, the worship of the Sun, moon, and stars as the supposed powers of nature.
3. Hero Worship, the worship of dead ancestors or of heroes.

Idolatry manifests itself in two ways; OVERT IDOLATRY, and COVERT IDOLATRY.

Overt Idolatry is that which is unconcealed, or open which includes the making and the use of images and/or statues.

Covert Idolatry is that which is hidden in the heart. (often linked with covetousness and unjust gain).

The Bible makes mention of other actions that are also classed as Idolatry:-

Stubbornness, which is continual disobedience to God (1 Samuel 15:23)

Covetousness, which is the greedy desire to have more (Colossians 3:5-6)

Idolatry is seen as a work of the sensuous nature of man, that which derives from, or is affected by, the senses, emotions and/or feelings. (That which the senses manifest which is false).

Ga 5:19-21
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

©2003 John Hayworth

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