Wednesday, February 08, 2006,8:27 AM
cleaning out the idols
So I was reading in 2 Kings the other night and read the part about Josiah discovering the book of the law. Here was a culture that claimed to follow God, but they had essentially lost the scriptures as they collected dust in the temple. So of course they had let in all kinds of strange ideas and interpretations of following God. One thing that I found interesting about this passage is who they had to go to to explain what it was they had found. The priests no longer knew what the law was about, so the King found a prophettess named Huldah the wife of the grandson of the keeper of the wardrobe. So in all of Jerusalem only a young woman knew enough about the suppossed faith of the people to explain it to the King and was the prophet appointed by God to deliver the message about what he was to do now. Interesting.
So Huldah basically tells the King that God will bring disaster on his people and stuff. Then Josiah read the book of the covenant aloud to all the people and renewed the covenant. Then he went about clearing out the idols from the land and from in the temple. He removed the idols to Baal, Asherah, and the starry hosts from the temple and tore down the quarters of the male prostitutes that were in the temple.
Jerusalem still got their butts kicked by God, but this event should have some implications for today. Many in the emerging church are attempting to read the scriptures anew and to see the idols we have let creep into our faith. The call is to do what we can to remove those idols (while humbly acknowedging that there will always be lenses of our culture through which we view the faith and therefore give us a proclivity towards idols).
So what idols do we worship in the church? Besides the ubiquitous greed/consumerism/captitalism that is the bane of the American church - I see dangers in upholding reason above God and faith, in plegding worship to a flag of a political entity in our church (or schools for that matter), and in pursuing power and not caring for justice, mercy, and humility. Just a few thoughts here... anyone else care to comment or add to the list?

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posted by Julie at 8:27 AM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 2/14/2006 01:54:00 AM, Blogger Charlotte Wyncoop

    So, I'm finally getting on and reading some other people's stuff. I finally blogged today for the first time, come check me out :)

    Yeah, idols. How about heaven? As in, yeah I claim a relationship with God so I don't burn in hell - but God, I'm not really interested in you. I'm just interested in me.
    What do you call that? Idolatry of self?

  • At 2/15/2006 11:09:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

    I don't know if "heaven" itself is an idol, at least not heaven rightly conceived (as being in the presence of God). But you're right that fear of hell often becomes an idol. If that's our only motivation for accepting Christ, I sometimes wonder if God would rather we not even bother.

  • At 2/16/2006 09:55:00 AM, Blogger Julie

    but "heaven as my reward while sinners (people I don't like) burn in hell" is very an idol. you make heaven into your personal revenge wish. its not about God, its about you.

  • At 2/16/2006 08:29:00 PM, Blogger Charlotte Wyncoop

    Maybe actually it would really be called "original sin"

    Believing that we are the "be all" and "end all" of our own existence and God is a gateway to get what we really want for ourselves.