Dysfunctionality of Idolatry

Michelangelo Buonarotti (1475-1564) started his sculpting career by mutilating and burying his own statues to convince buyers that the sculptures were ancient Roman artifacts. People were willing to pay top dollar for old Roman art, so he made a killing.[1] In this article, we will understand the two different motives behind worshipping an idol, those who sit passively by and allow it to happen, and getting to know which idol it is so you can understand the content of what they believe. People are being sold a counterfeit, and we need to love them enough to show them the truth in humility. 

“All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame.” (Isaiah 44:9 ESV)

  1. Those who worship the idol (counterfeit)

There are at least two types of people who buy counterfeit produces. Those who get duped into buying because they thought they were buying the genuine item and those who know it is counterfeit could care less. When it comes to worshipping false idols, these are just two categories of people that we can examine.

 One of them is sincere, but they are sincerely wrong in connecting and worshiping God and are still under his judgment because they have not found the answer to their sin problem. These people need the truth explained about what Jesus did from them by dying on the cross for their sins. They need to repent and place their faith in Christ to be forgiven for their sins and bear fruit by getting rid of their idols and beginning to worship the one true God.

The other group knows they may be worshiping a false god but choose to honor it anyway because it is what their family has done for generations, and in their pride, they will have it no other way. I shared with a Muslim in New Jersey that told me this one day; he said, “ if you could show me I believed a lie, I would still think this because it is what I have traditionally been taught. Their only hope is that God would lift the veil from their eyes so they could see the truth.

That is the only hope for both categories of people, but the first category seems like God may be lifting that veil so they can see. See, we don’t know what category people are in until we begin to communicate with them and listen to their beliefs. Right now, we are motivated- because of the article- to make sure that people know and hear the truth; however, what brings me to sorrow is how many co-workers, family members, and friends -who claim to be Christians- have seen and heard the people they love worshiping idols but they just sit passively by.

  1. Those who sit passively by and allow it to happen will be held accountable

If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. (Ezekiel 3:18 ESV)

See in Isaiah 44:9 they don’t see and know-how sinful this is in God’s eye, but they are still going to be held responsible. What may be some of the motives to let the idolatry continue unchallenged? The motivation of money and self-interest is not going to fly on judgment day with a holy and just God. Ezekiel gives us a challenge that we can’t get away from their blood will be on our hands. This should motivate us all to pray and share and leave the result up to God. Keep that boldness. You will need it to take the next step to find out what someone is worshiping. This is how you will find out what they believe? You have to find out what their idol is before you will understand the content of their belief. 

  1. Determining which idol will reveal the content of what people believe

I would suggest sitting down and being interested in what they believe before doing witnessing. Here are some excellent questions to use. Remember, we don’t want to leave people with a counterfeit view of God. We want to expose them to the one true God, so they can repent and place their faith in Christ, and be saved. The rest of the article is for our monthly champion partners; if you want to find out how to become a champion partner, go to gospelgm.com/community/


[1] https://www.buzzfeed.com/cnbcprime/10-biggest-forgeries-in-history