Idolatry of Truth

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC δοῦλος, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. JonC

    JonC
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    Do you think that it is possible for someone to hold onto doctrine, regardless of its correctness, in such a manner as it becomes idolatry?
     
  2. Winman

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    Well, I don't know if I would call it idolatry, but many people absolutely hold to doctrine regardless of it's correctness.

    I have found you can show a person literally dozens of scriptures that easily refute a view they hold, and they continue to stubbornly hold it.

    It is difficult to change one's views. Old dogs can learn new tricks, but many never do.
     
  3. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Absolutely, unequivocally, beyond the shadow of a doubt, yes. Evidence of it is posted on this board daily.
     
  4. JonC

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    True - and unfortunately I sometimes fit into this category.

    A pastor made a comment that I found interesting. He stated that some hold onto correct doctrine in a manner that is at the expense of the gospel. This, in his view, constituted idolatry. So it isn’t really the doctrine, but the individual holding the doctrine that is in question. Reading another thread prompted me to ask.
     
  5. Winman

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    What did that pastor mean? Was he saying we should compromise what we know to be truth to win a convert? Could you give an example?

    What thread prompted this question?
     
  6. DocTrinsoGrace

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    Paul describes one who changes his perspective easily as lacking maturity (Ephesians 4:14). Further, he encouraged us to "examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21 NASB; cf Titus 1:9).
     
  7. JonC

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    Then good because I fit into the category that finds it hard to change. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  8. Van

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    Yes, folks put all sort of idols ahead of Christ. Is the test Christ provides in Matthew 7 on doctrine or the love of Christ?
     
  9. JonC

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    The pastor was speaking of idolatry. He covered several areas (e.g., for some their children can become idols, money, etc). This comment was in context of religious idols. He was not advocating a compromise of truth, but instead suggesting that some hold on specific doctrines as idols and barriers to the gospel. This was certainly not in the context of compromising truth to win a convert. It was only a minor comment in his sermon, but one that stuck out to me.

    I will not mention the thread here as I didn’t comment on that particular thread. Regardless of the pastor’s intent and the thread that sparked my question, I was just wondering if others believed a person can hold onto a doctrine (even correct knowledge) in such a manner as it becomes idolatry.
     
  10. JamesL

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    Fringe Fundamentalism at its worst. I had to take issue with this teaching coming from the Lifeway gang in a Sunday School lesson once.

    An idol was something that was trusted, not just something that someone devoted their time to

    An idol would be trusted to provide peace, protection, crops, long life, sunshine, rain, children, shelter, money, you name it. Someone would prop up a piece of wood or some other artifact or idea, and hope in it.

    This particular Lifeway lesson was claiming that television, sports teams and activities can be idols. Hogwash.

    I don't know of the last time I knew of somebody trusting the Denver Broncos to provide an income or keep their kids healthy. Or staring at their tv, hoping it would cause rain to fall on their apple orchard


    In the context of hoping in an ideal, yes. I believe it's possible to have faith in a doctrine, rather than faith in Christ.

    It would probably be subtle, and they might not even know it. Here are two examples, and I would believe that one is idolizing a doctrine:

    1) I believe that I am saved because Jesus died in my place
    2) I am saved because I believe that Jesus died in my place

    The person in group #1 is trusting in Jesus, while the person in group #2 is trusting in their own belief


    Someone who is in group #2 would probably take issue, saying that it's merely a matter of semantics.

    But the person in group #1 understands the difference
     
  11. agedman

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    Idol worship is not restricted to what is trusted.

    An idol is anything in creation that is placed in preference to God. It is worshiped and adored - in effect robbing God. Trust may or may not be a part of that worship and adoration.

    Often, people will worship and adore the worldly, which is condemned in the Scriptures. 1 John 2 gives one of the best Scriptures on this matter.
    15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
    Not to be repetitious, I refer you again to the verse above.

    Perhaps it would be good to see what Watchman Nee said (in part):
    Having every one of us been in bondage to sin, we readily believe that sinful things are Satanic; but do we believe equally that the things of the world are Satanic? Many of us, I think, are still in two minds about this. Yet how clearly Scripture affirms that "the whole world lieth in the evil one" (1 John 5:19).

    Satan well knows that, generally speaking, to try to ensnare real Christians through things that are positively sinful is vain and futile. They will usually sense the danger and elude him. So he had contrived instead an enticing network, the mesh of which is so skillfully woven as to entrap the most innocent of men. We flee sinful lusts, and with good reason, but when it comes to such seemingly innocuous things as science and art and education, how readily do we lose our sense of values and fall a prey to his enticements!
    Perhaps, you would do well to examine these words by this highly regarded believer.
     
  12. JamesL

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    Agedman,
    I agree with the scripture, and with Watchman Nee's assessment. Jesus said that some would be caught up in the cares of this world, too.

    People chase after material possessions, success, their appearance, etc.
    Some desire fame, fortune, and an idealistic dream.
    Some desire to defraud, lie, have no-strings-attached sex, drugs, booze, or whatever other "fun" they might conceive.

    I don't discount any of these as real and active , even among some who name Christ as their Savior

    But neither 1John, nor Watchman Nee said anything about these being idols.
     
  13. agedman

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    James, I understand that, for some, the idol must be a physical presence in which the person worships and expresses devotional adoration.

    However, the NT places idolatry in the context of exalting into prominence or affection as well as any bodily attraction as stated by Paul in Colossians:
    5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— 11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
    The believer is to display true encouragement and true consolation of (through) love, as Paul records in Philippians:
    1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    I know that some "enjoy" the amusements of the modern age, and there is no doubt that if one is consumed in such, that is idolatry.

    Here is (imo) the difference.

    Two teams are playing on the field of conflict. In the stands are two groups which support one of the two teams.

    What are the typical attitude, conduct, passion, thoughts, statements... emanating from the folks in the stands and often from the actors on the field of play?

    Can such present idol worship? Certainly.

    Can a believer be a part of the event and not be a worshiper of idol(s)? Certainly.

    The believer is to remain humble, unimpassioned as to the events, and continually reflect the character and love of Christ.

    The believer is to be the visible image of Christ to the world.

    That the world does not recognize Christ because of the conduct and behavior of a believer's immersion into and embracing of the worldly is remarkable.

    This is (imo) why great fire of judgment will fall upon the modern fluff stuffed believers - a pruning by God.
     
  14. Yeshua1

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    yes, see KJVO, and also Charasmatics, with their "tongues and baptism in Holy Ghost!"

    and RCC has a boatload of idolatry in its doctrine/traditions!
     
  15. JonC

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    I agree.

    Assuming that you disagree with those Charasmatic/RCC doctrines, do you think that a person could elevate what you hold as true doctrine to a position that it becomes idolatry? (Do you believe that it is possible to elevate our knowledge so that this knowledge becomes our "gospel"?)
     
  16. Yeshua1

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    Yes, as evidenced when some in the calvinists arena start saying tht Calvinism IS the Gospel, as to me its a way to expain it, but it is NOT it, or when someone states that arminians/non cals have a totally flase and different gospel, as to me they teach same gospel in sense are sinners whom Jesus died on behalf of sinners, but have incomplete/wrong understanding of what the Gospell fully is! have misunderstanding/confusion mainly in areas of Election and "free Will"
     

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