Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Subtle Idols

“Idols are hard to identify after they have been part of the society for a time. It became “normal” for the people of Jerusalem to worship Molech in the temple, and it seemed odd that people calling themselves prophets should denounce the practice. Molech was part of the establishment religious scene, one that had directed the national cult throughout living memory. The idol was supported by all the “best” elements of society, the political, economic, and religious power structure. The prophets denounced the powerful, wealthy, and respectable, not because there is anything inherently wrong with those attributes, but because in that society people so described organized and validated a system of idol-worship and injustice. That is why the vocation of prophet is so unpopular and so hazardous. The contemporary church, in contrast, for the most part has made its peace with this society's "best." In a society in which idolatry runs rampant, a church that is not iconoclastic is a travesty. If it is not against the idols it is with them."  (Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction, p. 254).

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