Posts Tagged ‘Tim Keller’

Tim Keller, in the book Counterfeit Gods, writes that idolatry is anything that isn’t God and yet, put in the place of God. That gives me pause.

I Corinthians 10:7
Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.”

The author goes on to say that one of the central principles of the Bible is rejection of idols.

Makes sense. It also puts more light on another verse that appears to come out of nowhere in I John 5:21, the last verse of the book, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” With some thought, I realize it’s an amazing summation. And, like, Keller, I’m seeing the simple truth of this idea.

How many times do I say I don’t have “time” to do this or that for the building up my faith, you know, things like prayer, study, meditation, contemplation, service to others. Oh yeah, and why don’t I have time? Because other things are “more important.” Other things have taken place, taken root, in my calendar and my heart.

Our culture offers a plethora of idols. Take your pick: they all do the job. They all have the power (which we endow them) to suck up our time and our energy.

I used to think some of my post-millennial friends (or were they pre-millenial?), were being ridiculous as they identified things in our culture as a “Beast” from revelation–things like television. But, are they so off? I’m not talking about that kind of literalness, but doesn’t a lot of entertainment become addictive and consuming? How many people order their lives around watching a particular television show? (Apparently, they have not found TIVO yet.)

So what is my time suck? And why do I need it?

Internet. Facebook. Over-committed volunteerism. Hobbies. Old movies. Re-runs. Yard sales. Lattes. Reading. Work.

None of these things are inherently bad or necessarily “idols.” But I do fill up my day. I fill up my mind with planning.

There are 330,000 gods in India. How about me? How many do I have?

I have a friend who married an African man and recently, had his child here in the United States. However, in a few days, they will be returning to Namibia, with no real jobs waiting for them (they used to work at an orphanage we support which is how we met them). So, she will be entering into a much more rustic lifestyle, she will be living, truly, more closely to the norm of African families in small cities: a new simplicity. She will be confronting her personal “idols” soon.

Why do we need idols? I think it’s part of our culture. To let go of many of them would mean stepping back from the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed.

“. . . let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus . . . [Hebrews 12:1b-2a]

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