Last night we resumed our C-Group study entitled "Smashing Idols." We began with a review, talking about last week's discussion over how we naturally as humans create through our idolatry "functional hells" from which we must be delivered by functional Saviors. An example of this might be that I fear my children being failures academically, so I make the "Savior" my PTA involvement or their tutoring, or whatever. We read Isaiah 44, along with Romans 1 again. We talked about how we all naturally turn from the Creator to the creation (Rom. 1). Isaiah talks about the foolishness of idols-- we chop up some wood and worship part of it and build a fire with the rest. This may seem far removed from us in sophisticated American life, but we're just the same. I shared how I used to worship basketball. How crazy is it to revolve your life around throwing a leather ball through a metal hoop?
We then turned to a topic of discussion we'll revisit the next few weeks. We grouped our idols into two categories-- near idols that are at the surface, and far idols that are deeper and drive the others. Darrin Patrick has said this: "Near idols are the fruits of sin. Far idols are the roots of sin." For example, obsession with physical appearance (weight lifting or dieting or make-up, etc.) could have at its root a far idol of approval. We looked at four categories of far idols: approval, comfort, control, and power. We considered how a number of different "near idols" could stem from some of those deeper idols.
Lastly, we discussed the gospel, and how the life and death of Jesus on our behalf is our only hope in dealing with this. God sees us, in Christ, as the faithful worshipper. Jesus, through His Spirit, is restoring us to the worship relationship for which we were created.