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Showing posts with the label Idolatry

Don’t Waste Your Time with a Fake Jesus

 By Wes Bredenhof Artificial Intelligence websites are all the rage. The other day I came across a news story about an AI Jesus. The mainstream media picked up on this website and found it rather quirky. I checked it out so you don’t have to. I’m not even going to provide a link. Really, please don’t bother looking it up. I can report that it is an absolute waste of time. Besides that, it’s also exceedingly sacrilegious, even blasphemous. What did I observe? There’s a video screen with a picture of someone who is supposed to be Jesus. He looks like the typical Western (mis-)representation of what Jesus is thought to have looked like. Users input questions for “Jesus” on a side panel and then this animation answers them. This runs 24/7. The questions are mostly stupid, vulgar, and juvenile. Many of them have to do with bodily functions. Other questions are designed to get this AI to say ridiculous or perverted things. The AI obliges, providing netizens with a non-stop source


The Worship of Mammon — 1909 painting by Evelyn De Morgan . By Citizen Tom: "When we choose to worship money, wealth, and material possessions, we put the pursuit of money, wealth, and material possessions ahead of God, and we don’t obey God’s command to love our neighbors. We love money, wealth, and material possessions too much to do that. "Do you know anyone who loves stuff more than they love people? Is it some rich guy who seems obsessed with making money? Try looking in a mirror. How do you vote? Do you know anyone who votes (or donates money to politicians) to put more money into their own pockets instead of for a responsibly balanced Federal budget? Have you ever seriously examined the ethics of Social Security, Medicare, Public Education, the Welfare State, National Defense, and so forth? Read the entire post here.  See also: WHAT DOES THE WORSHIP OF IDOLS LOOK LIKE? — PART 2 – Citizen Tom WHAT DOES THE WORSHIP OF IDOLS LOOK LIKE? — PART 3 – Citizen Tom WHAT DOES TH

Social Media Is a Neighborhood Built on Coveting

By Justin Poythress - Posted at Reformation 21: "When it comes to social media, the chief value is coveting. The cry rings out from every side: 'Come here to covet, and to be coveted! Get the latest, get the greatest! Or be the greatest and the latest!'” Every place has a feel, an impression or characteristic sensation. Home has a feel, even if it isn’t always positive. The neighborhood you grew up in has a feel. The noisy main street of your urban center has perhaps a collection of feels depending on the hour or day. Then there’s the shaded path in a wooded park, the nearby field after a fresh rain, or the indie coffee shop on the corner. You get the idea. What if the “place” is online? As we enter the age of the metaverse, we need to become increasingly aware of the feel of online spaces. Social media websites are like miniature (or not so miniature) cities, each with a certain feel. And in two of the largest online cities, Facebook and Instagram, the dominant feel is

Capitol: Sacred?

Posted at the Domain for Truth: Last week I have wrote about my disapproval of what happened at the Capitol on January 6th here: Wicked is the Doctrine of Regeneration through Chaos . In that article I mentioned the danger of the doctrine of regeneration through chaos. But there’s something I want to say about the response of some who condemned the incident that I’m concerned about biblically. It is a biblical point that is important for the Christian. I noticed that some bring in religious terminology to talk about the Capitol. What was fascinating to me is how some of the people that invoked the sacred are also the same ones who would condemn American nationalism or American exceptionalism or a vision of America as Messianic. Read more...

The Desire for More and More

By Bill Serjeant - Posted at The Biblical Way: ‘Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).”’ At this time of year we find ourselves discarding rubbish that accumulated on Christmas day. I’m not talking about unwanted and useless presents, but about all that comes as a result of the usual worldly celebrations: torn wrapping paper, fragments of pulled crackers and their contents, food packagings, cartons, cans, bottles, etc., not to mention uneaten food. We sort it into recyclable and non-recyclable bins for our local council to take away. If we are concerned about *global warming, pollution of the air and of our oceans, and the rapid demise of animal species, all on account of our over consumption, we might find ourselves with a tinge of guilt. But taking action on that count is a hard proposition. The practical enormity of the problem is overwhelming, be

Know Your Idols

For The Church By Laura Campbell - Posted at For The Church: Engaging with cultures different from our own is good for us. Such engagements tend to happen through friendships with people of different demographics, intentional variations in media consumption, and travel. Those who have had the privilege of visiting other countries (or even other parts of their own country) know the value of such experiences. Similar to the sensation of looking up into a starry night sky, witnessing a different culture makes us feel our smallness. We realize that the world is much, much bigger than the fleeting life we know. When we’re taken out of our own culture – perhaps in the form of a conversation, a different vein of Twitter, or a mission trip – it becomes easy to romanticize and demonize aspects of the culture we are exploring. As Christians, we can be very quick to identify the sins and idols of others. Sometimes this speck-identifying can be helpful in forming a realistic understanding o

What About Nativity Scenes at Christmas?

Posted at The New Geneva : I love the Christmas season! One of my favorite things to do is take walks through the “Candy Cane Lane” in our neighborhood. What a delight to the senses to feel the cool winter air, smell the wood fireplaces, and see all the colorful Christmas decorations and lights. Several years ago I noticed more and more Nativity scenes being displayed to honor the birth of Jesus. After becoming Reformed, I began wondering if somehow images of Jesus were a violation of the second commandment (which prohibits images of God). I tried to dismiss this thought by telling myself that since Jesus was the “reason for the season,” these images can’t be wrong. When I first mentioned this to my wife, she scoffed at me! Why would it be wrong to have a miniature figurine of the baby Jesus in our home? A manger had always been one of her favorite things to display by the fireplace. But then—one Christmas season—the baby Jesus happened to disappear from our manger! Hmm…

Are We Really in Danger of Making an Idol of the Family?

Image Source:  Wikipedia By Kevin DeYoung - Posted at The Gospel Coalition : “One of the acceptable idolatries among evangelical Christians is the idolatry of the family.” That’s what I tweeted last week. To be honest, I didn’t think much about it. I’ve said similar things in sermons for the past decade, and I’ve tweeted similar things before. But this time—I was later told by friends who track with Twitter more closely than I do—the statement took on a life of its own as this one sentence was liked 1,600 times and bandied about on social media for the next few days. Unknown to me, I was (depending on who you ask) suddenly saying something wonderfully courageous or terribly misguided. So let me clarify. As far as I can tell, I first uttered this statement (or something close to it) in a 2010 sermon on Mark 3:31-35 entitled Jesus’s Real Family . The tweet itself comes from a more recent sermon on the miracle at Cana in Galilee. My point in both cases was that a commitment to f

The Burden of All These Little Gods

By Rachael Dymski - Posted at The Gospel Coalition : I’d shake your hand, but mine is full with all these little gods. They weren’t so big when they first caught my eye. They weren’t so ugly either. No, they were pretty, when we first met, these little gods and I. And they fit so comfortably to the shape of my hand, so smoothly in my grasp, it was as though I was meeting a dear old friend. Thus I put them on, like rings, just to enjoy for a little while, but they are rather reluctant to leave. So my hands are heavy, but aren’t they beautiful, with all these little gods? Continue reading...

Come Out From Them and Be Separate

By Mike Riccardi - Posted at The Cripplegate: In our series on 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1 , I’ve been considering what implications that text has for us as we consider whom the faithful Christian minister may legitimately partner with in ministry (parts one , two , three , and four ). Last time , we considered that the church is the temple of the living God in this age, and that all false religion is idolatrous. To partner in ministry with those who are enemies of the Gospel is to bring idols into the temple of God, and to court His judgment. The consequence of that reality for our lives—the responsibility it creates for us as God’s temple—is stated in 2 Corinthians 6:17–7:1 : “Therefore, ‘come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘And do not touch what is unclean.’ And I will welcome you. ‘And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defi

Idols in the Temple of God

By Mike Riccardi - Posted at The Cripplegate : A long time ago, in a land far, far away, I began a series on whom the faithful Christian minister may legitimately partner with in ministry. First, I briefly surveyed the history of the ecumenical movement in order to vividly illustrate the terrible consequence of disobedience to Scripture on this matter. Then, I oriented us to the key text that answers this question, 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 , and considered the context in which it comes . Next, I considered the main prohibition of text itself , and explored what it means for Christians to not be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers. In the latest installment in this series, I considered how the text outlines precisely how believers are “unequal” to unbelievers. I mentioned that there were five fundamental differences between believers and unbelievers that Paul enumerates, and we looked at the first four in that post. Believers and unbelievers are governed by different rules of life,

What Will Amazon Think?

By James Faris - Posted at Gentle Reformation:, Inc. created one of the most recognizable and meaningful logos ever. The curved arrow points from the “a” to the “z” under the word “amazon.” The smirk it creates reminds you that Amazon can make you happy by delivering everything from “a” to “z.” The cardboard box smiles at you when the delivery man hands you whatever you ordered, and you usually smile back with excitement. Amazon deserves credit for a brilliantly simple mark. It works to make good on its promise. Indeed, I benefit regularly from its services. We should receive the good things of this life with joy. As Christians, we should remember with every Amazon package that lands at our doorstep that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega (the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet). He is the first and the last, the beginning and the end. He alone can make all things new. He alone can make us smile for eternity. Our trouble begins when we look to any earthl

Violence in Vegas: When false gods let us down

By Andrew Kerr - Posted at Gentle Reformation : Stunned, saddened, sickened & silenced – that captures something of my reaction to the news of the terrifying, tragic, carnage in Las Vegas last night. Perhaps some who read this post will have relatives caught up – brothers, sisters, friends, may you know, in abundance, the grace, peace & comfort of the Good Shepherd of the Sheep, in dark days that lie ahead. How horrifying for survivors to watch loved ones mowed down in cold blood or expiring in their arms! How terrifying for those who, at a moment’s notice, were snatched away from earth by this barbarous act! I’ve been reflecting a little today on how to make some sense of what frankly beggars belief: we are wise to admit, there are elements in all this that our finite minds cannot fathom – in the end we know God will overrule gratuitous violence for good; yet there are other elements here, which should give us cause to pause and help lawmakers learn lessons. Re

Random thoughts on race

By Pastor Sam Powell - Posted at My Only Comfort : These thoughts are in no particular order. Just some things racing through my mind. I have come to wince whenever I read a blog or a comment that begins with “First, I want to say that I condemn all racism; and white supremacy is bad and wicked.” I have found that whenever a comment begins that way, invariably the writer is about to say something horrible. I applaud this business for firing this openly racist employee. I wonder if the others who paraded the Nazi symbol and shouted inflammatory hate speech were immediately excommunicated from their congregations as soon as they returned. Something tells me not. God told Abraham that in his seed (who is Jesus Christ) all the families of the earth would be blessed. You cannot then shout curses at the families of the earth and have any part in Christ. God forbade the making of images to worship him. Images are powerful. When a statue becomes more important to you than peace and

Idolatry, Demons, and Ecumenism

By Mike Riccardi - Posted at The Cripplegate : Whom can the faithful church of God legitimately partner with in ministry? That question has been a point of contention among professing Christians for the past 100 years. And that’s been illustrated by what is known as the ecumenical movement, the history of which we  surveyed in depth last week . And the principal dogma of the ecumenical movement of the 20th century was that anyone who called themselves a Christian was to be regarded as a Christian. It didn’t matter if they were a theological liberal who denied the bodily resurrection of Christ or penal substitutionary atonement, or if they were a Roman Catholic who denied the Gospel of justification by faith alone. The important thing was that those who called themselves Christians, and held somewhat to a “Christian” view of morality, were able to unite together in order to show strength in numbers, and therefore to compete in the culture wars for larger societal influence. Whet

Boasting Bad – James 4.13-17

By Andrew Kerr - Posted at Gentle Reformation : Missing A Trick? In my lifetime I have definitely noticed a difference in the way Christians talk. I was shocked as a late teenager to hear Christian friends rubbing their hands with hollow excitement at the prospect of going to see Bruce Springsteen – look, I like ‘the Boss’ too (at least the throaty relaxed easy-listening parts): but if they believed this was the ultimate goal in life, I honestly felt it was they who were missing out. What was missing from their conversation in those days was any mention at all of God in all their talk. I’m pleased to report that some of them, at least, have remedied their ways! It used to be reasonably common to hear Christians say “D.V.”. If it balked at the possibility of actually naming the Lord, and if it was a little highbrow assuming a knowledge of Latin, at least there as passing nod to God and His providential rule. Sadly, even then, most only mentioned God when dressed up in Sunday b

It Must be Election Time: Christian Idolatry on Display

By Bill Muehlenberg - Posted at Culture Watch : I am losing all sorts of Christian friends. I am getting heaps of believers really ticked off with me. I am seeing long-time Christian relationships smashed overnight. So what crucial test of fellowship did I break? What great evil did I commit? What gross heresy have I espoused? Did I deny the deity of Jesus Christ? Did I repudiate the doctrine of the Trinity? Did I come out and say I no longer believe the Bible is God’s Word? Did I say all religions are the same and we will all be saved anyway? Did I embrace New Age mumbo-jumbo, or hop on the Chrislam bandwagon? No, evidently I did something far, far worse. I committed a much more heinous sin than all that: I refused to join in the Trump cult. I refused to engage in Trumpite idolatry. I refused to bow down and worship Lord Trump. I refused to see him as the long-awaited messiah who will save America and the world. And for that unpardonable sin, many “believers’ have declared me to b

A French Voice on Islam 500 Years Ago

By Rev. Ian Brown The greatest of all Protestant Reformers was the Frenchman Dr. John Calvin (1509-64). Born in Noyon, Picardy, he lived, testified, and died during the time of Islam’s greatest expansion into Eastern Europe. Calvin studied theology in the University of Paris from 1523 and later proceeded to the College de France in Paris to study Greek. He experienced a “sudden conversion” in the early 1530s and grasped Protestantism. Having attacked the abuses in the French Catholic church, he fled Paris and took up residence in Geneva for his own safety. By 1453, the Turks had captured Constantinople. They then started to overrun Southeastern Europe during the lifetimes of the two great Protestant Reformers, Martin Luther (1483-1546) and John Calvin (1509-1564). Commented Calvin: “When we see the troubles that are nowadays in the World – let us not be overcome by them! Neither let our Faith be defaced! But the more the devil labours and enforces himself to undo it --