Modern Day Idol Worship

I detect a sad situation occurring in our churches. It’s sad because it resembles very closely the logic of the world.

The world no longer condemns abortions, gambling, drugs but rather legalizes these activities or is feverishly attempting to legal­ize them. By legalizing these activities they remove the sin and rid themselves of their responsibility to do something about them. When the state permits this to happen it is but another sign that it is corrupting it­self. I believe many of us have made a similar attitude change towards television. The talk today is not at all against having this corrupting influence in the home but rather that we must try to control it. It apparently is not even a matter of legality or of Christian liberty anymore — that’s been conceded long ago. Now we must make it our business to curtail its devastating in­fluence.

I cannot help but think that the television is really an idol According to the New Bible Dictionary article on “Idolatry,”

“The story of Old Testament religion could be told for the most part in terms of a tension between the spiritual conception of God and worship . . . and various pressures, such as idolatry, which attempted to debase and mate­rialize the national religious conscious­ness and practice.”

This is remarkably true of the television set — it debases and materializes one’s re­ligious consciousness and practice. The ar­ticle goes on to state that:

“We do not find an ascending from idolatry to the pure worship of God, but rather a people possessing a pure worship, and a spiritual theology, con­stantly fighting . . . religious seduc­tions which, nevertheless often claim the mass of the people.”

Today, we also, who believe we possess the pure and true doctrines of salvation, are constantly fighting the seductions of an idol — the television set, which nevertheless claims the support of many of our people. An idol was a master who was faithfully served. It demanded service and controlled its servers. As they bowed the knee and sacrificed to these heathen abominations, so we also and our children prostrate ourselves before these modem abominations and sacrifice God’s precious time to them. It was typical of idol worshippers to rise up in wrath and indignation against anyone who spoke out against these evil practices. Many who read this article will no doubt have the very same feelings against its author. They have to try to defend this abomination because it is unable to defend itself. It proudly and calmly sits in its place of honor knowing full well that his servers will do their utmost to protect him from slander. I contend that the little good (if there is any at all) does not justify the existence of this idol in our Christian homes. Even this so called good is perverted by human wisdom and philosophy. The nature films are evolutionistic, the news is biased and stresses the sensational, the educational films are humanistic, the advertisements are generally morally perverted and the sporting events, promote false hero worship. Televi­sion viewing does not lead one to the true worship of our God, Jehovah, but rather leads us in our thoughts and even in our actions away from Him. This is exactly what Satan desires. How we can talk about controlling such an enemy as this, is beyond my understanding.

In I Corinthians 8:4, Paul says “. . . we know that an idol is nothing in the world” but I Cor. 10:20 “that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye have fellowship with devils.” Paul would agree that there is no sin in the television set as a piece of furniture but he would certainly cry out against the evil sacrifices spewed out of the set to Satan himself and be “would not that ye have fellowship with devils.” I’m sure the apostle Paul would not have tolerated the presence of one of these devilish idols in his home and yet it is a rather common practice among leaders in our own churches and schools to do so.

It is detrimental to the welfare of the sheep when the shepherd makes a league with the wolves. They see the shepherd consorting with the enemies and soon fail to recognize the wolves as enemies but rather as friends. Any words of warning or caution from the shepherd will under­standably fall on deaf ears. The sheep will soon follow the example of their shepherd to their inevitable destruction for the wolf comes in the night all unsuspected and snatches them away. Are our leaders blind leaders of the blind in respect to the ter­rible power of the television set? More than once I’ve heard the justification for television in the form of “Well the minister has it.” Has Satan laid a snare for God’s people in the very form of His ambassadors? I shudder to think that this could possibly be true.

In the Old Testament, Israel and Judah often sacrificed their children to heathen gods. King Ahaz “made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abomina­tions of the heathens, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel” (II Kings 16:5). The Psalmist deplores this evil practice. “Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to devils, and shed in­nocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Caanan . . .” Parents no longer sacrifice their children’s blood but much worse they sacrifice their souls to the evil influence of this modem day Molech. It is a confirmed fact that many of the cov­enant youth in our churches are more fam­iliar with the priests for our modem day Molechs than they are with the heroes of faith in God’s Holy Word. Consider in your own homes and compare the number of hours spent in prostration before this hor­rible enemy of God’s people and the hours spent rejoicing in the glorious works of God.

Not only is this modem day idol enemy number one in our covenant homes, but also it is the chief enemy of our covenant day schools. Our schools in many instances are fighting a losing battle against this tyran­nical ruler of the mind. Don’t expect peak performances from your children in their school work if you have this machine in your home. School work and studying come off second best every time. Sure, they ap­pear to study for a short period but their

mind is not on their studies, but on the T.V. schedule for the night. Hurriedly and carelessly they complete their school work so they won’t miss their favorite T.V. per­sonality. School work becomes more of a drudgery than ever before in comparison to the excitement of the sports event or Western that they are missing. Just notice the disgust, disappointment, and even anger your children exhibit when you tell them to go to their rooms and study and to turn off the television. They’ll rebel loudly. Dis­gruntled, they’ll go to their room hating school and school work a little more. They turn against God given instruction for Satanic entertainment. It is shameful, the amount of God’s precious time that is sacrificed each day by our children, young people and even grownups to this hideous monster of depravity.

If you really want to see what a grip this idol has on your children, just consider what their reaction will be to the an­nouncement that you have decided to get rid of the television set. Be prepared for a verbal onslaught of vile disrespect and bad language.

Even the world recognized the evil in­fluence this devilish machine exerts on the youth of our country. So much more we as covenant parents should see its awful influence on the covenant seed. Let Christ remind us that “whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea” (Mark 9:42). Most of what television has to offer God’s people is offensive and this includes the cartoons and children’s programs for the little ones. If we willfully submit our believing children to the wicked influence of the world and the devil in their television programs we offend “these little ones that believe.”

The Old Testament prophets came with God’s Word to the kings, the priests and the people, against idolatry. They did not beat around the bush or hedge the question of idolatry. They condemned this evil practice and demanded that the people rid themselves of their idols. It was not a mat­ter of controlling idolatry but rather a matter of getting rid of the evil and destroying it.

When we allow the evil influence of Satan to enter our homes and dominate them we must not expect God’s grace to help us. Pious platitudes are not sufficient. Radical action must be taken. We need to rid ourselves of these modern daily idols. We can no more control the television set than we can control our own evil impulses. By nature we are no better equipped to control these modern day idols than Israel their ancient idols of wood and stone. Let us ask God for grace — not to be able to control this evil — but for grace to be able to give it up and rid our lives of this evil menace to our spiritual existence.