Piper on Idolatry

“The idols of the nations are…the work of human hands. They have eyes but do not see…. Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them!” (Ps. 135:15-18). Make and trust a blind idol, and you become blind. Apply that principle to the modern world, and think of the idols of our own day. What do we make and what do we trust? Things. Toys. Technology. And so our hearts and our affections are formed by these things. They compress the void in our heart into shapes like toys. The result is that we are easily moved and excited by things—computers, cars, appliances, entertainment media. They seem to fit the shapes in our hearts. They feel good in the tiny spaces they have made. But in this readiness to receive pleasure from things, we are ill-shaped for Christ. He seems unreal, unattractive. The eyes of our hearts grow dull.

—John Piper, When I Don’t Desire God, p. 58

One response to this post.

  1. What are the idolatrous things that are brought into a Sunday morning service? What do we rely upon to bring that feeling of euphoria or deep meditative thought? Are we relying upon the best lighting and sound system for the music? Is it a creative and interactive slideshow set to a modernized version of a hymn?

    I am not against such things if they are done in a manner that keeps them from being the focus. What I don’t understand is the appeal to music to set the stage for worship. In fact, I would venture to say that many theological seminaries tend to teach that it is ever so important to orchestrate all the music to get the desired effect.

    Ephesians 5:18-22 describe a picture that is far different than many structured worship services. Out of a life that is controlled by The Spirit comes music and giving thanks.

    I love music (don’t get me wrong) but I think it has it’s wrong place in the form of Worship. It becomes the thing that is worshipped more than the Lord. If the music isn’t good enough (some may say), they just can’t really worship with other believers at your church. How pathetic!! When this happens, music becomes the idol of our worship.

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