In recent days I have been reading through a book titled, Gospel Treason: Betraying the Gospel with Hidden Idols, and it brought to my attention a problem that I believe we are facing in significant ways in the church, and the world today. Specifically, the idea that we have the tendency to look at scripture and find certain themes over and over that we then take and would claim “these are the main themes of the Bible”. Generally, people would say things like “God’s glory…Love…Grace…God’s pursuit of man…Jesus…”, and the list could go on by simply inserting whatever typical Sunday school answer you may favor the most at the time. What the author of this book suggests, and I would argue that he is correct, is that we often will miss one of the main and most pervasive themes in scripture… that being Idolatry.
Idolatry is one of those things that we really don’t like to think about. We certainly don’t want to admit or confess that it is in fact one of the most fundamental issues that we have in our spiritual walk daily. We like to think that idolatry is something that was an issue in the Old Testament, where people were bowing down to statues and worshiping in ways that we would consider crazy. What Bigney argues in Gospel Treason is that every sin issue, ultimately can be traced to idolatry in some way, shape, or form. He argues that “We are worshippers by nature. Our hearts don’t just drift aimlessly; the drift is always away from the gospel, away from our Savior, and in the grip of something or someone else.” That is what idolatry is! Idolatry exists in us ANY time we allow the gospel and Jesus Christ to drift away from being the absolute center of our affections and desires, because any time we drift from the gospel as center, we are bringing something else into greater focus in our lives.
Idolatry is a problem. Are you allowing something or someone to take the place of Christ and the gospel at the center of your life and focus? I would strongly encourage anyone and everyone who wants a closer relationship with Christ, as well as a deeper understanding of the human heart condition to considering picking up a copy of Gospel Treason. It will be well worth your time and dollar.
1 John 5:21 – “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” Amen.