In the old testament, idolatry is forbidden. ‘You shall have no God’s before Me.’ The words ‘jealous God’ imply that idolatry is a dilution and an assault on the oneness that is ours in union with God - not to mention the slander that idolatry is on God’s identity. Thus idolatry is akin to adultery. In the new testament idolatry is defined by the device of defining. Namely, ‘This is eternal life. To know God and Jesus Christ whom God has sent.’ Knowing Jesus as Jesus is – is life to the full. NON-IDOLATRY Worship and respect for God, Godliness itself is defined as knowing God as God is. This is to be infinitely alive. OFFENCE OF THE CROSS, THE OFFENCE OF TRUTH I found this on Facebook. ‘Sorry for offending you. I’ll try not to be right next time.’ Sadly many are content to live in the relative comfort of their mistaken version of reality – an aberration that has come to them from the lives of those who should know better. ‘Spin’ is the well accepted lying of elites. ‘Common sense’ is the current ‘wisdom’ of the egotistical and the dim who elevate ignorance into a virtue. There’s a whole book on Wisdom in the Bible. It’s message it that wisdom is life. In Rick Joyner’s visions Wisdom is the Christ. Jesus – the life of the world was crucified, among other things because He was right. Live from this attitude long enough and the result is killing the earth and crucifying ourselves. The most common idol is the addiction to our own ideas. KNOWING Knowing in the spirit is more than possessing information. Knowing God and Jesus Christ is defined as the same kind of ‘knowing’ that is meant to exist between a faithful husband and wife. It’s a state of being ‘And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him’ Gen 4.25 ESV. In this context ‘knowing’ is union. Knowing is union with God. This is a knowing of being which itself depends on an accurate knowing and sharing of identity – God’s identity and your identity. FALSE WORSHIP Kelly Maeshero notes, “Tertullian .. regarded idolatry not only as the most serious sin, but also as the root of all others. [he says] “The principal crime of the human race, the highest guilt charged upon the world, the whole procuring cause of judgment, is idolatry” … Tertullian holds the belief so strongly that he is convinced that no sharp or absolute distinction can even be drawn between idolatry in particular and sin in general; that in some respects, all sin is essentially a form of idolatry.” (1) SEPARATION There is some strength in this position. Sin is the effect of separation from God. Sin is more than transgression of the law. Sin results from the kind of separation that was a seed before it bore fruit in Satan and in the eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil tree; this is a shift in ‘knowing’ that results from the shifting of trust from Father God to the attachment of belief in ‘No God’ aka the Father of Lies. LIFELESS BELIEFS The plague of worshiping not-gods as though they are God started with the Father of Lies. It’s significant that in the parable of the tares, the sons of the Evil One are those who have made a gospel out of that which is no gospel at all – a pseudo-gospel that appears to be the gospel of Christ but which is actually ‘another gospel.’ The sons of God are the ‘wheat’ whose ‘knowing’ of God is consistent with the gospel of Jesus and the apostles. CALLING GOD SOMETHING THAT IS NOT GOD A common form of idolatry is the attempt to gain self-worth from anything that is not Jesus Christ. Maeshero perceptively expands on this, “Paul Tillich, puts .. the matter plainly and with characteristic eloquence, suggesting that idolatry “is the elevation of a preliminary concern to ultimacy. Something essentially .. partial is boosted into universality, and something essentially finite is given infinite significance.” NOT GOD AS GOD These preliminary concerns are drawn from the experience of everyday life, and can include not only tangible objects, but also institutions like the state, and disciplines like modern science, or even intangible ideals like success. What in every case the idolatry specifically consists in is the elevation of this preliminary concern, whatever it might be, to a state of ultimacy.(2) A clear example of this is religion and associated icons like the Sabbath and the selective obsession with sexual morality to the neglect of social concerns. IDOLATRY As we noted recently, this amounts to treating something as God that is not God and the imbuing of sacredness to something that is not in fact sacred. This is the primary problem of legalism and the effect of religion as an idol – a state of being that Paul calls ‘this body of death. The death-dealing effect of this idolatry is that it insulates us from our post cross inheritance – union with God. MISPLACED WORSHIP A woman remarked in staff meeting once, ‘Anything that is not Jesus is a waste of time. She was right about that. But this does not mean we need to live a monastic life. Jesus Christ is incarnated in us and though us into Everyday Life. Godly people are never addicts of religion and are not given to pious intensity, and certainly not the kind of religion that is like a game of Trivial Pursuit. Godly people just are. Are what? Are themselves as sons/daughters of God without artifice. INHERITANCE God is in you and with you in a way that He was not in anyone before the cross. Your possession is oneness with God. This is the new wineskin. The creation is not God. The difference between pantheism and incarnation is clear. God is the I AM of Himself. You as a daughter/son are a manifestation of God. You are in God and God is in you. Your face is one of the faces of Jesus Christ. Through you the creation becomes ignited with God’s spirit and life.