You can’t, if you can’t feel it, if it neverRises from the soul, and swaysThe heart of every single hearer,With deepest power, in simple ways.You’ll sit forever, gluing things together,Cooking up a stew from other’s scraps,Blowing on a miserable fire,Made from your heap of dying ash.Let apes and children praise your art,If their admiration’s to your taste,But you’ll never speak from heart to heart,Unless it rises up from your heart’s space.
You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
One must love God first, and only then can one love one's closest of kin and neighbors. We must not be idols to one another, for such is not the will of God.
These infinitesimal distinctions between man and man are too paltry for an Omnipotent Being. How these madmengive themselves away! The real God taketh heed lest a sparrow fall. But the God created from human vanity seesno difference between an eagle and a sparrow.
What God says is best, indeed is best, though all men in the world are against it. Seeing, then, that God prefers his religion; seeing God prefers a tender conscience; seeing they that make themselves fools for the kingdom of heaven are wisest; and that the poor man that loveth Christ is richer than the greatest man in the world that hates him: Shame, depart, thou art an enemy to my salvation.
The tiny Lilliputians surmise that Gulliver's watch may be his god, because it is that which, he admits, he seldom does anything without consulting.
... With the rise of modern scientific (or 'rational') knowledge religion is, for the first time, challenged by the disparate claims of other life-orders (Lebensordnungen)... a polytheistic and disordered world of competing values and ideals... the economic, political, aesthetic, erotic and intellectual, which, with the onset of modernity, separate out into relatively autonomous realms (the process of Eigengeseztlichkeit) with their own value-spheres (Wertsphären).
We have glorified wealth and freedom so much that it is impossible for most of us to truly believe that a man can truly be happy in a shack or within the confines of a prison cell.
Rather than continuing on the normal sexual path toward pain, emptiness, and idolatry, you can allow God to heal you, change the way you think, and place deliberate safeguards in your life to protect you.
I cursed myself. For once, heaven had sent me Beauty in its most perfected form and I abandoned it. She might not have been a girl after all but an angel: a force to guide me on this hazardous path of life I hurry down... How can life be hazardous if it can only end in death?
Possibly the most debilitating deception of all is to create a god of my own making, fool myself into believing that this limp god of mine is the true God, and then construct the entirety of my life on this flamboyantly fictional character. Possibly the most devastating realization of all is when the real God shows up, and in the showing up all of this come crashing down.
If I see God as nothing more than a caricature of history or imagination I cannot do anything less than make myself my own ‘god’. And once I realize that in doing so my rendition of being a ‘god’ is embarrassingly inferior to the very caricature I am mimicking, I quickly come to realize that maybe the only thing that can be ‘god’ is a God. And if that is the case, I suddenly find myself hounded by the stunning reality that God is not a caricature.
Nixon was by nature a excluder. Halderman like to exclude people. When Nixon's need met Halderman's abilities, you had the most perfect formula for disaster. – Jim Shepley
The author says one patrician English leader saw his relationship with the populace thusly: He wasn't responsible TO them. He was responsible FOR them. He was responsible for their care.
Your pain could be God prying open your life and heart to remove a gift of His that you've been holding on to more dearly than Him.
The Bible does not say money is the root of all evil; it says the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. A poor man who, in his heart, worships the idea of being rich is more vulnerable to its evils than a rich man who has a heart to use it all for the Lord.
I don't see money as evil or good: how can illusion be evil or good? But I don't see heroin or meth as evil or good, either. Which is more addictive & debilitating, money or meth? Attachment to illusion makes you illusion, makes you not real. Attachment to illusion is called idolatry, called addiction.
If the Pentateuch be true, religious persecution is a duty. The dungeons of the Inquisition were temples, and the clank of every chain upon the limbs of heresy was music in the ear of God. If the Pentateuch was inspired, every heretic should be destroyed; and every man who advocates a fact inconsistent with the sacred book, should be consumed by sword and flame.In the Old Testament no one is told to reason with a heretic, and not one word is said about relying upon argument, upon education, nor upon intellectual development—nothing except simple brute force. Is there to-day a christian who will say that four thousand years ago, it was the duty of a husband to kill his wife if she differed with him upon the subject of religion? Is there one who will now say that, under such circumstances, the wife ought to have been killed? Why should God be so jealous of the wooden idols of the heathen? Could he not compete with Baal? Was he envious of the success of the Egyptian magicians? Was it not possible for him to make such a convincing display of his power as to silence forever the voice of unbelief? Did this God have to resort to force to make converts? Was he so ignorant of the structure of the human mind as to believe all honest doubt a crime? If he wished to do away with the idolatry of the Canaanites, why did he not appear to them? Why did he not give them the tables of the law? Why did he only make known his will to a few wandering savages in the desert of Sinai? Will some theologian have the kindness to answer these questions? Will some minister, who now believes in religious liberty, and eloquently denounces the intolerance of Catholicism, explain these things; will he tell us why he worships an intolerant God? Is a god who will burn a soul forever in another world, better than a christian who burns the body for a few hours in this? Is there no intellectual liberty in heaven? Do the angels all discuss questions on the same side? Are all the investigators in perdition? Will the penitent thief, winged and crowned, laugh at the honest folks in hell? Will the agony of the damned increase or decrease the happiness of God? Will there be, in the universe, an eternal auto da fe?
To the extent that we are trapped by the overvaluing, idealizing tendency, we are not free fully to celebrate the limited but real goods of creation. Idolatry by definition is not an accurate assessment of creaturely goods, but an overvaluing of them so as to miss the richness of their actual, limited values. If I worship my tennis trophies, my Mondrian, my family tree, my Kawasaki, or my bank account, then I do not really receive those goods for what they actually are - limited, historical, and finite - goods which are vulnerable to being taken away by time and death. When I pretend that a value is something more than it is, ironically I value it less appropriately than it deserves. Biblical psychology invites us to relate ourselves absolutely to the absolute and relatively to the relative.
When human beings give their heartfelt allegiance to and worship that which is not God, they progressively cease to reflect the image of God. One of the primary laws of human life is that you become like what you worship; what’s more, you reflect what you worship not only to the object itself but also outward to the world around. Those who worship money increasingly define themselves in terms of it and increasingly treat other people as creditors, debtors, partners, or customers rather than as human beings. Those who worship sex define themselves in terms of it (their preferences, their practices, their past histories) and increasingly treat other people as actual or potential sex objects. Those who worship power define themselves in terms of it and treat other people as either collaborators, competitors, or pawns. These and many other forms of idolatry combine in a thousand ways, all of them damaging to the image-bearing quality of the people concerned and of those whose lives they touch.
Idolatry, like all sin, is devastating to the soul. It cuts us off from the comforts of grace, the peace of conscience, and the joy that is to be our strength.
Because the culture we breathe and work in rushes against rest. It equates our worth with production and wealth and fame. The more we work toward those goals, the more society assigns us worth.
You are believing not in your god but in yourself if your god knows no better than you do...and yet, in this alone, I am afraid, you have already been fooling yourself.
Belief in Yahweh doesn't come with your mind. It comes with your heart. When you only believe in things you can see with your eyes and touch with your hands, it is idolatry.
Christian consciousness experiences itself in a curious sense as LIBERATED TO FAIL, without intolerable damage to self-esteem and without any reduction of moral seriousness. We are free to be inadequate, free to foul things up, and yet affirm ourselves in a more basic sense than the secular moralist or humanistic idealist (who can affirm themselves only on the basis of merits and accomplishments. We are free to choose and deny finite values, free to take constructive guilt upon us and to see it as an inevitable and providentially given aspect of our fallen human condition.All that we have said leads us to the pinnacle of this good news: In Jesus Christ we need no longer be guilty before God. It is only before our clay-footed gods that we stand guilty!
When anything in life is an absolute requirement for your happiness and self-worth, it is essentially an ‘idol,’ something you are actually worshiping. When such a thing is threatened, your anger is absolute. Your anger is actually the way the idol keeps you in its service, in its chains. Therefore if you find that, despite all the efforts to forgive, your anger and bitterness cannot subside, you may need to look deeper and ask, ‘What am I defending? What is so important that I cannot live without?’ It may be that, until some inordinate desire is identified and confronted, you will not be able to master your anger.
The way we contemplate technology on the horizon says much about who we are and who we are willing to become.
Purge me from every sinful blot;My idols all be cast aside: Cleanse me from every evil thought,From all the filth of self and pride.The hatred of the carnal mind Out of my flesh at once remove:Give me a tender heart, resigned, And pure, and full of faith and love.
And if we ask how are we to know where our hearts are, the answer is just as simple - everything which hinders us from loving God above all things and acts as a barrier between ourselves and our obedience to Jesus is our treasure, and the place where our heart is.
Since Genesis 3 we have been addicted to setting our sights on something, someone, smaller than Jesus.
I'm afraid that just as wealth and privilege can be a stumbling block on the path to the gospel, theological expertise and piety can also get in the way of the kingdom. Like wealth, these are not inherently bad things. However, they are easily idolized. The longer our lists of rules and regulations, the more likely it is that God himself will break one.