Monday, May 11, 2009

Idolatory comes in many forms

In a narrow sense, idolatry means the worship of any images that are not God. In a wider sense, it refers to the worship of any image, object, people, etc., that overshadows one's devotion to God. I am convinced that idolatry often leads to ruin. It is so important that the first of the Ten Commandments states that "You shall have no other gods before Me". It is with this in mind that I have to frequently remind myself that much as I enjoy photography, it shall not come before God. I know my passion for photography is strong, but it must not develop into an obsession. No, nothing in my life must be allowed to develop into an obsession; not my hobby, not my job, not wealth or health ... you get the point.

Young people nowadays are easily lead into idolatry. The computer games is one of them. Once a person is hooked on to the games, it leads to many heartaches. I need not elaborate because this problem is so widespread that almost any reader of this blog knows of someone who has such a problem. The internet has replaced the television as a modern day "god" for many people. Where online computer games is the scourge that exists in the open, online pornography is the twin that exists behind closed doors. Less obvious, but potentially also very damaging are Youtube and Facebook obsessions. While it is the greatest invention of all times, the internet is arguably also the most damaging in terms of its ability to cause widespread social problems and ultimately turning people away from God.

In view of all these, I cannot help but conclude that the first commandment indeed comes from a wise God who decrees that we shall not have any other gods before Him. Does that mean it is OK to have a bit of lesser "gods" here and there (and I don't mean graven images)? I don't know; you'll have to find out and decide for yourself.

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