Our Church, Crosspointe Church, is three weeks into a series called Practical Atheist. A practical atheist is someone who claims to believe in God, but lives as if he doesn’t exist. Each sermon has a similar gist:
Millie wrote a post about last weeks message which included a very interesting vlog of Penn Jillett, the magician and entertainer. You should take a look at it. I contributed a little to this week’s message with a short video of Jon and I explaining briefly how money can resemble idols in our lives.
Our pastor, Chan Kilgore, did an excellent job covering 1 Timothy 6:6-10;17-10. Here are some excerpts:
- “Has something or someone besides Jesus Christ taken title to your heart’s functional trust, preoccupation, loyalty, service, fear and delight?”
- Idolatry is not one of many sins. Idolatry is at the root of all sin.
- “All our failures to trust God wholly or live rightly are due at root to idolatry”. This is similar to what Martin Luther said in his commentary on Romans, “the Scriptures see into the heart, to the root and main source of all sin: unbelief in the depth of the heart.”
Chan then talked about “near idols” vs. “far idols”. Far idols being power, approval, comfort, control, etc. They are roots in one’s life, They are driving forces. They can work through near idols and “are dealt with mainly by a process of repenting and rejoicing.”
Near idols are more tangible like money, spouse, career, car, Chan’s iPhone, etc. Near idols are good things that need to be detached from far idols. Meaning, if the far idol approval is using your career to supersede Christ, then you must deal with the idol of approval and separate it from your career. The career is not a bad thing, it is a gift form God and should lead you to worship Him, not replace Him as your object of your worship.
“Idolatry leads to additions, severe anxiety, obsessions, envy, conflict, and resentment.”
“The cross creates a counter culture in which money ceases to control us and is used in life-giving and community-building rather than destructive ways. The cross leads us to look to Christ instead of idols to give our lives meaning, purpose, value and significance. It leads us to a radical change of heart. You will become strangely content and outrageously generous.”
I don’t feel like I struggle with making money an idol in my life, however, being several months unemployed, I can see that only a scintilla of trust in money can lead to anxiety, obsessions, envy, conflict, etc.