Feedback time: Idol vs. Hero

I'd like your help on this one.

I was going to write up an entry tonight on the difference between an "Idol" and a "Hero", but I'd rather hear your thoughts ...
  • What makes someone or something an idol? What makes a hero?
  • What are the similarieis and differences between these two concepts?
I think I'm going to wrap this into a talk sometime ... or I may just post my thoughts on here, but first I'd like to hear your comments ... thanks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jake, I hope this is helpful – I strayed a little from your question but you may find it to be insightful

We have so many types of idols and so many types of heroes; so before we get too far we have to define what is what. With that said an idol is something we worship, we may not bow down to it but we focus our attention on it. Typically a hero is some one that we admire it maybe a sports star, it maybe the individuals that sacrificed there lives on flight 93 on 9/11, and of course we find heroes in the movies, television and in books. The question is really can a hero become an idol? If we look at this question in light of the Old Testament we se many heroes – we see Moses leading the people out of Egypt, We see Noah courageously building the ark in the face of belittlement and so many others, Isaiah, Job, David, Abraham, Hosea and so many more. These were individuals that were celebrated because of what they did – yet at the same time they themselves pointed towards God – they were heroes of the faith, celebrated throughout biblical history. No where do I know of are these men worshiped in scripture. The reality is that modern heroes, the one we find in every day life, do have the potential to become idols. But to counter act this reality one must recognize more that admiration is being given at times obsession. As stated earlier we find heroes on the TV and in movies – with TV it is more easily to follow one specific show, for me that show is Fox’s 24. The show has a clear hero – but the reality I do not watch the show to see what Jack will do next I watch it for the story line – or do I? Many of us wish that we lead a life that was filled with a little more excitement, more adventure and we have the ability to get caught up in a show(s) to spend to much time – and this is when we begin to stray into worship. Not that watching TV is bad – but the amount of time that we spend. I have never seen an episode aired of 24 aired on TV, I have watched a TiVo episode and am currently renting an entire season. It’s easy for me to want to watch the show, to see what will happen next – do I watch it for the hero, has the show itself become an idol for me, or is it something to fill the time that is enjoyable. For myself I believe that it is the ladder, but there are better ways I can spend my time. What I need to realize though is that anything, even TV can become an idol.

Idols are no longer golden gods, we have the western idols of self, money, materialism and happiness. When we look to our modern day idols we must recognize what causes it to become an idol – I believe it is time and priority. Time – if I am overly focused on how great I look before I go out – overly focused on my car – overly focused on telivision, if I am spending to much time in an area, I need to begin asking myself and God, through prayer, if these things are an idol. As for priority, this maybe a paradox for some – but can reading your bible become idolatry? I believe that it can. If my only act of worship is reading my bible and going to church on Sundays is my only focus when it comes to God and I fail to be in true fellowship, in true dicipleship, in true evengilism I may have caused my bible to become an idol – this may be a stretch for some but we must examine our hearts in light of how and where the Holy Spirit convicts us. This may put a better picture on what I am trying to explain, we have a father and his family. The father reads his bible daily, he studies it, preparing to teach Sunday school each night. He still goes to all of his kids soccer and baseball games, but does not interact with them the same way that scripture calls him to because he has placed his bible over his children in terms of priority. Is his own bible an idol? Interesting thought.

There are similarities and differences, it is easy to say that it is okay to focus on heroes because they are worthy of it and not idols because it is sinful. But how many idols in our lives do we place before God every day? Both are objects we look to that we enjoy, one gets in the way of Christ, more so than the other.

Today we still have heroes, people we admire. We still have idols things we place before God. The reality is there is no one greater to admire then Jesus Christ and what he did, and the reality is that we should allow nothing (idols) get in the way of that.

Right now