"But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors."
James 2:9
The Biblical Understanding of Idolatry
Christopher J. E. Johnson
Published: Jan 2, 2018

The sad part about this teaching is that, in most cases, those who need to understand this will never read it. In fact, those who are wrapped up in the sin of idolatry are those who think they are the farthest from it, and most idolatry is occurring in the very church buildings where it is supposedly "rebuked." Although most churchgoers see idolatry only in terms of making a golden calf and kneeling before it, idolatry extends far beyond that in terms of what and who people worship.

Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
-1 Corinthians 10:14

The word "idol" has a number of meanings in Scripture. As I just stated, most churchgoers have knowledge of only one definition taught in the church buildings, which would be the first definition:

idol (n): 1. an image, form, or representation, consecrated as an object of worship
(See 'idol', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Nov 10, 2017,[webstersdictionary1828.com])

This definition is used in many places throughout the Bible:

Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.
-Leviticus 19:4

For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
-Psalm 96:5

Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
-Ezekiel 14:6

Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols [i.e. unable to speak], even as ye were led.
-1 Corinthians 12:2

This definition is more commonly known because the story of Exodus 32, where the Hebrews made a golden calf and worshipped it instead of the Lord God. The "pastors" of modern day church buildings have no problem preaching about the errors of the Hebrews in that regard because, to them, it was a long time ago in a land far away; however, there are a couple of other definitions rarely spoken of in the church buildings:

idol (n): 2. a person loved and honored to adoration (i.e. highly esteemed or reverenced)
3. any thing on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge
(See 'idol', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Nov 10, 2017,[webstersdictionary1828.com])

"Adoration" is highly esteeming or reverencing someone in a manner which would be reserved for the Lord God, and this is done FAR more often than churchgoers are typically willing to admit. In our article, "Respecting Persons Is Sin," we go over the many verses in the Bible that condemn the practice of respecting persons, how commonly it's done in church buildings all over the world; to respect one's person is a form of idolatry.

For example, we take God's Word by faith even if we don't understand it, but to take a man's word by faith is to give them the same reverence we are supposed to give only to God. Respecting persons puts faith into the doctrines and commandments of men instead of in the Word of God, but then claim with thei mouths that worship God only.

Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
-Mark 7:7

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
-Matthew 15:8

Churchgoers typically reverence pastors and elders higher than God Himself, and are almost never willing to admit it. This is one of the main reasons why so many of them are called (and allow themselves to be called) "Reverend," which is a title that is reserved for God alone in Scripture, and everywhere I look I see so-called "pastors" who love to have their fancy titles because of the automatic respect they receive from everyone around them.
(Read "Titles Are Unbiblical in the Church" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

To go further into definition #3 for the word 'idol', to "indulge" is to yield yourself to enjoyment or practice of something without restraint or control, meaning that you cannot seem to pull yourself away from a particular practice; showing the signs of addiction. This is also done a lot more than people are willing to admit, and we'll come back to both adoration and indulgence later.

In many places, when the Bible uses the word 'idol', it is referring to the first definition of a image made to worship. However, the practice of "idolatry" is what extends further:

idolatry (n): the worship of idols, images, or any thing made by hands, or which is not God; excessive attachment or veneration for any thing or any person
(See 'idolatry', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Nov 10, 2017,[webstersdictionary1828.com])

So there are two basic kinds of idolatry.
  1. Idolatry is the worship of anything made by the hands of men; like images, pictures, statues, movies, music, etc.
  2. Idolatry is the worship of anything made by the hands of God; like men, nature, angels, sun, moon, stars, etc.
Most people believe that because they are not guilty of idolatry because they don't create a carved image and worship it (e.g. kneeling to a golden calf). However, the Jews believed the same thing; they also did not believe they were idolaters, and God rebuked them for the idolatry they had in their hearts.

Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.
-Ezekiel 14:1

These men were the spiritual leaders of their day, like the pastors, deacons, etc. They studied the Word of God, just as many pastors do today, and just as pastors today, they were also highly repsected for their positions. These are the men God is about to rebuke for idolatry.

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
-Ezekiel 14:2-5

These men were not necessarily bowing down and worshiping golden statues, but they had setup idols in their hearts. It is the wicked hearts of men that God judges:

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
-Proverbs 21:2

For example, the Lord Jesus Christ pointed out the sin of adultery, which is sexual intercourse between persons outside of marriage. There were many in Jewish society who believed they were not guilty of adultery, because they did not have sexual intercourse with someone outside of their marriage; however, the Lord Jesus Christ told them that they were guilty of adultery:

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
-Matthew 5:27-28

Because of their wicked hearts, they were guilty of sin even when they had not performed the particular action. Likewise, men are guilty of idolatry, even though they have not bowed themselves to a graven image.

When the Lord God visited Abraham and told him that Sarah, his wife, would give birth to a child in her old age, she laughed at God within herself. God rebuked her, even though she didn't laugh outloud, and she tried to justify herself, but she was still guilty of it in her heart:

Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
-Genesis 18:12-15

So again, what happens is that the typical pastor or churchgoer thinks that he is not an idolater, and that those who practice idolatry are long ago and far away, but the Bible tells us that men commit idolatry in their hearts. It is the heart God looks at, and if we would judge ourselves, God would not judge us on those matters, but to get churchgoers and pastors to judge themselves is incredibly difficult when they are swimming in the deep waters of pride in their hearts.

Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself: And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
-Ezekiel 14:6-8

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
-James 4:6-10

For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
-1 Corinthians 11:31

However, it is a common claim by churchgoers to say, "I don't worship idols." In order to fully understand idolatry, we need to have a clear definition of worship:

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
-Luke 4:8

For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
-Exodus 34:14

worship (v): to adore, to reverence with supreme respect and veneration and extreme submission; to perform religious service
(See 'worship', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Nov 10, 2017,[webstersdictionary1828.com])

The average evangelical church-goer says they do not worship in idolatry because they all claim to be serving the Christian God of the Bible. Evangelicals claim they don't worship their pastors, Catholics claim they don't worship their priests, Jehovah's Witnesses claim they don't worship their elders, but when we rebuke their pastors, priests, elders, and all their false doctrines with the Word of God, the grand majority of them quickly turn their ears away from us, which shows the idolatry of their hearts.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
-2 Timothy 4:3-4

Therefore, wherever churchgoers end up facing when they turn their ears away from the truth of God's Word, that is what they worship; that is their idol. If they turn their ears away from the truth and face their pastor, he is their idol. If they turn their ears away and face a TV screen, that is their idol. If they turn their ears away and start playing music, that is their idol. The reason for this is because what is more important to them, what they adore (i.e. adoration), is not the Word of God, and they instead indulge themselves in what scratches their itching ears.

Paul did not say to simply avoid idolatry, but to run from it:

Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.
-1 Corinthians 10:14-22

When the pagans make sacrifices to their idols, the Bible says they are really sacrificing to devils, even if it's unknowingly. Don't misunderstand; they're pagans, not Satanists, however, the spirits behind all the false gods of the pagans are Satan's fallen angels, and the pagans serve those evil spirits unknowingly. Thus, when people worship their idols, whether it be man, beast, or object, they are giving ear and oblation to the devils, which can appear "good" and "pleasant" on the outside.

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
-2 Corinthians 11:13-15

This means we cannot just pick and choose the parts of the Bible we like and throw out the other parts; however, this is what church-goers commonly do, and one of the easiest places to see it is on Facebook. To find examples of this, I simply clicked on some random people on my "Friends" list on Facebook (i.e. they're not really friends, but they requested a connection to my account on the site), checked out their profiles, and the following is what I found.

The first one I opened had a man who had "JESUS IS LORD" in big, bold print across the top of his Facebook profile, but when I went into his "About" page, it is plastered full of wicked sports icons, tons of wicked music with immodestly dressed women on the front covers, loads of worldly and devilish movies, and even more evil TV shows, and then he had the nerve to put one of his top favorite books as "The King James Bible." Don't misunderstand, this is not someone who is newly born again and simply unlearned and unskilled in the ways of righteousness, but rather, he's a veteran churchgoer, one who has turned his ears away from the truth and turned to his idols, and he's thinks there's nothing wrong with it, which is why he is not ashamed for publically promoting and endorsing wicked, worldly entertainment.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
-1 John 2:15

I clicked on the next one I found, and at the top of the page was a phrase in large bold print that read "Exercise Daily WALK WITH JESUS," and an image that had Exodus 20 and verse 3 on it:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
-Exodus 20:3

The first post I saw by just clicking on the account had support of the pagan Christmas celebration, which honors the false gods of witches. The woman who owned this profile had immodestly-dressed women on it, along with wicked music, wicked TV shows, new-age churchianity books that teach false doctrine, a fully naked woman on her events page, and promotions of wicked, false preacher televagelists like TB Joshua, with a note she left saying, "TB Joshua is walking in the fulness of Jesus 100%."
(Read "Christmas: The Rejection of Jesus" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

It's amazing how little I have to search, because I'm just clicking on a random person in my list, and this is what I find. I'm not searching through many different profiles trying to find the worst ones; I'm just clicking profiles at random and reporting the first thing I see. I would note that these are all people professing to be born again Christians.

The next one I clicked on was covered in pictures of chocolate, candies, and cakes, which is owned by a woman who does not put any photos of herself on it, and based on that alone, I can probably tell you why. (See our article on fasting for more info on gluttony.) Her profile consisted of sports teams, wicked rock and new-age music, horrible movies with immodestly dressed women on them, new-age so-called "Christian" books that teach all sorts of false doctrine, and then ends at the bottom with a quotation of complete hypocrisy saying, "Lord, of the years that are left to me, I give them to Thy hand, Take me and break me and mold me, To the pattern that Thou hast planned!"

The next (and last) one I clicked on, I suddenly remembered this guy that I met in one of the church buildings I gave a creation presentation to many years ago. He was a teenager at the time, and was very interested in our matierals. Today, his profile has no mention of anything remotely hinting that he's a Christian in any sense, and instead it's filled with a bunch of worldly stuff, like advertisements to attend evil rock music festivals, and posts about sex along with extremely violent language I can't repeat here.

There's no need for me to continue; I think these examples are more than enough to see the idolatry of their hearts. Every one of these people would claim they do not worship idols, and are not guilty of idolatry, and yet, they are idolaters at heart.

I'm not saying that you're going to hell because you saw a TV show, heard a song, or watched a baseball game. I'm saying that these people might honor Christ with their mouth, but it's coming from their mouths only. They have a double heart of idolatry:

Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
-Psalm 12:1-2

The fact is that who or what someone worships comes through in what they say and do, and that we ought not to judge according to the appearance (i.e. when they CLAIM to be of Christ), looking at the outside of the cup and platter (i.e. wearing a suit and standing behind a pulpit), but rather we ought to judge righteous judgment. (e.g. Do their words and actions match their beliefs?)

Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
-Matthew 23:2-3

And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?
-Luke 11:39-40

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
-James 1:8

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
-John 7:24

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
-1 Corinthians 2:15
(Read "Unbiblical Cop-Outs: Don't Judge Me!" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

In each profile, I checked out the posts they made over the past year, and they are not making posts concerning Biblical doctrines or Scripture, rebuke to sanctification, righteousness, or any other thing that would be expected from people who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. (You might be surprised how many profiles of a "pastor" in which I've seen the same things.) They refuse to hear the doctrine I'm teaching either (when I'm delivering God's Word to them), and instead, turn their eyes and ears back to the worldly things they're obsessed with, which is a form of idolatry. (i.e. Their "friending" me on Facebook is nothing more than a facade; a pleasantry that makes them feel like they're yoked together with the Church of Christ.)

These types of people are hypocrites that avoid verses in the Bible that call for repentance and sanctification from such wicked things of this world, and often, they try to come up with other ways to explain them away to justify themselves, but God knows their idolatrous hearts:

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
-Luke 16:15

This is precisely what those who worship idols do; they turn away from the truth of God and try to make up an excuse, and I'll switch gears for a moment to give a well-known example of those who worship idols outwardly. The Catholic Church took scissors to the Bible in order to avoid the commandments against idolatry:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:
-Exodus 20:3-5

Notice that God specifically pointed out not to make images and worship them, but the Catholic Church does this all the time, everywhere you look. Their organization is filled to the brim with graven images that they adore and worship, and that's why they changed the Ten Commandments. For example, this image was taken from The Catholic Company, a store which will sell you the Catholic version of their Ten Commandments in a lavish frame if you'll pay them $21 plus shipping and handling. (Click image for larger view.)
(See The Catholic Company, "Ten Commandments Parchment Plaque," retrieved Nov 14, 2017, [http://bit.ly/2zFcDdg])

If you look closely, you'll see that the commandment about idolatry is removed from the Catholic's version of the Ten Commandments. In order to keep the even number of ten that Scripture talks about, they take the tenth commandment about covetousness and split it into two parts. The covering-up of God's commandment against idolatry helps Catholic followers to maintain the worship of idols without shame or remorse.

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
-Revelation 22:19

Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
-Leviticus 26:1

But so-called "evangelical" church buildings are doing pretty much the same thing in their idolatry because they make symbols and images and call them "Christian." For example, the cross symbol commonly put all over church buildings today was a tradition that was adopted from the Catholic Church, and that symbol was originally a pagan one that was adapted to Catholic ideology. The same thing applies to the so-called "Jesus fish." When they take a pagan symbol, like the cross and that fish, and label it as a representation of "Christ" or of "Christianity," then they are also guilty of idolatry.
(Read "Christian Symbols Are Not Christian" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

The Bible instructs us very clearly that we should not think that imagery, art, or any other such device of man should represent God:

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
-Acts 17:29-30

The reason I haven't made any mention of things like Buddhist statues or Wicca symbols is because those are easily discerned. Those are quite obviously idolatry and abomination in the sight of God, but what's difficult to discern are those claiming with their mouths to be of Christ, but are idolaters in their hearts, and if there is this much idolatry going on outwardly, how much more is going on inwardly?

It is the menpleasers, those who try to make the outside of the cup and platter clean and shiny, that do not judge themselves on the idolatry of their hearts.

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
-Colossians 3:22

menpleaser (n): one who is solicitous [desires] to please men, rather than to please God
(See 'menpleaser', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Dec 27, 2017,[webstersdictionary1828.com])

In effort to please men, church buildings often entertain with the wicked things of the world; they try to bring in families by luring them in with the lusts of the flesh. For example, a few weeks after publishing this teaching, there will be a celebration that is common to most American churchgoers, and that is the annual "Super Bowl Party" that they hold, in which they all revel in the idolatry of their hearts.

For example, the image below was taken from an advertisement for a Super Bowl (i.e. Super 'Baal') Party in a church building called "Christ Triumphant Church." I remember church buildings I grew up going to doing the exact same things seen in this advertisement; the big projector screens with the football game on them, and then they do other games on the side with food served.
(See Christ Triumphant Church, Feb 7, 2016, retrieved Dec 27, 2017, [christtriumphant.church/event/super-bowl-party-playstation-tournament])

In this particular advertisement, they have a "Tekken Tournament," and because of my history, I know something about that wicked game. In it, they use the "ki" energy, which is eastern mystic witchcraft, they take a gnostic-type pagan view of heaven/hell and angels/demons, and the main character of it is literally demon possessed; that's what the storyline is about.
(Read "Video Games: Causing Witchcraft to Prosper" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Of course, the typical churchgoer would say, "But we're just having fun and playing games, don't take it so seriously." Does the Word of God take it seriously? Is God just playing games? Is hell and the lake of fire just a funtime place people go to? Should we do what is right in our own eyes, or should we do what is right in God's eyes?

Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
-Deuteronomy 12:8

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
-Galatians 5:16-17

Galatians goes on to explain what the lusts of the flesh are, and in this passage, it mentions idolatry and revellings:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
-Galatians 5:19-21

revel (v): to feast with loose [carefree] and clamorous [loud]
(See 'revel', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Dec 27, 2017,[webstersdictionary1828.com])

The Super Bowl is a celebration to these people, and they go into them with their loose and clamorous (carefree and loud) merriments, but the Bible says that they will not inherit the Kingdom of God, meaning that they'll end up in hell. Why? Don't misunderstand; people don't end up in hell because they went to a party, played a game, or watched football, but rather, they end up in hell because they are idolaters in their hearts who seek more to fulfill the lusts of the flesh than to seek the Word and Holy Spirit of God. (i.e. That's why they're revelling; it's symptom of the underlying cause.)

Churchgoers everywhere make excuses and justifications for their inquity, but the Bible has already spoken:

For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
-Psalm 119:89

This is a series of video of clips from Super Bowls, which is a highly esteemed American sporting event. It shows the violent outbursts from people who watch it, and also church building advertisements of Super Bowl parties:

For those of you who may not be able to watch this video (or are reading a PDF of this teaching), it shows the Super Bowl trophy being handled and kissed as an idol. It then shows the demonic spirit that comes over people who participate in the Super Bowl festivities, namely how they burst out in violent attacks against one another, breaking TV sets and furniture in a vicious, uncontrollable rage.

That all is evil enough, but what's worse are the church buildings, filled with false converts who claim to be "Christians," having their Super Bowl parties in which they yoke together with the world:

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
-James 4:4

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
-2 Corinthians 6:14-18

One of those fake "pastors," Tim Harlow from Parkview Christian Church, specifically told his congregation:
HARLOW: "I just want to tell you that the Super Bowl's a big deal, and it's a big socieological deal, and so we're not going to have Sunday night service... We're not doing this because I don't want to preach during the Super Bowl; I have a DVR. Okay? That's not the point. The point is we want you to go be with somebody at the Super Bowl. Most Christians don't have any non-Christian friends anymore... but Jesus said we were salt and we were light, ya know, and our light is supposed to be up on a hill, not supposed to be like shining in each others faces having little flashlight parties at our house. So take your flashlight and your bean dip and to a Super Bowl party... Go find some of your non-Christian friends and hang out with them [on Super Bowl Sunday]. Don't spiritualize the game, ya know. Somebody holds up John 3:16, don't go, 'Hey, do you guys know what that means?' Don't do that. Just go be a friend, go be a normal person and hang out."

The reason this pastor says leads people away from evangelism, and honors the "big deal" celebration of the world, is because he's an idolater in his heart. As I said before, many people falsely believe that idolatry stops at molding a calf out of gold, but it goes beyond that because God looks at the heart. None of these church buildings are carving out idols into familiar shapes (as far as I know), but they don't have to because they're already guilty of it in their hearts.

The Super Bowl is a big deal to the world, but not to the children of God. Notice this so-called "pastor" actually told these people not to talk about the Bible, don't share the Gospel of Christ with anyone, and there was a separate advertisement in the video that told churchgoers not to "spiritualize" the event, nor to tell people about heaven or hell. These churchgoers are being instructed to abandon God's Word, fellowship with the world, and speak nothing concerning their wicked ways.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
-Ephesians 5:11

Christians are supposed to rebuke practices like the Super Bowl. Ephesians 5 is telling us that we can't walk as children of light, having our light set on a hill, if we don't reprove and rebuke the works of darkness because light is the natural enemy of darkness.

But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
-Ephesians 5:13-14

It is those who do not expose the demonic spirit surrounding the Super Bowl who are in darkness because they are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. They serve the pleasures of the flesh because that pleasure is the idol of their hearts, and we ought to turn away from such people, who take the name of the Lord upon themselves in vanity (i.e. they call themselves Christians but are friend to the world):

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
-2 Timothy 3:1-5

Another example of idolatry is the Christmas celebration, and I'm not talking about materialism that the typical church buildings preach about every year; although that is a form of idolatry (idolizing money and coveting in their hearts), I'm talking about the celebration of Christmas itself. The holiday (or hell-iday as some like to call it) was born out of paganism and witchcraft that was picked up and altered by the Catholic Church to serve their purposes (hints the name "Christ-mass"), and their wicked practices have been adopted by just about every church building across America today. (i.e. It has nothing to do with the Lord Jesus Christ.)
(Read "Christmas: The Rejection of Jesus" here at creaitonliberty.com for more details.)

Again, there are millions of churchgoers in the U.S. alone who believe they are not idolaters because they didn't carve out a statue into stone or hammer out gold into the shape of a calf and bow down to worship it, but as we read earlier, the Bible tells us they are idolaters in their hearts. Notice in Ephesians, the Bible points out that the covetous man is a idolater:

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
-Ephesians 5:5-7

The covetous man is not accused of creating a golden calf or stone statue, but rather, in his heart, that which he desires is his idol; that is his god. I've met more churchgoers than I could count who, when I showed them the truth about their precious Christmas celebration, they turned their ears away from that understand, and turned right back to their normal practices that gave them a warm, funtime feeling inside.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
-2 Timothy 4:2-4

Notice here that not only are they turning their ears away from the truth, but that they are turning unto people who will scratch their itching ears; that is, they are turning to "pastors" who will tell them their warm, funtime feelings in pagan and witchcraft idolatry is acceptable with God. They "heap" unto themselves teachers, meaning that they go seeking out lots of masters to teach them these things.

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
-James 3:1

These types of pastors are not hard to find because they're in just about every church building you see around you, but I would like to give an example of a false preacher who is a much harder to discern for a lot of people, and that's Steven Anderson. Anderson is a hateful, warmongering preacher, who is not a Christian, but continues to grow in popularity, and he celebrates Christmas.
(Anderson does not have the fruit of the Spirit of God in him, and to see more evidence of that see our video, "Kent Hovind Yokes with Steven Anderson")

In Anderson's teaching on Christmas, he sets up a false premise that ignores sin, and then he argues from the fallacy of majority opinion (I'll talk about those points in another article), but about 25 minutes in, he finally addresses some Scripture on the matter by going to Jeremiah 10. His argument on this issue (and I'll leave a reference so you can go look this up for yourself) is that the whole chapter of Jeremiah 10 is talking about the method by which men carve out and construct idols (which is true), and therefore, it has nothing to do with a Christmas tree, and therefore, as Anderson would then conclude, he is not an idolater.
(See Steven Anderson, "Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?" Dec 9, 2013, retrieved Dec 29, 2017, [https://youtu.be/-pQ0cyWHNI4?t=26m37s])

Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
-Jeremiah 10:2-4

Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
-Jeremiah 10:14

Steven Anderson argues that the tree they cut out of the forest would be carved into the image of an idol and then covered it with plates of silver and gold (v9), and it was graven and molten images (v14) that they worshiped. Then he claims that people like me falsely accuse him of idolatry for celebrating Christmas, but the real problem is that Steven Anderson is an idolater in his heart; that's why he makes these excuses.

It's true the chapter is describing the process of creating an idol, but notice how the people still cut the tree out of the forest, bring it in, fasten it so it doesn't move, and then deck it with silver and gold. Today, people like Anderson are still doing part of this process (i.e. verses 2-4), but stop before carving it out into familiar shapes. Thus, what they're doing is still learning of the ways of the heathen described in Jeremiah 10, practicing them, and teaching them to their children; slapping a "Jesus" label on it and calling it good, which is an abomination in the sight of God.

In summary, what people like Anderson do is create a loophole in which he thinks he can circumvent God's Word and get away with being an idolater in his heart without God noticing. There is NO commandment in Scripture to celebrate Christ's birthday, nor is there description for us to do any of the Christmas traditions, which means what Anderson is doing, alongside all the leavened churchgoers across America, is celebrating traditions that come out of witchcraft, not out of the Bible.

That Christmas tree was born out of the "Yule log" which is a tradition of witches to give honor unto the sun god, namely Tammuz (Eze 8:13-14), and during this time of year (which used to be known as Saturnalia), they would have big swingers parties and sex orgies. This is the origin of Steven Anderson's Christmas traditions come from, and not only does he call it "good," he continues to lie to his congregation and teach them that all those who would disagree with him are to be rejected from the church.

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
-Isaiah 5:20

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
-1 Corinthians 5:11-13

The real reason Anderson celebrates Christmas is not because the Bible told him to do so, but rather, he was raised up in that tradition. (i.e. He rebukes Halloween, but holds on to Christmas/Easter, which come from the same source as Halloween.) This is also the worldly justification of most churchgoers. Christmas gives them the warm, funtime feeling inside, and it was traditionally handed down to them by leavened and false preachers they learned from, and that's the idolatry of their hearts, which is why Anderson and most American churchgoers continue to lead their families in the disgusting witchcraft traditions, being willingly ignorant.

The bottom line is that Anderson is making an excuse to continue in the idolatry of his heart, just as churchgoers do the same thing, and just as the Jews did the same thing in the Old Testament. Anderson and the churchgoers all claim to be delivered by Christ to do these abominable things, just as the Jews did:

Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
-Jeremiah 7:9-10

This is why the Lord God, from the very beginning of Jewish society told them that they should circumcise their hearts; which means to not boast about the outside, but to clean up the inside first and foremost:

Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
-Deuteronomy 10:16

Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
-Jeremiah 4:4

Traditions like Christmas are also held on to so dearly by churchgoers because of memories of their families, and family/friends (based on my conversations with churchgoers) are typically held in higher esteem than God's Word. Again, most people, especially in America, walk around thinking that they are not guilty of idolatry, and yet the Lord Jesus Christ said:

He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
-Matthew 10:37-38

If any subject would cause their family or friends to be upset with them, churchgoers typically shy away from doing what's right to do what's convenient. When Christ spoke of taking up our cross, it doesn't mean to go buy a necklace with a cross symbol on it, and I mentioned earlier that those are idolatrous symbols in the first place; rather, Christ Himself suffered hateful words, people spitting on Him, and cursing His name, which is what family/friends end up doing when you rebuke them Biblically.

Typical churchgoers are too afraid of that suffering; they don't want to upset their family/friends for the sake of the Christ's doctrine, and therefore, they are not worthy of Him. This is why Christ said He came to bring division, not peace:

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
-Matthew 10:34-36

In this context, the "sword" does not mean to attack your family; it means "division" or to divide:

Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
-Luke 12:51-53

This verse has been shocking to many people I've quoted it to, because most of them have learned that Christ is the Prince of Peace, which is true, but for now, that peace is only known by those who have the Spirit of God. Until Christ returns, we seek peace, but we will find none with the world because the world hates us, and I have a lot more information about that in our article, "Did Christ Come to Bring Peace?"

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
-John 15:18-19

One of the most pathetic, cop-out excuses I hear from churchgoers is, "Can't we all just get along?" What they're actually saying is, "It doesn't matter what the truth is, let's just all have a happy, funtime feeling inside." They don't have a love of the truth.

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
-2 Thessalonians 2:10

What they love is the pleasure they get from company, and the feeling they get from family. They love that MORE than they love the Lord Jesus Christ, and Christ has told us that they are not worthy of Him.

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
-2 Timothy 3:4

Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
-Proverbs 27:5-6

A man who would tell you the truth, though it may hurt, is a true friend, but those who would lie to you for a kiss, or in other words, those who would lie to put a smile on someone's face, that is an enemy. Those wicked people who would lie and live a lie to earn the pleasure of company, whether it is family or neighbor, is an enemy of God. (Jms 4:4 - We quoted that earlier.)

So who these churchgoers truly love, and who they truly worship are their blood ties, their family members, rather than loving the truth of the Word of God, and the Lamb of God, whose blood was shed for their souls. They CLAIM with their mouths to love Christ, but their hearts are idolatrous, being far from God.

We read this verse earlier, but I'll quote it again:

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
-Matthew 15:8

Just recently before publishing this article, I had a woman scoff in furious anger against me because I rebuked her father, who is a pastor, of the false doctrine he teaches. She didn't want to hear a word of it, and said, "You are a horrible person. Just a thought for the future...when your a dad to a daughter I hope no one ever talks about you the way you have talked about my father. Complete and utter disrespect." Not only was she appealing to emotions (which is a logical fallacy), the problem is that she loves, reverences, and respects the person (i.e. the pastoral title) of her earthly father, whereas I was trying to tell her of my Heavenly Father, but she doesn't care for God as much as she cares for her dad.
(Read "Respecting Persons is Sin" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
-James 2:9

I've seen others fear to rebuke a pastor because they respect his person. This shows that they fear men more than God, which also shows the idolatry in their hearts.

I've watched men abandon the church, which is supposed to be eternal family of God, to go back to their earthly family; fearing the earthly family and what they think, more than fearing God and what He thinks. They obey their earthly family more than they obey God. This happens because they are afraid to upset their family in any way; it snares them in a trap and shows the idolatry in their hearts, in which they worship their family more than the Lord Jesus Christ.

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
-Proverbs 29:25

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
-Proverbs 8:13

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
-Proverbs 9:10

All mankind, no matter when or where they have lived on this earth, in all religious beliefs, fear what they worship, and so a man shows us where his faith is by where his fear is. He will either show us his fear unto the Christian God of the Bible, or he will show us his fear of the idol of his heart.

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
-Hebrews 13:6

I say again, mankind typically thinks he is not idolatrous because he doesn't carve an idol and bow before it, but the Lord God looks at the hearts of men, and He sees their idolatry. He sees their alcohol, their pornography, their TV shows, their sports, their worldly church building traditions, and everything else they worship; they fear to lose those things, and fear even more to rebuke anyone in righteous judgment.

The church buildings themselves are idols that most churchgoers sit blissfully ignorant of. They think they glorify God by their structures, but there is no Biblical support for that. They think their altars are holy places, but those altars and "altars calls" were created by a man who was not a Christian. The temple of the Holy Spirit is the body, not a building, but they attach themselves to the lust of the flesh and worship the building because they are idolaters in their hearts.
(Read "Revivalism: The Devil's Design here at creationliberty.com for more details about Charles Finney, a false preacher who developed the "altar call" under false pretenses.)

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
-1 Corinthians 6:19

The way churchgoers operate is the same today as it was in the days of the Jews:

But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play... Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition [i.e. reproof and instruction], upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
-1 Corinthians 10:5-12

So we ought to examine ourselves, and judge ourselves in righteousness; quoting again from 1 Corinthians 11:

For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
-1 Corinthians 11:31-32

Therefore, if we love Christ, we ought to keep His commandments, praying for the fear of the Lord, and sanctifying ourselves from the wickedness of this world:

If ye love me, keep my commandments.
-John 14:15

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
-Revelation 3:19

I urge my Christian brethren; search yourselves, judge yourselves, fast, and pray that you would be able to see what idolatry lies in your own hearts, that it can be made manifest, and that you would see clearly to cleanse yourselves in sanctification. I also must continue to do this to make sure that I do not offend the Lord God with my words and actions, and that I might glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in all that I say and do.
(Read "The Biblical Understanding of Fasting" and "The Biblical Understanding of Prayer" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Many people in this world, like the Catholics we saw earlier, bathe themselves in graven images, and although there are churchgoers who do not make graven images to bow down to them, as is described in the 2nd commandment (Exd 20:4-5), there are just as many idolaters. The commandment they need to see is the next commandment, the third one:

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
-Exodus 20:7

Most churchgoers think this is like using God's name as a cuss word, that's not what this is about. This is about someone taking God's name upon himself, but not living according to that, or in other words, it's when a person takes Christ's name upon himself, calling himself a "Christian," but does not live according to that.

It is vain for these people to call themselves of Christ when they are idolaters in their hearts. The Lord Jesus Christ purchased His born again sheep with a price, and therefore, we should abide in Him.

Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
-1 Corinthians 7:23-24

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
-Ephesians 5:11

Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
-Hebrews 11:25

It's difficult for us to war against the flesh on a daily basis, and it becomes harder when those around us curse us and hate us for calling them to repentance, and that's why the Bible says we suffer "affliction" (i.e. grief) to do what's right over what's convenient. As we sanctify ourselves, it reveals the wickedness of those around us, and so they will revile and say wicked things against us falsely for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ; thereby we rejoice.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
-Matthew 5:11-12

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