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Fundies and making idols out of things


divadivine

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Okay, I just started reading through the "Tales From the Little White House" blog. She had been in a courtship but her Dad broke it off because "some things had come to light in the young mans life and my Dad (who is my hero) made the decision to break off our courtship." Anyhow, she decided she was making an idol out of marriage... and decided to surrender her life to the Lord's service and took steps towards nursing "because I knew that I could be independent and serve the Lord in that way. I had never wanted a career." So, I'm guessing she was thinking of some evil college courses or something. I haven't read her whole blog, so I'm just reporting what I've learned. Anyhow, Jesus led her to her now husband through a Bible Study.... and walla, Hosea!

So, she had another post earlier this year about having an iPhone and how she had to get rid of the iPhone because she made an idol of it. It was coming between her and Jesus.

I have always been under the impression that idols were like false gods.... like the story of people worshiping the golden cow in the Bible. I might be wrong in my thinking, but I would never worship my iPhone. I enjoy having my iPhone-- mostly because it's the only phone I have (no land line at home) and because I can stay connected through text, phone and social media. I know there are times when I use my phone too much. I admit it. I did go a whole week (last summer) without using the phone (expect for an alarm clock/clock) when I was at camp without an internet or phone connection. I was fine without my phone. I actually enjoyed the break. I really connected with people and had some really great conversations and made some amazing memories.

I guess I don't get the whole idea of calling things that you might enjoy an idol. We know Stevehova Maxwell thinks Pepsi is an idol, among other things. If fundies are so worried about things coming between them and God, why not give up their cars, internet connection, computers, blogs and even sex because those things take your attention from God, too.

Have I missed the boat on this one or are these fundies nuttier than I originally thought?

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It's because fundies take it to the extreme, like everything else. Another example would be, a mainstream Christian might say, "I shouldn't have sex with someone I'm not married to." A fundie would say, "I won't even hold hands with someone if we're not engaged!" It's also why they search the Old Testament and randomly choose certain rules to follow (i.e. not eating pork, or waiting 40/80 days after giving birth to have sex) while totally ignoring others. So yes, to a 'normal' Christian, an idol is something that you literally worship instead of God. Other things might be bad distractions, but not necessarily idols. But with fundies, everything is an idol. Everything is evil. Everything is a sin. It gives them a sense of control and purpose.

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IIRC, anything that takes time from God/away from God being first in your life is deemed an idol. It can be a person, an object, an idea, a practice etc. It's definitely an extreme way of thinking and viewing things.

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IIRC, anything that takes time from God/away from God being first in your life is deemed an idol. It can be a person, an object, an idea, a practice etc. It's definitely an extreme way of thinking and viewing things.

Maybe this is why Smuggar can't work many hours a day, it takes time away from God?

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How is having a gazillion children not making an idol? When your whole existence and purpose as a woman is wrapped around having babies that seems like an idol to me.

My iPhone is not my god. Steve Jobs is. My iPhone is the son of god.

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How is having a gazillion children not making an idol? When your whole existence and purpose as a woman is wrapped around having babies that seems like an idol to me.

My iPhone is not my god. Steve Jobs is. My iPhone is the son of god.

Can we court? I think Steve Jobs was super groovy and I am very close to making an idol out of my iPhone.

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Can we court? I think Steve Jobs was super groovy and I am very close to making an idol out of my iPhone.

I'll have to refer you to my headship.

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The idea that things that take you away from God are idols is quite a mainstream one, but it's not supposed to be things like iPhones - it's more about worshipping the means of worship as opposed to God. Like, the Golden Calf was actually representing God to the Israelites - bulls were a common symbol of deity, to them it was like having a statue of God. They were worshipping the statue and not God Himself, that's what the idolatry was. To take an example from my own church - we have a Sacred Heart statue with a votive stand (for candles) in front of it, with a prayer to say pinned up on the pillar to the side of it. The statue is there to concentrate the mind on Jesus, we're not supposed to treat the statue AS Jesus.

So no, iPhones and Pepsi aren't idols. Stevehovah is though.

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The idea that things that take you away from God are idols is quite a mainstream one, but it's not supposed to be things like iPhones - it's more about worshipping the means of worship as opposed to God. Like, the Golden Calf was actually representing God to the Israelites - bulls were a common symbol of deity, to them it was like having a statue of God. They were worshipping the statue and not God Himself, that's what the idolatry was. To take an example from my own church - we have a Sacred Heart statue with a votive stand (for candles) in front of it, with a prayer to say pinned up on the pillar to the side of it. The statue is there to concentrate the mind on Jesus, we're not supposed to treat the statue AS Jesus.

So no, iPhones and Pepsi aren't idols. Stevehovah is though.

In Stevehovah's tiny little brain, LIFE is an idol.

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I was taught money was the most common idol for Christians today. It's not that we worship it, or call it God but it is something that we spend so much time thinking about, worrying about and trying to accumulate that we forget about what is really important in life. "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven" was the quote often attached to this lesson.

I am now going to break another Christian rule and judge someone, but worshipping money is something I think Jim Bob Duggar does a lot. Listen to the show, read his books and what comes out over and over again is how they saved money, how they invested money, what they spent money on, etc. He seems to take it a lot further than just being responsible. (My mother is exactly the same and it drives me crazy. I think that is why I notice it in Jim Bob.)

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Isn't having a blog where you write about yourself (or your kids, or your siblings who you raise like they're your kids) not a just making yourself an idol?

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The idea that things that take you away from God are idols is quite a mainstream one, but it's not supposed to be things like iPhones - it's more about worshipping the means of worship as opposed to God. Like, the Golden Calf was actually representing God to the Israelites - bulls were a common symbol of deity, to them it was like having a statue of God. They were worshipping the statue and not God Himself, that's what the idolatry was. To take an example from my own church - we have a Sacred Heart statue with a votive stand (for candles) in front of it, with a prayer to say pinned up on the pillar to the side of it. The statue is there to concentrate the mind on Jesus, we're not supposed to treat the statue AS Jesus.

So no, iPhones and Pepsi aren't idols. Stevehovah is though.

Which is why in the Reformation Protestants accused Catholics of idolatry, because they prayed to Mary and the Saints to intercede with Jesus/God on their behalf, but, according to the Protestants, took it to the point where they were effectively worshipping Mary and the Saints instead of Jesus and God.

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It's because fundies take it to the extreme, like everything else. Another example would be, a mainstream Christian might say, "I shouldn't have sex with someone I'm not married to." A fundie would say, "I won't even hold hands with someone if we're not engaged!" It's also why they search the Old Testament and randomly choose certain rules to follow (i.e. not eating pork, or waiting 40/80 days after giving birth to have sex) while totally ignoring others. So yes, to a 'normal' Christian, an idol is something that you literally worship instead of God. Other things might be bad distractions, but not necessarily idols. But with fundies, everything is an idol. Everything is evil. Everything is a sin. It gives them a sense of control and purpose.

Everyone has made good points but singsingsing hit something that I've often thought. Sometimes fundies have a tiny bit of truth and take it to such an extreme that it is no longer truth. For example, of course you should respect and treat your spouse well; however, you do not have to degrade yourself in order to show love.

Some fundies define idols as anything that the person really, really likes. A couple of years ago, we covered a blog post from a woman who gave up her dog because she loved it too much. For a perfectionist, this is probably a nightmarish belief because they will constantly examine anything that they enjoy for signs that they like it a little too much.

If you love your iPhone more than your deity, you probably don't love your iPhone too much but instead, love your deity too little.

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Everyone has made good points but singsingsing hit something that I've often thought. Sometimes fundies have a tiny bit of truth and take it to such an extreme that it is no longer truth. For example, of course you should respect and treat your spouse well; however, you do not have to degrade yourself in order to show love.

Some fundies define idols as anything that the person really, really likes. A couple of years ago, we covered a blog post from a woman who gave up her dog because she loved it too much. For a perfectionist, this is probably a nightmarish belief because they will constantly examine anything that they enjoy for signs that they like it a little too much.

If you love your iPhone more than your deity, you probably don't love your iPhone too much but instead, love your deity too little.

Bolding is mine - this is a great way of putting it.

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Which is why in the Reformation Protestants accused Catholics of idolatry, because they prayed to Mary and the Saints to intercede with Jesus/God on their behalf, but, according to the Protestants, took it to the point where they were effectively worshipping Mary and the Saints instead of Jesus and God.

Exactly. The Reformers had plenty of idols of their own though.

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She gave up her dog because she loved it too much? So by that logical a mother who loves her CHILD too much should also give their child away? Wow.

The Bible is not an idol. See "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Bible is the embodiment of God himself, thus not an idol. Under sola scriptura principles, it's okay to equate your Bible to God in the paper, but do NOT reference church tradition and history because that's idolatry and blasphemy to suggest that modern adherents to an ancient faith might learn anything from those who actually started the faith they practice now.

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Steve makes an idol out of being boring.

Doug makes an idol out of his wide stance.

Jim Bob makes an idol out of being a massive dork.

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Steve makes an idol out of being boring.

Doug makes an idol out of his wide stance.

Jim Bob makes an idol out of being a massive dork.

.... and so endeth the lesson.

Thankyou Miffy.

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.... and so endeth the lesson.

Thankyou Miffy.

I may have been worshipping the false idol Dionysus when I posted that. :lol:

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I may have been worshipping the false idol Dionysus when I posted that. :lol:

Don't knock it. Kudos for having better taste in idols than the Maxwells, Duggars and Phillipses do.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Okay, I just started reading through the "Tales From the Little White House" blog. She had been in a courtship but her Dad broke it off because "some things had come to light in the young mans life and my Dad (who is my hero) made the decision to break off our courtship." Anyhow, she decided she was making an idol out of marriage... and decided to surrender her life to the Lord's service and took steps towards nursing "because I knew that I could be independent and serve the Lord in that way. I had never wanted a career." So, I'm guessing she was thinking of some evil college courses or something. I haven't read her whole blog, so I'm just reporting what I've learned. Anyhow, Jesus led her to her now husband through a Bible Study.... and walla, Hosea!

So, she had another post earlier this year about having an iPhone and how she had to get rid of the iPhone because she made an idol of it. It was coming between her and Jesus.

I have always been under the impression that idols were like false gods.... like the story of people worshiping the golden cow in the Bible. I might be wrong in my thinking, but I would never worship my iPhone. I enjoy having my iPhone-- mostly because it's the only phone I have (no land line at home) and because I can stay connected through text, phone and social media. I know there are times when I use my phone too much. I admit it. I did go a whole week (last summer) without using the phone (expect for an alarm clock/clock) when I was at camp without an internet or phone connection. I was fine without my phone. I actually enjoyed the break. I really connected with people and had some really great conversations and made some amazing memories.

I guess I don't get the whole idea of calling things that you might enjoy an idol. We know Stevehova Maxwell thinks Pepsi is an idol, among other things. If fundies are so worried about things coming between them and God, why not give up their cars, internet connection, computers, blogs and even sex because those things take your attention from God, too.

Have I missed the boat on this one or are these fundies nuttier than I originally thought?

I was raised Catholic, currently attend an Episcopal Church (and the Episcopal Church USA is far from fundie, and I have heard "idols" described in the modern sense as anything that becomes of more importance to a person than God. Similar to the way these fundies describe idolatry, except that normal enjoyment of the things of "the world" was always a-ok. So we could enjoy sports, parties, Pepsi, even alcohol (in moderation). It was only when a person's life practically revolved around said-enjoyment that it was termed "idolatry;" it wasn't like the churches and religious settings I was in were looking for idolatry around the corner of every enjoyment.

It was an explanation that always made sense to me (and was more resonant with the modern day than golden calfs), and I never thought of it as a particularly fundie interpretation of the Bible. Again, where my churches differed from the fundies is that we were actually allowed to enjoy the world God created.

I don't know how often that modern type of "idolatry" happens, however. I DO have friends who seem near-addicted to various technologies and I have been myself. But when it becomes a problem is a very personal thing to judge. As far as Terri Maxwell is concerned, the way she described her "idol" Pepsi was disturbing in that it almost sounded as if she were an alcoholic. Perhaps she truly has an addictive personality of sorts, but its equally likely Stevehovah has convinced her that anything and everything that gives her pleasure=idol.

The fundies themselves seem to have a lot of idols. Control, rules, the Bible...all of those things they seem to worship more than Jesus/God.

ETA: I've also heard abstract things like wealth, prestige, power, etc. becoming like idols if you value them more than a relationship with God.

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How is having a gazillion children not making an idol? When your whole existence and purpose as a woman is wrapped around having babies that seems like an idol to me.

Yes, yes, OMG yes do they make children and having a gazillion of them into an idol. Even "fundie-lites" seem to like to make "family" into an idol, IMO.

My iPhone is not my god. Steve Jobs is. My iPhone is the son of god.

:lol: :clap:

Edited to fix quotes.

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