God Bless Our Idols! (?)

Russell Minick 3 Comments

“idolatry is really not good for anyone, not even the idols.” – John Bach

Jesus was asked by a social “somebody” how to inherit eternal life; to be with God the eternal. Jesus highlights the total uniqueness of God’s goodness:  “οὐδείς -{no-one/no-thing} but God alone is good.”

God is self-existent. Nothing else is. God says we should keep that in mind. Existence and value of anything and everything is ultimately dependent on God. We say we get that, but then we invoke God to bless our idols.

we invoke God to bless our idols

Q: So what is the difference between honoring symbols and idolatry?The_Flags_of_the_World_Plate_15

A: The virtue of our symbols are only as legitimate as the virtue of the thing the symbol points to. Any symbol that is beyond critique is an idol.

A national flag is only as honorable as the nation it points to. A nation is only as honorable as its alignment with the virtues a nation ought to stand for.

According to Christians those virtues are only as honorable as they correspond to God revealed in Jesus. Wherever a nation’s virtue strays from God’s virtues, honor is diminished. Unlimited honor of that which has limited virtue is idolatry.

Unlimited honor of that which has limited virtue is idolatry.

Q: Is there any virtue worth honoring in any national flag in the world?

A: Yes. Most nations are worthy of some honor and some dishonor.

Q: Do any national flags have absolute virtue to warrant unquestioning and total honor?

A: No.

Q: How should we honor the mixed virtues of our nations*?

It is good to disavow the moral failures of our nations through confession and repentance in humility. Then there is integrity in our gratitude for the virtues which have rightly been displayed by our nations.

  • Anti-patriotism expresses ingratitude.
  • Ultra-patriotism expresses idolatry.
  • Gracious patriotism is neither ungrateful nor idolatrous.

A: Give honor where honor is due; no more, no less.

*Nations is plural because principles are meant to be universal, not provincial.


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Comments 3

  1. The thing is Virtue is being redefined by those who don’t know God or His teachings. Therefore what was once good is now bad and what was bad is now good. What wasn’t approved is now approved and what was approved is now unapproved.

    “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” “The Lord lifts up a banner for the distant nations, He whistles for those at the ends of the earth. Here they come, swiftly and speedily……..their roar is like that of a lion, they roar like young lions….they growl as they seize their prey and carry it off with no one to rescue”………………………..

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      Kent, you are right. Social definitions of “Virtue” change over time. Public opinion of what is virtuous is one thing; a very important and powerful thing for good or bad. My personal convictions about God’s definition of virtue, ultimately displayed in Jesus, is what matters for me when I consider symbols. I have to work at avoiding the delusional and the despairing options.

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