My last post on this subject was on the Christian Surface Idol: God’s Will. You can read my introductory thoughts there to get a better understanding of what the term surface idols mean. I am not trying to be shocking just for the sake of being shocking, however we find idolatry in America as we would find it in an Hindu country like India.
If you attend church only because of the moral benefits it has upon your family than you do not worship God you worship your family. In so doing you have tried to make God a side kick to your supreme deity of family. I love my family very dearly. Anyone that knows me should know this about me. My family that will read this will not doubt my love for them. My love for my family compared to my love for my Jesus would appear to be in contrast a hate for them .
As previously stated surface idols” are things such as money, our spouse, or children, through which our deep idols seek fulfillment. So what does the surface idol of family indicate about what we are trying to fulfill? For some people it may be a desire for control. If a kid is told to obey his parents that will make us feel good when they obey us. For others it may be for our image. We all know there is a Christian version of the American Dream that not only requires a white picket and a retirement plan but church membership.
My love for God frees me and teaches me to love my family. It does not happen the other way around. Believe it or not many people feel they love their children and know nothing of the love of God. Many churches have filled program after program of followers of the idol of family. It is moral, free, and makes my family better.. Count us in! Worship God because he is God (period)
One of my favorite books, I received as a gift from my brother in law Mark Coffey, is called Shepherding a Child’s Heart. It gives tons of practical and theological advice on how to make sure your heart and the heart of your child is properly set upon the things of Christ.