Are we provoked by Idolatry?

By | 07:53:00 Leave a Comment
Acts 17:16
"Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols."

The Greek for "provoked" is paroxuno, which means 'exasperated' or 'agitated'. Paul, while walking around Athens found himself unsettled and 'provoked' by the idolatry of the city.
As I read about this I began asking if I am unsettled by the idolatry that surrounds me in western civilization, does it bother me that my city has given itself to idols?

What Idols?
In our culture we don't really go for carvings of stone or wood, rather we make idols of flesh! Romans ch1 tells us that idolatry is to worship and value any created thing above the creator. So when we worship anything other than God we have made that our idol.
Our cultures biggest idol is the human body, this is the most worshipped idol of our day.
It doesn't take long to discover this, a sexy body is valued highly in the western world - big round, firm boobs - a tight six pack - tanned and toned bodies and a pretty face are held up everywhere as being of utmost importance.

Billboards, magazines, television, film, all of advertising, and seemingly everywhere we look is obsessed! Even in a walk around my own city of Lisburn there are countless beauty salons and hairdressers even several gyms etc all of which exist, with great demand because we value the body and the pleasures possible with the body above all else.

This is the very reason why the porn industry is so huge, because we love to worship what we value, in this case gazing upon nakedness while expressing worship of it, often through masturbation, even willing to pay millions into the cause of this religion of sex!

The rise of plastic surgery and implants etc are another outpouring of this idolatry of the human body. Our culture is so convinced that to 'look good' is of utmost importance and is of great value that we are willing to pay large sums of money and undergo suffering at the hands of a surgeon just to get bigger assets or a more toned look!

So Idolatry is everywhere around us, we have given ourselves over to it, and the questions we must ask is "Do we find our spirits being provoked, unsettled and disturbed by it?"

And that is pretty much what I set out to ask in this post, do we see the idolatry around us and do we find our spirits 'provoked' by it?

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