What Are the Biggest Idols in Our Society Today?

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Dr. Brown’s Book Revolution: The Call to Holy War

23 Comments
  1. Hi Dr. Brown, I discovered you online by accident (or more likely God’s Providence) about 6 months ago and I’ve truly been inspired not just by the wisdom the Lord has given you, but by the way I see you living out your life. I too was born in 1955 and was lead to the Lord in 1975 by a born-again spirit filled visiting Catholic priest who boldly declared John 3:5 that we must be all “Re-born”! I’ve been walking with the Lord since that time. That was an amazing statement from Richard Wurmbrand about how materialism is more dangerous than anything else in our society. I’m ashamed to say for me, that entertainment, or more specifically TV has been too much of an idol in my life over the years. It has robbed me not only of needed prayer and study times with the Lord, but as a Father of four I’ve sadly thrown away many precious moments that I should have spent with my children as they were growing; moments that can never be fully recovered. By the grace of God I’ve been awakened to this idol in my life more recently and have been making a conscious effort to communicate and spend more time with my now young adult children who are all still living at home while going to both college and high school. I’m praying that I can redeem the lost time and use the remaining time that I have left to love them, pray regularly with them and be the example that God has called me to be. Any other advice Dr. Brown?

    Your Brother in Christ,
    Wayne

  2. I think that the biggest idol we all have in this society and for all times is ourselves – we put ourselves above God much of the time, Christian or not. Self worship is idolatry for it is our main focus and we serve ourselves above all else. It is our #1 battle. No wonder the bible tells us to deny ourselves and to reckon ourself dead.

  3. I agree with Deb. It is self worship. Materialism, sexual immorality, gluttony, hoarding, stinginess, dissatisfaction, anger, dissension, to much TV and sports, to much time and money on physical appearance, are all manifestations of self worship and the idol of self. What I love is that there is only One remedy for it all!!

  4. Television by far, in our society at least. So many brothers think it’s okay to attend a worship service and then park themselves on the couch the rest of Sunday. No meditation, no conversation about what you just heard, and no service to the One who gave His life and then rose on a Sunday morning.
    Our Lord knows the very hairs on our head, so tell me dear disciple of Jesus, do you spend as much time in the word as you do stuck on the tube? Is the Lord your heart’s desire as is your favorite team, show, hobby?

  5. You talk about churches who end early because of sports, but the one that my sister and brother in-law go to end their services after an hour because they just don’t like going that long (even their weeknight services).

    I told my friend, and he didn’t like that because he felt that they don’t let God move. He went to a church at one point where the guy would go until 2 on Sundays a fair amount of the time.

  6. Tattoos and piercings and even make up are a sign of going with the idolatry of the day. When we decorate ourselves unnecessarily we are either worshiping ourselves, our peers, or those that we are copying. I could include status symbols such as fancy or fast cars and the latest fashions in the list above. I just doubt that being a part of any of the above is a sign of humility. The opposite of humility is pride, and pride is self worship.

    1Jo 2:15 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.
    16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

    Shalom

  7. Though we must be careful not to condemn all make-up and Jewelry, etc. as it isn’t the jewels or make-up that are evil, but the possible wrong mindset about why one is wearing such.

    Many times in the Bible God tells people to wear jewels and even put on make-up. We have to mindful of the motives back of why one wears his/her adornments.

  8. Oh, sure Bo, I did not make mention of tattoo’s.

    But for adornments, make-up, jewelry etc. here are some of them:

    Matthew 6:17

    17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

    Exodus 3:22

    22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.

    Genesis 24:52-53

    52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth.

    53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.

    Song of Solomon 1:10-13

    10 Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.

    11 We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.

    12 While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.

    13 A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.

    Isaiah 61:10

    10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

    Ezekiel 16:9-14

    9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.

    10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.

    11 I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.

    12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.

    13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.

    14 And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God.

    Ezekiel 16:17

    17 Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them,

  9. Bo,

    I wouldn’t expect a man to understand a woman’s mindset. It’s not for the reasons you assume that a woman would wear cosmetics or jewelry. I don’t care much for jewelry but will occasionally wear small loop earrings. It’s in her nature to be pleasing to her husband–not to lure men to sin.

    I agree with Benjamin, it’s the motives behind it. Women like pretty things and they like to feel pretty—that’s all—seems it’s always been that way. The difference between the sexes.

    Some things are quite benign in and of themselves.

  10. Benjamin,

    You wrote:
    “Many times in the Bible God tells people to wear jewels and even put on make-up.”

    Which of your following answers are YHWH telling someone to put on physical makeup and/or jewels? Do you think that YHWH is opposed to tattoos?

    You wrote:
    “Matthew 6:17

    17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

    Exodus 3:22

    22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.

    Genesis 24:52-53

    52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth.

    53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.

    Song of Solomon 1:10-13

    10 Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.

    11 We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.

    12 While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.

    13 A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.

    Isaiah 61:10

    10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

    Ezekiel 16:9-14

    9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.

    10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.

    11 I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.

    12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.

    13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.

    14 And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God.

    Ezekiel 16:17

    17 Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them,”

    Could you re-post those that are YHWH telling someone to physically put on makeup and/or jewels, please.

    Shalom

  11. Benjamin and Sheila,

    I am not disagreeing with you that jewels are wrong in and of themselves. I have no problem with bride to put on jewels at her wedding or for the pleasure of her husband. A woman was made for her husband. I wear a wedding ring. I have given my wife jewelry. I know the reason’s that women want to dress up and look pretty. Some are good…some are not.

    Shalom

  12. Sure Bo,

    Matthew 6:17

    17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

    Perfume and cologne oils are make-up. You are altering your natural, physical make-up in your odor. You wear it also Bo if you wear under-arm deodorant. You are masking your natural scent, even if the deodorant is “un-scented”. When we fast, we are not to look “lousy”, but are to wear cologne or perfume and look (and smell) pleasant.

    Exodus 3:22

    22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.

    This seems pretty physical to me.

    Jesus allowed Mary to put perfume on his feet.

    And the other passages I also quoted before also stand in the physically sense since God would never use sinful imagery to convey spiritually righteous truths. If God does not want us to wear jewelry, why would he tell us that he had adorned Israel’s neck with gold chains, hands with rings, interwoven her clothing with gold and studs of silver. If we were forbidden from wearing such, then it would sound a lot like Islam where Allah forbids men from drinking wine, but one of his rewards in heaven will be rivers of wine.

    And Ezekiel gives a physical description in the last one I included:

    Ezekiel 16:17
    17 Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them,”

    So i’m just a bit confused when I gave a biblical warning against condemning all forms of jewelry and make-up, you took issue, but now agree with myself and Sheila, “I am not disagreeing with you that jewels are wrong in and of themselves…. I know the reason’s that women want to dress up and look pretty. Some are good…some are not.” Amen.

  13. Benjamin,

    You wrote:
    “So i’m just a bit confused when I gave a biblical warning against condemning all forms of jewelry and make-up, you took issue, but now agree with myself and Sheila, “I am not disagreeing with you that jewels are wrong in and of themselves….”

    I stand by my statements. And your warning was not Biblical…there is nothing to back your statement that YHWH tells us to put on jewelry and makeup.

    Do you really think anointing our heads is putting on makeup? Big stretch if you ask me.

    Do you really think that deodorant is makeup? Big stretch if you ask me.

    Ezekiel does not say that Israel was wearing Jewelry or that YHWH told them to wear it, but that they made idols of the wealth that YHWH had given them.

    So Benjamin, you have exactly one place where the Israelites were told to put on jewels, and it is a special case to spoil the Egyptians…not decorate themselves for the sake of decorating. You have no places where YHWH told anyone to put on makeup or tattoo themselves. The “Many times in the Bible God tells people to wear jewels and even put on make-up” does not exist.

    Where do we get the idea of decorating ourselves? Is it really a Biblical thing as you asserted? One specific occasion in a special circumstance for a purpose that none of us will probably ever be in, is hardly proof of your statement.

    Holy, righteous women do not desire to stand out to anyone but their husbands. They are careful to not bring attention to themselves even by their speaking.

    1Ti 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
    10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
    11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
    12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
    13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
    14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

    What is the real decoration that pleases and brings change to a woman’s husband?

    1Pe 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
    2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
    3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
    4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
    5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
    6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

    Re 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

    Or decorating ourselves is stricken with the fear of man (man pleasing), copying the worlds ideas, and idolizing celebrities. The man that takes pride in showing off his wealth or his generosity by decorating his wife is not doing her any favors. If our alms are supposed to be in private, why would we want to show off what we have given our wives?

    Pr 7:10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

    Women professing “godliness” should not look at all like a harlot. Nor should men look effeminate or like boys.

    Le 19:27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
    28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
    29 Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.

    Marks are marks, whether temporary or permanent. Tattoos are just permanent makeup. Makeup is permanent tattoos. Interesting that directly after the command not to print marks on ourselves the subject naturally leads to prostituting ones daughters. Does makeup and prostitution go together? Throughout the ages, believers have taught that this is so.

    Shalom

  14. Our (not or) decorating ourselves is stricken with the fear of man (man pleasing), copying the worlds ideas, and idolizing celebrities.

  15. Sheila,

    You wrote:
    ” Women like pretty things and they like to feel pretty—that’s all—seems it’s always been that way. The difference between the sexes.

    Some things are quite benign in and of themselves.”

    Well…men are naturally different than women. They like to see naked women. Women like to look pretty. One may seem like sin and the other natural. They are both natural. They are part of our flesh. There is a place for nakedness and looking pretty. In the marriage chamber. The desire to be seen as or feel pretty is supposed to be fulfilled by the husband only. The desire to see nakedness is to be fulfilled by the wife only.

    Women put on skimpy swimsuits to look pretty. They wear miniskirts to church to look pretty. They wear makeup to look pretty. Men are glad to see the skimpy swim suits and the miniskirts and the makeup. Are you sure that we are not just giving into the flesh?

    Shalom

  16. When I say above, “Are you sure that we are not just giving into the flesh?” I am meaning the men and the women. Men shave their faces to look “pretty.” Most women are trained to like the shaven face look. Our culture should not dictate what is right. What is normal to our culture is likely worldly, fleshly, and ultimately…evil.

  17. 1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
    16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

    Le 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
    3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
    4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.

    Shabbat Shalom

  18. Bo,

    I absolutely agree that a woman who would wear skimpy clothing and barely there swimsuits is not walking in modesty and is provoking the base instincts of men. However, to forgo everyday cosmetics or wearing a fashionable hair style because “men like to look at naked women” is really stretching it. There is a psychological aspect to us, as humans, that needs to be kept in balance just as our spiritual and emotional needs are different from one another, so the psychological reasons are just as real as the others. We eat so we can be physically nourished, we commune with God so we can be spiritually nourished and we tend to our psyche so we can be psychologically healthy as well. There is nothing wrong with being human, Bo. That’s what we are.

    I see your point, but, when a woman is going about her life living modestly she can’t be responsible for the perversion of others who find her attractive. What of this example, was Sarah responsible for being fair to look at when the Egyptian took her into his harem? I think not.

    Cosmetics, jewelry, pretty things are to a woman’s psyche what food is to the body—it serves a purpose for wellness.

    God has never spoken against it—only as far as how we’re to conduct ourselves with modesty. I really don’t think a modest amount of cosmetics and jewelry is contrary to that rule of conduct.

    Thanks.

  19. There’s an informative site I found. You may search “What does the Bible say about…Jewelry, Makeup, and other Adornments.”, which was what it was called.

  20. Personally I find I Tim 2:9 to be the most pleasing. I trust God likes it too, but let’s remember that this isn’t law. Timothy exhorted it. I believe it’s good, but it isn’t law as if we are under law.

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