Friday, September 21, 2012

The idolPhone 5

Well it's out! The new iPhone that is! It has been released by Apple and people are eager to get their hands on one. So eager that they are camping out in front of the stores. Not just the night before but for days. In Hong Kong, the first customers were greeted by staff cheering, clapping, chanting "iPhone 5! iPhone 5!" and high-fiving them as they were escorted one-by-one through the front door. Wow! And it's not cheap. The new iPhone is selling for between $200 and $400. Whatever happened to giving away phones if you sign up for a 2 year contract.

I know what you are thinking, where are you going with this. I am glad you asked. As I watch the news about the new iPhone and all the excitement surrounding it I cannot help but wonder if this is not a modern day idol. An idol is defined as A person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered. I would say that from the looks of things the iPhone fits this definition. Not only the iPhone but an iPad, an Android, a Blackberry - aka Crackberry could fit the definition as well. 

I am not trying to be Debby Downer or, since I am a guy, Donnie Downer. I am simply making an observation. I am also wondering why people do not get this excited about hearing the Gospel. Why are people not lined up waiting to hear the Good News that God has provided a way for wretched sinners to be acceptable in his presence. Why are people willing to shell out $400 for an iPhone but only drop $10 in the offering plate at church. The thought of people gathering in large crowds eager to hear the Gospel is not an unheard of phenomenon and neither is the thought of giving to those in need via the church. 
Mark 2: 1, 2 - 1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.
Luke 8: 42b-44  - As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 
Acts 2: 42-45 - 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
Acts 4: 32-35 - 32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
There was a time, as you can see, where people were excited about the Gospel. People were eager to hear from Christ, people were eager to give to those in need. So much so that they were selling their possessions to help others. I think we have lost some of this. I think we have given in to idolatry. I think we have given in to the lie of the adversary, we have decided to get excited about the created things more than the creator. We have become more interested in putting our hands on the created things that we are in raising our hands to the one who created everything and everyone. 

We (and I am including myself in this) should follow the advice Paul gives us in his letter to the Romans:
Romans 12: 2 - Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
We need to renew our minds and focus on the things that are truly important, the things that have eternal significance and not the temporary things that will one day be outdated and tossed in the trash.

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