Invisible Idols

Next week, I travel to Southern Sudan for a 12 day mission trip. In preparing for the trip, I re-read a couple of articles that I’d been given last year when I went to Sudan. The two articles affected me profoundly. The first discussed that we will encounter a spiritualism in Africa that is very outward … people worship tree stumps and use charms to ward off/appease the spirits. So, in reaching out with the gospel of Christ, we need to be aware of the issue of “power” and how significant that is … and in encouraging those who are following Christ – we have to be aware of how easy it is to “fall back” into making a sacrifice or wearing a charm to appease a spirit. All of the “spiritualism” is centered around trying to control one’s world and make things “go well.”

In all of this, I sensed that God was saying — Ted, what are your idols? What are the things that you use to try to control your world? The difficult thing about the question is that the idols of “the west” are very internal/invisible and the means of worship often involved “everything things” that could be used in non-idolatrous ways. For example, I may attempt to control my world by worshipping “efficiency” (not really theoretical for me) and the means of worship is having my phone and email “always on.”

So, for the next month, I am going to reflect/journal/blog on the issue of idolatry and allow God to lead me away from the things that I trust in more than Him.

Definition: idolatry is worshipping/trusting anything other than God (the issue of trust seems to be primarily related to the issue of control)

NOTE: the picture above is a tree stump in Africa that people “worship”


~ by Ted Wueste on May 9, 2008.

One Response to “Invisible Idols”

  1. We have so many more similarities with Africans than we perceive a face value. Just goes to show that our struggles all boil down to the same main issues; they just manifest themselves differently within our cultural contexts.

    I’ll look forward to learning through your journey and am encouraged to consider the idols in my own life.

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