When Jesus Becomes an Idol

(Unsplash)

Let me get directly to the point.

After 50 years in the American evangelical church, 30 of those years in leadership, I am becoming increasingly alarmed that a significant percentage of the Western church is moving toward, and in some ways is already moving in, profoundly dangerous spirituality as it relates to Jesus. Yes, I said Jesus.

From the beginning of God's communication with His people, He has warned us repeatedly of the dangers of idolatry. God clearly declares in the Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me" (Ex. 20:3, KJV). The great sin of Israel after coming out of Egypt was creating the golden calf—a god of their own image, imagination and design.

Though I have had growing concern on this issue for months, and have made it a matter of prayer and reflection, it crystallized for me in a moment several weeks ago in a weekly Sunday-morning worship service. The moment was intense.

The worship leader and singers were passionately and sincerely singing the "latest chorus." (Our worship songs now seem to have a shelf life of about three weeks. But that is a different article. Stay tuned.) I was doing my best to connect with the worship service, even though I did not know the song. But as I sang along, trying to learn the chorus, I suddenly realized something was very wrong.

The worship chorus was blasphemy. Complete, dangerous heresy.

I don't want to identify the song exactly, or the artist, because I realize these people love God and love His church, and are doing their very best for the Lord. But the essence of the song was saying, repeatedly, that there is only one throne in heaven and Jesus is seated on it, alone.

The problem here (and, I would argue, the camouflaged but dangerous heresy) is that according to your Bible, Jesus does not reign alone on a throne in heaven.

Now, please understand the songwriter is seeking to describe the throne room of the universe. We are not dealing with some minor theological point here, like the difference between baptism by sprinkling and baptism by immersion. We are dealing with the power center of all that is. So let's get it right. And the most basic reading of Revelation 4 and 5 tells a completely different story.

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Bishop Robert Stearns is the founder and executive director of Eagles' Wings, a dynamic relational ministry involved in a variety of outreaches and strategic projects around the world. He has ministered in 30 nations around the world and maintains a significant burden for the United States and for Israel. Learn more at eagleswings.org.

Want to learn more? The Bishop and The Rabbi is a dynamic and informative weekly podcast hosted by Bishop Robert Stearns and featuring different guest rabbis from the Jewish community. It presents discussions on topics like the content of this article, the Hebrew Scriptures from Jewish and Christian viewpoints, current events in America and the Middle East and the future of Jewish-Christian cooperation. Tune in now to the latest episodes on the Charisma Podcast Network!

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