Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Romans 1.22-23.
Idolatry is a very strong charge. If one were to look upon our culture with objectivity one would see idolatry run rampant. We all are/were/ will be guilty of this charge. Another word for idolatry is hero worship and emulation.
We are not saying that role models are wrong for Hebrews 13.7 endorses them. We simply are stating hero worship and idolatry is sin. It is the turning away from God and a turning unto …..celebrities, athletes, politicians, preachers, materialism, self, family, business, etc., etc., etc……
When one meets a celebrity and begins to cry and shake…this is idolatry
We are not saying that t.v., films, or concerts are sinful.
When all one thinks of is ……., this is idolatry.
One can be inspired by another without worshiping them.
One can see positive traits in others and seek to adopt those traits without worshiping them.
When one changes one’s appearance to emulate another….this is idolatry.
Again, we say role models are not in themselves wrong. One may have a career goal so they choose to “walk in the foot steps” of another who has attained that goal. This is not idolatry for the energy is spent towards the goal and not the person.
Idolatry angers God greatly. There are many examples in Scripture of God sending His prophet with the message (paraphrasing) When everything falls apart run to your idols for help.
What is the answer for this sin? Repent and look to the truly Awesome God Who inhabits the praise of Israel. When one meets God in an experiential way all other heroes and idols are put in their place.