When we say idols, depending on who you are and where you are from, this could mean just about anything from the mystical to the physical. To avoid all confusion and create a common frame of thought, let’s have a definition. Though in this post, I will be using two definitions, hoping to arrive at a unique summation.
a representation or symbol of an object of worship
an object of extreme devotion
Safe to say that, the first definition easily lends itself to the mystical, whilst the second lends itself easily to the physical. We haven’t seemed to make any progress as far as the topic of discussion is concerned, but perhaps we have taken the hardest step of all, which is to confront ourselves with a clear concept of what an idol is rather than bank on some vague notion. The next step would be to examine the assertions before us.
We can see two keys frames of thought i.e object of worship and object of extreme devotion. The moment we make this observation, we find that, at the center of the matter, irrespective of the realm from which we want to explain it, an idol essentially is anything or anyone to which we accord extreme devotion, for the reality of worship is equally also expressed in the intensity of our devotion to the object of worship.
Therefore we realize that anything, anyone, physical or mystical, that is accorded undiluted, undisputed, unreserved devotion is an idol, irrespective of whatever names we ascribe to them.
Two questions immediately spring to mind, probably among several others anyway.
The first is, where is God in all this? Does this make him also an idol?
The second is, what is the much ado about having an idol?
To the first, we can proffer a simple yet profound answer. And it is this: The Creator, God, is the rightful and only recipient of all the devotion of the Created. For the Created to direct such devotion unto another would be to commit a sacrilege of eternal proportions.
To the second, see you tomorrow evening.