The heart of man has a great propensity toward behavior modification mixed with some sort of spiritual force or authority. This combination produces what we call religion – a process in which man attempts to be god or get closer to a god through righteous activity. The problem is… this is not the Gospel, in which Jesus gives us His righteousness so that we can be brought into right relationship with God. Jesus does all the work because we are incapable.
Most Christian men and women value their privacy and safety more than the mission at hand to reach our cities and communities. Financial peace and comfort have become tolerable, functional saviors in society rather than reckless abandonment to take the Gospel to everyone in need as Jesus did.
People have much longing for time to themselves to get away from the business of life, however, what fills these idle times and the length of the idle times can be formed into idolatry. The amount of time spent on internet, video games, television, and other hobbies can rob the believer of his/her valuable time for mission, and introduces subtle opportunities for sin to dominate their lives. Jesus used most of His idle time to cultivate and deepen the relationship with the Father.
The most influential idol in our culture today is sex. Sex is the most common thread woven between music, television, internet, movies, social activity, and private activity. Curiously enough, however, is that the church is typically the last place you will be educated about sex on a regular basis. Additionally, sex has become more of an identity (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, transgender) rather than an activity. Jesus gave us sex as a gift – an activity of worship within a heterosexual marriage only.
The over-indulgence of food and drink has typically been over-looked in the Evangelical culture, and yet this can be an idolatrous barrier for the Gospel. Obese people are usually the culprits for over-indulgence indeed, however, people that don’t struggle with obesity can also over-indulge in food and drink as the lack of physical results doesn’t negate any sin. Jesus teaches us to submit to the Scriptures and not to our stomachs.