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Kyle Idleman, pastor and author of 'Not A Fan', shares another straight talking preach-in-a-book message on idolatory
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Kyle Idleman, pastor and author of ‘Not A Fan’, shares another straight talking preach-in-a-book message for becoming a committed follower of Jesus: to identify and allow God to knock down the idols within us – the false gods at war in your heart.
‘Gods at War’ aims to bring idolatry into the limelight of 21st century church. Humans have been made to worship, but we seem to constantly be at war with who it is that receives it – comfort, money, sex, pleasure, legalism, family, the perfect body, success.
Idolatry isn’t an issue – it is the issue! Our sin is the fruit which grows from the idol that’s rooted in the heart.
Idleman guides the reader through the modern idols that plague our culture and our churches. Blending true stories, probing questions and practical advice, ‘Gods at War’ maps out the way back towards placing God back in his rightful place – on the throne of your heart.
“As a pastor I’m constantly talking to people who struggle with some kind of sin in their life. They don’t do what they want to do, they do want they don’t want to do – and they don’t understand why they can’t find some kind of victory.”
“But here’s what I’ve discovered. Behind every kind of sin that we struggle with is this more significant issue of idolatry. Sin is the fruit, but idolatry is always the tree from which it grows. Let me give you a few examples of what this looks like: a man in our church is indicted on embezzlement charges. When I talked to him about it, he confessed, he said it was wrong, he called it a sin – but why does he struggle with that sin? It’s because of idolatry, he has made money and possessions and status his Gods, and until he understands that he will continue to struggle with it.”
“Here’s another example: I called a young women in our church who’s getting ready to move in with her non-Christian boyfriend. When I speak to her she doesn’t understand why this is such a big deal. Well, it’s a big deal because she’s got her boyfriend on one side and God on the other. She has to chose who she’s going to listen too. Idolatry is always the issue. This is why the Bible speaks to the subject at such great lengths.”
• “More than 1,000 verse deal with it.”
• “More than 50 commands in the first 5 books speak to this.”
• “It’s spoken in the first 2 of the 10 commandments.”
“It’s because God knows that behind every sin that we struggle with, behind the discouragement that we deal with, behind the lack of passion and purpose we live with is this issue of idolatry. They are false gods that are warring for the throne of our hearts and until they are dethroned and the Lord God takes his rightful place we will continue to struggle and we will not have victory.” – Kyle Idleman talking to readers, taken from the City on a Hill’s Vimeo account.
Gods at War by Kyle Idleman was published by Zondervan in February 2013 and is our 27795th best seller. The ISBN for Gods at War is 9780310318842.
Kyle Idleman Broaches the Subject of Idolatry
Posted: Thursday, April 25th
“Every one of us is, even from his mother’s womb, a master craftsman of idols.” – John Calvin.
“I was coming up against something I could not manipulate. And I could not do anything about it.”
“I started to feel this desperation. I really felt like a mistake.”
“But I knew how to feel good … so I would eat.”
Love. Money. Fame. Power. Success. Sex. Career. Politics. Image. Comfort. Intelligence. Control. Beauty. Self.
“It seemed that the most logical thing with to try to become as successful as possible in the business world.”
“I always had this incredible desire to prove myself – Chuck Colson, White House Hatchetman.”
“I needed to fill this desire to be acceptable, to be loved.”
“I was willing to pay any price, it was my identity.”
“I kind of loved politics. It’s the ultimate power-game, the ultimate power-trip.”
“I’m living this life, going to prayer meetings with the men of the church. In the mean time we’d brought a computer into our house and I discovered internet porn.”
“Call it addiction. Call it sexualizing my needs. They were idols.”
“Food had literally become a counterfeit lover.”
“I had become an idolater. Everything I’m about is to serve the god of money.”
“My gods were: get ahead, get power. That was what I was worshipping, that was my god.”
“The idols, they never satisfied. They never satisfied.”
gods of sex, gods of pleasure, gods of love, gods of money, gods of power, gods of self … gods at war.
“From the American pastor who brought us ‘not a fan’, comes his follow-up project called ‘gods at war’. Kyle Idleman wants to expose an invisible battle raging for the throne of our hearts – and in his book he reveals, teaches and equips Christians with the weapons to fight back.”
“Kyle has a unique gift to speak directly into the readers situation, and this book is no different. ‘Gods at wars’ recognizes that everyone struggles with something that takes us captive – money, fame, power, sex – everyone has a false god at war within us, battling for our time and our worship. The Bible calls it idolatry.”
“Kyle’s book has been birthed from a teaching series he has delivered to churches across America. It’s for people locked in the daily struggle against their idols, it’s for people who are oblivious to this inner battle and it’s especially for pastoral church leaders who are committed to helping their congregations.”
“Kyle knows where we live and where we could live with God’s help.” – Max Lucado
“Hi, I am pastor Kyle Idleman. And if I can I’d like to talk pastor to pastor for a moment.”
“One of the things I have learnt over the past couple of months is I’ve asked the question – are you a fan or a follower – in thousands of churches across the country. One of the things I’ve learnt is that it’s not a question of ‘if you’re a follower’, it’s really a question of ‘who or what you are following’. We are all followers of someone or something.”
“But what often keeps us from truly following Jesus is that our heart is pursuing someone or something else. That’s why I’m really excited about this new project – gods at war: the battle for your heart that defines your life.”
“The focus of this project deals with the problem of idolatry. Now, Idolatry seems like antiquated issue, I don’t know when the last time was when you preached on idolatry or even used that word in your message. I had to be honest and say it had been a while for me – but idolatry is the most discussed problem in scripture.”
• “There are more than 1,000 verses that speak to it.”
• “The first 2 of the 10 commandments deal with it.”
“What I’m just discovering is that want keeps us from truly following Jesus is this false god that is winning the war for the throne of our hearts.”
“So in this series, gods at war, we will take our people on a journey together to identify the false gods that are at war for the throne of their hearts. My pray is that when we identify these gods we will destroy them and we will be replacing them with this great love and commitment to follow Jesus.”
“The truth is that every sin that the people in your church are struggle with, every discouragement that they are dealing with comes down to a false god that is winning the war of their lives. It comes down to the issue of idolatry. Until that god is dethroned and God takes his rightful place on the throne of our hearts we can’t be true followers of Jesus.” – Kyle Idleman talking to pastors, taken from the ‘City on a Hill’ Vimeo account.
Anthropologists (people who study humanity) collectively agree that every culture develops their own style/type of religious worship.
You may think our postmodern culture has rejected worship as an out-dated religious practice we throw away years ago, but the Golden Calves has simply been melted down and reshaped into more subtle idols. Take corporate technology giant, Apple, for example.
After studying launch videos and attending the iPad Mini launch, the social anthropologist Dr. Kirsten Bell believes that Apple fandom holds a striking resemblance to religious or cult behavior and status. Here’s how Apple match up to the anthropomorphic terms of a cult:
• A charismatic leader who increasingly becomes an object of worship (Steve Jobs and the executives)
• A process which may include coercive persuasion or thought reform (promoting their products in a competitive market through launch parties and other marketing methods)
• Economic and other exploitation of group members (maybe not ‘exploitation’, but as with every business Apple want your money)
It may be going too far to accuse an Apple fan of cult worship, but worship certainly shines through the cracks of Western culture: materialism, celebrities, money, sex, TV, food. And Kyle Idleman is convinced idolatry is the root of our sinful problems.
Kyle believes the cultural need for teachings on idolatry is hugely important and highly relevant for today. Behind every sin is a false god that is winning the war. We might think – “I haven’t craved a wooden cow from a tree trunk and placed it on a plinth in my garden to bow down to it?” But today’s culture has formed more subtle, but equally damaging idols that feed from our worship. The sin is the fruit and the idol is the tree from which it grows.
‘Gods At War’ takes the reader through modern idols that everyday people look to as their source of significance, where people find their worth and where people take their values from. The things we honour are gods at war, fighting to sit on the throne of our hearts.
Ultimately, the book is actually a cleverly disguised self-help book. And ultimately you can even miss the point completely and start worshiping its inspirational author, his message and his charm. That’s why this teaching is so important! It’s a positive first step to help you break the sin cycle because it doesn’t offer a quick-fix cure for the sin – it deals with the roots of the sin.
Who you worship defines who you are, your self-esteem, how you act and how you live. ‘Gods At War’ will help you discover your idols and teach you to chop those roots and follow God, with your whole heart, instead.
Morgan (Kyle’s middle-daughter) asked her dad to listen as she proudly receipted what she’d learnt – the Ten Commandments.
Being a pastor, Kyle Idleman can never resist those teachable moments that are handed to you on a silver platter. So began an impromptu, bed-time preach about them and then asked his 8 year old daughter: have you ever broken one of the Ten Commandments?
They made their way through the list discussing whether they had fallen short. Ready to finish the trial, Morgan said “Dad, I know one commandment I have never broken. I have never made for myself an idol in the form of anything.”
Choosing to not continue his preach, he kissed her goodnight and went downstairs. But Kyle keep on reflecting on his daughter words, her innocent reaction that she’s never broken at last one of them. But in reality it’s the one we break the most.
Martin Luther said you can’t break any of the others without first breaking number one. John Calvin said that everyone is a ‘master craftsman of idols’. We are hard-wired for worship, yet when we read the first two commandments we breathe a sigh of relief. They just don’t seem relevant anymore; idolatry was for then not for now.
Kyle Idleman says that the cultural need for teaching on those first two – the ‘irrelevant’ commandments, to not make idols – is actually more relevant now than ever. This is our number one problem. Behind the sin that people are dealing with is an idol, a false god winning the war over your life.
So he begun to preach in churches across America a series called ‘God at War’. Now his powerful, relevant message has been captured in engaging testimonies, solid biblical teaching and practical help. It’s a tool to help you look at your life through a lens of idolatry, and then deal with it.
|Author / Artist||Kyle Idleman|
|Publisher||Zondervan (February 2013)|
|Number of Pages||240|
|Page last updated||25th February 2018|