Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Singapore *Idol*

Came home from Chappo's Christmas talk to a united roar echoing through the neighbourhood, greeting the results of Taufik winning the Singapore Idol finals. Funny isn't it, the use of the word "idol"? As Christians, shouldn't we recoil instinctively at the word, like we should at the words "Satan" or "sin"? I know I realised only today that I've become so used to the word it didn't bother me at all. I thought it necessary to remind myself of the import of the word "idol" in the eyes of God! Christians of all people should know how God hates idolatry vehemently because idols deny that God is God. Idols replace God in our lives and are false gods who lead us astray, into deadly sin.

Singapore Idol = Singapore Satan?
Promoting Singapore Idol seems almost like promoting Singapore Satan.
Who do you think is god in the lives of the screaming worshipping fans who spend their time and money voting for their Idol? Or who wait around in shopping centres or at the television studio just hoping to catch a glimpse of their hero? Is it really just good clean fun? Who dominates in the thoughts and dreams of these people? Is it God? Or is it their Idol? Anything that replaces God is an idol. Replacing God with anything or anyone else is sin.

No, I'm not fingering the promoters of Singapore Idol especially as the spawn of the devil incarnate, like some do for P&G or McDonalds or any successful MNC at that. It's just that the goal of such promotion is unhelpful and ungodly. There's nothing wrong in the singing contest per se. It's not sinful in itself. But the whole circus (the adverts, the media interviews, the cover pages in magazines) appears to gear people into idolising these Idols, hyping up the adoration, bringing in the advertising dollars and snapping up their records. This gives people (mostly youngsters) an opportunity to give leeway to their sinful side, encouraging them to worship the creation (the Idol) rather than the creator who made that creation. Just like although a brothel in your neighbourhood isn't a bad thing per se, it gives you the opportunity to sin: opportunity you may not have conceived or sought out if it wasn't presented to you with such pretty and enticing wrapping.

The Unreasonableness of Idolatry
I'm not some weird spiritualist who sees Satan in everything. An idol is anything that replaces God in our lives; which we live for, on which we base our decisions and which is the priority in our lives. It could be a Singapore Idol, or our career, or the latest fashion, or our obsessive hobby, or our favourite football team. While we cannot completely spiritualise all sin (and say that they are totally the work of Satan and not our responsibility), the Bible also reminds us to have a healthy fear of sin because it comes from Satan, the father of all lies.

Man, saved or not, will always be sinful until Christ comes again to make all things new. But as saved people, children of God, who know who God is, his awesome majesty and incomparable power, it is patently illogical and unreasonable to treat anyone else as God.

So flee from Satan. Flee from idols. Flee from sin. Woe betide you if you think you can play with them and fondle them without dire consequences.


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