Preacher: Jerry Cisar

Idolatry can take on many forms. It may come overtly, in the form of an idol one worships. It often comes covertly, disguised as something good, even a part of Jesus. It is the covert idolatries which require the greatest discernment.

In his book, American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon, Stephen Prothero goes in search of the cultural Jesus. That Jesus died is not in question, but Prothero explores the various ways in which he has been culturally resurrected. For many he lives as an “Enlightened Sage,” or the “Sweet Savior.” Then there is the “Manly Redeemer,” the “Superstar,” and a handful more. When we worship pseudo-versions of Jesus they are like golden calves which we rename as “Jesus.”

The image of Jesus presented in the prophetic message to the church in Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-29) is one that is not culturally acceptable. It reveals that Christ is every bit as much a jealous God as the Father. Of course, this is because he desires that our worship only what is worthy of worship; that we worship what is true. In so doing we are being true to the nature of things, which is necessary for flourishing.

Join us in worship as we explore the idolatries that were tempting the church in Thyatira, as well as begin to explore how we may be tempted by more covert versions of the same.

Text: Rev. 2:18-29

Themes: Political and Economic Idolatry, Sufficiency of Christ Alone, Call to holiness/separation. Witness in a complex world. Deeds of love, loyalty, labor, and long-suffering.