Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood and draws a pattern on it. He works with chisel and plane and carves it into a human figure. He gives it human beauty and puts it in a little shrine. He cuts down cedars; he selects the cypress and the oak; he plants the pine in the forest to be nourished by the rain. Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire. With it he warms himself and bakes his bread. Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it and makes himself a god to worship! He makes an idol and bows down in front of it!
He burns part of the tree to roast his meat and to keep himself warm. He says “Ah, that fire feels good.” Then he takes what’s left and makes his god: a carved idol! He falls down in front of it, worshiping and praying to it. “Rescue me!” he says. “You are my god!” Such stupidity and ignorance! Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see. Their minds are shut, and they cannot think. The person who made the idol never stops to reflect, “Why, it’s just a block of wood! I burned half of it for heat and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat. How can the rest of it be a god? Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?” The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can’t help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?” Isa 44:13-20 NLT
We know that Idols are nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. Paul said this in 1Corinthians 8. Who would hold a lie in his right hand? Is this idol that I am holding in my right hand a lie? Why would any make something out of wood and then expect it to take on qualities of a god or a protector?
Perhaps, pride enables a man to place a great deal of value on his sculpture, or painting or photography. Indeed it can be something to be applauded. There is a pleasure attached to looking at, handling, showing others the piece of art. Beauty is to be admired and fine music appreciated. It all can be very pure.
“The purpose in art is to create an emotional response in the person exposed to that art.” Paul O’neill, Trans-Siberian Orchestra. “Good art will make you feel an emotion that you have felt before.” “You hear a song about love and you imagine the last time you were in love.” “Great art will make you feel an emotion you have never felt before.” “Seeing the ‘pieta’ of Michelangelo can cause someone to feel the pain of losing a child, even if you never had one.” O’Niell. Friends, art creates a representation of something actual or something real.
“Aesthetics” can be defined as, “the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste.” Sentimentality can be defined, “the literary devise which is used to induce an emotional response disproportionate to the situation, and thus to substitute heightened and generally unthinking feeling, for normal ethical and intellectual judgment.”
Friends, advertisement sells as it excites the emotions; try or not. Why are people so willing to go the inferior way of emotional judgment? Is it because life is drudgery to them? Maybe excitement comes along only once in a great while; maybe folks are bored? The porn industry exists because folks are willing to accept a “representation” of a real person in the form of a photograph? Frankly, emotional stimulus is a mode of life for many and yes, most of these are idolaters. They think they are among the “initiated.”
Can we be so harsh in our evaluation? Yes. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:6. Do we think with our emotions? Well, if we do we can never claim to be objective thinkers, instead we have become “soft” thinkers, subjective evaluators. This kind of person is not interested in truth, but that his opinion may be expressed. He is a self-expresser, a self-worshipper.
“This erotic age has produced a “romance” in the emotions that is evident even in some church services. Often, in fact, “worship” becomes a romance, engaged to calm the soul. It allows people to occupy themselves without actually worshipping God in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24). Pastor Carl Stevens
Conceivably, you have a good self-image. Well, that “image” is a representation of you. Is it built on “I have a good feeling about myself?” “People seem to like me.” Is it because you give others a good feeling, or maybe you remind them of some other person? Possibly you take them back in their memory to a former acquaintance, or a great experience.
A person was given an imagination as a gift for creating, naming, designing and etc. As mentioned, “An imagination begins with a pictorial representation or reflected image in the unconscious mind. That image is derived either from the image of Adam or from the image of Christ with the Holy Spirit and categorical doctrine.” Pastor Carl Stevens
So, let’s wrap it up. Beloved, let us not be duped by the culture of our day or by the cosmic influence on our minds and nervous system. “Truth” will always be the goal of the believer, and “mercy with truth” gives us a leg to stand on. “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged.” We must speak the truth in love, but never is our love without truth. Why? Because Paul said, “we can do nothing against the truth, only for the truth.” “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt.” Colossians 4:6
See, “the law came by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Truth takes “gutz.” It also gives “gutz.” We cannot be afraid to stand for it; grace without truth is not grace, but sentimentality. If we have a truth from the source of Christ’s image, shout it from the housetops.
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew_10:32
The Truth is, Folks, truth sanctifies a saint. It brings me closer to God and Truth personified is Jesus Christ. Do we want his closeness? The nearer we get to reality, the nearer we go toward Him. With truth is clarity, simplicity, integrity, honor and mercy. Do you know that mercy rejoices against judgment? Truth enables me to forgive others, love others, and have an honest and good assessment of myself. Truth handles my guilt, fear and defines my basis for “no condemnation.” Truth tells me “all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”
Finally, perchance the sentimental dreamers are not interested in the truth. Too confining? Too revealing? Friends, to find truth and to be led toward God has been the absolute epitome of value forming for my life. It is so great to not have to be a phony. Pain of reality can be harsh, but the pain of daily living without grace is much worse. Absolutes heal the mind, the soul, the emotions, the heart. Gird up with truth and you will find an indestructible armor; a basis for love and a discernment for life. Love ya