Calvin points out that “man’s nature is a perpetual factory of idols” (Inst. I.11.8). Man’s mind is so full of pride and boldness that it dares to imagine a god according to its own capacity. And that capacity reveals itself in producing statues, pictures and anything else to represent God. Yet we know that God is invisible and cannot be represented by the visible. But we persist in this production, don’t we? Calvin says that man’s mind “sluggishly plods, indeed is overwhelmed with the crassest ignorance…it conceives an unreality and an empty appearance as God” (Inst. I.11.8). He further says that “to these evils a new wickedness joins itself, that man tries to express in his work the sort of God he has inwardly conceived. Therefore, the mind begets an idol; the hand gives it birth” (Inst. I.1.8). We still see this today in our superstitious culture. It extends to the sports field, the business world, the art world, the music world, and, of course, is everywhere rife in Hollywood. Calvin reveals the human heart when he says, “daily experience teaches us that flesh is always uneasy until it has obtained some figment like itself in which it may fondly find solace as in a n image of God. In almost every age since the beginning of the world, men, in order that they might obey this blind desire, have set up symbols in which they believed God appeared before their bodily eyes” (Inst. I.11.8). We are to guard our minds and hearts in Christ Jesus. Ultimately, this is all about worship- who we worship!
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