The bible regularly condemns idolatry, yet many Christians do not think it is an issue in the 21st century. Cape Town contains no shrines to Baal, Molech, Artemis or Caesar. How are we to understand idolatry?
In Acts 17 Paul visits one of the cultural centres of the known world with its unparalleled architecture, art and philosophy. Rather than being over-awed by the Athens’ beauty, Paul is provoked to anger by the fact that the city is submerged in idols.
Anger, by the way, is a very Christian emotion as God and Jesus were provoked to anger by the golden calf and the phony worship in Jerusalem’s temple. Ephesians 4:26 tells us to be angry (at the things God is angry with), but not to sin in that anger.
If Paul had walked around our city, he would have the same reaction. Here are some of our idols that are worshipped as gods: