The audacity of idolatry (or ideology).

Reading through the beginning of Acts, you can see the apostles taking some bold risks. You might call them audacious.

In chapter 4, Peter and John are thrown in jail.

To grasp how serious this would feel to them, remember that this is exactly what happened to Jesus before he was crucified. The arrest was at night. The trial was scheduled for the morning. It was led by some of the same people: Annas and Caiaphas. For all Peter and John knew, they were headed for the cross.

Verses 9 and 10, from the morning trial, reveal how clear this was to them:

“If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.”

But in the same sentence that they identify their plight–whom you crucified–they also identify the source of their confidence–whom God raised from the dead.

So maybe they weren’t so audacious after all. They were only acting in congruence with their faith.

Idolatry (or perhaps ideology) can be defined, partly, as holding a belief without giving it bearing on your life. And that is the really audacious thing. It is to act incongruently with what you believe.

So check your vision. Then check your actions, and your resolutions, to make sure they match. The last thing John writes in his first epistle is “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” Living congruently with your faith is the first way to do that.

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