So I have a question this morning. Do you have idols? It was something that I was
pondering with my hubby last night. Why? Well it had something to do with the city of New Orleans removing some statues and the discord that it is causing. There are people that think it is about time to get rid of them, and some who are obviously distressed with them being torn down.
And while I could care less to some degree, it just made me think. Is this a reason why God said do not make any idols?
I know we don’t typically think this way. We who call ourselves christian typically say that idols are anything in our lives that replace God as number one in our priorities. So how can I make the connection between idols and these statues? I doubt anyone overtly puts Robert E. Lee before God, or goes over and offers sacrifices to him. Or at least I would hope they didn’t. The question is, do we let his memory become a hurdle for us to climb over when we seek to serve God?
I was looking at a couple of good articles on the subject of removing the statues, and Mayor Mitch Landrieu had a very interesting quote. “There may have been a time when that monument reflected who we were as a city, but times change. And so do we.” I totally agree! Times change, but should we? Do not mishear me. I believe that we should change. When we are confronted by what is wrong in our own hearts, yes, we should strive to change. What I am saying is that these monuments, these idols, should never have been put up in the first place.
This is the risk you run when you memorialize a person. They are not perfect, sometimes they are not even really good. As time goes by, we look back and usually find there is ugliness mixed in with what we admired. What do we do then? We have a building named after them, a statue? What does the monument mean then? Does it validate the bad as well as the good?
We have feelings of connection to these men and women from long ago, and because of that we are connected to these “things”. It seems that this connection then becomes what we serve more than the neighbor we have next door. When that happens, do they then become the idols we were warned against? It seems like it to me, and that makes me sad. I hope as we continue to come up against the realities of these types of situations, that we would respond in love. That we would seek to do what is best for our neighbors. That the here and now would be more important than any memory of time gone by.