At this mornings bible study, one of the girls commented on the phrase "You alone are God" and how the people of Israel being surrounded by all the nations, saw the other gods and were proclaiming the superiority of the true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And we pondered as a group on how we can understand this concept in our own times. I made some quick comment about the "wilderness of Manhattan". But I've come back to this thought now and realized just how applicable this concept is. We may not have many wooden and clay statues being worshiped throughout the city, but we do have clothes, jewelry, and shoes. What is a god if not something that we worship. Something we give the right to define who we are. What kind of shoes do you wear?
So this got me thinking. Is it wrong to wear name brand shoes? Well, let's look back to our brothers and sisters as they lived in the land of Egypt. The Egyptians worshiped many things in creation, even the sun and the river. Were the Israelites then supposed to refrain from using these various parts of creation since another people group were abusing them? (Not that you can not use the sun, good luck with trying that one!) No, Israel was supposed to use God's creation, to care for God's creation, as God's steward over creation. So, today. What do we do with clothes, jewelry, and shoes? There has to be some way to balance the use and cultivation of culture and creation without worshiping it. I'm not sure this is the kind of thing where you can put down 10 easy rules to follow. It's a heart matter.
In Christian circles, there seems to be either an ignorant and passive acceptance of the idols of our culture or an active rejection of not only the idols of our culture, but the culture as a whole. Neither of these is biblical. The key is not acceptance nor rejection, but submission.