One of the things that most offended the Apostle Paul was idolatry.

“Now while Paul was waiting for them at

Athens, his spirit was provoked within him

as he saw that the city was full of idols”

(Acts 17:16Acts 17:16
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he beheld the city full of idols.

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Almost everyone has one or more pet peeves. Each of us has something which especially irritates and aggravates us. It may be a particular noise (chalk on a blackboard?) or a kind of music or movie. It may be someone else’s personal habits or mannerisms.

Most of us are pretty easily set off, usually by things that are relatively minor in true consequence.

One of the things that most offended the Apostle Paul was idolatry. After decades of traveling in lands where people still worship idols, I relate easily to his experience in Athens. The difference between Paul’s issue and ours is their relative importance.

There is much about idolatry that is offensive. First is its illogical nature (read for example Isaiah 44:9- 17Isaiah 44:9- 17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

Štetje svetopisemskih vrstic se za?ne z 1! Vrstica 0 ne obstaja!

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). Living humans make inanimate objects with their own hands, then ascribe to them supernatural powers.  Where is the logic in that?

Idolatry is a false religion, based upon lies.

Idolatry also offends because of its great expense and waste. I have visited cities containing millions of poverty stricken citizens living in filth and hunger, but which were also filled with huge elaborate temples and idols of gold and other precious materials.

Those who built them were impervious to the needs of their fellow humans, and the false gods to whom they were built neither knew nor cared about their suffering.

Finally many idols offend through obscenity and pornography. Pagan religions depict their gods with human-like features and passions, and often show them engaged in profane and obscene acts.

These are not “art” with redeemable qualities, but an attempt to portray the worst and basest aspect of human (and divine) nature, while at the same time titillating and entertaining the worshipper.

The Holy Spirit describes this aspect of idolatry:

“For although they knew God, they did not

honor him as God or give thanks to him, but

they became futile in their thinking, and

their foolish hears were darkened. Claiming

to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged

the glory of the immortal God for images

resembling mortal man and birds and animals

and creeping things .. . They exchanged the

truth about God for a lie and worshiped and

served the creature rather than the Creator”

(Romans 1:21-23, 25Romans 1:21-23, 25
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

21 because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. 25 for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

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Idolatry is offensive, especially to Christians who have turned to “the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:91 Thessalonians 1:9
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

9 For they themselves report concerning us what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how ye turned unto God from idols, to serve a living and true God,

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Those whose spirits are provoked by the sight of idols are responding properly. God himself is offended and enraged by such actions (Romans 1:24, 26Romans 1:24, 26
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

24 Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves: 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature:

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He will abandon those who do those things to the inevitable consequences of their folly, and visit upon them wrath and retribution (Romans 2:6-11Romans 2:6-11
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

6 who will render to every man according to his works: 7 to them that by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life: 8 but unto them that are factious, and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, shall be wrath and indignation, 9 tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek; 10 but glory and honor and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek: 11 for there is no respect of persons with God.

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). May his people also be outraged and may they confront such rebellion at every opportunity.

— by Michael E. Brooks

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