Originally published on Sunday, December 11, 2011
A few years ago a couple folk from Mars Hill Church formed a group called the Artist Reformation Project. They used a studio space in the 619 Western building to show during the first Thursday art walks. Each month was to be a different aspect of the gospel message. This set of six sculptures were done for the show on idolatry. The idea is that we, as humans, are worshipers. If we choose to worship any one or anything other than the creator God of the Bible it is idolatry. Idolatry isn't just some ancient sacrifice on alters to a carved or cast image, but can be as simply as where we expend all our time, energy, and devotion. These things aren't always bad things, usually they are quite good things that just become idols.
Encased in each sculpture are objects representing things that are not truly bad but can become objects of worship that distract us from worshipping God.
Oh, and yes the sculptures are intentionally shaped as dildos. Mainly because the phallic symbol is such an historic shape for a graven image idol. Also it's kind of amusing.
Inside are brides and grooms and rings. Sometimes there is such a focus on finding that certain person to spend the rest of your life with.
Inside are crucifixes and nuns. Though the symbols are Catholic the idea is that any religious devotion can become more of focus than the one who is supposed to be our devotion. Worshipping the worship over the one who is to be worshipped.
Inside are babies. Children are a blessing, not god.
Inside are little plastic foods. Food is necessary for life, but sometimes those things that we need everyday can become an obsession.
Cats and Dogs
Inside are cats and dogs. Animals are great. The thing is, they are created creatures, not the creator.
Inside are little men and women in business suits and pennies. Business, money, financial security, these are all things that are not evil, but we tend do become so driven to "succeed" that it can overshadow everything else in our lives.
I'll be the first to admit that pretty much all six of these are areas that I fall into idolatry. That's probably why these were the ones that came to mind to represent. It's tough to not fall into the trap and think that it's just life and not idolatry. It's the question where am I spending my time, money, devotion, what am I worshipping?