Football and books. What do they have in common? They are both hobbies that my former pastor has shamed his congregation over. His implication: if you go home after church on Sunday and enjoy your hobbies, you’re not glorifying Jesus. To be more precise, you have chosen something over God and His glory, because you should be out evangelizing to your neighbor.
Where have all the gods gone? Christians are not tempted by graven images of pagan gods; culturally, the pagan gods have been dismissed as myths and so the temptation to worship them is pretty much nil. Then how are we to apply Scriptures warning again idolatry? We make up new “gods” for people to worship: hobbies, social media, sports, etc. We label excitement and enthusiasm as a sin, charging people with not loving Christ enough because they spend time doing other things than just harassing their neighbors about salvation.
Why do we shame people for the things they enjoy? Why do we want to make enjoying things a sin?
Pastors need sins to rail against, because apparently preaching the good news of a loving God is not enough to fill the pews. Christians seem to need reasons to feel superior. What better way to feel superior than to invent sins that you can hold against others?
Staying at home on Sunday and resting by doing things you enjoy is not idolatry. Enjoying something does not equate to idolatry. You can have a hobby or a passion that you pursue without having to constantly worrying that you are sinning by doing something that makes you happy. We shouldn’t make up gods so we can accuse others, or ourselves, of idolatry.