Should We Defend Beliefs We Disagree With? | AA:08

In this week’s episode Dan answers a listener’s question about defending spiritual beliefs we disagree with.

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Songs used in this episode:

  • “Inverted Mean” from the album Disorganized Fun
  • “Minimal MC” from the album Disorganized Fun


Christian from South Carolina asks:

  • “If I believe idol worship is evil, sinful, [and/or] harmful, should I defend it legally (i.e. freedom of religion) in the USA?”

What is an Idol?

  • Idol – An image or representation of a god used as an object of worship. [Oxford Dictionary]
    • It is a person, object, or idea that on its face may or may not be a bad thing but has been elevated beyond what is appropriate.
  • Examples of pagan idolatry:
    • Worship of statues of gods, goddesses, or demons that are prevalent in other religions such as Hinduism and Taoism.
    • Effigies
    • Mythical creatures commonly revered on neo-pagan and wiccan altars.
  • Examples of Christian idolatry:
    • Veneration of the saints, common in Orthodox traditions.
    • Veneration of Mary and the doctrine of the immaculate conception.
    • Papal authority to elevate tradition to the same authority as Scripture.
    • Prosperity theology
    • Liberation theology
    • Over emphasis on financial giving and church attendance
  • Examples of American cultural idolatry:
    • Power/influence
    • Prestige
    • Wealth accumulation
    • Job/educational performance
    • Perfectionism
    • Vanity/obsession with self-image
    • Food
    • Drugs
    • Alcohol
    • Unbiblical Sex
    • Sports teams
    • Gambling

Reflection Questions

Consider these questions throughout your week.

  • Do people, ourselves included, have the right to worship freely?
  • Should we defend (i.e. be willing to stand up, and speak out for) the rights of others to worship as they wish even if we believe their religious beliefs are wrong, evil, or sinful?

Verses Referenced

  • Exodus 20:3-6
  • Jonah 2:8
  • Colossians 3:5
  • Leviticus 19:4
  • Leviticus 19:31
  • Leviticus 20:6
  • Psalm 16:4
  • Galatians 5:19-21
  • Deuteronomy 18:9-12
  • Revelation 21:8

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