Everyone understands God in their own way. So, one person's understanding is another person's misunderstanding, and what is a god to some is but an idol to others. Idea idols recreate the infinite source of all in our minds – making the infinite not so infinite anymore! And ridged concepts, no matter how well-intended, can be just as idolic as any image carved in wood or stone.
Images can be a way to visualize, conceptualize and worship the infinite. However, whatever the significance of the image, the early Christians (and more recently, Muslims) took it upon themselves to destroy what they understood/misunderstood to be “false gods.”
Iconoclasm is basically cataclysm for icons and idols. It is the “deliberate destruction within a culture of the culture's own religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually for religious or political motives.”
History records various periods of Iconoclasm, However, what it can't tell us is how idea Iconoclasm will play out as truth-seekers target conceptual idolatry around them today. This quest is developing into a new Reformation as Christians join hands with others and mount a crusade to dethrone all the old idols from the mind.
Baal, symbol of a False God
Baal is a Semitic word signifying "The Lord, master, owner, keeper, husband", and it may refer to any god and even to human officials. But it is most understood/misunderstood in the Hebrew culture to mean “false god.”
Buddha of Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Built in the 500s A.D., destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, denying their own history for the sake of religious dogmatism/extremism.
The area was once home to a thriving Buddhist monastic community. This sculpture was the tallest Buddha statue in the world when it was still intact.
Tapestry Showing Constantine Ordering the Destruction of Pagan Idols by Pietro da Cartona Italian 1637 CE.
Constantine then went about his mission of installing false idea idols in the minds of all those he conquered.
A personality idol
"Life begins once Jesus becomes the reason you live it."
Really? Saying your life is meaningless until you started obsessing about a guy who taught for three years over 2000 years ago might seem idolic to some.
The law of love
The bible is NOT God. True, there are explanations about who you can take as slaves and stone to death -- and references to God's chosen people. Still, by comparison to God, the bible is just a book of idea idols. If they are useful, great, but when they conflict with the law of love, choose love, the nature of the One True God.
The Course in escapism
Setting yourself apart from society for any reason seems like idolic escapism to me. Forgiveness sounds like a worthy goal, but any idea idol that separates us from the world (rather than celebrating our oneness) is a false god.
The illusion idol
Ignorance can be filled, but the illusion of knowledge needs a crusade to remove -- a revolution of caring.
It's time to wake up and dispel all those illusion idols!
The Chosen Ones
We are ALL the chosen ones. To think otherwise is a result of conceptual idols.
We are One. We are all unique, but no one can set themselves apart as God's only people. That idea icon simply has to be toppled if we as a people are to progress in peace.