Jeremiah Burroughs (The Saints Treasury, p. 11):
[O]bserve how the Scripture sets out the spirits of men after their Idoll gods, in regard of the cost they are willing to bestow upon them. Isa. 46:6. They shall lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the ballance, and hire a goldsmith, and he maketh it a god. They care not what cost they are at to worship their Idols. O what a shame would it be if we should not be willing to part with much of our estates for the true worship of the true God: and though we should lose our estates, yet if we can serve God better, and in a purer way, we should be content; for Idolaters will lavish gold out of the bag upon their Idols. Now there is none like to our God; therefore it is a shame that they should doe more for their gods then we doe for ours. And then what are Idolaters willing to suffer for their gods? 1 Kings 18:28 how did Baals Priests there cut themselves after their manner, with Knives and Lancers, till the blood gushed out, to shew their respect to their Idols! let us then be willing to suffer any thing that God calls us to. And how constant were they to their Idols! therefore sayes God, Jer. 2:10, 11. Consider diligently and see, if there be such a thing: hath a Nation changed their gods which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit; how ill doth God take this that Idolaters should not change their gods that are infinitely below him, and yet that his people should change their God who is infinitely above them?
Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/threads/they-do-more-for-their-gods.91736/, Comment 1
Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays v.2:1926-1929: “The Substitutes for Religion”:
The arts, including music and certain important kinds of literature, have been, at most periods, the handmaids of religion. Their principal function was to provide religion with the visible or audible symbols which create in the mind of the beholder those feelings which for him personally are the god. Divorced from religion, the arts are now independently cultivated for their own sake. That aesthetic beauty which was once devoted to the service of God has now set up as a god on its own. The cultivation of art for its own sake has become a substitute for religion. That it is an extremely inadequate substitute must be apparent to anyone who has observed the habits of those who lead the pure, aesthetic life. Where beauty is worshipped for beauty’s sake as a goddess, independent of and superior to morality and philosophy, the most horrible putrefaction is apt to set in. The lives of the aesthetes are the far from edifying commentary on the religion of beauty.
Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/89395-Idolizing-the-Arts, Comment #1
“God will not wink at sin or gloss over evil doing. Whether He be dealing in judgment with an individual or with a nation, that which has displeased Him must be rectified before there can be a return of His favour. It is useless to pray for His blessing while we refuse to put away that which has called down His curse. It is vain to talk about exercising faith in God’s promises until we have exercised repentance for our sins. Our idols must be destroyed before He will accept our worship.”
~ Arthur Pink, “The Life of Elijah”
“If you are without Christ, you do not reject Christ because of any fatalistic fear of God’s decree. That is not what keeps you from Christ. You do not reject Christ because of the hypocrites you claim to see in the church. You may say that is why you reject Him, but you know it is a deception. Nor do you reject Christ because of any intellectual doubts you may have. You reject Jesus Christ because of your sin, because you are disobedient, because you love your wickedness, and because your heart is bound to your idols. That is why you reject Jesus Christ, your love of sin. The Lord Jesus said, “Men love darkness rather than light.” Why? Because they have intellectual difficulties with the light? Because they see hypocrites professing to walk in the light? Because they have some fatalistic notions of God’s predestination? No, sir! Strip the cloak of hypocrisy away from you today, and listen to what Jesus said. “Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil”–and for that reason only. It is sin that keeps you from Christ.”
Read more: Rev. Alan Cairns, Election and Reprobation, http://media.sermonaudio.com/articles/fa-7708201047-10.pdf, distributed by Faith Free Presbyterian Church at http://www.sermonaudio.com/source_articles.asp?sourceid=faith
“I would rather be open to the charge of worshipping the Bible than to be an apostate who rejects the Word of God and then seeks to deceive himself that he does not reject the God of the Word.”
~Rev. Alan Cairns, “Election and Reprobation,” distributed online by Faith Free Presbyterian Church at http://www.sermonaudio.com/source_articles.asp?sourceid=faith
Michael W. Pursley:
Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name;
Bring an offering and come into His courts.
Worship the LORD in holy attire;
Tremble before Him, all the earth.
Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns;
Indeed, the world is firmly established,
it will not be moved;
He will judge the peoples with equity.”
Psalms 96: 8-10
Do you realize just how outdated that verse is in today’s Seeker-friendly churches? Today, we live in a world where we go to church in flip-flops. We politely(?) sip water from plastic bottles, or our coffee Lattes during the church services. Sometimes we show up with our hair looking like we just rolled out of bed. In fact, we sometimes dress up better to watch television than we do for church. And then, to justify the egregiousness of our attitudes, we tell ourselves that God is just happy that we even decided to get out of bed to show up and to worship Him…. Really? Says who?
Read more: https://regenerationandrepentance.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/losing-salt-seeker-friendliness-and-our-idolatry-in-worship/
Thomas Boston, Works, 5:9 (The Art of Man-Fishing):
As the water is the natural element of fish, so sin is the proper and natural element for an unconverted soul. Take the fish out of the water, it cannot live; and take from a natural man his idols, he is ready to say with Micah, Ye have taken away my gods, and what have I more? The young man in the gospel could not be persuaded to seek after treasure in heaven, and lay by the world. It is in sin that the only delight of natural men is; but in holiness they have no more delight than a fish upon the earth, or a sow in a palace. Oh, the woeful case of a natural man! Bless the Lord, O my soul, that when that was thy element as well as that of others, yet Christ took thee in his net, held thee, and would not let thee go, and put another principle in thee, so that now it is heavy for thee to wade, far more to swim in these waters.
Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/f25/christ-took-thee-his-net-84272/, Comment #1