Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mago is Gone - For Now

The 39 foot statue of mother earth that was erected in my community in December has been taken down, along with the seven smaller statues at Mago Earth Park. As you can see, all that remains is the 10-foot pedestal.

I think Mago will be back up again, although perhaps in a different location. Ilchi Lee, the park's founder, aroused the ire of locals by erecting the statue before having full approval from the city planning and zoning department. He's learned that it's not always easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission. Mr. Lee also owns a lucrative network of yoga centers around the world, and some accuse him of using Mago as an advertisement tool for this business. So he will need to work more to show separation between his religious enterprises and his business enterprises.

But I think the best lesson we can all learn from this is that statues come down. History is littered with men trying to make a name for themselves through statues. Men like Nebuchadnezzar, Lenin, and Saddam. I pray that the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in North Korea fall soon.

Why do these men erect statues? Don't they realize that all statues fall?

Or perhaps an even better question is, why do people use statues in their worship? Why do our hearts prefer to worship a deity we make with our own hands, rather than the true and living God who made us?

Security has been defined as "structuring my life around what is eternal, and cannot be destroyed or taken away." In a way, you could say that the opposite of this is idolatry. Idolatry is basing your life on something that can be destroyed or taken away. The only thing really rock-solid is Jesus! As Hebrews 13:8 tells us, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
That name still lives and will live on forever,
While kings and kingdoms will forgotten be.
Through mist or rain, ’twill be beclouded never,
That name shall shine and shine eternally. (Oscar Eliason)
Here's a video I recorded yesterday discussing another aspect of idolatry.


  1. Hey Daniel thanks for
    posting this wonderful video about idolatry and how Jesus came to save us from idolatry.

    I ask for Jesus to help save me from idolatry and lust

    I'm on your skype List

  2. Good words on idolatry, Daniel. Do you think the image of the cross is an idol? I don't mean that question as a trap, but it seems that all too often people focus on an image rather than the person or the message. For example, in my neck of the woods, there is this enormous statue of jesus: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9786 or you can just google I-75 Jesus Statue for yourself.

    Personally, I think this statue is unfortunate because to me it represents idolatry in its most sinister form - a church PAID for it! Additionally, to me it represents X number (where X is cost to build statue) of children in an impoverished nation that could have been fed, clothed, and educated through a mission like Compassion International. Truly sad.

    So, do you think that statue is idolatry, and additionally, what about the image of the cross? How far should the commandment against idolatry be taken?

  3. Hi Daniel,

    I appreciate both the content and the tone of your questions. On the "cost" issue, I am in complete agreement with you. We (the American church) would bring so much more honor to Jesus and joy to our own hearts if we stopped investing in fancier buildings (and "accessories" like the Jesus statue) and gave sacrificially to people in the third world with real needs. But sacrifice has to start with our spending habits as individuals; then it will impact our corporate spending as the church.

    I do not find the image of the cross itself an idol, although I think it may have become that to some. I mean, I think its fine to have a cross on a church to identify it as a church and even to remind people of the cost of following Jesus. What I do object to is the "beautification" of the cross that you see in many artistic expressions of it. When we see a cross, we ought to immediately think "bloody torture", not "jewelry". Crucifixion was even more horrible than The Passion of the Christ depicted it.