Stylos is the blog of Jeff Riddle, a Reformed Baptist Pastor in North Garden, Virginia. The title "Stylos" is the Greek word for pillar. In 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul urges his readers to consider "how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar (stylos) and ground of the truth."
Image (left side): Decorative urn with title for the book of Acts in Codex Alexandrinus.
Friday, August 21, 2015
The Vision (8.21.15): Keep Yourselves from Idols
Acts 15:20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions
of idols, and from fornication,
and from things strangled, and from blood.
2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,
saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
1 John 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
Sunday I preached from Acts 15 on The Apostolic Decree in which the apostles
and elders in Jerusalem wrote to the Gentile brethren in Antioch telling them they did not need to be
circumcised but they did need to abstain from idolatry, fornication, things
strangled, and blood (the latter two likely referring to pagan
sacrifices). Here is an excerpt:
past week I read a book titled Fragments
from Kamunting: 325 days in police
custody for the Christian faith. The
book is a collection of the prison writings of Pastor Poh Boon Sing of Malaysia
who was imprisoned for his faith from October 27, 1987 to September 17,
1988. From prison he continued reading,
writing, and directing his church’s labors as a pastor. In one letter he passed on counsel to share
with the church regarding a new convert who had come to Christ out of paganism
but who still had household gods within her home. He wrote the following:
Concerning the removal of
idols at Mdm Ng’s, a bit of “ceremony” will do no harm, and may even accomplish
some good. My suggestion is that Ho
leads a group of church members to her house at the appointed time, sing a
hymn, pray, then ask her the following questions in the hearing of all:
(i) Do you personally
and willingly desire these idols to be destroyed?
(ii) Do you agree to continue learning more of the
Bible’s teachings and to obey God to the best of your ability?
Then proceed to remove all the
idols, ask her for any charm papers and lockets that need destroying, and bring
them out of the house. When everyone is
gathered around read Acts 19:11-20. Then
say, “Mdm Ng has requested for these idols to be destroyed. We shall now destroy them in the name of the
true and living God—The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Then proceed to break the idols and tear up
all the charm papers. Then burn them.
Bring along a hammer and old newspapers and matches! Finally sing another hymn and close in
prayer. Perhaps have a cup of tea in her
house before leaving (pp. 128-129).
is essentially what the apostles were saying to the Gentile believers in the
Apostolic Decree. You do not need
circumcision. You need the true and
living God. And you must break completely with your old pagan life and your old
Western context, we may not have household gods that need to be removed in this
manner, but we do have our own idols that must be crushed when we come to