The great church father Augustine once wrote that one of the most devastating effects of sin is seen in the way we become curved in on ourselves. God is eliminated from our world as we turn inward to worship the creature rather than the Creator. As John Calvin said, man has become an idol-making factory.
The irony of idolatry is that those who worship idols turn into the idols that they worship. As the psalmist observed, “Those who make them [idols] become like them, so do all who trust in them” (135:18).
Today, idolatry is an offensive word, a word hardly used because it is considered so dark, so primitive, and so destructive. Yet it’s the perfect description of mankind apart from the Creator. For only when we are sobered by how perversely we have robbed the Creator of his glory and given it to the creature will we understand our desperate need for liberation from the idols we’ve become.