Manufacturing Heart Idols
Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, Any man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will be brought to give him an answer in the matter in view of the multitude of his idols, in order to lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel who are estranged from Me through all their idols.”’ – Ezekiel 14:4,5 (NASB)
Setting up idols in the heart is not manufacturing idols in the heart, and man certainly does not manufacture them.
This is one of the highly popular teachings of new Calvinism, that we ‘manufacture’, or create idols in the heart, and it’s our job to search our hearts and know them well enough to rid ourselves of said idols.
Yet, this passage in Ezekiel teaches no such thing. The whole idea here is that they were being sent into exile for their idolatrous worship, and they are carrying with them in their minds and hearts thoughts of their idols they were suppose to leave behind. But they were not doing that. They were remembering them, setting up or lifting up thoughts of them. They are mentally and emotionally focused on them.
Bottom line: These folks did not create or manufacture any idols in their hearts. They were allowing their hearts to be attached to existing idols that prevented them from seeking and finding the Lord God and being satisfied in and with Him.
Don’t let anyone bushwhack your biblical understanding by persuading you otherwise. The new Calvinism teaching of heart manufacturing is more than silly, it is unbiblical and harmful. It, in fact, causes you to attempt to play God with your own heart. This is one reason why Gospel contemplation is so dangerous. It not only keeps believers in spiritual immaturity, it convinces Christians that they can rid themselves of heart idolatry by attempting the impossible – knowing their own hearts well enough.
Test all things brethren. Search the Scriptures carefully before you buy into Gospel contemplationism.
Don’t know about you brother, but I don’t have to manufacture them. They just keep popping up.
an interesting quote from luther: We easily fall into idolatry, for we are inclined to it by nature; and coming to us by inheritance, it seems pleasant.
“manufacturing” is probably a useful shorthand to indicate that there is no shortage of idols that reside within us for us to choose to worship. A seemingly endless supply of pre-existing distractions from God.