Monday, January 21, 2013

Richard Sibbes on Occasions of Idolatry

If we must hate all idolatry, we must take heed of occasions. Not like some looser Christians, which make no matter of crucifixes. How doth the spirit of Ephraim here agree with such? A crucifix is but a teacher of lies, representing only the outside, and that falsely; for there is no expression in Scripture, what kind of man Christ was. And if there were, yet the apostle sheweth, 'that we must now no more know him any more after the flesh,' 2 Cor. v. 16. Not as such a man, as tall and fair, &c.; but know him as the Mediator, as king of heaven and earth, avoiding all lewd, base conceits of him. People in this kind are too bold, and run too near popery. A father saith well, 'No man is safe that is near danger.' We are commanded to 'fly from idolatry,' 1 Cor. x. 14. We must not come near the pit's brink, lest we fall in. Run and fly from it as from a serpent, dally not with the occasions.

—Richard Sibbes, The Returning Backslider