Some people mentioned in the Bible forcefully took action against things related to false gods/false worship. For example:
- Gideon tore down his father’s altar to Baal, which shouldn’t have been there in the first place. (Judges 6:25-32; see 2:2)
- King Josiah’s destroying of pagan objects even smacks of overkill. (2 Chronicles 34)
- Samson pulled down the temple of the god Dagon. (Judges 16:23-30)
- Nehemiah was aggressive with God’s enemy Tobiah—tossed him out on his ear. (Nehemiah 13; see chaps. 4, 6)
- Ephesians who had been occultists burned their sorcery paraphernalia when they became Christians. (Acts 19:17-20)
There are modern-day believers who are equally dismayed at pagan influence.
- Prominently displayed in one bookstore was a book about vampires, an obvious attraction for teens. A Christian shopper looked inside and found pages of vile, pornographic stuff. The shopper could tell there was gap of space behind the bookshelf, between the shelf and the wall it rested against. So she looked both ways and then dropped the book over the back of the shelf.
- In a village in Japan, an elderly Christian man was known to sneak around at night, looking for little idols and shrines. He’d knock them over.
- The story was told of Christian kids in a country where Buddhist prayer wheels were common. The kids tried to “undo” the effects by stopping the wheels and spinning them in reverse.
- Giant Buddha-head sculptures, 100 total, were installed throughout Chicago in 2013—part of the so-called Ten Thousand Ripples project. These big heads were “planted” to appear as if emerging out of the ground. And at least one of the Buddha heads was showcased in front of a church. But on that Easter weekend, one head “was found with its head smashed in.”
- More than one shopper in bookstores has been known to scoot Christian books with good, strong content to the front of displays and turn around books that are known to have bad theology. (And to be clear, we’re talking about serious stuff, not piddly opinions.)
- Two Christians in Tibet saw Buddhist believers circumnavigating the Potala Palace (which houses various relics of past Dalai Lamas and is considered sacred). Worshippers are to walk clockwise for the intended spiritual benefit. The two visitors, pretending ignorance, walked it the “wrong” way, silently praying for the people there and symbolically “undoing” the pagan intention.
- A Christian woman’s relative was moving in with her—and was planning to bring an idol of an Eastern religion. The woman didn’t want that but didn’t quite know what to do. A friend had one word of advice: “Trip.” As the Christian woman “kindly” carried the statue across the driveway on moving day, she stumbled—dropping and breaking the thing.
Perhaps you think this sort of behavior is not quite appropriate—that we should do evangelism, not evandalism? That’s fine. The point is, are we distressed enough about harmful spiritual influence that we at least cringe or grieve? You know, want to do something about it?