In Israel’s history, we see that there were many times that the people of Israel would rise up and go throughout the land destroying the images, the icons and the groves that had been dedicated to foreign gods. At times God instructed them to do this because that was the land He’d given to Abraham and to his seed, and where He would dwell among His people. He’s a jealous God and does not coexist with other gods. However, we don’t see examples of where He told them to go into another country and break down their idols, images and groves.
Obviously, we need to remove everything that offends our Father from our homes and from our lives. We must break these things down and get rid of them. Yet, we don’t see in Scripture where we’re encouraged to go into someone else’s home, workplace or church and do this. The book of Acts records the occasion when Paul, who was in Athens, found himself surrounded by idols. The Athenians were very willing to bring in any religious ideology and philosophy and dedicate an idol to it. It’s in that setting that Paul said this to the men of Athens:
“You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are religious, for as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD whom therefore you ignorantly worship, Him I declare unto you.” (Acts 17:22-23)
Notice that Paul, who is very well aware of the fact that there is only one God, didn’t demand that the Athenians destroy their idols. He didn’t try to point out what’s wrong with their culture. Instead, he tried to direct their focus to the one and only God and what’s true. Obviously, we’re going to come into contact with people who do things that offend our Heavenly Father. We might get farther down the road in bringing them into the truth by focusing on what’s true, rather than focusing on what’s wrong.
I’m not going to go into my neighbor’s house and remove all things that offend my Father but I am going to do that in my home. I’m going to live my life in such a way that the focus is on those things that are true, holy and right. When I do that, perhaps those around me will be provoked to come to the truth. In other words, when we focus on what is right it will, by default, expose what is wrong.