Any "God concept" that does not match God's self-revelation in the Bible is idolatry and a lie. Since Scripture defines the matter this way, we (if we are going to be genuine followers of Jesus) must also define it this way. The world will hate us for doing so, but it hated Jesus, too.
Idolatry may involve statues, relics and images. Yet it also includes attitudes of the heart, where no visible image is present. All "religion" (as the world defines that term) is idolatry - for Scripture describes genuine salvation as a relationship, not a religion. (The "religion" of Christianity is a response of love that occurs once the relationship with Christ already exists. It does not in any way create or obtain that relationship.)
Idolatry may involve a false god (whether or not represented by an "image") or a false perception of the true God. It may involve a "non-religious" replacement - something that receives more loyalty and attention than we give to the God of the Bible. Modern-day idolatry comes in many forms - possessions, sports, entertainment, friends, pets, work, etc. Each of these may have a legitimate place in a person's life, but when they become more important than God - and this will be evident by one's values and choices - they have become a form of idolatry.
Even atheists are idolaters, because they give more loyalty and attention to something other than God.
An in-depth look at this issue. It includes just about every verse in the Bible on this topic, arranged in outline form, along with additional comments. The Bible verses that were used are listed at the end of the article. THIS ARTICLE IS AVAILABLE IN TWO FORMS:
These comments, in question-and-answer format, are based on e-mail correspondence on this topic.
An in-depth look at one of the queens who was responsible for some of the worst idolatry ever introduced into the nation of Israel. The article also looks at how "Jezebel-type" influences can creep into the church, as described in the book of Revelation.
The Bible tells us...
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them.
For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.
Because, knowing God, they didn't glorify him as God, neither gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things. (Romans 1:18-23)