*Note: there is an audio version of this article:
*Note: images below come from Amazon, One of Swords, YouTube and Spyro Wiki unless otherwise noted.
Idols are the focus of the Skylanders series. They are sometimes featured blatantly, as in the case of Skylanders Universe’ Sheep Idol:
From the Skylanders Universe Blog: “Greetings, Portal Masters! The magic in Skylands is strong and now it has become even more powerful. When you buy a Sheep Idol for your Skyland, sheep will live on your Skyland. And now, you will be able to wield the Sheep Idol’s power and get special bonuses in Sheep Shot and Roundup.
In order to buy a totem, expand your Skyland at least one time. And remember, bigger Sheep Idols will provide even bigger bonuses!
We will speak again soon,
The idol is put on top of a stone altar. A picture of a Skylander when properly placed on the “Portal of Power:”
The Bible reveals that these popular figures are much more than toys.
Skylanders go against the second commandment:
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above [picture], or that is in the earth beneath [picture], or that is in the water under the earth. [picture]” (Exodus 20:4)
Deuteronomy lists several of the materials used for idols:
“(For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by; And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)” (Deuteronomy 29:16-17)
“The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.
He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.” (Isaiah 44:13-15)
“Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 26:1)
Silver and Gold:
“What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it [the idol] is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.” (Habakkuk 2:18-19)
“The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.” (Isaiah 40:19)
“For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin.” (Isaiah 31:7)
Molten Hot Dog:
“Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:4)
Earlier on in the wood section, it said the carpenter who made an idol “marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man:”
Isaiah teaches us some interesting things about idols:
“They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship.
They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.” (Isaiah 46:6-7)
Let’s compare that passage with Skylanders:
- “They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god” further confirms that gold is used to make idols-gods. It is interesting that the limited-edition gold Skylanders are some of the most sought after collectibles.
- “They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place” lines up with how the player MUST put the Skylander on a stone altar or pedestal (the Portal of Power) to play the game:
- It said of the idol that they set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove. If a player bumps, nudges or otherwise removes the Skylander from its place on the Portal of Power, the game stops and displays this message:
- The player cannot continue until the figure is put back on the altar, or another figure is placed there, instead. If a Skylander does not rest upon the altar, a player can do nothing but turn the game off.
Here, the Bible speaks of the graven image or idol being made so that it does not move. Interestingly, Skylanders figures have no moving parts at all:
For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.” (Jeremiah 10:3-5)
God calls idols an abomination:
“The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therin: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God.
Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.” (Deuteronomy 7:25-26)
God commands people to stay away from idols:
“Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Ezekiel 20:7)
“And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger: For they served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.” (2 Kings 17:11-12)
God pronounces judgment upon people who worship idols:
“Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.” (Ezekiel 36:18-19)
“And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your idols. And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars.
In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.” (Ezekiel 6:4-6)
“And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.” (Leviticus 26:30)
God even pronounces judgment on those who make idols:
“They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.” (Isaiah 45:16)
“Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.” (Deuteronomy 27:15)
“Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord God, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself.
Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries.
Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed.” (Ezekiel 22:3-5)
The Bible also deals with idols in the New Testament:
“Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.” (Acts 15:19-20)
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters,
nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:16-17)
1 Thessalonians even shows that Christians turn away from idols to serve the true God:
“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)
Why does God command that we not make, own, or worship idols? Part of the reason is that according to the Bible, an idol is not simply an idol. In 2 Corinthians 13:1 it says “This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” Below you can see two distinct passages that clearly show that behind all idols, are devils:
“What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.” (1 Corinthians 10:19-21)
“And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,
And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.” (Psalm 106:36-39)
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:21)