When the Hebrews grew impatient with Moses not returning as they expected from Mount Sinai, the people decided to do what we do - play church. Out of their restlessness came the golden calf. God's anger came upon the people, and Moses ground the idol, put the remains in water and made the people drink it. Pretty cruel, but consider the circumstances they created by kindling God's anger against them. It could have been much worse.
I believe many Christians have put their view of God in a form of a golden calf. By doing this, it brings forth two things:
1. It gives them a more manageable God.
2. A golden calf will never punish them for their sinful lifestyle.
These idols are everywhere but we don't "see" them. Technology is everywhere and technology runs much of our life. Many off us cannot go anywhere or do anything without smartphones and the access to our connections. We need constant news, we need instant information, we need everything now, and we treat God and prayer requests in the same method. We just can't wait. Once our patience runs low, out comes our golden calf.
We seek a god that can do our bidding and keep the old man on his throne. We demand a god that we are willing to serve that answers at every whim and beckoning. This is how we like our technology and lifestyle. We must have things our way.
We have changed our view of an incorruptible God into a corruptible one (see Romans 1). We have grown so accustomed to this standard of believing God in this way that we now see Him in this stained glass masquerade. The Western churches have now effectively lowered the God of Israel to the form of a golden calf. Even the euphoria we feel when we up the beat in our worship music doesn't constitute His holiness is present. All it means is we have substituted the adrenaline rush for His presence, but the golden calf doesn't seem to mind.
Remember, the golden calf has no care or power to change us. All it does is keep the flesh in control and satisfied, while the spiritual man is fooled into worshiping a deity that is more complacent to the flesh than the spirit.
The golden calf loves entertainment. It loves the affection it endures from the flesh that we enjoy. As long as it gets its place in our hearts, outside of the hour and a half at church, it is willing to let that time go so it can be praised the rest of the week.
God demands reverence and a repentant heart. God demands us to be holy and to hate the world and its lusts. If thee is no regeneration or willingness to relent of all the world has to offer, maybe the golden calf is resting on the altar of your heart. The only way to remove him is to remove its food and recognize it as an idol. God will not share Himself with another god.