When it comes to ancient cultures, we often become fascinated as humans with the traditions and customs that may be very attractive on the outside, including it's rich history and the religious practices. Maybe there are times where we have been to another country and the cultures put on a dancing show of some kind, based on some old ritual that has been passed down to them.
Idolatry is dangerous in the Bible, it is never looked on in a positive light in scripture, it's giving attention to an object that cannot save rather than giving worship and adoration to YHWH himself.
It is one thing for a work of fiction to use a false god as a means of telling a moral story, such as Hercules trying to discover where he belongs, Thor learning to humble himself and walk the road to being a better king as a result of his banishment from Asgard and Moana learning what her purpose in life is and the purpose of her people. All these messages we can challenge scripturally and see which parts of the films stand the biblical test or not.
However, it is quite another issue to worship a false god or appreciate a pagan custom. To quote the words of Voddie Baucham "Worship God without rivals, you have an idol in your home, you destory it and get rid of it". Have nothing to do idols.
Idolatry is luring for several reasons. It allows humanity to create it's own rules and moral standards rather than allowing God to be the one to make the decisions what is right for us. It allows us to submit to a being which we know in our hearts cannot truly destory or punish. Sure, nations have crime and punishment, as government was something that God put in place to restrain evil. Whether it be fines, restrictions or inprisonment, God created the justice system to punish evil doers.
Although many humans are willing to accept customs handed down to them, there is the ability for a human being to question those beliefs later down the road, sometimes for good, other times for evil but whatever the case, there is something in man that recognises, whether they admit it or not, the false god isn't really there and that YHWH himself is there as the true god.
Humans have a tendency to look at something on a surface level if the wrong level of emotion is in play. For example, Sometimes in film you see like Brockback Mountain and Carol (both films I haven't seen but aware of) portray a homosexual relationship as a positive wonderful thing to embrace, ignoring the fact that the characters in those films themselves have fallen in love with mirror images and even cause damage to existing relationships. People look to the emotional aspect saying "They love each other, what does it matter if they get together" and ignore the reality of the fact in the case of male homosexuals, sexual disease is rife and I am not going to go into detail why, there is no need and ignoring the fact two women cannot conceive a child.
We may think that a dance from an ancient culture may be beautiful, but we must be wary of the significance of that dance to that culture.
Even in video game franchises such as Final Fantasy and others, while the games themselves can potentially be played with a clear conscience and the person recognises they should behave differently, that doesn't change the fact that we must be wary of what the particular concept in the game takes inspiration from. Final Fantasy wiki as one example is honest where the name of Sephiroth comes from (10 Sephirot in Kabbalah), what inspiration from other religions for the Yevonite religion, be it Buddhism, Shintoism and Catholicism as well as Yuna's sending dance being based on a shinto dance called Kagura (God Entertainment) and other things.
Sometimes ancient religion is revived, whether it be Norse religion, Druid religion or whatever it maybe but nevertheless, YHWH is always present, leaving man without an excuse for their idolatry and immorality. Paul bears witness of this in Romans 1:
"18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them."
We see also, that human beings know in their heart of hearts that God exists, he has written his existance into their conscience and they know that he is there, but refuse to acknowledge it. As a result of their unwillingness to turn from their iniquity and this ties in with the Old Testament with how God treated the Israelites when they rebelled against him in the Nev'im or the Prophets. He handed them over to their sinful desires because of their stubborn refusal to repent and of course, he will treat unrepentant Christians in exactly the same manner.
Furthermore, Some specific sins are listed, including "men commiting indecent acts with other men and women with women" which is not simply talking sexual acts connected with idols but it lists homosexuality and other sins as well.
Paul is not advocating the death penalty, Christ took that away when he died upon the cross, after all, he is the telos or goal that the law was pointing to. When Paul is speaking of those who deserve death, he is not saying that they are to be put to death by Christians, he is saying they are doing evil in the sight of God that indeed is worthy of death, but the context doesn't suggest that a Christian, a follower of Jesus, should ever consider putting someone to death. There is nothing in the New Testament however that stops secular governments using the death penalty on criminals, but there is no licence in the New Testament for Christians to carry this out themselves.
Although there have been "Christian" governments who have done this, They did it contrary to the New Testament teaching. In fact, The idea of a state church is not even what the apostles had in mind, let alone a death penalty carried out by Christians. I am aware that certain sins warranted death in the Old Testament, but this was part of the Old Covenant which has been fulfilled in Christ, thus need not be carried out.
In any case, Paul taught the men and women of the Gentiles to repent, turn from idols to serve the living and await the return of Jesus, the acts of repentance he praised the Thessalonians for in his first letter to them (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).
There is a danger with humans to look on the surface of something that may seem benign, but when you uncover it, it is truly sinister. We need to realise idolatry not matter how it looks it's a snare and people must be snatched from them before it's too late.