The sin of the Golden Calf occurred when the people took it upon themselves to worship God in a Manner he had not appointed. "behold tomorrow is a feast to YHVH", but God had not declared such a thing at that time. They approached God after the manner of worship in Egypt. The Golden Calf was meant to represent God and by engaging in their own self styled manner of worship they expected God to honor it. In reality they were breaking the covenant and as such were kept out of the presence of God. The tabernacle was taken out of their midst and they were left with the Aaronic priesthood. The reality of this type of idolatry is alive and well today both in and outside the Church. Like the ancient Israelites many may have good "intentions" but making an offering to God of that which he has not appointed is engaging in a new form of Golden Calf Worship.
How can you help people who are led only by their emotions and senses and proclaim it to be of God? The Golden Calf and their self styled system of worship was ground to powder in the end and then drunk by those who engaged in the worship. They symbolism is that of a idolatrous/Gentile system being destroyed and drunk by those Israelites who engaged in it. The effects were sickening and deadly to those who engaged in it.
There are many who lift up mortal men such as prophets, apostles, general authorities, Stake presidents, etc and place their words above God and his word. They erroneously assume that every word from a leader with a title and office is the voice of God himself. In doing so, these same people set aside the revealed word of God being unable to discern between the precepts men and real revelation from the Most High. In doing so, they are creating a new calf and a new system and then saying behold God this is for you! Accept our self created worship that you have not appointed.
There are also those who are of the mindset that every fleeting thought and emotion that they have is God telling them what to do. Like a ship without a rudder these people are tossed to and fro by fickle emotions and deceiving spirits. Rather than establish themselves upon the Rock of God's word they create their own revelations and then supplant the legitimate word of God with things that are contrary to God's commandments. Those who throw away or belittle God's commandments in light of a spiritual apparition, impression, warm fuzzy, or other manifestation are not only engaging in Golden Calf worship they are placing themselves and their family at risk.
"Check their predictions against my testimony," says the LORD. "If their predictions are different from mine, it is because there is no light or truth in them.
Isaiah 8:20 NKJV
To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
The Spirit of God will not instruct or testify to anyone to break the commandments of God. Not all people engage in this kind of behavior, but then again not all people engaged in the worship of the Golden Calf. Our loyalty and faith should be to God and his commandments. Beware of individuals or even the masses who take it upon themselves to make an offering to God of things he has never appointed.