26

The difference is that a cross in a church is not worshipped. As the translators' notes in the New English Translation (NET) Bible indicates, regarding Exodus 20:4, the concern of the Law with respect to pesel—the Hebrew term referring to "an image that was carved out of wood or stone"—was about statues that "would be made for the purpose of worship, an idol ...


21

Prohibition on teaching Tertullian does indeed forbid Christians from pursuing the profession of a school teacher, in De Idololatria, Chapter 10: Undoubtedly Christians are not allowed to be schoolmasters or teachers since such men are involved in a variety of idolatrous practices. He saw the profession of his time and culture to be intimately connected ...


17

Why do churches like the Catholic Church permit icons when idolatry is forbidden? The simple answer is that they do not consider all images to be idols (just think of photographs), and believe that members of the Church are able to distinguish between a work of art and God without the need for direct enforcement: after all, Catholics believe that the ...


16

It would seem that the Cross could, in fact, be used as an idol. However, from my experience, that would seem to be the exception rather than the rule. The Cross is simply a reminder. I have never prayed to a Cross or have even cared whether one was displayed while I was worshiping. It is merely a symbol, much like the icthus on the back of my car. (...


13

The basis for claiming that Catholicism is idolatry, whether valid or not, is that various Catholic beliefs conflict with Protestant beliefs and doctrines. The list includes the following (and includes a Catholic answer to each claim in the interest of being fair and balanced, and not turning this into a Truth answer): Catholics pray to saints, and to Mary. ...


12

The better question may be "What is it that God is jealous of?" He is righteously jealous of the devotion and affections of His people. This is mirrored in our own lives as a married individual is righteously jealous for the affections and devotion of his or her spouse. Furthermore, a father or mother is righteously jealous for the affections of their ...


11

No Christian that I know of prays to the cross, nor considers that the cross of itself has any power (rather, it is Christ's death on the cross that has power), nor even considers the cross sentient! So the cross is merely a symbol of our redemption, reminding us of the price Jesus paid to save us; nothing more.


11

I was just reading this EWTN article on the 10 commandments in connection with another post on this site, but it's appropriate here too. And I won't attempt to justify my Church beyond what the Catechism says: 2131 Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea justified against the iconoclasts the veneration ...


8

You're operating under a misconception that these are idols. Most Christians don't worship these images, statues, etc. Instead, they are considered art, something that we create because we love the subject, not the work of art. Asking your question is like asking if looking at a painting of my wife means that I am allowed to cheat on her by devoting my ...


8

As for "how other Christians view this", the answer is "it depends on the Christian in question." Some Christians, as you pointed out, believe these are signs of the devil, others don't. Just like some Christians see Harry Potter as Satan's way of luring kids into witchcraft, while others think it's a good read and good movies. Some Christians see Satanic ...


8

"Aren't idols covered in the first commandment?" Yes and no. The thing is, our use of the English word 'idol' is broad enough that there can be two kinds of idolatry: one, worshipping any god that isn't our own, which the first commandment prohibits, and two, worshipping a man-made image (or "graven image") of any deity, which the second commandment ...


8

Catholics, for one, only genuflect before Jesus. We do so before Him wholly present in the Eucharist reserved in a tabernacle in the sanctuary of a church. If you're in a Catholic church that, for whatever reason, has the tabernacle removed from the place where Mass is being celebrated people should not be genuflecting; this is the case on Good Friday, when,...


8

The First Commandment covers who to worship, but the Second Commandment covers how. Often when the Israelites worshiped idols they were actually trying to worship Yahweh[citation needed] and were going about it all wrong. In the Second Commandment, God was giving a clear explanation on what kind of worship was acceptable, and idolatrous worship was out. ...


8

Normally, I don't link to my own sermons. But in this case, I'm going to make an exception. As a Baptist pastor, I wrote this sermon specifically to address this question - Why would God prohibit making graven images? The upthrust of the answer is that images stick the thing of which the image is made in a fixed point in time. And, the truth is, that as ...


7

I'm relatively new to Catholicism, and on top of that I'm an Eastern Rite (Maronite) member so please take what I am about to say as private opinion. First off, we aren't called to uphold all the Jewish laws. I forget the passage, but Paul basically gives the statement that we have a new law in Christ and we don't have to go through circumcision, avoid ...


7

The whole iconoclastic controversy has raged for thousands of years. In a nutshell, iconoclasts are taking your position, whereas iconodules maintain the position that what Christians do is venerate not worship these images. Muslims obviously are strict iconoclasts, and thus reject any depiction whatsoever. Over the centuries, Christian thought has ...


7

If we face the question squarely this is a loose 'application' of the command against idolatry applied to countries that have for the most part ceased from idolatry due to the high numbers of Christians even within the Government of those countries. Biblically idolatry is not greed or lust or pride, there are words already for those other sins. Idolatry ...


7

Fr. Ronald Knox (a good guy to read if you're a fan of Chesterton) wrote: In a word, we are treating material objects and vocal formulas as the occasions upon which God himself will see fit to bestow a blessing upon us, in answer to the prayers offered when the object was hallowed, or the formula instituted. An exception must, of course, be made in favour ...


6

I think in order to answer this question, a short detour needs to be taken to John's Gospel, because in it Jesus Christ himself refers to this incident with Moses and the bronze serpent. In John 3:14-15, Jesus tells Nicodemus, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have ...


6

He went wrong by not turning Israel away from the sins of Jeroboam. These verses sum up Jehu's reign pretty well: 2 Kings 10:30-31 ESV The Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth ...


6

This is about correct teaching and the meanings of latria and worship. TL;DR(1): if the bishops do not ensure proper teaching regarding religious images, they let the faithful down. That's where the problem started both during the Iconoclast Movements and during the Reformation where some of your points were raised. TL;DR(2): was a commandment abrogated?...


6

I understand your concern, as a former Protestant, I'll do my best to be concice. First of all, the official teaching of the Church concerning worship is as follows. Idolatry 2112 The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly ...


6

No, the diversity of sects is due to the sin of man. 2 Peter 2:1But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be among you lying teachers who shall bring in sects of perdition (αιρέσεις απωλείας) [lit. "heresies of perdition", false religions] and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction. All ...


5

From a Protestant perspective, an idol is anything that is worshiped and served in place of (or in addition to) God. This could potentially include a statue of Buddha, an icon of a Saint, a girlfriend, a hobby, wealth, an iPhone, etc. None of these things are inherently sinful, but when worshiped and served they become an idol. I think the accusation from ...


5

The prohibition in Exodus: "Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them (Exodus 20:3-5)." When Moses wrote this the population of ...


5

The term for this tendency to "over-elevate" Scripture is bibliolatry. It is typically a perjorative term in which one identifies oneself as having overemphasized the letter of the law over the Spirit. Typically the most common usage adheres to evangelicals and Protestants. This article from Westminster, for example, questions whether or not bibliolatry ...


5

Dictionnaire historique ... de la Bible Usually when someone cites Calmet, it is a reference to his 1722 Dictionnaire historique, critique, chronologique, géographique et littéral de la Bible, published under the English title Dictionary of the Holy Bible. I will use this English translation for my answer. It has some additions by an American author, but ...


5

Justin Martyr (100–165), unfortunately, doesn't provide much additional insight into his position here or in his other writings. However, his view was a common one in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, so we can better understand it by examining the writings of his contemporaries and immediately subsequent generations of church fathers. Those holding this view ...


5

It is hard to believe that more than a small minority of Korean Christian clergy would provide any support or encouragement for acts of vandalism against the sacred objects of another religion. Moreover, we are unlikely to find written instructions from Protestant clergy to deface Buddhist temples or statues. What we can find is evidence that a few ...


5

No, it is forbidden for Catholics to engage in communicatio in sacris (joining others in false worship, e.g., worshipping Islam's false god Allah, who is not the Holy Trinity): 1917 Canon 1258 §1 It is not licit for the faithful by any manner to assist actively or to have a part in the sacred [rites] of non-Catholics. cf. Dom Augustine's A Commentary on ...


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