Bread From Heaven: On my post Where Does Scripture Say Mary Was Sinless? I made the oft repeated comment: “The Catholic Faith does not contradict anything in Scripture.” To this Erica replied:
Erica: How about IDOLATRY…?
Go and continue worshiping your godly images and let’s see how far you will go…
“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, IDOL WORSHIPERS, and all liars–their fate is in the FIERY LAKE OF BURNING SULFUR. This is the SECOND DEATH.”
Bread From Heaven: Since I had just made a presentation to all of our confirmation students just last Sunday I decided to make my talk into one more post on this topic:
Does the Catholic Church worship Idols?
Protestants say we do. Where do they get this idea?
Exodus 20:You must not have any other god but me.You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them
Therefore, many Protestants criticize Catholics because we have pictures and statues in our Churches and our homes. Most Protestants never have these in their churches because they think they are idols. They take this very seriously.
“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind…
Protestants are very sincere, BUT…are they right?
No, they are forgetting some very important Bible verses where God told Moses to place in the Temple, in the very presence of God, in the Holy of Holies:
… 2 ANGELS of hammered gold …their wings spread upward..The angels are to face each other..-Ex. 25:18-20
So, God Himself wanted images of “things in Heaven” in the Tabernacle
And did you know God told Solomon to decorate the Temple with images of things in Heaven and Earth?
600 Pomegranates, Lilies, Gourds, 12 Bulls, Lions, Angels, Palm Trees, and Golden Flowers
And it stood upon twelve oxen, of which three looked towards the north, and three towards the west, and three towards the south, and three towards the east, and the sea was above upon them, and their hinder parts were all hid within.–I Kings 7:18-46
And then we have the incident where the children of Israel were bitten by fiery serpents and …
Numbers 21:8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”
Obviously, God has not forbidden art because He commanded specific kinds of art to decorate the Temple and to save the Israelites from snakebites. He just didn’t want us to Worship these things
“You must not bow down to them or worship them”
Why does the Catholic Church have Art in Churches? I can think of 5 reasons.
1. Pictures and statues are like family photos in our houses of worship only we have images of the Family of God.
Doesn’t every house have family pictures?
2. As an aid to prayer and to keep us focused.
3. To remind us of those who set an example of heroic Christian living.
4. As reminders of Stories of Faith; to teach our children when a child asks, “Who is that?”
5. To tell the stories of our Faith to all the generations in the last 2000 years when Bibles were too expensive for individuals to own and most people could not read anyway. Did you know, even today 20% of the world population cannot read? But everyone can understand art.
But Protestants will say, “The Bible says: You must not bow down to them or worship them….”
Therefore, Protestants reason, since Catholics have images in their churches and they kneel or bow to them, Catholics worship images and commit idolatry!
So, Protestants think this kneeling is Idolatry?
.<–But not this
Is President Obama worshiping the Emperor of Japan?
No! He was merely honoring him.
Why do Protestants think only Catholic kneeling is Idolatry?
Simple. Because their leaders have taught them that Catholics worship idols. Protestants trust their leaders and so when they visit a Catholic Church and see statues and pictures with people kneeling in front of them they jump to the conclusion that they are actually seeing modern day idolatry.
They do not question this judgement because they have been taught that this is true. They fail to recognize that they are unable to know the heart and mind of the kneeling person and therefore their judgement may, very well be, uncharitable. They don’t mean to be uncharitable…..But…..
They are simply WRONG!
We bow and kneel in order to honor Mary and the Saints. We do NOT worship them. The Catholic Church condemns the worship of anyone except God, the Holy Trinity!
There is nothing wrong with art in our Churches
Because God Himself commanded Moses to decorate the Jewish Temple with images of:
Things in Heaven–>Angels
Things on Earth–>Plants and Animals
The idea that all kneeling is, without question, Worship, is absurd.
If all kneeling =Worship then:
A Knight kneeling to a king is worshiping him.
A little girl kneeling by her bed is worshiping the bed…
A boy kneeling by a Bible and baseball glove is worshiping them.
When God said: You must not make …an image of any kind or …bow down …or worship them…
He did not mean all images are idols and all kneeling is worship.
He simply meant : Don’t worship anything or anyone but ME.