Catholic Idolatry


#1

I recently saw a video of a Fundamental Protestant apologist paralleling the “idolatry” found in the Catholic Church with the golden calf that the Israelites worshipped in the desert in Exodus when Moses was not around. He said “just like Catholics don’t believe that they’re worshiping images, Mary, or Saints, but rather they are communicating to the Lord with those ‘mediators.’ The Israelites didn’t believe that they were worshipping the golden calf either. Their intention was to communicate to the Lord with the calf. In Exodus Israel is looking to Aaron to find a replacement for Moses that would be used by God to lead them.”

Then he starts quoting from the Bible:

“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.” (Exodus 3:21)

Then he brings up the fact that the text “god” used in the passage had a little “g” which means that it was to signify a conduit or a mediator and not the actual God.

Then he quotes the Bible some more:

“And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh.” (Exodus 7:1)

He says that means that God made Moses a god (small g) as a mediator between Him and the Israelites.

(Exodus 7:3-5) “And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.”

And then the man says that in the text referring to the Lord, His name is spelled with all captial letters.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, HAVE CORRUPTED THEMSELVES: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, AND HAVE WORSHIPPED IT, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 7:7-8)

And then the man says, “The children of Israel did not view praying to God through an image as idolatry - yet that was exactly what God said they were guilty. Verse 10 we see that God was willing to destroy Israel for this sin.”

The creator of the video claims that since the Israelites used an image to communicate to God and God was going to punish them for it, we are gulity of the same “sin” because we use images in our worship. (If you’re wondering where I found it. It’s on YouTube. It’s entitled “Catholic Idolatry.”)


#2

This tactic is disingenuous because he conveniently, for his purposes, side-steps any references that would throw doubt on his proposal. Let’s use his method and just use Scripture. The Rev. never mentions that God ordered the making of images to represent heavenly realities, such as the cherubim on the ark of the covenant:

Ex. 2518] And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat.
[19] Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends.
[20] The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be.

Also:

Num. 213.[8] And the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live."
4.[9] So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

And St. Paul wrote:

Gal.3
1.[1] O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?

How publicly portrayed since the Galatians did not witness Christ’s crucifixion? In words only? Then why say it this way? St. Paul is most likely referring to an early version of a crucifix or a depiction of one.

The idea that something can represent something else is not inherently evil. The written word is merely a representation of the realities we are trying to convey. Should we stop writing? Pictures of our loves ones depict them, should we tear them up?

Circular reasonng like his may sound convincing until we pull our heads out of the fantasy he created and see how the real world functions. The Rev. is trying to make a case for his narrow interpretation and accuse Catholics of something to bolster his own beliefs, but that doesn’t make his arguments good or believable, only circular.


#3

TV, books, magazine's, Internet, video games, bill boards all have more dangerous imagery and idols to tempt us with: lust, gluttony, pride, vanity, ect. I'll bet the prodestant writer is subject to these false idols too.

I do "thumbs up":thumbsup: the other posts which biblically point out truth too.


#4

Hmmmmmmm… Must be why they call them ‘Protestants.’ :wink:


#5

[quote="Giggly_Giraffe, post:3, topic:316302"]
TV, books, magazine's, Internet, video games, bill boards all have more dangerous imagery and idols to tempt us with: lust, gluttony, pride, vanity, ect. I'll bet the prodestant writer is subject to these false idols too.

I do "thumbs up":thumbsup: the other posts which biblically point out truth too.

[/quote]


#6

[quote="Nimzovik, post:4, topic:316302"]
Hmmmmmmm.......... Must be why they call them 'Protestants.' ;)

[/quote]

Yes, because the protest.


#7

[quote="Catholic4Jesus, post:1, topic:316302"]

Then he brings up the fact that the text "god" used in the passage had a little "g" which means that it was to signify a conduit or a mediator and not the actual God.

Then he quotes the Bible some more:

"And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh." (Exodus 7:1)

He says that means that God made Moses a god (small g) as a mediator between Him and the Israelites.

(Exodus 7:3-5) "And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD."

And then the man says that in the text referring to the Lord, His name is spelled with all captial letters.

[/quote]

He's talking like Exodus was originally written in English. Does Hebrew even have capital letters???


#8

[quote="Della, post:2, topic:316302"]
This tactic is disingenuous because he conveniently, for his purposes, side-steps any references that would throw doubt on his proposal. Let's use his method and just use Scripture. The Rev. never mentions that God ordered the making of images to represent heavenly realities, such as the cherubim on the ark of the covenant:

[/quote]

Also, don't forget an example of bowing before three angels, not in worship, which was acceptable.

Gen 18:1 The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oak of Mamre, as he sat in the entrance of his tent, while the day was growing hot. 2 Looking up, he saw three men standing near him. **When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them; and bowing to the ground,* 3 he said: “Sir, if it please you, do not go on past your servant. 4 Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet, and then rest under the tree. 5 Now that you have come to your servant, let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves; and afterward you may go on your way.” “Very well,” they replied, “do as you have said.”*


#9

Has this Protestant read Tertullian, when he mentions an apostate Jew mocking Christians with a blasphemous version of an icon? Or heard of the Alexamenos graffito, where opponents of Christianity potrayed someone as standing in supplication before a blasphemous version of the crucifix? I mean, these people would not parody something that did not exist. Does he claim to know better than the earliest Christians?


#10

[quote="Cojuanco, post:9, topic:316302"]
Has this Protestant read Tertullian, when he mentions an apostate Jew mocking Christians with a blasphemous version of an icon? Or heard of the Alexamenos graffito, where opponents of Christianity potrayed someone as standing in supplication before a blasphemous version of the crucifix? I mean, these people would not parody something that did not exist. Does he claim to know better than the earliest Christians?

[/quote]

He's probably never heard of these people. Don't you know that nothing happened from the last letter penned by Paul and the Reformation? :p


#11

[quote="Catholic4Jesus, post:1, topic:316302"]
The creator of the video claims that since the Israelites used an image to communicate to God and God was going to punish them for it, we are gulity of the same "sin" because we use images in our worship. (If you're wondering where I found it. It's on YouTube. It's entitled "Catholic Idolatry.")

[/quote]

Maybe he should rename it, "Catholic & Orthodox Idolatry" seeing as all the various Eastern Orthodox Churches and all the various Oriental Orthodox Churches have used religious imagery since antiquity. I don't suppose the creator of the video took this into consideration, let alone has a theory as to how all the Churches that directly grew from the original Apostolic Sees managed to misread Exodus and commit the same act of idolatry. The use of religious imagery was practiced by ancient Christians and was not questioned until the Protestant Reformation. This is strong historical evidence supporting the claimthat such a practice is, indeed, apostolic in origin.

Imagine the implications of saying otherwise. If the use of religious imagery is, instead, idolatry, then it would have had to originate with a single heretic within one of the original apostolic Churches. He then would have to get all the other members of his Church to go along with it. Next, they would have to convince all the other Christians of the ancient world, spread out over three continents, to join in. And all this would have had to take place without a single debate in an ecumenical council being recorded, or a single Catholic or Orthodox ECF or saint confronting it as idolatry. In light of all this, the simplest explanation as to why Catholics and Orthodox Christians use religious images is because the practice is apostolic in origin. Any other explanation requires a conspiracy theory of a magnitude that boggles the imagination.


#12

From the Catholic Encyclopedia: Veneration of Images.


#13

[quote="Della, post:10, topic:316302"]
He's probably never heard of these people. Don't you know that nothing happened from the last letter penned by Paul and the Reformation? :p

[/quote]

I know, I know. Luther and Calvin would be spinning in their graves, though. Even as they espoused heresy, they seemed to express at least some admiration for the Church Fathers.

And also, what about common sense? I mean Tertullian may have become a heretic, but he did observe what was going on in his own backyard.


#14

We should stop and ask ourselves, out of all the images the Israelites could have made, why did they choose to create a calf? Because calves were worshipped by the Egyptians and the Israelites knew this having been around them for over 400 years. That is one of the reasons why God commanded the Israelites to sacrifice calves every morning and evening in Exodus 29:39 and Numbers 28:4, in order to “uproot” these abominable practices from the heart of Israel. There’s a saying that goes “Moses got Israel out of Egypt but he couldn’t get Egypt out of Israel”.


#15

[quote="Augustine3, post:14, topic:316302"]
We should stop and ask ourselves, out of all the images the Israelites could have made, why did they choose to create a calf? Because calves were worshipped by the Egyptians and the Israelites knew this having been around them for over 400 years. That is one of the reasons why God commanded the Israelites to sacrifice calves every morning and evening in Exodus 29:39 and Numbers 28:4, in order to “uproot” these abominable practices from the heart of Israel. There’s a saying that goes “Moses got Israel out of Egypt but he couldn’t get Egypt out of Israel”.

[/quote]

Yup.

Also... I MIGHT be convinced by him if they had... say, had Aaron carve them a golden burning bush or some such. They were choosing to seek other gods because their own God was silent. That is what these passages are talking about.

But he's Protestant. It's easy enough to twist Scripture and make it seem to say things it's not actually MEANT to say.


#16

[quote="nickybr38, post:15, topic:316302"]
Yup.

Also... I MIGHT be convinced by him if they had... say, had Aaron carve them a golden burning bush or some such. They were choosing to seek other gods because their own God was silent. That is what these passages are talking about.

But he's Protestant. It's easy enough to twist Scripture and make it seem to say things it's not actually MEANT to say.

[/quote]

Too true :thumbsup:


#17

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