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.”)