How can we say we do not have graven images of our God?


#1

Hi,
I just read a post about Idol Worship and found it to not be a conclusive answer. What has always lingered in my mind, were Satan can grab onto something and twist, is the idea of Idol Worship. Any Graven Image in the likeness of God, in, under or within the earth is forbidden. I believe this is one reason Lutherans have no decorations, right? So even though we honor our Lord and Savior though actions, we do gaze and look upon objects that are made into the likeness of Jesus. I have them hanging in my home, one my rosary and around my neck. I do not bow down and worship these idols, but they are images of Him. Yes it is not a calf, but if taken in context of scripture, how can we say we do not have graven images of our God?
Thank You In Advance and May God Bless You!


#2

Hi,

Oh, we can say that we have graven images; graven images are okay. Actually, even Martin Luther has a base relief of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother on his tomb. We no more worship a statue of the Sacred Heart or a crucifix than we think we are actually looking at our loved ones when we look at their pictures.

But to put your mind at ease over graven images being forbidden in Scripture: while God did say: “You shall not make for yourself a graven image…” (Ex 20: 4) Later He told Moses to tell the people: “You shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold.” Here His concern, as I have written before, was that He did not want them worshiping graven images as they had done with the golden calf.

BUT we must look at the whole context of Scripture and not pull out a sentence by itself. When God gave instructions on building the Ark of the Covenant, He actually COMMANDED that they decorate it with graven (carved) images: “And you shall make two cherubim of gold; on hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. (EX 25:18) A few lines later God says: “ There I will meet with you , and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you of all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.” (EX 25:22)

So God determined to have graven images near him in the holy of holies. Graven images, of themselves, are okay.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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