Idolatry & Disordered Affection

Ok, let’s see if we can remain sober and logical in our discussion about idolatry - specifically pertaining (but not limited to) the use of statues in worship…

I will be careful in my terminology so as not to cause a ruckus…

Something can become an idol anytime we treat it in such a way that it either replaces God or is given the same honor as God. If money is your idol does it mean you put it on an altar and light candles and incense to it and pray before it on your knees? Silly - of course not.:slight_smile: If you did such things it certainly would be idolatry of course b/c you’d be giving it the same honor and treatment that only God should be given. But more subtly, one can make money their idol by putting the pursuit of it before all other things - and most importantly - before God. Another subtle example of idolatry may be one’s preoccupation with looking good in the eyes of others or protecting their ego. Such a person may avoid living as God instructs them b/c it draws attention or causes criticism. Such a person may avoid spreading the good news for fear of rejection… In this way they make ego their idol. A person may avoid doing the same things for fear of offending others. Then that person makes society their idol.

All of these are disordered affections. We should love ourselves and one another, but if we would put ego or other’s ignorant misconceptions above the commands of God we have commited idolatry. One can love their neighbor and themselves but it must be done giving God first place. This is why we must “hate mother, father, sister, etc…” if we will be Jesus’ disciples b/c we don’t truly know how to love ourselves or one another in a godly way. We very often love in a disordered way. So if we are to follow Jesus’ command to love one another it must be a self-less love - the kind of love with which God loves us.

Now, as far as statues and other holy objects, this is far more obvious. God no where tells us to construct such objects to be the focal point in worship. God does instruct us to use matter in our worship, such as in ordinances like bread and wine, water and oil, etc… , but He does not instruct us to then treat those things with reverence, honor or veneration. We should treat them with respect, certainly, but we should not treat them in such a way that they are given the same treatment as only God should receive. There is a world of difference in that. I respect money, but I do not bow before it, light candles before it, etc… I respect the water used in baptism, but I don’t bow before it, light candles before it, etc… Nature brings to mind some of God’s attributes and His magesty, and I show respect for it and I do admire it (He created it afterall), but I do not treat it with the same reverence and honor I would give only to Him. I appreciate art and music as a human expression, but I do not make the human expression my focal point during worship or prayer, no matter how good that expression may be. It may be appealing to my senses, but my focus is on setting my heart and soul on God and the spiritual. The arts are spiritual - there is no doubt about that, but it is a reflection of MANS spirit or spiritual state or man’s spiritual conceptions (and misconceptions) and not God’s. We have a tendancy to fixate our affections on man’s expression b/c it is very beautiful, but in so doing we are idolizing it. St. John of the Cross said something to the affect that even nature itself pales in comparison to God. The beauty of nature itself leaves him hungry.

Regardless, God clearly understood these things when He forbade the construction of images to be used in worship (do not bow before them, etc…). Instead of setting a statue in a place of honor in one’s house, they would do better to let Jesus sit on the thrones of their hearts and give honor to Him by living in joyful obedience, humble submission, and love for Him. Not implying that Catholics do not do this, but using an inanimate object as the focal point for worship and prayer is not only an offense to the Commandment of God, but at the very least makes no logical sense whatsoever when one considers that even the magestic nature we see before us is an insufficient representation of God - and I would consider God’s creation to be a far better focal point and far better representation of God’s attibutes than anything man can create - wouldn’t you?

There is a fine line between respect and reverence/worship/veneration. St. Gemma Galgani was resolved to love nothing above God and to never set her affections on anything else or anyone else. She had very little possessions - perhaps a hat, mantle, and dress, shoes, etc., and she had this 1 relic. Jesus brought the relic to her attention. She realized what affection she had for it and immediately got rid of it. We are called to love one another, but not in a way that puts others before God. Furthermore, whatever act of love we give to another is given to Jesus “Whatever you do the least of my people you do unto me.”. Where has God instructed us to treat objects this way?

There is a fine line between respect and reverence/worship/veneration. The best way to avoid going past it is to avoid it. Pluck out they eye, cut off the hand… Throw out the plaster and wood…

And lest you think these things are only for the monastic etc… let me remind you all of your call to holiness. Perfection is for every single one of us!

Peace, and Have a Blessed Easter.

I’ll pick back up on this tomorrow.

Blessings~

There are two problems with this statement. One reflects a “Sola Scriptura” error, where anything not found in ones Bible must be forbidden. This means that Christians should not be honoring the Sabbath Day on Sunday, and are “nowhere told” that God is a Trinity, and that we were out of order in formulating the canon of scripture because we are “nowhere told” what books should go into it. It is an erroneous premise upon which to start a debate.

Secondly, objects of worship are not the “focal point” in worship. God is the focal point in worship. Objects only serve to draw the mind, heart, and senses to God.

Don’t you think your handle is a bit disingenuous? Had you considered abandoning it and choosing another, such as JoytoBeJW or somthing? Your signature line states that you are unhappy about the Church, and your posts clearly indicate that you are not Catholic. The Bread and the Wine are not “ordinances”.

Perhaps this is just a semantics problem. For Catholics, these are all the same thing.

If you are able to do this, then why do you think Catholics cannot?

Oh I think you most certainly are!

You are also creating a false dichotomy, as if a person could not place a statue, and also make Jesus Lord of their Life.

I would suggest, then, that you refrain from using inanimate objects in prayer and worship. I would also suggest that you refrain from judging the hearts/motives/attitudes of those that do.

For you, there is. This is not the case for those of us who have “tasted of the heavenly gift” and enter into the holy of holies during Divine Liturgy. Icons pale at such times.

Perhaps you are suffering from the same weakness that St. Gemma had, in having a tendency to be too attached to objects. If you know what is right for you to do, and you fail to do it, it is a sin. However, what is it to you if God calls another to worship differently?

MOre power to you. I agree, it is better to throw out the plaster and wood than to fall into hell. If you are in danger of that, do so at once! But it is improper for you to insist that your own private devotion and call to holiness should be legislated to everyone.

Dear JTBC, How is it that you came to question your faith?? Let me guess…if I may… Someone told you that catholics worship Mary, Statues, etc. Am I on the right path? I had the same experiences, he was well meaning, and yet put me on the path of questioning my faith. Wanna know what I discovered?

Hi Maryj,
Wow, if I had a dime for every time I had to post this…:smiley:
I was working on a eucharistic renewal apostolate when I consulted Scripture (John 6) to make some pamphlets when I discovered why the discourse should not be taken literally (eating and drinking). (So as not to go too o.t. - see the recent thread here on John 6). Anyway, I put it off trusting the church’s teaching on the matter as I always had. Soon after I was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue and was ordered by my parish priest not to receive communion while he investigated the new low-gluten hosts. In this time I dove into Scripture as my nourishment and found numerous other inconsistencies with church teachings. The past 4 years or so have been a real search for answers, but, I will admit, I feel I am pretty solid now in my biblical convictions.

I can’t tell you how much I would love to remain Catholic. Many of the best years of my life - spiritually - were when I was Catholic. My whole family is Catholic. My once unbelieving husband is now more Catholic than he ever was and I cannot join him in worship… I would so love to find truth in it, but I see too much which troubles me.

So no, it was no one telling me anything. I used to defend the Catholic faith against accusations of idolatry and such. I know the defense all too well. But now I see them as deceptions - excuses to avoid plain truth (not meaning intentionally or personally - I’m speaking about the church and its teachings in general). It was entirely Scripture which convicted me.

Bless You~

I recommend saving in a text file. It is a lot quicker!

This is very sad.

Don’t kid yourself, You were never Catholic. you were a non-Catechized baptized person, perhaps. No one who understands their Catholic faith will find any contradictions to it in scripture.

Scripture would not exist apart from the Church. Where do you think that Bible came from? There is nothing in it that contradicts the faith because it was written by for and about Catholics.

The problem of idolatry is not in what is not found in the Bible, but what IS found: a commandment by God not to make an image or to bow etc. to it.

This means that Christians should not be honoring the Sabbath Day on Sunday,

I have no idea what relationship you see here between idols and the Lord’s day. Sunday worship is blatantly Scriptural.

and are “nowhere told” that God is a Trinity,

The Trinity is in implicitly in Scripture, as is “Sola Scriptura” (see the recent sola scriptura thread)

and that we were out of order in formulating the canon of scripture because we are “nowhere told” what books should go into it.

That is a Catholic claim. The NT Scriptures were in circulation immediately after they were written. The CC recognized them. Even Satan recognizes Scripture.

Secondly, objects of worship are not the “focal point” in worship. God is the focal point in worship. Objects only serve to draw the mind, heart, and senses to God.

More likely attention is drawn to the object. Regaradless, it is forbidden by God. Btw, it was said in the other recent thread about statues/idols that they ARE used as a focal point. Perhaps they are not so for you. As Christians our hearts and minds should already be on God. If we are distracted we should ask for the aid of the Holy Spirit, not an object.

Don’t you think your handle is a bit disingenuous? Had you considered abandoning it and choosing another, such as JoytoBeJW or somthing?

I can’t change my username and it would be deceiptful if I did.

Your signature line states that you are unhappy about the Church, and your posts clearly indicate that you are not Catholic.

Right, so, no decption there.

The Bread and the Wine are not “ordinances”.

According to Catholic teaching, but not according to Scripture - but that is another topic.

Perhaps this is just a semantics problem. For Catholics, these are all the same thing.

Paul didn’t think so when he was bowed to, and neither did the angel when John fell down to worship. Do you think that was a matter of semantics? They were reprimanded for their actions. Treating a statue, relic, pope, bishop, king or queen with the same honor as God (bowing etc.) is idolatry.

If you are able to do this, then why do you think Catholics cannot?

I don’t catch you here. I’m not saying they can’t! But the church does not discourage the use of statuary etc. during worship. Not only is that an impediment to spiritual progress but it is a direct offense against God’s commandment.

Oh I think you most certainly are!

I know I am not b/c I once fell into the category. I was not aware of my error thankfully.

You are also creating a false dichotomy, as if a person could not place a statue, and also make Jesus Lord of their Life.

Again, that is not so. I used to do just that

I would suggest, then, that you refrain from using inanimate objects in prayer and worship. I would also suggest that you refrain from judging the hearts/motives/attitudes of those that do.

This is a discussion - not a judgment. Do you accuse everyone you encounter here with a conflicting opinion of being judgmental?

what is it to you if God calls another to worship differently?

God has not called another to worship using statues. We need to test the spirits. If someone feels inspired to break one of God’s commandments they are following another spirit.

But it is improper for you to insist that your own private devotion and call to holiness should be legislated to everyone.

Devotion is not a matter of personal preference when we are already directed on how to pray and worship and how NOT to pray and worship. And I have not been called to some different kind of holiness than anyone else. I don’t need to try to “legistate” it to anyone. God has called everyone to perfection - no exceptions.

I am not here to judge you or anyone else. I am seeing if there are other ways of looking at this before I forever leave the CC. So far I have only been stregthened in my biblical convictions. Believe me, when I am fully convinced, I won’t dialogue here anymore.

Peace,

HA! I was practically married to the church! I loved the church - I would have done absolutely anything for it! I can’t tell you what that love cost me - the agony I experienced when I’d encounter lukewarm Catholics, anti-Catholicism or unorthodoxed priests.

Scripture would not exist apart from the Church. Where do you think that Bible came from?

See the “circular argument thread”.

Peace,

Those with Celiac disease can receive Christ in His Blood, by the priest setting aside an individual cup so as to eliminate even the chance of the host getting into it.

If you are still avoiding the Eucharist for this reason, please consult a priest or your local Bishop for guidance. Receiving Christ is the focal point of Catholicism and is an important aspect of your spiritual nourishment.

As clearly as the commandment not to worship images is the honoring of the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Where in scripture was this commandment ever changed? Jesus and the Apostles kept the sabbath.

Perhaps you are so far beyond the rest of us poor dummies that you are beyond any need to focus?

You are misunderstanding the acts of devotion. God is the focus. The objects help the believer to bring their attention go God. You speak about asking the HS as if the two things were contradictory, somehow. Do you know how the daily office starts? Or, maybe I should not be using my prayer book either?

You can stop using it, and make another one. It seems very disingenuous, and is a poor witness for someone who is clearly not enjoying Catholicism. Why misrepresent yourself in such a way?

I agree, but acts of devotion are very cultural. In the East, people bow as a courtesy. It is impossible for a person to worship without intention.

Yes, you did say that. You said that when a Catholic kneels in the presence of a statue and prays to God, they are actually worshipping the statue. Having statues or icons is not an impediment to spiritual progress to anyone but yourself! Why criticize others because of your own weakness?

I am sorry, but this is inconsistent. Either Jesus is lord of your life, or you are worshipping idols. You can’t have both going on at the same time. They are mutually exclusive.

Certainly not. But when someone comes in here misrepresenting themselves as Catholic, and tells us how we “should” worship then such a person will catch my attention. It is inappropriate for you to advice, counsel, direct, or teach Catholics how they should worship God, especially since you never understood the Catholic faith in the first place.

Here you are telling us what “we need” to do. Devotion is a matter of personal conduct. It is not for you or anyone to tell a brother or sister that their heart is not in the right place when they are at prayer, whether they are before a statue, or beside their bed. Apparently you have been called to a different kind of holiness that sets you apart from all Catholics. You are indeed trying to tell others how they “should” worship.

Your very judgemental and pejorative posts indicate otherwise. You never were Catholic in belief. Perhaps you were baptized into a Catholic family, but you were never catechized, and never taught how to interpret the Holy Writings of the Church. There is no “forever” until death, so I will pray that you find your way, even if that means going down the JW road, or whatever road you are on.

Yes, I am (and was) aware of this, but for some reason my parish priest wouldn’t allow it. It only took a month or so for everything to work out. We did finally obtain the hosts from the Benedictine sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Missouri.

Now, as far as statues and other holy objects, this is far more obvious. God no where tells us to construct such objects to be the focal point in worship.

I think you have a misunderstanding on this issue. I know I don’t worship a statue. A statue is nothing but rock. It helps me conjure Holy thoughts. Think about a picture you have of a family member. When you look at that picture can’t you imagine the moment it took place? Even the smells sometimes. Pictures can take us back in time and place us “in the moment” if we allow them to.

As far as scripture goes…well, I would start with the old testament and see what God has to say. It’s funny how after the 10 commandment people are later instructed to build the Ark of the Covenant which is full of imagery. Keep going through the OT and you will find plenty more examples.

I pray that you find what you are looking for. May God Bless you and lead you towards Peace. :signofcross:

Right. Not to make any likeness of any thing in heaven, or on earth, or in the water. Do you have any likeness of any thing in your life? If so, why?

Furthermore, now that God has become man, it is quite impossible for any Christian to avoid forming at some point a mental image of Jesus Christ in his mind. Since a mental image is also a likeness, then this too must be idolatry. So God, via the Incarnation, has condemned every Christian to be an idolator. It is unavoidable.

This thread is not about the Sabbath. Are you an Adventist?

Perhaps you are so far beyond the rest of us poor dummies that you are beyond any need to focus?

If you have a problem with this discussion I suggest you stop posting to the thread. If someone’s ideas conflict with your own it doesn’t mean he is being self-righteous or proud. I am citing what I see wrong with the practice and opening myself up to discussion about why. I am sorry if you find that demeaning.

You are misunderstanding the acts of devotion. God is the focus. The objects help the believer to bring their attention go God. You speak about asking the HS as if the two things were contradictory, somehow.

They are apples and oranges. The object is not God/Holy Spirit. Rather than use an object to gain focus we would do well to turn to God.

Do you know how the daily office starts?

It’s fresh in my memory: Lord open my lips to praise your holy name. Cleanse my heart of any worthless, evil or distracting thoughts… Did I say the church doesn’t allow us to turn to God? No I didn’t. But encouraging us to turn to objects instead of God is dead wrong.

Or, maybe I should not be using my prayer book either?

:rolleyes:

You can stop using it, and make another one.

THAT would be deceptive! I’ve been on here by that name for years. I’m not going to come back on here looking like a newbie and having AGAIN to have to explain myself to everyone. At least some people here know where I’m coming from. And there is nothing at all deceptive about keeping the name when I’ve clearly indicated in my signature that I am not a faithful, practicing Catholic anymore.

It seems very disingenuous, and is a poor witness for someone who is clearly not enjoying Catholicism. Why misrepresent yourself in such a way?

I have taken the necessary steps to ensure that I have NOT misrepresented myself. I’m sorry you have a problem with it.

I agree, but acts of devotion are very cultural. In the East, people bow as a courtesy. It is impossible for a person to worship without intention.

Perhaps, but I doubt Peter knew intention yet he rebuked the act. When it is learned that it is wrong it should cease. Culture shouldn’t justify disobedience.

Yes, you did say that. You said that when a Catholic kneels in the presence of a statue and prays to God, they are actually worshipping the statue.

Please show proof of your accusation. I never said “kneeling in the presence of” and furthermore your accusation implies that I am accusing the person who does so of intending to worship the statue. Indeed that may not be the intention, but the actions are wrong and against a clear command by God. If someone intends to worship only God when he takes every opportunity to kneel and pray before/light candles before stop signs, it is someone’s duty to tell that person that what they are doing is wrong, no matter how good the intention.

Having statues or icons is not an impediment to spiritual progress to anyone but yourself! Why criticize others because of your own weakness?

You say that like we are talking about personal preferrences. I am discussing what I believe is an error. Again, if you find that offensive then please don’t take part in the discussion.

I am sorry, but this is inconsistent. Either Jesus is lord of your life, or you are worshipping idols. You can’t have both going on at the same time. They are mutually exclusive.

You yourself said intention is important. But we are responsible to recognize and admonish error. Btw, for the record, I never accused any Catholic of being an idolater (as you continually accuse) - I am showing that the ACTIONS are idolatrous, and if so, need correction. If you continue to twist my words I will ignore your future posts.

Certainly not. But when someone comes in here misrepresenting themselves as Catholic, and tells us how we “should” worship then such a person will catch my attention.

:shrug: I don’t know what more to say. You are the one doing the misrepresenting.

It is inappropriate for you to advice, counsel, direct, or teach Catholics how they should worship God, especially since you never understood the Catholic faith in the first place.

Now your are just being childish. I won’t take part in any further discussion with you unless it is respectful and rational.

Here you are telling us what “we need” to do. Devotion is a matter of personal conduct. It is not for you or anyone to tell a brother or sister that their heart is not in the right place when they are at prayer, whether they are before a statue, or beside their bed. Apparently you have been called to a different kind of holiness that sets you apart from all Catholics. You are indeed trying to tell others how they “should” worship.

More misrepresentation. It is a discussion. I really have no desire to preach to Catholics. My life is my witness - something which you cannot be affected by. When I am firm in my convictions I promise I will not be back to preach to you. I’m far more interested in a more personal approach to evangelization.

Peace,

She should not be taking communion, it will only make matters worse for her to profane the Body and Blood of the Lord.

guanophore> I have to say I’ve become disappointed with your posts lately. They seem to be more focused on defending the RCC (and attacking those who doubt it) than being focused on the truth and considering the possibility that you, in human error, made a mistake in embracing it.

Such self-assuredness seems to be exactly what you would accuse Protestantism of. :frowning:

Who are you to judge that?

No one who understands their Catholic faith will find any contradictions to it in scripture.

Here’s the problem – because you don’t see any contradictions (I must admit I think this is because you’re not looking to see if there are any), you assume there are not any, and further, you assume that a proper understanding of the RCC will prevent anyone from seeing flaws in it. Thus, you’re attacking Joy (and perhaps myself and others), claiming that we’re ignorant, all because we don’t see things your way.

I know Baptists who say I never understood Christianity because I don’t believe what they do. Does that mean I never understood it? No – it means they assume I didn’t, because they can’t accept the possibility of being wrong. And this is the same flaw that I think you’ve got.

Scripture would not exist apart from the Church. Where do you think that Bible came from?

It clearly came from authors inspired by God, who wrote their works individually, under the guidance of the holy spirit. The RCC didn’t exist. Neither did it convene a council to write up volumes to be considered scriptural. Even if we could accept that the RCC was 100% responsible for canonizing scripture (an assertion to which I do not ascribe), that doesn’t mean they’re responsible for writing it.

There is nothing in it that contradicts the faith because it was written by for and about Catholics.

Really? And how do you prove that the church of that day is the same as today’s RCC? Care to show me some actual ancient text which demonstrates the papacy, or the infallibility of the RCC?

And there’s no reason to believe we should not keep the Sabbath (that is, one day of rest after six days of work – I’m not sure I agree that it has to be the linear seventh day of the calendar week).

However, let’s take the Roman Catholic perspective in hand here:

  1. Because the RCC says so, despite scripture saying to the contrary, we should worship on Sundays.
  2. Because the RCC says so, despite scripture saying to the contrary, we can and should have graven images in our homes and churches.

Therefore…

  1. If the RCC says so, despite scripture saying to the contrary, we can and should commit adultery, murder, etc.

Yeah…changing the practices and teachings of scripture is a bad idea. It leads to trouble.

Perhaps you are so far beyond the rest of us poor dummies that you are beyond any need to focus?

If you truly need a statue or other object to get you to think about God…I don’t know what to say except that I’ll be praying for you.

Yes, I think Joy is miles beyond you in this regard. It’s not that hard to focus on God. If you really need to, close your eyes and sit in a quiet room to keep from being distracted. But honestly, I don’t even find that to be necessary. God is real – he’s alive. I can focus my attention on, and talk to, a real living person, despite being in a noisy room with lots of stuff going on…am I really incapable of doing that much for the Creator of the Universe, whose importance in my life is above and beyond that of any person I’ve ever known?

Or, maybe I should not be using my prayer book either?

Why do you need a prayer book to focus on, and communicate with, God? (I really would like an answer to this, if to nothing else.)

You can stop using it, and make another one. It seems very disingenuous, and is a poor witness for someone who is clearly not enjoying Catholicism. Why misrepresent yourself in such a way?

Changing online aliases is confusing and almost deceptive in many cases. That’s why I’m still “The PC Master” – not because I believe I have mastered all things PC-related – it’s simply because many people know me as PCM, and thus I don’t wish to have anyone confused by me changing nicknames.

Continued…

To me, changing a name is about as confusing as the music artist Prince…whose name is now apparently the “Love Symbol” and/or “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince”. No, Joy need not change her name – her signature clarifies her position. There’s no deception going on here.

I agree, but acts of devotion are very cultural. In the East, people bow as a courtesy. It is impossible for a person to worship without intention.

What about “worshiping” money? Many speakers (including scripture and Roman Catholic individuals) speak about idolizing money. Do you think there’s any individual on the planet who actually intends to idolize money? Perhaps one or two…but not nearly as many as all of those who actually do idolize money.

Yes, you did say that. You said that when a Catholic kneels in the presence of a statue and prays to God, they are actually worshipping the statue. Having statues or icons is not an impediment to spiritual progress to anyone but yourself! Why criticize others because of your own weakness?

Weakness? How is it weak to remove symbols and signs and focus on God without their “help”?

Moreover…if you have the practice of kneeling beside a statue of Mary as you pray, and then suddenly I tell you that you can’t kneel while you pray, or have the Mary statue any more, would you not be very bothered? And if so, why is that? Is it not that you’re saying that you’re not capable of focusing on God without icons?

I am sorry, but this is inconsistent. Either Jesus is lord of your life, or you are worshipping idols. You can’t have both going on at the same time. They are mutually exclusive.

I would generally agree – however, that doesn’t mean that you necessarily realize that you’re worshiping idols, even though you’re doing precisely that. While you can’t have Jesus as your primary focus and idols as your primary focus at the same time, you can think that one is your focus, when in fact it is another (due to human fallibility and failure to understand what devotion and worship truly are).

It is inappropriate for you to advice, counsel, direct, or teach Catholics how they should worship God, especially since you never understood the Catholic faith in the first place.

In that case, since I don’t think you understand Protestantism, you can’t tell Protestants that they’re wrong. (Now doesn’t it sound ridiculous when we put the shoe on the other foot?)

Here you are telling us what “we need” to do. Devotion is a matter of personal conduct.

So Joy isn’t allowed to share her views on what we (collectively, as people in general) should do?

It is not for you or anyone to tell a brother or sister that their heart is not in the right place when they are at prayer, whether they are before a statue, or beside their bed.

In that case, you can’t tell me my heart is not in the right place, when I’m praying for my Roman Catholic friends to be guided into God’s truth (which I sincerely believe will take them away from the RCC). See, this sounds like an issue of “because I know I’m right, you can’t dare to say something that I disagree with, lest I attack you”.

Apparently you have been called to a different kind of holiness that sets you apart from all Catholics.

Not all Roman Catholics – just the ones who don’t understand the concept of worshiping and focusing on our creator without the use of idols (or icons, symbols, images, statues, etc).

The concept of worship and thought without idols is so elementary to persons such as myself, and so we legitimately question why it’s so difficult for everyone else. In response, we are attacked. I don’t get it.

Your very judgemental and pejorative posts indicate otherwise. You never were Catholic in belief. Perhaps you were baptized into a Catholic family, but you were never catechized, and never taught how to interpret the Holy Writings of the Church.

I don’t recall Joy saying that she was never taught how to properly understand the RCC and its writings. If I may be slightly sarcastic here – where’d you get your crystal ball? Or is this again the issue of “because you don’t agree with me, you don’t know what you’re talking about, because I know I’m not wrong!”

(My apologies if that’s overly blunt, but I don’t know how else to say it.)

Answer me this – are you, right now, willing to consider that you were wrong about the RCC…that you interpreted the evidence and teachings improperly, and thus came to a wrong conclusion? Are you willing to consider that possibility?

Continued…

You think you don’t. But having good intentions, do you think you’d actually realize it if you did slip into that practice? We’re not talking about conscious, willful “I love this statue and I’m going to worship it instead of God” thinking. We’re talking way more subtle.

A statue is nothing but rock. It helps me conjure Holy thoughts. Think about a picture you have of a family member. When you look at that picture can’t you imagine the moment it took place? Even the smells sometimes. Pictures can take us back in time and place us “in the moment” if we allow them to.

I have no problem remembering events that have happened, without photos or smells. I also have photos in an album where I really can’t remember where they’re from or exactly when they were taken.

Moreover, we’re not even talking about photos or smells, which trigger a response in memory. We’re talking about religious teachings that you’ve been taught orally or through writings. So, how is it that the rock helps you do something you’re incapable of doing without the rock?

As far as scripture goes…well, I would start with the old testament and see what God has to say. It’s funny how after the 10 commandment people are later instructed to build the Ark of the Covenant which is full of imagery.

And did you ever see it being worshiped, or knelt beside as people prayed? Did the people have little replicas of the ark in their homes?

Keep going through the OT and you will find plenty more examples.

How about the specific command to make no image of anything in heaven, or on earth, or under the earth? Pretty explicit, I’d say. But if you’d like to show me examples of individuals having their own personal graven images in their homes, being used as an aid for prayer (however that may be possible, I don’t really know), I look forward to it.

Moreover, we’re not even talking about photos or smells, which trigger a response in memory. We’re talking about religious teachings that you’ve been taught orally or through writings. So, how is it that the rock helps you do something you’re incapable of doing without the rock?

She didn’t say she was incapable. You say photos or smells trigger a response, why can’t the statues be just triggering a response?

How about the specific command to make no image of anything in heaven, or on earth, or under the earth? Pretty explicit, I’d say. But if you’d like to show me examples of individuals having their own personal graven images in their homes, being used as an aid for prayer (however that may be possible, I don’t really know), I look forward to it.

That scripture can in no way be taken completey by itself to mean what you think it does. If it does, then every single painting, photo, sculpture, drawing, etc. is idolatrous. Student’s text books are idolatrous. Doctors models of bodies and hearts are idolatrous. Toys are idolatrous. The list could go on and on.

My point about Sabbath is that you are saying, on the basis of the Commandment, that Catholics should not have any images. Yet, the Commandments also state that we are to honor the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. You are saying that God never “undid” the commandment about images, yet He never undid the commandment about the Sabbath either. You are picking and choosing.

You did not cite what you saw wrong with the practice. You cited what you saw wrong with the persons! There is a big difference.It does not seem to me that you are open to discussion at all, in fact, you seem to have made up your mind, and are trying to pursuade others here to believe as you do.

I don’t find it demeaning at all. I find your approach rich in audacity. For YOU the object is not God, but who are you to judge the hearts of others?

So, if a person sits before a crucifix and says that prayer, is that idolatry?

Actually, if that is the case, then your signature is as deceptive as your username. There are many faithful, practicing Catholics that question their faith constantly.

I am disappointed when anyone here misrepresents themselves. I think it detracts from the whole forum.

What makes you doubt that Peter knew? Do you not think that God could show Peter the hearts of others just as He has revealed all the hearts of idolatrous Catholics to you? Are you more spiritually aloof than Peter, that only you have this revelation?

I am glad that you learned that statuary was not conducive to your worship. What is puzzling is why you think others should live by your own private revelation. :shrug:

Here you are judging the hearts of others again. Just because people of different cultures have different practices, you are assuming it is “disobedience”?

Yes, this is what you have forwarded. What I am saying is that one cannot worship without intention. It requires an act of the will. If the person is not choosing to worship the image, it cannot happen.

How did you get appointed to this duty? Did God visit you in a dream, or did an angel appear in your austere place of prayer and commission you to set all the lost Catholics right ? How did you happen to become the reaper that uproots the tares from the wheat?

Really? Where did you get to be responsible for that? How did you manage to get the log out of your own eye? That would be a great witness to share…

CAF is not a venue for you to criticize the devotional practices of others or to pander your anti-Catholic prejudices. It is a place where people can come to ask questions about the Catholic faith. You have no questions. You are here to admonish and evangelize.

That is just my point. You have judged the hearts of others by their actions. A person cannot commit adultery by their posture, or where they choose to pray. A person commits idolatry by an intentional act of the will.

Your posts have been full of “shoulds”. How else is one to take them? You have appointed yourself to the duty of identifying and rooting out errors in the faith practice of others. What else can it be called? Perhaps another username, such as “burneroftares”?

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