If the Idol fits wear it...


#1

Too many times have I heard that I am an Idolator…based on…

8‘You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 9‘You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 10but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

The Church of Christ is treading on the skirts of Idolatry

smithfieldchurch.org/windows.htm

smithfieldchurch.org/windowsreformers.htm

Is Stained glass and statues equal to idolatry?

Thoughts? Comments?


#2

You may have your Churches of Christ mixed up. This congregation is a member of the United Church of Christ, which is a liberal Reformed denomination (liberal as in higher criticism of Scripture, acceptance of homosexuality, women pastors, etc).

You are probably thinking of the Church of Christ as in the Campbellite tradition, which is entirely different.


#3

Several years ago I heard a Baptist deacon relate an experience he had at one KJV only fundamentalist church.
He said when the service started there was a procession (very Catholic) holding the Bible up and proclaiming “this (the Bible, specifally the KJV) is the stone cut without hands” (quoting Daniel). The person who witnessed this said it chilled him to the bone and never went back to that church.
What is interesting to me is that verse in Daniel is speaking specifically of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And Catholics are the idolitars?


#4

Ig,

The website says Smithfield United Church of Christ. I was not mixed up. It is what it is. I understand that it is liberal. As you know there are and have been posters that praise the liberal thought process of Protestant thought. This is just a place where stained glass windows are used…so do you belive that stained glass windows are idolatry?


#5

My point in mentioning that they are a liberal church is that they probably do not believe anything is idolatry. So using them as an example of an iconoclastic church is probably a bad example.

No I don’t believe they are idolatrous.


#6

Within Protestant Christianity there are many degrees of thought on this and other issues. Some recognize that there are places consecrated in the sense of being set apart to worship the Lord, and so depictions that bring one’s mind and senses towards worship are not a bad thing. I’ve been to one that had a banner that literally showed the symbols (7 or 9 total) that were considered acceptable to use from Scripture.


#7

Hello CopticChristian,
I read your post with interest.
I suggest you read St John of Damascus, and the abbot [hegumen] Theodore the Studite.
Both were major writers during a controversy known as ‘iconoclasm’.
There have been several iconoclastic movements. The one I refer to occurred in the times of the Byzantine Empire, long ago.
There are many Christians who believe, and affirm, that any image, or graven image, of God, or of anything that has to do with heaven, is a sign of idolatry.
This is not so. Just go ahead and read the writings of the 2 writers mentioned above.
Keep in mind that if you follow Coptic Christianity, whether Orthodox or Catholic, icons are an integral part of tradition and worship. There is a reason why a long line of Patriarchs of Alexandria have accepted holy images as part of worship. If you walk into any Coptic church, either Orthodox or Catholic, you will find holy images. There is a reason for this.
If I find something online, I’ll post the link for you.
1463Mark


#8

Seems to me the many degrees of thought extends into at times, one where the Bible itself is being worshiped thus a form of idolatry.

Appears that the personal relationship with Christ becomes me and my Bible, then the incessant search of a church to fit ones “me and my Bible” personal relationship theology.

The Church where the Lord truly dwells becomes minimized by the Inspired Word, good orators, and the have it your way theory.:shrug:

Passing Observation, carry on. :wink:


#9

Hello CopticChristian,
Here are some links for you.
orthodoxwiki.org/Theodore_the_Studite

crossroadsinitiative.com/library_author/16/St._Theodore_the_Studite.html

orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/patrology/moses_st_john_damascus.htm

amazon.com/Saint-John-Damascus-Writings-Fathers/dp/0813209684

crossroadsinitiative.com/library_author/56/St._John_Damascene.html

orthodoxwiki.org/John_of_Damascus

newadvent.org/cathen/08459b.htm

Best wishes.
1463Mark


#10

What is truly interesting is a visit to the Chaldean Christians. Their Churches are void of much of what you see in most Eastern Churches. I am not sure why. These are the former Nestorians.


#11

Depends on the use and intention of the stained glass, I would think. If people tend to spend more time looking at the “pretty glass on the window” then the message, it could be a distraction. I don’t know. That IS a confusing question.:shrug:


#12

Very good! I can’t count the times I’ve heard this from fundamentalists quoting Ex 20:4 and they say we changed the list of the 10 Commandments to hide the “Graven Image” quote. I don’t see in Ex 20 where it says that verse 4 is the 2nd Commandment? If a fundamentalist kneels down in his room to pray is he worshipping the wall in front of him?


#13

Pot, meet kettle. If catholics are idolatrous, then I'm the queen of spain


#14

The “pretty glass” tells the message. Literacy did not begin to spread until the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century. Nineteenth and early 20th century Americans were mostly uneducated rural farm folk. My own grandfather could only sign his name. He could neither read nor write. Bible reading – or reading at all – is a relatively new phenomenon in the history of mankind. The Church used icons, statues, and stained glass windows for the religious instruction of those who could not read – which was about 90% of the population – for many centuries.

To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant ~ Newman


#15

Very good point Jim Dandy. I’ve always looked at them as yes telling a story and honoring God. It’s never crossed my mind that the people worshiping there couldn’t read.


#16

They’re digging up the eighth-century heresy of iconoclasm… If these folks only knew a bit of history, we’d be spared a lot of nonsense.

Here’s an excellent, and thorough, list of passages proving iconoclasm unbiblical: “Biblical Evidence for Physical Objects as Aids in Worship (Or, for ‘Idolatry,’ According to Some Iconoclastic Protestants).”


#17

I have never understood how people think praying to the Saints is idolatry. I do hold them in the highest esteem as shining reflections of God’s grace. I am not praying to them as gods, but asking for their intersession. I don’t see how that is any different than asking a friend to pray for me.


#18

Jesus told stories, parables, we learned to read with pictures of Dick and Jane…gotta wonder???:shrug:


#19

The 10 Commandments can be found in Exodus 20, again in Exodus 34, and yet again in Deuteronomy 5 (verses 6 to 11).

Who came first, Catholics (A,D. 33) or Protestants (16th to 21st centuries)? God did not number the 10 Commandments. Chapter and verse numbering of the Bible didn’t occur until the Middle Ages. There are 613 commandments in the OT. None of them were numbered originally.

Latin Catholics and Lutherans use one system of numbering the Ten Commandments; Eastern Catholics, the Orthodox, and other Protestants use another system, and the Jews have yet another. This doesn’t change the Commandments. The real alteration is the way Protestants interpret them.

Protestants who allege that Catholics changed the Commandments to omit the prohibition against graven images are oblivious to the fact that they use the same numbering as Eastern Catholics! It’s a baseless charge, the result of willful ignorance. I say their ignorance is willful because the truth is readily available. They’d rather sling mud. I speak from experience.

Having been one, I can say with authority that Protestants who kneel down in their rooms to pray are worshpping their beds :p.


#20

lol…To be fair to the more iconoclastic Christian groups, however, such as Reformed Christians… The original Reformed churches, at least that followed Calvin’s theology, did not object to any and all images. Calvin only objected to images of the Persons of the Trinity. He didn’t have a problem with images of, say, saints, for example. They interpreted the prohibitions against images in Exodus to apply to making a graven images of God and utilizing it in worship. Although many modern Protestants apply this to all images.


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