statues in the church

If in the old Testament in the book of Exodus it say’s that we cannot kneel down to statues, then why do we? Is there a really good reason why we disobey what God the Father said about this in chapter 20-5&6 of Exodus in the bible that changes this in the old testament, so I can explain this to my friend. Who changed that or rather how or why did they. By who’s authority? TY.

We pray though the saints…not to the saints…kneeling down to a saint in exodus means worship.

We worship God, and venerate saints…

A good starting point is understanding why we have statues and images in the first place?

It’s not because we are idolaters like protestants think, it’s because for much of our history as Christians, people were illiterate. So these images were basically the bible in pictures as this caters to those who cant read.

As someone else mentioned, we pray through the Saint’s intercession.

Veneration to Saints and Angels

Adoration to God alone.

Mr. Staples does a wonderful job here:

A bit more reading:

and there’s tons more here are CAF about this very question to be found via the search tool…

The “graven images” the Ten Commandments are referring to are images (statues, etc) of FALSE GODS. The first few commandments concern the worship of false gods. You are not to worship false gods. The commandments spell it out: You are not to bow before those false gods, you are not to worship those false gods.

Church statues and icons are not “false gods.” They are not gods, and they are not false. They are depictions of real, genuine people. They are a part of history and they are not worshiped. It’s irrelevant that some people kneel before the statues while praying. That habit is an “Old World” token of esteem, and the Catholic Church is an old world religion, with old world habits.

Just to emphasize, synagogues and the Temple in Jerusalem were filled with images of people, animals, angels and plants. Those aren’t false gods, either, and no one worships them.

And perhaps the OP should learn to open a discussion without using loaded words.

Like “disobey”.

It’s a “when did you stop beating your wife” question.


Did you and your friend studied the context of these Commands?:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]3 ‘You shall have no gods except me

. 4 ‘You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God and I punish the father’s fault in the sons, the grandsons, and the great-grandsons of those who hate me; (Exodus 20:3-5)
…did you noticed verse 3?

No other gods!

Can you show where the Church Teaches that Saints, including the Holy Mother, are gods?

Can you show where the Church calls any Saint (including the Archangel Michael) Divine?

…when people genuflect to one another, when a king/queen knights a man or when a man asks for a woman;s hand in marriage, do you think these people are making the others the object of their Worship?

…a statue/icon of a Saint is nothing but a connection to God; Catholics give Glory to God only while venerating the Saints and asking for their intercession.

…the Authority: Jesus:

18 So I now say to you: You are Peter

and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. 19** I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven**; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’’ (St. Matthew 16:18-19)
…a lot of people want to believe that Jesus “meant” to you all (all of the Apostles, all of the Disciples and all of the Believers); Jesus singled out one Disciple/Apostle: Cephast.

Further, many people want to limit this Divine Delegation to the Absolution of Sin… not so, though that is part of it, Jesus is talking about the Church not about Peter, the man–so to the Church Jesus Delegates His Authority to Bind and Loosen–yes, sins… but also, and just as important, Doctrine!

Consider too that the Church, Guided by the Holy Spirit, unfolded what we today hold as Doctrine… yet, through the inked Sacred Writings we find this to be evident as Apostolic Teaching Unfolds Apostolic Succession, Church Practice and Doctrine, and the Written and Oral Sacred Traditions.

Maran atha!



as mother angelica would say: “statues are prayerful reminders”; catholics don’t pray “to” statues

catholics are enspired to pray because of them

No one changed anything. It is just that your understanding and your friend’s understanding of those verses is faulty because you and your friend are not reading them in context; you and your friend are reading the verses without considering what is said in the surrounding verses, and what is said on the subject in the rest of the book of Exodus and in the rest of the Bible. To get the proper understanding of the passage, all of those other things must be taken into considerate.

Let’s briefly look at another command to show you what I mean… A few verses later, in verse 13, it says, “You shall not kill.” If you read that verse the same way you are reading the command about statues, without considering what is said in the rest of the book of Exodus and in the rest of the Bible on the subject, your understanding of the command against killing will similarly be faulty. You would probably understand it to mean that no one is ever to kill for any reason whatsoever, which would mean, for instance, the guilty are never to be put to death for their crimes, you can never use lethal force against an unjust aggressor, even as a last resort, and enemy combatants are never to be killed in war. Since the command does not say what we are not to kill, I have even heard vegetarians take it as a prohibition against the killing of animals for food and clothing. But those understandings are faulty because, elsewhere in the book of Exodus and in the Bible, for instance, the killing of those found guilty of committing certain crimes is also commanded and so is the killing of enemy combatants. So, in context, the command clearly does not prohibit all killing no matter the circumstances. Although God doesn’t take “any pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezekiel 18:23), sometimes, as a last resort, killing the wicked is the only way to protect the innocent.

Now, back to statues… If you read Exodus 20:4-5 without considering what is said in the surrounding verses, in the rest of the book of Exodus and in the rest of the Bible, then you might indeed wrongly conclude that this is a prohibition against all statues whatsoever but you would be wrong. That this was never intended to be a prohibition against all statues whatsoever is clear from other commands in Exodus and the rest of the Bible to create various statues, such as the two small cherubim statues on the ark of the covenant, the statue of a serpent used to cure snakebites, the two large cherubim statues in Solomon’s Temple and the dozen oxen statues supporting the large bronze sea in the Temple area. (Exodus 25:18; Numbers 21:8; 1 Kings 6:23; 7:25)

So, when the surrounding verses, the rest of the book of Exodus and the rest of the Bible are all taken into account, how is these verses understood? It is a prohibition against the making of statues of God himself, as God had not yet become incarnate; it is also a prohibition against the making of statues of other gods, and it is also a prohibition against bowing down before any statues whatsoever with the intention of offering worship to the statues themselves or with the intention of offering worship to the (false) gods represented by the statues. However, it may be acceptable to bow down or kneel before statues for other purposes, such as praying to God or prayerfully requesting the Christian intercession of the saints in heaven. In other words, as long as you do not intend thereby to worship the statues themselves or the (false) gods they represent, it is acceptable to bow down or kneel before statues. This is clear from the praiseworthy behavior of the Jewish leader Joshua, who prostrated himself before the ark of the covenant even though there were two cherubim statues mounted on its lid (Joshua 7:6), and from the praiseworthy behavior of the psalmist, who bowed down toward the Temple even though the two large cherubim statues and the ark of the covenant with its two small cherubim statues were in the Temple and the dozen oxen statues supporting the large bronze sea were nearby. (Psalm 138:2)

This might help you. Iconoclasm: Or: Catholics Worship Graven Images NOT

Actually the verse mentions making graven images of anything in heaven too. since there are no false gods in heaven, what could it be referring to?

Well, the Flying Spaghetti Monster would qualify. All seriousness aside :D, this commandment would eliminate worshiping the sun (Ra) and the moon (Khonsu), like the Egyptians did.

Hi, Mike!

…making a graven image does not necessitates having actual knowledge of the image/subject… to make an image of God as a representation of what man understands God to be is quite inoffensive as God has been portrayed as the Ancient, All-Knowing and All-Seeing Being in the form of a white-hair white-bearded man… now, if that image is placed as God and is worshiped as God, well, that image would be a graven image–an image made for the purpose of idol worship.

So it is not about the fact that there are no false gods in Heaven; it is about not making into false gods even that which is found in Heaven (God, the four creatures, the 24 ancients, the angels, the saints…).

Maran atha!


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