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Do Christian Church's break the Second Commandment?

joe six-pack

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The Second Commandment is a ban on making or worshiping any religious image. That's why synagogues don't have statues of Moses and why mosques don't have statues of Mohammad.

Exodus 20:4 (The Second Commandment of God)

"You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I The Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My Commandments."

God says pictures of Saints, Mother Marry or Jesus on the Cross is bad.



This is idolatry. A violation of the Second Commandment, yet this image can be seen in every Christian Church. Millions of Christians pray to wood carving of Jesus and worship the image of a man being murdered. Can someone explain this?

Thanks.
 

Orion

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I've also wondered this.
 

1069

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Well, at least the Muslims are attempting to follow God's commandments.
So heaven won't be completely empty. :mrgreen:
 

Guy Incognito

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There are a lot of Christians groups that do not use graven images at all and agree with your interpretation.

Most Christian denominations, however, draw a distinction between worship of God and mere veneration of object like a crucifix.
 

SheWolf

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I have wondered this too, and since I am not really committed to organized religion.. and I don't pray in front of any images, then I don't care. I don't think it is right to pray or worship in front of that stuff personally.. but I am not sure what a proper alter would be either

:shrug:
 

Goshin

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How far this goes depends on who you ask.


If I am informed correctly, some Muslims believe it is a grave sin to make an image of ANYTHING. Drawing of a horse or a man, any art other than abstract patterns.

Most protestant theology interprets this to mean that the making of images (paintings, statues, etc) to be WORSHIPPED is a sin; that is, any intimation that the statue or painting is holy in and of itself is idolatry. An image that is understood as a mere representation, and that is not intended to be worshipped but merely looked at and appreciated, is considered okay.

Personally, I've long thought that it is a bit of a fine line to walk, and that some churches do seem to be straddling that line a bit on the wrong side. Idolatry can actually be anything that takes the place of God in the heart or mind of the worshipper, that is held to be of more importance than God. Literally praying to a statue or carving as if it were God instead of a mere representation would certainly be crossing that line.
 

cpwill

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firstly, it's worth pointing out that this commandment's placement as the second is itself in contention; Protestans tend to place it as #2, while Catholics tend to place it as the second half of #1, saying that it flows from having no other gods. i think that's key; what is being said here isn't "don't have artwork", it's "don't make and worship idols"; which we know both from historical text and independent archaeology was a good bit of the local (non-hebrew) religion at the time. carving a figure out of stone (melting a calf out of gold, whatever), declaring it to be "a god" and then worshiping it was a big deal at the time, and so "hey, don't do that" became a commandment. really, it's about focus: there is one God, He is the God of everything and everybody, don't put other things before him.
 

joe six-pack

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firstly, it's worth pointing out that this commandment's placement as the second is itself in contention; Protestans tend to place it as #2, while Catholics tend to place it as the second half of #1, saying that it flows from having no other gods.
In my view, what placement you put it in is not really relevant.

In the original context, there aren't individual "Commandments" everything God is saying is a commandment, since it's the word of God. Now it becomes a matter of how you choose to interpret the meaning of the words and how literal you choose to take it. Personally, I would err of the side of caution if I were a devote man.
i think that's key; what is being said here isn't "don't have artwork", it's "don't make and worship idols";
It's both "don't make a likeness of anything" and "don't worship a likeness of anything." But, yes, that's up for interpretation in terms of how far you take it.
which we know both from historical text and independent archaeology was a good bit of the local (non-hebrew) religion at the time. carving a figure out of stone (melting a calf out of gold, whatever), declaring it to be "a god" and then worshiping it was a big deal at the time, and so "hey, don't do that" became a commandment.
No. "Hey don't do that" isn't what God said.

God said, you shall not make a likeness of anything for the practice of worship. If you want to be completely literal, that includes art-work.
really, it's about focus: there is one God, He is the God of everything and everybody, don't put other things before him.
I agree.

But then you open up the can-of-worms about the first Commandment and directing all worship and prayer to JHVH / YHWH only, as opposed to the Saints, Jesus and Marry. But in essence, I think most Christians understand that God is the focus of Christianity and they put their heart and prayers in the right place.
 

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The second commandment isn't being broken because nothing is etched or engraved (graven). Jesus was taken down off the Cross, so Jesus isn't enduring Crucifixion in Heaven. Jesus isn't in the tomb, isn't in the earth....so all of the admonitions of the second commandment don't apply.

The renderings of the Crucifix are to remind us of Jesus being the perfect sacrifice to atone for humankind's sins and no further human sacrifice would ever be legit from then on. We are to be reminded of all that was done on our behalf and to act accordingly...with gratitude and humility, praising God all the while. You don't worship the Crucifixion, you worship the 1/3 of the Trinity who was sacrificed for you, personally, so you'd have individual, personal Salvation given to you by your Redeemer.

And don't you forget it.

I don't believe a word of it any more, but this is what I taught when I taught Religion in an RC parochial school.

Regards from Rosie
 

joe six-pack

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The second commandment isn't being broken because nothing is etched or engraved (graven).
Read Again:

You shall not make any "image" or "likeness."
Jesus was taken down off the Cross, so Jesus isn't enduring Crucifixion in Heaven. Jesus isn't in the tomb, isn't in the earth....so all of the admonitions of the second commandment don't apply.
Another interpretation actually phrase the translation like this:

"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below."

http://bible.cc/exodus/20-4.htm

It's clearly a ban on making images, especially for the purpose of worship. The "in" as opposed to "on" is a flaw in translating Hebrew to English. Clearly, God is saying don't make idols for worship. Images of Mother Marry, various Saints and Jesus are idolatry.
The renderings of the Crucifix are to remind us of Jesus being the perfect sacrifice to atone for humankind's sins and no further human sacrifice would ever be legit from then on. We are to be reminded of all that was done on our behalf and to act accordingly...with gratitude and humility, praising God all the while. You don't worship the Crucifixion, you worship the 1/3 of the Trinity who was sacrificed for you, personally, so you'd have individual, personal Salvation given to you by your Redeemer.
That also breaks the 10 Commandments. Read Commandment ONE:

"I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."

Also interpreted this way:

"I am Jehovah thy God, who hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of a house of servants."

Exodus 20 World English Bible
Exodus 20 Young's Literal Translation

The 10 Commandments make it clear that all worship is to go to "YHWH" also interpreted as "JHVH." You are not supposed to worship any other "servant" of God, as Jesus was, or "iteration of God." The Commandments say to worship God, by name, and God alone. Not "1/3 of some made-up trinity."
I don't believe a word of it any more, but this is what I taught when I taught Religion in an RC parochial school.

Regards from Rosie
I actually think the Church preforms logical cartwheels to explain away the parts of it's doctrine that doesn't make sense. Christmas is actually a pagan holiday, just as an example of the weirdness of how the Romans originated Christianity.
 
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samsmart

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What you have to understand is that back in those days people were more likely to worship an inanimate statue than the deity on which that statue was based on.

Take, for example, when Moses was on Mount Sinai getting the Ten Commandments from God. While Moses were doing that, the Hebrews at the base of the mountain got worried that they were abandoned and decided to collect all the gold in the camp and fashioned a Golden Calf to worship. They then worshiped the statue itself. Moses came down, saw it, got pissed, and tore down the statue with the tablets and broke both to pieces. Moses then had to go back up and get another copy.

When Christians have paintings of Jesus Christ on the Cross, they don't pray to the painting. They pray to Jesus Christ. That's the key difference. Christians don't mistake a rendering of the Messiah as the Messiah itself. Christians understand that such paintings don't have any divine power or force.

This is why as a general rule most Christians don't think it's a big deal to depict Jesus Christ in media.
 

Manc Skipper

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The communion host IS Jesus' flesh, and the wine IS his blood, according to the largest Christian sect.
 
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Aunt Spiker

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or that is in the water under the earth
This is also interesting considering the fish if often a sign of Christianity.
 

digsbe

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What the commandment means is to not make images intended for worship like idols. I don't worship a cross or a painting. How many threads attacking Christianity do we need?

What I think many are missing is this part you shall not bow down to them or serve them. It gives context to the commandment.
 
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Jetboogieman

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What the commandment means is to not make images intended for worship like idols. I don't worship a cross or a painting. How many threads attacking Christianity do we need?

What I think many are missing is this part you shall not bow down to them or serve them. It gives context to the commandment.
I'd say this is pretty accurate.
 

FluffyNinja

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God says pictures of Saints, Mother Marry or Jesus on the Cross is bad.
Does he now? To whom? When and where? To the contrary, God instructed his people in the Old Testament specifically how to construct the Ark of the Covenant, and it did indeed have golden images of angels on the cover:
Exodus 25:17-21 (New International Version)

17 "Make an atonement cover [a] of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the Testimony, which I will give you.

The Ark was also kept, for the most part, in a Holy Place, a temple if you will, and was a constant reminder of the presence of God. I believe that digsbe put it best when stating that it is the "false gods" or "graven images" that we are not to "bow down to or serve."
This is idolatry. A violation of the Second Commandment, yet this image can be seen in every Christian Church. Millions of Christians pray to wood carving of Jesus and worship the image of a man being murdered. Can someone explain this?

Thanks.
I must also note that most Christians that I know, do not "bow down" to the cross, but do agree that Jesus IS God, and His image on the cross is indicative of the entire message of Christianity and salvation. To me, seeing the cross, or an image of Christ upon it, only serves as a reminder or a focal point in the story of my faith, if you will.
 

joe six-pack

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What you have to understand is that back in those days people were more likely to worship an inanimate statue than the deity on which that statue was based on.

Take, for example, when Moses was on Mount Sinai getting the Ten Commandments from God. While Moses were doing that, the Hebrews at the base of the mountain got worried that they were abandoned and decided to collect all the gold in the camp and fashioned a Golden Calf to worship. They then worshiped the statue itself. Moses came down, saw it, got pissed, and tore down the statue with the tablets and broke both to pieces. Moses then had to go back up and get another copy.

When Christians have paintings of Jesus Christ on the Cross, they don't pray to the painting. They pray to Jesus Christ. That's the key difference. Christians don't mistake a rendering of the Messiah as the Messiah itself. Christians understand that such paintings don't have any divine power or force.

This is why as a general rule most Christians don't think it's a big deal to depict Jesus Christ in media.
In my view--and a literal interpretation of the Bible--worshiping Jesus is a violation of the 1st Commandment. Jesus never said, "I am God, worship me." But he did say to keep the 10 Commandments; and commandment one says to worship only God, who identifies himself as the Hebrew characters יהוה

Tetragrammaton - Four Character name of God <-- God's name is YHWH.

"I, Yahweh, am the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The ground on which you are lying I shall give to you and your descendants." God is identified as "YHWH" all throughout the Old Testament, if you just look. Sadly, many English translations replace "YHWH" with the title "Lord." I find that to be blasphemy.

The God of the Old Testament has a name, and it isn't "Jesus." In fact, that wasn't even Christ's real name. The son of Mary was named Yeshua, which translated into English directly is Joshua. "Jesus" is derived from a Greek translation, that was translated into Latin as Jesu. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

That doesn't change the fact that people bow down and pray to images of "Joshua."
 

joe six-pack

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To the contrary, God instructed his people in the Old Testament specifically how to construct the Ark of the Covenant, and it did indeed have golden images of angels on the cover:
The angels on the Arch were not for worship, as images of Jesus/Joshua's cruxifiction is. That's the difference.

I must also note that most Christians that I know, do not "bow down" to the cross, but do agree that Jesus IS God, and His image on the cross is indicative of the entire message of Christianity and salvation. To me, seeing the cross, or an image of Christ upon it, only serves as a reminder or a focal point in the story of my faith, if you will.
"Flesh" is not God. God cannot die. God doesn't sleep or weep or grow.

If you actually read the NT, you will find Jesus to be a remarkable servant of God, who prays to God all the time. But as flesh, he was not a walking, talking God. The closest thing Jesus/Joshua said about that was that the "spirit of God is in him and his spirit is in God." They shared a spiritual connection, but were clearly two separate beings. Worshiping Jesus violates the 10 Commandments, if you actually read a proper translation of the Old Testament.

"I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."

God has a name and it is not "trinity." Exodus 20 World English Bible
 

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In my view--and a literal interpretation of the Bible--worshiping Jesus is a violation of the 1st Commandment. Jesus never said, "I am God, worship me." But he did say to keep the 10 Commandments; and commandment one says to worship only God, who identifies himself as the Hebrew characters יהוה

Tetragrammaton - Four Character name of God <-- God's name is YHWH.

"I, Yahweh, am the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The ground on which you are lying I shall give to you and your descendants." God is identified as "YHWH" all throughout the Old Testament, if you just look. Sadly, many English translations replace "YHWH" with the title "Lord." I find that to be blasphemy.

The God of the Old Testament has a name, and it isn't "Jesus." In fact, that wasn't even Christ's real name. The son of Mary was named Yeshua, which translated into English directly is Joshua. "Jesus" is derived from a Greek translation, that was translated into Latin as Jesu. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

That doesn't change the fact that people bow down and pray to images of "Joshua."
People don't bow down and pray to images of Jesus.

People bow down and pray to Jesus in places that have images of him.

Huge difference.
 

joe six-pack

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People don't bow down and pray to images of Jesus.

People bow down and pray to Jesus in places that have images of him.

Huge difference.
And, regardless of that semantic difference, that violates the 1st Commandment of worshiping YHWH / הוה'.

The 10 Commandments are clear and Christianity would seem to have turned it's back on them. Please explain this.

---

Also, "Jesus" was not Christ's name, as I mentioned.
 

Josie

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I've wondered about this as well. My church doesn't have any statues, crucifixes or even a cross in the sanctuary. I often wonder why people stand in front of, say, a statue of Mary and pray. I would be uncomfortable going to a church with statues and such.

I also think it's highly inappropriate for humans to deem other humans "Saints," but that's for another thread.
 

joe six-pack

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I've wondered about this as well. My church doesn't have any statues, crucifixes or even a cross in the sanctuary. I often wonder why people stand in front of, say, a statue of Mary and pray. I would be uncomfortable going to a church with statues and such.

I also think it's highly inappropriate for humans to deem other humans "Saints," but that's for another thread.
Yep that's exactly what I'm talking about.

Not sure if praying to an image or likeness makes God angry. But it would seem to be against the Old Testament and the original Word of God.
 

samsmart

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And, regardless of that semantic difference, that violates the 1st Commandment of worshiping YHWH / הוה'.

The 10 Commandments are clear and Christianity would seem to have turned it's back on them. Please explain this.

---

Also, "Jesus" was not Christ's name, as I mentioned.
There is no semantic difference. Christians pray to Jesus himself. This is regardless as to whether or not there are paintings of of him.
 

joe six-pack

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There is no semantic difference. Christians pray to Jesus himself. This is regardless as to whether or not there are paintings of of him.
Not true. Some pray to various Saints. Some pray to Mother Mary. "Hail Mary, full of Grace..."

I have seen Christians praying to a carving of Jesus/Joshua on the cross. In the OT, the image of God cannot be seen.

That's a really important difference between Judaism and Christianity. Christians believe they know the face and image of God.
 
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Josie

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That's a really important difference between Judaism and Christianity. Christians believe they know the face and image of God.
I think that's painting with a broad stroke. Not all churches have images of Christ and God. Not all Christians believe they know the face and image of God. I'm one of them.
 
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