Good Friday Freak-Out!


UnknownOn Good Friday, the day before I was to be received into the Catholic Church they brought out a large crucifix and people began to process forward to kiss Jesus.
I ABSOLUTELY FREAKED OUT!!
Although, outwardly I appeared calm I was thinking,

“AhHa! Here it is! Right before my own eyes!!

IDOL WORSHIP!!

I need to get out of here!”

But I was trapped in the middle of the pew. Then the voice of REASON intruded into the voice of FEAR and I thought,

“Wait a minute. I have been confronted, time and time again, with Catholic teaching and practices. At first, I immediately thought, at those times, that there ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT BE A GOOD EXPLANATION FOR THAT!

But, then, each and every time, as I looked into the whys and wherefores of why the Catholic Church taught and did THAT, I discovered an explanation that was absolutely SUBLIME! The answer was better and more intellectually satisfying than anything I could have ever thought of or asked for.”

Therefore, I decided to just trust the Church. I dutifully processed forward with my pew-mates and kissed the feet of Jesus. Now, I KNEW that statue on that crucifix was NOT really Jesus; it just represented Jesus. And so in my heart and soul, when I kissed the feet of the statue, I showed HIM that I desired to truely kiss HIS feet, the feet of my Beloved! … of my Savior! … of my GOD!

I could hardly wait to do it again next year!

Tradition of Men: Catholics worship Idols.


Bread From Heaven: On my post Where Does Scripture Say Mary Was Sinless? I made the oft repeated comment: “The Catholic Faith does not contradict anything in Scripture.” To this Erica replied:

Erica: How about IDOLATRY…?

Look at your Churches… There’s a lot of statues of Saints, Mary etc. that almost all of Catholics kneel upon it and even worship it like a God….

Go and continue worshiping your godly images and let’s see how far you will go…

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, IDOL WORSHIPERS, and all liars–their fate is in the FIERY LAKE OF BURNING SULFUR. This is the SECOND DEATH.”
Revelation 21:8

HAHAHAHA!!!

Bread From Heaven: I have many posts on this topic. Since I had just made a power point presentation to all of our confirmation students last Sunday I decided to make  my talk into one more post on this topic:

Does the Catholic Church worship Idols?

Protestants say we do. Where do they get  this idea?

TEN COMMANDMENTS
First Commandment

Exodus 20:You must not have any other god but me.You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them

Therefore, many Protestants criticize Catholics because we have pictures and statues in our Churches and our homes. Most Protestants never have these in their churches because they think they are idols. They take this very seriously.

“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind…

Protestant are very sincere, BUT…are Protestants  right?
No, they are forgetting some very important Bible verses where God told Moses to place in the Temple in the very presence of God, the Holy of Holies:

2 ANGELS  of hammered gold …their wings spread upward..The angels are to face each other..-Ex. 25:18-20

 So, God Himself wanted a couple of images of “things in Heaven” in the Tabernacle

And did you know God told Solomon to decorate the Temple with images of things in Heaven and Earth? 

600 Pomegranates, Lilies, Gourds, 12 Bulls, Lions, Angels, Palm Trees, and Golden Flowers

And it stood upon twelve oxen, of which three looked towards the north, and three towards the west, and three towards the south, and three towards the east, and the sea was above upon them, and their hinder parts were all hid within.–I Kings 7:18-46

And then we have the incident where the children of Israel were bitten by fiery serpents and …

Numbers 21:8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”

Obviously, God  has not forbidden art because He commanded specific kinds of art to decorate the Temple and to save the Israelites from snakebites. He just didn’t want us to Worship these things

 “You must not bow down to them or worship them”

Why does the Catholic Church have Art in Churches? I can think of 5 reasons.

1. Pictures and statues are like family photos in our houses of worship only we have images of the Family of God.

Doesn’t every house have family pictures?

2. As an aid to prayer and to keep us focused.

3. To remind us of those who set an example of heroic Christian living.

.

.

.

.

4. As reminders of Stories of Faith; to teach our children when a child asks, “Who is that?”

5. To tell the stories of our Faith to all the generations in the last 2000 years when Bibles were too expensive for individuals to own and most people could not read anyway. Did you know, even today 20% of the world population cannot read? But everyone can understand art.

But Protestants will say, “The Bible says: You must not bow down to them or worship them….”

Therefore, Protestants reason, since Catholics have images in their churches and they kneel or bow to them, Catholics worship images and commit idolatry!

So, Protestants think this kneeling is  Idolatry?

.

.

.

.

.

But not this–><—or this

or this–>

Is President Obama worshiping the  Emperor of Japan?

No! He was merely honoring him.

Why do Protestants think only Catholic kneeling is Idolatry?

Simple. Because their leaders have taught them that Catholics worship idols. Protestants trust their leaders and so when they visit a Catholic Church and see statues and pictures with people kneeling in front of them they jump to the conclusion that they are actually seeing modern day idolatry.

They do not question this judgement because they have been taught that this is true. They fail to recognize that they are unable to know the heart and mind of the kneeling person and therefore their judgement may, very well be, uncharitable. They don’t mean to be uncharitable…..But…..

They are simply WRONG!

We bow and kneel in order to honor Mary and the Saints. We do NOT worship them. The Catholic Church condemns the worship of anyone except God, the Holy Trinity!

There is nothing wrong with art in our Churches

Because God Himself commanded Moses to decorate the Jewish Temple with images of:

Things in Heaven–>Angels

and

Things on Earth–>Plants and Animals

The idea that all kneeling is, without question, Worship, is absurd.

If all kneeling =Worship then:

A Knight kneeling to a king is worshiping him.

A little girl kneeling by her bed is worshiping the bed…

A boy kneeling by a Bible and baseball glove is worshiping them.

.

.

.

.

.

When God said: You must not make …an image of any kind or …bow down …or worship them…

He did not mean all images are idols and all kneeling is worship.

He simply meant : Don’t worship anything or anyone but ME.

The First Commandment & Worship


Q. What constitutes worship?
A. Adoration, prayer and sacrifice.

Q. Is bowing down an act of worship?

A. It can be. But Christian Europeans bowed and knelt before their kings and queens
and it was not considered worship but simply honor and respect. It is what is in the heart that determines the difference between an act of worship and an act of respect. A casual observer cannot tell the difference.

Q. Does the Church permit bowing to images, and kneeling before them to say prayers.

A.Yes.

Q. Please, if you can give me Church’s document on this, I will greatly appreciate.

A. There may be others but you can click on the link below to see the Council of Trent document on this issue.

Session 25 of the Council of Trent

The anathema is in the second paragraph.
But this anathema is no longer against those born into Protestantism. I
It is just instructive to know how strongly the Holy Council felt about
any teaching contrary to this canon.

Idol Worship, Statues in Churches, and the 2nd Commandment



Q. Why has the Catholic church changed the Second Commandment?…set no graven image before me nor the likeness thereoff? Is this , again, adding to the Word of God.

A. You have taken a phrase out of context from Exodus 20 and the Ten Commandments. Let’s take a look at the whole commandment first—in context. This is not adding to the Word of God. I will even put a Protestant version and a Catholic version here for you to compare. So that you can plainly see we are not adding or taking away anything from scripture. Since you used KJV I will too.

Protestant: King James Version Ex. 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…

Catholic: Douay-Reims Version 3Thou shalt not have strange gods before me 4 Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. 5Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous..

As you can see the phrase, ” Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven image” is referring to the worship of an idol or statue. It absolutely cannot mean that all statues, of anything, are strictly forbidden in sacred places of worship. What IS forbidden is the worship of these statues. How can I be so sure? Because in the very same book, only five chapters later we find this:

Exodus 25: 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. 22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.

And where were these two cherubim placed? In the Holy of Holies! In the cult of Israel there was no place more sacred than the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was placed; the very seat of God Most High. And this was the express command of God. Therefore, we KNOW that statues were not forbidden, only and emphatically, their worship.

Later, in Solomon’s temple despite the 2nd Commandment:

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”

As you can see below, the Temple was decorated with many different things in the likeness of things in Heaven and on Earth. The Jews clearly understood that the 2nd Commandment did NOT forbid the creation of art in the likeness of things in Heaven and Earth.

I Kings 7:18 He made pomegranates in two rows19 The capitals … were in the shape of lilies, four cubits [l] high. 20 On the capitals of both pillars, a…were the two hundred pomegranates in rows all around. 22 The capitals on top were in the shape of lilies …24 Below the rim, gourds encircled it—ten to a cubit …25 The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east…. its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. …27 He also made ten movable stands of bronze; …between the uprights were lions, bulls and cherubim—and on the uprights as well. … 36 He engraved cherubim, lions and palm trees on the surfaces of the supports and on the panels, in every available space, with wreaths all around. 42 the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network, decorating the bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars…44 the Sea and the twelve bulls under it …49 … the gold floral work and lamps and tongs;

The bulls are perhaps the most surprising given the Golden Calf incident in Exodus. But then again they were worshiping the Golden Calf. Catholics do not worship the statues and pictures in our churches or our homes. During all the long ages when most people could not read the Bible they could understand the language of art. The purpose of art in our Churches is instruction. They remind us of the people and events in scripture and Christian history.