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Dave B

Idolatory?

If you go into a church of most Christian sects the most obvious sign that it was such will be a crucifix. If it is an RCC church there will be a statue of the Madonna as well.

Considering:
Quote:
You shall have no other gods before me. 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." (RSV Exodus 20:3-6).

do not these representations fall foul of God's demand?

Was saying that Jesus was the "Son of God" and attempt to appease the Old Man? But, to make a "likeness of anything that is in heaven above" which is where we are told Jesus is. And statues to Mary "Mother of God"(?) seems to go against that rule as well.

So, are all Christians that recognise such idols/graven images breaking the holy rule?

(I am sure this has been asked before, my pardon if so.)
----------

I really like the statues - particularly in Spain when they parade them through the streets for festivals.

All good cultural stuff
Delrick53

Re: Idolatory?

Dave B wrote:
If you go into a church of most Christian sects the most obvious sign that it was such will be a crucifix. If it is an RCC church there will be a statue of the Madonna as well.

Considering:
Quote:
You shall have no other gods before me. 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." (RSV Exodus 20:3-6).

do not these representations fall foul of God's demand?

Was saying that Jesus was the "Son of God" and attempt to appease the Old Man? But, to make a "likeness of anything that is in heaven above" which is where we are told Jesus is. And statues to Mary "Mother of God"(?) seems to go against that rule as well.

So, are all Christians that recognise such idols/graven images breaking the holy rule?

(I am sure this has been asked before, my pardon if so.)


Won't find anything like that up here Dave (except in Rc and a few Anglican churches).

No crucifixes, no stained glass, and the ministers are in black ! The most colour you'll see will be at funerals, because of the trend of bright clothing at children's funerals.

Even our local Catholic church is short on silver and gold and fancy artwork.

There's a thread just started at the Beeb looking at ritual, and like the standard adornment - gold, silver, precious stones, elaborate buildings and decoration, and clergy in outfits that make those seen at the Notting Hill Carnival look dull, it all stated hundreds of years after Jesus allegedly did his thing.

So I believe that the ritual, the decor, the outfits, and the theology, has more to do with men and their egos than Jesus.
Lexilogio

Statues are an interesting issue.

The commandment against idols is against worshipping false gods. People don't worship the statue itself.

Having said that, I've never been keen on statues of Mary, or of icons in the Orthodox church.
----------

Hi Dave B,
Quote:
And statues to Mary "Mother of God"(?) seems to go against that rule as well


I'm a great fan of Santa Maria - lovely lady.

These are objects, they are mean what we wish them to mean.
Dave B

Thanks folks, similar things were said on the Beeb Christian topic when I asked the same question there.

But the sceptic in my still kinds a very thin line between seeing a "graven image" as an "idol" or an "object" through which to focus your devotions.

I suppose it depends on which side of that line one stands. To this atheist the line is virtually invisible.
Judders Lady...

Re: Idolatory?

Dave B wrote:

So, are all Christians that recognise such idols/graven images breaking the holy rule?

(I am sure this has been asked before, my pardon if so.)



Morning DaveB,

To answer your question I also have to ask a question.

I do not like any idols or crucifixs.
The first commandment also says do not take unto yourself any graven image as you point out. It also states that means from anywhere...
Quote:
*WIKI*"Do not make an image or any likeness of what is in the heavens above..."

   This prohibits the construction or fashioning of "idols" in the likeness of created things (beasts, fish, birds, people) and worshipping them.


God is in heaven - no likeness of him or anything else on earth or heaven above.

Believers or true worshippers in Spirit and Truth.
If in Spirit and Truth then why would they require anything outward when the Spirit dwelling inward?

So these things are the outwards signs and ways of faith men hold to in the last times. Rejecting the true inner power of truth through the Spirit.
To the unbeliever the 10 virgins all look the same. Even the five foolish virgins do not see the difference.

The truth shows these other things are not needed.
Just Spirit and Truth. Jesus Christ is the one who brings the baptism of the Holy Spirit. No other way to God.

You will find many excuses for having the idols. But... having said that: "they are not worshipped". Why have them at all?


Love Lynne.xx

Dave B

Perhaps images, of any kind, are necessary for those who do not have an all consuming internal image of the object of their devotions?

Perhaps "obsessed with their own perception of the object" might be more appropriate.
----------

Lynne,

Quote:
You will find many excuses for having the idols. But... having said that: "they are not worshipped". Why have them at all?


We are all products of our environment, to many people these figures help create a good atmosphere for worship.

If they are useful in this respect - how can this be wrong?
Lexilogio

Dave B wrote:
Thanks folks, similar things were said on the Beeb Christian topic when I asked the same question there.

But the sceptic in my still kinds a very thin line between seeing a "graven image" as an "idol" or an "object" through which to focus your devotions.

I suppose it depends on which side of that line one stands. To this atheist the line is virtually invisible.


I agree. Equally, I know some people from very low Protestant churches (low being far from Catholicism) who consider it Satanism to have any statue or "image" in a church.

For myself, I can understand how a statue can help focus the mind for some, but do struggle with some aspects of Greek orthodoxy - such as one festival where everyone brings icons of a particular saint to the church on the Festival Day, and worship is focused around the main icon.

Having said that - my Greek isn't good enough to appreciate the subtly of what is being said.
Judders Lady...

Hi DaveB,



Dave B wrote:
Perhaps images, of any kind, are necessary for those who do not have an all consuming internal image of the object of their devotions?

Perhaps "obsessed with their own perception of the object" might be more appropriate.



I cannot answer for those who like these images.
Our church has statues through it, but I have no time for them.
The church I use to attend has a good vicar now. The Rev Geddes like the vicars before him has never had any images and just a plain cross on the altar. I prefer that.

Love Lynne.xx

Judders Lady...

The Heretic wrote:
Lynne,

Quote:
You will find many excuses for having the idols. But... having said that: "they are not worshipped". Why have them at all?


We are all products of our environment, to many people these figures help create a good atmosphere for worship.

If they are useful in this respect - how can this be wrong?


Worship? A good atmosphere? I would ask how does disobeying God help a person worship in Spirit and *Truth*?

It is not about atmosphere but reality in the end.

Love Lynne.xx
Dave B

I remember seeing the wealth of icons in a monastery in Cyprus, but was not then aware enough to wonder why these saints should have almost as much reverence paid them, or so it seemed, as Jesus.

I can see some parallels in the idea of more abstract images, actual and mental, being used to invoke "states of mind". The mandalas of the Buddhists and the peaceful desert island scene, or whatever, that some psychotherapists use.

I once attended a course of "Practical Philosophy" that was well into the Upanishads and similar. We had a meditation session at the start of each evening to become fully aware of our bodies, the others present and our environment - sort of "grounding" us and helping us divest ourselves of the baggage of the day. Interesting.

So I suppose, though one does not consider oneself an idol (no, I will not indulge in the expected pun!) this was still a process of focussing ourselves for the discussion ahead.

Though "practical" was in the title I do not think "spiritual" would have been too far away either.
Judders Lady...

Hi DaveB.

Dave B wrote:
I remember seeing the wealth of icons in a monastery in Cyprus, but was not then aware enough to wonder why these saints should have almost as much reverence paid them, or so it seemed, as Jesus.


When you got no miracles to show and no real faith, it helps to keep the locals happy when putting on a show.

Quote:
I can see some parallels in the idea of more abstract images, actual and mental, being used to invoke "states of mind". The mandalas of the Buddhists and the peaceful desert island scene, or whatever, that some psychotherapists use.


You mean like reciting mantras and religious chants?

Quote:

I once attended a course of "Practical Philosophy" that was well into the Upanishads and similar. We had a meditation session at the start of each evening to become fully aware of our bodies, the others present and our environment - sort of "grounding" us and helping us divest ourselves of the baggage of the day. Interesting.


When you meditated did they tell you to think up a word or phrase to chant to yourself?

Quote:

So I suppose, though one does not consider oneself an idol (no, I will not indulge in the expected pun!) this was still a process of focussing ourselves for the discussion ahead.

Though "practical" was in the title I do not think "spiritual" would have been too far away either.


Why was the discussion about you and each individual there?
I bet it was a long impractical night.  

Love Lynne.xx
Dave B

One cannot truly know any other until one knows oneself. Self delusion means that all is delusion.
----------

Quote:
Worship? A good atmosphere? I would ask how does disobeying God help a person worship in Spirit and *Truth*?

It is not about atmosphere but reality in the end.
Sorry Lynne but I beg to differ.

If objects help us to achieve a state of meditative contemplation then that MUST be a good thing - THESE ARE NOT IDOLS any more than a cross is an idol. They are aids that can help some of us. If you don't find them useful you may ignore them.
Judders Lady...

Don't be sorry and please do not beg, We can always agree to disagree.


The Heretic wrote:
Quote:
Worship? A good atmosphere? I would ask how does disobeying God help a person worship in Spirit and *Truth*?

It is not about atmosphere but reality in the end.
Sorry Lynne but I beg to differ.

If objects help us to achieve a state of meditative contemplation then that MUST be a good thing - THESE ARE NOT IDOLS any more than a cross is an idol. They are aids that can help some of us. If you don't find them useful you may ignore them.



If, you have the Spirit, why do you need anything to help meditate or contemplate?  Does God not speak to you at all?

Love Lynne.xx  
----------

Quote:
If, you have the Spirit, why do you need anything to help meditate or contemplate?  Does God not speak to you at all?
Hi Lynne,

Because the world is full of nasty distractions - I thing God is probably saying:

"Can you turn it down a bit!"

Why else have religious orders found communities in isolated locations for millenia.
Judders Lady...

The Heretic wrote:
Quote:
If, you have the Spirit, why do you need anything to help meditate or contemplate?  Does God not speak to you at all?
Hi Lynne,

Because the world is full of nasty distractions - I thing God is probably saying:

"Can you turn it down a bit!"

Why else have religious orders found communities in isolated locations for millenia.



You think, you do not know if God is saying, "can you turn it down a bit?"
They have found locations in isolated areas for a number of reasons.
I believe it is because people do not know him or what he has taught that they went to search for him by going to isolated places.

But God has always said he is with us always, just as Jesus did.

He has always taught we do not have to go anywhere to find him because he is with us all the time wherever we go. I experienced this truth so I know it is real. Sometimes the hustle and bustle can become
very loud but the Lord can always be found in there.

Love JL.xx

Deuteronomy 30

11.For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.

12.It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?

13.Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?

14.But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.



Psalm 139: 1-15.

1.O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2.Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3.Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4.For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

5.Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

6.Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

7.Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8.If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

9.If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10.Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11.If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

12.Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

13.For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.

14.I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15.My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
----------

Quote:
I believe it is because people do not know him or what he has taught that they went to search for him by going to isolated places.
Hi Lynne,

you condemn an awful lot of religious folk throughout the ages.

Personally I think there is something special in the atmosphere of certain places, places where we can find beauty and tranquillity. I love the big Gothic churches of Spain, yes, even with their statues of saints.

In some areas they favour a depiction of Santa Maria (Mary) as Nuestra Seņora de los Dolores (Our Lady of sorrows). That is representing the suffering of the bereaved mother of Jesus and is clearly used as a focus of grief for all those suffering the pain of bereavement.

But there is no magic, no 'idolatry' - these things are just tools we can use to help us on our way - and one day who knows, we might all raise to your level of spirituality and not need such aids.  
Judders Lady...

Hi Heretic,

The Heretic wrote:
Quote:
I believe it is because people do not know him or what he has taught that they went to search for him by going to isolated places.
Hi Lynne,

you condemn an awful lot of religious folk throughout the ages.


Not really! There own dishonesty condemns them, really.
I really do not condemn anyone with faith of any kind. At least they show a spiritual side to their nature. Something they want to be sincere about even if they are not sure why they believe.

Quote:
Personally I think there is something special in the atmosphere of certain places, places where we can find beauty and tranquillity. I love the big Gothic churches of Spain, yes, even with their statues of saints.


Me too. Love them to bit's but I also dislike the cold false reality that people hold on to. I prefer the warmth of what is real and can be shared.
The Lord God, is more of a reality in the things that are good for people.
But the saints, are not idol or icons. But for me the truth that they existed and did what they did is really fascinating for me.
I love people.

Quote:
In some areas they favour a depiction of Santa Maria (Mary) as Nuestra Seņora de los Dolores (Our Lady of sorrows). That is representing the suffering of the bereaved mother of Jesus and is clearly used as a focus of grief for all those suffering the pain of bereavement.


I love Mijas the place and the churches there.
Take a look and the wonderful view around the Church.
It is like a shrine inside to Mary. Worth a visit and the food is excellent in the restaurants. You can even take a carriage ride.

Quote:

But there is no magic, no 'idolatry' - these things are just tools we can use to help us on our way - and one day who knows, we might all raise to your level of spirituality and not need such aids.  


Each to our own Heretic, I prefer the reality of God as a person and the truth that we can know God in a personal relationship rather than relying on feelings or creating an ambiance. It is better to feel real feelings that make something up to suit moods. Not saying that you do, but feel much false attitudes born from feeling rather than truth.
But if you get to see Mijas you will know how beautiful it is...

Love xx
Leonard James

Judders Lady... wrote:
 Hi Heretic,

The Heretic wrote:
Quote:
I believe it is because people do not know him or what he has taught that they went to search for him by going to isolated places.
Hi Lynne,

you condemn an awful lot of religious folk throughout the ages.


Not really! There own dishonesty condemns them, really.

You really are the limit, Lynne, with your sweeping condemnations!

Nobody who believes in a god is dishonest, any more than you are. You are all simply deluded, which is quite different from dishonesty.
Judders Lady...

Leonard James wrote:
Judders Lady... wrote:
 Hi Heretic,

The Heretic wrote:
Quote:
I believe it is because people do not know him or what he has taught that they went to search for him by going to isolated places.
Hi Lynne,

you condemn an awful lot of religious folk throughout the ages.


Not really! There own dishonesty condemns them, really.

You really are the limit, Lynne, with your sweeping condemnations!

Nobody who believes in a god is dishonest, any more than you are. You are all simply deluded, which is quite different from dishonesty.


Nothing sweeping and nothing condemning...
If a person is in the Spirit and so therefore in touch with God, what possibly can looking at such items bring the person?
Now I am many things but I am not ignorant in my beliefs.
We only look at photos of our loved ones in theIR absence.
When my sister died, I use to cry when I found things of hers.
An old school book and even a hair bobble would have me in floods of tears even as I write my eye fill with the memory it sets off.

But when she was there, the books and things that belonged to her did not mean the same. When she was there I did not need a book to remind me of her for she wasn't absent.

People don't get reminded by articles or objects to think about people unless they are absent. Maybe your faith was just that. Built on an absent God.

But refrain from judging what I say as being about people rather than the truth that needing icons to make you think about God, shows him to be absent to them.
I am on about personal honesty to oneself by not realising they would not require objects if they were really in experience of the truth.
My words are to make people think not condemn them.
Whereas you believe that having changed your belief. Where you once said you experienced God to now saying he does not exist, actually gives you a better understanding. When in all truth, you say they honestly believe they experience Gods presence. Well if they do experience his presence why do they need objects to remind them or give them presence of mind about him?
If anyone is less than honest, it would be you?
Can you not see how contradictory of you, this post?

You say you believe we are being honest in that we experience Gods presence. Yet do not see it as being dishonest to say we require objects to keep our mind focused on him?

Who is really being judgemental and making sweeping statements?
Who is really saying one thing and then saying another.
Should we be surprised when you did the same thing with God?
Yes he exists. No he doesn't exist. If you want to jump into the fire fine.
But in future you are going to get burnt.
I am not bothered about being falsely accused but at least show some honesty when making false statements by disproving what you had previously said you believed about believers.

Lynne.xx

ETA...
Awaits clanging gongs......
Leonard James

OK Lynne, you continue to live in your dream world, and I will continue in the real one!

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