The Lord did speak unto Moses and provide him with the Commandments for the keeping; Ten in number, etched into twin stone tablets. The Second of these is as follows:
“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.”
This is a problematic commandment for the Catholic Church, who over the centuries has commissioned and collected countless pieces of devotional paintings and sculptures. Christians the world over have crucifixes featuring the likeness of Jesus Christ in his moment of pain and anguish, statuettes of the Virgin Mary in their bedrooms, paintings of God, angels, saints and so on. So how do Christians justify disobeying God quite so flagrantly, and will the Almighty punish them for their insolence?
You will find many Christian apologists taking various trips around the Second Commandment, stating for example that they are not worshiping their statues or paintings, their crucifixes and sculptures. They are merely art. But none has so flagrantly defied the divine word of the Almighty as has the Catholic Church. The church literally deleted the Second Commandment altogether. This would leave them only Nine Commandments so to correct this shortage, they followed the Lord’s example at the Red Sea and split the 10th Commandment in two.
On what authority, one may wonder, could the Church undertake such a breach of contract with the Creator of the Universe? The Ten Commandments were carved in stone, right into the side of a mountain, for Moses to take to the people at the foot of Mount Sinai. When God came to earth in the form of Jesus Christ, he did not back away from Mosaic Law, but stated that he came to see it fulfilled:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)
So what could the Church have been thinking, and what fate awaits the millions of Catholics who have followed the lead of this rogue organization? In 1562, the Archbishop of Reggio, Council of Trent stated that the church was now above scripture: “The authority of the Church is illustrated most clearly by the scriptures, for on one hand she recommends them, declares them to be divine, and offers them to us to be read, and on the other hand, the legal precepts in the scriptures taught by the Lord have ceased by virtue of the same authority. The Sabbath, the most glorious day in the law, has been changed into the Lord’s day. These and other similar matters have not ceased by virtue of Christ’s teaching, but they have been changed by the authority of the Church.” That is quite brazen in my view.
In 1858, the Church felt they needed a little more clout and writing in the Prompta Bibioltheca Canonica, Lucius Ferraris stated that, “The Pope is of great authority and power, that he is able to modify, declare, or interpret even divine laws. The Pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts as vicegerent of God upon earth.”
There remains considerable furor over the Catholic Church’s power grab with regards to the Word of God. The Ten Commandments, also called the Decalogue, are the only words in the Bible allegedly delivered by God Himself, carven into the side of the mountain as He assumed the image of a Burning Bush. Can any organization claiming to be followers of God have credibility when they so easily and completely alter the direct writings of The Lord?
There are other writings scattered throughout the Biblical texts referencing graven images of God and the general consensus is; God doesn’t like them. Not at all.
“The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therin: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.” (Deuteronomy 7:25-26)
“…and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes; But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back: Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it.” (1 Kings 14:8-12)
In the New Testament, Paul spoke clearly on this issue as well:
“For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. For as much then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.”
It would seem to me that Christians, and particularly those of the Catholic persuasion, have a decision to make regarding following God’s Commands or hanging on to their images, paintings, statuettes, sculptures, necklaces and more. As I’ve said before, I find the Catholic Church to be a morally, ethically and criminally corrupt organization and while Catholics the world over have likely been excommunicated without their knowledge, they’d be well suited to distance themselves from this self-aggrandizing outfit. If you’d like to see what actions could have gotten you excommunicated or perhaps would like to renounce your Catholicism altogether, here’s how I did it.
Pseudojournalist is right.
Brilliantly written. Thank you for this observation.
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