Monday, March 31, 2014

Graven Images

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. -Exodus 20:4

That about covers it, right? No physical representation whatever of God is to be made, worshipped, served, honored or loved. Isn't that what it says?

It's the first place in the Bible where God refers to Himself as jealous (v.5). Not junior high cause your girlfriend is flirting with another guy jealous. This is God, remember. Jealous for his glory (Isaiah 42:8), jealous for his honor (Romans 1:21), jealous for his holy name (Ezekiel 39:25).

Old testament stuff? Jesus said it like this: "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24)."

During the Protestant Reformation, images, icons and even the altar were thrown out whenever a formerly Roman Catholic congregation embraced the Reformation.

No images of anything whatsoever.

I know, being familiar with my heart's tendency to make idols, how easily worship is diverted from its heavenward destination to whatever is placed in front of us.

I know, having been a performer, how performance tends to draw the focus of worship away from God. And that is idolatry.

In the midst of a discussion wherein I had expressed the thoughts I have just shared, an acquaintance remarked, "Yes, but aren't you taking this too seriously?"

Aren't we supposed to?

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