• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

Idolatry or not

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Beautyinsteadofashes, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Beautyinsteadofashes

    Beautyinsteadofashes Well-Known Member Supporter

    447
    +925
    United States
    Christian
    In Relationship
    I have a large ceramic cross on my wall which has the apostles on it as well as Jesus in the middle. I don’t pray to it. I do occasionally look at it as a sort of reminder. But I never pray to it.
    Does having this cross count as idol worship?
    However you answer, please provide scripture.
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Darkhorse

    Darkhorse just horsing around

    +2,567
    United States
    Presbyterian
    Married
    US-Republican
    Nothing wrong with your cross. If it's just a reminder and you know it's not (a) God, no problem.

    We have a crucifix on our bedroom wall. My wife was raised Catholic, and it's a reminder of her early introduction to Christianity. Nothing more, just a reminder.

    When Paul wrote about not eating meat offered to idols, he said "We know that an idol is not really a god" (my paraphrase), and that eating the meat was harmless UNLESS the person could not do it with a clear conscience.
     
  3. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

    +4,422
    Catholic
    In Relationship
    US-Others
    Idols have to fit some basic criteria:

    01- An image
    02- Of something in Heaven or on earth
    03- Which is believed to literally be the thing which it depicts
    04- And is then worshiped as though it is God.

    If what you're doing fails those criteria then whatever you're doing is not idolatry. The above items are the characteristics of idols and the worship of idols.

    Now, it's customary for Bible-only types to add to sacred scripture by claiming that any practice which fits just one of the above characteristics is "idol worship". I'm not sure if that comes from ignorance or a desire to virtue signal. But the fact remains that if what you're doing does not meet those conditions then what you're doing is not idolatry.

    Pretty simple, really.
     
  4. Dan the deacon

    Dan the deacon Well-Known Member

    823
    +380
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Who prays to a cross? I understood that before you said such. What that cross does is get you thinking an that is helpful for prayer.
     
  5. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

    +3,237
    Non-Denom
    Celibate
    I'd be more concerned about having idol's in your heart, I don't think what you describe here is a major problem or much of an issue... I mean, if you were praying to it or with it maybe, but that's not happening and so, I don't think is much of a problem at all...

    Idol's of the heart are more important...

    God Bless!
     
  6. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Well-Known Member

    +3,017
    United States
    Christian
    Private
    In my opinion, nothing like that has ever counted as idolatry, so long as it's not used as a medium or produce mental images that become an object of worship. We know it is a lifeless object, meant to remind us of the central figure of our faith and if others should see, a visible sign to them about our faith. I worry more about other things, and the importance they claim on my heart, not even things I worship, but just the value I give them. I tell myself they are of little value, but I confess it would greatly upset me if they were to be gone tomorrow. The problem is not so much with things, but the attitude of our heart. Somewhere I've read that the human heart is like an idol factory, and I think it is true, so much so that we can become unaware of them.
     
  7. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Repartee Animal Supporter

    +1,709
    United States
    Charismatic
    Married
    US-Others
  8. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

    +3,237
    Non-Denom
    Celibate
    01- We form images in our mind quite literally all the time, it's part of the thought and thinking process... When we think of something we get a "picture" of it...

    02- Means "anything" basically...

    03- Not always... Meant to represent it or him, or depict it or him or his servants or angels, or heaven in some way, would be more accurate...

    04- Define worshipping it as though it is, or is above, or is more important than, or is loved more than, God...?

    God Bless!
     
  9. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

    +4,422
    Catholic
    In Relationship
    US-Others
    Yes. Always. People have a strange fondness for redefining a word to be something else. It's like creating a straw man argument just to destroy it.

    In the ancient world (which is the only definition we should concern ourselves with), idols were understood using the criteria I outlined. Period. Any object, practice or belief which doesn't comport with those criteria is not idolatry.
     
  10. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

    +3,237
    Non-Denom
    Celibate
    So you think Idols of the heart are not important and are not Idols...?

    Think God agrees with that...?

    God Bless!
     
  11. Lady Bug

    Lady Bug Well-Known Member Supporter

    +7,553
    United States
    Christian
    Private
    I think the key thing would be - - can you worship the Lord just as effectively if you didn't have this cross up? If so, then it's not an idol. If not, then it's an idol. Just my take.
     
  12. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

    +3,447
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    I remember several years ago I was reading the commentary of a rabbi in response to a question about idolatry from a Jew. The question was whether or not it was idolatry to have any sort of statue or image in one's house at all, or when exactly it would constitute idolatry. His answer was that if a person had a statue or piece of artwork and that there was any doubt if it was an idol or not, it was not an idol. Reasoning being that if something were an idol and being worshipped as an idol the person worshipping it would have no doubt what it's use was. I thought that was a reasonable answer to the question.

    As to your cross, no, it is not an idol. It may be considered an icon, but only to a certain extent. At Exodus 25 God commanded the Israelites:

    Exo 25:17 “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width.

    Exo 25:18 “And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat.

    Exo 25:19 “Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat.

    Exo 25:20 “And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat.

    Exo 25:21“You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you.

    Exo 25:22 “And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.

    Here God is commanding the Israelites to create images of cherubim for use in the temple. The cherubim are not to be worshipped, but used in worship. These cherubim are ordained by God Himself, but what of a copy of the cherubim someone might have at home? I have a small replica of the ark of the covenant at home, complete with cherubim on the top but I certainly don't worship them or consider them be idols.

    Christian icons are the same, only different, in that we venerate them. To venerate a person or anything else merely means to pay respect, not worship. If there were some person we respect, we might stand when that person enters the room. By doing so we certainly are not worshipping them.
     
  13. Neogaia777

    Neogaia777 Apprentice Supporter

    +3,237
    Non-Denom
    Celibate
    The Command to not have any Idols (command #2) is directly connected to the very first Command, which is to "have no other gods before Him (God)"...

    Which basically means, or translates to:, "you shall not have anything before, ahead of, or in front of me, or more important than me, otherwise, it is an Idol"... For He is a Jealous God (over and about us) (and this is a good thing, trust me)...

    This is why the Ten Commandments, and the entire Law Covenant was for Jesus to keep and fulfill and attain to, and not us, for us it was to show us our sin, for we all fall short except for Him, for he had no sin, so, for him, (the Law) became a crown and Lordship, and proof of God-hood/ship... Not so for us, not without Him anyway, and in him taking our place and doing it for us... To show his Love...

    God Bless!
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  14. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother?

    +4,422
    Catholic
    In Relationship
    US-Others
    What I’m saying is the characteristics of idols are defined in my post. When Sacred Scripture refers to idols, those are the qualities that the writer had in mind.

    Again, I’m very familiar with the Protestant tendency to redefine a word or a technical term for their own purposes. Frankly, I’m a bit fed up with it and I’m not playing ball anymore.

    Again, if somebody’s religious practices do not conform to the specifics I outlined in my post then by **definition** it’s not idolatry.
     
  15. lastofall

    lastofall Active Member

    315
    +162
    Christian
    Married
    [for me anyway] We are subject to all things in this world, but let us not be brought under the power of any. And although we may know that an idol is nothing, yet we must needs keep ourselves from thinking anything of it, in whatsoever form it is in; for there are multitudes of objects of worship in the world, including humans, creatures, birds, and such like. In any thing we come upon we must turn away from and never think of it above that which we know it to be, whether gold, silver, stone, wood, or flesh: that is all it is, and nothing more: because we are without excuse if we do not repent of any manner of idolatry, because God has commanded such.
    (1 Corinthians 6:12)
    (1 Corinthians 8:4-6)
    (Romans 1:23)
    (1 Corinthians 10:14)
    (Acts 17:22-31)
     
Loading...