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Monday, March 2, 2015

Catholics and Statues: You shall not carve idols for yourselves?

“Love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul,     
and with all your MIND”--Matt 22:37

 “Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus” --Pope Francis  (Evangelii Gaudium, #120)

This Sunday's first reading will be from Exodus.  It explicitly states:  "You shall not carve idols for yourselves".

So why do Catholic churches have....idols?

And then the Bible continues to say, in Exodus:  "You shall not bow down before them or worship them."

And yet we see this in our churches as well as our homes:

So do Catholics just disregard what the Bible says?

Short answer:  no. 

Long answer:  Catholics believe in and uphold what the Bible says.  But we take the Word of God in its entirety; we do not just extract verses out of context and in isolation.

If one just reads a bit further in Exodus, we see where God actually commands the building of statues:

Make two cherubim of beaten gold for the two ends of the cover;
make one cherub at one end, and the other at the other end, of one piece with the cover, at each end.
The cherubim shall have their wings spread out above, sheltering the cover with them; they shall face each other, with their faces looking toward the cover.--Exodus 25:18-20

So it's not having statues that's offensive to God.  It's worshipping them.  

And of course, no Catholic worships a statue!

We keep statues in our churches as visual reminders of those we love, just as we have pictures in our homes as visual reminders of people we love.

As far as bowing down...well, that's not worship.  In many cultures bowing is a sign of respect, but it is NOT a means of worshipping a person.

It is no more worshipping a statue when we bow before one, than this person is worshipping the Bible when he bows before it and kisses it:

Unfortunately, there are still many folks who continue to spread the false belief that statues in our churches is evidence that we Catholics practice idolatry.  Consider this, from the very popular website:

Question: "Do Catholics worship idols / practice idolatry?"

Answer: Sadly, our Catholic friends and family members have been indoctrinated to believe that the use of statues, relics, and other articles is acceptable and even necessary for worship. They have been taught by the Roman Catholic Church that the images and icons used in the church are not actually “worshiped” but are simply “visual aids” to worship.

The Catholic Church long ago began making allowances for the idolatrous use of images by the way they reference the Ten Commandments. In the Catholic catechism and in most official Catholic documents, the first and second commandments are combined and then summarized with “I am the Lord your God. You shall not have other gods beside Me.” Suspiciously absent is what comprises the second commandment in the Protestant numbering of the Ten Commandments: “You shall not make any graven images.”
Firstly, the Catholic Church has never stated that use of statues, relics and other articles are "necessary for worship."  If anyone insists that this is true, please ask this person to produce any document from the Church which asserts that statues and relics are required for worship.

Secondly, it is true that the numbering of the Ten Commandments is different for Catholics than for other Protestants.  However, the commandments given by God in the Old Testament actually number MORE than 10.  If you count the number of "thou shalt nots" plus the "thou shalts" the actual number of commandments is 13.  Thus, Catholic group some of the commandments into one, but so do Protestants.

It's a rather common objection, esp. in the blogosphere, to hear that Catholicism makes its own rules up, giving no regard to the Bible.  

However, we can be assured as Catholics that our Church does indeed profess, uphold and venerate the Scriptures.  We just don't take verses out of context, and read them without the lens of Sacred Tradition. 

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" - 1 Peter 3:15  


  1. I am so confused. I would like to become a Catholic but I can't understand blood of recent Popes being "honored"as relics. People kiss them and pray to the Popes and ask for things. Is this what Jesus preached? Please, help!

    1. Relics are a sacramental--that is, a material object that results in the giving of grace.

      And relics are Scriptural. There are numerous examples in Scripture of material objects conferring grace. Note that Elisha's bones brought a dead man to life. And people were healed by touching St. Paul's handkerchief and St. Peter's shadow!

      Now, while Jesus himself said nothing about relics, surely you are not a "Word of Jesus Only" type of Christian. That would mean you'd have to throw out all of the epistles of St. Paul, St. John, Hebrews, etc etc etc, (not to mention the Old Testament!)

  2. Dear Amateur: You have taken a risk by boldly confronting thorny questions involving the Roman Catholic faith. Thus, I will honor you with an honest question on the above topic: (1) where in the Bible is grace obtained other than through the hand of Almighty God himself? and (2) Where in the Bible does it state that God's grace is insufficient to save us and it needs to be bolstered by our own deeds, such as baptism, church attendance, confession, taking of the eucharist, etc.? Thank you. Respectfully, Steve Cobb

    1. Thanks for your questions, Mr. Cobb.

      The answer to #1, to the best of my knowledge is: no where in the Bible is grace obtained except through the hand of Almighty God Himself.

      And that's why the Catholic Church teaches that all grace comes from God.

      God uses sacraments, via the Church, to bestow grace upon His people.

      (But grace can come from other means, besides the sacraments)

    2. Regarding #2: nowhere does the Bible state that God's grace is insufficient for us.

      God's grace is enough!

      We are filled with God's grace at the moment of our Baptism!

      However, sadly, we leak.

      And that's why we need to replenish this grace, given by God, through the sacraments.

    3. Incidentally, your question (where in the Bible is...) suggests that all things we believe have to be found in the Bible.

      Ironically, that is a man-made tradition!

      For nowhere--from Genesis through Revelation--will you find that everything we believe must be found in the Bible.

      All Scripture, of course, is inspired by God, and useful...but it is not sufficient, and it doesn't state that it's the ONLY thing we use to get our religious beliefs from.

    4. I'm sorry Apologist, but man-made traditions are things that do not come from the bible. Jesus taught us how to pray. Anything other than that is a man made tradition. Jesus taught us how to baptize and yet Catholics have also changed it (not every aspect). Jesus said he was the ONLY way to the Father. He said pray TO him. I understand that I ask people to pray FOR me. But that's because the bible says us down here pray for each other In the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the SOLE mediator. He is the ONLY way. Which excludes the need for anyone else. If I need to pray to Mary then that is taking away from Jesus and what he did for me. That would be like me saying, Jesus your blood wasn't enough to save me so I also need to pray to someone else and hope they can help me. No. Jesus is the only thing I need. I will not lift up a prayer to a dead person. I understand when we die we are alive in christ. We are promised eternal life. But the ONLY one that is resurrected and alive is Jesus. The bible says we were made from dust and to dust we will return. Only at the sound of the bell will those who died in Christ be risen. Jesus is the only one worthy of our prayers.

    5. Thanks for your comments.

      "I'm sorry Apologist, but man-made traditions are things that do not come from the bible."

      I am quite certain, Unknown, that you practice many man-made traditions. For example, folding your hands in prayer--that's not mentioned in the Bible.

      Another is what your minister says in your wedding ceremonies--also not in the Bible

      Another man-made tradition you probably participate in is Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday Bible studies. Also not in the Bible.

      So I'm sure you would agree with me that there's nothing inherently wrong with man-made traditions, right?

    6. "Jesus taught us how to baptize and yet Catholics have also changed it (not every aspect)."

      I am certain, Unknown, that your pastor has also changed the way your church baptizes--unless he insists on traveling to Israel and baptizing your members in the Jordan River, by your cousin, when you are 33 years old?

    7. Actually I do not fold my hands to pray. But there is nothing wrong with something like that. I don't go to bible studies but there is nothing wrong with that! Furthering your knowledge on what the bible says is not a man made tradition. A man made tradition is the rosary. Jesus teaches us how to do things. He did not say we had to be baptized in the Jordan river by someone named John. If that were the case.. I don't even have a cousin named john. So are all those that don't have a family member by the name John excluded from this? Jesus taught us how to do it. There are many things that you have twisted. Do not take scripture out of context. Follow the bible by what it says. Do not add men's traditions.

    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    9. So can you tell me how Jesus said to be baptized?

    10. I don't understand, Anonymous. What makes something a man-made tradition?

      You seem to be holding a separate standard for yourself than for Catholics. "I get to do things that aren't in the Bible, and that's ok. But when Catholics do it, it's wrong".

      You should hold the same standard for both--either we both get to do things that aren't found in the Bible, or neither of us get to.

    11. You are confusing what a man made tradition is and what is simply not in the bible. I do not set myself apart from anyone thinking I can do what the bible doesn't say and others not. I simply know what is meaningful and what isnt. Folding my hands while I pray will not add or take away to my prayer in any type of way. Being baptized in the Jordan river will not be any different than if I were baptized in the lake behind my house. But a tradition of man would be the rosary. Praying to Mary. I would pray to Mary if Jesus told me that's what I needed to do. But not once did He mention that I needed anyone else other than He Himself. That is what tradition of men has made people believe is right or even ok. Being baptized by simply sprinkling is a tradition of man. The location where Jesus was baptized and who he was baptized by does not matter to my experience of being baptized or anyone elses. Being baptized means to be fully submerged in water. You have a confusion of what a man made tradition is.

    12. You are correct in that I am confused--what does constitute a man-made tradition, and what is simply an action that's permissible that's not in the Bible?

    13. If you could give me a definition, preferably from the Bible, of what a man-made tradition is, that would be helpful.

      Otherwise, what I could do is exactly what you're doing. I could say: praying the rosary is not a man-made tradition, but an altar call, wedding ceremony, Wednesday evening Bible study, folding one's hands in prayers--those are all traditions of men found no where in the Bible!

    14. You have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord. Now keep on following him. Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful. Don't let anyone fool you by using senseless arguments. These arguments may sound wise, but they are only human teachings. They come from the powers of this world and not from Christ.
      Colossians 2:6-8

      Apologist what you are confusing is technical. Technically you are right in that we do things that are not found in the bible such as holding hands when we pray which it does not TECHNICALLY state. But don't confuse those technicalities. A rosary is a tradition of man that is unbiblical. Baptizing by sprinkling is unbiblical. Having statues and bowing down to them is unbiblical. Your argument is senseless because the examples you used are not unbiblical. Plenty of people pray differently. Folding hands, on their knees, closing eyes, not closing eyes. I pray when I drive to and from school/work. That does not go against the biblical teachings of what prayer is. Prayer is to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. Prayer is not for anyone else. Not for Mary or saints or anyone. Praying to anyone else besides Jesus is a tradition that people have brought down from generation to generation.

      Matthew 15:2-6

      “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.

    15. Again, could you give me a definition, preferably from the Bible, of what constitutes a tradition of man?

      Right now, it sounds rather arbitrary what you are saying. I could just as easily say: folding hands in prayer is a tradition of man but praying the rosary is permitted, even though it's not in the Bible.

      I'm not sure why you are permitting for yourself to follow things not found in the Bible but not Catholics?

    16. The bible does not give a definition of what a man made tradition is. Although it gives examples like The Pharisees.
      The difference between something as simple as folding hands and praying to the rosary is that the rosary is not something that is right or ok to do. There are more prayers in the rosary to Mary than to Jesus. Prayer is not for anyone but Jesus. It's wrong and that's what constitutes it a man made tradition. Baptizing by sprinkling is not right. You have taken something with a very simple meaning behind it and stretched it to confuse yourself with technicalities. Do not follow tradition of men. Follow the bible.

    17. You are 100% correct, Anonymous, when you say that the Bible doesn't give a definition of what a man-made tradition is.

      As such, your defining something as a man-made tradition is, ironically, a man-made tradition!

    18. I hope you realize now that saying the rosary is wrong because it's not found in the Bible is untenable, unless you can prove that every single thing you do in your church is found in the Bible.

      Remember, celebrating Christmas (which I presume you do) isn't found in the Bible.

      Having a minister marry a couple in a church isn't found in the Bible.

      And, of course, folding one's hands in prayer isn't found in the Bible.

      So I hope you realize that it's not fair to permit yourself to do things which aren't found in the Bible while condemning others for doing things which aren't found in the Bible.

    19. As far as there being more prayers to Mary in the rosary than to Jesus...where does the Bible say that this is wrong? Please cite book, chapter and verse.

      Otherwise, what you are asserting is...a man-made tradition.

      Did you know that 3/4 of the rosary comes straight from the Bible?

      Hail Mary, full of grace!--Luke 1:28
      The Lord is with thee!--Luke 1:28
      Blessed are you among women! ----Luke 1:42
      And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus--Luke 1:42

      And, of course, the Our Father comes straight from Matthew and Luke.

    20. As far as traditions of men vs the Bible--you do realize that the Bible is a product of the tradition of the Catholic Church, right?

      You believe that, say, the Epistle to the Hebrews is the inspired Word of God for one and only one reason: because the tradition of the Catholic Church told you it is inspired.

      You would not know whether an ancient text, such as the Shepherd of Hermas, is inspired or not, except that you trust in the Catholic Church.

    21. You have been blinded Apologist. By the Catholic church. I used to be a member of the Catholic church. I left when I realized how different the teachings were than what the Bible says. And I can assure you I wasn't "misunderstanding" anything. You say a man made tradition that many people do are things like folding hands while praying, celebrating Christmas, or a wedding ceremony. And I will tell you that while you are TECHNICALLY correct, you have also just agreed with me that the traditions the Catholic Church does are also man made since there is no where in the bible that says to do it. Although, the traditions the Catholic Church do are unbiblical. And I don't say unbiblical in that they are not in the bible. Unbiblical as in they go against biblical teachings. Please give me a verse from the bible that says we need to pray to anyone else for our salvation. And I can give you a verse that says who the sole intercessor is and the only one who can save us.
       1 Timothy 2:5
      For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus
      Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone.
      Acts 4:12

      The bible tells us what and how to do things so why change it? The bible says how and who to pray to. So why have you added praying to Mary (a dead person)?
      Many in the bible were filled with grace. So since Mary was filled with grace and the Catholic Church has decided to pray to her does that mean the same for the rest? Then all of those deserve for me to pray through them. Paul did not ask to lift a prayer to any dead person in heaven to go intercede to the father for you. He said us down here pray for each other in the name of Jesus Christ. Your missing the huge point. Your not even confusing the bible , your adding meaning to the bible that isn't there. The bible clearly speaks of the holy spirit and tongues of fire in acts 2. So I should also lift up a prayer to them right? Should I also lift up a prayer to John the Baptist who Jesus himself said there was never a Prophet like him? I don't think so. Should I bow down to an angel like John did in revelations and the Angel clearly says only Jesus deserves this? I don't think so.
      Even this is clear.
      “Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to talk with you.” Jesus answered, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “These are my mother and my brothers! Anyone who obeys my Father in heaven is my brother or sister or mother.””
      Matthew 12:47-50 CEVDCUS06

      I'm sorry but the bible not once mentions for me to pray to saints in heaven. But it does clearly say to pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ . And idk about you but I rather listen to Jesus himself then to be listening to tradition of men. Paul says if anyone brings another gospel even if it's an angel from heaven let him be cursed. Praying to any Saint in heaven is like completely ignoring the very reason why Jesus Christ shed his blood on the cross. It is saying His blood isn't sufficient to save you, so you need the help of others. Not for me. Jesus Is more than enough for me and He is the ONLY one worthy of my prayers, worship, praise, etc.

    22. I appreciate your comments, Anonymous.

      But I think you need to be a bit clearer about what your objection is here. You seem to be saying 2 things but aren't sure which one you're really objecting to.

      The first thing you're asserting is that the Catholic Church does things which aren't found in the Bible.

      But then you acknowledge, to your credit, that your church does things also not found in the Bible.

      So then you switch to the argument: the Catholic Church does things which are CONTRARY to the Bible.

      If this is your argument, then you're going to have to produce some verses which state that praying the rosary is wrong, but Catholics do this.

      Or a verse which says you CAN'T pray to saints, and Catholics do this, which is wrong.

    23. Apologust, I'm sorry that you are so deeply confused.
      The main point here is that the Catholic church does plenty of unbiblical traditions that have been noticed by many people.
      You have believed what people have taught you. Adding their beliefs and traditions to the bible which is not right. I've given you plenty to realize what is right and wrong but it is meaningless to a heart that wants to continue doing wrong. And once that change happens your eyes will open. Don't follow tradition of man. Stay by the bible. Read your bible and pray so that God will give you the wisdom to understand. God bless you

    24. But, I do have your answer as to why praying to the rosary is not right. First of all because it is praying to Mary which is a dead person. And anyone who “consults with the dead” is “detestable to the Lord.” The story of Saul consulting a medium to bring up the spirit of the dead Samuel resulted in his death “because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance” (1 Samuel 28:1-25; 1 Chronicles 10:13-14). Clearly, God has declared that such things are not to be done.

      Consider the characteristics of God. God is omnipresent—everywhere at once—and is capable of hearing every prayer in the world (Psalm 139:7-12). A human being, on the other hand, does not possess this attribute. Also, God is the only one with the power to answer prayer. In this regard, God is omnipotent—all powerful (Revelation 19:6). Certainly this is an attribute a human being—dead or alive—does not possess. Finally, God is omniscient—He knows everything (Psalm 147:4-5). Even before we pray, God knows our genuine needs and knows them better than we do. Not only does He know our needs, but He answers our prayers according to His perfect will.

      So, in order for a dead person to receive prayers, the dead individual has to hear the prayer, possess the power to answer it, and know how to answer it in a way that is best for the individual praying. Only God hears and answers prayer because of His perfect essence and because of what some theologians call His “immanence.” Immanence is the quality of God that causes Him to be directly involved with the affairs of mankind (1 Timothy 6:14-15); this includes answering prayer. To say that we can pray to anyone other than God would be to say they possess the same power.
      I'll stick to what the bible tells me instead of what man would like to impose on people.

    25. "You have believed what people have taught you"--I have to say, Anonymous, so do you. So do you.

      In fact, you believe that there are 27 books that belong in the New Testament for one reason only: because the Catholic Church says that there are 27 books in the NT.

      Unless you have some other way to know that the Epistle to the Hebrews, for example, is inspired but the Shepherd of Hermas is not?

    26. Anonymous, in response to your comment "The main point here is that the Catholic church does plenty of unbiblical traditions that have been noticed by many people", we've already established that YOUR CHURCH does this as well--marriage ceremonies with your pastor, Christmas celebrations, folding hands in prayer. NONE of those things are found in the Bible.

      So you can't protest Catholics doing something unbiblical while permitting your church to do something unbiblical.

    27. Apologist you have been misinformed on how the bible was brought to us. Also I have not taken any teachings in without going through my bible to confirm. I do not follow blindly. I do not know how to let you see how simple this argument is. There are teachings that the Catholic church do that go against God. It's as simple as that. You have yet to show me how praying to saints or Mary helps my salvation in any way. The first big point to see and understand is that the Catholic church prays to a dead person. Which is not right or ok. Tell me where it says folding hands is not right. The difference is that folding your hands is not wrong. You have based your faith off of technicalities.
      Technically this isn't in the bible so I can make a judgement on whether I feel it is right or not right. Technically this is in the bible but not worded so that it doesn't allow me to do with it in another way.

    28. Good morning! I am looking forward to dialoguing with you today as I am off work!

      Could you please tell me how you were told the Bible came to be, without the Catholic Church?

      Can you tell me how you know, without someone else telling you, that Hebrews is inspired but the Shepherd of Hermas, Epistles of Clement, Gospel of Barnabas are not?

    29. As far as Mary and those who are in heaven being "dead" and not being able to communicate with them---how is it then, that Jesus spoke to "dead" Elijah and Moses?

      Catholics believe that those in heaven are alive, alive in Christ. More alive than any of us here on earth!

    30. And again, you seem to be holding a different standard for yourself than for Catholics, which is not right!

      You can't say: for me and my church, if the Bible is silent on an issue (like folding one's hands in prayer), then it's permitted.

      But for Catholics, where the Bible is silent on an issue (like praying the rosary) it's forbidden.

      Pick one of those paradigms, and apply it to both of us.

      What is your belief, then, when the Bible is silent on an issue--is this activity forbidden or permitted?

  3. Apologist, I am afraid I must part ways with you on comments #2 and #3. 2 Timothy states that Scripture allows "the servant of God to be thoroughly equipped for every good work." Thus, the Bible is indeed sufficient. Secondly, when the "house rules" (traditions) added by men conflict with the written instructions handed down to us by the patriarchs, we have a choice to make: stick with the teachings of scripture or follow the teachings of men? The Bible does not teach either (1) infusion of grace by the sacraments, or (2) leakage of grace, or (3) the Church's role as intercessor and advocate. The Bible (Hebrews) clearly states that we have one advocate before God - our high priest and intercessor Jesus Christ. Biblical Christians do not reject Rome because of their devotion to God. Rather, Rome is rejected because it attempts to impose the rule of man over the rule of God, contrary to what Jesus himself taught. Jesus said, "Come to me." He never said, "Go to Peter." (or Mary, or St. Francis, etc.)

  4. Thanks for you comments, Mr. Cobb.

    I must say that you have been duped into believing a man-made tradition that says that Scripture is sufficient.

    If you do a search for the word "sufficient" in the New Testament, you will not find the word "sufficient" attached to "Scripture" at all.

    See here:
    and here:
    and here:

    You have added that man-made tradition that says that Scripture Alone is SUFFICIENT.

    Nowhere do the Scriptures say that.

    What is mentioned in the Scriptures as being SUFFICIENT is GRACE, which is, of course, Catholic teaching.

    Scripture is declared to be PROFITABLE. And that, too, of course, is Catholic teaching.

    You can do a search of the entire Bible, from Genesis through Revelation, and you will never find "Scripture is sufficient" in a single verse.


    That is a man-made tradition you've added to your theology.

    You simply heard a man say it, who heard another man say it, who heard another man say it...but no one ever read that Scripture is sufficient in a single page of the Bible.

  5. Incidentally, in James 1:3-4 we read “...for you know that testing of your faith produces steadfastness [patience]. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

    Clearly, here the Scriptures are saying that what brings a man to "perfection" is not Scripture but rather patience.

    Are you willing to argue that the Scriptures say that patience "alone" is what's required to bring a man to "perfection"?

    If you use the same exegesis that you applied to 2 Tim 3:15 then you'll have to conclude that it's Patience Alone that brings you to perfection. Not Scripture Alone.

  6. Regarding your comment that any tradition that conflicts with Scripture should be dismissed...Catholics give a hearty AMEN! to that.

    But you haven't shown that saying that Sacraments infuse Grace conflicts with Scripture.

    For it to conflict, you would have to give a verse that says that Sacraments DO NOT infuse Grace upon us.

    For the belief that we "leak" to conflict with Scripture, you have to give a verse which states that we don't leak.

    Can you do that?

    I don't think so.

  7. As far as there being One Mediator, Catholics give a heart amen! to that, too.

    However, each and every time you ask someone to pray for you, you are asking them to MEDIATE for you. You could go directly to God, yet you ask someone to pray for you.

    So you can see that there is nothing wrong with having saints in heaven, like Mary and St. Francis, as mediators for us.

    There are no rules from the Catholic Church that are contrary to the Word of God.

    In fact, if it weren't for the Catholic Church, you wouldn't have your Bible...for, of course, it didn't fall down from heaven, but was given to men...Catholic men to be more specific....Catholic bishops to be exact.

    And it was these Catholic bishops who discerned for you and me which books are theopneustos and which books are not.

    So without the authority of the Catholic Church, you wouldn't know that Hebrews is inspired but that the Shepherd of Hermas is not.

    The Bible, of course, doesn't tell us which books belong there.

    The Catholic Church did that for you and me.

    1. Apologist, I would never say that you have been "duped." However, a Christian is obliged to put Christ (Jesus) front and center of worship and obedience. If not, then you can call the religion anything you want - but not "Christianity." Moslems, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and many other religious groups give a nod to Jesus - but always relieve him of his primary role as Savior and God. If the Roman church does that too... well, it is not alone. Respectfully, Steve.

    2. Amen to Christians being obliged to put Christ front and center.

      You are very Catholic when you say that, Mr. Cobb.

    3. what about Mary? She is in the center too right?

    4. No, Christ is at the center of our worship, Logos.

  8.  "You shall not bow down before them or worship them."

    As far as bowing down...well, that's not worship.  In many cultures bowing is a sign of respect, but it is NOT a means of worshipping a person.

    1. Incidentally, we all don't believe this boy is worshipping his bed, right? Even though he is bowing before it, yes?

    2. And this man is not worshipping the box of kleenex, right?

    3. But it says right there in scripture to not even view down to a statue. It says do not bow down OR worship. It doesn't say.. just don't worship. It says to not do either one.

    4. I think that you need to read this within the lens of the entirety of Scripture.

      If bowing down, without worship--just bowing before someone or something--is wrong, then all of these people were doing something wrong:

      And he came and stood near where I stood: and when he was come, I fell on my face trembling, and he said to me: Understand, O son of man, for in the time of the end the vision shall be fulfilled.—Daniel 8:17

      Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
      14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord[b] have for his servant?”
      15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.—Joshua 5:12-15

      He himself went on ahead of them, bowing to the ground seven times, until he reached his brother.--Genesis 33:3

      1 King Chapters 1 and 2: Bathsheba bows before the king, and when Solomon becomes king he bows to Bathsheba

      Behold, I will make those of the assembly of Satan who claim to be Jews and are not, but are lying, behold I will make them come and fall prostrate at your feet, and they will realize that I love you--Rev 3:9

    5. I'm confused by your statements. All I was saying was that the scripture says do not bow down to the statue. Yet you said bowing down was fine. When it CLEARLY says do not bow down OR (meaning 2 different commands) worship. So you can not bow down and you can not worship.
      Also tell me which of these verses that you have cited does it show someone that bowed down to a statue.
      That has happened before in the bible where the people bowed down before a statue and the result was punishment.

    6. I think the Bible is quite clear that bowing is NOT wrong.

      We need to read the Bible without a literalist lens, Anonymous.

      If bowing down before a statue is wrong, then bowing down before a PERSON should be equally wrong (if not worse!).

      Clearly, the Bible does not condemn bowing down before people.