Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bowing Down to Anything

<< I've always wondered what the effigy of Christ on the cross that one finds in most churches is, if not an idol? In days of yore, I can specifically remember praying to that effigy and seeing many others pray to it. I'm confused as to how that doesn't count as worshipping a graven idol, as is clearly forbidden in the ten commandments. Is it simply considered to be a relay station for prayers on their way to god and thusly sanctified through holy loophole?>>

Joel, that’s a good question (I don't know if you're an atheist. Many people who are now high profile atheists are ex-Catholics--see my book Hollywood Be Thy Name for details). The Second of the Ten Commandments forbids paying homage (bowing down) to any graven image of any likeness, anywhere. The Roman Catholic church got around it by removing the Second Commandment and splitting the last one into two Commandments, to make up the ten. It sounds hard to believe, so check it out for yourself on the Vatican web site: www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/command.htm).
I have copied the following directly from the site. Here's the Second Commandment: "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 . . . " (Exodus 20:4). Here is the Tenth Commandment: “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's” (Exodus 20:17). The Roman Catholic Catechism (the official teaching of the church) removes the Second Commandment completely and splits the Ninth Commandment so that the Second won’t be missed. Here’s how they split it: “9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife. 10. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.” I hope this helps.