Images and Statues Ex. 20: 4-6 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Many churches and temples have statues in them as “aids to worship.” These are nothing less than the “images” forbidden by God in Ex 20:4-6. We are commanded by God not to make or bow down to things like a Crucifix, Mary, Joseph, Saints, Buddha, Brahma, Kali, Durga, Krishna, the Jiazi Statues of the sixty Heavenly Generals, Shiva, Ganesha, Tara, Yam-Yum, Isis, Osiris, Horus, Aphrodite, Diana, and so forth.
God’s commandment is clear: “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: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” (Ex 20:4-5).
“Genuflecting” at the Catholic Mass is the same thing as “bowing down to”, or “kneeling” to a statue.
According to God’s words in these two verses, violating this command of God is idolatry and demonstrates a hatred for God. It is an iniquity that God visits on successive generations. God was so mad with Solomon for going into idolatry, when he worshipped Ashtoreth, Milcom, Chemosh, and Molech, that he permanently stripped David’s offspring from ruling the ten northern tribes in Israel. In addition, God stirred up adversaries to Solomon to afflict him and his seed after him (1 Ki 11).
When the Jews were to go into the land of Canaan, they were told to “break down their images,” (Ex 23:24). They were also to “destroy all their pictures,” (Num 33:52). The warning in Deut 4:15-19 against images of males, females, beasts, fowls, creeping things and fish stemmed from the fact that when God appeared to the Jews in Mt. Sinai, they saw no similitude of him from which to fashion a statue.
In other words, whatever image they fashioned would necessarily be false since they didn’t have a pattern. And such is the case with statues in churches and temples today. Who knows what Mary and Jesus looked like well enough to portray their images in statues as an aid to worship?
Some religions have justified the making of statues because God commanded cherubims to be made and depicted in Moses’ tabernacle, Solomon’s temple, and the temple of the millennial reign of Jesus (1 Chr 28:10-20; Ex 25:17-18; 25:9; Ezek 40:4; 41:18). However, the cherubims are there because God dwells between the cherubims (Is 37:16) and he gave the specific command and pattern to put them there. Men made what God showed them to make, unlike statues and images in religions.
In Num 21:8-9, God commanded Moses to make a fiery serpent of brass for the people to look at whenever they were bitten by a serpent in the wilderness. However, the people decided to keep the serpent as an aid to worship, while they burned incense, like they do in the churches and temples. Eventually, Hezekiah, a king that “trusted in the Lord God of Israel,” (2 Ki 18:5) broke the brazen serpent in pieces (2 Ki 18:4).
Do you really want to be associated with a church or religion that uses images as an aid to worship? God was so mad with the Jews for making a golden calf in the wilderness that he was ready to kill the entire nation (Ex 32). As it was 3,000 men died. God is a jealous God and a consuming fire and he will eventually destroy all of these statues and those that worship them (Deut 4:23-24).
Look what happens to people whose worship involves the use of statues:
- They are cursed – Deut 27:15;
- They are evil – 1 Ki 14:9;
- They are confounded – Ps 97:7;
- They are spiritually deaf, dumb, and blind – Ps 115:4-8;
- They are vanity – Is 41:29;
- They shall be greatly ashamed – Is 42:17;
- They commit spiritual adultery – Ezek 16:17;
- They are liars – Hab 2:18;
- They are superstitious – Acts 17:22-23;
- They don’t glorify God: leading to ingratitude, uncleanness, vile affections, and unnatural use of the body – Rom 1:21-28; and
- They are set up to worship the antichrist and be damned forever – Rev 13:14-15; 14:9-11; 16:2.
The only image that you are to worship is God’s only begotten Son, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature,” (Col 1:15). That’s because Jesus Christ is “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,” (Heb 1:3). Any statue made of him today is designed purely on conjecture, and therefore not after any pattern that God gave to anybody.
Today we are commanded by Jesus Christ to “worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth,” (Jn. 4:23-24). That, according to Jesus Christ, is the definition of “the true worshippers.” Therefore, you can plainly see that statues are not an aid to worship a spirit!! To the contrary, they are plainly idolatry.