There she sits just beyond arms reach from my head board. My Dollar Tree girl. The one I wrote about yesterday. I have a question I want to discuss today. When does an “image” become an “idol?”

Second Commandment is quite clear: “You shall not make for yourself a carved 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.” Is there any danger of me going too far with my little doll?

I have written before about my husband’s family living in London during the bombings in WW2. We have very few pictures from his early life. I have been told that the family destroyed their pictures because Papa Hayes was a preacher who decided having the pictures broke the Second Commandment. I don’t know but I imagine they (the pictures) were just not so important when the bombs shook the place, for them to think about grabbing pictures!

This story I believe describes the difference between an image and an idol. Although “Doll” is a help for me in organizing my thoughts for prayer, I would not choose to rescue her if my house were burning!

I’m more disturbed about my feeling about the head statue in the following picture.

My son made the figure in Bible school many years ago. I started to give it to a church charity garage sale, but I decided not to. I seem to be “tied up” in it. Why? The hand of God with they child leaning on it ? I could give it away without feeling like I were rejecting Jesus. But the Jesus figure? The same with me about Jesus pictures. I love pictures of Jesus doing something like walking the sea, stilling the waves, feeding the five thousand, but I am not comfortable with just the face of Jesus.

Seriously I am still a long way from throwing my rings into the fireplace and worshiping any golden calf that comes out!

I hope some of you will leave me some comments about whether you have any spiritual hang-ups with this kind of stuff. I know our battles tend to lean toward giving our time to issues that do not honor God. If you give me some feedback, I might throw something together about that!

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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5 Responses to IMAGES, IDOLS, ETC

  1. capost2k says:

    Friends living in Bulgaria warned us of local hawkers who would ‘give’ us emblems representing an eye, and then ask for a ‘donation.’ But their concern was with the ‘evil eye,” that they said the giver, even if you do not give them a donation, believes they have a spiritual window into your soul. 😏
    I declined the evil eyes as a courtesy to our hosts, but not because of spiritual power in such trinkets.
    Paul said “all things are lawful, but I will not be dominated by anything; not all things build up.” (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23) So having a picture or statue is not a violation of the 2nd commandment as long as we do not pray to it or invest any ‘powers’ in it. After all they are “not gods” at all and have no power, but what superstitious people attribute or what the Lord allows. (Galatians 4:8)
    And it is important to keep in mind that no one knows what Jesus looked like. And prayers to Mary or the saints never made sense to me – why go to a secretary when you have access to the CEO?
    These same principles apply to artwork of pagan origin. If someone attributes power to it, I am inclined to avoid it, but if it can be used as a teaching tool to show that Jesus is LORD, or to remember friends in foreign lands or our history, there is no reason to throw such things away. Such superstition reeks of paganism, not faith in The God Who Is.
    And remember, Aaron lied about the golden calf’s origin. 😉
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Yikes, I answered this yesterday. Rest assured my answer was brilliant. Much better than today’s is going to be. As I remember, I agreed with all your points. The way you discuss the issue of giving “power” to the object, picture, etc. is a clear distinction. Especially to my doll and a voodoo doll.

  2. Dawn Marie says:

    A great question, Oneta! And one we Catholics are admonished for often; but I think you have already answered your own question, similarly as we do when posed with the same. Your admittance that your sweet dollar-tree doll “is a help for me in organizing my thoughts for prayer…”

    So too for us with the many images in our Churches. We do NOT worship them. We only worship God; however, the images and statues of Jesus Christ & all of his Saintly followers help us to organize our thoughts for prayer.

    Would we, (only if responsibly without threat of death,) rush into a burning building to save them? Perhaps. But not because they are our “Gods,” but because of the historical, sentimental value they may represent for our heritage of faith. Hugs to you for this opportunity to share in hopes of growing in our understanding. 💕💕

    • oneta hayes says:

      capost above did a good job of resaying much of what you and I have said. Thank you for giving me an insider’s look from the view of a Catholic. Sometimes we Protestants come down pretty hard on what we call the “idols” in the church. 😀 This is not too far off the subject for me to say some of the best Christians I know are Catholic. They make good leaders.

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