Idol is operationally defined in the scripture as something which is made by human hands. The mere act of making it, although the maker may deny the act of worshiping on his part because his intention is money being attached to it, is already an act of phrasing someone to the exclusion of God, by the one who caused it to be made, except if the intention is to make the image as a toilet bowl, where everybody can pee.
8I alone am the Lord your God. No other god may share my glory, I will not let idols share my phrase. (Isaiah 42:8, TEV)
8The Lord punished his people by sending them into exile. He took them away with a cruel wind from the east. 9But Israel’s sin will be forgiven only when the stones of pagan altars are ground up like chalk, and no more incense altars or symbols of goddess Asherah are left. (Isaiah 27:8-9, TEV)
Roman Catholic church and the Orthodox Church have icons and iconography as part of their practices and doctrines. Said practices emanated not from early Christians, who were brutalized and killed by the Roman Empire, but from the Roman Empire itself.
Is iconography the modern-day idolatry?
Like in idolatry, the images in iconography are made by human hands. In all intentions, images, including statues, are made for the purpose of adoring and phrasing someone or something but excluding God as no human being knows the exact image of God except, probably, for Christ. On the other hand, Christ and his mother never furnished anybody their pictures while still living and thereafter, for purposes of identifying exactly their image by adoring individuals. So, their present alleged images are not authentic at all. That being the case, it follows that phrasing Christ and his mother through their alleged present artistic images is deceitful.
In the case of the “holy” cross and the “holy” rosary: Are they also a manifestation of idolatry? Yes, of course. What are being adored in these images are the heavenly cross, more specifically a constellation or the southern crossand the rosary beads and strings and nothing more, these images being not designated by God, Christ and his mother as their worldly representatives . If the images were not designated to receive phrases for them, then the adoration being given through them is useless. Besides, taking out of these images from the belief system of an individual is never a violation of God’s command.
In fine, what was changed was only the terminology but operationally idolatry and iconography are the same.
By comparison: When Israel and the Kingdom of Judah committed idolatry, the name of God was not used to commit it. They duly identified the name of goddess Asherah and Baal as subjects of their idolatry, among others. There was no deceit as to the identity of the false Gods but consequently, they were punished. In contrast, is it not a fact that Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches are using the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in order to commit idolatry? Are they using the name of God in vain? Was there a deceit? In terms of punishments, which group should receive more?
The main issue at hand is therefore: Will iconography, being the present term for idolatry, able to prevent spiritual stress?
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