Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Reintroducing Idolatry

When Moses told the second and third generations the story of the Exodus he knew that those who were between 40 and 60 years old were present during the march and could remember it. He reminded them of that scary night at Horeb.

“Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children." You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. And the LORD directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.

You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. But as for you, the LORD took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are.” Deuteronomy 4:10-20

The first three of the Ten Commandments speak to this issue.

The Israelites violated this basic teaching about forty days later and made and worshipped a golden calf with an alter and sacrifices and had a wild party.

For the next 1000 years the Israelites periodically turned to idolatry.

The next 1000 years they were fully free from idolatry. The Christians were very free from it. Mohammed who had been influenced by Jews and Christians founded a religion that was violently iconoclastic.

About that time the second Council of Nicea 725 A.D. reintroduced images, icons into formal Christianity 725.

Now the Muslims would tear down “Christian” icons as well as pagan icons.

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