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

Monday, March 18, 2013

Response to Comment on "Idolatry" Post

I received an anonymous post on my recent blog about idolatry. Here it is:

“What does the Bible say about those portraits of Jesus that are so common?”

The portraits were made after the Bible was written. What the Bible says has to cover everything that occurs after it was written.

“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.” (Deuteronomy 4:15-16)

Jesus said in John 4:22-24, “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

There is a physical description of Jesus in Matthew 19:2: “There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.”

And another one in Isaiah 52:14: “Just as there were many who were appalled at him—his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness.”

Neither of these descriptions includes any portrait of Jesus. Other than these descriptions, we have no clue what he looked like—tall, short, complexion, eye color, hair color. All of the portraits and icons of Jesus in history are a violation of the letter and the spirit of the Bible.

The Second Council of Nicea in 787 A.D. allowed for the veneration of images. It made a distinction between such veneration and the worship which belongs to God alone. However, the Council missed the point and directly violated the Second Commandment: “You shall not make…” and “You shall not bow down…” (Deuteronomy 5:8, 9). The Council said that these images should be “made,” “kissed,” and “bowed down to.”

Bessie and I have not had a portrait of Jesus in our home in our 61 years.

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