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#55775 Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:30 PM
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It’s that time of year when many will erect pictures of Christ, those who are believers and those who are not,... why is it such a long disagreement even today amongst those even in the Reformed body to understand that its a sin to continue this practice,... ‘’The Second Commandment forbids not only the worship of man-made images of beings regarded as divine, but also the creation of such images. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image.” The tendency is to run this statement together with what follows (“you shall not bow down to them nor serve them”) to conclude that what is forbidden is only the worship of such images. Yet the commandment has two imperatives and expressly forbids the making of such images exactly because it is in the nature of man to fall down and worship what he considers to be divine. Jesus our Lord is in heaven, and He is to be worshiped by faith. He is not to be imaged.’’... Joe Vusich

Last edited by Mckinley; Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:33 PM.

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Here are a few good articles on the Second Commandment and images...

The Second Commandment by A.W. Pink
The Christian Use of Visual Art in Worship Today by Terry Johnson
Whether, and How Far Images are Forbidden in the Churches by this Commandment by Zacharias Ursinus
Image Worship by Herman Hoeksema
Images by Martin Bucer


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Thank you for the additional links!!


"A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant." STEPHEN CHARNOCK
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By that logic, we should burn all pictures of any relatives we believe are in Glory, or any depictions of animals, etc. Read the commandment. It does not talk about Christ or God images...it talks about images of anything (in earth, or heaven, etc.)
Unless we are willing to become extreme Anabaptists and eschew all forms of photography or images, the Commandment clearly is referring to WORSHIP of said images. A depiction of Christ, even an icon, is acceptable IF NOT WORSHIPPED. If we worship anything...an image, a Bible, the earth, our cats, etc. then that is a violation of the commandment.


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Unfortunately, your "logic" doesn't follow as a means of discrediting the long-standing understanding of the Second Commandment in Reformed denominations/churches and by myriad capable biblical scholars. We believe that given the CONTEXT of the commandment and a plethora of biblical examples of prohibitions and severe punishments against idolatry, with or without physical idols, there are two parts to be understood and observed. 1) no fabrication of an alleged physical representation of any/all of the three persons of the Trinity for any reason whatsoever, which should be more than 'logical', nor even a mental fabrication of any of the three Persons of the Godhead, and 2) no false worship of the one true God using any fabricated means, nor imaginary means not specifically commanded in Scripture or by good and necessary inference/example.

Art, in and of itself is most certainly not forbidden.

- The Westminster Larger Catechism Q&A 109
- The Heidelberg Catechism LD 35 Q&A 96-98
- Ursinus' Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism
- Calvinism and the Reformed Faith > Ecclesiology > Worship (several salient articles on the Second Commandment, Worship and Visual Arts.


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