"Symbol of Christianity?"

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Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2008 08:57 am
What do you think you know of all those crosses running around in the world did you know the cross is the single most selling piece of jewelry? The bible is the #1 selling book? and Christianity the #1 religion? Well all these amazing statistics make sense considering the amount of faith today which is a good thing but what I want to talk about is "symbols"

Do you know the second commandment?
Exodus 20:4
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below

Deuteronomy 4:15-18
Idolatry Forbidden
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, 16 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, 17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, 18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below.

Folks it is unfortunate that Christianity has done this they have created images and idols (crosses with jesus a man on them!) mainly the catholic church but still most protestants still have crosses as their symbols.

Why do we need symbols as idols can't we worship God without pictures of painted Jesus? Yashua is painted in my heart I took down the picture my mom had because I don't know this man Jesus in christianity I know Yashua the christ.

What do you think are these symbols bordering idolatry that was forbidden long ago?? Remember a wooden cross won't save you, a paper bible won't save you, a popular religion won't save you, a mystery man won't save you, a only the savior can save you.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Fri 11 Jan, 2008 09:25 am
@Israelite007,
As you know religions are interpreted and they evolve. Many traditions are justified a posteriori in scripture. If Christianity is 100% beholden to scripture, then how can modernity explain everything from Roman Catholocism to Eastern Orthodoxy to Calvinists to Amish Anabaptists?

In Judaism the prohibition against idolatry is so strong that God's name cannot even be spoken. He's referred to as Ha Shem (the name) or Adonai (lord). There are letters that spell "YHWH", but these are NEVER pronounced in Judaism -- you say Adonai instead. So it's actually very offensive to Jews to use the words "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" which are pronunciations of those letters.

In Christianity it's never been so tight. Icons are directly worshipped in Eastern forms of Christianity, such as Russian and Greek Orthodoxy, and the ancient Christian traditions of Lebanon, Egypt, and Ethiopia. Icon worship was upheld in the 7th Ecumenical Council (in the 8th century, before the "great schism"), and it persists to this day in the Eastern realm.

These are two churches I visited in Russia a few years ago -- the first in Moscow, the second in St. Petersburg, and you can see how central the imagery is to the setting.

http://www.pbase.com/drpablo74/image/60931198.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/drpablo74/image/60921263.jpg
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Sat 12 Jan, 2008 12:32 pm
@Israelite007,
Quote:
Folks it is unfortunate that Christianity has done this they have created images and idols (crosses with jesus a man on them!) mainly the catholic church but still most protestants still have crosses as their symbols.

Why do we need symbols as idols can't we worship God without pictures of painted Jesus? Yashua is painted in my heart I took down the picture my mom had because I don't know this man Jesus in christianity I know Yashua the christ.


When the Bible talks of Idols, I think it more relates to worshipping the physical object itself, like the Golden Calf in Exodus.

When we talk about symbols, those seem to me to be more like outward representations of how we feel inside. The cross can be a useful reminder of what the Savior did for mankind. I am not to familiar with Jewish customs, but I don't think they even escaped having physical representations of their faith (symbols of their beliefs).

However, I do agree that none of these symbol can save a person, and they should not be worshiped like they are a God. I think part of Judaic Law in regard to this was in repsonse to what the rest of the world believed at the time. Ancient polytheists belived that their physical representations of the Gods became the Gods themselves and that the Gods lived in the temples they built. The LORD of the old testament was saying that this is not the case, no physical representation can become God, and therefore shouldn't be worshiped like it is God.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 12 Jan, 2008 04:41 pm
@de Silentio,
As far as I can tell, I'm in agreement with deSilento.

It seems to me there is a distinction worth making:

There is a difference between the Golden Calf of the OT and the cross hanging around my neck, and I'm sure millions of others. The Golden Calf was being worshiped as God, the cross is a reminder of the sacrifice of Jesus.

If an object, be it some giant golden mass, or a pebble you picked up off the ground when something significant happened to you, reminds you of your practice, this is good. The problem occurs when the object becomes the focus.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 16 Jan, 2008 05:09 pm
@Israelite007,
Israelite007 wrote:
What do you think you know of all those crosses running around in the world did you know the cross is the single most selling piece of jewelry? The bible is the #1 selling book? and Christianity the #1 religion? Well all these amazing statistics make sense considering the amount of faith today which is a good thing but what I want to talk about is "symbols"

Do you know the second commandment?
Exodus 20:4
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below

Deuteronomy 4:15-18
Idolatry Forbidden
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, 16 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, 17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, 18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below.

Folks it is unfortunate that Christianity has done this they have created images and idols (crosses with jesus a man on them!) mainly the catholic church but still most protestants still have crosses as their symbols.

Why do we need symbols as idols can't we worship God without pictures of painted Jesus? Yashua is painted in my heart I took down the picture my mom had because I don't know this man Jesus in christianity I know Yashua the christ.

What do you think are these symbols bordering idolatry that was forbidden long ago?? Remember a wooden cross won't save you, a paper bible won't save you, a popular religion won't save you, a mystery man won't save you, a only the savior can save you.

I think you should consider the symbol as opposed to the object of God. People once believed the spirit of God inhabited their image, and so the first thought of a winning army was do is cart off the other sides God. Now, we don't take it that way, but for a vivid reminder that that was a human being on that cross and one of hundreds of thousands who might have died that way. Where is the child who is not horrified at such humanity at the hands of man? Where is the sinner who is not chastened at the witness of his handiwork? But it is just a reminder, an image, and not an idol, and not a god.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2008 11:49 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silentio wrote:
I am not to familiar with Jewish customs, but I don't think they even escaped having physical representations of their faith (symbols of their beliefs).

If we have, it's extremely loosely. The Star of David is an ancient political symbol. Some people wear a mezuzzah around their neck, which is a statement of faith but not a representation of it at all. I cannot speak for some very minor outgrowths of Judaism, but religious symbolism is essentially absent in Judaism as compared with Christianity. This tradition in Judaism comes from the first three of the ten commandments, and traditionally even pronouncing the name of God is a forbidden representation. You cannot even touch the surface of a Torah scroll in which God's name appears -- it must be read using a pointer. This is very different than the cross, which is the central image of the Christian story (even though it doesn't directly depict God).
 
chad3006
 
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2008 09:02 am
@Israelite007,
A Buddhist proverb: "The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon."
 
ogden
 
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2008 07:28 pm
@chad3006,
I think the distinction is between "symbol' and "idol". There are many symbols in the bible. A symbol obviously symbolizes something but an idol is looked on or prayed to as if it had power. So I dont think you should pray to a cross, or a stature nor any thing or image.

I also agree that images of someone you have no referance for is likely to be misleading. You can know that Jesus was hebrew and go from there, but I generaly reject those anglo saxon looking pictures. It's hard to reject Michael Angelos images though, because of there sheer beauty.

Has anyone noticed the medical-practice symbol of a serpent on a stick? I think it's from the bible story when the people rebeled in the desert and wher bitten by asps, and moses put a serpent on a cross and anyone who looked to it were saved (type of christ?).
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2008 08:31 pm
@ogden,
ogden wrote:
Has anyone noticed the medical-practice symbol of a serpent on a stick? I think it's from the bible story when the people rebeled in the desert and wher bitten by asps, and moses put a serpent on a cross and anyone who looked to it were saved (type of christ?).

It's a Greek symbol, the Rod of Aesclepius. But this story about Moses and the snakes in the desert has engendered a similar symbol (Nehushtan).
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Mon 21 Jan, 2008 09:04 pm
@Israelite007,
Quote:
If we have, it's extremely loosely. The Star of David is an ancient political symbol


Thanks for the post Aedes. I was thinking today, do God's covenant with Noah, the rainbow, count as a symbol? In my Bible God says that it is a sign of his covenant with Noah, I don't know if that can also be seen as a symbol.

Also, what about the circumcision? Is that also a symbol of a covenant that man has with God?
 
Play Dough
 
Reply Sun 27 Jan, 2008 02:40 pm
@de Silentio,
The Old Testament wisely advises against creating any 'graven images' of God. The wisdom of this 'no graven images' policy allows one to engage his or her imagination according to their level of spiritual attainment. (An 'imagined' image is not 'graven'... no 'hard copy').

The big 'symbol of Christianity', in the West, is that the 'only Son Of God' is a white guy. Michelangelo continues this aberration by having "God" HIMself depicted (graven image) as a white guy also.

Not too cool in a multi-ethnic democracy.

The symbol of Christianity, in the West, is the myth of white supremacy.
.
 
 

 
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