Claim 3: Catholic Worship is Idolatrous (Part 2)

2.     Bones & Relics

The author shows little demonstration of Holy Scripture. Does the touch of Christ’ cloak not heal a woman (Mt. 9:20-22), St. Peter’s shadow not heal in Acts (Acts 5:14-16), the handkerchief and aprons of St. Paul heal diseases and drive out demons (Acts 19:11-12)? What about when the bones of Elisha brought a dead man to life (2 Kgs. 13:20-21)? The list of Scriptural proof goes on with many more sacramental objects, such as, Elijah’s mantle, Aaron’s staff, etc.

Challies’ claim is strongly opposed to the testament of Scripture. Greater homework and honesty in research needs to be exercised. I understand the problem having formerly read the Scriptures from the lens of my Protestant tradition. “Blip verses” such as, “baptism… now saves you” (1 Peter 3:21) get ignored or swept under the rug with a shrug of the shoulders. Because they do not fit what pastor said. We resigned thoughtfulness in thinking the passage could not possibly mean what it said. As a former Baptist, when our young adults group read through 1 Peter, we unintentionally skipped conversation on the meaning of said verse. We were more interested in the “how do we apply this to our lives (in 21st century USA),” rather than asking “how did Christians in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. centuries interpret this Tradition of Holy Writ?” It was so much a part of the tradition of Protestant culture that we did not recognize our frequent biblical and intellectual dishonesty. A few significant select verses did not exist on the forefront of our consciouses like; Paul’s charge to participate in the Breaking of the Bread daily, James’ discourse on works completing Faith, and Jesus’ teaching that the Word of God is primarily Himself (not the Bible) and is freely given in the Eucharist (cf. Jn 1:1, 14; 6:56; Lk 22:19).

3.     Iconography – Graven Images

The Church venerates images in the same way Challies venerates pictures (a “graven image”) of his loved ones. Certainly, adherents to Protestantism keep photographs of family and friends on refrigerators and in their wallets, yet, are ever so slow to grasp this contradiction. Furthermore, do they not annually put out little “graven images” of the Nativity every Christ-mass (clearly, a Catholic holiday) season? Little figurines of the Holy Family are set up as a shrine to reflect the mystery of the Incarnation, however, Protestantism does not recognize this duplicity. Do Protestants pass by the famous Iwo Jima statues, or the Lincoln Memorial, and cry, “IDOLATRY!”? No.. Why? Because they rightly understand it is not idol worship to merely have a statue. It calls to mind the actions and glory of the ancestors and history we revere. Why not implement such art to draw hearts upward in prayer?

Shortly after quoting the commandment to have no graven images, the Protestant skips the “blip verse” commandment to build the statues of the cherubim. “…in the Old Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the ark of the covenant, and the cherubim”. [26]

The Image of God has been fully realized in the person of Jesus Christ; it is the pharisees who argue against Him. Why is it that Protestants find themselves at the logical conclusion, though haphazardly, with the pharisees, as if the Image of God is yet to be revealed? In fact, this is more reminiscent of Islam forbidding any images of their prophet.

If Protestantism desires to remain consistent on this point, they would do well to destroy all Nativity sets, this Billy Graham statue, dolls, figurines, photographs (on Facebook too!), and memorial sites. In fact, having a cell phone with a background picture of the Prince of Peace ought to be held culpable.

Next Post:
Appendix 1:
A Practice Inconsistent with “Earning” Salvation: Infant Baptism


26. CCC, 2130.

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2 thoughts on “Claim 3: Catholic Worship is Idolatrous (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: Claim 3: Catholic Worship is Idolatrous (Part 1) – Thomas Creed – Doubt to Belief

  2. Pingback: People think they know, but they don’t really know. | Partakers of the heavenly calling

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