Concerning the so called sacred statues and images of the Catholic Church

What follows is the answer to a very frequent question that Catholics make to us concerning their so called sacred images and statues. The question is this:

If God in the second commandment forbids us to make any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven or that is in the earth, why was there inside the tabernacle a curtain (the one which separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place) with cherubim worked into it by a skilled craftsman? We know that those images were not worshipped; however could we then justify the untrue answer given by the Catholics according to which there is a difference between the adoration to God and the veneration given to the saints, to the dead and to Mary? And could we justify also the making of carved images and sculptures which are put by the Catholics in their houses, and in their places of worship, as the two cherubim were put into the Most Holy Place?

Here is the answer

First of all, I say to you that there are three fundamental and substantial differences between the sculptures of the two cherubim which were upon the holy ark and the sculptures of the saints, of Mary etc. made by the Roman Catholics.

The first difference is that while the cherubim which were in the Most Holy Place had been ordered by God, these sculptures made by the Roman Catholics are not at all commanded by God. For when God ordered Moses to tell the Israelites to make a sanctuary for Him, among other things He said to Moses: “And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel” (Exodus 25:18-22). Therefore there was a divine commandment: Moses heard those words and obeyed.

The second difference is that the two cherubim made in the desert at God’s command, were not made in order to be put in a public place, open to everybody, where all the people could see them and thus be led to bow down before those sculptures and worship them. For the two cherubim were put upon the atonement cover or mercy seat, which was placed on top of the ark, which was inside the Most Holy Place where only the High Priest could enter once a year with the blood of some animals – that were offered to make atonement for the sins of the priests and of the people – to sprinkle it upon and before the atonement cover or mercy seat (Leviticus 16:14-15). Whereas the sculptures and the images of the Roman Catholic Church are placed everywhere to be greeted, venerated, and worshipped by the Roman Catholics.

The third difference is that the cherubim commanded by God were not made that the people might serve them and give them some sort of worship; whereas the images and the sculptures ordered by the Roman Theology are made to be served and to be really worshipped. It does not matter how this cult is called, it is a religious devotion directed toward some objects. And God calls this religious devotion IDOLATRY, which is an abomination in His sight.

As for the cherubim which were on the curtain that divided the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (Exodus 26:31-33), it must be said that they were commanded by God as the sculptures, and they were seen only by the High Priest when he entered into the Most Holy Place and also in the Holy Place to carry on the ministry God had given to him, and by the priests every time they entered into the Holy Place to carry on their ministry. Therefore, the people, since they could enter neither into the Holy Place nor in the Most Holy Place, could not see them and so they could not be tempted to worship them somehow. Therefore, God prevented the people from seeing even those cherubim which were worked into the curtain (which separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place) by a skilled craftsman. This is confirmed by the fact that God commanded to make for the entrance to the tent a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen (Exodus 26:36), but without any cherubim worked into it by a skilled craftsman, whereas he had commanded to make the curtain (which divided the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place) with cherubim worked into it by a skilled craftsman (see Exodus 36:35,37). And that curtain – that is, the curtain for the entrance to the tent – could be seen clearly by all those who came to offer a meat offering, or a peace offering or a sin offering or a burnt offering, for all those sacrifices had to be taken to the entrance of the tent.

Furthermore, to confirm what I have just said, I remember you that God did not order to make the cherubim worked by a skilful craftsman into the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard either, which was of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen (Exodus 38:18; 27:16), and you know that curtain could be seen by all the people who were encamped around the tabernacle tribe by tribe.

And I could add also that God did not order to make the priestly sacred garments with cherubim worked into them by a skilled craftsman either (Exodus 28:1-43).

All these differences, existing between the sculptures and images of the cherubim and the sculptures and images of the popish tradition, lead me to reaffirm that the sculptures and images of the popish tradition are forbidden by God, are an abomination in God’s sight, and that those who bow down before them and direct any kind of religious devotion toward them are idolaters, who will not inherit the kingdom of God. We cannot justify the sculptures and images of the Roman Catholic Church through the sculptures of the cherubim and the cherubim worked into the curtain inside the tabernacle which were ordered by God.

Why did God order those things? Considering that it is written that God “sitteth between the cherubims” (Psalm 99:1; cf. Isaiah 37:16 and Ezekiel 10:1-22), I believe that the reason was to remember His priests that His heavenly throne was between the cherubim.

Giacinto Butindaro

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About giacintobutindaro

I am a minister of the Gospel, living and serving God in Italy
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Catholicism, Idolatry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Concerning the so called sacred statues and images of the Catholic Church

  1. Jennifer says:

    With all do respect…as a devoted Catholic, I have NEVER worshipped a statue. Not once. I’m not stupid enough to worship concrete, plastic, plaster or any other man-made item!!!
    Statues are nothing more then an image. It’s no different than the images you would keep of your family or friends. Do you worship the images you keep of your loved ones or do you worship those cute little figurines you have on your shelf? No, and we Catholics do not worship statues or images either. The statues are nothing more than a reminder of the ones who have gone before us and their holy lives. At times Catholics may appear to be worshipping statues, but we are only paying honor to the person who is in heaven. We can not praise the REAL person, because they are not here on earth with us. So a statue is the “stand-in”. It’s kinds like when you put flowers on a grave. You are remembering and honoring a deceased love one. To a person who doesn’t understand, it could look like you are giving flowers to a stone.
    Things are not always what they appear.
    You really should learn about the religions you are talking about before you post things that are completely not true.
    May God bless you with wisdom in all you do.

    With kind, thoughts and understanding,
    ~Jennifer.

  2. Robert Sheridan says:

    While your explanation is definitely well thought out your argument holds no bearing when taken in the light of all scripture. Numbers 21: 4-9 clearly shows the Lord asking Moses to fashion a snake on a pole for all who had been bitten to look upon. This was a “graven image” that was not fashioned to be hidden away like the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant. You should also note that 2 Chronicles 4:2 had twelve bulls being fashioned for a great basin of water to rest on in the Lord’s temple that all were allowed to see as it was not in the Holy of Holies.

    The Catholic Church uses religious statues and icons to inspire us to live Christ like lives as these holy men and women clearly did. For Saint Paul tells us “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)

    And we are more than free to entreat their intercession just as we would a friend or a family. For it is written “so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5)

    ” that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ” (Romans 8:38-39) and

    “They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Luke 20:37-38

    “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” (Hebrews 12:1)

    We do not take away from the glory of God when we honor the work of his men and women just as we do not take glory away from the coach when we honor members of his team who have made great achievements under his direction. Catholics DO NOT worship the saints or statuary. We simply use them as tools to educate, remind, and inspire and ultimately lead us closer to Christ.

    This overwhelming scriptural evidence is just the tip of the iceberg when you pile it upon church history and how the Christians for the first 1000 years of Christianity worshiped and the writings that they have written on the subject. St. Jerome, the man who translated the Bible into the common language of the people in the late 4th century wrote “We do not worship, we do not adore, for fear that we should bow down to the creature rather than the creator, but we do venerate the relics of the martyrs in order the better to adore Him whose martyrs they are”

    Or the actions of the second century Christians who gathered up the bones of the martyred bishop of Smyrna, Polycarp in 156 AD. “We took up his bones, which are more valuable than precious stones and finer than refined gold and laid them in a suitable space, where the Lord will permit us to gather ourselves together, as we are able, in gladness and joy and to celebrate the birthday of his martyrdom.”

    Just visit the catacombs and look upon the tombs of the first century Christians and see the paintings they made on the resting places of their brothers.

    I’m sorry but both scripture and the weight of history are against you. Rather than continue to attempt to destroy and tear apart the body of Christ instead seek to build it up and understand your brothers and sisters than wallow in your ignorance of Christ and His bride, the Roman Catholic Church.

    • Fred Jones says:

      Catholics WORSHIP statues. Your attempt at an explanation is hilarious!

      • bozoboy87 says:

        The bronze serpent was to look upon and live. Is that the reason the CC uses to justify making statues of men? The catholic church teaches its followers that the bible doesn’t mean what it says.

  3. tricko says:

    There’s no any glory of God in those idols, Isaiah 42:8 says
    I am the LORD; that is my name;
    my glory I give to no other,
    nor my praise to carved idols.

    Since God is spirit, there’s nothing that can represent His Glory and Honor to channel our worship to Him, Acts 17:29 says,
    Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.

    There’s no any medium for us to worship to reach God but only Christ Jesus, not the patrons, their bones, or their images or even Mary.

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