Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Are pictures of Christ OK? (Reformed Christian Caucus)
The Orthodox Presbyterian Church ^

Posted on 03/03/2011 4:14:23 PM PST by Gamecock

Question:

A previous answer on the Q&A page stated, in part, "The Second Commandment forbids the making of images in order to worship them." Does that mean it is OK to have images of God or Christ so long as we do not worship them?

Answer:

Your question concerning the second commandment is appropriate. It is quite common to fail to recognize the clear distinction between the first and the second commandments. It is the first commandment that forbids the worship of any other than the true God. It is concerned, in other words, with whom we worship. But the second commandment is concerned with how we worship. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism says in question and answer 51:

Q. What is forbidden in the second commandment? A. The second commandment forbiddeth the worshiping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his word.

The answer to your specific question, then, is that it is not OK "to have images of God or Christ" even though "we do not worship them." The fact is that the only accurate and reliable "portrait" of Christ is the word portrait that God has given us in the Bible. The simple truth is that no one knows how to draw, paint or sculpt an accurate likeness of Jesus as he appeared while he was on earth. And the description of his present heavenly appearance as John the apostle saw him (Rev. 1) is not such as to provide a basis for such reproductions. What we need, in other words, is to have "the eyes of our understanding" opened to "see" in a spiritual manner the revelation that God has given us in the inspired scriptures


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: idolatry
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-75 next last

1 posted on 03/03/2011 4:14:26 PM PST by Gamecock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy; Dr. Eckleburg; RnMomof7

Interesting read from our FRiends at the OPC.


2 posted on 03/03/2011 4:15:48 PM PST by Gamecock (The resurrection of Jesus Christ is both historically credible and existentially satisfying. T.K.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

What did he look like? There’s no physical description of him anywhere in the Bible.


3 posted on 03/03/2011 4:19:33 PM PST by Rufii
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
What about this?
4 posted on 03/03/2011 4:25:34 PM PST by Delta 21 (Make your choice ! There are NO civilians.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

“forbids the making of images in order to worship them”

It’s a very interesting point.

What about crosses?


5 posted on 03/03/2011 4:28:17 PM PST by Christian Engineer Mass (25ish Cambridge MA grad student. Many younger conservative Christians out there? __ Click my name)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Christian Engineer Mass

Are you a Reformed Christian? If not please honor the caucus designation.


6 posted on 03/03/2011 4:31:22 PM PST by Gamecock (The resurrection of Jesus Christ is both historically credible and existentially satisfying. T.K.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

I’m not big on ‘em


7 posted on 03/03/2011 4:32:03 PM PST by SquarePants
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

We don’t know what Jesus looks like, and I don’t like to see Him depicted—especially as a baby or on the cross. And I don’t like to see him shown looking like a hippie with long hair.

We know that he does NOT have long hair, though. See I Cor. 11:14.


8 posted on 03/03/2011 4:33:30 PM PST by WXRGina
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

We all talked about this in our Bible discussion group and came to the conclusion that it was ok to have pictures of Christ hanging on the wall to remind us of our Saviour.

9 posted on 03/03/2011 4:36:17 PM PST by Sawdring
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Unless you’re Jewish and still follow the Commandments yes. But since nobody knows what Jesus looked like everything you see is just a guess. I’ve never read in the NT about any restriction on image creation. There are many many instances of early Christian homes that have murals depicting scenes from the NT including Jesus.


10 posted on 03/03/2011 4:42:34 PM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
The simple truth is that no one knows how to draw, paint or sculpt an accurate likeness of Jesus as he appeared while he was on earth. And the description of his present heavenly appearance as John the apostle saw him (Rev. 1) is not such as to provide a basis for such reproductions. What we need, in other words, is to have "the eyes of our understanding" opened to "see" in a spiritual manner the revelation that God has given us in the inspired scriptures

I have heard it said that any image of Christ is an idol because it is not a true likeness of Him ...I tend to agree with that ..

11 posted on 03/03/2011 4:42:34 PM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sawdring
We all talked about this in our Bible discussion group and came to the conclusion that it was ok to have pictures of Christ hanging on the wall to remind us of our Saviour.

Except it is NOT a picture of Christ..it is one mans opinion of what he looked like

Would you hang my picture in your bedroom and tell everyone it was YOUR mother? After all I am a woman and a mother... Of course not because my picture would not be your mother..even if they thought it was

12 posted on 03/03/2011 4:45:33 PM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

I have known folks that cringe at icons or images of Christ too. I usually say something like, “Do you have photographs of deceased relatives or an important family event in your home?”


13 posted on 03/03/2011 4:47:58 PM PST by Gman (Anglican Priest)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ReverendJames
There are many many instances of early Christian homes that have murals depicting scenes from the NT including Jesus.

That does not mean it was God pleasing or honoring... early Christians lied, had wrong beliefs and committed sins.. why would we assume because they did something it is fine with God.. they too were sinners in need of a Savior..

14 posted on 03/03/2011 4:47:58 PM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

I didn’t realize you consider yourself to be so seperate, and others’ reasonable presence to be so unacceptable. Duly noted.


15 posted on 03/03/2011 4:48:32 PM PST by Christian Engineer Mass (25ish Cambridge MA grad student. Many younger conservative Christians out there? __ Click my name)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RnMomof7

But there is nothing in the NT that says there are to be no graven images of God or Jesus. We don’t know or assume those early Christians were out of God’s favor and in need of a Savior. They wouldn’t be Christians, followers of Christ if they did.


16 posted on 03/03/2011 4:55:27 PM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: RnMomof7
Would you hang my picture in your bedroom and tell everyone it was YOUR mother?

In the picture, are you at the beach in a one or two piece swimsuit?

17 posted on 03/03/2011 4:59:21 PM PST by Sawdring
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Gman
I have known folks that cringe at icons or images of Christ too. I usually say something like, “Do you have photographs of deceased relatives or an important family event in your home?”

Presumably though deceased relatives are not worshipped as God...

18 posted on 03/03/2011 5:01:15 PM PST by DouglasKC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

NO ! And anyone who portrays Christ should be beheaded!
Sounds reasonable, right? /sarc.

Jimmy Hendrix with a crown of thorns.... Cute.


19 posted on 03/03/2011 5:06:11 PM PST by TsonicTsunami08
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rufii

***What did he look like? There’s no physical description of him anywhere in the Bible.***

There is a discription claimed to be dated from the first century, however it is really a fraud from about the 14th century written to give artists an idea to go on of what Jesus might have looked like.

Interesting note: About 18 years the woman on the PTL CLUB was hawking this discription as the real thing and would mail you a copy if you would give a donation.
Man did she put on an act of excessive piousness while trying to git your money!


20 posted on 03/03/2011 5:06:26 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Visit the TOMMY FRANKS MILITARY MUSEUM in HOBART, OK. I did, well worth it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Gman

Visit the catacombs in Rome and you’ll see 2nd century images of Christ depicted. Does anyone think that we are more “sophisticated” than those real heroes who signed their death warrants when becoming Christians?


21 posted on 03/03/2011 5:09:39 PM PST by 353FMG (Liberalism = Communism under the guise of compassion.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Rufii

Try “The Face of God”, Paul Badde, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, ISBN 978-1-58617-515-3


22 posted on 03/03/2011 5:13:40 PM PST by 353FMG (Liberalism = Communism under the guise of compassion.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

I have ancestors who took this to heart to the point of not allowing their own pictures to be “struck.” They didn’t celebrate Christmas, either. Fairly prosperous people, hardworking, and not nearly so dour as they sound, apparently. Shirt-off-their-back, kind and generous people. They were strict upon themselves.

If your conscience and your heart lead you to believe in this manner, then believe. I guess I’ve got so many varying denominations in my family trees that I just won’t get upset about it one way or the other.

One thing that none of my family has ever done and neither have I, is to erect a shrine to a statue or image of any kind, though. They’d all agree, and still do, that this is idolatry.


23 posted on 03/03/2011 5:14:47 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sawdring

me likey-likey that picture :)


24 posted on 03/03/2011 5:37:46 PM PST by ak267
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah; All

I was asked by muawiyah to define Reformed.

In general, a Reformed Christian holds to the 5 Solas of the Protestant Reformation which are:

1. Sola Gratia, God gives us unmeritied favor which produces faith
2. Sola Fide, we are saved by faith alone, and the object of that faith is:
3. Sola Christus, we are saved by no other name
4. Sola Scriptura, Scripture alone is our rule of faith
5. Sola Deo Gloria, to God alone goes the Glory.

In addition, we hold to the the idea of TULIP

1. Total depravity (Original Sin) We are not a sinful as we can be, but we are too sinful to come to Christ without:
2. Unconditional election (God’s Election) (Romans 8:28-9, Ephesians 1.)
3. Limited atonement (Particular Redemption) Did Christ die for all, or for all who God has given him?
4. Irresistible grace (Effectual Calling) We cannot resist once we are regenerated (or born again. Grace precedes faith.
5. Perseverance of the Saints. God will preserve us, we are to weak to do so ourselves.

Examples of Reformed Christians include, but are not limited to the PCA, OPC, ARP, URCNA (Dutch Reformed) Particular Baptists.


25 posted on 03/03/2011 5:53:54 PM PST by Gamecock (The resurrection of Jesus Christ is both historically credible and existentially satisfying. T.K.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rufii

I imagine God looking and sounding like Chuck Heston or John Wayne.


26 posted on 03/03/2011 6:23:45 PM PST by Yorlik803 (better to die on your feet than live on your knees.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Yorlik803
I imagine God looking and sounding like Chuck Heston or John Wayne.


27 posted on 03/03/2011 6:41:50 PM PST by Rufii
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
I think folks can work with that definition and list as a start.
28 posted on 03/03/2011 7:23:18 PM PST by muawiyah (Make America Safe For Americans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: DouglasKC

An icon is simply a reminder of the Christ I am worshipping.


29 posted on 03/03/2011 8:50:19 PM PST by Gman (Anglican Priest)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: 353FMG

Indeed.


30 posted on 03/03/2011 8:51:10 PM PST by Gman (Anglican Priest)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

While I’m not sure a depiction itself is a sin, it seems that often the leap from enjoying these icons to praying to them and worshiping them is a small step and that IS a sin.


31 posted on 03/04/2011 4:02:12 AM PST by circlecity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Christian Engineer Mass

;-)


32 posted on 03/04/2011 4:11:25 AM PST by mad_as_he$$
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Probably the most famous blasphemous picture; the depiction is completely contrary to the relevant scripture.

33 posted on 03/04/2011 6:16:31 AM PST by blue-duncan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WXRGina

You read the Apostle Paul, speaking to the Corinth church, about not blending in with the male temple prostitutes (who had long hair) to be relevant to saying Jesus did not have long hair?


34 posted on 03/04/2011 6:43:03 AM PST by RoadGumby (For God so loved the world)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

ping to comment later


35 posted on 03/04/2011 7:20:45 AM PST by Lee N. Field ("They wouldn't know a Christological heresey if it beat them up and stole their wallet.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: WXRGina

For one to get the full picture of WHAT is written, you also need to know the WHY and the WHEN. The society Paul was writing about.

No, I do not endorse men to have long hair. But Paul was NOT writing about Jesus.


37 posted on 03/04/2011 7:48:14 AM PST by RoadGumby (For God so loved the world)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: ReverendJames
But there is nothing in the NT that says there are to be no graven images of God or Jesus. We don’t know or assume those early Christians were out of God’s favor and in need of a Savior. They wouldn’t be Christians, followers of Christ if they did

God is immutable.. what was sin in the OT is sin in the NT ...

38 posted on 03/04/2011 7:51:18 AM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: RoadGumby

I didn’t SAY Paul was writing specifically about Jesus! I said that applies to all men!

The Word of God is inspired by God, so it stands to reason that if Paul was inspired to write those words by God, then Jesus, Who is God, endorses them. Why would Jesus then turn around and contradict His own word by having long hair?

It does not make sense.


39 posted on 03/04/2011 8:01:12 AM PST by WXRGina
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: RnMomof7

Hmmm, well okay. So how many of the OT commandments do you keep? All, some? You omit any OT commandment you’re guilty of sinning then. Since God is immutable then those commandments (laws)are still in effect in the NT.


40 posted on 03/04/2011 8:23:15 AM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: WXRGina

I guess, we’ll know in the sweet by and by. Not that it will matter at that time anyway.


41 posted on 03/04/2011 8:49:27 AM PST by RoadGumby (For God so loved the world)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: RoadGumby

Amen!


42 posted on 03/04/2011 8:50:31 AM PST by WXRGina
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: ReverendJames
Hmmm, well okay. So how many of the OT commandments do you keep? All, some? You omit any OT commandment you’re guilty of sinning then. Since God is immutable then those commandments (laws)are still in effect in the NT.

Indeed they are still in effect.. all 10 of them including 1 and 2..the fact people did something in the past is not permission for us to do it.. scripture not tradition

43 posted on 03/04/2011 11:21:55 AM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: RnMomof7

The Ten Commandments (actually nine. The first one is a statement) are part of the 600 plus laws God laid down. So you have to keep all the law, not just the Ten or parts of it.


44 posted on 03/04/2011 11:50:08 AM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: ReverendJames; Gamecock; Alex Murphy; Dr. Eckleburg; HarleyD; wmfights; Forest Keeper; BibChr

Actually you have to differentiate between the cilvil Law God gave and the moral law.. now if you are a rev... you should know that ... but most importantly because we might fail at keeping the whole moral law is not an excuse to break other ones..

Are you reformed?


45 posted on 03/04/2011 12:59:58 PM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: Gman
I have known folks that cringe at icons or images of Christ too. I usually say something like, “Do you have photographs of deceased relatives or an important family event in your home?”

That is not a very good answer.. Pictures are ACTUAL images of people.. and most people do not kneel in front of them or pray to them ... the Icons in churches are not really Christ or His image.. in a sense they are false Christs because they do not really resemble Him

47 posted on 03/04/2011 1:04:17 PM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Sawdring
In the picture, are you at the beach in a one or two piece swimsuit?

Trust me...a burka would be better :)

48 posted on 03/04/2011 1:10:06 PM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: RnMomof7; Gamecock; Alex Murphy; Dr. Eckleburg; HarleyD; wmfights; Forest Keeper; BibChr
It is not as simple as defining the difference between civil laws God gave and moral law. There is also Divine law as well.

Divine Law is that which is enacted by God and made known to man through revelation. We distinguish between the Old Law, contained in the Pentateuch, and the New Law, which was revealed by Jesus Christ and is contained in the New Testament.

The Divine Law of the Old Testament, or the Mosaic Law, is commonly divided into civil, ceremonial, and moral precepts.

The civil legislation regulated the relations of the people of God among themselves and with their neighbors; the ceremonial regulated matters of religion and the worship of God; the moral was a Divine code of ethics.

In the Old Testament it is contained for the most part and summed up in the Decalogue (Exodus 20:2-17; Leviticus 19:3, 11-18; Deuteronomy 5:1-33).

Hope that helped.

I was raised both Jew and Christian. I became a Charismatic Christian but my daughter is Reformed.

49 posted on 03/04/2011 1:12:58 PM PST by ReverendJames (Only A Painter Or A Liberal Can Change Black To White.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: 353FMG
Visit the catacombs in Rome and you’ll see 2nd century images of Christ depicted. Does anyone think that we are more “sophisticated” than those real heroes who signed their death warrants when becoming Christians?

That does not mean it pleased God ..the early Christians were not sinless or without error... What did you mom say to you.. "well if they jump off a bridge are you going to?"

50 posted on 03/04/2011 1:13:24 PM PST by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-75 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson