Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gideon Would be Pleased ...

... by this report of God's destruction of an idol.

(UPDATE: It seem Mark Brumley anticipated my response.)

(FURTHER UPDATE: Check out R. Scott Clark's thoughts on the subject here.)


The Blogger Formerly Known As Lvka said...

Would Moses and Solomon be pleased also?

Turretinfan said...

Moses, yes of course. He would additional request that the church there drink from the lake. Solomon had issues with idolatry during part of his life. Eventually he saw the folly.

Anonymous said...

Round here we used to refer to that statue as the Big Butter Jesus. You can google it.

The Blogger Formerly Known As Lvka said...

Yet they did lavishly adorn the Tent of Meeting and the Holy Temple with golden figures of Cherubim... odd, isn't it?

Coram Deo said...

Yet they did lavishly adorn the Tent of Meeting and the Holy Temple with golden figures of Cherubim... odd, isn't it?

The average Israelite never saw the linen representations of the cherubim, pomegranites, etc. that God commanded to be designed into the interior temple architecture, lvka; and only the High Priest (and that once per year) entered the Holy of Holies where the figures of cherubim were located.

For all intents and purposes the average Jew had nothing tangible to idolize.

I'd say these examples of decorations commanded by God are rather unlike a 60 foot tall idol placed alongside a major interstate highway; a type of representation which He specifically forbids in the 2nd Commandment.

In Christ,

Turretinfan said...


It's not especially odd. God specifically commanded certain decorations. Taking the example of the cherubim over the altar, they were carefully concealed from the eyes everyone except the high priest, and he only saw them once a year, while he was focused on the empty space between them.

Not a lot of risk of idolatry there.

On the other hand, the brazen serpent ended up having to be destroyed because people treated it as an idol.


Ex N1hil0 said...

Temple objects such as the cherubim illustrate the folly of rejecting the regulative principle. The cherubim were set up because God commanded it. Now, if the Israelites had reasoned that "if cherubim are good to use in the temple, then let's put a couple of golden calves in there, too, by golly; that'll really take our worship to the next level;" God would likely have struck them down.

This is exactly the reasoning of RCs, for example. They take the command of God to fashion cherubim for the mercy seat, and the cherubim in the most holy place, as license to use images and statuary anytime, anywhere, and anyhow they please in worship.

It's idolatry to worship God in a way other than what He has commanded.

Anonymous said...

Don't kid yourself. All of that stuff God commanded to be created for the five senses to see was simply to show us all our sin nature produced from our first parents sinfulness.

Which is to say, God, by His Ways and Means, helps us see clearly the invisible forces of evil and wickedness so as to "see" and "worship" Them in direct rebellion to Satan and his angels, who will spend eternity in the lake of fire!

Paul had written a most important truth about the Law of Righteousness, which was prescribed so we could realize we cannot keep it save One so that our eyes would stay fixed on Him and not our own sinfulness:::>

Rom 3:18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Rom 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
Rom 3:20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it--
Rom 3:22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:
Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom 3:24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Rom 3:25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
Rom 3:26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Rom 3:27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.
Rom 3:28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
Rom 3:29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
Rom 3:30 since God is one--who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
Rom 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

See there? "we uphold the law".

Hmmmm, why should we uphold a law we could never keep?

Rom 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.
Rom 8:8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Viisaus said...

It is instructive to read the Septuagint Old Testament in Greek original and see how many times the term "Proskynesis" is used for condemned idolatry - and keep in mind that the 2nd Nicene council commanded all people to "proskuneo" icons under the threat of anathema.

Take Daniel 3:15 for example:

"15 Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and WORSHIP the image which I have made, good! But if you do not WORSHIP, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”

Septuagint Greek translation:

"15. καὶ νῦν εἰ μὲν ἔχετε ἑτοίμως ἅμα τῷ ἀκοῦσαι τῆς σάλπιγγος καὶ παντὸς ἤχου μουσικῶν πεσόντες προσκυνῆσαι τῇ εἰκόνι τῇ χρυσῇ ᾗ ἔστησα εἰ δὲ μή γε γινώσκετε ὅτι μὴ προσκυνησάντων ὑμῶν αὐθωρὶ ἐμβληθήσεσθε εἰς τὴν κάμινον τοῦ πυρὸς τὴν καιομένην καὶ ποῖος θεὸς ἐξελεῖται ὑμᾶς ἐκ τῶν χειρῶν μου "


Viisaus said...

Also note that in the above passage, Nebuchadnezzar's "image" is called "εἰκόνι", an ICON.

Not "εἴδωλον", "eidolon", which is where the word "idol" comes from. (EOs and RCs make sophistic distinction that while idols are bad, icons are good - similar to their latria/dulia game.)

Likewise in places like Revelation 13:15, it is the "Eikon" and not the "Eidolon" of the Beast that people are depicted "proskuneing":

"καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ πνεῦμα δοῦναι τῇ εἰκόνι τοῦ θηρίου, ἵνα καὶ λαλήσῃ ἡ εἰκὼν τοῦ θηρίου καὶ ποιήσῃ, ὅσοι ἐὰν μὴ προσκυνήσωσι τῇ εἰκόνι τοῦ θηρίου, ἵνα ἀποκτανθῶσι."

"And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."


Viisaus said...

So Christians should beware not only "eidolon-latreia" (idolatry) but also "eikon-proskynesis" as well.

Viisaus said...

It's a very good point that no other Jew besides the high priest ever actually saw the carved Cherubim, let alone "venerated" them.

It totally deflates the shallow argument that Lvka has been touting as his "ace in the hole" in the defense of icons.

Lucian said...

...aren't you two forgetting the veil that covered the wooden wall between the Holy and the Holy of Holies, and which was seen by all Priests and Levites constantly (and which was covered in woven images of cherubim)?


we neither worship, nor venerate, nor honor, nor bow down, nor adore foreign gods, or their images and statues.