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ARE ALL IMAGES PROHIBITED IN THE BIBLE? NO!!
Anti-catholics literally interprets what they have read in a certain passage of the bible that talks about images in Exodus 20. But is it the way we interpret the bible? No!
Pictures and statues of saints are valued in the same way that pictures of friends and family are. They are not idols, but visible reminders of what they represent.
For idolatry to exist, a person must worship something or think of it as if it were God. A man who kisses a picture of his wife and children is not practicing idolatry. He is merely expressing love for his family. The same applies to pictures and statues of saints. If we kiss and salute our Philippine flag, our heart is not directed towards the cloth or fabric that made the flag, but to the country it represents.
Idolatry is an interior disposition. It is wrong to judge interior motives by what we think we see. For we cannot read another persons minds and feelings, only God can. Catholics strongly deny that what we practice in having images is worshipping, but rather venerating. Worship is not the same as venerate.
The lives of the saints are inspirational. Their images remind us of their testimony, which can encourage us in our own walk with God.
In the early Church, when 99% of the people couldn’t read and there were no readily available texts, statues, pictures and stained glass windows were the common man’s Bible. In fact, the early christian tombs were engraved with christian symbols and images.
If Exodus 20 were to be taken in the strictest sense, just think what it would mean. Not only could you not have images of saints, but also no pictures of friends or family, no statues of Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio and no picture Bibles or dolls for children. After all, if the Bible strictly prohibits the making of images, then you can’t do it for any reason, even to make profile picture in facebook.
What about Exodus 25:18 which God himself commanded Moses to make images? Did God violate His own commandment or protestants are just so poor in interpreting the bible in context?
Catholics interpret the bible in context, not by just picking a single verse (just like what protestants do), but what the author really mean it.
WARNING: Literal Interpretation of the bible is dangerous to your faith.
By Juan Chu
Catholic Apologist from the Philippines