Difference between a cross and an idol?

I've heard people say that the difference is that crosses or statues of Mary or what have you aren't worshipped, you just worship god while contemplating the cross or statue. But that's what idols were for too, you contemplated the idol while worshipping Ares or Athena or Isis or whoever. So what exactly is the difference.

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  • 7 years ago
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    You are correct.

    An idol by definition is: An image that is an object of worship...an image or symbol that is an object of intense devotion and/or veneration

    Some say that it is only an aid to worship however, when people bow down to it, look to it when they pray and give it importance, it is an idol.

    I use to use a cross until I really looked into what it was. A friend kindly explained to me by way of an illustration. Let me share that with you.

    If you had a friend that was murdered with a knife in a dark ally, would you make a small replica of that knife then hang it around your neck? No, certainly you would not, it was the instrument by which your friend lost his life. Needless to say, Jesus did not ask to have the instrument of his death turned into an object of veneration, laid with gold or silver and worn like a trophy around any Christians neck. So you are right, many today convince themselves that it's not an idol but in fact, lets call a spade a spade, it is.

    In bible times, the Jews were acutely aware that the making of an idol brought them into disrepute with their God, we can read several accounts where they were disciplined by God for such. The bible gives some interesting information with regard to the making of idols and puts it this way:

    Ex. 20:4, 5, JB: “You shall not make yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them For I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God.”

    Lets break this scripture down...

    What can you find in the waters that could be made into an image of worship?

    fish and other sea creatures.....

    What can you find in the earth that could be made into an image of worship?

    humans we class as holy, animals etc.......

    NOW

    What can you find in the heavens that could be made into an image of worship?

    Mary, Jesus, Angels, God......

    Does not this scripture apply to all the statues and idols of worship around today? Did God at any time make concession for anything to be made and worshipped that even applied to him? No.

    What else does the bible say?

    John 4:23, 24: “True worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: that is the kind of worshipper the Father wants. God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth.”

    In the mind of the worshiper, does one image of a person have greater value or importance than another image of the same person? If so, it is the image, not the person, that the worshiper has primarily in mind. Why do people make long pilgrimages to worship at certain shrines? Is it not the image itself that is viewed as having “miraculous” powers? For example, in the book Les Trois Notre-Dame de la Cathédrale de Chartres, by the canon Yves Delaporte, we are told regarding images of Mary in the cathedral in Chartres, France: “These images, sculptured, painted or appearing on the stained glass windows, are not equally famous. . . . Only three are the object of a real worship: Our Lady of the Crypt, Our Lady of the Pillar, and Our Lady of the ‘Belle Verriere.’” But if worshipers had primarily in mind the person, not the image, one image would be considered to be just as good as another, would it not?

    How does God view images that are objects of worship?

    Jer. 10:14, 15, JB: “Every goldsmith blushes for the idol he has made, since his images are nothing but delusion, with no breath in them. They are a Nothing, a laughable production.”

    Isa. 44:13-19, JB: “The wood carver takes his measurements, outlines the image with chalk, carves it with chisels, following the outline with dividers. He shapes it to human proportions, and gives it a human face, for it to live in a temple. He cut down a cedar, or else took a cypress or an oak which he selected from the trees in the forest, or maybe he planted a cedar and the rain made it grow. For the common man it is so much fuel; he uses it to warm himself, he also burns it to bake his bread. But this fellow makes a god of it and worships it; he makes an idol of it and bows down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire, on the live embers he roasts meat, eats it and is replete. He warms himself too. ‘Ah!’ says he ‘I am warm; I have a fire here!’ With the rest he makes his god, his idol; he bows down before it and worships it and prays to it. ‘Save me,’ he says ‘because you are my god.’ They know nothing, understand nothing. Their eyes are shut to all seeing, their heart to all reason. They never think, they lack the knowledge and wit to say, ‘I burned half of it on the fire, I baked bread on the live embers, I roasted meat and ate it, and am I to make some abomination of what remains? Am I to bow down before a block of wood?’”

    Really, the bible does not support any images for worship that you see today. First century Christians did not use them and nor should we.

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  • 7 years ago

    You make a good point. I think the people who say they are not worshipping a statue as a way of saying it is not an idol are under the impression that people who have idols literally worship the object.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Yes, correct. However an idol of Ares, Athena or Isis is a representation of a false god (by Bible viewpoint, that is not meant to disrespect people who believe in those gods). The point is not the statue itself but the idea that there is one true God and the others are false Gods. You are not supposed to worship other Gods.

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  • 7 years ago

    The brazen serpent Moses made (John 3:14) was, in later years, worshiped until it was destroyed by a righteous Hebrew king. The Cross can be worshiped, yes, or used as a reminder of our salvation from the fangs and venom of Satan.

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  • 7 years ago

    The problem started for the Jews,

    who understood GOD was Spirit in nature.

    But they were surrounded by Pagans,

    who worshipped natural objects themselves.

    So they forbade making any objects of worship.

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  • 7 years ago

    Oh for pete's sake, what grade did they kick you out in? We worship the being those objects represent, NOT the objects themselves.

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  • 7 years ago

    I am Christian, and there is no difference. Jesus does not want people to bow down to a statue while we pray to Him, but people do it anyway. He doesn`t even want people praying to marry, you know why.. well because she Is dead! Jesus lives, she does not. People who pray to marry pray to the dead. So their is simply no difference. If you have anymore questions that you want clarffied you can email me at kiturej@yahoo.com

    Source(s): The Bible, and my relationship with God
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  • Star T
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    No difference. It's the same

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