A Brief Discussion of Catholics charged with “Idol Worship.”
I was not surprised at there association with John Calvin’s Baptist views; but was surprised to learn that the roots of there beliefs are very close to Martin Luther’s formation of Lutheranism. It began in the late 1500’s in Europe, and in Africa, in the early 1600’s. Currently it is the largest protestant religion in Africa, and claims to hold to basic Christian beliefs in God and in Jesus Christ. Baptist today are by far the most adamant of ALL the “christian” faiths in apposing nearly everything Catholic. They are VERY vocal to the point of a complete, even amazing, lack of charity, and don’t mind bending the truth to make their points. Here in America John Mac Arthur is the primary spoke person. His understanding of the bible is very creative. So I’m not at all surprised that “the TRUTH” indeed does sound strange to her ears. IF you can get specifics; I can direct you to how to defend out beliefs on what ever point[s] she is willing to discuss.
My research claims that they are “bible believers” but my life’s experiences do not confirm that they actually do understand what is being taught. Idols is a good example.
Yahweh Himself specifically directed Moses to make two different “religious idols” [as defined by Protestants].
The issue here is among the teachers of error. If we assume that the congregations believe ONLY what is being taught to them and don’t try to understand what the bible says and teaches.
Another part of the issue lies with God and grace. Faith is God’s OWN gift to us. It is initiated by the offer of grace to us, that we can accept or reject. Understanding, Wisdom and mature faith are all products of God’s love and patience with us. BUT without God’s direct intervention, TRUE Faith and it’s byproducts of Wisdom and right understanding are NOT possible.
So Yahweh [God] commanded that a part of the Ark of the Covenant include a HUGE pair of angels that face each other over the chair of Judgment. In the second case; Yahweh sends serpents [indicating the presence of satan] among the people as a punishment of consistent disobedience. When bitten they die. Finally they wake up and beg Moses to intercede for them once again with God. God then commands Moses to take a pole and “cast” a bronze serpent for the top of it. Yahweh assures Moses that “those who look upon it and repent will not die.”
The morals here are that 1. God is more powerful than satan. 2. That God can turn a “bad thing” into a “good result.” 3. That as they gaze upon the serpent, they are reminded of there foolishness and the Power of their ONE GOD.
So it is NOT images that God forbids. NO! It is the false worship of competing gods. Which at the time was extremely common practice.
IF, the “idol [image]” is to deflect true God Worship to another man-made “god“, it is WRONG. If on the other hand; what is made has for its purpose to direct one TOWARDS the one True God; it is a GOOD thing.
The other half of the issue is in a correct understanding of Worship. What Catholic do through Mary and the saints is the VERY SAME THING the Peoples in the desert were doing through the brass-serpent… they were praying THROUGH IT to God, for their physical salvation. Similarly, Catholics pray THROUGH Mary and the Saints [as God NOT Mary or the Saints is the end- goal or purpose] of these prayers of “intersession.” Where Mary and the Saints actually ADD their own prayers on-top of ours; thus increasing their effectiveness. … This will be covered in greater detail when we discuss “prayers.”
1 Chr. 18 “for the altar of incense made of refined gold, and its weight; also his plan for the golden chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD”
Exod.25: 18, 20 And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat.  The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be
Num.21: 8-9 And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
God Bless you,