The Cherubim--Why were they NOT graven images?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ktn4eg, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    Some time ago I visited a Roman Catholic friend of mine from my pre-salvation days.

    We talked about a lot of different things, but when it came to Bible-related topics, he showed me his old RCC Bible which apparently was some sort of study bible put out by some RCC organization.

    Its notes on Exodus 25 mentioned that since the LORD commanded Moses to make the cherubim as part of the external coverings of the Ark of the Covenant, we [i.e., the RCC] therefore do not violate the First Commandment found in Exodus 20:4.

    Being a relatively "new babe in Christ" at the time, I was pretty much at a loss of words as to how to respond to my RCC friend.

    Now, I do know that scripture does not contradict itself, but I'm still confused as to how to reconcile these two passages.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Jordan Kurecki

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    God specifically told them to put the cherubims. He does not tell the Catholic church to set up statues of mary and the saints and worship them. I have seen Catholics personally bow down to statues of Mary.

    Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
    Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
     
  3. HankD

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    It seems that the prohibition of graven images does not apply to the artifacts of the temple/tabernacle but of the private ownership thereof.

    Look what happen with the brazen serpent which Moses made.
    It wasn't long until the Hebrews began using it as an object of worship.


    HankD
     
  4. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    The images are not of God, or a "god." That is what was prohibited in Exodus 20:4.
     
  5. webdog

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    A graven image that is sinful is one that is worshipped.
     
  6. beameup

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    Some have conjectured that the idols in the Old Testament actually took on an animation of the spiritual essence of the demon it represented.

    And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast,
    telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.
    And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause
    as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
    Rev 13:14-15

    This is why it is important to recognize that during this dispensation of grace, that these supernatural characteristics are not evident.
    In this respect, inhabitants of the earth will be deceived by the clearly evident spiritual essence emanating from the image of the beast during the Tribulation.
     
    #6 beameup, Dec 18, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2013
  7. Aaron

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    The cherubim were neither graven, carved nor molten. They were made of "beaten work." They were hammered into shape.

    But that's just a technicality (although an important and meaningful one), they were not to make any statues or figurines unto themselves by any manner.

    But, for starters, one should compare and contrast the making of the furniture of the tabernacle and the images of the catholic church, and the practices associated with them. I think the answer to the seeming contradiction will become more evident.
     
  8. John of Japan

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    The differences:

    (1) The cherub statues were art, but God has not forbidden art. He forbade idolatry, which is when one bows down to the statue, as has been pointed out. Catholics bow down and pray to Mary's statue.

    (2) The cherub statues were not of a specific individual creature. Idolatrous statues are of specific individuals, whether it be the false god of a religion (Molech, Baal and others in the OT) or a human founder of a religion such as Buddha, or some other human, such as Mary.

    I was once at the Kodokan, the world headquarters of Judo down in Tokyo. There was a statue of the founder outside the building, Kano Jigaro. At that point it was a work of art honoring the man. However, I saw an old man walk up to the statue, put his hands together and worship the statue. That was idolatry.

    Again, if you go to the famous Japanese town of Nikko, they have a huge complex with a Buddhist temple, and also a Shinto shrine in honor of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the most famous Shogun (ruler). People bow down to the spirit of the man (idolatry), but there are beautiful figures of dragons on the edge of the roof, which no one bows down to (art). All Japanese understand this distinction, this being an idolatrous nation. I daresay the ancient Jews also understood the distinction.
     
  9. Jkdbuck76

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    Kano Jigoro was great...but not THAT great. A true martial arts innovator. I wish I could have been with u @ the Kodokan.
     
  10. preachinjesus

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    Two sound and reasonable points. Thank you. :thumbs:
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    It was a fun trip. Wish you had been there too! Being a missionary in Japan has been huge fun for the martial artist in me! The stories I can tell: like visiting in a home where the man collected ninja artifacts, or seeing a very unusual spear in a 2nd hand store here in town, which would lacerate the hands of anyone who tried to grab it.
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Any time, brother! :wavey:
     

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