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Featured Is it idolatry?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Walpole, Sep 17, 2019.

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  1. Walpole

    Walpole Well-Known Member

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    During the middle of your worship service, if your pastor held up an image of Jesus and said, "This is a symbol of our God. Pass it around and treat it with the highest respect. You may even kiss it."

    Would you object?

    If so, why?
     
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  2. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    That is the definition of an "idol", so yes, I would object.

    It is one thing to say "treat God with utmost respect" and another to say "treat this image we have made of God with utmost respect". Classic paganism holds that what is done to the idol is done to the god in whose image the idol was crafted. Christianity does not.
     
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  3. Walpole

    Walpole Well-Known Member

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    JonC,

    Thank you for your reply. That seems logical to me. However, what if I made the following changes to my example...


    Original Example --> Your pastor holds up an image of Jesus and says, "This is a symbol of our God. Pass it around and treat it with the highest respect. You may even kiss it."

    New Example --> Your pastor holds up a cracker and juice and says, "This bread and wine is a symbol of our God. Pass it around and treat it with the highest respect. You may even consume it."


    How is this not idolatry?
     
  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Me thinks someone will not last long around here
     
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  5. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O. Moderator
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    I figured this was a trick question when I read the OP.

    My pastor doesn't say, "Pass the cracker and grape juice around and treat it with the highest respect. You may even consume it." In fact, I've never heard that phrase before.

    It's just a cracker and juice of a grape. It isn't meant to be respected. It's mean to be consumed.

    The Lord's Supper is not idolatry. There's no idol. It's the following of a command of Christ to remember his body and blood that was shed.

    God has declared ways to "remember" him that involve things. The rainbow, the Passover meal, and the Lord's Supper. We don't worship or idolize a rainbow nor did Jews idolize the Passover meal. These things are ways to keep in our hearts and minds what God has done and to teach each next generation.

    The word "remember" in the Old Testament is repeated quite often. So is the word forget or forgotten.

    God knew we wouldn't remember or hold things in our hearts so he established ways to remember.

    Christ said to partake of the bread and wine as often as we like, but it was to be in remembrance of HIM. That's what it is in my church and all the other churches I've been in.
     
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  6. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Uh smartie pants no one does it that way. You have intentionally misrepresented this.
     
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  7. Walpole

    Walpole Well-Known Member

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    "Smartie pants"? Nice ad hominem. A great way to welcome new posters to the forum. (Sarcasm)
     
  8. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Given the situation (the link between the two statements) I would say it is idolatry.

    Scripture tells us to partake of the Lord's Supper "in rememberance" of Him - not to treat the bread and wine or grape juice as if they were Christ Himself.

    Does that answer your question?

    I think a closer parallel would be Scriptre itself (i.e., the physical Bible itself).
     
  9. Walpole

    Walpole Well-Known Member

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    There is no trick question. The manner in which your pastor administers the Lord's Supper is not the question / issue. Rather, the question is if you would not pass around an image (a representation) of Jesus Christ to venerate, why would you think it would be ok to do so with bread and wine, which I presume you believe to be a symbol (a representation of) Jesus Christ? Call it "remembering" or whatever you want, if you incorporate a symbol of something representing God, how is this not partaking in an act of idolatry?

    Help me understand.
     
  10. Walpole

    Walpole Well-Known Member

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    JonC,

    Thanks for your reply. But if the bread and wine or grape juice is just a symbol, how then is remembering Him in those things not an act of idolatry? How is it any different than the first example I introduced?

    I don't think Bible is a good parallel because the Bible is not said to symbolize God.
     
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  11. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    the way you have handled this thread is no way to introduce yourself to the forum.
     
  12. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I never said that the bread and wine/grape juice is "just" a symbol. I believe it is more than that (I believe it is a reaffirmation of the new covenant from the perspective of the believer).

    When I was in the Army the flag that represented our unit was a catamount with a five pointed star. It symbolized our unit. Later it was a flag with three daggers. The US flag symbolizes our nation. And we give each of these respect representative of our relationship to what they symbolize. This is not idolatry. So at the very minimum the bread and wine/ juice is not idolatry because the thing is treated as a symbol and not what it represents.

    Were we to worship the bread and wine/ juice then it would be idolatry. Were we to believe that the bread and wine/ juice IS the flesh and blood of Christ then it would be idolatry. But we (Baptists) do not believe this. Instead we observe the symbolism as it was commanded of us to do.

    You would, however, have somewhat of a point (Scripture does not say not to "symbolize God") if God did not institute the Lord's Supper.
     
  13. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Yes it was
     
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  14. Walpole

    Walpole Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I should've taken your approach and introduced myself by lobbing an ad hominem.
     
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  15. Walpole

    Walpole Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't aware that asking questions is considered trickery.
     
  16. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Or, you could have put your actual question in the op and not mischaracterized the Lord's Supper. I find your entire line of "questions" disingenuous and I have to say it is the first time I have ever seen the heresy of calling the Lord's Supper idolatrous.
     
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  17. Walpole

    Walpole Well-Known Member

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    Fair point. What if I rephrased my question to: But if the bread and wine or grape juice is a symbol, how then is remembering Him in those things not an act of idolatry?

    In other words, you are still using a thing to symbolize / represent God.

    I don't think that is a parallel comparison because the flag is not involved in your actual worship ceremony. The flag is not consumed and said to represent and symbolize God.

    But you are using bread and wine/juice to symbolize / remember / represent / memorialize God. If we can establish that using a picture / image and claiming it represents / symbolizes God (see the OP) is idolatry, then why is using bread and wine/juice and claiming it represents / symbolizes God not idolatry?

    Is it possible Christ commanded and instituted a form of idolatry by having us include bread and wine/juice to serve as symbols / reminders / memorials of God? Or is there something else to this?

    Help me understand.
     
    #17 Walpole, Sep 17, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  18. Walpole

    Walpole Well-Known Member

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    See these things ---> ?

    They indicate a question. I have two in my OP. I asked them to establish a premise and to try and understand how one thing can be considered idolatrous, while another is not.

    If I need advice on how to start another thread, I'll be sure to reach out to you.
     
  19. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I would object. It's just a picture. There is nothing special about it. Furthermore, no image could accurately portray what the Lord actually looked like.
     
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  20. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    Because Jesus commanded us to do this, "in remembrance of Him." Not sure where the idea of paying it the highest respect comes from, but I guess I would treat it with respect, nevertheless.
     
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