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Church Icons

Are church icons idols?

A visitor writes,

"It is said in the Book, that people are not allowed to make the idols for themselves. I've been in the church and seen there a lot of icons and people worshiping them. On these icons were painted different saints, not the God. To my mind these icons are the very idols, aren't they?"

Thanks for your question.

You are correct.

The Christian church fell into this form of idolatry from about the 4th century AD.

It was a contentious issue for centuries but adopted nonetheless.

The basis is the false doctrine of the immortality of the soul and heaven-going at death.

There would be no point in venerating icons and statues of Mary and those styled ‘saints’ by the church unless they were believed to be alive in heaven.

It is a regurgitating of Pagan idolatry with the same false notion that the icon represents someone that is alive in the realm of the Gods.

The Bible doctrine is clear that the dead have no further conscious existence unless they are subject to the resurrection of the dead. This will not happen until Christ returns to the earth.

The Bible likens death to sleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

There is only one mediator between God and man – we need no other.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Access to God through prayer is available wherever we are. We do not have better access if we are in a particular building in front of a particular icon.

Praying to those that are dead is a nonsense.

The Church has become like the Jewish leaders of Christ’s day.

Matthew 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Matthew 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

Mark 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Men will not find salvation in a church that venerates icons.

I hope this helps

Glenn Smith

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