Responding Simply to Question about Images and the 2nd Commandment

by Steve Ray on October 8, 2018

Good day, Mr. Steve Ray!

We have a concern regarding the many statues of Saints and Mama Mary and Jesus all over the Philippines. It seems the Filipinos are exaggerating with those statues and images. What is your say to this? Is this against the second commandment of God that we should not make any graven image of the heaven above (or on the earth or under the earth)?

Screen Shot 2018-10-08 at 9.02.28 AMSTEVE RAY HERE:
Thanks for your questions and comments. I hope and expect that they’re coming from an honest heart seriously seeking the truth.

I have been to the Philippines six times doing large conferences, parish missions and talks with lots of evangelization, apologetics and Bible teaching.

One of the things that I learned about the wonderful Filipino people is that they are easily susceptible to Protestant groups (mainly from the United States) who come there and try to trick Catholics into leaving the Catholic Church. The whole issue of “idols“ is one of their trickiest methods. Read my Open Letter to the Filipino People.

6a00d8341c019953ef01b7c81c6025970bFirst, I would suggest you write God a letter and ask him why he commanded the Israelites to violate the 2nd Commandment. You can see this clearly here (Exodus 25:18-20) and here (Numbers 21:8-9).

Remember also, that it seems that God broke his own commandment when he sent his Son Jesus to the earth. St. Paul tells us in Colossians 1:15 that “Jesus is the ‘image’ of the invisible God.“

maxresdefaultSecond, I would suggest you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church carefully on this topic. Read especially paragraphs 2129-2132. It’s a very dangerous thing to give false testimony about the Church that Jesus started 2000 years ago and has always been named “Catholic.” Those who say we worship statues are certainly bearing false witness.

Thanks again for writing and if you want to read more on this matter, I suggest you read my article “Do Catholics Worship Mary.” Also, check out Catholic Answers tract “Do Catholics Worship Statues?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Irene Cortes October 8, 2018 at 8:08 PM

Dear Mr Ray, Im from the Philippines and Im happy to know you were able to visit our country 6 times already. Im a Catholic practicing physician and I do have a small statue of the Sacred Heart and several small laminated pictures of the Divine Mercy. I would like to emphasize to the readers who observed that the Filipino Catholics are keeping lots of statues of representations of Jesus, saints and etc., we do not worship them. It’s just like we are keeping photos of someone very much loved and dear to us…and when we see these statues…we are reminded of God’s love for us. We are consciously aware the the images are simple reminders that God is with us. People we get to understand us by researching the history of our Catholic faith in the Philippines in relation to our culture and it’s evolution. Thanks.

louie reyes October 11, 2019 at 2:46 AM

I’m from Philippines also. Well, I don’t understand why our brothers/sisters from other religions are scandalized if we have images/statues in our churches, homes, cars and offices (common in the Phil). What i found out those who criticize are normally former Catholics who left the faith without understanding the fundamentals of our faith. It’s so sad. Little knowledge is really dangerous as one will say anything and everything out of that little knowledge. God bless!

Calej April 6, 2021 at 7:54 AM

An idol can be anything one gives his whole heart to. It can be money, gadgets, or even your spouse. Anything that you give more time to, more than the time you give to God – is your idol. If you look at a saint and admire them, they will lead you to Jesus. If you look at an idol, this will lead you to be lost. Don't you think? Thank you for answering this important topic!

STEVE RAY HERE: Calej, you are correct. People in the biblical times had visible gods made with their own hands that they bowed to in worship. Jews and Christians were forbidden from making such idols or gods to bow down and worship.

We don’t have those kind of idol-gods in the moderner Western world (though Hindus do). We make other gods, like you said — money, sex, pleasure, drugs or alcohol, sports, etc. Anything that takes the place of God becomes a god.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: