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Offline matt1

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Why do Catholic Churches have graven images?
« on: Tue Jun 05, 2012 - 05:51:39 »

2 Kings 2
2:15 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

How to answer - Why do Catholics pray to Saints?

Is it Biblical to ask the Saints in heaven to pray for us?
The Church says yes, since we are all part of the Communion of Saints. The communion of Saints refers to the bond of unity among all believers, both living and dead, who are committed followers of Christ.
In Christ, we are made part of God's family (1Tim3:15), children of God (1John 3:1), joint heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17), and partakers of the divine nature ( Pet 1:4).
This family communion of Saints is known to Catholics as the Mystical Body of Christ. We are joined in a supernatural union as members of Christ's own body, and thus as members of one another.
Each of us participates in the divine life of Christ Himself.
Know the image of the Vine and the Branches (John 15:1-5).
 We as branches are connected to Christ the vine, we are also connected to each other. Death cannot seperate Christians from Christ or from one another (Rom 8:35-39). In that union we call for help and support from our older brothers and sisters who have already won their crown of glory.

 Necromancy means summoning forth spirits from the shadowy underword (Sheol) in order to converse with them. The Saints are not dead and they are not in Sheol. They are in heaven and alive with God. In Mark 9:4 Jesus is seen conversing with Elijah and Moses. Jesus tells the good thief "Amen I say to you, this day you shall be with me in Paradise". The Saints in heaven are more alive now then when they were on earth. We know that Angels and Saints place the prayers of the holy ones at God's feet (Tobit12:12; Rev 5:8; Rev 8:3-4), supporting prayers with their intercessions. The martyrs underneath the heavenly altar cry out for earthly vindication (Rev 6:9-11).

There is one mediator between God and man, but we share in Christ's priesthood, and our intercessions and prayers for eachother do have power. To share in Christ's priesthood means to share in his mediatorship, both in heaven and on earth. 1 Tim 2:5 confirms that we share in Christ's mediation, when we read it in context.
 In verses 1-7, St. Paul asks Christians to participate in Christ's unique mediation by offering prayers and intercessions for all men: "this is good and pleasing to God".
We are called to unite ourselves to the one mediator Christ, "who gave himself as a ransom for all," by praying for all men, through Christ. All prayer whether in heaven or on earth, is in Christ and through Christ, our one mediator and high priest. Christ himself is the vine between the branches.
We and the Saints form one communion, one body of Christ, being members of Him and members of one another. They can hear us and they are concerned for our Welfare.
In the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Lk 16:19-30), the departed rich man is able to pray to Abraham and interced for his brothers. This implies that there can be communication across the abyss.

 We are certain that the Saints in heaven jenjoy the face to face vision of God (1 Cor 13:12; 1 Jn 3:2). How can Saints hear all these prayers? Heaven has no space or time. Everything appears to God as one eternal present. Like God, the Saints are outside of the limitations of space and time.

 It is true that God said thou shall not make of thee a graven image, but he was clearly speaking in the context of Idolatry. At that time Paganism and the worship of images and created things was an epidemic. There are, in fact, cases where God Commanded the Israelites to carve images.

Exodus 26:1. In God's commands to Moses concerning the tabernacle, given just a few chapters after the giving of the Ten Commandments, is this instruction: "Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet; you shall make them with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman."

 A similar command with respect to the Ark of the Covenant instructed Moses to have two cherubim of hammered gold at the ends of the mercy seat. God said,
 "And there I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel"
(Exodus 25:22). Here are images directly connected with the presence of God, and commanded by Him.
From the very earliest years of the Church, Christians used such symbols as the cross, the fish, the peacock, the shepherd, and the dove. And early Christian tombs and catacombs bear paintings which are representations of biblical scenes.

 "Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
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: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them:
 for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God" (Exodus 20:3-5). Note that the context shows that the term "graven image" is used to refer to an idol-an image created to be worshipped as a god. The Catholic Church would condemn any such thing.

If God did not want the Israelites to carve graven images than why did he command Moses to make a fiery serpent and lift it on a pole so that those who might see it shall live. Numbers 21:7-9:

 7: And the people came to Moses, and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us."
 So Moses prayed for the people. 8: 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." , 9:
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.

The bronze serpent prefigured Christ, for our Lord said, "just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life."

 Thus, he commands them in the very ark of the covenant in which God himself resided. Even the ark itself is gold that is refined, cut to adorn a place where God would reside in a special manner.
There is a mercy seat of pure gold. That in and of itself is a graven image. Plus, it is purely done in a religious context and the making of these images was to bring more Glory to God himself.

 Let us see when it was actually done by Solomon when he put this into practice, 1 King 6:22-29:

 22: And he overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.
23: In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olivewood, each ten cubits high.
24: Five cubits was the length of one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the length of the other wing of the cherub; it was ten cubits from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other.
25: The other cherub also measured ten cubits; both cherubim had the same measure and the same form. 26: The height of one cherub was ten cubits, and so was that of the other cherub.
27: He put the cherubim in the innermost part of the house; and the wings of the cherubim were spread out so that a wing of one touched the one wall, and a wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; their other wings touched each other in the middle of the house.
28: And he overlaid the cherubim with gold.
29: He carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, in the inner and outer rooms.

 Ezekiel 41:18-19 there is a mention of making statuaries of men:

 18And it was made with cherubim and palm trees, a palm tree between cherub and cherub.
Each cherub had two faces, 19so that the face of a man was toward a palm tree on one side, and the face of a young lion toward a palm tree on the other side; thus it was made throughout the temple all around.

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Why do Catholic Churches have graven images?
« on: Tue Jun 05, 2012 - 05:51:39 »