I must confess that for a few short moments, I got sentimental thinking about my visit to Notre Dame (noh-TRUH-dahm, not noter daym) eons ago, and I mean eons since 23 years to be exact, feels like that in this fast-paced world where yesterday’s news feels like a month ago. I have respect for this architectural structure which has stood for centuries. The only difference now is that having come out of Catholicism, I would not go inside those walls. I often write about the unscriptural practices this system has imposed on its adherents, but under no circumstances do I intend to make my post as a personal attack to those who have been led astray by this church.
“In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. 3 And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. 4 He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan). 5 He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. 6 For he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. 7 And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. 8 He struck down the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.”
2 Kings 18:1-8
He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. – Goddess worship is predominantly pagan and Asherah was a pagan goddess where its worship made its way to God’s chosen people. In Catholicism, veneration of the statues of Mary and other female saints is no different than the goddess worship of old.
And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it – It is detestable to God for people who direct their worship to an inanimate thing who cannot save. The act of breaking the asherah poles and other relics is actually doing right in God’s eyes.
These statues may be crafted by skilled artisans, but they are mere objects which no one should bow to and some can make a case for artistic value on these relics and graven images, but embedded in human nature is the act of worship and the enemy exploits that by making us rationalize it is okay to venerate statues when God has clearly commanded in Deuteronomy 4:15-16,
“Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16 lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female…”
Either we choose to obey God or we don’t. There is no gray area. I love how one of my favorite pastors puts it, “Partial obedience IS disobedience.”
“And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”
1 Samuel 15:22
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