Posted by catholicfaithdefender on January 29, 2010
Posted by catholicfaithdefender on November 27, 2009
By Fr. Abe Arganiosa
Posted by catholicfaithdefender on November 16, 2009
Does Catholic violate the Commandment of God?
Most of the non-Catholics accusing us that we violate in making carve images of Saints, Angels, Prophets and Faithful Servants of God.
First, let’s take a look and read the Holy Scripture.
“You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3)
The first commandment forbids honoring gods other than the one Lord who has revealed Himself to His people. It proscribes superstition and irreligion. Superstition in some represents a preverse excess of religion; irreligion is the vice contrary by defect to the virtue of religion.
“You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Exodus 20:4)
The divine injunction included the prohibition of every representation of God by the hand of man. “Deuteronomy” explains: “Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves , in the form of any figure…” (Deut. 4:15-16)
It is the absolutely trancendent God who revealed Himself to Israel. “He is the all,” but at the same time” He is greater than all His works.” (Sir. 43:27-28). He is the author of beauty.” (Wisdom 13:3)
Nevertheless, already in the Old Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the Ark of the Covenant, and cherubim.” (Num 21:4-9; Wis 16:5-14; Joohn 3:14:15; Exodus 25:10-22; 1 kings 6:23-28; 7:23-26)
In God’s omniscience, He explains everything in Exodus about graven images. At that exact time, He gave Moses the false gods – graven image commandment, then, He commanded two cherubim be made for the “Ark of the Covenant”.
Again, at the exact time, Aaron and the Israelites were making the “golden calf”.
Exodus 32:1-5, ” When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, “Up, make us gods, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know has become of him.” And Aaron said to them. “Take off the rings of gold which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made a molten calf; and they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said; “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.”
In God’s infinite wisdom, He knew exactly what the Israelites did and He said to Moses:
Exodus 32:7-10, “Go down; for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves, they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made for themselves a molten calf; they have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people and behold, it is a stiff-necked people; now therefore let me alone; that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; but of you I will make a great nation.”
Here, He explicitly demonstrated that statues, decorations or religious images please Him, but false god idols are taboo.
May God bless you all. Pax et Bonum!
Posted by catholicfaithdefender on December 11, 2008
ARE ALL IMAGES, IDOLS?
Defense: Catholic Truth
By: Bro. Socrates Fernandez
Msgr. Adelito Abella
Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, D.D.
Archdiocese of Cebu
OBJECTION #1: It is clear in the bible which says, “Therefore, do not become corrupted; do not make an idol or a god carved in form of a man or of a woman” (Deut. 4:16). “You shall not bow down to them or serve them. For I, Yahweh, your God, I am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20:5). “I am Yahweh, that is my name, I will not give my glory to another or my praise to graven images” (Isa. 42:8).
Here, it is very clear that God prohibits the carving of images in the form of man or woman; what God allows to be carved are those images of cherubim or images of man (Ex. 25:18-19), but God never recommended those images to be worshipped.
ANSWER: Is the text used from Deut. 4:16 that God prohibits the making of any images of man or woman, a prohibition without any condition? Or the prohibition means that the images shall not be thought of as God? Because if you will say that the making of images, be it man or woman, is really prohibited without any condition, then, God is the first one who violated the law when He commanded Moses to make images of angels or cherubim.
If these angels are represented by the images allowed by Yahweh, these are images of men but with wings. Since the angels, upon appearing before Lot, were in form of men who are masculine (Gen. 19:1,5-8). Also, inside the temple or the House of God, these are images of cherubim and images of men: “He took me into the sanctuary…adorned with carved cherubs and palm tress and cherubs alternating, each cherub had two faces-the face of a man facing the palm tree on one side…” (Ezek. 41:1, 18-19). It is clear then that if all images represent false god, then God is the first one who erred when He commanded Moses to carve the images of angels (Ex. 25:18-19) and the image of a fiery serpent (Num. 21:8). But as we already know, God cannot commit any fault, therefore, it is our misinterpretation which led us to err in saying that all images represent false god. The Scripture teaches us what are false gods: “For we know an idol (false god) is without existence…” (1 Cor. 8:4). The Glory and praise of God can never be given to these idols which represent things which are non-existent. Therefore, it is very clear that the images of the angels and the saints are not idols because they are representing true beings.
OBJECTION #2: God also prohibits anyone to worship or to knell down in front of the images, even to procession the images, like Catholics are doing, because it is written: “Some pour out gold from their purses and with silver weight on the scales, they hire a goldsmith to make an image before which they bow and worship. They cry out to it, but it does not answer. It does not answer. It delivers no one from distress and disaster” (Isa. 46:6-7).
ANSWER: We have proven in the first answer that not all images are idols. This text quoted from Isaiah 46:6-7, wherein gold is made into an image, is worshipped and recognized as God can never be used to strike down the practice of Catholic sense there is no Catholic doctrine which teaches that images are being thought of as God. The passage from Exodus 20:5, which prohibits believer to bow down before images and served them is when this images are considered god. Proof to this is when the people of God in a procession of the ark, bearing the Ten Commandments, carried engraved stone tablets. Above the ark, two images of cherubim are placed (2 Samuel 6:2-5).
OBJECTION #3: He who casts his eyes on an idol or image is also worshipping idols for the Bible says, “But he who looks to the idols, does detestable things” (Ezequiel 18:12).
ANSWER: What is prohibited in Ezequiel 18:12 clearly cites the look of one’s eyes on the idols and here the idols mention in the scripture. “Bel bow down, Nebo stoops and their carriages weighed down with heavy images their idols borne by beasts of burden…” (Isa. 46:1).
But in the image of cherubim or that of a fiery serpent Yahweh had told Moses he is there to have a conversation with His people, there is no prohibition with that (Ex. 25:22). Anyone who looks at the graven fiery serpent, which represents the presence of God, will be cured from the poisonous bite of the snakes (Num. 21:8). “Moses pleaded for the people and Yahweh said to him, Moses a fiery serpent and a set on a standard; whoever has been bitten and then looks at it shall live.”
OBJECTION #4: One is also prohibited to kneel down before the image. “What was the answer of God? I kept for myself seven thousand who did not worship Baal” (Romans 11:4).
ANSWER: It is clear that the image prohibited by God to be worshipped is that of Baal who is a false god. However, Joshua, the man of God, while he prays, prostrates himself in front of the ark where the image is placed. The bible says, “Then, Joshua and all the leaders of Israel don their garments, put ashes on their heads remained prostate before the ark of Yahweh until evening” (Josh 7:6).
OBJECTION #5: It is unlawful to pray to images (1 Kings 18:26).
ANSWER: No Catholic who is normal prays to images. The Catholic doctrine says, “We are not praying to the crucifix or to the images or to the relics of the saints” (New Baltimore Catechism no. 3 page 132)
OBJECTION #6: It is unlawful to dance before images. “When he drew to the camp and saw the calf and dancing, his anger burst forth and he threw the slabs from his hands and shattered them against the base of the mountain” (Ex. 32:19).
ANSWER: Dancing before image is an act of idolatry. However, the man of God, King David, because of his abundant joy, danced before the ark of the Lord.
OBJECTION #7: It is unlawful to kiss an image. “Yet I will spare seven thousand in Israel who have not knelt before Baal whose lips have not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18).
ANSWER: It is the same men who kissed by men before Baal, the false god. Therefore, it is unlawful before the true God (1 Kings 19:18).
OBJECTION #8: All these prohibitions stated in the Bible regarding images are really violated by the Catholics. Here, the Catholics says that the worship the tree. The Catholic Church in its liturgy during Good Friday sings this line: “Ecce Lignum crucis, in quo salus mundi pepindit. Venite Adoremus”. (Behold the wooden cross, upon which the one crucified is the salvation of the world. Come, let us adore Him). After this song, the priest carefully places the cross above the cotton foam, bows his head three times before the cross and on the third time, the priest kissed it, while two of his lay assistants will sing the following: “Crucem tuam, adoremus Domine” (Lord, we worship your cross).
ANSWER: Our act of worshipping the cross during Good Friday does not mean that it is the wooden cross that we pay homage to, but the one crucified on the cross, whom we worship. It is figure of speech called metonymy which is an act of addressing, possessing or owning as if one the owner. Like when we mention the “crown or throne” which represents the king.
Just like what Jacob did. “By faith Jacob, before he dead, blessed both children of Joseph and worshipped as he learned on his staff” (Heb. 11:21). This simply means that the one he worships is the one represented by the staff who is Christ. “Extol the Lord, our God; worship at his footstool. Holy is He, and mighty!” (Psalm 98:5, Catholic version). The one to be worshipped in this passage is the footstool but actually footstool here represents the Lord himself.
Posted by catholicfaithdefender on April 3, 2008
Last January 12, 2008 The Splendor of the Church dedicated an entire program for the questions sent by the audience concerning the recent Feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila.
To our highly educated readers of this Blog, these questions for sure will appear very silly for you but these are the kind of questions our people here in Sorsogon are asking us and we provide answers for them. I am not a shepherd of the learned but of the simple folks. That is why my Apologetic presentations here, even though in English, are quite simple. Those who wish scholarly presentations you can check the free Catholic Encyclopedia in the web or the Catholic Answers or EWTN Library or the apologetic collections of Steve Ray. Ours is a response on a practical situation of a local community troubled by very literal application of SOLA SCRIPTURA.
Here are some questions sent during the program:
1. Father, last Jan. 9 ipinagdiwang po ang Pista ng Nazareno sa Quiapo. Sabi nila ang Nazareno day ay larawan ng dios-diosan. Totoo po ba ito? [Father, last Jan. 9 we celebrated the Feast of the Nazarene in Quiapo. They said that the Nazarene is an image of a false god. Is it true?]
Wala pong katotohanan iyan. Para po inyong makita kung sino ang Nazareno ay basahin natin ang Banal na Kasulatan. Ito po ang patunay ni Apostol San Mateo:
Mt 2:23 At siya’ y dumating at tumahan sa isang bayang tinatawag na Nazaret; upang maganap ang mga sinalita ng mga propeta, na siya’y tatawaging NAZARENO. [Matthew 2:23 KJV And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.]
Sino ang Nazareno ayon kay San Mateo — ANG ATING PANGINOONG HESUKRISTO. Kung dios-diosan ang Nazareno ang lalabay ay dios-diosan ang ating Panginoon. Ito po ay isang kalapastanganan sa Kanya. Actually, the Nazarene is the artistic representation of the Lord Jesus while he was carrying the Cross on the way to Calvary.
2. Bakit po tayo mayroong pista wala naman daw po ito sa Bibliya?
Hindi ko alam kung anong Bibliya ang ginagamit ng taong kausap mo na naninira sa ating pananampalataya. Dahil sa mga Bibliyang aking binasa ay maraming nakasulat na mga PISTA, KAPISTAHAN, FEAST AND SOLEMNITY. Mayroon tayong Pista sapagkat ito ay araw na inilaan ng ating Santa Iglesia upang alalahanin ang mga mahahalagang pangyayari sa buhay ng ating Panginoon Jesu-Cristo at ng Kanyang mga Banal. Ito ay espesyal at dakilang araw ng pagsamba sa Diyos, pananalangin at pagsasaya dahil sa mga biyayang ipinagkaloob sa atin ng Poong Maykapal. In the feast of the Nazarene we are honoring Jesus for carrying the Cross for our salvation.
Look at these Biblical citations from the King James Version, the Protestant Bible, concerning Feasts:
Gen 19:3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
Gen 21:8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.
Gen 26:30 And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink.
Gen 29:22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
Ex 5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.
Ex 10:9 And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.
Ex 12:14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
Ex 12:17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.
Ex 13:6 Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD.
Is 30:29 (King James Version) Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel.
Jn 7:2 The Feast of Tabernacles
Jn 10:22 The Feast of Dedication
Jn 11:56 ‘Do you think he [Jesus] will come to the feast?’
Jn 12:12 ‘People came to the feast knew that Jesus is coming also’
* There are many other passages, too many in fact, to established beyond any reasonable doubt that Feasts, Holy Solemnity, Holy Convocations, etc. were part of the normal life of the Patriarchs, Prophets and the LORD JESUS with His Apostles.
3. Taon-taon po ay nagpupunta ang mga deboto sa Quiapo at sa ibang mga lugar upang mag-panata. Ito po ba ay naaayon sa Biblia? [Every year the devotees are travelling to Quiapo and other places to fulfill their vows. Is this based on the Bible?]
That particular devotion is called ‘pilgrimage’. The devotees are visiting holy places dedicated to the Lord or one of His saints in order to worship God and ask the intercession of that particular saint. This is Biblical! Read these:
Psalm 42:4 (New King James Version) When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
Nahum 1:15 (King James Version) Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows… [In ANG BIBLIA: "Ipagdiwang mo ang iyong mga KAPISTAHAN, Oh Juda, tuparin mo ang iyong mga PANATA..."]
Lk 2:41 [KJV] Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
* As we can see, the custom of going to a place in annual pilgrimage is a Biblical custom of the people of God and at the same time pilgrimage and vows [mga panata] are Biblically connected with each other based on Sacred Scriptures.
4. Saan ba makikita sa Biblia ang Prosisyon? [Where can we find in the Bible the Procession?]
Catholic procession is another very beautiful custom that we inherited from the prophets and the saints from Old and New Testament. The Sacred Scriptures are so full of detailed description of them especially those involving the Procession of the Ark of the Covenant of God — the Sacred Image made of wood and gold representing God’s throne of Mercy and His being worshipped by the cherubims. Please check these passages:
Ps 118:27 [NIV] The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. [Isn't this very Catholic? Festal procession with boughs in hand leading to the altar. It looks Palm Sunday too me. ]
Ps 68:24 [NIV] ‘Procession to the Sanctuary’
* Participants: Singers, Musicians, Congregation = the faithful, Civil Authorities. Very Catholic also! In Catholic processions the faithful are gathered with singers, musicians and government leaders. Many mayors, vice mayors and village chiefs are leading Catholic processions throughout the land and also in other parts of the world. Last feast of the Nazarene the country’s Vice President, Noli de Castro, was present. In Spain King Juan Carlos annually joins the procession for the Feast of Corpus Christi just like King David before the Ark of the Covenant.
Ps 42:4 [NIV] These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
* Once again this is very Catholic: Procession to the House of God. There is an old saying in Filipino: “Pagkahaba-haba man daw ng prusisyon sa Simbahan pa rin ang tuloy.” [No matter how long the procession is it will still end in the Church!]. And some of our processions are very solemn like funeral procession but some are also festive with shoutings of Viva Sto. Niño or ‘Pit Senyor’ or Viva El Cristo Rey, etc. These are all Biblical and are good things to do.
5. Bakit po karamihan sa nagpapanata sa Poong Nazareno ay mga lalaki? [091037339--]. [Why is it that the majority of the Nazarene devotees are males?]
Because the Nazarene manifests the Lord Jesus in his gruesome suffering — carrying the cross, wounded, blackened by intense heat of the sun, etc — which is more appropriate to male personality and devotion. Whereas the women could easily relate to other aspects of the Lord’s life such as the Holy Child because in stirs the spirit of motherhood in them, the Sacred Heart of Jesus which understandably stirs the loving character and tenderness of the women and the Divine Mercy which easily enhances the kindness and goodness naturally present among women.
Of couse this is not absolute. There are alot of women devotees of the Nazarene and there are also a lot of men devotees of the Holy Child, Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy. All these devotions are Biblical and therefore approved by the Church. Whatever devotion we do as long as it is approved by the Church leads us to the worship of the One God and One Lord — JESUS CHRIST!
N.B. I WISH TO EXPRESS PERSONAL GRATITUDE TO BRO. MARWIL LLASOS FOR SHARING THESE PASSAGES TO ME DURING OUR PREVIOUS MEETINGS. PROVIDENTIALLY I WAS ABLE TO USE THEM TO EXPLAIN THE FAITH LAST JANUARY. Cheers to Bro. Mars!