Let's talk about idolatry - Printable Version

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Let's talk about idolatry - restorah - 02-17-2006

I will visit back to see how this threads. I am getting some in fringe movements that are concerned with bowing their knee or just worshipping an idol when we use banners as a focal point in a stage setting. Or, we use an altar and have incense the use of strange fire as a topic usually arises (ha, ha!).

What are your thoughts, AND, scriptural contexts : )

Let's talk about idolatry - HelenaZF - 02-18-2006

Hi friend! Glad you are here.

Your question is one that comes up a lot. So much, in fact, that I've included a reference to it in the FAQ's on this site......<URL url="http://s15.invisionfree.com/ZionFireFriends/index.php?showtopic=10">ZionFire FAQs

Quote:I’ve seen people bow or kneel before banners; does that mean they are worshipping the banners?

The banners are symbols of the character of God and His kingdom. When people acknowledge them, it is as representations of the truth and real presence of God. As emblems or icons, they are given honor much in the way we give honor to our national flag. No one questions the ceremony and reverence given the American flag. It represents something grave and beautiful. The red stripes of our country’s flag remind us of the blood shed by men who died to preserve our freedom. For that sacrifice, we give them honor. How much more should we honor the sacrifice of Jesus, and the emblems that represent His truth? We do not worship banners any more than we worship the American flag. We allow the banners to direct our thoughts and attention to the glories of His kingdom with the respect and reverence warranted by such great truth. They merely point us to Him.

Being catholic myself, I can't imagine protests to a use of altars and incense, but there are countless references to altars and incense in the old testament, and also in the book of Revelations.

Let's talk about idolatry - DeanZF - 02-19-2006

:rant: Yeah, there are all sorts of folks out there who get all kinds of wierded out when it comes to the use of symbol OR form.

And I LOVE the accusations of strange fire. Looking at the portion of scripture that mentions strange fire and we find a couple of guys who were intent on usurping the authority of the men of God. It is mostly about heart attitudes. It's not about the fact that Aaron was using a gold censor and Korah & his horde came with brass censors. It's not really about Korah's use of what may well have been "the" recipe for incense. I haven't looked it up to make sure, but I don't know as it's even mentioned. The deal was about Korah getting snippy about how his worship was just as acceptable as that of Aaron.

My take on the issue of strange fire is the fire/passion of the heart. Aaron's passion/fire was for God and His law and the specifics of God-appointed, God-instructed worship. Korah's passion/fire was all about pride and self. THAT is strange fire!!


DeanZF :fireball:

Let's talk about idolatry - HelenaZF - 02-28-2006

Quote:DeanZF: It is mostly about heart attitudes.

Doesn't everything really come down to this foundation? That's what Jesus was looking for. He was constantly confronting the prevailing rules and morays with the essence of the heart's intent. That's what the healings done on Sabbath were about. Jesus himself was an icon of the Father. Remember, he would not receive worship to His earthly presence, but directed it to the Father.

I think that once there is understanding that symbols are not in themselves worshipped, then the objections dissipate. These things (incense, altars, banners, arks, etc.), are windows to the spiritual kingdom. They allow us, in our sanctified imaginations to "look in" and see the real thing. And that real thing IS worthy of our worship and adoration. The symbols are just tools that focus us and help get us there.

Let's talk about idolatry - HelenaZF - 02-28-2006

Here's a quote from an article on Christianity Today's website:

Quote:All Christians everywhere should seek to make, to do and to articulate things as beautifully as possible. Christians who play down the importance of beauty and quality as if they were idols in themselves do not understand that nothing is an idol until we make it into one. [emphasis mine] Furthermore, the neglect of beauty and high quality in many Christian circles is deplorable and can itself be a form of idolatry. Thus when it comes to exemplary artistic stewardship, the body of Christ can leave an all-too-sloppy trail for the world to follow.

......There is a fine but absolutely clarified line between authentic and idolatrous worship. The line is not drawn by the things that we use but by what our mind and heart choose to make of them.
Again, more validation for the argument that it is the condition of the heart that is the main issue.

[Click to read entire article: <URL url="http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/114/24.0.html">You Shall Not Worship Me This Way How even the worship of God can be idolatrous. By Harold Best 04/06/2004]

Let's talk about idolatry - restorah - 03-08-2006

Thank you guys. Sorry that it has been so long since I logged in and participated. Finding a decent stream to hook in to is a problem these days. I really like the idea that Yeshua (Jesus) is an icon or symbol or ambassador or representative of the Father and is the Father Himself. Pretty amazing stuff and mind boggling as well.

Some would argue at this point that you are worshipping the Symbol that IS the FATHER. It is a difficult thing to teach those who have minds so shut to worship as an action AND lifestyle and not just a time period during mass or church service.

Even with the serpent on a pole that Moshe raised, it had to be destroyed because there were those that began worshipping the symbol and not the actual. I think the most important thing for us to remember and keep forefront is that we must be circumspect in all of this. It is so easy for us (especially as worshippers, worship leaders) to fall into a snare and take our eyes off the Prize and Author. It seems we are tempted so much more and we are so succeptable as it is since we are visual people and visual leaders. After all two of the three ways in which we are tempted are through the visual aspects of lust.

Let's talk about idolatry - HelenaZF - 03-09-2006

I think that presenting a representative image so that worshippers can use it as a stepping point to connect themselves in true worship is a far cry from people actually worshipping a created thing.

My own banners, created with my own hands, have never been to me something to worship. As I create them, I try to express the essence of how the Lord has been revealing Himself to me through the scriptures by the Holy Spirit's guidance. So when they are used in a time of worship, what is in my mind is my real experience with the Living God that shaped their making, not the objects themselves.

I guess I find it difficult to imagine how anyone would think an intelligent person would actually believe the created object in front of them is something to be worshipped. Or does the controversy really stem from the perception that the "appearance" is that the banners are being worshipped?

Let's talk about idolatry - Sylvia - 03-14-2006

Coming from "not" a Catholic background but a Baptist background, I can see where some people would get their drawers all in a wad over people kneeling at a banner during a worship service. There are many reasons why non-Catholics don't want to kneel at a banner.

Whatever the reasons, we who are not Catholic can get so caught up in not appearing Catholic that we miss out on the richness and meaning of worship when we use symbolism in sights, smells, sounds and textures.

Anyway, it would highly offend some people at my church so we don't kneel at the banners, but we do kneel at the altar.....with the banners present on the platform.

Let's talk about idolatry - HelenaZF - 03-14-2006

Actually, I can easily see how some could misinterpret the intent of a person kneeling to a banner. When, in pageantry, we put together prophetic pictures...we think of them as just that.....representations of scriptural scenarios or truths. For instance, in this picture taken of a scene from some of the pageantry presented at the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, the image being presented is of the Bride of Christ paying homage to Jesus, the Messiah promised to Jerusalem as her Prince of Peace. The bride is represented by me wearing a garment called "The New Jerusalem" and the Lord is represented by the banner.

<IMG content="http://z4.ifrm.com/12415/42/0/p1055145/H_ScepterFeast.png">[Image: H_ScepterFeast.png]

But, if one did not understand that this was meant to represent a scriptural reality, it would not be a huge logic leap to assume that the dancer is kneeling to a symbol/idol. And I can see how that could be equated with a certain view of catholocism.

Let's talk about idolatry - flaglady - 03-18-2006

I've had this too! But my response is that what's important is what's going on in the heart and mind. For me, when I use flags, I am totally focused on the Lord to the extent that at times I almost forget I am in company! It's an exhilarating experience!