Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Make Any Graven Images...

Is it a sin for Catholics to kneel before a statue and pray? Is it a sin for Hindus to offer flowers and sandalwood paste to statues of God? The second commandment is a stumbling block for many. I often hear radio preachers condemning this faith or that faith, based on their intellectual interpretation of the commandments or other scriptures. They often get hung up on breaking down a sentence or even only one single word. They dissect that word, they cite the ancient root word for it, and analyze it quite impressively. The congregation is often left spellbound, thinking how intelligent that preacher is. How sharp and clever he is. In fact, the preacher often seems quite impressed with his own performance. The problem is ..., that the preacher who condemns other faiths as evil, because they use images, icons, or statues, is using his intellect to interpret scripture. Scripture is Spirit. So to attempt to comprehend Spirit, using ones intellect, is folly. A quote from Ken Carey says: " What is a rigid interpretation of scripture if not a graven image? We bow down and worship a graven image any time we allow our behavior to be controlled by the extent of our conceptual understanding, rather than by the living Spirit of God within. To fashion graven images of the truth and subsequently to allow them to rule our lives is to freeze our level of comprehension and curtail our growth in spirit. It is to cut ourselves off from the moment- by- moment revelation of spirit's organic, living truth and to establish a man-made structure in its place. " (Carey-Terra Christa). ------------ What I'm saying here brothers and sisters is that to get caught up in doctrine and dogma is the REAL sin, outlined in the second commandment. So when you hear that preacher or those dogmatic patriot-radio show guys condemning Hindus as satanic, or saying Catholics are satanic, realize that he must first remove the plank from his own eye, then he may think about helping remove a speck from his brothers eye.

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