2nd commandment and work duties

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daveb

Puritan Board Sophomore
The cover of the newest publication for where I work has a medieval picture of Jesus on it holding a lamb. It is my job to place the cover photo on the institutional website (in a few places such as the homepage).

I believe such photos are a wrong because of the second commandment and am struggling with what to do here. I am fairly certain that I'm the only one around that has such an objection to the photo. I want to do well in my job but I cannot bear to look at the picture and do not want to put it up for others to look at as well.

Any ideas on how to approach the situation?
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Well, you're not making the image. You're not worshipping the image. You're not using the image for religious purposes at all.

However, if simply looking at it is offensive to you, then you should inform your supervisor of your delicate sensibilities.

[Edited on 10-5-2005 by SolaScriptura]
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
With all due respect, Unless you are praying to it, the image is fine.
The second commandment (protestant) does not mean one cannot make graven images as representational art, but that one should not use such images as idols. To pray to them or serve them, offer sacrifices, etc .. . .

But if your conscience is burning, then by all means talk to your employer about it because I believe there are laws protecting your religious rights in the workplace. If a muslim found an image offensive, I am sure they would accommodate him right ?
 

daveb

Puritan Board Sophomore
How can you look at a picture of Christ and not have it invoke feelings towards him? I cannot so picture becomes a medium for worship.

[Edited on 10-5-2005 by daveb]
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Images of Christ are sinful whether one is actively/directly worshipping it or not. As Thomas Vincent has said, "It is not lawful to have pictures of Jesus Christ, because his divine nature cannot be pictured at all; and because his body, as it is now glorified, cannot be pictured as it is; and because, if it do not stir up devotion, it is in vain"”if it do stir up devotion, it is a worshipping by an image or picture, and so a palpable breach of the second commandment."

The second commandment requires us, "according to each one´s place and calling, (to) remov(e) it, and all monuments of idolatry.[528]"

[528] Deuteronomy 7:5. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. Isaiah 30:22. Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.

We may have no part in facilitating blatant idolatry, but we must also respect authority. A religious objection to posting an idolatrous picture put forth in a gracious and humble manner ought to be respected by a reasonable boss. If not, then there may be sacrifice required for the sake of Jesus, who teaches us not to make images of the Godhead (Rom. 1.23; Acts 17.29).

Praying for grace and wisdom, brother! :pray2:
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Is any invocation of deep feelings worship ? ?? If it is then I must be worshipping my wife quite often when talking or spending time with her.

Moses ordered the making of the cherubim statues to flank the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. Moses even had a bronze serpent fashioned in the desert for the healing of those bitten by serpents. The first commandment shows us that we are not to make an image of God or of other gods before God or in his presence (except the one image God himself fashioned: man and woman. We are the images of God who go before him in prayer and worship, because God has made us and called us. Thus we see the awesome dignity of the human person and each human life that God has created.).

Christians do make artistic representations of saintly heroes or heroines"”such as Mary and the saints"”to inspire admiration and imitation. Even Jesus in his human nature is portrayed in the suffering figure on the crucifix or as a statue of the Good Shepherd or some other earthly remembrance of his Incarnation. Such artistic renderings not only do not violate the first commandment, but they affirm more solidly the Incarnation, God´s presence and work in the material elements of this world, beginning with Jesus becoming flesh.

In our national consciousness, the distinction between admiring, imitating, or honoring someone and worshipping him is easily made (we hope) by Americans visiting the Lincoln or Jefferson memorials or Mt. Rushmore. The men honored in these places are national heroes. So why is it difficult for many to acknowledge Christians as making such a distinction with images of their heroes and heroines of faith, the saints of history worthy of admiring, imitating, and honoring?


Fr. Michael Wensing.

[edited for what should have been obvious reasons]

[Edited on 10-5-05 by pastorway]
 

daveb

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by Saiph
Is any invocation of deep feelings worship ?

When the object of the feelings is Christ these feelings are going to be worshipful.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Many people adore an idolatrous Christ (mormons, JW, ie.). That is not by necessity to be called worship. The whole point of the first commandment is proper worship of the true God right ?

In a nutshell, He said, do not make statues of me to worship. Hence the golden calf.

But I realize most people on this board probably buy into the silly interpretations of the Reformers on this point. They were awesome on most doctrines but, in my opinion, this one they got totally wrong, partly due to their abandonment of historical understanding on the subject.


The protestant rendition reads:


1. I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.

5. Honor thy father and thy mother.

6. Thou shalt not kill.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8. Thou shalt not steal.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.

10. Thou shalt not covet.



Whereas the Augustinian and traditional presentation of the commandments for memorization are:

1. I am the Lord your God: You shall not have strange Gods before me.

2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

3. Remember to keep holy the Lord´s Day.

4. Honor your father and mother.

5. You shall not kill.

6. You shall not commit adultery.

7. You shall not steal.

8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9. You shall not covet your neighbor´s wife.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor´s goods.

The early Christian church, received this catechetical tradition from the Church Fathers, especially Augustine. He relied heavily on the Decalogue as presented by Moses in Deuteronomy 5. Thus, until the late Middle Ages, children memorized the commandments in the order as we still know it from the Catechism. Even after the Reformation, Lutherans and Catholics agreed on this enumeration and arrangement.

Calvin and other Reformers, relying more on Exodus 20 and its presentation of the Decalogue, and wanting to make a strike against the statuary and icons in the Catholic Church, enumerated the commandments in a different way. Based on this new sixteenth-century re-presentation of the Decalogue, many denominations in America now teach the commandments much as they were seen on the Alabama monument.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
I am not going to argue this point, so let the flaming begin . . .
I already know what most of you and most of the reformers/puritans have to say about it.

Have fun. There is plenty enough on the internet to support my view, if someone is questioning it.
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
yes, look to the internet to support his view.

I'll stick with Scripture thanks.

And the notion that:

But I realize most people on this board probably buy into the silly interpretations of the Reformers on this point.

really does put you at odds with more than just people on this board.

This thread should never have become a debate about the second command and images. It started as a legitimate and practical question for every day life and Biblical values. Why can we not just give some helpful counsel without making this another debate about a topic that frankly there should be nothing to debate.

Dave, if your conscience is offended, appeal to your boss. Take the example of Daniel and his friends when they would not eat the king's portion. They appealed and were willing to pay the price (be tested) for their convictions.

There are other ways to be a faithful employee without fulfilling this one duty.

Phillip

[Edited on 10-5-05 by pastorway]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Here's a supremely practical comment:

Dave, could you simply replace the file with a blank image of the same size and do the layout that way? Then have someone else rename the file so that it points not to the blank image but the layout?

EDIT:
Opening to allow Dave to respond and to discuss the specific situation. Any further 2nd commandment debate will be deleted.


[Edited on 10/5/2005 by fredtgreco]
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
David is in Canada. I'm familiar with US law, but not with Canadian law as to religious discrimination and remedies. Anyone care to comment on that issue?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
David is in Canada. I'm familiar with US law, but not with Canadian law as to religious discrimination and remedies. Anyone care to comment on that issue?

That is an excellent question, Andrew. My guess is that he would not be covered. Hence my suggestion.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Dave, could you simply replace the file with a blank image of the same size and do the layout that way? Then have someone else rename the file so that it points not to the blank image but the layout?

That is merely a quaint disassociated way to capitulation Fred.
 

Saiph

Puritan Board Junior
Philip,

My comments on the commandment were after two people suggested he talk to his employer about it.

If that is truly his conviction, then he should stand for it.
If my employer told me to publish an article blaspheming Christ, I would not do it.
 

daveb

Puritan Board Sophomore
Update: I talked to my boss regarding this and he understood my conviction with the image (this was new to him but he respected my belief). He mentioned that he wished I was around during the decision process so I could have raised the issue at that time because there might be others who receive the publication that might share the same conviction. We do have someone part-time working on the site and it looks like putting the image online will fall to them.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Originally posted by daveb
Update: I talked to my boss regarding this and he understood my conviction with the image (this was new to him but he respected my belief). He mentioned that he wished I was around during the decision process so I could have raised the issue at that time because there might be others who receive the publication that might share the same conviction. We do have someone part-time working on the site and it looks like putting the image online will fall to them.

I'm glad it worked out to the satisfaction of all!:amen:
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Excellent!

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