Question: Pictures of Jesus violate either the second or third commandment?

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user98Luke

Puritan Board Freshman
I think you just glossed over everything I just said concerning the cross though not intentionally it seems. The design and use of the cross is a singular purpose to show forth, represent, and/or remind of the death of Christ. This is a 2nd commandment violation because the making and the use of it is to replace the ordinance of Christ.


You read the Bible, you celebrate the Lord's supper. You meditate upon God's word. Use what the Lord has given you, and stop making or using things that He has not granted you or commanded you to use for such purposes. You want to know and understand history? Read the bible to know the circumstances and history. This is what Jehovah has provided.


This is a 2nd and 3rd commandment violation. He gave you His Word which is completely sufficient, nothing else needs added by man. Seeing a dead tree and remembering what Jesus did is called 'meditating'. I see a light and dwell on Jesus as the Light. This is simple meditation on God's Word also called "occasional meditation". It is another thing to buy or make something to replace God's Word.


This offends me since I don't have to open it to see it.
This just feels like legalism to me. I’m leaving the Puritan Board. Too much of this feels so pharisaical to me, and not striving for Christ-likeness. We talk more about the law than about Christ. It’s been a good run
 

Smeagol

Puritan Board Graduate
This just feels like legalism to me. I’m leaving the Puritan Board. Too much of this feels so pharisaical to me, and not striving for Christ-likeness. We talk more about the law than about Christ. It’s been a good run
Please consider staying. Most of us have felt the same way you have in this moment especially while still being relatively new. Pastor Barnes is not a proponent of legalism proper, nor is this board. I would not agree that an empty cross is automatically a second commandment violation. And there will be varying opinions on this board. Please consider sticking around, we all have much to learn and we can’t do that without one another.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Sophomore
This just feels like legalism to me. I’m leaving the Puritan Board. Too much of this feels so pharisaical to me, and not striving for Christ-likeness. We talk more about the law than about Christ. It’s been a good run
“If you love me, keep my commandments.” It’s not legalism, and the OP specifically asked about interpreting the second and third commandment of the law of God.
 

RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
This just feels like legalism to me. I’m leaving the Puritan Board. Too much of this feels so pharisaical to me, and not striving for Christ-likeness. We talk more about the law than about Christ. It’s been a good run

Think about how creative license has caused division due to interpretations on how one perceives Jesus to look. There is a practical application to this beyond just don't do it. Eliminating the pictures of him eliminates this divisiveness. What we know about idols, in general, is that man-made things are quickly turned into Idols intentionally or unintentionally.
 
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user98Luke

Puritan Board Freshman
Please consider staying. Most of us have felt the same way you have in this moment especially while still being relatively new. Pastor Barnes is not a proponent of legalism proper, nor is this board. I would not agree that an empty cross is automatically a second commandment violation. And there will be varying opinions on this board. Please consider sticking around, we all have much to learn and we can’t do that without one another.
I understand
 

Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
Why do people wear crosses? To them what does it represent to them?

I usually question people on this who use them in some way. And the real answer of course is "to remind me of the cross/death of Christ."

My response is then: Then you are committing idolatry, by replacing what the Lord has given you for that purpose for something else. He's given you the Lord's Supper, and you've replaced it or thought you were wiser than God by needing a cross that is not commanded.
Disagree.

Many people around the world wear crosses to communicate a Christian identity; not necessarily as a reminder for themselves. Jewelry can have the latter function, of course; but that's not its exclusive function.

Similar to the fish, a cross can be useful in certain contexts for identifying who might be a believer. At least I've found it so.

Your comment assumes that every individual who wears a cross intends some kind of sacramental function, which I have not observed to be the case.
 
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Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
Disagree.

Many people around the world wear crosses to communicate a Christian identity; not necessarily as a reminder for themselves. Jewelry can have the latter function, of course; but that's not its exclusive function.

Similar to the fish, a cross can be useful in certain contexts for identifying who might be a believer. At least I've found it so.

Your comment assumes that every individual who wears a cross intends some kind of sacramental function, which I have not observed to be the case.
What is the sign for the people of Israel that they were the people of God to the nations? Circumcision.

The same for Baptism. So now we are to be okay with replacing baptism for a cross that isn’t commanded where baptism is. Again a 2nd and 3rd commandment violation.
 

Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
What is the sign for the people of Israel that they were the people of God to the nations? Circumcision.

The same for Baptism. So now we are to be okay with replacing baptism for a cross that isn’t commanded where baptism is. Again a 2nd and 3rd commandment violation.
You're conflating an ordained sign with the dynamic process of communication.

By this logic, telling someone you're a Christian orally would also be inappropriate b/c it's "replacing baptism with mere words."

You don't typically go around wearing a baptismal certificate on your chest. Although why not, I guess, if you have to carry vaccination certificates. ;)

I also question use of the word "replace," since I've never met anyone who says, "I don't have to get baptized because I'm wearing a cross."
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
You're conflating an ordained sign with the dynamic process of communication.

By this logic, telling someone you're a Christian orally would also be inappropriate b/c it's "replacing baptism with mere words."

You don't typically go around wearing a baptismal certificate on your chest. Although why not, I guess, if you have to carry vaccination certificates. ;)

I also question use of the word "replace," since I've never met anyone who says, "I don't have to get baptized because I'm wearing a cross."
Let me ask, did the men of Israel go around showing their penises to foreigners?

Yet that is the sign the Lord gave to distinguish them from the nations.

Just because they don’t understand that they have replaced baptism doesn’t mean they haven’t.
 

Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
Let me ask, did the men of Israel go around showing their penises to foreigners?

Yet that is the sign the Lord gave to distinguish them from the nations.

Just because they don’t understand that they have replaced baptism doesn’t mean they haven’t.
Umm... yeah, that was kind of my point, actually. Didn't they have other markers beyond circumcision showing they were Jews? The payots, dress, and all that? And they could tell them orally as well. None of those things would be considered a sign on the level of circumcision, but that doesn't mean they were "replacing" it somehow.

I don't understand why you keep wanting to import sacramental significance to a piece of jewelry. I allowed that some individuals may have that in mind, sure. But I disagree that everyone has that same intention.

For full disclosure, I wear a small cross pendant and have ever since I lived and worked in the Far East. I found it useful on certain occasions for discretely letting others know that I was a Christian and opening up conversations and potential connections. If you think I'm in violation of the 2nd and 3rd commandments, you're welcome to flag me for the Board's attention and have them discuss it with me.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
By this logic, telling someone you're a Christian orally would also be inappropriate b/c it's "replacing baptism with mere words."

Umm... yeah, that was kind of my point, actually. Didn't they have other markers beyond circumcision showing they were Jews? The payots, dress, and all that? And they could tell them orally as well. None of those things would be considered a sign on the level of circumcision, but that doesn't mean they were "replacing" it somehow.

I don't understand why you keep wanting to import sacramental significance to a piece of jewelry. I allowed that some individuals may have that in mind, sure. But I disagree that everyone has that same intention.
Beside the point. Jehovah’s marker to show they were His was circumcision.

I’m not importing…. Those who use the jewelry or symbol created it or use it in “taking over” the significance and symbol of the sacraments. That’s the issue. Even if that isn’t their design, they have effectively replaced the sacraments’ purpose with a price of jewelry: making less significant the commanded sacrament by making more significant the uncommanded jewelry.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
This just feels like legalism to me. I’m leaving the Puritan Board. Too much of this feels so pharisaical to me, and not striving for Christ-likeness. We talk more about the law than about Christ. It’s been a good run
Please keep in mind that not everyone holds this view on crosses. There are a variety of opinions on this board (see Christmas). You are not expected to agree or conform to this specific view.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
Think about how creative license has caused division due to interpretations on how one perceives him to look. There is a practical application to this beyond just don't do it. Eliminating the pictures of him eliminates this divisiveness. What we know about idols, in general, is that man-made things are quickly turned into them intentionally or unintentionally.
I absolutely agree with this. As Calvin said, the human heart is an idol factory
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
Beside the point. Jehovah’s marker to show they were His was circumcision.

I’m not importing…. Those who use the jewelry or symbol created it or use it in “taking over” the significance and symbol of the sacraments. That’s the issue. Even if that isn’t their design, they have effectively replaced the sacraments’ purpose with a price of jewelry: making less significant the commanded sacrament by making more significant the uncommanded jewelry.
This is clearly an issue of conscience for you. It is not for others. I can agree with the general principle you are communicating, but believe Andrew is giving a reasonable response.
 
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