Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A perpetual factory of idols

Calvin's Institutes
Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator

Chapter 11 - It is Unlawful to Attribute a Visible Form to God, and
generally whoever sets up idols revolts against the true God
Sections 5-7 - Pope Gregory's error in this refuted from Scripture and the fathers
Section 5 - Scripture judges otherwise
Pope Gregory first argued that images are the books of the uneducated.
The prophets declare them sources of "vanity and falsehood."
Jer 10:8; Hab 2:18.

Section 6 - The doctors of the church, too, partly judged otherwise
Lactantius, Eusebius and Augustine also differed with Gregory
The Council of Elvira (305) also declared against them.

Section 7 - The images of the papists are entirely inappropriate
Their images are obscene and more provocative than prostitutes
The only reason the unlearned need images to teach them is because the Church has not done it.
We wouldn't need pictures of crosses if the Church would teach the truths in Gal 3:13; Heb 10:10; Rev 1:5; Rom 5:10

Section 8 - The origin of images: man's desire for a tangible deity
Idols didn't begin from ancestor worship, but from the human heart.
Laban (Gen 31:19) and Terah (Josh 24:2) were both idol worshipers, from the line of Shem.
Israel needed a visible form for proof of God's presence (Ex 32:1).

Section 9 - Any use of images leads to idolatry
We can't help but ascribe deity to images, even if we say there is a difference.
Israel claimed their idols were the very gods that freed them.
Lev 26:13; Ex 32:4-8

Section 10 - Image worship in the church
Image worshipers claim God isn't in the image, but kneel and turn to it.
Israel didn't call their idols their gods, but were committing idolatry with them anyway (Jer 2:27; Ezek 6:4ff; Isa 40:19-20; Hab 2:18-19; Deut 32:37).

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