The Bible’s answer
No, we should not. Describing the laws that God gave to the nation of Israel, the New Catholic Encyclopedia notes: “From various Biblical accounts it is evident that the true worship of God was devoid of images.” Consider these Bible verses:
“You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or that is on the earth underneath or that is in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them nor be induced to serve them, because I Jehovah your God am a God exacting exclusive devotion.” (Exodus 20:
4, 5) Since God requires “exclusive devotion,” he is not pleased if we praise or worship images, pictures, idols, icons, statues, or symbols.
“I will not let statues take the praise that should be mine.” (Isaiah 42:8, Easy-to-Read Version) God rejects worship given to him through images. When some Israelites tried to worship him using a statue of a calf, God said that they had committed “a terrible sin.”
—Exodus 32: 7-9, Easy-to-Read Version.
“We ought not to imagine that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, like something sculptured by the art and contrivance of man.” (Acts 17:29) In contrast to pagan worship, which often uses images “sculptured by the art and contrivance of man,” Christians should be “walking by faith, not by sight,” as the Bible says.
—2 Corinthians 5:7.
“Guard yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:
21) In commands given both to the nation of Israel and to Christians, the Bible consistently exposes as a myth the teaching that God approves of the use of images and icons in worship.
Although we are Christians, we do not use the cross in our worship. Why not?
Many people view the cross as a symbol of Christianity. Should we use it in worship?
What challenges might you face when sharing your beliefs with others? How can you do so without offending them?