Apologetics / Reflections Bible Catholic Church Catholic Faith Uncategorized

FROM INACCURACY TO IDOLATRY

 

 

 

 

 

By: Pastor Manny
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Every time na may non-Catholics and anti-Catholics na nagbabanggit na we are guilty of idolatry dahil sa paggawa ng images or statues ng saints and ni Jesus, I usually hear two types of arguments. The most common argument na naririnig ko sa kanila ay ang citation nila ng Exodus 20:4. To people who are unfamiliar sa bible verse na ito, this is what Exodus 20:4 says.
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Exodus 20:4
4 “You shall NOT MAKE for yourself a GRAVEN IMAGE, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth* *[emphasis added];
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Unfortunately, they end up misinterpreting that bible verse since that verse doesn’t mean na bawal gumawa ng images ng kahit sino or kahit ano. It doesn’t mean na bawal gumawa ng images ng saints na nasa langit. Yun ang makukuha nilang interpretation if puputulin nila sa original context ang bible verse na yan. Rather, what that verse means is that it’s forbidden to make an image na nagrerepresent ng false gods, those they thought to be gods even though it’s not the true God. This is something na inexplain ko in my previous post [1].
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Ngayon, hindi pa natatapos ang arguments ng mga non-Catholics and anti-Catholics. Yung isang argument pa nila ay ang tinatawag kong “Argument from Inaccuracy.” Ang common na maririnig natin ay sa kanila ay ito. Since hindi kahawig ni Jesus ang image na nagrerepresent sa Kanya, therefore we are guilty of idolatry. For the most part, I just dismiss this argument since the reasoning behind this leads to different inconsistency and absurdity. Lately, may nareceive akong messages from non-Catholic na gumagamit ng ganitong argument, and this leads me to an idea of making this post para makita ng kapwa ko Catholics and sa mga non-Catholics ang problems sa argument na to. What I will be doing is magbibigay ako ng deductive argument kung saan I will be speaking as if I am a non-Catholic. Magbibigay ako ng better version ng “Argument from Inaccuracy” since yung sentence na “Hindi kahawig ni Jesus ang image na nagrerepresent sa Kanya, therefore it’s idolatry” is not really a good argument and ilalatag ko ang premises sa reasoning nila while seeing the problems sa premise nila. So, this is how their argument will look like if gagawin kong in deductive form ang “Argument from Inaccuracy.”
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Premise 1: An idol is an image of what some thought represents the true God even if it doesn’t represent the true God.
Premise 2: An inaccurate image doesn’t represent what it’s supposed to represent.
Premise 3: The images of Jesus are inaccurate portrayal of Jesus, the true God.
Conclusion 1: Therefore, the images of Jesus do not represent the true God.
Conclusion 2: Therefore, the images of Jesus are idols.
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If the premises are true, it follows necessarily that the conclusions are true. Even though problematic ang argument nila, dapat maging careful tayo sa counter-arguments natin sa kanila. Kung titignan natin ang mga premises, we can agree with premise 1. Ang mga idolaters, naniniwala sila na totoo ang mga diyos diyosan nila at ang idols nila ay nagrerepresent ng diyos diyosan nila even though na kahit para sa kanila ay representation yun ng true gods, in reality, it doesn’t represent the true God. For example, if may idolaters na naniniwala na si Zeus ay diyos at may idol sila, we know na ang image ni Zeus doesn’t represent the true God na dinescribe sa Bible. Though I think may better definition ng idol compared sa first premise, we can agree with it. We can also agree sa third premise kung saan ang images ni Jesus do not accurately portray Jesus Christ Himself (who is the true God) since wala naman tayong photo ni Jesus nung time na nabuhay Siya. Unfortunately, may problem ako sa second premise ng argument na to, and I will be giving at least two questions for them that leads to the understanding why the second premise is wrong.
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Question #1: Is 100% Accuracy Really that Necessary?
Ang argument nila ay since hindi kamukha ni Jesus ang nasa image natin or statue natin, therefore hindi yun ang true representation ni Jesus which leads us to idolatry. However, that idea is problematic because that assumes na kailangan 100% accurate ang isang image for us to say it represents something. And yet, hindi tayo nagdedemand ng 100% accuracy with regards to other things. For example, meron tayong statue ni Lapu-Lapu na obviously ay hindi kamukha ni Lapu-Lapu. Do we tell others that this is not a representation of Lapu-Lapu? Meron din tayong statue ni Jose Rizal na hindi 100% kamukha ni Jose Rizal. Do we tell others that this is not a representation of Jose Rizal? Paano naman kapag may nagbibigay ng honor kay Jose Rizal by saluting in front of his statue? Do we say that they are not giving honor to Jose Rizal? Or, what about our family picture. Dahil sa technology, we can have a printed version of a family picture na accurate with what we really look like. What if kumupas to dahil sa katagalan o nabasa to o nasunog to? Do we say that this picture no longer represents our family?
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May naalala akong biblical passage kung saan applicable yung point na niraise ko dito. It’s seen in Mark 12:16-17, a passage that talks about the image that represented Caesar.
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Mark 12:16-17
16 And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose LIKENESS and inscription is this?” They said to him, “CAESAR’S.” 17 Jesus said to them, “Render to CAESAR the things that are CAESAR’S, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at him [emphasis added].
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Tinanong ni Jesus Christ kung sino ang nirerepresent ng image ni Caesar sa coin nila, and the audience said that it’s Caesar. Even in the next verse, Jesus mentioned Caesar to affirm that this represents Jesus. At, alam natin na ang images nung panahon ni Jesus ay hindi exact representation ng kung ano ang itsura ng mga tao dati, including ni Caesar, and yet, inacknowledge ng ating Panginoon that this represents Caesar. Ironically, Jesus doesn’t have the strict standard na meron ibang non-Catholics and anti-Catholics.
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Question #2: Is Jesus a false God?
I somehow believe that an idol doesn’t represent the true God in a sense that an idol doesn’t look like the true God. For example, kapag may Rizalista na nagsabi Diyos si Jose Rizal, I agree with others that Jose Rizal doesn’t look like Jesus Christ. However, ang hindi pagiging kamukha ni Jose Rizal kay Jesus Christ is only secondary kung bakit hindi Diyos si Jose Rizal. The primary or more fundamental reason is that Jose Rizal is not Jesus Christ. Jose Rizal is not God. Suppose may nagsabi na si Jose Rizal ay true God, and since alam natin na Jose Rizal is not God, it follows that the statue of Rizal being worshipped by his followers is a false god or a representation of false god. Hypothetically speaking, even if hawig ni Jose Rizal si Jesus Christ, it still follows na Jose Rizal is not the true God because his personhood is different from the personhood of Jesus Christ or any Divine Person in the Trinity. Of course, this reflection can be seen in different examples, but my point is that an idol is not merely something that doesn’t look like the true God. Rather, it represents the false God. Ito yung point kung bakit bago ang Exodus 20:4 na tungkol sa paggawa ng idol, God started with the idea that it’s wrong to worship false gods.
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Exodus 20:3
*“You shall have **NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME *[emphasis added].
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What’s worse is if gagamitin ang Exodus 20:3-5 against sa statues ni Jesus Christ. Imagine this. If an idol is a representation of a false God, does that mean that Jesus Christ is a false god? Does that mean that Jesus Christ is a god beside YHWH of Old Testament?
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With this in mind, let’s not act as if our mere goal is to win arguments. They are still children of God, and as such, it is our goal to help them to understand the truth about God, the Church that He instituted, and the images that help us reflect and meditate as Christians. Let’s continuously pray for them.
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Reference:
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