Too often, believers skim over the ten commandments, moving onto other more niche theological issues to study and pick apart, thinking, “I haven’t murdered anyone, check! I haven’t cheated on my spouse, check! I was pretty nice to my mom this week, check!” so on and so forth. We think, even if not consciously, that the ten commandments are fairly easy to keep if you are by the world’s standards a “good person.”
In my experience, however, very few people in wider evangelical circles consider how the second commandment should practically play out in their lives. For many, a cursory reading seems like a simple enough command to follow, “Well I haven’t carved an idol of God (or anything else ever for that matter), check!” But what does carving mean in our modern context? What is making a ‘likeness of anything that is in heaven above’ and why does it matter?
…Even though carved is the explicit word used, we should understand that at the time of the commandments being written it was the way in which images were created. Rather, we should understand the spirit of what God said, knowing that even though it doesn’t say “don’t draw a picture of Jesus on your iPad” or “don’t paint a giant mural of Jesus’ face on the side of a building,” we understand that the commandment applies to modern ways of carving as well.
…When I first started to become convicted of what the second commandment entails, I wasn’t thinking about it as a loving thing but how much of an obstacle it was in my life. How would I remove images of God? I love and studied art history and now there was a lot of art I could no longer view in good conscience, how would I teach young children about God, and could I never see another nativity play in my life? It seemed almost impossible to live in Christian culture without being confronted with images of God or Jesus in some way. Nonetheless, I realized that my concerns were entirely inwardly focused. What was God trying to teach me about Himself through making this commandment? Read More»
Sarah Perkins | “The Second Commandment and the Christian Life” | December 3, 2022
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