No Graven Image “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any 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: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God” (Exodus 20:3-5). Jack Sparks questions whether icons are graven images and go against what is said in the bible in the pamphlet, “No Graven Image.” Sparks defines icons as “painted images of Jesus Christ and His followers who, through the centuries of our history as the Church, have been portrayed for all to see” (1). He explains that graven images are images that are worshipped or adored because God is the only thing to be worshiped. Icons are images that are to be venerated or respected. Therefore, icons are not graven images.
I agree that icons are not graven images. They help us worship God and celebrate our faith. Sparks mentions that blank walls in a church symbolize emptiness. Icons in the church enrich the celebration of God by keeping us interacted with the service. Images like the cross, grapes, and peacocks and pictures of Jesus and his followers remind us of why we are Christians.
People learn better with images rather than words. We often get bored or lost with words. Pictures keep us interested. We can look at an icon that shows a story in the bible, and we will remember the story much better than if we had only read the story. The picture makes the story more real, and we are able to understand it better. It is hard for us to understand people in the bible if we do not have an image in our head of what they may look like. Icons provide us an image of their appearances and help us see the invisible and spiritual.
Icons will help us grow in the image and likeness of God. We should respect, honor, and venerate icons. We have no problem honoring money. It is a piece of paper, and we as a society give it value. Nobody ever throws money away or defaces it because it is held in high regard. A person that says icons are graven images would also have to say that money is a graven image. We respect art that we see in museums.
Icons are art that we see in churches, so we should respect them also. We also honor people we know like parents, teachers, and friends. It is even more difficult for children to learn and stay interested without pictures and images. My parents wanted me to attend church and read the bible when I was a child. I would read a few paragraphs, and then I would find my mind drifting to other thoughts.
I could not stay focused or interested no matter how hard I tried. I could not remember what I had read the majority of the time either. My parents eventually bought me a picture bible. The stories in the bible where told somewhat like a comic book. I enjoyed reading the picture bible because it was fun.
I could see everything that happened in the stories. The pictures made the stories much easier to comprehend. I was able to remember the stories also because I had a picture in my head to refer to. I went to a Catholic high school, and the students had to go to Church every Sunday. The church on campus was amazing, and it took your breath away.
There were beautiful images everywhere you looked. There were carvings on the wall of events that took place in the bible. There were stained glass windows everywhere. There was an immense dome with different pictures and carvings of Jesus. The images helped me feel the presence of God.
Our faith is such an incredible thing, so the space we celebrate our faith should be incredible and represent all we believe in. Religion Essays.