Of Images

“What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it [is] laid over with gold and silver, and [there is] no breath at all in the midst of it. But the LORD [is] in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habakkuk 2:18-20).

Droves of professing Christians have a serious problem with making graven images of someone they’re calling “Jesus Christ.” This (apparently) insatiable desire to make Jesus Christ an idolatrous object of physical vision reveals an obedience problem with Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 4:15-16, Isaiah 40:18, and Habakkuk 2:18-20. This is evident in their idolatrous picture books and also on their blogs and websites. Some idolaters set forth the Incarnation of Jesus Christ as a defense for this idolatry or at least a reason for not being overly strict about it. Wow — the utter asininity of such argumentation. As even some of their own poets have wrote and understood:

“All manner of expressing God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost in an outward form is utterly unlawful; as also all other images devised or made by man to the use of religion” (Irish Articles). [The primary (if not exclusive) author was James Ussher]


“IMAGES OF CHRIST. Although Christ assumed human nature, yet he did not on that account assume it in order to provide a model for carvers and painters. He denied that he had come ‘to abolish the law and the prophets’ (Matt. 5:17). But images are forbidden by the law and the prophets’ (Deut. 4:15; Isa. 44:9). He denied that his bodily presence would be profitable for the Church, and promised that he would be near us by his Spirit forever (John 16:7). Who, therefore, would believe that a shadow or likeness of his body would contribute any benefit to the pious? (II Cor. 5:5). Since he abides in us by his Spirit, we are therefore the temple of God (I Cor. 3:16). But ‘what agreement has the temple of God with idols?’ (II Cor. 6:16)” (The Second Helvetic Confession; underlining mine) [The primary (if not exclusive) author was Heinrich Bullinger]

The words above ought to be enough to shut the foolish mouths of those who “reason” in the following manner:

“I’m a little hesitant about portraits of Jesus at all. And there’s an argument about whether that’s breaking the first commandment…you know…don’t make any graven images…don’t have any pictures of Jesus in your house. The reason I’m not a stickler on that is because Jesus became incarnate…and therefore we know He had a face. God the Father didn’t have a face except insofar He and the Son are One…Jesus had a face and so even though we don’t know what it looked like, I think renderings of it to show various things are okay.

And if we’re gonna do that they should be real diverse. I think they should be real diverse…cause…you lock in on that famous one…I don’t know what it’s called…the long-hair…the idyllic face…blue eyes…that’s absolutely absurd. But I think there should probably be black portrayals of Jesus and white portrayals of Jesus and Chinese portrayals of Jesus.

And everybody knows that they’re not accurate…there isn’t one that’s accurate. That’s why it’s legitimate to do lots of inaccurate ones…cause you just say we all know…that we don’t know what He looked like. So what we want to say with our inaccurate Jesus is something true about Jesus. Namely, He’s there for everybody” (John Piper, http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/what-do-you-think-of-pictures-of-jesus).

As one commentator aptly replied to Piper’s train-wreck of thought:

“There’s Piper’s logic. Since there isn’t one accurate picture of Jesus Christ, it’s legitimate to do lots of inaccurate ones. The reasoning of a moron.”