Mary receives special 'veneration', Roman Catholicism also
encourages the revering of other historical 'saints' and the
observance of 'Saints days'. But when Scripture refers to
'saints' it means every one of the Lord's true followers, not
just a few deceased ones:
|"Unto the church of God ... to
them that are sanctified [i.e. made
saintly] in Christ Jesus, called to be
saints..." (1 Corinthians 1:2). See also Romans
The epistles are addressed to
|"...unto the church of God which is
at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all
Achaia" (2 Corinthians 1:1).
"...to the saints which are at Ephesus..."
(Ephesians 1:1) See also 2 Corinthians 13:13,
Philippians 1:1 & 4:21-22, Colossians 1:2, Hebrews
Although we should emulate the
faithful men and women of God from past centuries, Rome's reverence
goes well beyond that - into idolatry. Many of
Rome's saints can be traced back to pagan heroes and heathen
'gods' and have simply been adopted by Rome in a 'Christian' guise.
Although this may have been done to draw pagans into the Roman
Catholic Church, it now means that believers are honouring idols.
(And, of course, men should be drawn into the Church not by its
similarity to the world but by its dissimilarity.
Scripture commands us to "Be not conformed to this world"
(Romans 12:2), and far from encouraging us to bring pagan things
into the Church, and the Lord blesses those who purge all
such things out:
|"And they brought forth the images
out of the house of Baal, and burned them. And
they broke down the image of Baal, and broke down the
house of Baal, ... Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of
Israel. ... And the LORD said unto Jehu, ... thou
hast done well in executing that which is right in mine
eyes..." (2 Kings 10:26-30).
Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king
and the people, that they should be the LORD'S people;
between the king also and the people. And all the people
of the land went into the house of Baal, and brake it
down; his altars and his images brake they in pieces
thoroughly, ... And all the people of the land
rejoiced, and the city was in quiet:..." (2 Kings 11:17-20).
"Hezekiah ... did
that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according
to all that David his father did. He removed the high
places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves,
and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses
had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did
burn incense to it: ... He
trusted in the LORD God of Israel; ... he clave to the LORD, and departed
not from following him, but kept his commandments,..." (2 Kings 18:1-6).
"Moreover the workers with familiar
spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the
and all the abominations that were spied in the land of
Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, ... he ...
turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his
soul, and with all his might..." (2 Kings 23:24-25).
Charles Chiniquy, a Catholic priest
for many years, reveals the practices of that vast institution in
his famous book Fifty Years in the Church of Rome. He
had this to say of Rome's saints and the images that have been made
|"Were not our prayers to the Virgin
and to the saints repeated, almost in the same words, by
the [pagan] worshippers who prostrated themselves
before the images of their gods, just as we
repeated them every day before the images which
adorn our churches?...
by history the year in which the magnificent temple
consecrated to all the gods, bearing the name of
Pantheon, had been built at Rome. We
were acquainted with the names of several of the
sculptors who had carved the statues of the gods in
that heathen temple, at whose feet the idolators
bowed respectfully, and words cannot express the
shame we felt on learning that the Roman Catholics
of our day, under the very eyes and with the same
sanction of the Pope, still prostrated themselves before
the SAME IDOLS, in the SAME TEMPLE, and to obtain the
SAME FAVOURS ... but instead of calling this statue
Jupiter, we call it Peter; and instead of calling that
Minerva or Venus, we call it St. Mary"
Though Rome works hard to downplay
the nature of her practices regarding statues of Mary and other
departed 'saints', Scripture is very clear:
|"Thou shalt not make unto thee any
graven image, or any likeness of any thing
that is in heaven above, or that is in the water under
the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to
them, nor serve them" (Exodus 20:4,5a).
"Thou shalt have none other gods before
me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any
likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that
is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters
beneath the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto
them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a
jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon
the children unto the third and fourth generation of
them that hate me" (Deuteronomy 5:7-9).
"Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to
yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God" (Leviticus 19:4).
"They ... were mingled among the
heathen, and learned their works. And they
served their idols: which were a snare unto
them... Thus they were defiled with their own works, ...
Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled"
"Little children, keep yourselves from
idols. Amen" (1 John 5:21).
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