After Moses freed the people of Israel from Egypt; they sailed off into the sunset, embarking on a journey through the desert. They walked and walked and walked until they arrived at Mount Sinai. Moses took a trip up said mountain and was gone for forty days and forty nights. Upon his return he came down the mountain with the Ten Commandments carved into stone by Gods own finger. These Ten Commandments would become the list of religious and moral imperatives for those of the Jewish and Christian beliefs. The list is quaint yet eloquent. I have met people who believe the only laws God gave us were the Ten Commandments. This is not the case; God also gave us the “Book of the Covenant” which contains many more specific laws God gave us. I think the Ten Commandments became more popular among man because they were easier to remember and follow. The word “commandments” is mentioned numerous times in the Bible, and I do not feel they are just referring to the ten most popular ones. My father is the only person I have ever met who follows all of Gods laws; but I digress. My concern in relation to this post is how we consistently break the first Commandment. I am not talking about just those who believe differently, I am talking about those who follow the Christian and Catholic faiths.

The Ten Commandments are mentioned in Exodus 20:2-7 and in Deuteronomy 5:6-21. The first Commandment in Exodus 20:3-5 reads as follows:

3.Do not have any gods before me. 4. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5. You shall not bow down or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.”

First I would like to point out the verbiage in this passage. It says no other ‘gods” before me. I take this as there being the possibility of other Gods out there. Which would make sense since the Tao gave birth to God, which means she could have given birth to multiple Gods. I was a bit offended by the lower case “g”.

To me this Commandment is pretty cut and dry. We should only worship and pray to one God. We should not construct any idols to worship. This is how God wanted us to be; but do we actually follow this? The answer to that question is a huge NO. Catholic churches pray and bow down to the Mother Mary, and many different Saints; where those of the Christian and Catholic faiths worship and pray to Jesus Christ. In every church I have ever been to (I didn’t start on fire after walking through the door) there was always a huge cross with Jesus perched upon it somewhere in the building. I don’t know about you, but to me this is worshiping a false idol. Not that Jesus was false, but that we have created and turned him into an idol we pray and worship to.

Matthew 15:9 “But in vein they do worship me, (Jesus) teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

I think what Jesus is saying is we would eventually get to a point where Christianity becomes more about Jesus than it does about God himself. There is a story somewhere in the Bible; I think in Exodus about two men who constructed this golden calf so they could use it as an alter to make sacrifices to God. Moses became angry and told them to step off of the golden calf because that constitutes worshiping false idols. I ask you this; what is the difference between this golden calf and all those Jesus, Saints, crosses, and Mother Mary’s statues in our churches? To me this sounds like worshiping false idols.

I tend to get confused a bit when reading the New Testament. I get the feeling that Jesus puts himself on an equal playing field as God, and insinuates he is one and the same. One of the many examples is in John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”  This was taken from a conversation with a man where Jesus clearly says the commandments are his commandments. There are other examples throughout the New Testament that brings up this strange concept. I understand Jesus is the son of God, but is by no means a God himself. An opposite example is in Mark 12:29 “and Jesus answered him the first of all commandments is hear, O Israel the Lord our God is one Lord.”  Jesus is telling this man that there is only one Lord, yet throughout the Bible Jesus is referred to as the Lord. I think this confusing duality is put to bed nicely in Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the Commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” When it comes to this conundrum I have been speaking about this chapter and verse point out that God is supreme and his commandments should be followed, and we must also have the faith of Jesus in our hearts. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe before Jesus was Jesus he was the Word. If this is true and not a part of my imagination than these types of duality comments would make more sense.

For those of you out there who are of the Christian belief I ask you to sit down and meditate about this post. Ask yourself if we have gotten to the point where we have created false idols. If the answer is yes than you must reassess your beliefs a bit. If the answer is no; then at least you got fifteen minutes of quite time.

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Comments
  1. corey bratt says:

    i didn’t have time to read your whole post because i have children lurking and i don’t want them to mosey over and see this post, but i have a few points to make: 1) “gods before me” is referring to the false gods that some worshipped back then, and for today it refers to things that people worship and hold before god, with the biggest ones being money or a job. 2)i am a christian, not a catholic, so i can make the point that it IS wrong that the catholics worship Mary. and 3) Jesus IS on the same playing field as God, because they are one and the same. that is what is meant by “3 in 1”- the father, the son, and the holy ghost.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Corey,

      Good points. I love hearing from people who are more well versed than I am. Learning new things are the best. I thought I read in the Bible that before Jesus was Jesus he was the Word. I like to think that, it puts a good spin on what role Jesus played before he was Jesus. I do not think Jesus soul was created only by his birth. I quoted I still think in Matthew 15:9 Jesus was trying to warn us of worshiping him before God Himself.

  2. johanna says:

    Where do I begin?
    1. False Gods refers to putting anything before God. This could mean computer, gambling, facebook, sports, …..The list goes on and on. If you spend an inordinate amount of time on anything that distracts you from God and loving others, it is a form of idolatry.
    2. Catholics only worship one God. We do NOT worship Mary. We honor Mary as the immaculate vessel of the son of God. We also do not worship saints or bow down to statues. The saints are all of those who have gone before us who now reside in Heaven. We can ask the saints to pray for us just as we would ask our friends and neighbors to pray for us. We do NOT pray to them. We ask them to pray for us. (Being as they are with God, why not?)
    The images in Catholic Churches and in our homes remind us of those we love just as photo’s of loved ones remind us of that person. I have several images of Jesus and Mary in my home and when I pass them, I think of them and they act as a reminder to me to pray. These images are comforting, and beautiful. We do NOT worship statues or images. We just look at them. It is art.
    3. As to the nature of God, God is one person with 3 natures. This concept is the trinity. God is: God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Three parts to One God. Just as an apple is one piece of fruit, it is composed of three parts. The Skin protects the apple, (God the Father), the flesh is eaten (God the Son) and the seeds promote the proliferation of the fruit. (God the Holy Spirit). Sort of a simple analogy but perhaps it will help with the concept.

    4. The part about worshiping and praying to Jesus Christ are absolutely true. We believe Jesus Christ is God.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Johanna,

      Like always you schooled me on the topic. I like to think I have good knowledge of the inner workings of the Bible, but I tend to find I know nothing of the Bible. Perhaps it is because I read it with the wrong agenda.

  3. corey bratt says:

    johanna- i always love the apple analogy. it’s a great way to explain the trinity. i used to be catholic before i converted. i still remember saying the “hail mary”. LOL. that was years ago. guess my memory isn’t as bad as i sometimes think.

  4. johanna says:

    Corey, did you know the words from the Hail Mary are taken straight from the Bible? Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. (Luke 1:28)
    Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
    (Luke 1 41-42) Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. (We ask Mary to intercede for us before the throne of God, on our behalf)

    And Tim, I enjoy our banter back and forth. Hopefully we can all help eachother on this never ending journey of understanding in this life!

  5. The Bible is one weird, strange and perverse book! I’m reading through it for my Tao Bible series on my blog. I had sort of forgotten just how nonsensical and irrational the Old Testament is.

    BTW, the concept of the trinity (3 in 1) didn’t exist in early Judaism OR Christianity. I don’t remember the precise time frame, but the concept wasn’t introduced until around the 3rd or 4th century CE.

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