1 Corinthians 8:4 We know that "an idol has no real existence," and that "there is no God but one." |
Moses continues preparing the children of the Children of Israel to enter the Land. He gives them commandments such as what to do with the idolatrous temples, about the jubilees, and instructions concerning worship. These are all 'Land' relevant and do not necessarily apply in the Diaspora.
We must be wise with this commandment though. In Asian countries people have in their houses statues of gods. In Thailand people hang 'spirit houses' on their walls with a statue or a picture inside. In front of it is a little platform to place a bill or a fruit symbolizing an offering. People pray towards it. These people use these things as religious objects. When I came to America, I saw people use 'spirit houses' as garden decorations. People who travelled even use statues or symbols of African or Asian gods as decorations. They are probably atheists, or believers with poor discernment in their choice of art, but they do not use these statues as objects of veneration. Many youth in the West use the 'Ying-Yang' sign not knowing that it is a Taoist symbol.
We must be careful with symbols. We can't condemn every household with a symbol we consider idolatrous. Symbols are nothing in themselves; they travel through time and cultures and only reflect the power WE give them: what they mean to us. The cross that reminds you of Messiah to us is a symbol of persecution, even to a believing Jew. We must always consider what is called: 'kavanah', or 'intent'. A person could adorn themselves with the right 'symbols', clothing, and linguo, yet have an idolatrous heart, and vice-versa. In the ancient world, people used trees, rocks, semi-precious stones, silver, and gold as objects of veneration. Today the rainbow is a symbol for homosexuals. Do all these things represent the identity we give them? Satanic cults use five pointed-stars in their rituals; is every star then a pentagram? Sadly, this is what happened to the Six-Pointed Star.
Christian Anti Semitism really started with Roman hatred of Israel and Domitian's efforts to exterminate the House of David. This anti-Semitism transferred to the Roman Catholic Church in the crusades, the Inquisition, Martin Luther, the writing of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and eventually the Holocaust. The favored propaganda tool was (and still is) to associate Judaism and its symbols with all kinds of satanic evil. This developed into the still lingering image of the conspirator Jew, personified by an evil Star of David, taking over the world. There might have been Jewish bankers with an agenda, but to justify condemnation of a race or religion on the basis of the actions of some is the prelude to racism and bigotry. The six-pointed star is used today by many organizations, Jewish and not. It is even used by Satanists and some proclaim it to be the Mark of the Beast of Revelations. It is very clever and the resurgence of these lies could bring about a persecution bigger than the Holocaust, again by Christians swallowing these lies and viewing Jews as the enemy. Will History repeat itself?
Paul addressed the issue of idolatry, He said, we know that "an idol has no real existence (1 Corinthians 8:4)".
Patrick Gabriel Lumbroso
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