It is time for another cow tipping post from Azusa Review…. What is graven images and are they ever ok? What if they are cultural images as well?
Graven Images is not just golden cows
Alot of people have this idea about graven images but in reality, it is not huge statues of cows and Kings. The days of the Golden Calf in the desert and ninety foot statues of gold are long gone. Shadrach and his friends are safe now.
The idols of choice for this generation are popularity and having the right smartphone and watching the latest movie on Netflix. Materialism is destroying the world. Don’t worry, Steve Jobs made a killing over your idolatry.
When Graven Images become cultural ones.
The picture above is from Tam-Am village in Banaue, Ifugao here in the Philippines. The people of Ifugao have long become Christian….at least in name. Some of them go to mass and some go to church but most, if not all, believe in Christianity in some form.
Here is the problem: they still give alms to the rice gods every harvest. They see no problem with offering worship to Jesus and the traditional rice gods. They do it with passion.
What does the pastors say about graven images? Nothing. In fact, many of them are right in the middle of it doing it as well.
Missionaries won’t touch the issue with a ten foot pole, either. The graven images are a cultural norm. Confronting the issue would not be positive in the mountains of the Cordillera. People have been beheaded for less.
Idolatry is idolatry no matter what.
Pastors and missionaries may smile at it and see it as “cultural” and harmless but God does not. In fact, I think the pastors will stand in judgement before God over these graven images.
It is the gospel that when you come to Christ, you leave your traditional gods. You are not adding Jesus to the list of rice gods.