by Tad Lindley
In case you haven’t read the news, there are groups of protestors who are defacing, destroying, and removing statues around the country. There are calls to destroy Mount Rushmore. Recently someone has called to tear down all statues of Jesus (if he appears to be white).
Bible says, “Go for it”
In fact, the Bible supports getting rid of all statues of Jesus, whether he appears to be European, African, Native American, Asian, or Mediterranean. You say, “Brother Lindley, I thought you were a Christian! How can you say that the Bible is against statues of Jesus?” All I’m doing is relaying the message that God gave Moses on Mt. Sinai: You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (Exodus 20:4 NKJV)
The Bible says statues of Jesus are wrong
For those of you who feel like some scripture is more important than others, this one comes straight out of the Ten Commandments in Exodus. We are not to make carved images, that would be statues, or any likeness, which would include flat images of anything that is in heaven above. This would absolutely include Jesus, but would also include angels. Exodus 20:4 is the reason that no statues or images of Jesus existed in his time. Jews did not make images of themselves, as this was clearly against the plan of God for them.
Statue and image worship is wrong
If we feel that we are blessed to have a statue of Jesus or Buddha or any other person in our home, we are attributing supernatural power to that object. We are in effect making it an idol. The Bible again strongly condemns this in the Ten Commandments: You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods… (Exodus 20:5 NLT)
Our God is The Rock, not carved from a rock
Jesus is the Rock of our salvation. There is a difference between the living God, Jesus Christ, and a carved, molded, or painted image of a man that is an artist’s recreation of Jesus. Statues do not save us, to the contrary, they can cause us to be lost.
Should I get rid of my statues?
It is possible that you come out of an idol worshipping culture, whether it is statues of Jesus or Buddha, or Baal, or Zoroaster, or angels, or baseball cards of dead church members. God is jealous for you to turn from statues. So much so that many verses in the Bible deal with the subject. I am going to stop writing and give you some verses to consider as you work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).
Bible verses about idol worship
Revelation 9:20, 21:8
Isaiah 44:6-23, 45:20
I Corinthians 6:9, 10:14
I John 5:21
Having read these verses, it is clear that statues of Jesus actually turn people away from God by promoting idolatry, so if the statues come down, it is probably a good thing.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.