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Are You Good Enough to Go to Heaven?

Thoughts For Young Men


The Ten Commandments

Have you ever noticed that Catholics and Protestants have a different set of the Ten Commandments? Really, they do. Let's check out what is the difference between them for ourselves to see clearly what is going on. In the King James Bible we find them in the Book of Exodus.

Commandment #1 - "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Commandment #2 - "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 earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to 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; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

Commandments #3 - "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."

Commandment #4 - "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it."

Commandment #5 - "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God grivets thee."

Commandment #6 - "Thou shalt not kill."

Commandment #7 - "Thou shalt not commit adultery."

Commandment #8 - "Thou shalt not steal."

Commandment #9 - "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."

Commandment #10 - "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."

Now we'll see the difference is found in the second and tenth commandments where the Catholic Catechism's version eliminates the second commandment and splits the tenth into two commandments. The Catholic version has #2 the same as the Protestant's #3 and continues down to #9 which is the same as the Protestant's #10A -"Do not covet your neighbour's wife" and than they make their tenth one out of the Protestants 10B- "Do not covet anything that is thy neighbor's."

So what is the difference? And is there something that one side doesn't want to obey or is someone trying to avoid something? It appears that the Catholic version has a smaller second commandment than what the Bible tells us with the missing part being, "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 earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them." Apparently by looking at the difference, the whole philosophy about statues, images and prayers to the dead, Mary and the saints in Heaven, are forbidden. What do they say about this, and how is this explained?

Here is their explanation as found in Catholic Answers: But calling Catholics idolaters because they have images of Christ and the saints is based on misunderstanding or ignorance of what the Bible says about the purpose and uses (both good and bad) of statues. Yet if people were to "search the scriptures" (cf. John 5:39), they would find the opposite is true. God forbade the worship of statues, but he did not forbid the religious use of statues. Instead, he actually commanded their use in religious contexts! People who oppose religious statuary forget about the many passages where the Lord commands the making of statues. For example in Exodus 25:18-20 is where Solomon is commanded to make the angels and cherubim for inside of the temple. David gave Solomon the plan for the temple which include angels was done as written by the Lord. (1 Chronicles 28:18, 19) Similarly Ezekiel 41:17–18 describes graven (carved) images in the idealized temple he was shown in a vision. Furthermore, one had to look at the bronze statue of the serpent to be healed, which shows that statues could be used ritually, not merely as religious decorations. (Numbers 21:8,9)  Catholics use statues, paintings, and other artistic devices to recall the person or thing depicted. Just as it helps to remember one’s mother by looking at her photograph, so it helps to recall the example of the saints by looking at pictures of them. Catholics also use statues as teaching tools. In the early Church they were especially useful for the instruction of the illiterate. Many Protestants have pictures of Jesus and other Bible pictures in Sunday school for teaching children. Catholics also use statues to commemorate certain people and events, much as Protestant churches have three-dimensional nativity scenes at Christmas. If one measured Protestants by the same rule, then by using these "graven" images, they would be practicing the "idolatry" of which they accuse Catholics.

What About Bowing? Though bowing can be used as a posture in worship, not all bowing is worship. A Catholic who may kneel in front of a statue while praying isn’t worshipping the statue or even praying to it, any more than the Protestant who kneels with a Bible in his hands when praying is worshipping the Bible or praying to it.

Hiding the Second Commandment? Another charge sometimes made by Protestants is that the Catholic Church "hides" the second commandment. From this, it is argued that Catholics have deleted the prohibition of idolatry to justify their use of religious statues. But this is false. Catholics simply group the commandments differently from most Protestants. This is no attempt to "hide" the idolatry prohibition. It is to make learning the Ten Commandments easier.

Idolatry Condemned by the Church. Since the days of the apostles, the Catholic Church has consistently condemned the sin of idolatry. The early Church Fathers warn against this sin, and Church councils also dealt with the issue. The Church absolutely recognizes and condemns the sin of idolatry. What anti-Catholics fail to recognize is the distinction between thinking a piece of stone or plaster is a god and desiring to visually remember Christ and the saints in heaven by making statues in their honor. The making and use of religious statues is a thoroughly biblical practice. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know his Bible.

Conclusion - It seems that the Catholics appear to have given much thought to this charge of hiding the second commandment. However they do not know the Bible as well as they would have one think. It's not just as simple as owning a statue or picture of some loved one who has past away already but more about who you seek assistance from in a spiritual point of view. The Bible tells us that there is only one God and that He is a jealous God.   Psalm 46:10 tells us to, "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." Deuteronomy 5:8,9 tells us, "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." We can see the awesomeness, the majestic capabilities of God in Job 38 to the end of the Book. Isaiah 40:13 puts it in perspective by asking, "Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?" Yet God tells us that He is reachable and we can go to Him. Hebrews 4:15,16 says, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." The facts are that when a person treats someone, or something, as a God, it still is a form of idolatry. The Bible clearly says that "there is but one mediator - the man Jesus Christ." (1 Timothy 2:5) And the Bible says in Isaiah 8:19, ".... should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?" Even common sense tells you that as a human on Earth, you can only do so much; listening to 3 people at once would be difficult enough. So how is a human to answer and hear one billion prayers per hour, per day, let alone do something about the prayers. They would have to be a god.

Biblically speaking, despite any valiant attempt to justify the Catholic form, it does look like they've attempted to rewrite the Scriptures so as to allow for their practice of idolatry. The error as we saw is indeed a form of idolatry, just another one of Satan's villainous attempts to deceive so many and why it is so important for one to know God's Word.  The commandments are as the Protestants find them, written in the Bible under the inspiration of God.