In a grotesque effort to sidestep God's hatred for their idolatry, Roman Catholic Theologians prefer a twisted version of the Ten Commandments. The Catholic version chooses to omit the Second Commandment and attempts to carve the Tenth into two.
Catholics have good reason to try to play down this commandment which deals with the making and worship of images. As in all other forms of idolatry, they claim that they only use the image to remind them of the god represented by the images. But God worded Exodus 20 so clearly that no one can misunderstand unless he has already decided what he wants to believe in spite of the facts.
The key is in the definition of the word "worship." Ex. 20:4-5 says that we are not to bow down to nor serve. The most common Greek and Hebrew words translated "worship," carry the connotation of bowing. God did not misunderstand. He forbid the specific action of bowing down which He considers to be worship.
In other parts of Scripture the act of bowing constitutes worship. In Rev. 19:10 John is reproved when he attempts to bow down to an angel. In Acts 10:25-26, Peter immediately grabs Cornelius and makes him stand up when he tries to bow in worship to him. It is obvious from these two passages that the act of bowing is considered worship.
Catholic theologians get around this charge of worshipping idols of Mary and the saints by dividing up their definition of worship into three levels: 1) LATRIA--The supreme worship of God. 2) HYPERDULIA--the "veneration" of Mary. 3) DULIA--The secondary "veneration" of saints and angels.
By this hair splitting they will deny that bowing to statues of Mary and the saints and praying to them is worship, that it is only "veneration." However, it is clear that God considers this bowing in "veneration" to be worship because He specifically forbids it.
Idols are very useful to priestcraft because the priest who serves the idol can make the idol say whatever he wants. This gives him complete control of the followers of the idol. Thus the priest is able to dictate to the idol's followers the demonic tune they are to dance to.
He usually contrives a way for the idol to "speak" so that the words carry the authority of "god."
An example of this is the various apparitions of "Mary" in such places as Lourdes, Fatima and Guadalupe. Here the priests were able (with the help of demons) to get a message out to the world making it look like that message came from their god represented by the idol.
The Roman priestcraft system is very cautious. The apparitions mentioned above have been studied carefully and accepted as authentic because the message serves a useful purpose in promoting Vatican goals.
Other current "appearances" of Mary such as in Bayside, New York and Medjugorje, Yugoslavia have not yet officially been accepted by the Hierarchy. They are studying them carefully to see how best to use the message which the demons are presenting.
But God wanted to be sure we understood, so He went even further and forbid men from "serving" idols. The Hebrew word translated "serve" is a root word used to mean "work for." All of the activity surrounding the promotion and display of idols of Mary and even the Eucharist is "working for" (serving) these idols and is specifically forbidden along with bowing to them. When the image of the Virgin Mary or the Eucharist is carried in procession for the adoration of a crowd of people, how can this not be an act of serving?
But when we tell one lie, we usually must tell another one to cover up the first. "Catholic Answers" newsletter explains the division of the tenth commandment into two so that there are still ten. It says in the April, 1987 issue: "The (Catholic) Church divides the biblical list so that the Ninth and Tenth Commandments refer to the separate sins of adultery and theft."
But adultery and theft are already covered in the Seventh and Eighth commandments. This puts God in a foolish position of repeating Himself, or maybe He only intended to have eight commandments in the first place.
Verse 17 of Ex. 20 is all one sentence beginning with the single commandment: "Thou shalt not covet..." Then comes a list of examples of what we are not to covet, including other men's wives and property.
Well does God label this pagan system of idolatrous priestcraft as a spiritual prostitute? Solomon says that simple ones "void of understanding" are led away by such harlots like an ox to the slaughter.
Soul winners, let's redouble our efforts to warn the fifty million precious American Catholics that they must flee the bonds of this priestcraft system and come directly to Jesus in simple faith for salvation.