Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Statement On Idols, Images, and Ancestors

As there have been many converts from Buddhism, Hinduism, and other faiths over the years we feel it is necessary to make the following statement.

It is a tradition in Buddhist, Shinto, and Hindu homes to have an altar with incense, candles, and statues.  These home altars are used to offer daily food and drink to ancestors.  This practice must stop in Christian homes.  Once one has accepted Christ as Savior then all associated Pagan traditions are to end.

Some have had images or shrines in their home for years after converting to Christianity.  People may see these as merely cultural items, or they may even feel attached to some of these items. But God is the one who says how He should be worshipped, and the Bible teaches that He does not want us to use images. (Read Exodus 20:4, 5; Psalm 115:4-8; Isaiah 42:8; 1 John 5:21) 

So you can take a stand for true worship by destroying any items you own that are connected with false worship. By all means, come to view them as Christ does—as something “detestable.”—Deuteronomy 27:15.

Ancestor worship also is common in many false  religions. Before learning Bible truth, some believed that the dead are conscious in an invisible realm and that they can help or harm the living. Perhaps you used to go to great lengths to appease your dead ancestors. The Pagan dead are in Hell and have no conscious existence anywhere. Thus, attempts to communicate with them are of no use. Any messages that seem to come from a dead loved one really originate with the demons. Therefore, God forbade the Israelites to try to talk with the dead or to participate in any other form of spiritism.—Read Deuteronomy 18:10-12.

If the use of images or the practice of ancestor worship was part of your former way of worship, what can you do? Read and ponder over Bible passages that show you how God views these things. Pray to Jehovah daily about your desire to take a stand for true worship, and ask him to help you to think as he does.—Isaiah 55:9.

As the Apostle Paul urges in Romans 12:1:

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.