Friday, October 28, 2011

Is God a worshipper?

Idols are not Gods. They never were. Not just in the 'our-God-is-the-only-true-one' sense. Idols were not the gods of the pagans either. They simply represented the gods. They were the image of the god.
So why does YHWH forbid the making of idols? Why does he forbid lifting them up and venerating them? Why cant we even make an idol of YHWH?
I have a hunch it is because he has already made a royal image. Humans are the idol of God that he himself will lift up.
Over at Faith and Theology, Ben has some interesting reflection on the Virgin of Vladimir icon.
Possibly the most provocative of his suggestions is the idea that Christ 'worships' humanity.

"For no other word comes close to evoking the extent of Christ's devotion to humanity. To speak of Christ's "love" is too hackneyed and half-hearted. When we talk of love, we tend to think of delirious teenagers locked in the obsessiveness of romance, or of a man seducing a woman into his bed, or maybe of an old married couple, contented and at peace. But we would perhaps be closer to the truth if we imagined Christ's devotion to humanity as analogous to the piercing clarity and conviction with which the fundamentalist offers his life to god before going out into the busy street and detonating himself."

There is something in this. God is honoured when he lifts up humanity, his own representative 'idol'. Idolatry then, not only offends God, but degrades humanity. But love of neighbour is tightly bound to love of God. Indeed, the claim to love God, but not honour his 'idol' simply does not make sense.

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