“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or 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; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:3-6)
As seen in the above passage and throughout history, idol building and worshipping clearly angers God. So what is going on? How can the statues, pictures and prayers to Mary, and the saints be justified? Catholics make the claim that they reserve worship alone for God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, but they allow veneration for Mary, saints, and earthy heroes. From an outside perspective, this does seem hypocritical, or at least somewhat shady. However, by looking at the definitions that the dictionary offers, it is clear that the words “worship” and “veneration” are very distinct from another, and are appropriately applied. more...