Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 35

Question 96: What is God’s will for us in the second commandment?

That we in no way make any image of God (1) nor worship Him in any other way than has been commanded in God’s Word (2).

1 – Deut. 4:15-19; Isa. 40:18-25; Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:22-23
2 – Lev. 10:1-7; 1 Sam. 15:22-23; John 4:23-24

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Question 97: May we then not make any image at all?

God can not and may not be visibly portrayed in any way.

Although creatures may be portrayed, yet God forbids making or having such images if one’s intention is to worship them or to serve God through them (1).

1 – Ex. 34:13-14, 17; 2 Kings 18:4-5

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Question 98: But may not images be permitted in churches in place of books for the unlearned?

No, we should not try to be wiser than God. God wants the Christian community instructed by the living preaching of his Word (1)—not by idols that cannot even talk (2).

1 – Rom. 10:14-15, 17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19
2 – Jer. 10:8; Hab. 2:18-20

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