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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.






26 August 2005

Icons and Idolatry


Q: Are the icons [ed: paintings, drawings, and the like of various saints or of Christ] idolatry?

A: It depends upon how icons are used. The Bible warns against contacting the dead, or about worshiping anyone or anything other than the true God, so I'd not call upon a saint for help, nor would I “worship” the icon nor the saint. However, if they are used to focus our thoughts and our devotion, icons and other types of religious art can be used well and wisely.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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