Friday, December 21, 2007

Some Vintage Jesus

I don't normally do this, but I know you will all love these.

Vintage Jesus #1

Vintage Jesus #2

For those with particularly sensitive consciences regarding the second commandment, you may want to steer away. You have been warned. But also, these videos ARE in fact, funny. That's my 2 cents.


  1. See WLC 109:

    Q. 109. What sins are forbidden in the second commandment?

    A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.

  2. I will try as hard as I can not to worship the vintage Jesus in these humorous videos.

  3. Vintage Jesus? Hmmmm.

    The Truth About Images of Jesus

    Think hard about this: the world is watching!

    So are Christians.

    "I will try as hard as I can not to worship the vintage Jesus in these humorous videos."

    I wonder what the LORD Jesus Christ thinks of them? I wonder if He thinks they are humorous?

  4. There's nothing sinful about them. It is a matter of Christian liberty.

    Let me be clear: I agree that images of Jesus are not to be used in worship, in any fashion. However, I think that satire and humor are something else, entirely. While I can appreciate the seriousness with which you are approaching this matter with using these old vintage videos of Jesus, I think some perspective is needed. Maybe what I really mean to say is "lighten up."

    And to answer your question, Douglas, I have no idea whether God is even capable of humor. But if he is, then I strongly feel our Lord Jesus would find these videos funny.

    Consider: 1) It's not him in the costume, it's just an actor. 2) He never really said those things. 3) The things that are overdubbed in the video are not sinful, just cute and humorous.

    "Don't try and run away, because I'm Jesus and I WILL find you." If you don't think that's funny, then you're just a stoic.

    You know what? These videos are funny. They speak for themselves. I don't have to defend anything here. They made me laugh, and at no point has it even crossed my mind that these videos are sinful in any way. If you've got a problem with them, then don't watch.

  5. The second commandment isn't only about worship but about making images of God or thinking about such images which are not God at all.

    You say it's not really him in the photo and yet you name him yourself 'Jesus' in your title. You are identifying him as 'Jesus' whether in truth or in humor. Yet, the second commandment does deal with this (not just in worshipping images, but also making images of any person in the Trinity --> in physical form OR inwardly in your mind). If you watch things like this, then that person is etched in your mind.

  6. Please read 1 Cor. 8-10, if you still don't think it is wrong, then consider this passage.

    Because you have said it is a matter of Christian Liberty, yet 1 Cor. 8-10 would show that just because it is a freedom, you should be gracious to those who believe it to be evil or sinful (or who will sin because of it). What I am saying is, for those of us who believe it to be a sin, in good Christian character (like Paul) you should probably take the video down so as not to cause others (like me, in this case) to stumble.

  7. You know what Andrew? Touche. In the interest of Christian charity, I will take the actual videos off my post, although I will still post a link to the video for those who do not have a problem with such things.

  8. Andrew: "Yet, the second commandment does deal with this (not just in worshipping images, but also making images of any person in the Trinity --> in physical form OR inwardly in your mind). If you watch things like this, then that person is etched in your mind."

    One thing to keep in mind, Andrew, is that the second commandment (while still true) was written for an audience prior to the incarnation. The reality of the incarnation is that God HAS made an image of himself present among us. Christ is fully God, but he is also fully human, and that means that he is not a disembodied spirit as the gnostics believe.

    He physically appeared, and when the apostles spoke of Jesus, THEY had an image of him in their minds, because they had seen him. Now, we do not know exactly how He looked when He was present physically among us, but when we picture Him as a man, do we sin any worse than when the Apostles pictured Him as a man?

    It would certainly be safe for me to simply say, "Well the catechism says it, so I don't have to do any of my own thinking on this subject anymore," but I am simply not sure that the stipulation of the Catechism that we not even make a "representation of him inwardly in our mind" can be derived from the second commandment.

  9. An apostle saw the true and real physical Jesus. We have not. They know exactly what He looks like, and they should worship Him accordingly. For us though, we do not know what He looked like at all (maybe an ethnic group). So whatever picture you put into your head, draw, see of Jesus is wrong. The one doing so is picturing (and since one is viewing what is being pictured as Jesus --> GOD) something false --> a false god. Thus, the second commandment stands for all people everywhere. For the apostles who saw God in flesh, it is a little different because they saw the real thing.

    Also, just because the 2nd commandment is written to a people before the incarnation has no bearing on the commandment in our lives today.

    2nd Commandment OT: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous GOD, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fouth generation of them that hate Me; And shewing mercy unto thousands who love Me, and keep my commandments." (Ex 20:4-6)

    2nd Commandment NT: "But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols . . . "(Acts15:20)

    "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" (Acts 17:29,30)

    " . . . I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." (1Cor 5:11)

    "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1Cor 6:9,10)

    "Neither be ye idolaters." (1Cor 10:7)

    "Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry." (1Cor 10:14)

    "Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led." (1Cor 12:2)

    "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" (2Cor 6:16)

    "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal 5:19-21)

    "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." (Eph 5:5) [This verse and the next both show the connection between covetousness and idolatry - when you covet something, it becomes your idol, and therefore your god (breaking the 1st commandment also)]

    "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." (Col 3:5)

    " . . . how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God." (1Thes 1:9)

    "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." (1Jn 5:21)

    "And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk." (Rev 9:20)

    "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Rev 21:8)

    "For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (Rev 22:15)

    Thomas Vincent's Commentary on Westminster Shorter Catechism (2nd Commandment):

    Q. 6. Is it not lawful to have pictures of Jesus Christ, he being a man as well as God?
    A. It is not lawful to have pictures of Jesus Christ, because his divine nature cannot be pictured at all; and because his body, as it is now glorified, cannot be pictured as it is; and because, if it do not stir up devotion, it is in vain—if it do stir up devotion, it is a worshipping by an image or picture, and so a palpable breach of the second commandment.


  10. I would grant you that the second commandment DOES say that we are not to make an image of God. But then it also says not to make an image of ANYTHING - either in the water or in heaven. To quote directly, "or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them."

    Lets remember in context that these were a people with a history of making idols, bowing down, and worshipping them. Clearly, that's what idolatry is. I also agree with you when you say that "when you covet something, it becomes your idol." So clearly, the second commandment does extend beyond merely making idols to worship as God. It goes much farther than that.

    It seems, though, that if your understanding of the second commandment [ie: "Whether we are creating the image to worship or not, we are forbidden from ever making any images or anything - divine or otherwise."] were followed through consistently, we would have to remove ourselves from any sorts of artistic activity.

    Now, I know you haven't said, yet, that we are forbidden from making images of anything, but that's EXACTLY what the second commandment says. No images of trees or birds or fish or God or anything.

    Would you, then, follow the second commandment to its logical conclusion that there is no place for art, photography or painting? If you are going to take the second commandment in the way that you are saying, it seems reasonable that Christians are not to make any images of anything that flies in the sky or that lives in the water.

    All of the NT verses you shared with us are absolutely true, but are also in a pagan context. Namely, he is talking to people who have literally been serving idols and statues because that was their superstitious belief or tradition. They were worshiping false idols rather than the living God. Both Jews and Greeks have, historically speaking, turned to idolatry.

    I doubt if any of the Apostles even had in mind any Christians drawing images or reproductions of Jesus. Such a thing is neither addressed or even hinted at as an issue. You may say that the NT references to idolatry prove this was an issue, but again, that is reading in a meaning of "idolatry" which includes the notion of images of Jesus. I just don't think it was an issue for the church, and therefore, I think that your usages of these NT verses regarding idolatry really only say so much... and not as much as you need to prove your point.

    Let me suggest a happy middle-ground here. Namely, Christians are allowed to make images of things, including images of Jesus, but not for the purposes of worship. That is, after all, what God says: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them."

    God did forbid us from making images, but he makes clear in the second commandment that it is the worshiping of such images which was/is forbidden.

  11. Interesting thought...

    God forbid the making of idols or images of anything in heaven, and then commands the creation of the Ark of the Covenant. On the covenant were the images of the angels with their wings extended over the mercy seat.

    Clearly, God seems to be okay with images of things in heaven, simply not for the purposes of bowing down and worshiping as God.


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