Eusebius Refused To Create One

I have had many Christians tell me that they love making or looking at images of Jesus.  They reject the idea that images are not at all pleasing to God.  Here is a quote to consider for those who feel that way:

There is no evidence that Luke produced a portrait of Christ. There were no images of Christ in the 2nd century. Eusebius refused a request to create one in the 4th century. When images began to appear in the late patristic and early medieval periods, they were hotly controversial. They did not become widespread until after the 8th century.

Read more on the rule of faith: https://heidelblog.net/2017/01/the-allure-of-unwritten-tradition/

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Mental Adultery

Ralph Erskine on making mental images of God:

Our Lord charges them with mental adultery, that look on a woman to first after her (Matt. 5:28). This sin may be as really committed, though a woman be not present to be looked at with the bodily eye. If a man shall frame an imaginary idea of a woman in his mind to lust after her, it is mental adultery. Even so it is mental idolatry to form a picture of Christ’s human nature in our mind, by an imaginary idea of it; and so to make that the object of faith or worship. To form that picture of His humanity in the mind, is a mental looking to it: And to make that the object of faith and worship is a falling down to that image; and committing mental idolatry with it. Indeed I know not who can justify themselves, and say they are free of this sin in some measure. It is too natural, and, I believe to every saint, as long as he is in the flesh, and hath a body of sin and death carrying about with him. But I think it is possible for true believers, to take up a vast difference between that fancy or imagination of Christ as man, which can lead a person no farther, and that faith that apprehends Him as God-man, and sees the glory of God in His person. The former is nothing but a shadow, and a mishapen apprehension, a notion of something in the head; and yet put in the room of Christ. But here, to anticipate what will further occur: “Can you think of God-man,” says Mr. Robe, “without thinking on Him as man? Is it not necessary in the nature of the thing, that you have an imaginary idea or conception of His being man; otherwise you cannot conceive of His being God-man.” Ans. I think, neither the Godhead nor the manhood of Christ can be rightly conceived, but by faith. It is strange to allege, as if by one means we conceive believingly of His manhood, and by another of His Godhead; as if the one were by an imaginary idea, and the other by faith and spiritual illumination; or as if the imaginary idea, which is a natural act, was helpful to spiritual actings of the soul, when it is rather the quite reverse. The spiritual believing view of Christ as God-man, through the illumination of the Spirit, is the only means for enabling the natural faculties to any right thought or conception of Christ, and without which even His humanity is quite imperceptible, as it is the object of faith. This is one of the things of Christ, which flesh and blood cannot, but our heavenly Father can reveal, and which the Spirit of Christ only can show unto us (John 16:14). The natural man receiveth them not.

The sight of what is corporal, as the object of the imaginary idea is, can never in itself fit and prepare us for seeing what is spiritual; but rather darkens the understanding, and makes it unfit; even as the god of this world does thereby blind the minds of them that believe not. The image of Christ’s natural body in the fancy darkens the view of Christ, as the image of God, by faith. These two images cannot stand together, no more than Dagon and the ark. Dagon must fall, if the ark come into the heart.

Pectora nostra duas non admittentia curas.

Again, let a man have an imaginary idea of Christ’s human nature, now exalted to heaven, and sitting at the right hand of God, and on the throne of God; he forms the idea of a man, and the idea of a throne on which he sits. I would ask, whether the idea he hath of a man, be any better than the idea he hath of a throne; or if any of these ideas give the least help or assistance to his faith; or rather, if they do not cloud his mind, and contribute to make him have a gross, carnal, and unworthy notion of Christ? Can he in that glass see anything of the invisible glory of God in Christ, as the image of the invisible God?

Peter Martyr, loc. com. p. 155, speaking of images of Christ, says, “If the bodily presence of Christ was a hindrance to the apostles, and the sight of His human nature an impediment, unfitting them from receiving the Spirit, till once He went away in that respect from them (John 16:7), how much more will images of Christ prove impediments.[”]

We have no other glass to see Christ in, but the gospel; no other eye to see Him by, but faith. If the eye of sense and imagination come between, there is no seeing of Christ by faith, till that eye of sense be shut.

Again, to conceive of Christ as man, is carnal worship and idolatry, when this imaginary idea of Him as man is brought in, as helpful and necessary to faith or worship. Which two I mention together, because faith is a special leading part of divine worship….

~Ralph Erskine, Faith no fancy: or, A treatise of mental images, discovering the vain philosophy and vile divinity of a late pamphlet intitled, Mr. Robe’s fourth letter to Mr. Fisher: and shewing that an imaginary idea of Christ as man, (when supposed to belong to saving faith, whether in its act or object), imports nothing but ignorance, atheism, idolatry, great falsehood, and gross delusion (Philadelphia, 1805), 64–65.

They Should Be Utterly Abolished

The argument in hand I frame thus:

All things and rites which have been notoriously abused to idolatry, if they are not such as either God or nature has made to be of a necessary use, should be utterly abolished and purged away from divine worship, in such sort that they may not be accounted nor used by us as sacred things or rites pertaining to the same.

But the cross, surplice, kneeling in the act of receiving the communion, &c., are things and rites,  &c., and are not such as either God or nature, &c.

Therefore they should be utterly abolished, &c.

~George Gillespie, A Dispute Against the English Popish Ceremonies (Naphtali Press, 2nd critical ed., 2013), 149.

The WLC on the Second Commandment

Q. 107. Which is the second commandment?
A. The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any 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. 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 fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Q. 108. What are the duties required in the second commandment?
A. The duties required in the second commandment are, the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath instituted in his word; particularly prayer and thanksgiving in the name of Christ; the reading, preaching, and hearing of the word; the administration and receiving of the sacraments; church government and discipline; the ministry and maintenance thereof; religious fasting; swearing by the name of God, and vowing unto him: as also the disapproving, detesting, opposing, all false worship; and, according to each one’s place and calling, removing it, and all monuments of idolatry.

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.

Q. 110. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it, contained in these words, For I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments; are, besides God’s sovereignty over us, and propriety in us, his fervent zeal for his own worship, and his revengeful indignation against all false worship, as being a spiritual whoredom; accounting the breakers of this commandment such as hate him, and threatening to punish them unto divers generations; and esteeming the observers of it such as love him and keep his commandments, and promising mercy to them unto many generations.

They Have Taught Us To Know Christ By Faith, Not By Sight

Rev. Matthew Winzer:

What is the topic of debate? Pictures of Christ. Christ is a person, not a nature. It is the Person Himself who is depicted.

Ask the question, What is this picture depicting? The answer is, Christ; and Christ is the second person of the Godhead. The union of the person of Christ means that any depiction of His human nature is ipso facto a depiction of a divine person. The person hungered in the wilderness. The person slept in the boat. The person agonised in the garden. The person died on the cross. The person rose again from the dead. It was proper to human nature to do these things, but it was not an human nature which did them. It was a person who did them. It was a divine person who did them. And it is only because it was a divine person who did them that they have worth and efficacy to save.

If we naturally form mental images of contemplated objects then it follows that we naturally form mental images of God Himself. Yet God expressly forbids making images of Him. The argument from natural imagination must be false. Even if it were proved that this was natural to men it would not justify the practice of making pictures of Christ. We have been given the ability to think through the nature and consequences of our actions; and believers have the grace of sanctification to enable them to depart from evil and to do good.

The apostles saw and knew the physical, visible image of Christ, but they never passed on any particular, visual description of it. They have taught us to know Christ by faith, not by sight. They have expressly taught that our faith in Christ and love to Him are not conditional on seeing Him, but are entirely dependent on the acceptance and consideration of Him as He has revealed Himself in His names, attributes, offices, works, words, and benefits.

Finally, we have a visible sign of Christ which has been given to assist faith in our sensory condition. It is called the Lord’s supper; and a part of the exercise of communion at the Lord’s supper is stirring up faith to spiritually feed upon Jesus. The practice of drawing sensory images of Christ and of contemplating Christ in them is counter-productive to the process of strengthening faith by means of the sacrament. Such a practice sets itself up in direct competition with the institution and ordinance of God, and is accurately called will-worship.

If any are tempted to think this is a light and trivial matter, please think again in the light of God’s holy word. The Word calls us to separate from idolatry because idolatry corrupts our spiritual communion with God and defiles both flesh and spirit. Consider 2 Corinthians 6:16 – 7:1:

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/91050-An-article-defending-pictures-of-Christ, Comment #17

Until Gnosticism’s Mystical Leaven Made Icons Seem Unobjectionable

Rev. Bruce G. Buchanan:
Originally Posted by Jeri TannerView Post
Would 2 Corinthians 5:16 be relevant here: “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”

Indeed, this verse is quite relevant to the issue. When men infantile themselves, and refuse to remain true and to insist there is one correct orientation to Jesus, they do themselves and others disservice.

The disciples first of all, along with original detractors, and those indifferent, and finally all those who have received the gospel message of the Risen Lord–everyone has been introduced to the One Jesus, the Man who was also God.

The disciples had to move from a state where they viewed Jesus purely after the flesh, that is exclusively as a man, then perhaps a great man, then as the greatest man ever. They had to go from where they began–and Paul started in an even worse condition since he began by thinking of Jesus as a human criminal devilish blasphemer who got what was coming to him–and end up worshipping this One as God with us, Emmanuel.

Pictures of Jesus, besides being necessarily artificial imaginations, must either be idolatrous (by prompting worship, the very essence of the practice); or else besides promoting a fiction, they encourage the Nestorian heresy by presenting “just” the humanity of him whose two natures cannot be divided. The image is more than fiction: it is impossible; and to say “No, but it is possible,” is to place oneself cheek-by-jowl with the heretic.

But this intention, however much it is dressed up in pragmatic terms–as in the case: “theology or the Bible for the unlettered or the young”–deliberately walks in the opposite direction of the original disciples. Instead of beginning where they began, where men naturally begin thinking of another man as someone essentially like themselves; or wherever men start off with Jesus, and then raising him higher, higher, higher all the time….

No, instead the pragmatist reduces Jesus to someone he thinks will more easily be accommodated in the darkened thinking of the lost person. He assumes entirely the wrong original perception on the part of the child or the rebel. Their problem is not fundamentally that Jesus may be or become too “ethereal” for their access; but that being God he is not known to them at all.

The point of the Incarnation is not that a man became God; which is the natural regression of our thinking when we put the process in reverse, and is the telos for those we teach by the wrong method and motive. Not everyone ends up there, but that fact doesn’t make rationalizing the wrong process all OK.

The point of the Incarnation is that God became a man (what did he become? flesh, you know: feel your skin, look in a mirror, cut yourself, get emotional–yea, that); and then selected witnesses came to recognize that what they saw, heard, and handled was more than they ever expected. He was more than they knew. They did not have to drop down to some baseline to find a Jesus to connect with.

Wait, what about Gnosticism? You mean, the spiritualizing religion where Jesus is etherealized? Do pictures of Jesus effectively combat modern variants of Gnosticism? Hmmm, are pictures of Jesus an idea that worked in the 2nd & 3rd centuries? Or, was that a “solution” that introduced images of Christ and icons into a church that was free of them prior to that moment?

The early church came to be filled with all sorts of humanistic-Jesus heresies, and also the excessively spiritualized. We can’t blame the introduction of images for them; but we can say that the church thoroughly shunned depictions of Christ until in the East and the Greek-speaking church Gnosticism’s mystical leaven made icons seem unobjectionable, or even salutary.

Pictures of Jesus are endemic to the world of heresy. They are the natural outgrowth of humanistic heresies such as Adoptionism and Appolinarianism. They are a useless and ultimately harmful treatment for spiritualizing heresies like Docetism and Eutychianism. A bad-cure will prevent a proper cure from being introduced, and will not only fail to heal the harm; it will then nurse new errors. At the present time, Iconoclasm (the purposeful removal of images/icons as the idols they are) is regarded by many churches of both Eastern and Western tradition as a heresy in its own right, rejected by Second Nicaea in A.D.787.

The answer to spiritualizing heresies isn’t discovered in images of Jesus, or in any proposition that compromises the Creator-creature distinction lying at the heart of the first Table of the Law. The answer IS the Creator-creature distinction; and a proper appreciation for and use of the Old Testament as Christian Scripture.

One of the losses of the first few centuries of the church, only gradually recovered and come into its own in the Reformation, was the OT as integral to the revelation of Jesus Christ; along with the understanding that OT saints were “Christians” before there was such a name or formal connection. It is not as if the OT was unknown; but that its essence became (for a variety of reasons) largely inaccessible, even to teachers of the church.

Faith of the OT does not express a fundamentally different outlook from faith of the NT. Only one’s orientation to the Coming One is different. The outward conduct of the true religion was suited in former days to the conditions antecedent to His arrival. The “accidents” of the faith were quite distinct, and we don’t simply map our current covenant-expression onto an OT schematic in order to understand the connections.

But it was a tremendous loss to the church to enter a time of profound forgetfulness respecting the only Bible the earliest church possessed (the OT), the very Scriptures the living apostolic witnesses interpreted to converts as the Hope now fulfilled in Christ–witness that was then safeguarded to future generations by inscripturation in the pages of the NT.

The very earthiness of the OT grounds our Religion in a deeply human, creational reality. It is that reality God the Son condescends to enter as fully and completely as could possibly be–a scandalous and foolish entry. But that happening is exactly what is revealed in Scripture. Unwillingness or inability to grapple with those facts is what brings on the spiritualizing heresy; or, makes the humanistic heresy plausible.

Either way, the absolute prohibition of images of deity fundamental to biblical religion going back to the beginning is not excepted in the Person of Christ, nor does the Incarnation logically lead to softening of this command and expectation.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/91050-An-article-defending-pictures-of-Christ, Comment #13

The Picture of Christ

Editorial: The Picture of Christ, by Jacob Marcellus Kik (1947)

[as originally printed in Bible Christianity [Glencoe, Ontario], 12.8/9 (August-September 1947): 6-7.

Pictures of Christ are becoming increasingly popular in Protestant circles. Plaques of the face of Christ and framed pictures can now be seen in many homes. We noticed in a news item that on the desks of increasing numbers of business men and women in a certain city is a small plaque of the face of Christ. One woman’s reaction to having such a plaque is expressed in her words: “It sure helps me keep my redheaded temper.” And a business man stated: “No one has cursed in my office since the picture has been on my desk.”

Recently in a folder from a firm selling such pictures and plaques we were informed that these things help to create a spiritual atmosphere in the home. Such things are an aid to prayer and reflection. It is an aid to devotion and worship.

For some time slides have been used in Sunday Schools with the pictures of Christ. Scenes of the childhood of Christ, of His ministry, and of His crucifixion and resurrection have been depicted in order to instruct the young.

Now all this may seem very innocent and of benefit to the Church. However, it is time that the Church considers the question whether or not such pictures of Christ meets with the approval of God. What appeals to the popular mind may not meet the approval and blessing of God. We may have drifted into a position of using certain means of which God has already expressed disapproval.

The first thing to consider is that the Gospels of the Epistles nowhere give us a description of the physical appearance of Christ. This is most remarkable and should give food for thought. No one writing a biography of a famous person would forget to give a pen description of this person. That there is such an omission in the Gospels is startling. It is evident that God did not want a physical description of Christ.

When man seeks to supply what he thinks is a lack in teaching and worship, he sets himself above God. His ways are superior to the ways of God. He will make up for this deficiency of God and supply a picture of Christ. What God neglected to do man will supply.

Of course, since no description has been given of Christ, every picture is false. No one has any idea what Jesus actually looked like and any picture may be far from any likeness to Him. Imagine your chagrin if you were told that such was the picture of a famous man and then to find that it was not and very far from any likeness. Certainly you would not have any kind thoughts concerning the one who deceived you. No doubt, many people will be chagrined at beholding Christ in heaven and to discover that His pictures upon earth were absolutely false.

But can we not teach a great deal about Christ through pictures? That leads to another question. Can truth be taught by that which is false? Can we use false means to teach truth? The Roman Catholic Church thinks that truth can be taught through means of pictures, images, crosses, and crucifixes. Slowly but surely we are beginning to follow the example of the Roman Catholic Church.

All this is in direct transgression of the second commandment. It reads: “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.”

It will be pointed out that Protestants do not bow down before pictures and plaques nor do they serve them. But that is not all that is forbidden. It is forbidden to make any likeness of any thing in heaven, earth, or the water. Making a likeness of Christ is in direct transgression of the second commandment.

It is a question, however, whether Protestants do not venerate pictures and plaques of Christ. They do attach a certain holiness to them when they do not swear or lose their tempers in front of a picture of Christ. When holiness is attached to a material thing it is spiritual adultery. Greater power is attached to a material object than the ever present God. That is a sin and a transgression of the second commandment.

God does not want us to fall in love with any physical likeness of Christ. He is anxious for us to love the moral and spiritual image of Christ. The beauty of Christ is seen in His virtues and in His love for God. We must love Christ for His purity, for His mercy, and for His meekness, for His truthfulness, and for His goodness. We must love Him for His unselfish devotion to God. That is the beauty which we must behold and adore.

There are those who will call it very narrow to object to any picture of Christ. But actually they are the ones who are narrow. They would narrow Christ to a picture and a false picture. How can any one receive the proper view of Christ in all His power majesty, and glory by a human artist’s conception of Christ? No human picture can possibly do justice to the Son of God. Christ is not only man but God. One cannot narrow God to a picture!

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/89416-Looking-for-simple-article-explaining-why-no-images-of-Jesus, Comment #6

Heidelberg Catechism on Images

Heidelberg Catechism (extended)

The Catechism
Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion
As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools

(with the Scripture references written out)

Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer.

35. Lord’s Day 

Q. 96. What does God require in the second commandment?

A. That we in no wise represent God by images, (a) nor worship him in any other way than he has commanded in his word. (b)
 (a) Deut.4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Deut.4:16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, Deut.4:17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, Deut.4:18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: Deut.4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. Isa.40:18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? Isa.40:19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. Isa.40:20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. Isa.40:21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? Isa.40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: Isa.40:23 That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Isa.40:24 Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. Isa.40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Rom.1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Rom.1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Acts 17:29 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.
(b) 1 Sam.15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. Deut.12:30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Deut.12:31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. Deut.12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. Matt.15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
 
 Q. 97. Are images then not at all to be made? 
A. God neither can, nor may be represented by any means: (a) but as to creatures; though they may be represented, yet God forbids to make, or have any resemblance of them, either in order to worship them or to serve God by them. (b)
(a) Isa.40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.
(b) Exod.23:24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. Exod.23:25 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. Exod.34:13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: Exod.34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Exod.34:17 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods. Num.33:52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: Deut.7:5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. Deut.12:3 And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. Deut.16:21 Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee. 2 Kin.18:3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. 2 Kin.18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
 
 Q. 98. But may not images be tolerated in the churches, as books to the laity? 
A. No: for we must not pretend to be wiser than God, who will have his people taught, not by dumb images, (a) but by the lively preaching of his word. (b)
(a) Jer.10:8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Hab.2:18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Hab.2:19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.
(b) Rom.10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Rom.10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Rom.10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 2 Pet.1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Tim.3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Tim.3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Source: http://www.ccel.org/creeds/heidelberg-cat-ext.txt

HT: https://reformedchristianheritage.blogspot.ca/2016/05/what-does-god-require-in-second.html

Lies of the Imagination

“Pictures of Christ are lies of the imagination that pervert and degrade the Scriptural doctrine of our Lord. We are to remember our precious Saviour not by crass artistic fantasies but by celebrating the Lord’s supper, attending the means of grace and meditating on Scripture.”

~Brian Schwertley, “Pictures of Christ”

Read more: http://www.reformedonline.com/uploads/1/5/0/3/15030584/are_pictures_of_christ_unbiblical.pdf

But I Don’t Bow Down To Pictures of Jesus!

“Is there divine warrant for pictorial representations of the Messiah? No, there is not. There are no commands to make pictures of our Lord. In fact such pictures clearly violate the second commandment for a true picture of Jesus should evoke worship in the believer. If a pictorial representation brings thoughts of love, devotion, and praise toward the Son of God, then obviously it is an aid or medium to worship even if people are not bowing down toward the picture.”

~Brian Schwertley, “Pictures of Christ”

Read more: http://www.reformedonline.com/uploads/1/5/0/3/15030584/are_pictures_of_christ_unbiblical.pdf