An Orthodox Catechism on Idolatry

Hercules Collins’ An Orthodox Catechism (a Baptist adaption of the Heidelberg Catechism Orthodox Catechism – Hercules Collins:

Q. 105 What is idolatry?
A. Idolatry is having or inventing something in which one trusts in place of or alongside of the only true God, who has revealed himself in his Word.11  1 Chron. 16:26; Gal. 4:8-9; Eph. 5:5; Phil. 3:19

Q. 106. What is the Second Commandment?
A. Thou shalt make to thee no graven Image, nor the Likeness of any thing which is in Heaven above, or in he Earth beneath, nor in the Waters under the Earth: thou shalt not bow down to them,nor worship them, for I the Lord thy God and a jealous God, and visit the sins of the Fathers upon the Children, unto the third and fourth Generation of them that hate me, and shew Mercy to thousands of them which love me, and keep my Commandments.

Q. 107 What is God’s will for us in the second commandment?
A. That we in no way make any image of God1 nor worship him in any other way than he has commanded in his 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

Q. 108 May we then not make any image at all?
A. 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

Q. 109 But may not images be permitted in the churches as teaching aids for the unlearned?
A. No, we shouldn’t try to be wiser than God. He wants his people instructed by the living preaching of his Word—1not 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

Benjamin Beddome’s A Scriptural Exposition of the Baptist Catechism (

“§ Is it a sin to worship the true God by images? Yes. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves, for ye saw no manner of similitude, Deut. iv. 15, 16. Can we form any image of God in our minds? No. To whom will ye liken God? Isa. xl. 18. Is it impossible then to form it with our hands? Yes. For we must not think that the Godhead is like unto gold or silver, or stone graven by art or man’s device, Acts xvii. 29. Do those therefore that attempt it put a great affront upon him? Yes. They change the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man, Rom. i. 23.”

Source:, Comment #1