The Bible says, “And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:9-10). And, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge (the facts, the truth) of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
The word “iconoclast” comes from the Greek words eikon, an image, and klastes, a breaker. An
iconoclast is a breaker or destroyer of images used in worship.
This name was first given in the 8th century to those who destroyed the images in churches, or who were opposed to rendering religious reverence to statutes, pictures, and other sensible representations of sacred things. Neither in the New Testament nor in any genuine writings of the first age of Christianity, can any trace be discovered of the use of statutes or pictures in the public or private worship of Christians. It was not until after the wedding of civil government with religion under Constantine, that statutes and pictures of the Lord Jesus, of the Virgin Mary, and the Saints, were introduced in churches, especially in Rome.
The Word of God (KJV), strictly forbids the worship of images of any sort (Exodus 20:1-5). As the first commandment forbids the worship of false gods, the second command forbids the worship of God through images because they fail to adequately represent God’s attributes.
Israel worshiped images, but men like Moses (Exodus 32:19-20), Gideon (Judges 6:25-32), Jehu (2 Kings 10:18-31) and Josiah (2 Kings 23:12-25) were iconoclast and destroyed them.
An iconoclast may destroy the image representative of a false god, but unless the idea of that false god is removed from the mind of the idolater and the idea of the true God is received that person is still an idolater and will rebuild their idol.
A person may not worship before an idol. They may hate and destroy idols. But because they hold in their mind the idea of a false god they are idolaters and may do more wickedly than those who bow before actual idols.
Jeremiah was an iconoclast who never destroyed the physical image of a false god. He preached against idolatry and by referring to God’s dealings with Israel in the past and using God’s revelation of Himself in His Word, he showed Israel what God was really like, and tried to turn her from idols back to the true and living God.
Paul the apostle was another iconoclast who never destroyed a physical idol. He preached though against the idolatry of the early church. Their idolatry involved the worship of “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4) that had been preached to them from “another gospel” (Galatians 1:6), by false teachers, who were Satan’s servants, who sought to corrupt their minds (2 Corinthians 11:3, 13-15) and turn them from the true Christ that Paul preached.
The churches today are steeped in idolatry. Christendom (if it can still be called that) is full of all manner of paganism, and worldliness. This is all due to the idolatrous worship of another Jesus which men have fashioned to be tolerant of the sin the Bible (KJV) condemns, rather than the worship of the biblical Jesus.
Just as idols have no real power the unbiblical Christ which is an idol has no power. That’s why the churches who follow this other Jesus, that’s preached from another gospel, by false teachers who are Satan’s servants know nothing of the power of God. By Satan cleverly substituting the biblical Christ with his Christ he has severed the church from the true and living God.
An idol in the mind or on the ground is a false god, a lie, and nothing (1 Corinthians 8:4). The Truth is the iconoclast that destroys all idols.
To get back to God’s way we must get back to the Bible (KJV) way through repentance.
James H. Cagle lives in Ray City, Ga., and is a former Hamilton County resident.