You can say they represent the Saints, yet they are still of wood or stone or metal, and people come and worship them no matter how it is called. Now what does scripture say, does God allow even the idol of a 'saint' or anything made as a idol, lets see...
"Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD;
Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols;
and turn away your faces from all your abominations."
So how as history shows us can a church declare its ok to embrace and the many statues, medals, relics, and artifacts to themselves as a sign of holiness unto God. However, the Creator specifically states...
Exodus 20:4, "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:"
Deuteronomy 29:17, "And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them"
How can a church teach it's followers to bow down before these 'saints' when in prayer. I went to Rome and saw kneelers before every statue that were within the center of what some call the Christian church. However, as we read scripture is specifically states...
Exodus 20:5, "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;"
Leviticus 26:1, "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God."
Anything whether a graven image, or tall pole or obelisks as we find in front of many high places and temples turned to churches, nor image of stone, should not be bowed down to or 'venerated' or shown any type of worship or set up for that which belongs only to God.
The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. 2 Timothy 4:3.
Rapidly are men ranging themselves under the banner they have chosen, restlessly waiting and watching the movements of their leaders. There are those who are watching and waiting and working for our Lord’s appearing; while the other party is rapidly falling into line under the generalship of the first great apostate. They look for a God in humanity, and Satan personifies the one they seek. Multitudes will be so deluded through their rejection of truth, that they will accept the counterfeit. Humanity is hailed as God. As we near the close of time, there will be a greater and still greater external parade of heathen power; heathen deities will manifest their signal power, and will exhibit themselves before the cities of the world; and this delineation has already begun to be fulfilled. By a variety of images, the Lord Jesus represented to John the wicked character and seductive influence of those who have been distinguished for their persecution of God’s people. All need wisdom to search out the mystery of iniquity that figures so largely in the winding up of this earth’s history.