I was questioned many times about what happened to the old Adventist church logo, the one with the image of the three angels messages flying around the earth, and was replaced by this new one with this three flames with the "CROSS" symbol in the center. Is this a clear evidence that SDA denomination had been drunken the "wines of Rome"?
How could that symbol of the three angels messages be changed into flames? Examine it closely. I want to know more about this. Please do answer in the plain, "THUS SAITH THE LORD".
In our day we are quite mindful of symbols/ logos. We like looking for meanings in pictures. But it is only relatively recently that we started using a church logo. And yet there was no Divine directive for us to do so. I suggest that we started using a symbol so that we could conform to the common/normal practice.
Our church name, Seventh Day Adventist, was inspired: "It is the name the Lord has given us" (2SM 384), but God didn't give us a logo, and He hasn't specifically told us to use one. Personally I think we may be better off without one.
So I'm sorry Ivon, I don't think we have a direct "thus saith the Lord" with regards to our logo.
Thank you Salvador.
I understand the quote to be referring to our name, "Seventh Day Adventist". And yes, our name is important, it is indeed "a standing rebuke to the Protestant world". We must not amend that.
I wrote earlier that "our church name, Seventh Day Adventist, was inspired: "It is the name the Lord has given us" (2SM 384), but God didn't give us a logo..."
Sister White mentions nothing about our using a physical logo/emblem.
The Bible is careful not to encourage emblems too. The banners used by the four division of Israel are never specified... and for good reason I believe. (The use of the man, lion, ox, and eagle from Ezekiel chapter 1 is traditional indirectness, and the tradition has no verifiable substance.) Nor is there is a suggestion that David ever used a star (double triangle) as his emblem. Such logos are not given by inspiration because I believe God sees that such imagery will cause problems.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church talks about the design and meaning of the logo here:
No one is worshiping a flame. Or a logo. Idol worship is what the second commandment is about.
By your interpretation of the second commandment, cameras and artists would also break the commandment by making a likenesses of things "in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth". Pictures of Jesus would break the commandment. Pictures of anything would break the commandment.
I don't agree with that interpretation of the commandment.
The commandment is very clear in forbidding both the making of an image and the worshiping of an image. It is also quite clear that it is not forbidding a young boy from drawing a picture of his Mommy, or a little girl from drawing a picture of a flower, as you suggest. What it is clearly forbidding are images meant to represent God. It says we are not to make any such image and we are not to bow down to any such image. To suggest that we can make an image of God as long as we don't bow down to it, is simply to ignore the first part of the commandment.
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 fourth generation of them that hate me;
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 20: 4-6
This commandment is about idol worship. Do you not agree? It is a commandment that we not "bow down" or "serve" any image. It is not about not having or creating any images such as art, photographs, logos, etc. It is about not worshiping those images. It is about letting NOTHING get between us and the true God.
If you don't choose to interpret the commandment as a prohibition on worshiping images, then we run into a big problem. Then the commandment becomes a prohibition of all images. That would include the pictures drawn by children. Because that image drawn by a child is a "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." The commandment does not differentiate between pictures a child draws versus, versus a photograph, versus an image of the likeness of Jesus.
When the commandment is wrested of it's true meaning (don't bow down or serve any image or idol), we then have problems. If we don't believe it is describing things that we are forbidden to worship in place of the true God, then our belief becomes untenable and falls apart. Why? Because then we have to believe it means only that we should not make 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". Period. That means no photographs, no children's drawings, no art, etc.
Ellen White would then be breaking the commandment because of all the photographs she sat for. My daughter would then be sinning by drawing pictures. You don't think either of these is sinning by doing that do you?
If you don't think those two examples are transgressing the law, then you need to revisit what the commandment is really telling us: It commands us not to bow down, serve or worship anything that is not the God of heaven.
Do you worship this logo? Do you bow down or serve it? If so, then that does break the second commandment.
I don't know anyone that does that with our logo. I do know that many people have struggles with various idols in their life. If this logo is the idol you struggle with worshiping then it is indeed a transgression of the law for you.
I will keep you in my prayers in this matter.
Blessings and prayers,
PS. No where in the commandment does it make a distinction between images representing God and those not representing God as you and David have suggested.
So, was Ellen White breaking this commandment by having photographs taken? She is included in "any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth" right?
You said, "PS. No where in the commandment does it make a distinction between images representing God and those not representing God as you and David have suggested."
My question to you would be. What is a "graven image?"
The term "graven image" is precisely making a distinction between an image which represents a god and an image which does not. Look it up before you talk at such length about something you are clearly uninformed about.
The term "graven image" is understood around the world by even grade school children as meaning an image intended to represent a god. This is a fact, and it makes your argument entirely noneffective before you even start. The ridiculous "argument" that the commandment does not differentiate between an image meant to represent a god vs just any image of anything, is flatfooted to put it nicely. The text says "graven image." This means something. What does it mean? Look it up if you really don't know already.
Essentially, contrary to what you and others are saying, the commandment says don't make and idol (image of a god) and don't bow down to any idol (image of a god). There are two parts to this commandment. If you want to pretend that it doesn't prohibit the making of an idol, and only prohibits the worshiping of an idol, "then we run into a big problem" since you are choosing to ignore God's clear and unmistakable Word.
Even if the text did not clearly state, "Thou shalt not make any graven image," a 5 or 6 year old could logically deduce that if I am not supposed to worship an idol (graven image), then it follows logically that I am not supposed to make and idol (graven image) either.
A "graven image" is a carved idol. It is three dimensional. It does not refer to a two dimensional image on paper. As I have been saying, the second commandment is about idols and idolatry. An idol could be "a god" to someone. But it is not a representation of God.
I agree that we should not make idols or worship idols. I have never said that making idols was permitted. I make a distinction between "God" (the God of heaven) and "a god". In my response to your comment I was referring to "God" because that is what you commented on. Now you are talking about "a god" - a very different thing. So perhaps that is where some confusion lies.
Blessings and prayers
It appears you like to play games. Did you check more than one source before you decided that a graven image is a carved idol? A graven image, as the term is used in the commandment, means anything that is made, in any way, to be an idol. The commandment essentially says, don't make an idol, don't worship and idol. If you want to argue about well, if I make an idol on paper, then it's OK, because it's on paper, then you go right ahead. But if you want to understand God's Word and keep His commandment, then make use of more than one dictionary and more than one commentary and check some other texts that might be related to the one you are trying to figure out, all the while praying for help. I believe if you do that you will see that God is not merely forbiding a certain kind of idol, but any idol.
Also, the commandment is forbiding idols, whether the idol is meant to represent a "god" or whether it is meant to represent God Himself. The commandment is forbiding BOTH kinds of idols - i.e., an idol of a false god and an idol of the true God. Neither is allowed. These things are self-evident from the text.
bro. Clark I agree, the commandments is not stopping with making "graven image" the focus is what you will do ON the "graven image"...
you said," It is not about not having or creating any images such as art, photographs, logos, etc. It is about not worshiping those images."
How does your statement make any sense to you? if you worship "any image such as art,..." then you necessarily must have first determined/established/set up any such image as being worthy of worship; in other words you declared it a god and then began worshiping it.
Your own words prove you wrong regarding the fact that there is an unavoidable distinction between images in general and "graven images." Images in general cannot be worshiped, since they are not taken to be gods. So, there is a clear distinction between these two types of images even from a purely logical standpoint. God's word however, does not leave this clear logic to chance and plainly states don't make any "graven image" (clear distinction for you and all to see).