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In the Gates

God All Around

The Second Commandment

God All Around

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Leviticus 26.1

You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the LORD your God.”

Pagans in ancient Canaan often used various kinds of standing objects as “connecting points” between heaven and earth – totems, pillars, standing stones, and so forth. These became focal points for worship as they were thought to provide a bridge or avenue from earth to heaven and heaven to earth.

God will have none of this. Earth and heaven are one for those who know the Lord. He is all around us, in everything, sustains and upholds the world, and invites us to consider His glory in the things He has made. This does not forbid making items of culture to the glory of God. It does, however, prohibit creating any items for the worship of God which are considered essential bridges to the Deity.

Celtic Christians, when they could not move the enormous standing stones of the people they led to Christ, carved them into crosses and used them as teaching stations, not facilitators of worship. God will be worshiped in Spirit and in truth, not by the works of our hands.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to and click on our Book Store.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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