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6.25.2007    |    Idolatry in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The image shows pilgrims on a trek up to "Apparition Hill" outside Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina. What brings them, and why are they worshipping a statue of Mary?

From a front page article in today's secularist Washington Post, the basics:
People have been coming to this rocky slope since June 24, 1981, when six children said the Virgin Mary appeared to them here. The crowds have grown so rapidly that an estimated 1 million people will visit this year, part of a global surge in spiritual travel.
The WaPo article deals not just with these Catholic pilgrims, but with those of other faiths to other holy sites. Well, color me skeptical.

As Christians, we are to look to Mary as the best example of motherhood, and one of the best examples of taking God at His word, when the societal consequences could have meant her very life. But to make a pilgrimage because some children thought they saw an apparition of Mary? I don't think so.

This is in the same category as worshiping a bone from some saint. To kneel before a statue of Mary, who was a wonderful woman, but not a deity, well, there's a proper name for this: idolatry.

I'm not Catholic-bashing; used to be one, and I still love the Church. But I never, ever, accepted this cheap piety of bowing before a plaster statue. Catholics, including myself, bow before the Real Presence of our Lord in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. That's a manifestation of God's only Son, equally God, before whom every knee shall bow.

But a statue of Mary? No.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.