Why are Catholic Churches decorated with images and statues in direct violation of the second commandment?
The second commandment is, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Protestants, of course, call that the third commandment. But they are wrong in doing so, having taken that part of the first commandment which refers to images as the second of God’s commandments. But do those words forbid the making of images? They do not. God was forbidding idolatry, not the making of images. He said, “Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image of anything in the heaven above, or in the earth beneath. Thou shalt not bow down to them nor worship them.” God deliberately adds those last words, yet you ignore them. He forbids men to make images in order to adore them. But He does not forbid the making of images. You will find the commandments given in Exodus, XX. But in that same Book, XXV., 18, you will find God ordering the Jews to make images of Angels! Would you accuse God of not knowing the sense of His own law? He says, “Thou shalt make also two cherubims of beaten gold, on the two sides of the oracle.” In other words, the Jews were to make images of things in the heaven above. And if your interpretation be true, why do you violate God’s law by making images of things in the earth beneath? Why images of kings and politicians in our parks? Why photographs of friends and relatives? On your theory you could not even take a snapshot of a gum tree. You would be making an image of a thing in the earth beneath. You strain at a gnat and swallow a camel! This is the fruit of your private interpretation of Scripture. No. God does not forbid the making of images; He forbids the making of images in order to adore them.