Does the 1st commandment allow us to make use of statues and images?

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Yes, provided they do not become objects of false worship. God forbade the Jews to make graven images because they lived among pagans, and that influence made them inclined to worship images.

Those who accuse Catholics of violating the 1st commandment because of our use of statues and holy cards do not properly interpret this commandment. We know that the Jews didn't interpret this commandment as an absolute prohibition against images. There are many examples in the Bible to prove this. God forbade images in the 1st commandment, yet He ordered the brazen serpent (Numbers 21:8-9), and the golden cherubim atop the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:18-20). Then there were also the carved garlands of flowers, fruit and trees (Numbers 8:4), and the carved lions that supported the king's throne (I Kings 7:27-37).

To criticize Catholics for the use of images isn't honest. In order for these critics to be honest they would have to forbid themselves of the personal use of coinage, currency, photographs, sculptures, paintings, and even television.
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