It depends on the image. The Bible prohibits images for idolatry but does not prohibit other types of images. Each believer must use his conscience to decide what kind of images he can have at home ( Romans 14:12 ).
Our world is full of images. An image is a visual representation of something. We use images to: express ourselves, convey a message, keep a memory, decoration … An image can be good or bad, depending on:
- of the message it conveys– many images convey good and even biblical messages, but others convey wrong messages, such as an appeal to sin
- of our attitude towards it– the same image can cause different reactions in different people: one person can feel joy while another feels anger or sadness
For example, a pornographic image has a bad message, because it clearly calls for sin. It is not good to have images at home that invite sin ( 1 Thessalonians 5:22 ). On the other hand, a Christmas crib, which has a good message, can be interpreted in different ways. One person can remember the birth of Jesus and give thanks to God, while another person may feel like worshiping the image! For the first person the image is good but for the second person the image is bad.
Images in the Bible
The second commandment forbids the creation of images for worship ( Deuteronomy 5: 8-10 ). To worship, revere or worship images is idolatry. We should only worship God. If you feel like loving an image, take that image out of your home.
When people turned to God, they took idols out of their home ( Genesis 35: 2-3 ). This was a sign of their total dedication to God. It is not advisable to have worship images of other religions at home, because it conveys the wrong message.
See more about what the Bible says about images here.
On the other hand, there is no problem with having images for decoration and souvenir . The temple of God had several decorative images that celebrated the beauty of creation and helped to remember the glory and power of God. These images did not induce anyone to sin ( 1 Kings 6: 27-29 ).
The Bible also gives us a good example of how the same image can be good in one situation and bad in another . When the people of Israel were in the desert, many were bitten by snakes and were dying. So God sent Moses to create a bronze serpent . Everyone who looked at the serpent would be healed ( Numbers 21: 8-9 ). This image was good because it was a way for God to deliver his people. But, centuries later, the bronze serpent became an idol. People had made that image a bad thing. Therefore, King Hezekiah destroyed it ( 2 Kings 18: 4 ).