Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;”
Leviticus 26:1 “‘You shall not make idols for yourselves; neither a carved image nor a sacred pillar shall you rear up for yourselves; nor shall you set up an engraved stone in your land, to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.”
We can’t be making excuses for idols as being simply harmless “cultural symbols.” For the white man it can be statues of the virgin Mary and of Jesus. For native Americans the totem poll is often excused as a “cultural symbol” by the more liberal converts to Christianity. In centuries past, there was a discriminatory practice where the false gods of the natives were cut down, but the false gods of the white man were allowed to stay. Roman Catholic idols to Mary and Jesus were excused because of the presence of these persons in the Bible, despite the fact that scripture clearly teaches it is not permitted to craft any graven images.
Anything which even hints at being idolatry must not be permitted. We need to stop looking for excuses to try to include cultural and traditional icons just because we are used to it or consider it “heritage.” If we really love God and desire to put him first, we do not want to take any chances at causing him jealousy. Imagine a woman marries another man, but still keeps pictures on the wall of herself together with the other man. That would be provoking jealously. Yet we treat God this way, keeping historic and cultural items around which we know fit the definition of idol and yet we continuously make excuses. This can include a collection of art objects. Many foreign “art” pieces are nothing more than sculptures of false gods. To place these in your home you are allowing the gateway to these demons to attack and influence your life and family. The excuse “well I don’t actually bow down to them, so its okay” is not acceptable in God’s eyesight. To place a false god in your home is the equivalent to bringing in another man or woman to live with along with your spouse. It just ain’t happening. Its time we consider what priority we place God in our lives. Whether we truly mean it when we told God “take all of me” “everything I have is yours” and yet will not even put in effort to do the barest minimum. Refusing false gods and idols is the first and second commandment. It is at the top of the list for a reason. If we are serious about God and really care to put him first, we cannot allow any hint of false gods anywhere near our home and domain.