The question comes up to me often after service. Is having pictures and crosses in your house a violation of the 2nd commandment?
I wonder how many people go to church and think about that?
Lets see what the commandment says EXODUS 20:4-6 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or 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; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
If we look at the first sentence, "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or 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," then you would more the likely say yes. But this is the the part you need to pay attention too.
You shall not bow down to them nor serve them.
Here's an interesting fact for you. Nowhere in the Bible, either in the Old Testament or New Testament, is there a physical description of Christ. Isn't that strange? If God wanted to use the picture of Christ in spreading the Gospel or in worship, that we are not told whether Christ was tall or short, fair or dark, light or dark hair, blue eyes or brown eyes?
The Catholic Church during the Council of Trent (1545-1563) issued a clear statement concerning images and statues. According to the 25th Session of this General Council:
The images of Christ and of the Virgin Mother of God, and of the saints are to be had and retained particularly in churches, and due honor and veneration are to be given them; not that any divinity or virtue is believed to be in them on account of which they are to be worshipped, or that anything is to be asked of them, or that trust is to be reposed in images, as was of old by the Gentiles, who placed their hopes in idols; but because the honor which is shown them is referred to the prototypes which these images represent; so that we through the images which we kiss...or bend the knee, adore Christ and venerate the saints, whom they represent. [The Canons & Decrees of the Council of Trent (TAN Books, 1978) p. 215-6]
The Church does NOT compel her members to kneel or pray before images. No one is allowed by the Church to pray to images since they have no ears to hear or power to help us. The Church allows for the veneration of images as long as the honor is directed towards Christ and His saints.
So as long as you do not kneel before them or kiss them (worship) . It is fine to have them in your house or church and it is not a violation of the 2nd commandment.