Inconsistencies in Christianity?


I was raised Southern Baptist, but switched to paganism a few years ago because the Christian had too many inconsistencies for my taste. Can you help me out with these?
The Ten Commandments says "Thou shalt not worship any graven image." Yet, in every church I have been to, I have seen crosses, Jesus figures, the works, and people worship them. So, in worshiping the figure of Christ on the cross, aren't Christians breaking their own rule of worshiping graven images? 

The Ten Commandments also say "I am a jealous God, and thou shalt not worship any other God before me." However, it is dictated that jealousy is a sin. So if God is a jealous God, therefore he would be sinning by being jealous. But if sin is not allowed in heaven, how can God, a sinner by his own definition, be in heaven?  
According to modern Christianity, the consumption of human blood and human flesh is considered an abomination. However, during the Catholic communion ceremony, the wine represents the blood of Christ, and the wafers the flesh of Christ. So when the priest speaks for Christ in saying "This is my body, this is my blood. Eat and drink, and become one with me," wouldn't this be a representation of vampirism/cannibalism, which, according to the bible, is considered a sin?

My Reply:
You've got some good questions...and there are some, "interesting" answers given for them. I find it weird that you left Christianity because of your misunderstandings with the 10 commandments though. You seem to have missed the whole point of what being a Christian is all about. Anyway, about your questions: There are NO contradictions in the Bible...seriously. But reading it as ones who have no idea about the background, culture of that time, etc, would be like looking at a 3-D shape in 1-D:

1) Most Christians don't actually worship the cross, but use it as a way of remembering or giving glory to God, for it was a huge part in fulfilling the Gospel. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Christian Pastor, theologian, professor, and Martyr during WWII, said in his book “The Cost of Discipleship” that the cross is a scandal, and not only should it not be glorified, but that we should even regard it as an ugly stick (paraphrased). In other words, it's not to be glorified because it's what was used to kill our Savior.  Isn't it interesting though, that there are so many statues and paintings of political and philosophical leaders in Jesus' time, but yet nobody took the time to even give a hint to what Jesus looked like? Good thing, too, for if we knew, many would no doubt put their focus' onto the images of Jesus instead of Jesus Christ they did with that Swedish Jesus with blue eyes that we continue to see pictures of.

2) The word for "Jealous" in describing the Lord is different that that of humans. God is "jealous" in that He refuses to share us and our worship meant for Him with anything else out there. God is the one and only, Almighty God, and only HE is to be praised and glorified as such. He is the creator of everything that exists.  To worship anything that was created instead is not only inappropriate, but also a great sin.

3) As for partaking of Jesus' blood at communion: Critics of the Christian faith in the days of the early Church also used to call Christians "Cannibals" because of the elements in Communion.  So your confusion with this is valid and has been wrestled with before.  Although, I am curious about your resources on this, for I believe it's only the Catholics who believe that the wafers and wine actually turn into Jesus' flesh and blood.  Southern Baptists, on the other hand, "emphasize that the remembrance is symbolic of Christ's body and reject literal views of communion such as transubstantiation and consubstantiation held by other Christian groups," and seem to focus less on the symbolism of the elements, and more on the fellowship among the believers at the table.  Either way, to understand more on this the elements and Jesus' meaning, check out the book “This is my Body”, and to understand more about communion, check out one of my previous posts on what it's all about.
---Pastor Andy
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