Jacob setting stone as pillar. Is it idol worship?
Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.
"And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Beth-el: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house." (28:18, 19, 22.)C. ~ Now mark! Did not they act like savages in worshipping stones and causing others to do the same. Now this place is called Holy Bathel by the Mohammedans. Is that stone alone the house of God and does He reside in that stone alone? Bravo Christians! You are indeed great idolators!
Answer: Maharishi’s comprehension problem is becoming more evident as his questions progress.
The purpose of setting up the pillar was not to worship it but it is stated in the very verse Maharishi quoted.
Verse 22: and THIS STONE, which I have set for a pillar, SHALL BE God's house.
When it was so clearly written one wonders why Maharishi would still consider this as ‘worship’.
Now, let us see what Jacob did when he came back. Did he construct an image/idol of the God who appeared to him in dream?
Genesis 35:6 So Jacob came to Luz (that [is], Bethel), which [is] in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who [were] with him. And he built an ALTAR there and called the place El Bethel, because there God appeared to him when he fled from the face of his brother.
Remember Maharishi himself understands that altar is not idol (refer question on Genesis 8:20-22), then why on the earth has this became an idol worship.