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Author Topic: Did Jesus/Yeshua, the apostles, or any church fathers use an iconostasis?  (Read 7498 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: April 19, 2011, 01:47:24 PM »

I am merely asking since Jesus did not use an iconostasis nor the apostles why do we?

Do you realise Jesus is God and He doesn't need anything?

Really? He needed to learn, eat, breath, move, etc. This statement seems close to denying the humanity of Jesus.

...Jesus didn't need anything to worship Himself.
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« Reply #46 on: April 19, 2011, 01:51:33 PM »

How many languages are adequate when posting to refer to the name given to the Incarnate Son of God?

I don't think if you leave it at "Jesus" we are going to confuse Jesus Christ with Jesus Delgado.
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« Reply #47 on: April 19, 2011, 02:01:13 PM »

Jesus and the Apostles didn't use central heat and air conditioning, or probably even indoor plumbing in their churches either. So we probably shouldn't include these amenities in our churches today. It's not Biblical.
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« Reply #48 on: April 19, 2011, 02:24:33 PM »

Jesus and the Apostles didn't use central heat and air conditioning, or probably even indoor plumbing in their churches either. So we probably shouldn't include these amenities in our churches today. It's not Biblical.

These arguments (see many of the similar ones above) you realize are not very convincing nor germane to the discussion. They didn't recite the Symbol of Faith either.

This is a simply an instance when the poster is really begging the question. It is also a statement couched in question form. Thankfully, like many purposeless posts, it yielded at least one fantastic reply within the thread.

The answer to the question is: NO. Which the OP knows and then would like to use to make an argument against its use with the Church today in virtue of the implied presuppositions in the question itself.

To equate the development of the use of icons whether on a wall or otherwise with the development of climate control actually plays into the point the OP is ostensibly trying to make. And really equating the development of both within the use of the Church is sorta vulgar.
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« Reply #49 on: April 19, 2011, 03:17:14 PM »

I can' find at what point in history these became a necessary part of the church.

Never.
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« Reply #50 on: April 19, 2011, 03:22:08 PM »


To equate the development of the use of icons whether on a wall or otherwise with the development of climate control actually plays into the point the OP is ostensibly trying to make. And really equating the development of both within the use of the Church is sorta vulgar.

So thank God I didn't do that - equate the development of climate control with the use of icons, I mean! God forbid I should ever be vulgar or even accuse someone else of being vulgar. As several folks here have rightly pointed out, there is a vast difference between the use of icons, or the theology of icons, as it were, and the development of the iconostasis.
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« Reply #51 on: April 19, 2011, 06:05:18 PM »

This is a simply an instance when the poster is really begging the question.
Nicely done; gold star for your correct usage.  Grin

Quote
It is also a statement couched in question form. Thankfully, like many purposeless posts, it yielded at least one fantastic reply within the thread.

The answer to the question is: NO. Which the OP knows and then would like to use to make an argument against its use with the Church today in virtue of the implied presuppositions in the question itself.

Yep, along with most of this poster's other "question" threads.
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« Reply #52 on: April 19, 2011, 07:39:37 PM »

Yeshuaisiam, can I ask -- is it the idea of any barrier between the altar and the nave whatsoever that is problematic, or is it only a barrier which substantially blocks the view of the altar and/or is covered in iconography?

In short, would a simple rope barrier cause you the same consternation?

I am not asking facetiously -- I think your answer will help us shape a response or help you find what you're looking for in the responses already offered.
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« Reply #53 on: April 19, 2011, 08:17:48 PM »

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If you think that Christ is invisible, you have more serious problems than you realize.

If you think you have seen Christ outside of the living bread, I do not believe that I'm the one with problems.

He is invisible.  I have never seen him as a man walking the Earth.  I've seen paintings / icons of him, I've seen the transmuted bread/wine, but never have I seen him in the flesh.
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« Reply #54 on: April 19, 2011, 08:20:51 PM »

I think it needs to be noted that there's nothing integral about an iconostasis as far as the Faith is concerned (icons themselves are a different story!). Nothing hinges on it (pun intended?). We can discuss the historicity of it and its symbolism, etc., but it's not something that has been "added" to the Faith; it is something that has been added to the Eastern expression of the Faith.

The Apostolic Faith is timeless and universal. Our expressions are not, important as they may be. So don't let this cause any doubts about your Orthodox faith, yeshuaisiam. When Orthodox say that nothing has been added to our faith or practice, we don't mean we do things exactly like they were done, right from the start of Christianity. We mean that our faith (our doctrine and dogma), are unchanging, whereas our practices, varied as they may be, are the fruits of that faith and the logical and natural outcomes of believing our faith to actually be true. They are expressions and manifestations of the mystical reality we experience as the Body of Christ. They embody and give witness to the "inner life" of the Church organism. So, we say our practice doesn't change because it's always an organically connected expression and embodiment of that unchanging Faith that we hold. Our pure and unchanging Apostolic Faith is the life that gives birth to our manifold expressions.

Now, that's not to say that one couldn't make a case that the emergence and development of the iconostasis didn't, in some respects, profoundly alter the way we understand the Eucharistic sacrifice. I've heard Orthodox priests say that very thing. But we have to understand that there is the physical, cultural, external aspect of our theologically incarnational Faith (tradition) and there is within that our unchanging, unalterable mystical Faith (Tradition). We see a lot of fluidity in the early Church in regards to the former, and we see uncompromising steadfastness in regards to the latter.

I think Fr. John Meyendorff puts it well: "All these factors, which were given their definitive form in the Byzantine period, have enabled the Orthodox Church to build up and to maintain a remarkably coherent corporate attitude toward the Church and the faith through the centuries.  From Byzantium also it has inherited certain historical characteristics of a less important nature.  It is our task to attempt to distinguish in this heritage between the Tradition of the Church, the expression of revealed Truth, on the one hand, and mere human traditions which have naturally tended to accumulate on the other.  This distinction will sometimes be painful to make, sometimes it can only be made gradually; but in any case the necessary adjustments can only be achieved with the help of the Spirit who teaches “all truth.”  For it is He who, without nullifying man’s free will, guides the Church toward its final destination."

The Church is a living organism, and as such, it has to adapt to its surroundings and will naturally continue to develop and grow into itself. The question you need to ask is not, "Do we do anything the Apostles didn't do?" but rather, "Have we kept that unchanging Faith, that full Revelation that Christ entrusted to His Apostles, and have we continued to express that Faith in a manner that is both historically and biblically consistent, and naturally derived from believing that Faith to actually be true."

I think you'll find that the Orthodox Church alone is able to answer "Yes" to that last question.

Thank you for your excellent & to the point answer.  I'll think about these things.
God Bless
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« Reply #55 on: April 19, 2011, 08:28:40 PM »


To equate the development of the use of icons whether on a wall or otherwise with the development of climate control actually plays into the point the OP is ostensibly trying to make. And really equating the development of both within the use of the Church is sorta vulgar.

So thank God I didn't do that - equate the development of climate control with the use of icons, I mean! God forbid I should ever be vulgar or even accuse someone else of being vulgar. As several folks here have rightly pointed out, there is a vast difference between the use of icons, or the theology of icons, as it were, and the development of the iconostasis.


Central plumbing and A/C are not a focus of our faith.  It's like saying "Jesus didn't drive either, but we do".

Icons are part of our faith and often a focal point of our worship.  My question was directed towards the iconostasis.  Mostly not understanding the origins of the barrier / separation of "Earth and Heaven" that it represents, where it came from, or why it is necessary in our churches.  Why royal doors & why only clergy can enter.  I can't find any evidence of this being an important factor at all to the church fathers or the apostles.

As we are in Holy week, a significant event is the last supper.  None of which had Royal Doors or iconostasis.
 
I'm not even specifically talking about icons themselves.

I'm especially not talking about non-faith items like plumbing or A/C.
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« Reply #56 on: April 19, 2011, 08:35:29 PM »

This is a simply an instance when the poster is really begging the question.
Nicely done; gold star for your correct usage.  Grin

Quote
It is also a statement couched in question form. Thankfully, like many purposeless posts, it yielded at least one fantastic reply within the thread.

The answer to the question is: NO. Which the OP knows and then would like to use to make an argument against its use with the Church today in virtue of the implied presuppositions in the question itself.

Yep, along with most of this poster's other "question" threads.

Yes, that's why I posted this in a faith issues area.  I'm having issues with the Orthodox faith! 

It is a statement and a question, it's not like this is tricky.  Shocked If the apostles did not use an iconostasis in their worship, the early father did not use them in their worship, NOR did they have things like "royal doors", then why do most Eastern Orthodox churches use them?

Of course, this doesn't mean that ALL Eastern Orthodox churches use an iconostasis.  I've seen many without, but most larger ones have them and I can't see the importance.  If the early church didn't need them why do we?
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« Reply #57 on: April 19, 2011, 08:40:45 PM »

Yeshuaisiam, can I ask -- is it the idea of any barrier between the altar and the nave whatsoever that is problematic, or is it only a barrier which substantially blocks the view of the altar and/or is covered in iconography?

In short, would a simple rope barrier cause you the same consternation?

I am not asking facetiously -- I think your answer will help us shape a response or help you find what you're looking for in the responses already offered.

It's the idea of a barrier period.  I've seen many Eastern Orthodox churches.  I've seen many full blown churches with "iconostasises" to little home churches with just a couple icons used as a "sort of iconostasis", all the way to absolutely no iconostasis.

Yes, why the barrier itself be it a rope or iconostasis.  The barrier that separates?  Its the concept that it was never used by the church fathers or the apostles.  It's not that I'm "against" it, but more like "what's the point of it and how does it help our faith & worship" along with "why was it incepted, used, and when"? 
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« Reply #58 on: April 19, 2011, 09:24:08 PM »

Yeshuaisiam, can I ask -- is it the idea of any barrier between the altar and the nave whatsoever that is problematic, or is it only a barrier which substantially blocks the view of the altar and/or is covered in iconography?

In short, would a simple rope barrier cause you the same consternation?

I am not asking facetiously -- I think your answer will help us shape a response or help you find what you're looking for in the responses already offered.

It's the idea of a barrier period.  I've seen many Eastern Orthodox churches.  I've seen many full blown churches with "iconostasises" to little home churches with just a couple icons used as a "sort of iconostasis", all the way to absolutely no iconostasis.

Yes, why the barrier itself be it a rope or iconostasis.  The barrier that separates?  Its the concept that it was never used by the church fathers or the apostles.  It's not that I'm "against" it, but more like "what's the point of it and how does it help our faith & worship" along with "why was it incepted, used, and when"? 

Perfectly good answers to your question have already been provided. If you are of a mind that the Church should not do or believe anything that is not proscribed in the New Testament, you would be one of many Protestant sects.

My friend, that is not how a family, a Church that is the Body of Christ, would work. I am of one mind with Father Schmemann of blessed memory and "always question" everything, but like Father Alexander, I do so within the framework of the Church, Her Holy Tradition. I try to figure out what is essential, even if it is not present in the Holy Scriptures, try to discern the principles and then interpret beliefs and practices in their light. The Holy Scriptures play the greatest part in this quest of discerning what is Tradition with a capital "T" and merely pious custom--that is, tradition with a small "t".

So, given the Holy Scriptures, archeological and historical evidence, the writings of the Early Fathers, our liturgical practices, icons, and architectural developments over the centuries, I believe that there was indeed four distinct (may be even five) areas in the early churches, that were patterned on the Temple. It appears that the icon stand developed over the centuries in line with the original practice and principles: A Holy of Holies, a place for worshipers, another for catechumens, and a baptistry. It is true that the icon stand became more like a solid wall, and actually grew in height over the centuries. No matter, the pattern and the principles were not altered materially. Therefore, I would be just as much "at home" in a Church that had only curtains, true icon stands with no doors whatsoever, or a Slavic type that has all the latest bells and whistles, so to speak. An analogy may be an automobile: all kinds of styles but essentially the same machine, no?

So, why bother yourself with what is a matter of not ultimate consequence? There always was an altar, an area that was set aside, our Christian Holy of Holies, that was restricted to those who had a need to be there. If you feel the need to be there, perhaps you should pray to the Lord for a calling.

The real problem here may be your unwillingness to accept  an authority higher than yourself, or an authority between you and God. Again, if you are to be a member of this family, perhaps a starting rule ought to be to defer to the family, or at least to consider her stance before you decide to form your own path. I pray that the Lord is with you on your spiritual journey and that His Will be done.
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« Reply #59 on: April 19, 2011, 09:37:12 PM »

There is an excellent book, Iconostasis, by Fr. Pavel Florensky (philosopher, theologian, scientist, art historian, and martyred priest) that you may enjoy reading. I hope this quote isn't too long:
    He wrote: "The wall that separates two worlds is an iconostasis. One might mean by the iconostasis the boards or the bricks or the stones. in actuality, the iconostasis is a boundary between the visible and invisible worlds, and it functions as a boundary by being an obstacle to our seeing the altar, thereby making it accessible to our consciousness by means of its unified row of saints (i.e. by its cloud of witnesses) that surround the altar where God is, the sphere where heavenly glory dwells, thus proclaiming the Mystery. Iconostasis is vision. Iconostasis is a manifestation of saints and angels...heavenly witnesses...the saints themselves. If everyone praying in a temple were wholly spiritualized, if everyone praying were truly to see, then there would be no iconostasis other than standing before God Himself, witnessing to Him by their holy countenances and proclaiming His terrifying glory by their sacred words.
    But because our sight is weak and our prayers feeble, the Church, in Her care for us, gave us visual strength for our spiritual brokenness: the heavenly visions on the iconostasis, vivid, precise, and illumined that articulate, materially cohere, an image into fixed colors.
....But the material iconostasis does not, in itself, take the place of the living witnesses, existing instead of them; rather, it points toward them, concentrating the attention of those who pray upon them."
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« Reply #60 on: April 19, 2011, 10:45:54 PM »

Quote
If you think that Christ is invisible, you have more serious problems than you realize.

If you think you have seen Christ outside of the living bread, I do not believe that I'm the one with problems.

He is invisible.  I have never seen him as a man walking the Earth.  I've seen paintings / icons of him, I've seen the transmuted bread/wine, but never have I seen him in the flesh.

"Out of sight" and "invisible" have rather different connotations. As for their typical connotations, Jesus would be out of sight to you, but not invisible.
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« Reply #61 on: April 19, 2011, 10:55:00 PM »

There is an excellent book, Iconostasis, by Fr. Pavel Florensky (philosopher, theologian, scientist, art historian, and martyred priest) that you may enjoy reading. I hope this quote isn't too long:
    He wrote: "The wall that separates two worlds is an iconostasis. One might mean by the iconostasis the boards or the bricks or the stones. in actuality, the iconostasis is a boundary between the visible and invisible worlds, and it functions as a boundary by being an obstacle to our seeing the altar, thereby making it accessible to our consciousness by means of its unified row of saints (i.e. by its cloud of witnesses) that surround the altar where God is, the sphere where heavenly glory dwells, thus proclaiming the Mystery. Iconostasis is vision. Iconostasis is a manifestation of saints and angels...heavenly witnesses...the saints themselves. If everyone praying in a temple were wholly spiritualized, if everyone praying were truly to see, then there would be no iconostasis other than standing before God Himself, witnessing to Him by their holy countenances and proclaiming His terrifying glory by their sacred words.
    But because our sight is weak and our prayers feeble, the Church, in Her care for us, gave us visual strength for our spiritual brokenness: the heavenly visions on the iconostasis, vivid, precise, and illumined that articulate, materially cohere, an image into fixed colors.
....But the material iconostasis does not, in itself, take the place of the living witnesses, existing instead of them; rather, it points toward them, concentrating the attention of those who pray upon them."

I have to ask, though, is that really the why and how of the emergence of the iconostasis? I have a deep and profound respect for the Byzantine tradition, believe me, but there does seem to be an inclination to ascribe great deals of symbolism to things that weren't initially created or implemented to serve that purpose.
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« Reply #62 on: April 20, 2011, 12:17:29 AM »

There is an excellent book, Iconostasis, by Fr. Pavel Florensky (philosopher, theologian, scientist, art historian, and martyred priest) that you may enjoy reading. I hope this quote isn't too long:
    He wrote: "The wall that separates two worlds is an iconostasis. One might mean by the iconostasis the boards or the bricks or the stones. in actuality, the iconostasis is a boundary between the visible and invisible worlds, and it functions as a boundary by being an obstacle to our seeing the altar, thereby making it accessible to our consciousness by means of its unified row of saints (i.e. by its cloud of witnesses) that surround the altar where God is, the sphere where heavenly glory dwells, thus proclaiming the Mystery. Iconostasis is vision. Iconostasis is a manifestation of saints and angels...heavenly witnesses...the saints themselves. If everyone praying in a temple were wholly spiritualized, if everyone praying were truly to see, then there would be no iconostasis other than standing before God Himself, witnessing to Him by their holy countenances and proclaiming His terrifying glory by their sacred words.
    But because our sight is weak and our prayers feeble, the Church, in Her care for us, gave us visual strength for our spiritual brokenness: the heavenly visions on the iconostasis, vivid, precise, and illumined that articulate, materially cohere, an image into fixed colors.
....But the material iconostasis does not, in itself, take the place of the living witnesses, existing instead of them; rather, it points toward them, concentrating the attention of those who pray upon them."

I have to ask, though, is that really the why and how of the emergence of the iconostasis? I have a deep and profound respect for the Byzantine tradition, believe me, but there does seem to be an inclination to ascribe great deals of symbolism to things that weren't initially created or implemented to serve that purpose.
It's an Eastern thing.
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« Reply #63 on: April 20, 2011, 12:50:16 AM »

yeshuaisiam,

Hello. Jesus and the apostles attended the Temple where there were royal gates that matched our iconostasis.
The religious depictions, or "icons" were added later. Probably the depictions on the royal gates in churches started out with crosses and then got more detailed.
In later years after the Temple's destruction, Churches were built on the model of Jewish synagogues, which also modeled themselves after the Temple.

Would you please say how did you think up your signature line? Is "livingpress" a joke about another website, like "Light and Life Publishing?"

Thank you.

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« Reply #64 on: April 20, 2011, 09:33:31 AM »


To equate the development of the use of icons whether on a wall or otherwise with the development of climate control actually plays into the point the OP is ostensibly trying to make. And really equating the development of both within the use of the Church is sorta vulgar.

So thank God I didn't do that - equate the development of climate control with the use of icons, I mean! God forbid I should ever be vulgar or even accuse someone else of being vulgar. As several folks here have rightly pointed out, there is a vast difference between the use of icons, or the theology of icons, as it were, and the development of the iconostasis.


Central plumbing and A/C are not a focus of our faith.  It's like saying "Jesus didn't drive either, but we do".

Icons are part of our faith and often a focal point of our worship.  My question was directed towards the iconostasis.  Mostly not understanding the origins of the barrier / separation of "Earth and Heaven" that it represents, where it came from, or why it is necessary in our churches.  Why royal doors & why only clergy can enter.  I can't find any evidence of this being an important factor at all to the church fathers or the apostles.

As we are in Holy week, a significant event is the last supper.  None of which had Royal Doors or iconostasis.
 
I'm not even specifically talking about icons themselves.

I'm especially not talking about non-faith items like plumbing or A/C.

Seriously, is your first name Thomas by any chance?
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« Reply #65 on: April 20, 2011, 10:39:29 AM »


To equate the development of the use of icons whether on a wall or otherwise with the development of climate control actually plays into the point the OP is ostensibly trying to make. And really equating the development of both within the use of the Church is sorta vulgar.

So thank God I didn't do that - equate the development of climate control with the use of icons, I mean! God forbid I should ever be vulgar or even accuse someone else of being vulgar. As several folks here have rightly pointed out, there is a vast difference between the use of icons, or the theology of icons, as it were, and the development of the iconostasis.


Central plumbing and A/C are not a focus of our faith.  It's like saying "Jesus didn't drive either, but we do".

Icons are part of our faith and often a focal point of our worship.  My question was directed towards the iconostasis.  Mostly not understanding the origins of the barrier / separation of "Earth and Heaven" that it represents, where it came from, or why it is necessary in our churches.  Why royal doors & why only clergy can enter.  I can't find any evidence of this being an important factor at all to the church fathers or the apostles.

As we are in Holy week, a significant event is the last supper.  None of which had Royal Doors or iconostasis.
 
I'm not even specifically talking about icons themselves.

I'm especially not talking about non-faith items like plumbing or A/C.

Seriously, is your first name Thomas by any chance?

Nope sorry.
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« Reply #66 on: April 20, 2011, 10:48:07 AM »

Quote
So, why bother yourself with what is a matter of not ultimate consequence? There always was an altar, an area that was set aside, our Christian Holy of Holies, that was restricted to those who had a need to be there. If you feel the need to be there, perhaps you should pray to the Lord for a calling.

The real problem here may be your unwillingness to accept  an authority higher than yourself, or an authority between you and God. Again, if you are to be a member of this family, perhaps a starting rule ought to be to defer to the family, or at least to consider her stance before you decide to form your own path. I pray that the Lord is with you on your spiritual journey and that His Will be done.

I agree, there always was an altar.

But you may be right, I dunno... It's complicated.  I don't have an issue of an authority higher than myself at all, but you may be right, I may have a problem with "authority" between me and God.

Unfortunately this is protestant in many ways.  But what happens when you can't get your head around something?  What happens at the point when you see certain things as "show" or "flashy" and not needed, but the love or Orthodoxy still exists?

I'm a very confused person over faith.  I'm sorry if many of the things I say sound loaded.
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« Reply #67 on: April 20, 2011, 10:49:39 AM »

I may have a problem with "authority" between me and God.

You mean "the Church"?
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« Reply #68 on: April 20, 2011, 11:01:32 AM »

But what happens when you can't get your head around something?  What happens at the point when you see certain things as "show" or "flashy" and not needed, but the love or Orthodoxy still exists?

Do as I have to do - constantly. Pray for the gift of humility, and if God wishes, to grant you understanding. This shouldn't be a dealbreaker, IMHO, but we all have our problems. Perhaps the beginning of wisdom is the ability to at least theoretically accept that we ain't as smart as we think we are, and that there is at least an outside possibility that we could be wrong about something.
There were certain issues (one of which was an all-male priesthood) that I struggled with before converting but at some point, I began to trust that the Church, the Body of Christ, has been at this at lot longer than I have, and has accumulated wisdom and experience, guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #69 on: April 20, 2011, 11:13:40 AM »

I may have a problem with "authority" between me and God.

IME, my problems with "authority" were just getting in the way between me and me.
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« Reply #70 on: April 20, 2011, 11:26:01 AM »

Quote
So, why bother yourself with what is a matter of not ultimate consequence? There always was an altar, an area that was set aside, our Christian Holy of Holies, that was restricted to those who had a need to be there. If you feel the need to be there, perhaps you should pray to the Lord for a calling.

The real problem here may be your unwillingness to accept  an authority higher than yourself, or an authority between you and God. Again, if you are to be a member of this family, perhaps a starting rule ought to be to defer to the family, or at least to consider her stance before you decide to form your own path. I pray that the Lord is with you on your spiritual journey and that His Will be done.

Unfortunately this is protestant in many ways.  But what happens when you can't get your head around something?  What happens at the point when you see certain things as "show" or "flashy" and not needed, but the love or Orthodoxy still exists?

I'm a very confused person over faith.  I'm sorry if many of the things I say sound loaded.

You weigh the relative merits and see which way the scale tilts. On the one hand, you have things that may well be too "showy" or "flashy" or not really needed. On the other hand, you have a church, a family, that truly worships God like no other.

BTW, you have nothing to be sorry for. You have the right to probe, sometimes in "loaded" terminology, because nothing less than your spiritual health is at stake. And, that may the the best analogy yet. Some folks think that vitamins and exercise will cure their cancer. Others are willing to let doctors proceed with surgery to cure this dread disease. You will have to decide if you want God on your own terms or within the Church. Very scary and very radical step right now, perhaps, but I am convinced it is the course of action that you will not regret later on. Please know that seeking God within the Church does not mean that you become a mindless robot or that you will feel perfectly comfortable about each and every thing. It does mean that you will have to think of the family first, that you will acknowledge and respect the leadership, and that you will have to do your part--whatever that means (between you and the Lord).
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« Reply #71 on: April 20, 2011, 11:30:46 AM »

Quote
So, why bother yourself with what is a matter of not ultimate consequence? There always was an altar, an area that was set aside, our Christian Holy of Holies, that was restricted to those who had a need to be there. If you feel the need to be there, perhaps you should pray to the Lord for a calling.

The real problem here may be your unwillingness to accept  an authority higher than yourself, or an authority between you and God. Again, if you are to be a member of this family, perhaps a starting rule ought to be to defer to the family, or at least to consider her stance before you decide to form your own path. I pray that the Lord is with you on your spiritual journey and that His Will be done.

I agree, there always was an altar.

But you may be right, I dunno... It's complicated.  I don't have an issue of an authority higher than myself at all, but you may be right, I may have a problem with "authority" between me and God.

Unfortunately this is protestant in many ways.  But what happens when you can't get your head around something?  What happens at the point when you see certain things as "show" or "flashy" and not needed, but the love or Orthodoxy still exists?

I'm a very confused person over faith.  I'm sorry if many of the things I say sound loaded.

You have identified the core of your struggle in your comment that your concerns are 'protestant in many ways.' This is a problem that is not at all uncommon in America within both 'cradle' and 'convert' Orthodox. (For what its worth: I HATE to make that distinction.....) A wise priest or spiritual father will be able to work together with you to help you through these issues and your concerns. Trying to get an approach here from us is probably not all that helpful as our answers can range from smug and condescending to 'over the top'. I am sorry about the Thomas remark as it wasn't helpful.

Please, after Holy Week and Bright Week, seek out an Orthodox priest in your area, even visit with a few to find one you 'relate' to and feel comfortable speaking openly with. A good priest will not give you 'attitude' or demean your concerns. You really won't be the first person he has counseled that shares your thoughts and concerns. Often parishioners were influenced with non-Orthodox ideas from their workplace friends or the popular media.

Speaking from my memory, as my father was a priest for many, many years, I remember a young man many years ago who spent countless hours with my dad on the phone and at the rectory asking many of the same questions, seemingly over and over again. My dad was a patient man and a good listener. Today that man is the father of a priest, grandfather of a seminarian and a respected Deacon and church school teacher.

Don't be embarrassed by your struggles and questions - they are normal. Pray this week that our Risen Savior be with you along the way and guide you to your spiritual destination. Remember, Christ IS among us!
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« Reply #72 on: April 20, 2011, 03:01:49 PM »

Quote
So, why bother yourself with what is a matter of not ultimate consequence? There always was an altar, an area that was set aside, our Christian Holy of Holies, that was restricted to those who had a need to be there. If you feel the need to be there, perhaps you should pray to the Lord for a calling.

The real problem here may be your unwillingness to accept  an authority higher than yourself, or an authority between you and God. Again, if you are to be a member of this family, perhaps a starting rule ought to be to defer to the family, or at least to consider her stance before you decide to form your own path. I pray that the Lord is with you on your spiritual journey and that His Will be done.

I agree, there always was an altar.

But you may be right, I dunno... It's complicated.  I don't have an issue of an authority higher than myself at all, but you may be right, I may have a problem with "authority" between me and God.

Unfortunately this is protestant in many ways.  But what happens when you can't get your head around something?  What happens at the point when you see certain things as "show" or "flashy" and not needed, but the love or Orthodoxy still exists?

I'm a very confused person over faith.  I'm sorry if many of the things I say sound loaded.

But you may be right, I dunno... It's complicated.  I don't have an issue of an authority higher than myself at all, but you may be right, I may have a problem with "authority" between me and God.


Who are you again?

The Church is not wholly man made. It has a Mystical Component. It's Authority is not the same thing as Authority within a corporation or club no matter how venerable.
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« Reply #73 on: April 20, 2011, 03:29:55 PM »

Quote
So, why bother yourself with what is a matter of not ultimate consequence? There always was an altar, an area that was set aside, our Christian Holy of Holies, that was restricted to those who had a need to be there. If you feel the need to be there, perhaps you should pray to the Lord for a calling.

The real problem here may be your unwillingness to accept  an authority higher than yourself, or an authority between you and God. Again, if you are to be a member of this family, perhaps a starting rule ought to be to defer to the family, or at least to consider her stance before you decide to form your own path. I pray that the Lord is with you on your spiritual journey and that His Will be done.

I agree, there always was an altar.

But you may be right, I dunno... It's complicated.  I don't have an issue of an authority higher than myself at all, but you may be right, I may have a problem with "authority" between me and God.
Like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?

Quote
Unfortunately this is protestant in many ways.  But what happens when you can't get your head around something?  What happens at the point when you see certain things as "show" or "flashy" and not needed, but the love or Orthodoxy still exists?
Then you trust your Faith in the Orthodox Church.

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« Reply #74 on: April 21, 2013, 04:03:54 AM »

I may have a problem with "authority" between me and God.

IME, my problems with "authority" were just getting in the way between me and me.
+1
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« Reply #75 on: April 21, 2013, 04:05:57 AM »

What would Jesus need an icon for?  Though I do suppose it's possible He had a small, portable mirror.
LOL.
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« Reply #76 on: April 21, 2013, 04:17:28 AM »

Quote
If you think that Christ is invisible, you have more serious problems than you realize.

If you think you have seen Christ outside of the living bread, I do not believe that I'm the one with problems.

He is invisible.  I have never seen him as a man walking the Earth.  I've seen paintings / icons of him, I've seen the transmuted bread/wine, but never have I seen him in the flesh.
btw, this is not original.  The iconoclasts said the same thing in promotion of their heresy.
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« Reply #77 on: April 21, 2013, 04:50:12 AM »

The original altar area was veiled. If the epistle of Epiphanius is genuine than the early Church had icons on those veils.
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« Reply #78 on: April 21, 2013, 05:45:26 AM »

Is using a bicycle to get to church acceptable?

Nobody had bicycles back then, either.

?   Huh

I'm not asking if it is acceptable.  I'm asking if they were used pre-nicea (basically) and the origin.  Because EO is the one true church since 33 AD. I'm wondering when the use of the iconostasis started and why it is considered "heaven" behind it, and why it was incepted in the first place.

I am sure things have evolved since worshiping in the synagogue and then house churches.  Jews keep the Torah behind doors with a curtain.  Probably an artifact of that and the Temple.
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« Reply #79 on: April 21, 2013, 06:18:17 AM »

That's not a Russian iconostasis.  That's very much an Americanized version.  Note the Holy Doors (I suppose they are open).


<snip>
Russian Orthodox altar, with Iconostasis. Notice that the doors are opened.


That is obviously at Pascha, white coverings and open doors. The doors are left open because at Passover all are invited and when Christ died, the separation between God and man was ended...the Temple curtain was rent in two...
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« Reply #80 on: April 22, 2013, 03:30:39 PM »

Quote
So, why bother yourself with what is a matter of not ultimate consequence? There always was an altar, an area that was set aside, our Christian Holy of Holies, that was restricted to those who had a need to be there. If you feel the need to be there, perhaps you should pray to the Lord for a calling.

The real problem here may be your unwillingness to accept  an authority higher than yourself, or an authority between you and God. Again, if you are to be a member of this family, perhaps a starting rule ought to be to defer to the family, or at least to consider her stance before you decide to form your own path. I pray that the Lord is with you on your spiritual journey and that His Will be done.

I agree, there always was an altar.

But you may be right, I dunno... It's complicated.  I don't have an issue of an authority higher than myself at all, but you may be right, I may have a problem with "authority" between me and God.

Unfortunately this is protestant in many ways.  But what happens when you can't get your head around something?  What happens at the point when you see certain things as "show" or "flashy" and not needed, but the love or Orthodoxy still exists?

I'm a very confused person over faith.  I'm sorry if many of the things I say sound loaded.

For me personally, when I have a hard time with something and I continue to wrestle with it, I just try to leave it alone for awhile and try not to think of it.  I don't want to damage my overall faith because of one or two stumbling blocks that I can't figure out.  In regards to the iconostasis, I don't think it is NECESSARY for worship, but it is something that I (and the Church) believe is very useful.  We ought not try to figure out what the bare minimum requirements are for worship, instead we should continue to look for ways whereby we have new opportunities to worship and remind us of God.  E.g. Prayer ropes are not "required", but they are beneficial.
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« Reply #81 on: April 22, 2013, 08:49:08 PM »

Here is an example of a Russian style iconostasis from our Rocor Cathedral in DC

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« Reply #82 on: April 23, 2013, 12:32:36 AM »

Here is an example of a Russian style iconostasis from our Rocor Cathedral in DC

Why is it "Russian"?
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« Reply #83 on: April 23, 2013, 07:36:24 AM »

Here is an example of a Russian style iconostasis from our Rocor Cathedral in DC




I have been there a few times, it is indeed very beautiful.
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« Reply #84 on: April 23, 2013, 08:38:18 AM »

Here is an example of a Russian style iconostasis from our Rocor Cathedral in DC

Why is it "Russian"?

It is higher than the "Greek" ones (four rows of icons).
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« Reply #85 on: April 23, 2013, 12:41:39 PM »

Here is an example of a Russian style iconostasis from our Rocor Cathedral in DC

Why is it "Russian"?

It is higher than the "Greek" ones (four rows of icons).

I remember reading a journal somewhere by a Syrian priest visiting Russia in the 17th or 18th century. He was amazed by how high the iconostases went and also how ordinary people even had walls covered with icons in their homes.
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« Reply #86 on: April 23, 2013, 01:00:24 PM »

I remember reading a journal somewhere by a Syrian priest visiting Russia in the 17th or 18th century. He was amazed by how high the iconostases went and also how ordinary people even had walls covered with icons in their homes.

You probably mean Archdeacon Paul of Aleppo (1627 - 1669), whose father Macarius became Patriarch of Antioch. He also visited Moldavia and Wallachia.

http://www.archive.org/download/travelsmacarius01pauluoft/travelsmacarius01pauluoft.pdf

http://www.archive.org/download/travelsmacarius02pauluoft/travelsmacarius02pauluoft.pdf

 
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« Reply #87 on: April 23, 2013, 01:08:21 PM »

Here is an example of a Russian style iconostasis from our Rocor Cathedral in DC

Why is it "Russian"?

I'd call it Slavic.
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« Reply #88 on: April 23, 2013, 01:53:46 PM »

I remember reading a journal somewhere by a Syrian priest visiting Russia in the 17th or 18th century. He was amazed by how high the iconostases went and also how ordinary people even had walls covered with icons in their homes.

You probably mean Archdeacon Paul of Aleppo (1627 - 1669), whose father Macarius became Patriarch of Antioch. He also visited Moldavia and Wallachia.

http://www.archive.org/download/travelsmacarius01pauluoft/travelsmacarius01pauluoft.pdf

http://www.archive.org/download/travelsmacarius02pauluoft/travelsmacarius02pauluoft.pdf

 
On a side note, Pat. Macarius, having seen how "well" the Union of Brest was going, began the reaction to the emissaries of the Vatican in Syria, which led eventually to the Melkite schism.
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