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Author Topic: Icons  (Read 1518 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 18, 2007, 09:52:25 AM »

Grace and Peace,

It would appear that many, or some, Early Church Fathers were against images of our Lord, etc. Why are we so sure we are right about this practice?
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2007, 09:57:19 AM »

It was pronounced correct in an Ecumenical Council working under the influence of the Holy Spirit, enuf said!

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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2007, 10:03:46 AM »

Why are we so sure we are right about this practice?
The Seventh Oecumenical Council.

What we should really be asking is why anyone who calls themselves "Christian" would not venerate Icons.
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2007, 10:39:34 AM »

This issue was raised last month. See here.

I would suggest that the very real danger of Christians succumbing to icon worship and the risk of undermining the Church's battle against paganism, as presented by the use of Icons in a significantly pagan populated context, account for the disposition of the early Church on Icons. The ease with which Christians could later accept Icons is probably proportional to the decline of paganism. Maybe someone can offer a better explanation; I am merely conjecturing.

In any event, it's not like there was widespread hostility to Icons in the early Church, and there are certainly examples of early Christian iconography (and, surprisingly, even Jewish iconography!).
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2007, 01:33:20 AM »

Isn't it true that at a council held previous to Nicea II (?), icons were condemned? I think I read that this particular council was called the Seventh Ecumenical Council and that the one in 747 was put into play out of political pressure?? If this is correct, then where was the Holy Spirit at the other council???
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2007, 01:52:24 AM »

Isn't it true that at a council held previous to Nicea II (?), icons were condemned? I think I read that this particular council was called the Seventh Ecumenical Council and that the one in 747 was put into play out of political pressure?? If this is correct, then where was the Holy Spirit at the other council???

The Robber Council of Hieria in 754 was summoned by the iconoclast Emperor Constantine V.  It styled itself as the 7th Ecumenical Council.  No Patriarch or their representatives attended.  Its decrees were overturned by the Second Council of Nicaea in 787.
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2007, 02:04:51 AM »

The Robber Council of Hieria in 754 was summoned by the iconoclast Emperor Constantine V.  It styled itself as the 7th Ecumenical Council.  No Patriarch or their representatives attended.  Its decrees were overturned by the Second Council of Nicaea in 787.

I see. Well, that explains it then...Thanks! Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2007, 11:07:10 PM »

It would appear that many, or some, Early Church Fathers were against images of our Lord, etc. Why are we so sure we are right about this practice? 

I don't remember if this was referenced in the other thread (thanks, EA), but icons have been used by the faithful for respectful worship since before Jesus' time - there were such images in the temple, and of course on the Ark of the Covenant.  But, as EA rightly cautions, we must be careful to not worship the icons, and that's normally where the caution of the Fathers comes in.
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2007, 11:15:22 PM »

enuf said!

An argument from authority is hardly effective for someone who doesn't recognize the authority to which you are appealing. 
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2007, 11:28:33 PM »

Grace and Peace,

It would appear that many, or some, Early Church Fathers were against images of our Lord, etc. Why are we so sure we are right about this practice?

Graven images in the OT was meant to refer to statues of pagan gods.

Since Christ Jesus became Man and we know that He was true man and True God, His image cannot be considered graven.

Tradition has St. Luke the Evangelist writing the first Icon of the Theotokos and the infant Christ. 

In more practical terms, one has photos of his family either in his house of in his wallet.  We all know that the picture is not the person but represents the person. When we pull out the photo dont we say that "this is my son, or daughter?"  We know that the picture isnt the actual person but is a representation of the person we all love. 

We dont venerate the physical Icon we venerate who the Icon represents after all the Icon is nothing more than wood, egg pigment and gold leaf.  One doesnt venerate the elements that make up the icon but the one who is depicted.

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