I understand Name fighting to be a denial of the power of God. How is the Name of God a divine energy? Is an icon also a divine energy? What about the Cross? The Bible? Are these things also God?
It is the heresy of Barlaam and the Frankish scholastics which denies the energy of God is God.
The Name of God is an Energy of God. The Name of God is God Himself.
This is true since the energy of God is God Himself as Saint Gregory Palamas and others have truly said.
As I understand, unlike the Name of God, neither crosses nor icons are themselves energies of God.
My prayer books instruct me to pray every morning to the power of the holy cross rather than the cross itself.
I understand this power to be God Himself, an uncreated
energy of God.
Canonical Christian ikons and crosses can convey certain of the energies of God if they have the Name of God inscribed upon them.
Saint Gregory Palamas has in fact stated that it is pointless to venerate a cross that is void of the Name of God.
Likewise, Saint John of Damascus has stated that holy ikons receive power when the Name of God is inscribed upon them.
Old Believers have long considered that the Nikonian Church (including some of the old Nikonian anti-Soviet catacomb Christians and a few old calendarists) is officially heretical of the second rank which means schismatics. The difference between this second rank and full heretics of the first rank (i.e. Sergianists, oecumenists) is that schismatics retain apostolic succession. These rules are in the Canons of Saints Basil and Athanasius.
Following their Archbishop Antony Khrapovitsky, the Nikonians in 1913 and 1918 officially adopted a doctrine against the Name of God which would qualify them as full heretics of the first order if it were examined in light of the Church Fathers. Archpriest Avvakum Petrov, the leader of the Old Believer Church during the Nikonian schism, had this to say about the Names of God on the opening page of his autobiography. I have highlighted a particularly interesting passage.
‘And now , O Master, bless me so that sighing from my heart I might proclaim Dionysios the Areopagite on the Divine Names which are the eternally connatural and true Names for God, those which are proximate and those which are consequent, that is to say, laudatory. These are the connatural: He that is, Light, Truth, Life. Only four are of the essential, but of the consequent there re many. These are: Lord, the Almighty, the Unfathomable, the Unapproachable, the Thrice-radiant, the Tri-substantial, the King of Glory, the Omnipresent, Fire, Spirit, and God; understand others after this manner.
From this same Dionysios on Truth: For the falling away of Truth is repudiation of self, for Truth is connatural,; for if Truth is connatural, the falling away of Truth is repudiation of the connatural, and that which cannot be, is not.
And we say this: the novelty lovers have lost the substance of God by falling away from the true Lord, the holy and life-giving Spirit. According to Dionysios, as soon as they fall away from the Truth, they at once repudiate the connaturl. But God cannot fall away from His own substance, and that which cannot be is not in Him: omnipresent and everlasting is out true God. It would be better for them in the creed not to say “Lord,” a consequent name, than to cut out “the True,” for in it is contained the substance of God
. But we, the true believers, confess both names; we believe “in the Holy Spirit, the true Lord and our life-giving Light,” who is worshipped together with the Father and the Son …’
- Saint and Archpriest Avvakum Petrov