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Russell
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« on: May 12, 2010, 02:34:37 PM »

Last Saturday I had an hour to talk one on one with my priest after that we went to the bookstore to help me set up an icon corner/table.  We got the basics, candle, incense, prayerbook.  We also have three icons theotokos, jesus and a large Saint Nicolas that my wife got at the Russian Orthodox Church.

After I got home I found my old Buddy Christ (from the Kevin Smith movie "Dogma").  It is a small statue with Jesus smiling and giving a big thumbs up.  Is that kind of image acceptable for an icon corner?  Or is their a good posibility that my priest might declare it blasphomy when I ask him to bless it for my icon corner?
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2010, 02:39:26 PM »

If he has a sense of humor he'll probably laugh and gently let you know that that might not be the best place for it... I would think so anyway...  Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2010, 02:39:39 PM »

It is NOT an acceptable image.  Don't use it.  The Buddy Christ was invented and intended as a blasphemy and has no place with your corner dedicated to your prayer life.
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2010, 02:40:06 PM »

Last Saturday I had an hour to talk one on one with my priest after that we went to the bookstore to help me set up an icon corner/table.  We got the basics, candle, incense, prayerbook.  We also have three icons theotokos, jesus and a large Saint Nicolas that my wife got at the Russian Orthodox Church.

After I got home I found my old Buddy Christ (from the Kevin Smith movie "Dogma").  It is a small statue with Jesus smiling and giving a big thumbs up.  Is that kind of image acceptable for an icon corner?  Or is their a good posibility that my priest might declare it blasphomy when I ask him to bless it for my icon corner?

 I think if you first study a little of the theology behind icons, you'll probably have your answer.  Which means the ridiculous 'Buddy Christ' will end up in the trash can/dust bin.   Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 02:58:12 PM »

It is NOT an acceptable image.  Don't use it.  The Buddy Christ was invented and intended as a blasphemy and has no place with your corner dedicated to your prayer life.

I think if you first study a little of the theology behind icons, you'll probably have your answer.  Which means the ridiculous 'Buddy Christ' will end up in the trash can/dust bin.   Smiley

So I take it that neither of you have a bobble-head Jesus in your icon corner?  angel

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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2010, 03:14:29 PM »

I only have 2D icons...

But 3D gives you a whole other DIMENSION!!!  Tongue

In all seriousness, no, buddy Jesus is not acceptable in your icon corner if you take your faith seriously, however, if your priest does have a sense of humor you could ask in jest.
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2010, 03:22:31 PM »

It is NOT an acceptable image.  Don't use it.  The Buddy Christ was invented and intended as a blasphemy and has no place with your corner dedicated to your prayer life.

Actually, the Buddy Christ was invented more as a critique of the modern Roman Catholic Church and her attempts to be "relevant".  Now, Alanis Morisette playing God, THAT was blasphemy.

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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2010, 03:35:34 PM »

I might be 100% wrong, but didn't one of the councils of the church rule that 2D things like icons are fine, but 3D objects are idols? Has anyone else heard of that?
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2010, 08:38:24 PM »

There are plenty of items depicting Jesus in 3D in our bookstore. Most of them being crusifictions on the cross.

If buddy christ was not made for the movie Dogma would it still be blasphomy in a place besides my icon table?
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2010, 08:54:26 PM »

I might be 100% wrong, but didn't one of the councils of the church rule that 2D things like icons are fine, but 3D objects are idols? Has anyone else heard of that?

Yes. It was the Seventh Ecumenical Council of 787. Even if there were no outright canonical prohibition of 3-D images for veneration, the fact remains that a "buddy Jesus" giving a thumbs-up kinda goes against how we Orthodox regard any saint, or any of the persons of the Holy Trinity. Schmaltz and kitsch should never be a part of it.  Wink
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2010, 11:47:00 PM »

Plus if it has a sacred heart, iner-body part exposed, like in the movie,that alone is a no no.... Grin
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2010, 12:05:09 AM »

Plus if it has a sacred heart, iner-body part exposed, like in the movie,that alone is a no no.... Grin

I guess I still like the idea of having a little statue of christ smiling.  The thumbs up is a bonus.  I thought the sacred heart was some kind of fancy clip holding his clothes together. 

I know I will toss it now but I need a little more time ...

I will start looking for one like  Asteriktos  has. If jesus can't smile at least he could bobble his head in approval.
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2010, 02:08:09 AM »

I might be 100% wrong, but didn't one of the councils of the church rule that 2D things like icons are fine, but 3D objects are idols? Has anyone else heard of that?

Yes. It was the Seventh Ecumenical Council of 787. Even if there were no outright canonical prohibition of 3-D images for veneration, the fact remains that a "buddy Jesus" giving a thumbs-up kinda goes against how we Orthodox regard any saint, or any of the persons of the Holy Trinity. Schmaltz and kitsch should never be a part of it.  Wink

Agreed on the whole that 'Buddy Christ' statues are not the most appropriate depictions of the Savior and thus probably unsuitable for home prayer shrine use. Nonetheless, they do draw attention to remembrance of Jesus in a positive and fun way, IMO. My favorite rendition is one of 'Buddy Christ' flashing a big smile while holding a cell phone to His ear with the left hand, instead of presenting a thumb up gesture, and simultaneously pointing to someone with the index finger of His right hand.  laugh

It made me laugh to think of Our Lord displaying the same sort of ordinary human physical expressions that I know are used by so many people almost everywhere nowadays. Perhaps such depictions of Jesus will cause some individuals to retain thoughts of Him in their mind in a way that a religious icon or other religious rendition would not. I know that this image stuck in my mind, and always makes me smile when I think of it.  Grin

Who knows? Divine Providence often manifests in unexpected and mysterious ways.  Wink

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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2010, 02:30:14 AM »

Plus if it has a sacred heart, iner-body part exposed, like in the movie,that alone is a no no.... Grin

I guess I still like the idea of having a little statue of christ smiling.  The thumbs up is a bonus.  I thought the sacred heart was some kind of fancy clip holding his clothes together. 

I know I will toss it now but I need a little more time ...

I will start looking for one like  Asteriktos  has. If jesus can't smile at least he could bobble his head in approval.

Um, I think he was joking.  Smiley A bobble-head would be just as irreverent.

I would suggest you read Pavel Florensky's Iconostasis to have a better understanding of Iconography. Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2010, 05:11:27 PM »

It is NOT an acceptable image.  Don't use it.  The Buddy Christ was invented and intended as a blasphemy and has no place with your corner dedicated to your prayer life.

How exactly is it blasphemy? other then the sense that ALL idols/engraven images are. Need Christ always be bathed in blood? Is there no room for a modern image?
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2010, 05:16:56 PM »

Need Christ always be bathed in blood?

Most traditional depictions of Christ do not in fact show him suffering or covered in blood. The one icon of the Crucifixion in the parishes I know is vastly outnumbered by icons of Christ the Teacher or Christ the Pantocrator.

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Is there no room for a modern image?

No. Iconography is about maintaining traditions, not creating something new. The Orthodox Church is even starting to replace iconostases from the 19th century that were overly influenced by Roman Catholic art.
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2010, 06:03:39 PM »

Need Christ always be bathed in blood?

Most traditional depictions of Christ do not in fact show him suffering or covered in blood. The one icon of the Crucifixion in the parishes I know is vastly outnumbered by icons of Christ the Teacher or Christ the Pantocrator.

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Is there no room for a modern image?

No. Iconography is about maintaining traditions, not creating something new. The Orthodox Church is even starting to replace iconostases {iconostasis} from the 19th century that were overly influenced by Roman Catholic art.


How nice. However since the Church is declining in numbers who will be left in 50 years to witness?  The times, they are a changing and the Vatican sees this and is not only changing but taking steps to be seen as more modern everyday. 

The adage "that's how it has always been" is never a good stance in a debate.  Now the below image might be a bit overboard but is hardly blasphemy.
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2010, 06:44:49 PM »

I agree that the image is essentially blasphemous, and has no place in an icon corner, etc.; however, in my opinion, one should not simply toss an image of Jesus Christ into the trash. I wouldn't want this image around, but I would burn it, and then bury the ashes where they will not be trodden upon, as you would with an icon. Even though this image was likely intended to blaspheme the Savior, it is, nonetheless an image of the Savior.

That's just my opinion though. I'd be interested to hear what others think about the proper way to dispose of this statue.
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2010, 06:45:36 PM »

How nice. However since the Church is declining in numbers who will be left in 50 years to witness?  The times, they are a changing and the Vatican sees this and is not only changing but taking steps to be seen as more modern everyday. 

Who cares about Vatican?
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« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2010, 06:50:10 PM »

We would have to go back to ALL idols being burned then because they are all against the 10 commandments. I still do not see why you think it was intended to be blasphemous, why not share WHY you think it is?

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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2010, 08:05:22 PM »

The adage "that's how it has always been" is never a good stance in a debate. 
Unless you're arguing the apostolic faith. 
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2010, 09:06:57 PM »

Need Christ always be bathed in blood?

Most traditional depictions of Christ do not in fact show him suffering or covered in blood. The one icon of the Crucifixion in the parishes I know is vastly outnumbered by icons of Christ the Teacher or Christ the Pantocrator.

Quote
Is there no room for a modern image?

No. Iconography is about maintaining traditions, not creating something new. The Orthodox Church is even starting to replace iconostases {iconostasis} from the 19th century that were overly influenced by Roman Catholic art.


How nice. However since the Church is declining in numbers who will be left in 50 years to witness?  The times, they are a changing and the Vatican sees this and is not only changing but taking steps to be seen as more modern everyday. 

That image of Christ is intended to be laughed at. We don't laugh at God. We stand before him in all seriousness and humility and pray for mercy.

I realize that many people today are only living for fun and good times, but that's not what Christianity is about. Christianity is not about having fun, and Jesus is not to be laughed at. I don't think anyone disputes that is considered out of touch, but it is what it is. It is the world that is out of touch with its maker, not vice-versa.
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« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2010, 09:23:12 PM »

I realize that many people today are only living for fun and good times, but that's not what Christianity is about. Christianity is not about having fun, and Jesus is not to be laughed at.

While I agree that the Lord is not to be mocked, there is room for joy and laughter in Christianity. Every vespers we thank God for "wine that gladdens the heart of man", and our Lord's first miracle was wrought to make wedding festivities last longer, which if you know anything about the Middle East, are boisterous occasions. I know many monks who combine a great peace and tranquility with a fine sense of humour.

The only religious figure I can immediately call to mind who claimed there's no room for laughter in the spiritual life is Ayatollah Khomeini. Let's not follow along with him.
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« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2010, 09:55:18 PM »

Oh, I agree, there is a place for joy and laughter in Christianity. I just mean it's not all about fun and games, while many christianities are precisely about happiness and good feelings.

But Orthodoxy is a serious religion. We can have joy and laughter, but it is a byproduct—not the ends—of our spiritual life, the way I see it. But we certainly cannot laugh in spite of our religion, and making light of Christ is that.
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« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2010, 03:14:09 AM »

Christ is not your "buddy."  Nor is he your "co-pilot."

He is your God and your sovereign lord and don't you forget it.
 
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« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2010, 04:30:42 AM »

But at the same time Jesus is my best friend. I agree with the co-pilot statment, Jesus should lead you, not you try to lead Jesus, but He is still my friend, my God, and my master.
While being my friend does not mean that I think of Him any less, just like my team leader is my boss; he tells me what to do and I do it, but he is still my friend that I can talk to.
I hope this post makes sense...
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« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2010, 01:05:24 PM »

Christ is not your "buddy."  Nor is he your "co-pilot."

He is your God and your sovereign lord and don't you forget it.

While Christ may not be one's "buddy", the liturgy does call him a friend.
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« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2010, 11:16:41 PM »

I really hate to be a buttinsky here but what exactly is blasphemous about the "Jesus buddy" statue? I think that's a really strong word. I mean, irreverent, yes indeed. Goofy, indeed. Not suitable for veneration, for sure. But blasphemous? I dunno, I don't see anything in the thing that blasphemes Jesus Christ. If you don't think Jesus laughed, did goofy things, and gave whatever the 1st century Palestinian version of a thumbs up was, then do you really see him as fully man? The perfect man yes. But perfection doesn't mean "stick in the mud" does it? It reminds me of ultra rigid baptists who say "Jesus would never have turned water into WINE, it was grape juice"...uh have these people ever been to a Jewish wedding? Obviously not. Jesus Christ lived the fullness of human life. He laughed, danced, cried, acted goofy, and did all the things that are "unbefitting" of God because that is how much God loves us. Certainly the statue isn't an icon, but I think suggestions of throwing it in the trash are extreme. If one is to dispose of it it should be disposed of in a proper manner, after all it is an image of Jesus and should be treated with some form of respect.

To the OP, I certainly would not venerate it or put it in an icon corner but I also can't see how throwing it in the garbage is a good idea either.
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« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2010, 11:28:03 PM »

Oh, I agree, there is a place for joy and laughter in Christianity. I just mean it's not all about fun and games, while many christianities are precisely about happiness and good feelings.

But Orthodoxy is a serious religion. We can have joy and laughter, but it is a byproduct—not the ends—of our spiritual life, the way I see it. But we certainly cannot laugh in spite of our religion, and making light of Christ is that.

Forget Orthodoxy, do you think Jesus was always dead serious? If so, I take it you don't know many Jews, or have never been to a Bar Mitzvah or a Jewish wedding huh? I've personally never understood this concern to "protect Jesus" and make sure he is portrayed as some Scandinavian stoic when in fact he was from the Medditeranean basin. I somehow doubt Jesus drew crowds of thousands along with throngs of children because who was an uptight standoffish guy.  I think this particular statue of course is pretty absurd but the cold stoic Jesus has always been a huge turn off for me. That's just me though, whatever works for others is fine with me though.
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« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2010, 03:11:38 AM »

It is NOT an acceptable image.  Don't use it.  The Buddy Christ was invented and intended as a blasphemy and has no place with your corner dedicated to your prayer life.

Actually, the Buddy Christ was invented more as a critique of the modern Roman Catholic Church and her attempts to be "relevant". 

Haha, "Cardinal" George Carlin and his Catholicism Wow! campaign (and its accompanying "Buddy Jesus" statue) were by far the best part of an otherwise crappy movie.

The scene was a funny and well-targeted parody. The rest of the film was just bad. Not a surprise that the only good part was Carlin's---an atheist, yes, but an intelligent and perceptive one. R.I.P.
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« Reply #30 on: January 01, 2011, 03:46:01 AM »

do you think Jesus was always dead serious?

"There are only tears in holy Russia"

Jesus was Russian.

Checkmate!
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« Reply #31 on: January 01, 2011, 04:32:41 AM »

We would have to go back to ALL idols being burned then because they are all against the 10 commandments.

Christians still aren't supposed to have idols, last I checked.
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« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2011, 04:17:15 AM »

Christ is not your "buddy."  Nor is he your "co-pilot."

He is your God and your sovereign lord and don't you forget it.

While Christ may not be one's "buddy", the liturgy does call him a friend.

Yes it does.  How many thousands of times does it call him Lord?

Christ is our Lord and we are his servants.  That is the appropriate way to characterize the relationship.  "Friend" or "Buddy" implies that he is somehow our equal.  I don't know if that's outright blasphemous but it does give a very wrong impression.

I think this comes out of the American preoccupation with equality, and may have something to do with the fact that American Christians no longer bow or show any kind of deference to or reverence for their creator.

My strongly-held opinion.  
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« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2011, 04:18:42 AM »

Oh, I agree, there is a place for joy and laughter in Christianity. I just mean it's not all about fun and games, while many christianities are precisely about happiness and good feelings.

But Orthodoxy is a serious religion. We can have joy and laughter, but it is a byproduct—not the ends—of our spiritual life, the way I see it. But we certainly cannot laugh in spite of our religion, and making light of Christ is that.

Forget Orthodoxy, do you think Jesus was always dead serious? If so, I take it you don't know many Jews, or have never been to a Bar Mitzvah or a Jewish wedding huh? I've personally never understood this concern to "protect Jesus" and make sure he is portrayed as some Scandinavian stoic when in fact he was from the Medditeranean basin. I somehow doubt Jesus drew crowds of thousands along with throngs of children because who was an uptight standoffish guy.  I think this particular statue of course is pretty absurd but the cold stoic Jesus has always been a huge turn off for me. That's just me though, whatever works for others is fine with me though.

Do you think Jesus joked about sacred things?

No he did not.  And neither should we.

As for whether he was serious all the time or not, why speculate?  The New Testament is full of Jesus's witty rejoinders, especially toward critics and hecklers.
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