Whereas an icon would have misdirected attention away from Christ standing right there, with them.Colossians 1:15: "He is the image of the invisible God" (NKJV) "ος εστιν εικων του θεου του αορατου" (1550 Stephanus New Testament). image = εικων (icon)
Something about your statement doesn't seem quite right: "an icon would have misdirected attention away from the icon standing right there". I hope you're not trying to convince me of anything here.
Non sequitur, Christ is not like one of the icons produced in your icon factories.
I happen to speak Aramaic, our Lord's language, in which God the Word clothed His words of eternal life. I can assure you, your King James Version doesn't sound anything like the Aramaic:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anWyJ-Gd8us&feature=fvsr
But that doesn't prevent anyone from saying the KJV is God's words in red, no?
He is an icon of God in that He is the image of God, but this doesn't apply to His flesh, only to His Person. Context proves that, it speaks of the Icon creating all things, that was before He was incarnate.
LOL. It doesn't even say that in the context of the verse. "Firstborn of All Creation": He of course wasn't a "of creation" until He was Incarnate. Or are you repeating the error of Arius too, saying that there was a time when He was not? And before He was incarnate He was as invisible as "the invisible God," let alone the problem of an invisible image, an oxymoron. As St. John of Damascus, quoting St. John Chrysostom's Third commentary on the Church's understanding of Colossians, states: "The image of what is invisible, were it also invisible, would cease to be an image. An image, as far as it is an image, should be kept inviolably by us, owing to the likeness it represents"
Moreover, unlike your detestable images,
Remember what happened to Miriam and Belshazzar: when you detest the Holy Icons, you detest those therein.
"He that heareth you heareth Me and he that despiseth you despiseth Me and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me...render therefore unto God the things which be God's."
Christ is Person, who functions in the divine economy as "the face of God," that "side" of infinite God that condescends to enter the realm of the finite, to reveal God:
KJV 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2Co 4:6 KJV)
So does Perssonism teach Modalism too? Did Christ become a person only in the Incarnation? When He became finite, did He cease to be infinite?
In other words, had Moses been allowed to see God's face here, he would have seen Christ:
19 Then He said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."
20 But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live."
21 And the LORD said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock.
22 "So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.
23 "Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen."
(Exo 33:19-23 NKJ)
On Mount Tabor, Moses was allowed to see God's face, seeing Christ. Or are you calling the Evangelists liars?
St. John, citing prior authority of the Church:
And Moses saw Him, and Isaias saw as it were the back of a man, and as a man seated on a throne. And Daniel saw the likeness of a man, and as the Son of Man coming to the ancient of days. No one saw the nature of God, but the type and image of what was to be. For the Son and Word of the invisible God, was to become man in truth, that He might be united to our nature, and be seen upon earth. Now all who looked upon the type and image of the future, worshipped it, as St Paul says in his epistle to the Hebrews: ' All these died according to faith, not having received the promises, but beholding them afar off, and saluting them.'.
Receive the united testimony of Scripture and the fathers to show you that images and their worship are no new invention, but the ancient tradition of the Church. In the holy Gospel of St Matthew our Lord called His disciples blessed, and with them all those who followed their example and walked in their footsteps in these words: ' Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. For, amen I say to you, many prophets and just men have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them, and to hear the things that you hear, and have not heard them.' We also desire to see as much as we may. 'We see now in a glass, darkly,' and in image, and are blessed. God Himself first made an image, and showed forth images. For He made the first man after His own image. And Abraham, Moses, and Isaias, and all the prophets saw images of God, not the substance of God. The burning bush was an image of God's Mother, and as Moses was about to approach it, God said: ' Put off the. shoes from thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.' Now if the spot on which Moses saw an image of Our Lady was holy, how much more the image itself? And not only is it holy, but I venture to say it is the holy of holies. When the Pharisees asked our Lord why Moses had allowed a bill of divorce, He answered : ' On account of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wife, but in the beginning it was not so.' And I say to you that Moses, through the children of Israel's hardness of heart, and knowing their proclivity to idolatry, forbade them to make images. We are not in the same case. We have taken a firm footing on the rock of faith, being enriched with the light of God's friendship.
Christ is the form of God He condescended appear in the finite realm
When He became finite, did He cease to be infinite?
of the creatures in heaven:
Heaven? "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same;For or verily He took not on Him the nature of angels but He took on Him the seed of Abraham." Heb. 2:14, 16
St. John, citing prior authority of the Church:
Abraham saw not the nature of God, for no man ever saw God, but the image of God, and falling down he adored. Joshua saw the image of an angel, not as he is, for an angel is not visible to bodily eyes, and falling down he adored, and so did Daniel. Yet an angel is a creature, and servant, and minister of God, not God. And he worshipped the angel not as God, but as God's ministering spirit. And shall not I make images of Christ's friends? And shall I not worship them as the images of God's friends, not as gods ? Neither Joshua nor Daniel worshipped the angels they saw as gods. Neither do I worship the image as God, but through the image of the saints too, show my worship to God, because I honour His friends, and do them reverence. God did not unite Himself to the angelic nature, but to the human. He did not become an angel: He became a man in nature, and in truth. It is indeed Abraham's seed which He embraces, not the angel's.
The Son of God in person did not take the nature of the angels : He took the nature of man. The angels did not participate in the divine nature, but in working and in grace. Now, men do participate, and become partakers of the divine nature when they receive the holy Body of Christ and drink His Blood. For He is united in person to the Godhead, and two natures in the Body of Christ shared by us are united indissolubly in person, and we partake of the two natures, of the body bodily, and of the Godhead in spirit, or, rather, of each in both. We are made one, not in person, for first we have a person and then we are united by blending together the body and the blood. How are we not greater than the angels, if through fidelity to the commandments we keep this perfect union ? In itself our nature is far removed from the angels, on account of death and the heaviness of the body, but through God's goodness and its union with Him it has become higher than the angels. For angels stand by that nature with fear and trembling, as, in the person of Christ, it sits upon a throne of glory, and they will stand by in trembling at the judgment. According to Scripture they are not partakers of the divine glory. For they are all ministering spirits, being sent to minister because of those who are to be heirs of salvation, not that they shall reign together, nor that they shall be together glorified, nor that they shall sit at the table of the Father. The saints, on the contrary, are the children of God, the children of the kingdom, heirs of God, and co-heirs of Christ. Therefore, I honour the saints, and glorify the servants and friends and co-heirs of Christ: servants by nature, friends by their choice: friends and co-heirs by divine grace, as our Lord said in speaking to the Father.
Do you agree with the Jehovah's Witnesses, who cite the Bible as proof that the Archangel Michael is Christ? or something similar? There are several gnostic canons which so claim. Maybe you should look into them, and leave the Church's Bible alone.
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, (Phi 2:6 NKJ)
I'd have to know about this "angelic" Christology of Perssonism before addressing your miscitation.
Your icons cannot say that, therefore they are not the same.
As St. John demonstrated, they do not have to, nor do they have to be:
So, you think that God is jealous of His own image?
St. John demonstrates otherwise:
Where do you find in the Old Testament or in the Gospel the Trinity, or consubstantiality, or one Godhead, or three persons,* or the one substance of Christ, or His two natures, expressed in so many words ? Still, as they are contained in what Scripture does say, and defined by the holy fathers, we receive them and anathematise those who do not. I prove to you that in the old law God commanded images to be made, first of all the tabernacle and everything in it. Then in the gospel our Lord Himself said to those who asked Him, tempting, whether it was lawful to give tribute to Caesar, ' Bring me a coin, and they showed Him a penny. And He asked them whose likeness it was, and they said to Him, Caesar's; and He said, ' Give to Ceesar that which is Caesar's, and to God that which is God's.' As the coin bears the likeness of Caesar, it is his, and you should give it to Caesar. So the image bears the likeness of Christ, and you should give it Him, for it is His.
If men worship kings subject to corruption, who are often bad and impious, and those ruling or deputed' in their name, as the holy apostle says, ' Be subject to princes and powers,' and again, ' Give to all their due, to one honour, to another fear,' and our Lord, ' Give to Caesar that which is Caesar's, and to God that which is God's,' how much more should we worship the King of Kings? He alone is God by nature.
The image of the king is also called the king, and there are not two kings in consequence. Neither is power divided, nor is glory distributed. Just as the reigning power over us is one, so is our homage one, not many, and the honour given to the image reaches back to the original. What the image is in the one case as a representation, that the Son is by His humanity, and as in art likeness is according to form, so in the divine and incommensurable nature union is effected in the indwelling Godhead.
Commentary.—If the image of the king is the king, the image of Christ is Christ, and the image of a saint the saint, and if power is not divided nor glory distributed, honouring the image becomes honouring the one who is set forth in image.
If, in common parlance, the king's image is called the king, and ,the honour shown to the image redounds to' the original, as holy Basil says, why should the image not be honoured and worshipped, not as God, but as the image of God Incarnate?
He who truly loves a friend or the king, and especially his benefactor, if he sees that benefactor's son, or his staff, or his chair, or his crown, or his house, or his servant, he holds them fast in his embrace, and if he honours his benefactor the king, how much more God.
If you despise the royal garment, do you not despise the king himself? Do you not see that if you despise the image of the king, you despise the original ? Do you not know that if a man shows contempt for an image of wood or a statue of metal, he is not judged as if he had vented himself on lifeless matter, but as showing contempt for the king ? Dishonour shown to an image of the king is dishonour shown to the king.
So we are to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, but not to render unto God that which is God's, because God is jealous of His Own glory?
Your argument rests upon the fallacy of equivocation, the word icon may be the same as found in the Bible, but the meaning you give it has changed,
That is your assertion. The unbroken Tradition of the Church from the time St. Paul wrote those words for the Church, as the spokesman for the Church, to our Church at Colossae, witnesses otherwise. So too the archaelogist's spade, which turns up in every early Church icons.
Of course, in Pessonism, seeing is NOT
to become detestable images Christ would barf at, if still on earth.
If still on earth?
My point is elegant, Orthodox apologetic proves much more than they want when they liken icons to pictures.
People talk to pictures only if the person pictured is absent.
Therefore, talking to icon implies the prototype is not present, otherwise the icon would be unnecessary.
So icons of Christ testify He is not present.
As Christ is always present indwelling a Christian, icons testify the venerator doesn't have Christ indwelling.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Rom 8:9 KJV)
Therefore, the veneration of Jesus Christ via an icon proves the venerater doesn't have Him indwelling and therefore is not a Christian.
Therefore, since Perssonism believes that Christ is not on Earth, either Perssonists are a) in outer space (the Mormons believe that their god is on a planet called Kobal, etc.) or b) do not have Christ on earth, and hence are not Christian.
It is impossible to read the context and conclude Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (Mat. 7:1-2).
On the barf, consider Miriam and Belshazzar's fate.
As Jesus didn't want His similitude imaged in Moses' Day, He certainly wouldn't want His incarnate Body imaged.
Still clinging to the veil of Moses like a security blanket. Then He would not have become incarnate.
Or don't you realize Jesus is YHWH, the Word of God, the One who comes to man, to reveal God, or as here, rain down fire upon Sodom from YHWH the Father:
KJV Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD(YHWH) rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD(YHWH) out of heaven;
(Gen 19:24 KJV)
Is that the same YHWH who stopped by to see Abraham?
Yeah, that's Him. I recognize Him from the line up. "I AM...He who has seen Me has seen the Father."