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Author Topic: John of Damascus' exegesis of De 4:15 is impossible  (Read 37391 times) Average Rating: 5
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Alfred Persson
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« Reply #495 on: August 09, 2010, 02:23:36 PM »



Perhaps you can kick start this new discussion, about this text:

 8 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live." (Num 21:8 NKJ)

Do the Orthodox use this in support of icons, how...then I can respond.

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« Reply #496 on: August 09, 2010, 03:16:29 PM »



Perhaps you can kick start this new discussion, about this text:

 8 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live." (Num 21:8 NKJ)

Do the Orthodox use this in support of icons, how

LOL. If you had read St. John of Damascus, you would know the answer to that question.  I've already mentioned it.

Quote
...then I can respond.

You can respond to where St. John has already been quoted on this matter on this thread.

or you can post your own thoughts on the matter on this more appropriate thread:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.0.html
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« Reply #497 on: August 09, 2010, 03:24:01 PM »

Perhaps you can kick start this new discussion, about this text:

 8 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live." (Num 21:8 NKJ)

Do the Orthodox use this in support of icons, how...then I can respond.

Well...

Primarily, we see the serpent in the wilderness as a type (typos) of the Cross, prefiguring Jesus' being raised up for the Life and Salvation of the world.  The Lord Himself makes the connection at John 3:14; He used the "lifted up" language multiple times in the Gospels as a euphemism for Crucifixion (and it makes sense when applied to the serpent - a snake on a stick is a good parallel visual to outstretched arms on the Cross, I presume - I've never seen a "snake on a stick," although I'd imagine there are parts of this country where I could find it as an appetizer).

But since you bring it up...

God told Moses to create a Serpent (which goes against your earlier assertion about not making any image of anything, and further supporting that the Biblical prohibitions on idolatry only apply to objects that are worshiped) that would be used to effect God's mercy on the people through healing.  The mercy/healing came not from the serpent (unless you believe in pantheism), but from God, Who worked through the Serpent.  The serpent wasn't an object synthesized by God's hand; He made the parts, and let Moses fashion it (well, "let," "commanded...").  It wasn't a real and living serpent, just a likeness or image of a serpent.  So you have an image of a serpent being used as a vehicle of God's mercy to His people.  But the serpent wasn't the essence of the image, it was only a reminder to the people about the source of their affliction (distrust in God bringing poisonous snakes); the essence of the image is God's mercy - that the Lord did not abandon them, and that the Lord was willing to take a symbol of death (poisonous snake) and turn it into a symbol of life and healing (another parallel to the Crucifixion!). 

So we have the Lord directing Moses to create an icon that will be used as a vehicle of His mercy to the people.  That's not too hard to grasp, is it?

Now, when the people began worshiping it independently, only then did King Hezekiah destroy it in order to remove the temptation and allow for the proper burning of incense to God.  But that was misuse, and a misuse that the Lord clearly indicated against by His blessing of Hezekiah, the just and rightful ruler.
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« Reply #498 on: August 09, 2010, 03:45:13 PM »

Full answer on the more appropriate thread on this link:
You seem intent on repeating Nestorius' mistakes.

That wasn't an answer, and its iconographers who accomplish two heresies, with one icon.

As they image because of the incarnation of Christ, they are tearing the humanity of Christ, from His deity = Nesotorian.

As they image the Person of Christ, with one image, they confuse the natures in one icon = Monophysite.

Yes, you have chanted that mantra before.  But none of us have converted to Hinduism in the meantime, so we won't be worshipping your sacred cow, even if you put it in Bethel or Dan.  Rather, we'll be serving up the sacred beef filled theological arguments of St. John and Christ's Church.
which appear at the above link, on the more appropriate thread for discussing your views.
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« Reply #499 on: August 09, 2010, 04:08:20 PM »

which appear at the above link, on the more appropriate thread for discussing your views.

Alfred, here is the link: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.0.html

It is a thread discussing Icons in general, not tied to St. John of Damascus.  You will find in it fertile ground.
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« Reply #500 on: August 09, 2010, 04:52:58 PM »

Obviously you cannot, but I can cite where Paul contradicts what you have been taught:

NKJ  2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2Co 5:7 NKJ)
Interesting.  I've never seen that passage from 2 Corinthians misused in quite that way before.  You do realize that St. Paul wrote that verse within the context of his preaching on being at home in the body and absent from the Lord as opposed to our anticipated good pleasure of being absent from the body and present with the Lord?  To turn that verse into a proof text against the painting and veneration of icons is indeed quite a stretch not supported at all by its context.  Could it be that you've lost this debate and are now grasping for straws in your desperation to score points?


John of Damascus discusses his need for the sensible to focus his faith, BUT apostolic doctrine has us walking by faith without the sensible being needed at all:

2Co 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.
Heb 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
1Pe 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:



This has nothing to do with icons OR idols for that matter.  It has to do with the substance of things unseen...or faith.  Hope then is the realistic expectation that God, in his essential tri-unity, is there before us, here within us, whether or not we can see him with an earthly eye.

If you took this in the sense that you are pressing it, of course, we'd all die before we came forth from the womb...for whatever would be the point of it...according to these passages as you would like to see them read.

You really are having to scrabble a bit now, aren't you?

Mary

Incorrect, it has everything to do with Icons...the apostolic Christian faith doesn't need sensible images to walk in faith.

I want the old time religion of the apostles, not the new innovations of men, therefore their statements against needing the sensible, are relevant, material and competent.

How do you even know the old time religion of the Apostles if you refuse to enter into the life of the Church they started? Huh
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« Reply #501 on: August 09, 2010, 04:56:12 PM »

Obviously you cannot, but I can cite where Paul contradicts what you have been taught:

NKJ  2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2Co 5:7 NKJ)
Interesting.  I've never seen that passage from 2 Corinthians misused in quite that way before.  You do realize that St. Paul wrote that verse within the context of his preaching on being at home in the body and absent from the Lord as opposed to our anticipated good pleasure of being absent from the body and present with the Lord?  To turn that verse into a proof text against the painting and veneration of icons is indeed quite a stretch not supported at all by its context.  Could it be that you've lost this debate and are now grasping for straws in your desperation to score points?


John of Damascus discusses his need for the sensible to focus his faith, BUT apostolic doctrine has us walking by faith without the sensible being needed at all:

2Co 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.
Heb 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
1Pe 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:



This has nothing to do with icons OR idols for that matter.  It has to do with the substance of things unseen...or faith.  Hope then is the realistic expectation that God, in his essential tri-unity, is there before us, here within us, whether or not we can see him with an earthly eye.

If you took this in the sense that you are pressing it, of course, we'd all die before we came forth from the womb...for whatever would be the point of it...according to these passages as you would like to see them read.

You really are having to scrabble a bit now, aren't you?

Mary

Incorrect, it has everything to do with Icons...the apostolic Christian faith doesn't need sensible images to walk in faith.

I want the old time religion of the apostles, not the new innovations of men, therefore their statements against needing the sensible, are relevant, material and competent.


Again you posit a need that is not real.  

No.  I do not NEED the image of Pantocrator which graces my house.  I don't NEED the moon and the stars.  I don't NEED my own life.

So you not only undermine what you have decided you don't like, want or need, but you undermine all meaning of life entirely in your zeal to press your agenda, and you don't even see it so blinded are you by certainty.

Certitude is the most dangerous of all spiritual tools!!

It is not what we do not know that hurts us the most.

It is that which we THINK we know, yet know not that can truly ruin a body and soul.

Mary

Incorrect, John of Damascus says:

"If, therefore, Holy Scripture, providing for our need, ever putting before us what is intangible, clothes it in flesh, does it not make an image of what is thus invested with our nature, and brought to the level of our desires, yet invisible? "-Ibid I

Iconophiles differ from the apostolic faith, the latter despised images of God. It wasn't till centuries later the Orthodox faith was overtaken by iconography, prior to that, they were all like me.
What historical evidence do you have of this?
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« Reply #502 on: August 09, 2010, 05:03:41 PM »

^ Funny, I had the exact same question.  I'm glad you asked.
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« Reply #503 on: August 09, 2010, 06:17:16 PM »

John's exegesis of De 4:15f is impossible. God expressly rules out any kind of male human icon as imaging His similitude.

Deu 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
16 lest ye transgress, and make to yourselves a carved image, any kind of figure (EIKWN), the likeness of male or female,-LXX, Brenton

Alfred:  The error in your thought began when you placed the LORD JESUS CHRIST under Moses.   

Whom did Moses see...for Moses clearly relates that he saw someone?

If you doubt that Moses saw our very Lord Jesus Christ, you need to re-examine the passages of the Transfiguration.   Your interpretation of the Deuteronomy passage which you quote is fundamentally flawed, because Moses was seen talking to Jesus by the three disciples.

If Moses did not see Christ on Mt. Cherob then how did He recognize him on Mt. Tabor?

Truly the brightness of the light of Christ was too much for Moses's eyes, but his face shone just the same...which is the Transfiguration experience of Moses of which we know he experienced at least twice.



Moses never said he didn't see an  image...he said the Israelites who were not on the mountain with him saw no image.  That Alfred is the big difference...Moses did see someone and he described what he saw to the Israelites with elementary things because their minds were still too darkened to partake of the vision which was too sublime for them to comprehend. 

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« Reply #504 on: August 09, 2010, 06:43:32 PM »

A snippet of wisdom for Mr. Persson from another thread, when a member asked a question about part of the OP's question, and was told "but it doesn't concern me here," he responded with (emphasis mine):

And my question to you was what manuscripts "say he wrote down the sins of the people accusing the woman," as you put it in the OP. That is very interesting to me, and, since this is a discussion forum, I get to ask questions too.

Just something to remember as we continue to ride the merry-go-round on this thread.
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« Reply #505 on: August 09, 2010, 07:40:27 PM »

Obviously you cannot, but I can cite where Paul contradicts what you have been taught:

NKJ  2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2Co 5:7 NKJ)
Interesting.  I've never seen that passage from 2 Corinthians misused in quite that way before.  You do realize that St. Paul wrote that verse within the context of his preaching on being at home in the body and absent from the Lord as opposed to our anticipated good pleasure of being absent from the body and present with the Lord?  To turn that verse into a proof text against the painting and veneration of icons is indeed quite a stretch not supported at all by its context.  Could it be that you've lost this debate and are now grasping for straws in your desperation to score points?


John of Damascus discusses his need for the sensible to focus his faith,


Evidently, St. John wasn't the only one in need for the sensible to focus his faith.

Exodus33:11And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle...17And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in My sight, and I know thee by name. 18And he said, I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory. 19And He said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20And He said, Thou canst not see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live. 21And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22And it shall come to pass, while My glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by: 23And I will take away Mine hand, and thou shalt see My back parts: but My face shall not be seen.

Numbers 12:1And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses...2And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. 3(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) 4And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. 5And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
6And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
7My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
8With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

for the boldface the LXX
καὶ λέγει δεῖξόν μοι τὴν σεαυτοῦ δόξαν
καὶ τὴν δόξαν κυρίου εἶδεν
has the word glory in both instances.

And compare your favorite verse Deut. 4:15"Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire."

Note, Moses asks, after God has indicated His favor and good pleasure, that he wants to see God's likeness and glory:rather than reproaching him, God tells him that he cannot, but God will grant as far as Moses is able to bear to see God.  Later, when Moses' special grace is challenged (and Miriam and Aaron were correct, God had indeed spoken through them, but that did not detract from Moses' special status), God upheld it with the promise "he shall see the similitude/glory/face/likeness: however you want to translate it, what he could not see was promised that he would one day see. As St. John notes:
Quote
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.
And indeed he did, seeing on Tabor Whom he could not see on Sinai/Horeb.

As St. John expounds:
Quote
Now adversaries say: God's commands to Moses the law-giver were, ' Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and thou shalt worship him alone, and thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath.'

They err truly, not knowing the Scriptures, for the letter kills whilst the spirit quickens— not finding in the letter the hidden meaning. I could say to these people, with justice, He who taught you this would teach you the following. Listen to the law-giver's interpretation in Deuteronomy: ' And the Lord spoke to you from the -midst of the fire. You heard the voice of His words, but you saw not any form at all.' And shortly afterwards: ' Keep your souls carefully. You saw not any similitude in the day that the Lord God spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire, lest perhaps being deceived you might make you a graven similitude, or image of male and female, the similitude of any beasts that are upon the earth, or of birds that fly under heaven.' And again, ' Lest, perhaps, lifting up thy eyes to heaven, thou see the sun and the moon, and all the stars of heaven, and being deceived by error thou adore and serve them.

You see the one thing to be aimed at is not' to adore a created thing more than the Creator, nor to give the worship of latreia except to Him alone. By worship, consequently, He always understands the worship of latreia. For, again, He says : ' Thou shalt not have strange gods other than Me. Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor any similitude. Thou shalt not adore them, and thou shalt not serve them, for I am the Lord thy God.' And again, ' Overthrow their altars, and break down their statues ; burn their groves with fire, and break their idols in pieces. For thou shalt not adore a strange god.' And a little further on : ' Thou shalt not make to thyself gods of metal.'

You see that He forbids image-making on account of idolatry, and that it is impossible to make an image of the immeasurable, uncircumscribed, invisible God. You have not seen the likeness of Him, the Scripture says, and this was St Paul's testimony as he stood in the midst of the Areopagus : ' Being, therefore, the offspring of God, we must not suppose the divinity to be like unto gold, or silver, or stone, the graving of art, and device of man.'

These injunctions were given to the Jews on account of their proneness to idolatry. Now we, on the contrary, are no longer in leading strings. Speaking theologically, it is given to us to avoid superstitious error, to be with God in the knowledge of the truth, to worship God alone, to enjoy the fulness of His knowledge. We have passed the stage of infancy, and reached the perfection of manhood. We receive our habit of mind from God, and know what may be imaged and what may not. The Scripture says, ' You have not seen the likeness of Him.' What wisdom in the law-giver. How depict the invisible ? How picture the inconceivable ? How give expression to the limitless, the immeasurable, the invisible ? How give a form to immensity? How paint immortality? How localise mystery? It is clear that when you contemplate God, who is a pure spirit, becoming man for your sake, you will be able to clothe Him with the human form. When the Invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw a likeness of His form. When He who is a pure spirit, without form or limit, immeasurable in the boundlessness of His own nature, existing as God, takes upon Himself the form of a servant in substance and in stature, and a body of flesh, then you may draw His likeness, and show it to anyone willing to contemplate it. Depict His ineffable condescension, His virginal birth, His baptism in the Jordan, His transfiguration on Thabor, His all-powerful sufferings, His death and miracles, the proofs of His Godhead, the deeds which He worked in the flesh through divine power, His saving Cross, His Sepulchre, and resurrection, and ascent into heaven. Give to it all the endurance of engraving and colour.

But say those who do not enter into the mind of Scripture, God said, through Moses the law-giver : ' Thou shalt not make to thyself the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath'; and through the prophet David : ' Let them be all confounded that adore graven things, and that glory in their idols,' and many similar passages. Whatever they have quoted from Holy Scripture and the fathers is to the same intent.

Now, what shall we say to these things ? What, if not that which God spoke to the Jews, ' Search the Scriptures.'

It is good to examine the Scriptures, but let your mind be enlightened from the search. It is impossible, Beloved, that God should not speak truth. There is one God, one Lawgiver of the old and new dispensation, who spoke of old in many ways to the patriarchs through the prophets, and in these latter times through His only begotten Son. Apply your mind with discernment. It is not I who am speaking. The Holy Ghost declared by the holy apostle St Paul that God spoke of old in many different ways to the patriarchs through the prophets. Note, in many different ways. A skilful doctor does not invariably prescribe for all alike, but for each according to his state, taking into consideration climate and complaint, season and age, giving one remedy to a child, another to a grown man, according to his age; one thing to a weak patient, another to a strong; and to each sufferer the right thing for his state and malady: one thing in the summer, another in the winter, another in the spring or autumn, and in each place according to its requirements. So in the same way the good Physician of souls prescribed for those who were still children and inclined to the sickness of idolatry, holding idols to be gods, and worshipping them as such, neglecting the worship of God, and preferring the creature to His glory. He charged them not to do this.

It is impossible to make an image of God, who is a pure spirit, invisible, boundless, having neither form nor circumscription. How can we make an image of what is invisible ? ' No man hath seen God at any time; the onlybegotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.' And again, ' No one shall see My face and live, saith the Lord.'

That they did worship idols there is no doubt from what the Scripture says about the going out of the children of Israel, when Moses went up to Mount Sinai, and persevered in prayer to God. Whilst receiving the law, the ungrateful people rose against Aaron, the priest of God, saying : ' Make us gods who may go before us. For as to Moses, we know not what has befallen him.' Then, when they had looked over the trinkets of their wives, and brought them together, they ate and drank, and were inebriated with wine and madness, and began to make merry, saying in their foolishness, 'These are thy gods, O Israel.' Do you see that they made gods of idols who were demons, and that they worshipped the creature instead of the Creator? As the holy apostle says: ' They changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man and of birds, and of four-footed beasts, and of creeping things, and served the creature rather than the Creator.' On this account God forbade them to make any graven image, as Moses says in Deuteronomy: ' And the Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire ; you heard the voice of His words, but you saw not any form at all.' And a little further on : ' Keep therefore your souls carefully ; you saw not any similitude in the day that the Lord God spoke to you in Horeb, from the midst of the fire, lest perhaps being deceived you might make you a graven similitude or image of male or female, the similitude of any beasts that are upon the earth, or of birds that fly under heaven.' And again : ' Lest perhaps lifting up thy eyes to heaven, thou see the sun and the moon, and all the stars of heaven, and being deceived by error, thou adore and serve them.' You see the one object in view is that the creature should not be worshipped instead of the Creator, and that the worship of latreia should be given to God alone. Thus in every case when he speaks of worship he means latreia. Again : ' Thou shalt not have strange gods in my sight; thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing nor any likeness.' Again : ' Thou shalt not make to thyself gods of metal.' You see that He forbids image-making on account of idolatry, and that it is impossible to make an image of God, who is a Spirit, invisible, and uncircumscribed. ' You have not seen His likeness,' He says; and St Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, says: ' Being therefore the offspring of God, we must not suppose the divinity to be like unto gold, or silver, or stone, the graving of art, a device of man.'

Listen again that it is so. Thou shalt not make to thyself any brazen thing nor any likeness. These things, he says, they made by God's commandment a hanging of violet, purple, scarlet, and fine twisted linen in the entrance of the tabernacle, and the cherubim in woven work. And they made also the propitiatory, that is, the oracle of the purest gold, and the two cherubim. What will you say to this, O Moses? You say, thou shalt not make to thyself any graven thing nor any likeness, and you yourself fashion cherubim of woven work, and two cherubim of pure gold. Listen to the answer of God's servant Moses : ' You blind and foolish people, mark the force of what is said, and keep your souls carefully. I said that you had seen no likeness on the day when the Lord spoke to you on Mount Horeb, in the midst of the fire, lest you should sin against the law and make for yourselves a brazen likeness: thou shalt not make any image or gods of metal. I never said thou shalt not make the image of cherubim in adoration before the propitiatory. What I said was: Thou shalt not make to thyself gods of metal, and thou shalt not make any likeness as of God, nor shalt thou adore the creature instead of the Creator, nor any creature whatsoever as God, nor have I served the creature rather than the Creator.'

Note how the object of Scripture becomes clear to those who really search it. You must know, Beloved, that in every business truth and falsehood are distinguished, and the object of the doer, whether it be good or bad. In the gospel we find all things good and evil. God, the angels, man, the heavens, the earth, water and fire and air, the sun and moon and stars, light and darkness, Satan and the devils, the serpent and scorpions, death and hell, virtues and vices. And because everything told about them is true, and the object in view is the glory of God and the saints whom He has honoured, our salvation, and the shame of the devil, we worship and embrace and love these utterances, and receive them with our whole heart as we do the whole of the old and new dispensation, and all the spoken testimony of the holy fathers. Now, we reject the evil, abominable writings of heathens and Manicheans, and all other heretics, as containing foolishness and lies, promoting the advantage of Satan and his demons, and giving them pleasure, although they contain the name of God. So with regard to images we must manifest the truth, and take into account the intention of those who make them. If it be in very deed for the glory of God and of His saints to promote goodness, to avoid evil, and save souls, we should receive and honour and worship them as images, and remembrances, likenesses, and the books of the illiterate. We should love and embrace them with hand and heart as reminders of the incarnate God, or His Mother, or of the saints, the participators in the sufferings and the glory of Christ, the conquerors and overthrowers of Satan, and diabolical fraud. If any one should dare to make an image of Almighty God, who is pure Spirit, invisible, uncircumscribed, we reject it as a falsehood. If any one make images for the honour and worship of the Devil and his angels, we abhor them and deliver them to the flames. Or if any one give divine honours to the statues of men, or birds, or reptiles, or any other created thing, we anathematise him. As our forefathers in the faith pulled down the temples of demons, and erected on the same spot churches dedicated to saints whom we honour, so they overturned the statues of demons, and set up instead the images of Christ, of His holy Mother, and the saints. Even in the old dispensation, Israel neither raised temples to human beings, nor held sacred the memory of man. At that time Adam's race was under a curse, and death was a penalty, therefore a mourning. A corpse was looked upon as unclean, and the man who touched it as contaminated. But since the Godhead has taken to Himself our nature, it has become glorified as a vivifying and efficacious remedy, and has been transformed unto immortality. Thus the death of the saints is a rejoicing, and churches are raised to them, and their images are set up. Be assured that any one wishing to pull down an image erected out of pure zeal for the glory and enduring memory of Christ, or of His holy Mother, or any of the saints, to put the devil and his satellites to shame,—anyone, I say, refusing to honour and worship this image as sacred—it is not to be worshipped as God—is an enemy of Christ, of His blessed Mother, and of the saints, and is an advocate of the devil and his crew, showing grief by his conduct that the saints are honoured and glorified, and the devil put to shame. The image is a hymn of praise, a manifestation, a lasting token of those who have fought and conquered, and of demons humbled and put to flight. Kings have no call to make laws in the Church. What does the holy apostle say? ' And God, indeed, hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors and shepherds' for the training of the Church. He does not say 'kings.' And again : ' Obey your prelates, and be subject to them. For they watch as being to render an account of your souls.' Again : ' Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the end of your conversation.' Kings have not spoken the word to you, but apostles and prophets, pastors and doctors. When God was speaking to David about building a house for Him, He said : ' Thou shalt not build me a house, for thou art a man of blood.' ' Render, therefore, to all men their dues,' St Paul exclaimed; ' tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour.' The political prosperity is the king's business : the ecclesiastical organisation belongs to pastors and doctors, and to take it out of their hands is to commit an act of robbery. Saul rent Samuel's cloak, and what was the consequence ? God took from him his royalty, and gave it to the meek David. Jezabel pursued Elias, pigs and dogs licked up her blood, and harlots were bathed in it. Herod removed John, and was consumed by worms. And now holy Germanus, shining by word and example, has been punished and become an exile, and many more bishops and fathers, whose names are unknown to us. Is not this a persecution ? When the Pharisees and the learned surrounded our Lord, ostensibly to listen to His teaching, and when they asked Him if it was lawful to pay tribute to Caesar, He answered them : ' Bring me a coin.' And when they had brought it, He said: ' Whose image is this ? ' Upon their reply, ' Caesar's,He said, ' Give to Caesar that which is Caesar's and to God that which is God's.' We are obedient to you, O King, in things concerning our daily life, in tributes, taxes, and payments, which are your due; but in ecclesiastical government we have our pastors, preachers of the word, and exponents of ecclesiastical law. We do not change the boundaries marked out by our fathers : we keep the tradition we have received. If we begin to lay down the law to the Church, even in the smallest thing, the whole edifice will fall to the ground in no short time.

A over a thousand years later, and for nearly two thousand since Christ, the Orhtodox Church He founded and St. John defended still stands.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #506 on: August 09, 2010, 07:45:19 PM »

BUT apostolic doctrine has us walking:

LOL. What do you know of apostolic doctrine? as thou walkest disorderly, and not after the Tradition which are received of the Apostles, as St. John points out:
Quote
With the ever-present conviction of my own unworthiness, I ought to have kept silence and confessed my shortcomings before God, but all things are good at the right time. I see the Church which God founded on the Apostles and Prophets, its corner-stone being Christ His Son, tossed on an angry sea, beaten by rushing waves, shaken and troubled by the assaults of evil spirits. I see rents in the seamless robe of Christ, which impious men have sought to part asunder, and His body cut into pieces, that is, the word of God and the ancient tradition of the Church. Therefore I have judged it un- reasonable to keep silence and to hold my tongue, bearing in mind the Scripture warn- ing :—' If thou withdrawest thyself, my soul shall not delight in thee,' and the sword coming and dost not warn thy brother, I shall require his blood at thy hand.' Fear, then, compelled me to speak; the truth was stronger than the majesty of kings. ' I bore testimony to Thee before kings,' I heard the royal * David saying, ' and I was' not ashamed. No, I was the more incited to speak. The King's command is all powerful over his subjects. For few men have hitherto been found who, whilst recognising the power of the earthly king to come from above, have resisted his unlawful demands.

In the first place, grasping as a kind of pillar, or foundation, the teaching of the Church, which is our salvation, I have opened out its meaning, giving, as it were, the reins to a wellcaparisoned charger, f For I look upon it as a great calamity that the Church, adorned with her great privileges and the holiest examples of saints in the past, should go back to the first rudiments, and fear where there is no fear. It is disastrous to suppose that the Church does not know God as He is, that she degenerates into idolatry, for if she declines from perfection in a single iota, it is as an enduring mark on a comely face, destroying by its unsightliness the beauty of the whole. A small thing is not small when it leads to something great, nor indeed is it a thing of no matter to give up the ancient tradition of the Church held by our forefathers, whose conduct we should observe, and whose faith we should imitate.

Either do away with the worship of all matter, or be not an innovator. Do not disturb the boundaries of centuries, put up by your fathers. It is not in writing only that they have bequeathed to us the tradition of the Church, but also in certain unwritten examples. In the twenty-seventh book of his work, in thirty chapters addressed to Amphilochios concerning the Holy Spirit, St Basil says, ' In the cherished teaching and dogmas of the Church, we hold some things by written documents; others we have received in mystery from the apostolical tradition.' Both are of equal value for the soul's growth. No one will dispute this who has considered even a little the discipline of the Church. For if we neglect unwritten customs, as not having much weight, we bury in oblivion the most pertinent facts connected with the Gospel. These are the great Basil's words. How do we know the Holy place of Calvary, or the Holy Sepulchre? Does it not rest on a tradition handed down from father to son? It is written that our Lord was crucified on Calvary, and buried in a tomb, which Joseph hewed out of the rock ; but it is unwritten tradition which identifies these spots, and does more things of the same kind. Whence come the three immersions at baptism, praying with face turned towards the east, and the tradition of the mysteries ?   Hence St Paul says, Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have learned either by word, or by our epistle. As, then, so much has been handed down in the Church, and is observed down to the present day, why disparage images?

... neither does one swallow make summer, as it seems to Gregory the theologian, and to the truth. Neither can one expression overturn the tradition of the whole Church which is spread throughout the world.

We will not obey your suggestions, wicked and man-hating devil. Listen to me, people of all nations, men, women, and children, all of you who bear the Christian name : If any one preach to you something contrary to what the Catholic Church has received from the holy apostles and fathers and councils, and has kept down to the present day, do not heed him. Do not receive the serpent's counsel, as Eve did, to whom it was death. If an angel or an emperor teaches you anything contrary to what you have received, shut your ears. I have refrained so far from saying, as the holy apostle said, ' Let him be anathema,' in the hope of amendment.

For if the friends of Christ are heirs of God and co-heirs of Christ, and are to be partakers of the divine glory and kingdom, is not even earthly glory due to them ? I call you not servants, our Lord says ; you are my friends. Shall we, then, withhold from them the honour which the Church gives them ? You are a bold and venturesome man to fight against God and His ordinances. If you do not worship images, you do not worship the Son of God, who is the living image of the invisible God, and the immutable figure of His substance. The temple which Solomon built was consecrated by the blood of animals, and decorated by images of lions, oxen, and the palms and pomegranates. Now, the Church is consecrated by the blood of Christ and of His saints, and it is adorned with the image of Christ and of His saints. Either take away the worship of images altogether, or be not an innovator, and pass not beyond the ancient boundaries which thy fathers have set. I am not speaking of boundaries prior to the incarnation of Christ our Lord, but since His coming. God spoke to them, depreciating the traditions of the old law, saying, ' I also gave them statutes that were not good,' on account of their hardness of heart. Consequently on the change of priesthood the law of necessity was also changed.

The eye-witnesses and ministers of the word handed down the teaching of the Church, not only by writing, but also by unwritten tradition. Whence comes our knowledge of the sacred spot, Mount Calvary, of the holy sepulchre ? Has it not been handed down to us from father to son ? It is written that our Lord was crucified on Calvary, and buried in the tomb which Joseph hewed out of the rock, but it is unwritten tradition that teaches us we are adoring the right places, and many other things of the same kind. Why do we believe in three baptisms, that is, in three immersions ? Why do we adore the Cross ? Is it not through tradition ? Therefore the holy apostle says : ' Brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.' Many things, therefore, being handed down to the Church by unwritten tradition and kept up to the present day, why do you speak slightingly of images ? The Manicheans followed a gospel according to Thomas, and you will follow that of Leo. I do not admit an emperor's tyrannical action in domineering over the Church. The emperor has not received the power to bind and loose. I know of the Emperor Valens, a Christian in name, who persecuted the true faith, Zeno and Anastasius, Heraclius and Constantine of Sicily, and Bardaniskus, called Philip. I am not to be persuaded that the Church is set in order by imperial edicts, but by patristic traditions, written and unwritten. As the written Gospel has been preached in the whole world, so has it been an unwritten tradition in the whole world to represent in image Christ, the incarnate God, and the saints, to adore the Cross, and to pray towards the east. The customs which you bring forward do not incriminate our worship of images, but that of the heathens who make idols of them. The pious practice of the Church is not to be rejected because of heathen abuse. Sorcerers and magicians exorcise; the Church exorcises catechumens. The former invoke demons, the Church calls upon God against demons. Heathens sacrificed to demons ; Israel offered to God both holocausts and victims. The Church, too, offers an unbloody sacrifice to God. Heathens set up images to demons, and Israel made idols of them in the words, ' These are thy gods, O Israel, who brought thee out of Egypt.' Now we have set up images to the true God incarnate, to His servants and friends, who have put the demon host to flight. If you say to this that blessed Epiphanius clearly rejected our use of images, you must know that the work in question is spurious and written by some one else in the name of Epiphanius, as often happens. A father does not fight his own children. All have become participators in the one Spirit.  The Church is a witness of this in adorning images, until some men rose up against her and disturbed the peace of Christ's fold, putting poisoned food before the people of God.

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.

You see what great strength and divine zeal are given to those who venerate the images of the saints with faith and a pure conscience. Therefore, brethren, let us take our stand on the rock of the faith, and on the tradition of the Church, neither removing the boundaries laid down by our holy fathers of old, nor listening to those who would introduce innovation and destroy the economy of the holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of God. If any man is to have his foolish way, in a short time the whole organisation of the Church will be reduced to nothing. Brethren and beloved children of the Church do not put your mother to shame, do not rend her to pieces. Receive her teaching through me. Listen to what God says of her : ' Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee.' Let us worship and adore our God and Creator as alone worthy of worship by nature, and let us worship the holy Mother of God, not as God, but as God's Mother according to the flesh. Let us worship the saints also, as the chosen friends of God, and as possessing access to Him. 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 ; and we should worship His servants and friends who reign over their passions and are constituted rulers of the whole earth. ' Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth,' says David. They receive power against demons and against disease, and with Christ they reign over an incorruptible and unchangeable kingdom. Their shadow alone has put forth disease and demons. Should we not deem a shadow a slighter and weaker thing than an image? Yet it is a true outline of the original. Brethren, the Christian is faith.* He who walks by faith gains many things. The doubter, on the contrary, is as a wave of the sea torn and tossed; he profits nothing. All the saints pleased God by faith. Let us then receive the teaching of the Church in simplicity of heart without questioning. God made man sane and sound. It was man who was over curious. Let us not seek to learn a new faith, destructive of ancient tradition, St Paul says, 'If a man teach any other Gospel than what he has been taught, let him be anathema.' Thus, we worship images, and it is not a worship of matter, but of those whom matter represents. The honour given to the image is referred to the original, as holy Basil rightly says.

And may Christ fill you with the joy of His resurrection, most holy flock of Christ, Christian people, chosen race, body of the Church, and make you worthy to walk in the footsteps of the saints, of the shepherds and teachers of the Church, leading you to enjoy His glory in the brightness of the saints. May you gain His glory for eternity, with the Uncreated Father, to whom be praise for ever. Amen.

I have no idea how old you are, but I figure you aren't older than 114, the verified age of the oldest person now living.  You mentioned some preacher, but I don't remember if you said when or who.  The oldest verified person who ever lived (since the ascent of Christ, His mother and before them Elijah and Enoch) is 122. That's only 236 years total, far by over a millenium and a half short to reach the Apostles.  You haven't idenfied your creed, accept claiming the Creed of the Fathers of Nicea and Constantinople, while preaching sola scriptura.  Since you are not of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church you cannot claim her book, the Bible.  Even if you came from the birth of sola scriptura, that still leaves you a millenium and a half behind to reach the Apostles. You depend on, but will not acknowledge, the work of the Church during that millenium and a half to write, collect, canonize and copy the Bible.

The Christ entrusted the Church to His Aposltes, who entrusted her to the presbyters whom they raised to bishops by laying on, not figuratively but visibly and literally, their hands. In turn the bishops handed over the Church, the Bible and the Apostolic teaching generation after generation since the days of the Apostles until now, and will continue to so so until they hand her back, pure and undefiled to Christ when He returns. That is what we celebrate in the Triumph of Orthodoxy.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
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Posts: 37,472



« Reply #507 on: August 09, 2010, 07:46:39 PM »

by faith without the sensible being needed at all:

Oh? Is your Bible written in invisible ink?  Is it written on the air? As St. John says "Israel of old did not see God, but we see the Lord's glory face to face."

He goes ont to show the absence of substance to this empty argument:
Quote
We proclaim Him also by our senses on all sides, and we sanctify the noblest sense, which is that of sight. The image is a memorial, just what words are to a listening ear. What a book is to the literate, that an image is to the A illiterate. The image speaks to the sight as words to the ear; it brings us understanding. Hence God ordered the ark to be made of imperishable wood, and to be gilded outside and in, and the tablets to be put in it, and the staff and the golden urn containing the manna, for a remembrance of the past and a type of the future. Who can say these were not images and far-sounding heralds ? And they did not hang on the walls of the tabernacle ; but in sight of all the people who looked towards them, they were brought forward for the worship and adoration of God, who made use of them. It is evident that they were not worshipped for themselves, but that the people were led through them to remember past signs, and to worship the God of wonders. They were images to serve as recollections, not divine, but leading to divine things by divine power.

Now, as we are talking of images and worship, let us analyse the exact meaning of each. An image is a likeness of the original with a certain difference, for it is not an exact reproduction of the original. Thus, the Son is the living, substantial, unchangeable Image of the invisible God, bearing in Himself the whole Father, being in all things equal to Him, differing only in being begotten by the Father, who is the Begetter ; the Son is begotten. The Father does not proceed from the Son, but the Son from the Father. It is through the Son, though not after Him, that He is what He is, the Father who generates. In God, too, there are representations and images of His future acts,—that is to say, His counsel from all eternity, which is ever unchangeable. That, which is divine is immutable.; there is. no change in Him, nor shadow of change. Blessed Dionysios (the Areogapite) who has made divine things in God's presence his study, says that these representations and images are marked out beforehand. In His counsels, God has noted and settled all that He would do, the unchanging future events before they came to pass. In the same way, a man who wished to build a house, would first make and think out' a plan. Again, visible things are images of invisible and intangible things, on which they throw a faint light. Holy Scripture clothes in figure God and the angels, and the same holy man (Blessed Denis) explains why. When sensible things sufficiently render what is beyond sense, and give a form to what is intangible, a medium would be reckoned imperfect according to our standard, if it did not fully represent material vision, or if it required effort of mind. If, therefore, Holy Scripture, providing for our need, ever putting before us what is intangible, clothes it in flesh, does it not make an image of what is thus invested with our nature, and brought to the level of our desires, yet invisible ? A certain conception through the senses thus takes place in the brain, which was not there before, and is transmitted to the judicial faculty, and added to the mental store. Gregory, who is so eloquent about God, says that the mind which is set upon getting beyond corporeal things, is incapable of doing it. For the invisible things of God since the creation of the world are made visible through images. We see images in creation which remind us faintly of God, as when, for instance, we speak of the holy and adorable Trinity, imaged by the sun, or light, or burning rays, or by a running fountain, or a full river, or by the mind, speech, or the spirit within us, or by a rose tree, or a sprouting flower, or a sweet fragrance.

Again, an image is expressive of something in the future, mystically shadowing forth what is to happen. For instance, the ark represents the image of Our Lady, Mother of God,so does the staff and the earthen jar. The serpent brings before us Him who vanquished on the Cross the bite of the original serpent; the sea, water, and the cloud the grace of baptism.

Again, things which have taken place are expressed by images for the remembrance either of a wonder, or an honour, or dishonour, or good or evil, to help those who look upon it in after times that we may avoid evils and imitate goodness. It is of two kinds, the written image in books, as when God had the law inscribed on tablets, and when He enjoined that the lives of holy men should be recorded and sensible memorials be preserved in remembrance ; as, for instance, the earthen jar and the staff in the ark. So now we preserve in writing the images and the good deeds of the past. Either, therefore, take away images altogether and be out of harmony with God who made these regulations, or receive them with the language and in the manner which befits them. In speaking of the manner let us go into the question of worship.

 If you say that only intellectual worship befits God, take away all corporeal things, light, and fragrance, prayer itself through the physical voice, the very divine mysteries which are offered through matter, bread, and wine, the oil of chrism, the sign of the Cross, for all this is matter. Take away the Cross, and the sponge of the Crucifixion, and the spear which pierced the life-giving side. Either give up honouring these things as impossible, or do not reject the veneration of images. Matter is endued with a divine power through prayer made to those who are depicted in image. Purple by itself is simple, and so is silk, and the cloak which is made of both. But if the king put it on, the cloak receives honour from the honour due to the wearer. So is it with matter. By itself it is of no account, but if the one presented in image be full of grace, men become partakers of his grace according to their faith. The apostles knew our Lord with their bodily eyes; others knew the apostles, others the martyrs. I, too, desire to see them in the spirit and in the flesh, and to possess a saving remedy as I am a composite being. . I see with my eyes, and revere that which represents what I honour, though I do not worship it as God. Now you, perhaps, are superior to me, and are lifted up above bodily things, and being, as it were, not of flesh, you make light of what is visible, but as I am human and clothed with a body, I desire to see and to be corporeally with the saints. Condescend to my humble wish that you may be secure on your heights. God accepts my longing for Him and for His saints. For He rejoices at the praises of His servant, according to the great St Basil in his panegyric of the Forty Martyrs. Listen to the words which he uttered in honour of the martyr St Gordion.  The mere memory of just deeds is a source of spiritual joy to the whole world ; people are moved to imitate the holiness of which they hear. The life of holy men is as a light illuminating the way for those who would see it. And again, when we recount the story of holy lives we glorify in the first place the Lord of those servants, and we give praise to the servants on account of their testimony, which is known to us. We rejoice the world through good report.  Commentary.—The remembrance of the saints is thus, you see, a glory to God, praise of the saints, joy and salvation to the whole world. Why, then, would you destroy it ? This remembrance is kept by preaching and by images, says the same great St Basil.  Just as burning follows naturally on fire, and fragrance on sweet ointment, so must good arise from holy actions. For it is no small thing to represent past events according to life.

The fourth kind of image are the figures and types set forth by Scripture of invisible and immaterial things in bodily form, for a clearer apprehension of God and the angels, through our incapacity of perceiving immaterial things unless clothed in analogical material form, as Dionysius the Areopagite says, a man skilled in divine things. Anyone would say that our incapacity for reaching the contemplation of intellectual things, and our need of familiar and cognate mediums, make it necessary that immaterial things should be ^ clothed in form and shape. If, then, holy Scripture adapts itself to us in seeking to elevate us above sense, does it not make images of what it clothes in our own medium, and bring within our reach that which we desire but are unable to see ? The spiritual writer, Gregory, says that the mind striving to banish corporeal images reduces itself to incapability. But from the creation of the world the invisible things of God are made clear by the visible creation. We see images in created things, which remind us faintly of divine tokens. For instance, sun and light and brightness, the running waters of a perennial fountain, our own mind and language and spirit, the sweet fragrance of a flowering rosetree, are images of the Holy and Eternal Trinity.

Our Lord called His disciples blessed, saying, ' Many kings and prophets have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear and have not heard it. Blessed are your eyes which see and your ears which hear.' The apostles saw Christ with their bodily eyes, and His sufferings and wonders, and they listened to His words. We, too, desire to see, and to hear, and to be blessed. They saw Him face to face, as He was present in the body. Now, since he is not present in the body to us, we hear His words from books and are sanctified in spirit by the hearing, and are blessed, and we adore, honouring the books which tell us of His words. So, through the representation of images, we look upon His bodily form, and upon His miracles and His sufferings, and are sanctified and satiated, gladdened and blessed. Reverently we worship His bodily form, and contemplating it, we form some notion of His divine glory. For, as we are composed of soul and body, and our soul does not stand alone, but is, as it were, shrouded by a veil it is impossible for us to arrive at intellectual conceptions without corporeal things. Just as we listen with our bodily ears to physical words and understand spiritual things, so, through corporeal vision, we come to the spiritual. On this a ccount Christ took a body and a soul, as man has both one and the other. And baptism likewise is double, of water and the spirit. So is communion and prayer and psalmody ; everything has a double signification, a corporeal and a spiritual. Thus again, with lights and incense. The devil has tolerated all these things, raising a storm against images alone.

As we are treating of images and their worship, let us draw out the meaning more accurately and say in the first place what an image is.  An image is a likeness and representation of some one, containing in itself the person who is imaged. The image is not wont to be an exact reproduction of the original. The image is one thing, the person represented another ; a difference is generally perceptible, because the subject of each is the same. For instance, the image of a man may give his bodily form, but not his mental powers. It has no life, nor does it speak or feel or move. A son being the natural image of his father is somewhat different from him, for he is a son, not a father. 

2nd Point.—For what purpose the Image is made.  Every image is a revelation and representation of something hidden. For instance, man has not a clear knowledge of what is invisible, the spirit being veiled to the body, nor of future things, nor of things apart and distant, because he is circumscribed by place and time.  The image was devised for greater knowledge, and for the manifestation and popularising of secret things, as a pure benefit and help to salvation, so that by showing things and making them known, we may arrive at the hidden ones, desire and emulate what is good, shun and hate what is evil.

You look down upon matter and call it contemptible. This is what the Manicheans did, but holy Scripture pronounces it to be good ; for it says, ' And God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.' I say matter is God's creation and a good thing. Now, if you say it is bad, you say either that it is not from God, or you make Him a cause of evil. Listen to the words of Scripture concerning matter, which you despise : ' And Moses said to all the assembly of the children of Israel : This is the word the Lord hath commanded, saying : Set aside with you first fruits to the Lord ; let every one that is willing and hath a ready heart, offer them to the Lord : gold, and silver, and brass, violet and purple, and scarlet twice dyed, and fine linen, goat's hair, and ram's skins dyed red, and violet, and coloured skins, selimwood, and oil to maintain lights, and to make ointment, and most sweet incense, onyx stones and precious stones for the adorning of the ephod and the rational: Whosoever of you is wise let him come and make that which the Lord hath commanded : to wit, the tabernacle,' etc.

Behold, then, matter is honoured, and you dishonour it. What is more insignificant than goat's hair, or colours, and are not violet and purple and scarlet colours? And the likeness of the cherubim are the work of man's hand, and the tabernacle itself from first to last was an image. ' Look,' said God to Moses, ' and make it according to the pattern that was shown thee in the Mount,' and it was adored by the people of Israel in a circle. And, as to the cherubim, were they not in sight of the people ? And did not the people look at the ark, and the lamps, and the table, the golden urn and the staff, and adore ? It is not matter which I adore; it is the Lord of matter, becoming matter for my sake, taking up His abode in matter and working out my salvation through matter. For the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt amongst us. It is evident to all that flesh is matter, and that it is created. I reverence and honour matter, and worship that which has brought about my salvation. I honour it, not as God, but as a channel of divine strength and grace. Was not the thrice blessed wood of the Cross matter ? and the sacred and holy mountain of Calvary ? Was not the holy sepulchre matter, the life-giving stone the source of our resurrection ? Was not the book of the Gospels matter, and the holy table which gives us the bread of life ? Are not gold and silver matter, of which crosses, and holy pictures, and chalices are made ? And above all, is not the Lord's Body and Blood composed of matter ? Either reject the honour and worship of all these things, or conform to ecclesiastical tradition, sanctifying the worship of images in the name of God and of God's friends, and so obeying the grace of the Divine Spirit. If you give up images on account of the law, you should also keep the Sabbath and be circumcised, for these are severely inculcated by it. You should observe all the law, and not celebrate the Lord's Passover out of Jerusalem. But you must know that if you observe the law, Christ will profit you nothing. You are ordered to marry your brother's wife, and so carry on his name, and not to sing the song of the Lord in a strange land. Enough of this ! Those who have been justified by the law have fallen from grace...The Manicheans followed a gospel according to Thomas, and you will follow that of Leo...

I'll answer your prooftexting on the more appropriate thread
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.0.html
as they have nothing to do with the teaching of St. John and the Apostles, but are your own.
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« Reply #508 on: August 09, 2010, 08:59:37 PM »

You're still ignoring my earlier questions.  Can't say I blame you.


I have another question for you, though:

...Islam destroyed Orthodoxy in the Middle East, leaving only a tiny stump.

God's use of Muslims to exact retribution is a teachable moment, their hatred of images makes God's feelings about icons abundantly clear.

During the Armenian Genocide, Muslim Turks slit my mom's uncle's throat in front of his family when he refused to convert to Islam.  Are you saying this was God's retribution against my uncle for belonging to a Church which uses images? 
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« Reply #509 on: August 09, 2010, 09:36:30 PM »

Perhaps you can kick start this new discussion, about this text:

 8 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live." (Num 21:8 NKJ)

Do the Orthodox use this in support of icons, how...then I can respond.

Well...

Primarily, we see the serpent in the wilderness as a type (typos) of the Cross, prefiguring Jesus' being raised up for the Life and Salvation of the world.  The Lord Himself makes the connection at John 3:14; He used the "lifted up" language multiple times in the Gospels as a euphemism for Crucifixion (and it makes sense when applied to the serpent - a snake on a stick is a good parallel visual to outstretched arms on the Cross, I presume - I've never seen a "snake on a stick," although I'd imagine there are parts of this country where I could find it as an appetizer).

But since you bring it up...

God told Moses to create a Serpent (which goes against your earlier assertion about not making any image of anything, and further supporting that the Biblical prohibitions on idolatry only apply to objects that are worshiped) that would be used to effect God's mercy on the people through healing.  The mercy/healing came not from the serpent (unless you believe in pantheism), but from God, Who worked through the Serpent.  The serpent wasn't an object synthesized by God's hand; He made the parts, and let Moses fashion it (well, "let," "commanded...").  It wasn't a real and living serpent, just a likeness or image of a serpent.  So you have an image of a serpent being used as a vehicle of God's mercy to His people.  But the serpent wasn't the essence of the image, it was only a reminder to the people about the source of their affliction (distrust in God bringing poisonous snakes); the essence of the image is God's mercy - that the Lord did not abandon them, and that the Lord was willing to take a symbol of death (poisonous snake) and turn it into a symbol of life and healing (another parallel to the Crucifixion!).  

So we have the Lord directing Moses to create an icon that will be used as a vehicle of His mercy to the people.  That's not too hard to grasp, is it?

Now, when the people began worshiping it independently, only then did King Hezekiah destroy it in order to remove the temptation and allow for the proper burning of incense to God.  But that was misuse, and a misuse that the Lord clearly indicated against by His blessing of Hezekiah, the just and rightful ruler.

I agree with most of what you said, BUT there is an incompatible property between the serpent and an Orthodox icon, no prototype in the serpent, but icons have prototypes.

Therefore it is not an icon.

To illustrate, the Israelites were not venerating the image while worshiping the prototype of the serpent.

As it is different than an icon the event doesn't speak for or against icons.





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« Reply #510 on: August 09, 2010, 09:42:11 PM »

You're still ignoring my earlier questions.  Can't say I blame you.


I have another question for you, though:

...Islam destroyed Orthodoxy in the Middle East, leaving only a tiny stump.

God's use of Muslims to exact retribution is a teachable moment, their hatred of images makes God's feelings about icons abundantly clear.

During the Armenian Genocide, Muslim Turks slit my mom's uncle's throat in front of his family when he refused to convert to Islam.  Are you saying this was God's retribution against my uncle for belonging to a Church which uses images?  


I am saying God leaves when  idolatry enters, it is the abomination that causes desolation, which is the fault of the idolator, not God:

NKJ  Hosea 8:1 "Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the LORD, Because they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law.
 2 Israel will cry to Me,`My God, we know You!'
 3 Israel has rejected the good; The enemy will pursue him.
 4 "They set up kings, but not by Me; They made princes, but I did not acknowledge them. From their silver and gold They made idols for themselves-- That they might be cut off.
 5 Your calf is rejected, O Samaria! My anger is aroused against them-- How long until they attain to innocence?
 6 For from Israel is even this: A workman made it, and it is not God; But the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces.
 7 "They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no bud; It shall never produce meal. If it should produce, Aliens would swallow it up.
 (Hos 8:1-7 NKJ)

Similarly the world's problems would vanish if everyone living confess Jesus is their LORD, and repented, so evil is man's fault, not God's, including birth defects etc...these would not exist if we reentered paradise with God's blessing, they exist only because mankind is rebelling against God.
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« Reply #511 on: August 09, 2010, 09:46:29 PM »

You're still ignoring my earlier questions.  Can't say I blame you.


I have another question for you, though:

...Islam destroyed Orthodoxy in the Middle East, leaving only a tiny stump.

God's use of Muslims to exact retribution is a teachable moment, their hatred of images makes God's feelings about icons abundantly clear.

During the Armenian Genocide, Muslim Turks slit my mom's uncle's throat in front of his family when he refused to convert to Islam.  Are you saying this was God's retribution against my uncle for belonging to a Church which uses images?  


I am saying God leaves when  idolatry enters, it is the abomination that causes desolation, which is the fault of the idolator, not God:

NKJ  Hosea 8:1 "Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the LORD, Because they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law.
 2 Israel will cry to Me,`My God, we know You!'
 3 Israel has rejected the good; The enemy will pursue him.
 (Hos 8:1-3 NKJ)



Is that the same reason why only 1 of the 12 apostles died a natural death? It must have been God's retribution since they used icons.

Is it also why the Byzantine Empire fell roughly 700 years after Islam? Hey! That's older than Protestantism. So when God apparently left the Byzantines, it took 700 years for it to take effect.

I'm also unsure what you intend to get out of using the golden calf to defend iconoclasm. God never revealed himself as a calf, so it proves nothing that He would forbid us to image Him in the form of a golden calf. If we imaged God as toad it would be blasphemous. If we imaged God as an alien, it would be blasphemous. But God revealed Himself as a man in the New Testament, and therefore we can image Him as a man.
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« Reply #512 on: August 09, 2010, 09:47:37 PM »

by faith without the sensible being needed at all:

Oh? Is your Bible written in invisible ink?  Is it written on the air? As St. John says "Israel of old did not see God, but we see the Lord's glory face to face."

He goes ont to show the absence of substance to this empty argument:
Quote
We proclaim Him also by our senses on all sides, and we sanctify the noblest sense, which is that of sight. The image is a memorial, just what words are to a listening ear. What a book is to the literate, that an image is to the A illiterate. The image speaks to the sight as words to the ear; it brings us understanding. Hence God ordered the ark to be made of imperishable wood, and to be gilded outside and in, and the tablets to be put in it, and the staff and the golden urn containing the manna, for a remembrance of the past and a type of the future. Who can say these were not images and far-sounding heralds ? And they did not hang on the walls of the tabernacle ; but in sight of all the people who looked towards them, they were brought forward for the worship and adoration of God, who made use of them. It is evident that they were not worshipped for themselves, but that the people were led through them to remember past signs, and to worship the God of wonders. They were images to serve as recollections, not divine, but leading to divine things by divine power.

Now, as we are talking of images and worship, let us analyse the exact meaning of each. An image is a likeness of the original with a certain difference, for it is not an exact reproduction of the original. Thus, the Son is the living, substantial, unchangeable Image of the invisible God, bearing in Himself the whole Father, being in all things equal to Him, differing only in being begotten by the Father, who is the Begetter ; the Son is begotten. The Father does not proceed from the Son, but the Son from the Father. It is through the Son, though not after Him, that He is what He is, the Father who generates. In God, too, there are representations and images of His future acts,—that is to say, His counsel from all eternity, which is ever unchangeable. That, which is divine is immutable.; there is. no change in Him, nor shadow of change. Blessed Dionysios (the Areogapite) who has made divine things in God's presence his study, says that these representations and images are marked out beforehand. In His counsels, God has noted and settled all that He would do, the unchanging future events before they came to pass. In the same way, a man who wished to build a house, would first make and think out' a plan. Again, visible things are images of invisible and intangible things, on which they throw a faint light. Holy Scripture clothes in figure God and the angels, and the same holy man (Blessed Denis) explains why. When sensible things sufficiently render what is beyond sense, and give a form to what is intangible, a medium would be reckoned imperfect according to our standard, if it did not fully represent material vision, or if it required effort of mind. If, therefore, Holy Scripture, providing for our need, ever putting before us what is intangible, clothes it in flesh, does it not make an image of what is thus invested with our nature, and brought to the level of our desires, yet invisible ? A certain conception through the senses thus takes place in the brain, which was not there before, and is transmitted to the judicial faculty, and added to the mental store. Gregory, who is so eloquent about God, says that the mind which is set upon getting beyond corporeal things, is incapable of doing it. For the invisible things of God since the creation of the world are made visible through images. We see images in creation which remind us faintly of God, as when, for instance, we speak of the holy and adorable Trinity, imaged by the sun, or light, or burning rays, or by a running fountain, or a full river, or by the mind, speech, or the spirit within us, or by a rose tree, or a sprouting flower, or a sweet fragrance.

Again, an image is expressive of something in the future, mystically shadowing forth what is to happen. For instance, the ark represents the image of Our Lady, Mother of God,so does the staff and the earthen jar. The serpent brings before us Him who vanquished on the Cross the bite of the original serpent; the sea, water, and the cloud the grace of baptism.

Again, things which have taken place are expressed by images for the remembrance either of a wonder, or an honour, or dishonour, or good or evil, to help those who look upon it in after times that we may avoid evils and imitate goodness. It is of two kinds, the written image in books, as when God had the law inscribed on tablets, and when He enjoined that the lives of holy men should be recorded and sensible memorials be preserved in remembrance ; as, for instance, the earthen jar and the staff in the ark. So now we preserve in writing the images and the good deeds of the past. Either, therefore, take away images altogether and be out of harmony with God who made these regulations, or receive them with the language and in the manner which befits them. In speaking of the manner let us go into the question of worship.

 If you say that only intellectual worship befits God, take away all corporeal things, light, and fragrance, prayer itself through the physical voice, the very divine mysteries which are offered through matter, bread, and wine, the oil of chrism, the sign of the Cross, for all this is matter. Take away the Cross, and the sponge of the Crucifixion, and the spear which pierced the life-giving side. Either give up honouring these things as impossible, or do not reject the veneration of images. Matter is endued with a divine power through prayer made to those who are depicted in image. Purple by itself is simple, and so is silk, and the cloak which is made of both. But if the king put it on, the cloak receives honour from the honour due to the wearer. So is it with matter. By itself it is of no account, but if the one presented in image be full of grace, men become partakers of his grace according to their faith. The apostles knew our Lord with their bodily eyes; others knew the apostles, others the martyrs. I, too, desire to see them in the spirit and in the flesh, and to possess a saving remedy as I am a composite being. . I see with my eyes, and revere that which represents what I honour, though I do not worship it as God. Now you, perhaps, are superior to me, and are lifted up above bodily things, and being, as it were, not of flesh, you make light of what is visible, but as I am human and clothed with a body, I desire to see and to be corporeally with the saints. Condescend to my humble wish that you may be secure on your heights. God accepts my longing for Him and for His saints. For He rejoices at the praises of His servant, according to the great St Basil in his panegyric of the Forty Martyrs. Listen to the words which he uttered in honour of the martyr St Gordion.  The mere memory of just deeds is a source of spiritual joy to the whole world ; people are moved to imitate the holiness of which they hear. The life of holy men is as a light illuminating the way for those who would see it. And again, when we recount the story of holy lives we glorify in the first place the Lord of those servants, and we give praise to the servants on account of their testimony, which is known to us. We rejoice the world through good report.  Commentary.—The remembrance of the saints is thus, you see, a glory to God, praise of the saints, joy and salvation to the whole world. Why, then, would you destroy it ? This remembrance is kept by preaching and by images, says the same great St Basil.  Just as burning follows naturally on fire, and fragrance on sweet ointment, so must good arise from holy actions. For it is no small thing to represent past events according to life.

The fourth kind of image are the figures and types set forth by Scripture of invisible and immaterial things in bodily form, for a clearer apprehension of God and the angels, through our incapacity of perceiving immaterial things unless clothed in analogical material form, as Dionysius the Areopagite says, a man skilled in divine things. Anyone would say that our incapacity for reaching the contemplation of intellectual things, and our need of familiar and cognate mediums, make it necessary that immaterial things should be ^ clothed in form and shape. If, then, holy Scripture adapts itself to us in seeking to elevate us above sense, does it not make images of what it clothes in our own medium, and bring within our reach that which we desire but are unable to see ? The spiritual writer, Gregory, says that the mind striving to banish corporeal images reduces itself to incapability. But from the creation of the world the invisible things of God are made clear by the visible creation. We see images in created things, which remind us faintly of divine tokens. For instance, sun and light and brightness, the running waters of a perennial fountain, our own mind and language and spirit, the sweet fragrance of a flowering rosetree, are images of the Holy and Eternal Trinity.

Our Lord called His disciples blessed, saying, ' Many kings and prophets have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear and have not heard it. Blessed are your eyes which see and your ears which hear.' The apostles saw Christ with their bodily eyes, and His sufferings and wonders, and they listened to His words. We, too, desire to see, and to hear, and to be blessed. They saw Him face to face, as He was present in the body. Now, since he is not present in the body to us, we hear His words from books and are sanctified in spirit by the hearing, and are blessed, and we adore, honouring the books which tell us of His words. So, through the representation of images, we look upon His bodily form, and upon His miracles and His sufferings, and are sanctified and satiated, gladdened and blessed. Reverently we worship His bodily form, and contemplating it, we form some notion of His divine glory. For, as we are composed of soul and body, and our soul does not stand alone, but is, as it were, shrouded by a veil it is impossible for us to arrive at intellectual conceptions without corporeal things. Just as we listen with our bodily ears to physical words and understand spiritual things, so, through corporeal vision, we come to the spiritual. On this a ccount Christ took a body and a soul, as man has both one and the other. And baptism likewise is double, of water and the spirit. So is communion and prayer and psalmody ; everything has a double signification, a corporeal and a spiritual. Thus again, with lights and incense. The devil has tolerated all these things, raising a storm against images alone.

As we are treating of images and their worship, let us draw out the meaning more accurately and say in the first place what an image is.  An image is a likeness and representation of some one, containing in itself the person who is imaged. The image is not wont to be an exact reproduction of the original. The image is one thing, the person represented another ; a difference is generally perceptible, because the subject of each is the same. For instance, the image of a man may give his bodily form, but not his mental powers. It has no life, nor does it speak or feel or move. A son being the natural image of his father is somewhat different from him, for he is a son, not a father. 

2nd Point.—For what purpose the Image is made.  Every image is a revelation and representation of something hidden. For instance, man has not a clear knowledge of what is invisible, the spirit being veiled to the body, nor of future things, nor of things apart and distant, because he is circumscribed by place and time.  The image was devised for greater knowledge, and for the manifestation and popularising of secret things, as a pure benefit and help to salvation, so that by showing things and making them known, we may arrive at the hidden ones, desire and emulate what is good, shun and hate what is evil.

You look down upon matter and call it contemptible. This is what the Manicheans did, but holy Scripture pronounces it to be good ; for it says, ' And God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.' I say matter is God's creation and a good thing. Now, if you say it is bad, you say either that it is not from God, or you make Him a cause of evil. Listen to the words of Scripture concerning matter, which you despise : ' And Moses said to all the assembly of the children of Israel : This is the word the Lord hath commanded, saying : Set aside with you first fruits to the Lord ; let every one that is willing and hath a ready heart, offer them to the Lord : gold, and silver, and brass, violet and purple, and scarlet twice dyed, and fine linen, goat's hair, and ram's skins dyed red, and violet, and coloured skins, selimwood, and oil to maintain lights, and to make ointment, and most sweet incense, onyx stones and precious stones for the adorning of the ephod and the rational: Whosoever of you is wise let him come and make that which the Lord hath commanded : to wit, the tabernacle,' etc.

Behold, then, matter is honoured, and you dishonour it. What is more insignificant than goat's hair, or colours, and are not violet and purple and scarlet colours? And the likeness of the cherubim are the work of man's hand, and the tabernacle itself from first to last was an image. ' Look,' said God to Moses, ' and make it according to the pattern that was shown thee in the Mount,' and it was adored by the people of Israel in a circle. And, as to the cherubim, were they not in sight of the people ? And did not the people look at the ark, and the lamps, and the table, the golden urn and the staff, and adore ? It is not matter which I adore; it is the Lord of matter, becoming matter for my sake, taking up His abode in matter and working out my salvation through matter. For the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt amongst us. It is evident to all that flesh is matter, and that it is created. I reverence and honour matter, and worship that which has brought about my salvation. I honour it, not as God, but as a channel of divine strength and grace. Was not the thrice blessed wood of the Cross matter ? and the sacred and holy mountain of Calvary ? Was not the holy sepulchre matter, the life-giving stone the source of our resurrection ? Was not the book of the Gospels matter, and the holy table which gives us the bread of life ? Are not gold and silver matter, of which crosses, and holy pictures, and chalices are made ? And above all, is not the Lord's Body and Blood composed of matter ? Either reject the honour and worship of all these things, or conform to ecclesiastical tradition, sanctifying the worship of images in the name of God and of God's friends, and so obeying the grace of the Divine Spirit. If you give up images on account of the law, you should also keep the Sabbath and be circumcised, for these are severely inculcated by it. You should observe all the law, and not celebrate the Lord's Passover out of Jerusalem. But you must know that if you observe the law, Christ will profit you nothing. You are ordered to marry your brother's wife, and so carry on his name, and not to sing the song of the Lord in a strange land. Enough of this ! Those who have been justified by the law have fallen from grace...The Manicheans followed a gospel according to Thomas, and you will follow that of Leo...

I'll answer your prooftexting on the more appropriate thread
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.0.html
as they have nothing to do with the teaching of St. John and the Apostles, but are your own.

All that wasn't an answer!?! Don't answer...I really don't want to know.
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« Reply #513 on: August 09, 2010, 09:51:45 PM »

You're still ignoring my earlier questions.  Can't say I blame you.


I have another question for you, though:

...Islam destroyed Orthodoxy in the Middle East, leaving only a tiny stump.

God's use of Muslims to exact retribution is a teachable moment, their hatred of images makes God's feelings about icons abundantly clear.

During the Armenian Genocide, Muslim Turks slit my mom's uncle's throat in front of his family when he refused to convert to Islam.  Are you saying this was God's retribution against my uncle for belonging to a Church which uses images?  


I am saying God leaves when  idolatry enters, it is the abomination that causes desolation, which is the fault of the idolator, not God:

NKJ  Hosea 8:1 "Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the LORD, Because they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law.
 2 Israel will cry to Me,`My God, we know You!'
 3 Israel has rejected the good; The enemy will pursue him.
 (Hos 8:1-3 NKJ)



Is that the same reason why only 1 of the 12 apostles died a natural death? It must have been God's retribution since they used icons.

Is it also why the Byzantine Empire fell roughly 700 years after Islam? Hey! That's older than Protestantism. So when God apparently left the Byzantines, it took 700 years for it to take effect.

Apostles dying for Jesus is not evil...or do you define it as such.

Their noble and necessary sacrifice has inspired billions to trust their testimony Jesus is the Christ, after all, they were given a chance to recant, and live, but chose to die singing Jesus' praises.

That would not be news worthy if I did it...because I might be wrong, just another fool dying for nothing (most would think).

THEY knew the truth, they ate and drank in His presence, they knew if He rose from the dead or not, so the fact they chose to die puts God's seal of truth on their testimony that Jesus is the Christ, risen from the dead.

Charlatans would never choose death over chance of living another day to scam more people.

 
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« Reply #514 on: August 09, 2010, 10:07:26 PM »

John's exegesis of De 4:15f is impossible. God expressly rules out any kind of male human icon as imaging His similitude.

Deu 4:15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
16 lest ye transgress, and make to yourselves a carved image, any kind of figure (EIKWN), the likeness of male or female,-LXX, Brenton

Alfred:  The error in your thought began when you placed the LORD JESUS CHRIST under Moses.  

Whom did Moses see...for Moses clearly relates that he saw someone?

If you doubt that Moses saw our very Lord Jesus Christ, you need to re-examine the passages of the Transfiguration.   Your interpretation of the Deuteronomy passage which you quote is fundamentally flawed, because Moses was seen talking to Jesus by the three disciples.

If Moses did not see Christ on Mt. Cherob then how did He recognize him on Mt. Tabor?

Truly the brightness of the light of Christ was too much for Moses's eyes, but his face shone just the same...which is the Transfiguration experience of Moses of which we know he experienced at least twice.



Moses never said he didn't see an  image...he said the Israelites who were not on the mountain with him saw no image.  That Alfred is the big difference...Moses did see someone and he described what he saw to the Israelites with elementary things because their minds were still too darkened to partake of the vision which was too sublime for them to comprehend.  

Fixed quote box, nothing more - Fr. G

I know Moses saw Christ, that is why icons cannot be made of Jesus for any reason.

The text doesn't mention God's similitude to say "if you saw it, you could make images", it was a warning, "You never saw me, don't you dare misrepresent me." Then God outlaws every possible icon.

BUT to prove my point, man is made in the image of God, so we do know an image God says is His.

So why did God outlaw making a similitude we know is God's image, into icons?

BECAUSE God hates them, they change the infinite God into a finite form in the soul of the worshiper, that is detestable to God.

It destroys His personal relationship with the worshiper.

To illustrate, If I overlaid you with an image of Swine Dung, would you want others to see you that way? As they "communed" with you, isnt' the image changing the way they relate to you, doesn't it affect any personal relationship?

Of course it does.

Changing infinite transcendent God into a finite form like His creation teaches the worshiper detestable lies about God, He hates it, and refuses to enter into any relationship with an idolater.


8 I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images. (Isa 42:8 NKJ)


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« Reply #515 on: August 09, 2010, 10:19:07 PM »


Apostles dying for Jesus is not evil...or do you define it as such.

Their noble and necessary sacrifice has inspired billions to trust their testimony Jesus is the Christ, after all, they were given a chance to recant, and live, but chose to die singing Jesus' praises.

That would not be news worthy if I did it...because I might be wrong, just another fool dying for nothing (most would think).

THEY knew the truth, they ate and drank in His presence, they knew if He rose from the dead or not, so the fact they chose to die puts God's seal of truth on their testimony that Jesus is the Christ, risen from the dead.

Charlatans would never choose death over chance of living another day to scam more people.

 

But when iconodules are given the option to convert to Islam (or Monophysite iconoclasm, if we go back to emperor Leo), it's only divine retribution and not a martyr's death?

Quote
I know Moses saw Christ, that is why icons cannot be made for any reason. The text doesn't mention God's similitude to say "if only you had saw it, you too could make images", it was a warning, "You never saw me, don't you dare misrepresent me.]" Then God outlaws every possible icon.

BUT to prove my point, man is made in the image of God, so we do know an image God says is His.

So why did God outlaw making a similitude we know is God's image, into icons?

BECAUSE God hates them, they change the infinite God into a finite form in the soul of the worshiper, that is detestable to God.

Moses did not see the incarnate Christ. He saw the Word, but not the incarnate Word. The reason for the prohibition was clear, which I bolded. How would it end if it went like:
Quote
You did see me...
Because the fact is, men did see God (that is, if you accept the New Testament). If imaging the incarnate Christ reduces the infinite glory of God, than you admit that God becoming man reduces the Glory of God. You also must admit that everyone who saw Christ is guilty of reducing the glory of God. You must admit that you adhere to Docetism.
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« Reply #516 on: August 09, 2010, 10:29:49 PM »


Apostles dying for Jesus is not evil...or do you define it as such.

Their noble and necessary sacrifice has inspired billions to trust their testimony Jesus is the Christ, after all, they were given a chance to recant, and live, but chose to die singing Jesus' praises.

That would not be news worthy if I did it...because I might be wrong, just another fool dying for nothing (most would think).

THEY knew the truth, they ate and drank in His presence, they knew if He rose from the dead or not, so the fact they chose to die puts God's seal of truth on their testimony that Jesus is the Christ, risen from the dead.

Charlatans would never choose death over chance of living another day to scam more people.

 

But when iconodules are given the option to convert to Islam (or Monophysite iconoclasm, if we go back to emperor Leo), it's only divine retribution and not a martyr's death?

Quote
I know Moses saw Christ, that is why icons cannot be made for any reason. The text doesn't mention God's similitude to say "if only you had saw it, you too could make images", it was a warning, "You never saw me, don't you dare misrepresent me.]" Then God outlaws every possible icon.

BUT to prove my point, man is made in the image of God, so we do know an image God says is His.

So why did God outlaw making a similitude we know is God's image, into icons?

BECAUSE God hates them, they change the infinite God into a finite form in the soul of the worshiper, that is detestable to God.

Moses did not see the incarnate Christ. He saw the Word, but not the incarnate Word. The reason for the prohibition was clear, which I bolded. How would it end if it went like:
Quote
You did see me...
Because the fact is, men did see God. If imaging the incarnate Christ reduces the infinite glory of God, than you admit that God becoming man reduces the Glory of God. You also must admit that everyone who saw Christ is guilty of reducing the glory of God. You must admit that you adhere to Docetism.

If there were 10 righteous among the idolatrous it wouldn't have happened:

 32 Then he said, "Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it for the sake of ten." (Gen 18:32 NKJ)

I can feel sad for the unnecessary loss, if only they had not practiced idolatry, then the evil that befell them might not have happened.

God hates images...that clearly was His point in having Muslims devastate the church in the Middle East, their most prominent feature is their hatred of images.

There you go again, Nestorian tearing the flesh from the deity of the Son of man.

God says NO ICONs of any kind. He cites the fact they didn't see His similitude, not to say "if only you did, you could make icons" for then He would have shown His similitude.

He cites their not seeing it to warn them, "YOU never saw Me, don't you dare misrepresent Me." AND then Jesus outlaws every possible icon: pasan eikona









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« Reply #517 on: August 09, 2010, 10:38:29 PM »


There you go again, Nestorian tearing the flesh from the deity of the Son of man.
And everyone who saw Jesus would have to be Nestorian by that logic. If you're determining Nestorianism based on vision, then why not apply that same logic to those who saw the incarnate Word? Why only apply to it to painted images? We've already brought that up on this thread numerous times, and you've ignored it.

Quote
God says NO ICONs of any kind. He cites the fact they didn't see His similitude, not to say "if only you did, you could make icons" for then He would have shown His similitude.

He cites their not seeing it to warn them, "YOU never saw Me, don't you dare misrepresent Me." AND then Jesus outlaws every possible icon: pasan eikona

Yes, that was the Old Testament. That was before people saw Christ. We've already brought that fact up numerous times, and you've ignored it.
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« Reply #518 on: August 09, 2010, 10:42:53 PM »


There you go again, Nestorian tearing the flesh from the deity of the Son of man.
And everyone who saw Jesus would have to be Nestorian by that logic. We've already brought that up on this thread numerous times, and you've ignored it.

Quote
God says NO ICONs of any kind. He cites the fact they didn't see His similitude, not to say "if only you did, you could make icons" for then He would have shown His similitude.

He cites their not seeing it to warn them, "YOU never saw Me, don't you dare misrepresent Me." AND then Jesus outlaws every possible icon: pasan eikona

Yes, that was the Old Testament. That was before people saw Christ. We've already brought that fact up numerous times, and you've ignored it.

You proved nothing, hence your evasion.

You claim the incarnation allows Jesus be imaged....that is tearing His humanity from His Deity, you didn't not see His Divine Nature.

So you image based on His flesh = Nestorian.

AND you accomplish an amazing feat when you do this, the illiterate then see God as a detestable image, and picture Him finite, both natures confused in the one icon = Monophysite.

So you have the plethora of error and heresy in your icon.

This fact you always evade...


AND you evade the fact God does not change, Jesus is God, therefore when He said "no Icon of any kind" He still means it.

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« Reply #519 on: August 09, 2010, 10:47:59 PM »

You claim the incarnation allows Jesus be imaged....that is tearing His humanity from His Deity, you didn't not see His Divine Nature.
So you're claiming that everyone who personally saw Christ saw His Divine Nature, including the pharisees? Otherwise, by your logic, you must also accuse them of tearing Christ's humanity from His Deity. That is if you want to remain consistent.

Quote
AND you accomplish an amazing feat when you do this, the illiterate then see God as a detestable image, and picture Him finite, both natures confused in the one icon = Monophysite.
So what did the people who saw the incarnate Christ see?
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« Reply #520 on: August 09, 2010, 10:56:33 PM »

Would yoy agree, Alfred, that an icon CAN be an idol, but doesn't HAVE to be?  IOW, if a person is really worshipping it AS a god, then sure, that's idolatrous.  But what if they're simply showing it respect because of what it represents - much like when you salute the flag at your National Guard station.  (And btw, thanks for serving your country! Smiley
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« Reply #521 on: August 09, 2010, 11:00:47 PM »

On the contrary, it is elementary acceptance of icons denies Jesus is God. God outlaws every possible icon of Himself, including those imaging human nature. The Orthodox appear centuries later, making images of Jesus, based on His human nature.

What have you accomplished in your 146 posts on this board?  Surely, you must be gathering results of your "proselytizing."   Cheesy

Therefore either Jesus is not God, or His Incarnate flesh is not human.

If you saw Mel Gibson's The Last Temptation of Christ, one can argue that the entire movie is an icon of the human suffering of Jesus Christ.

Therefore it is axiomatic: All who venerate icons and claim this does not violate Deut 4:16 thereby proclaim Jesus is not God.

Did someone post an Orthodox Christian icon of Christ's Baptism on this thread?   Huh
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« Reply #522 on: August 09, 2010, 11:15:17 PM »



If you saw Mel Gibson's The Last Temptation of Christ, one can argue that the entire movie is an icon of the human suffering of Jesus Christ.


Off topic and a quick aside, Mel Gibson's movie was The Passion.  The flick you mentioned is by Martin Scorcese, and a completely different idea entirely.
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« Reply #523 on: August 10, 2010, 12:24:10 AM »

This is barely connected to St. John, but I'll answer here, no matter how tenuous the thread.  I missed it before I saw Salpy's post.
These injunctions were given to the Jews on account of their proneness to idolatry. Now we, on the contrary, are no longer in leading strings. Speaking theologically, it is given to us to avoid superstitious error, to be with God in the knowledge of the truth, to worship God alone, to enjoy the fulness of His knowledge. We have passed the stage of infancy, and reached the perfection of manhood. We receive our habit of mind from God, and know what may be imaged and what may not.-Apologia of St John Damascene Against Iconoclasts, Part I.
Well, well.  A quote from St. John.
Israel also claimed superior knowledge of God to "know what may be imaged and what may not."
Where is the claim to "superior knowledge," and more importantly its basis, as the Icon of the invisible God had not yet torn the veil of Moses from our hearts in the days of Hosea?


In context he says "fulness of His knowledge" implying they didn't have fulness of knowledge, i.e., they had inferior knowledge.

I even cited his words, and you still  ask "where is the claim to superior knowledge."
I know that St. John and we have superior knowledge.  In your claim to superior knowledge you state "Israel also claimed superior knowledge of God to 'know what may be imaged and what may not." Where did Israel make such a claim?  You do not cite their words.

You are confused, I don't claim superior knowledge.

LOL. You presume to teach the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church what the Apostles taught. What hubris!

Quote
The quotes of John of Damascus and Hosea 8:2 document their claim of superior knowledge which they believed allowed imaging God without it being idolatrous.

That is what you have read into it.  St. John doesn't say anything about the ancient Hebrews having superior knowledge, but the opposite.

Quote
God rejected their claim, the Assyrians came in as an eagle to destroy the ancient Jews, and Islam destroyed Orthodoxy in the Middle East, leaving only a tiny stump.

A tiny stump. LOL. Big talk for a one man church.  20-25+ million isn't exactly tiny. The largest church in the US, the Vatican's, has only 68 million in an area and population comparable to the Middle East.

Quote
God's use of Muslims to exact retribution is a teachable moment, their hatred of images makes God's feelings about icons abundantly clear.

Oh, is that so?  Well, speaking of a teachable moment....

So I take it that you are Unitarian, as the Muslims hatred of polytheism and apotheosis makes God's feelings about the Trinity (which the Muslims condemn as polytheistic) and the Incarnation (which they condemn as apotheosis) should be abundantly clear to you: saying God is Three Persons or that Christ is God can get your killed in the Muslim world.  So you can remove that "no filioque' from your profile, because if you don't believe in the divinity of the Son of God and the Holy Spirit, it doesn't make any sense.  You can fit right in with your Muslim friends.

I would make sense, if God used the Muslims to exact retribution to teach us iconophiles a lesson, that the Nestorians, who, like you, condemn icons and seperate Christ's divinity from His humanity, should be protected.  Such is not the case: whereas the Orthodox patriarchs are all in their homelands in the Middle East (except for Jerusalem, where they are imported from Greece, a different issue, and hardly one that supports your case) the Assyiran/Nestorian patriarch has been in exile here in Chicago for decades.  Succumbing to Islam's influence magnifying their church's anticonic theology, they have dwindled to being the smallest minority of Christians in the Middle East.  That part of them that submitted to the Vatican (and thus accept the Seventh Ecumenical Council, which refuted the iconclasts), the iconophile Assyrians/Chaldeans, have thrived more, now outnumbering the iconoclast Assyrians (the Nestorians), who are also split into factions.  Out by you in CA, a whole diocese of the iconoclast Nestorians switched to the iconophile Chaldeans just a few years ago, further swellling the numbers of iconophile Assyrians and diminishing the iconoclast Assyrians. They had a daughter church in India, which the vast majority have joined communion with the Vatican or us Orthodox, only 30,000 remaining iconclasts, as compared to the 6 milliion+ who venerate icons now.  The Assyrian church wasn't always so iconoclastic, as history shows: it spread all the way to Japan, and its monuments are across China. But as the influence of Islam stoked the flames of iconoclasm in their church, it dwindled to a lone minority in the hinterland of the northern Iraqi mountains and a few on the coast of India. So if God was teaching a lesson, He should have done a better job.

In the meantime, the icon bearing Reconquista pushed the Muslims out of the Iberian peninsula, and Spain and Portugal became 100% iconophile.

The Muslims used to have this in Europe and the black sea:

after the iconophile Orthodox and the Vatican marched to victory (and the stories of the battles are full of the icons etc. playing their role), the Muslims ended up with this:

Actually, it is less, as the icon hating Azerbaijanis attacked the Armenians, and the icon loving Armenians kicked the Azeris' #$$, and now occupy a good portion of Azerbaijan.  And that part in the horn of Africa is also gone: Eriteria has its own Orthodox Church, to which the President belongs.  Btw, you don't explain how the Muslims didn't teach the icon loving Ethiopians a lesson: that's another 50+million Orthodox icon lovers right across from Mecca.

The icon hating Muslim Golden horde

was replaced by the icon loving Russian empire

Hmm. Seems a tadd bigger.

"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32 If you want to follow the Muslims and the Pharisees and scribes down the broad road throught the wide gate, that's your choice, and the Lord says you will have plenty of company. Don't let the gate hit you in the posterior on your way down.

So if you god hates icons, and he was teaching us icon lovers a lesson, he is a lousy teacher.  For one thing, besides the Netherlands (and do we want to talk about morality there?) and Geneva, you iconoclasts have failed to maintain control of any area of any extent.

Yeah, I know.  I shouldn't confuse you with the facts.
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« Reply #524 on: August 10, 2010, 12:29:43 AM »

You claim the incarnation allows Jesus be imaged....that is tearing His humanity from His Deity, you didn't not see His Divine Nature.
So you're claiming that everyone who personally saw Christ saw His Divine Nature, including the pharisees? Otherwise, by your logic, you must also accuse them of tearing Christ's humanity from His Deity. That is if you want to remain consistent.

LOL. He doesn't, if his posts are any indication. Monotony does not consistency make.

Quote
Quote
AND you accomplish an amazing feat when you do this, the illiterate then see God as a detestable image, and picture Him finite, both natures confused in the one icon = Monophysite.
So what did the people who saw the incarnate Christ see?
Nothing, as Christ must be invisible. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #525 on: August 10, 2010, 12:35:04 AM »

I'll answer your prooftexting on the more appropriate thread
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.0.html
as they have nothing to do with the teaching of St. John and the Apostles, but are your own.

All that wasn't an answer!?! Don't answer...I really don't want to know.
That is painfully obvious.
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« Reply #526 on: August 10, 2010, 02:03:43 AM »

Alfred must secretly want to be an Orthodox Christian. ("Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to be His disciples?") That, or he is deluding himself. ("Reject a factious man after rebuking him once or twice, knowing that such a one is perverted and sins.")

Alfred, your prosyletism is doing you no good here. Suppose you were to make a convert to your heresy, where would such a one even go? You are quite alone in your idiosyncratic beliefs, even amongst Protestants. Do you have people who can agree on everything you believe in--on all points? Do they follow your own personal interpretations and accept your self-appointed authority?

Your attempts to "prosyletize" (not really what you're doing here) are useless. You cannot even convince other Protestants to agree with you. You will have no luck convincing the Orthodox, especially given your shoddy reasoning, the fact that you don't study or read what would help you understand the Orthodox position, and the fact that you make yourself out to be your own authority.

It is evident your pride has led you into such discussions here and elsewhere. Your attempts to sway people to your false beliefs and recognize your self-appointed authority will end in failure. If, rather, instead of trying to teach people, you would adopt the mentality of a student and actually open your heart and mind to traditional Christian teaching--find out what it is we are saying without trying to justify yourself through denouncing us, you might derive some spiritual benefit.
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« Reply #527 on: August 10, 2010, 07:24:56 AM »

Alfred must secretly want to be an Orthodox Christian. ("Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to be His disciples?") That, or he is deluding himself. ("Reject a factious man after rebuking him once or twice, knowing that such a one is perverted and sins.")

Alfred, your prosyletism is doing you no good here. Suppose you were to make a convert to your heresy, where would such a one even go?

LOL. Mat. 23:15.

Quote
You are quite alone in your idiosyncratic beliefs, even amongst Protestants. Do you have people who can agree on everything you believe in--on all points? Do they follow your own personal interpretations and accept your self-appointed authority?

Your attempts to "prosyletize" (not really what you're doing here) are useless. You cannot even convince other Protestants to agree with you. You will have no luck convincing the Orthodox, especially given your shoddy reasoning, the fact that you don't study or read what would help you understand the Orthodox position, and the fact that you make yourself out to be your own authority.

It is evident your pride has led you into such discussions here and elsewhere. Your attempts to sway people to your false beliefs and recognize your self-appointed authority will end in failure. If, rather, instead of trying to teach people, you would adopt the mentality of a student and actually open your heart and mind to traditional Christian teaching--find out what it is we are saying without trying to justify yourself through denouncing us, you might derive some spiritual benefit.

Quite a string of pearls, Shanghaiski, you've cast.
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« Reply #528 on: August 10, 2010, 08:21:23 AM »

which appear at the above link, on the more appropriate thread for discussing your views.

Alfred, here is the link: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.0.html

It is a thread discussing Icons in general, not tied to St. John of Damascus.  You will find in it fertile ground.

I only read "There are different kinds of image" and had to stop. It begs the question that all kinds of icon of God are forbidden:

 15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
 16 lest ye transgress, and make to yourselves a carved image, any kind of figure (pasan eikona), the likeness of male or female,
 (Deu 4:15-16 LXE)

An analogy:

"There are different kinds of sacrifice" begs the question that all sacrifice that might be leavened is forbidden to be brought to the Lord.

LXE  Leviticus 2:11 Ye shall not leaven any sacrifice (pasan thusian) which ye shall bring to the Lord (Lev 2:11 LXE)


This prohibition did not change with the New Testament:

NKJ  Romans 1:23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image(eikonos) made like corruptible man-- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Rom 1:23 NKJ)


It is sophistry to claim Christ's incarnate body was not corruptible therefore this doesn't apply, Deut 4:16 forbade "any kind of icon" in the likeness of male human flesh, corruptible or not.

All who image Jesus to worship Him thereby deny Jesus is God, for Deut 4:16 expressly rules out every possible image of God for worship.

All who image Jesus to worship Him claiming His Incarnate flesh has made His similitude sensible thereby deny Jesus came in human flesh as all icons in the likeness of human flesh are forbidden in Deut 4:16.



 
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« Reply #529 on: August 10, 2010, 08:35:03 AM »

Iconophiles differ from the apostolic faith, the latter despised images of God. It wasn't till centuries later the Orthodox faith was overtaken by iconography, prior to that, they were all like me.
What historical evidence do you have of this?

You cannot find veneration of icons in the New Testament, nor does it appear in the earliest "fathers." While this is an argument from silence it is sound given the importance of icons to the Orthodox today...if the apostolic church held similar views, it would be discussed just as the Orthodox do today...if the waterfall is there, its so unlikely it be silent that its impossible.

The burden of proof is not on those who say it doesn't exist as its not mentioned.

Its on those who say it does exist, because its impossible to prove a negative.

If I say "I can throw this stone into outer space," the burden of proving I can is not on those doubting the claim, its on me who made it.

You say the early church practiced icon veneration, prove it in the Bible and sub apostolic church fathers.[/i]

No later for that would beg the question if the apostolic church venerated icons.

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« Reply #530 on: August 10, 2010, 08:39:23 AM »

I only read "There are different kinds of image" and had to stop. It begs the question that all kinds of icon of God are forbidden:

 15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
 16 lest ye transgress, and make to yourselves a carved image, any kind of figure (pasan eikona), the likeness of male or female,
 (Deu 4:15-16 LXE)

An analogy:

"There are different kinds of sacrifice" begs the question that all sacrifice that might be leavened is forbidden to be brought to the Lord.

LXE  Leviticus 2:11 Ye shall not leaven any sacrifice (pasan thusian) which ye shall bring to the Lord (Lev 2:11 LXE)


This prohibition did not change with the New Testament:

NKJ  Romans 1:23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image(eikonos) made like corruptible man-- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Rom 1:23 NKJ)


It is sophistry to claim Christ's incarnate body was not corruptible therefore this doesn't apply, Deut 4:16 forbade "any kind of icon" in the likeness of male human flesh, corruptible or not.

All who image Jesus to worship Him thereby deny Jesus is God, for Deut 4:16 expressly rules out every possible image of God for worship.

All who image Jesus to worship Him claiming His Incarnate flesh has made His similitude sensible thereby deny Jesus came in human flesh as all icons in the likeness of human flesh are forbidden in Deut 4:16.



So you mean the eleven apostles violated the rule in Deuteronomy 4:16 and became idolaters when they worshipped the risen body of Christ along with His soul? (Matthew 28:17)  Huh

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« Reply #531 on: August 10, 2010, 08:42:25 AM »


You cannot find veneration of icons in the New Testament...

So what? You cannot find the account of Jesus' miraculous conception in any of Paul's letters. Not even in the Gospel of Mark and John.
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« Reply #532 on: August 10, 2010, 08:47:13 AM »

I only read "There are different kinds of image" and had to stop. It begs the question that all kinds of icon of God are forbidden:

 15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
 16 lest ye transgress, and make to yourselves a carved image, any kind of figure (pasan eikona), the likeness of male or female,
 (Deu 4:15-16 LXE)

An analogy:

"There are different kinds of sacrifice" begs the question that all sacrifice that might be leavened is forbidden to be brought to the Lord.

LXE  Leviticus 2:11 Ye shall not leaven any sacrifice (pasan thusian) which ye shall bring to the Lord (Lev 2:11 LXE)


This prohibition did not change with the New Testament:

NKJ  Romans 1:23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image(eikonos) made like corruptible man-- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Rom 1:23 NKJ)


It is sophistry to claim Christ's incarnate body was not corruptible therefore this doesn't apply, Deut 4:16 forbade "any kind of icon" in the likeness of male human flesh, corruptible or not.

All who image Jesus to worship Him thereby deny Jesus is God, for Deut 4:16 expressly rules out every possible image of God for worship.

All who image Jesus to worship Him claiming His Incarnate flesh has made His similitude sensible thereby deny Jesus came in human flesh as all icons in the likeness of human flesh are forbidden in Deut 4:16.



So you mean the eleven apostles violated the rule in Deuteronomy 4:16 and became idolaters when they worshipped the risen body of Christ along with His soul? (Matthew 28:17)  Huh



Are you saying Jesus was before them in appearance only, that He Himself was not there, that His body has a prototype?

If not, then His body is not an icon and that makes it irrelevant to icon veneration.

Also no man fashioned Jesus' body, therefore it is not an man made icon.

God can make His own icons, for example the image of God exists in man.

BUT God forbade we make icons of God as a human---refuting John of Damascus' logic, that if we only knew the similitude of God, we can image it.

The human body is an icon of God, yet it is forbidden we worship God icons in human form, even though we know precisely what the human form looks like.

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« Reply #533 on: August 10, 2010, 08:49:25 AM »

I agree with most of what you said, BUT there is an incompatible property between the serpent and an Orthodox icon, no prototype in the serpent, but icons have prototypes.

Therefore it is not an icon.

To illustrate, the Israelites were not venerating the image while worshiping the prototype of the serpent.

As it is different than an icon the event doesn't speak for or against icons.

I will strongly disagree, to a point.  No, they weren't worshiping the prototype of the serpent, but the serpent wasn't the point - God's mercy was.  It would be foolhardy to argue that the serpent wasn't venerated period, since there was only 1 serpent in a camp of tens of thousands of people - they would have to travel a considerable distance in order to see it and be healed, which was a supreme act of veneration for someone who would potentially die from their bite.  The serpent, like the Cross, was a reclaimed symbol - from death to life.  In a similar fashion, it was venerated because of what it stood for; however, the Cross receives veneration beyond that because of Who Hung upon it.
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« Reply #534 on: August 10, 2010, 09:00:14 AM »

I agree with most of what you said, BUT there is an incompatible property between the serpent and an Orthodox icon, no prototype in the serpent, but icons have prototypes.

Therefore it is not an icon.

To illustrate, the Israelites were not venerating the image while worshiping the prototype of the serpent.

As it is different than an icon the event doesn't speak for or against icons.

I will strongly disagree, to a point.  No, they weren't worshiping the prototype of the serpent, but the serpent wasn't the point - God's mercy was.  It would be foolhardy to argue that the serpent wasn't venerated period, since there was only 1 serpent in a camp of tens of thousands of people - they would have to travel a considerable distance in order to see it and be healed, which was a supreme act of veneration for someone who would potentially die from their bite.  The serpent, like the Cross, was a reclaimed symbol - from death to life.  In a similar fashion, it was venerated because of what it stood for; however, the Cross receives veneration beyond that because of Who Hung upon it.

You own exegesis proves its not an icon. The serpent reminded them of their sin, which would lead to sorrow, repentance, then life came by God's grace in answer to a good conscience before God. Nothing about this is like icon veneration.

The serpents were still biting and killing, it required faith to stand there and look precisely where God directed, and all who looked where God commanded, in faith, lived...just as is true of Jesus.

The serpent doesn't have a prototype receiving veneration = not an Orthodox icon, these have prototypes.

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« Reply #535 on: August 10, 2010, 09:04:36 AM »

I only read "There are different kinds of image" and had to stop. It begs the question that all kinds of icon of God are forbidden:

 15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
 16 lest ye transgress, and make to yourselves a carved image, any kind of figure (pasan eikona), the likeness of male or female,
 (Deu 4:15-16 LXE)

You keep going back to this argument, ignoring outright all the points made about how it is not applicable in this discussion.  Oh, well - you're making a poor apologetic because of it.  If you're going to disagree with the premise of that thread, you may as well do so in that thread. That is how a discussion forum works - questions and answers are posted back-and-forth in related strings called threads; this thread is about icons & St. John of Damascus' defense of them, while the other thread is about icons generally.  Your refusal to respond to the valid points in the other thread either demonstrates that (a) you are unable to respond to or refute them, or (b) you aren't up to the challenge of your self-proclaimed mission to proselytize here.

An analogy:

"There are different kinds of sacrifice" begs the question that all sacrifice that might be leavened is forbidden to be brought to the Lord.

LXE  Leviticus 2:11 Ye shall not leaven any sacrifice (pasan thusian) which ye shall bring to the Lord (Lev 2:11 LXE)

Different argument.  Nice try, though - God did not endorse any other kind of sacrifice in the OT, while He did in fact direct different images to be made at various points in the OT, culminating with the Image of the Father as borne in the Incarnate Son.

This prohibition did not change with the New Testament:

NKJ  Romans 1:23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image(eikonos) made like corruptible man-- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Rom 1:23 NKJ)

Again, ignoring the arguments debunking your use of this verse does you no good.

It is sophistry to claim Christ's incarnate body was not corruptible therefore this doesn't apply, Deut 4:16 forbade "any kind of icon" in the likeness of male human flesh, corruptible or not.

See above.

All who image Jesus to worship Him thereby deny Jesus is God, for Deut 4:16 expressly rules out every possible image of God for worship.

All who image Jesus to worship Him claiming His Incarnate flesh has made His similitude sensible thereby deny Jesus came in human flesh as all icons in the likeness of human flesh are forbidden in Deut 4:16.

It's not a very creative ploy, to assert a statement without supporting it properly (as all your supports for this argument have been demolished previously, both in this thread and in the other one).  You can continue to stomp your feet, change font color, boldness, even size, but it won't change the fact that your above assertion is neither grounded in fact, nor in the references you provided, nor in the tradition of the Christian Church.
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« Reply #536 on: August 10, 2010, 09:08:29 AM »


Are you saying Jesus was before them in appearance only, that He Himself was not there, that His body has a prototype?

NO. What I am saying is Jesus' human body was real and like the other created things of the earth. The apostles worshipped God in material. 

The human body is an icon of God, yet it is forbidden we worship God icons in human form, even though we know precisely what the human form looks like.


I conclude from this statement of yours that we are forbidden to worship God the Son in human form (that is, His human body).
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« Reply #537 on: August 10, 2010, 09:08:35 AM »

I only read "There are different kinds of image" and had to stop. It begs the question that all kinds of icon of God are forbidden:

 15 And take good heed to your hearts, for ye saw no similitude in the day in which the Lord spoke to you in Choreb in the mountain out of the midst of the fire:
 16 lest ye transgress, and make to yourselves a carved image, any kind of figure (pasan eikona), the likeness of male or female,
 (Deu 4:15-16 LXE)

You keep going back to this argument, ignoring outright all the points made about how it is not applicable in this discussion.  Oh, well - you're making a poor apologetic because of it.  If you're going to disagree with the premise of that thread, you may as well do so in that thread.

It was in this thread you asked me to check it out, so I answered you in this thread.

I told you I didn't read past those opening words, because it begged the question.

THIS thread is discussing Deut 4: throughout, and my RICH apologetic is standing tall, undiminished by the evasions and iconography posted.

THAT thread should have been against the rules, the use of my name makes it a personal attack.

Don't misunderstand, I'm not crying about it...I reserve the right to go there in the future, to slay the dragon...but for now, this thread is all I want to handle.


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« Reply #538 on: August 10, 2010, 09:11:04 AM »

I will strongly disagree, to a point.  No, they weren't worshiping the prototype of the serpent, but the serpent wasn't the point - God's mercy was.  It would be foolhardy to argue that the serpent wasn't venerated period, since there was only 1 serpent in a camp of tens of thousands of people - they would have to travel a considerable distance in order to see it and be healed, which was a supreme act of veneration for someone who would potentially die from their bite.  The serpent, like the Cross, was a reclaimed symbol - from death to life.  In a similar fashion, it was venerated because of what it stood for; however, the Cross receives veneration beyond that because of Who Hung upon it.

You own exegesis proves its not an icon. The serpent reminded them of their sin, which would lead to sorrow, repentance, then life came by God's grace in answer to a good conscience before God. Nothing about this is like icon veneration.

The serpent doesn't have a prototype receiving veneration = not an Orthodox icon, these have prototypes.

Your comment above only exposes your ignorance to the Orthodox veneration of icons, especially those of the Saints.  Veneration of icons of those persons other than Christ who are in heaven sends veneration to the prototype, but Worship to God Who made and sanctified and empowered the prototype.  Therefore, from our nearly 2,000-year-old tradition of iconography, the serpent fits into this mold to a degree, in that the image and prototype are not the objects of worship, but only vehicles of remembrance of God's power, mercy, etc.  

Of course, you would misunderstand that since you reject all icons, thus rejecting the basic principle that we are all created in God's image and likeness.  Since each person is an icon of the Lord to a degree, then each person depicted in an icon is sending worship to the Ultimate Prototype, Artificer, and Source.  An icon of, say, St. John of Damascus is venerated by the faithful, who are venerating St. John's example, teaching, and authority, but worshiping the Lord Who made him, Who enlightened him, Who empowered him - and the worship proceeds not only because of this knowledge, but because of the understanding that St. John is himself, in a fashion, an icon of the Lord, which makes the icon of St. John actually an icon of an icon of the Lord.
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« Reply #539 on: August 10, 2010, 09:11:56 AM »

I will strongly disagree, to a point.  No, they weren't worshiping the prototype of the serpent, but the serpent wasn't the point - God's mercy was.  It would be foolhardy to argue that the serpent wasn't venerated period, since there was only 1 serpent in a camp of tens of thousands of people - they would have to travel a considerable distance in order to see it and be healed, which was a supreme act of veneration for someone who would potentially die from their bite.  The serpent, like the Cross, was a reclaimed symbol - from death to life.  In a similar fashion, it was venerated because of what it stood for; however, the Cross receives veneration beyond that because of Who Hung upon it.

You own exegesis proves its not an icon. The serpent reminded them of their sin, which would lead to sorrow, repentance, then life came by God's grace in answer to a good conscience before God. Nothing about this is like icon veneration.

The serpent doesn't have a prototype receiving veneration = not an Orthodox icon, these have prototypes.

Your comment above only exposes your ignorance to the Orthodox veneration of icons, especially those of the Saints.  Veneration of icons of those persons other than Christ who are in heaven sends veneration to the prototype, but Worship to God Who made and sanctified and empowered the prototype.  Therefore, from our nearly 2,000-year-old tradition of iconography, the serpent fits into this mold to a degree, in that the image and prototype are not the objects of worship, but only vehicles of remembrance of God's power, mercy, etc.  

Of course, you would misunderstand that since you reject all icons, thus rejecting the basic principle that we are all created in God's image and likeness.  Since each person is an icon of the Lord to a degree, then each person depicted in an icon is sending worship to the Ultimate Prototype, Artificer, and Source.  An icon of, say, St. John of Damascus is venerated by the faithful, who are venerating St. John's example, teaching, and authority, but worshiping the Lord Who made him, Who enlightened him, Who empowered him - and the worship proceeds not only because of this knowledge, but because of the understanding that St. John is himself, in a fashion, an icon of the Lord, which makes the icon of St. John actually an icon of an icon of the Lord.

Who is the prototype of the serpent?

In theology (also science), for conclusions to be sound, one does not compare dissimilar things.

To illustrate, you cannot prove what an apple tastes like, by biting into an orange, the incompatible properties relevant to taste, make the comparison unsound.
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