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.
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 You do not cite their words.
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."
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!
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.
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.
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.