There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.Hasty and anachronistic generalization. You're drawing conclusions about the Early Church from the practice of the Church today without accounting for the differences between the specific circumstances the Early Church faced and the specific circumstances today's Church faces.
and do the homework needed to construct a much more cogent argument, then maybe I'll listen to you. Right now, you're just babbling incoherently.
Your objection is specious, there is nothing different about human nature, that hasn't changed. The human nature of the Orthodox doesn't allow they practice their veneration of images in private,
It's divine inspiration, and command:"What I tell you in darkness that speak ye in light and what ye hear in the ear that preach ye upon the housetops." Mat. 10:27.
We don't need witness. We are the the witnesses:
14:6"Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
7If you really knew Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.”
8Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you are not just My own. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work.
11Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
15“If you love me, you will obey what I command.
16And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees iHm nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.
18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live.
20On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.
21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him.”
22Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23Jesus replied, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24He who does not love Me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me.
25“All this I have spoken while still with you.
26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
15:26"But when the Comforter is come whom I will send unto you from the Father even the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father He shall testify of Me.
27And you also must testify, for you have been with Me from the beginning." John 14:6-25, 15:26-27.
"But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:8.
"And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him." Acts 5:32
"For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things" Acts 15:28
"God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will." Hebrews 2:4
and never write about it.
Since you are not a student of history I see how you make this mistake. Take just the written evidence between 325 (Coucnil of Nicea) and 722 (Leo III's edict against the Holy Icons). The written evidence is in abundance, but yet mostly is silent on the veneration of the Holy Icons, despite we have plenty of physical evidence (the actual icons themselves) and the occational off hand reference to them, many of which St. John collects, e.g.
Listen to what I am going to say as a proof that images are no new invention. It is an ancient practice well known to the best and foremost of the fathers. Elladios, the disciple of blessed Basil and his successor, says in his Life of Basil that the holy man was standing by the image of Our Lady, on which was painted also the likeness of Mercurius, the renowned martyr. He was standing by it asking for the removal of the impious apostate Julian, and he received this revelation from the statue. He saw the. martyr vanish for 'a time, and then reappear,-holding a bloody spear.
Julian was killed from a spear appearing out of nowhere while fighting the Zoroastrian empire (who were, btw, iconoclastic and banned images in worship. That didn't protect them from being wipped out by the Muslims, unlike the Christian empires and kingdoms who spread).
To this day differences among the Orthodox on icons and iconography persist, although we differ not a jot on the theology of the icon. What you characterize as Orthodox behavior applies only to the Roman Orthodox, who were martyred under the iconoclast emperors, and the Slavs, who got their practice from Constantinople. The Orthodox in the West, outside of the iconoclasts reach, continued to take icons for granted until you Protestants appeared nearly a millenium later: compare a Gothic or Romanesque Church with a Baroque one built after the Protestants started smaching icons in the West. In the West, the Melkite EO resembled the Roman Orthodox because of their links to Constantinople. The Copts, Syriac and Armenians remained low key for the simple reason that the only ones burning their icons, the Muslims, were burning their Crosses and Bibles as well, as well as slaughtering them and burning their Churches. The fact that the Nestorians didn't have icons didn't make the Muslims stop burning the Nestroian churches with their crosses and Bibles, as well as slaughtering the Nestorians.
The Ethiopian Orthodox, neither connected to Constantinople's iconoclastic period nor conquered by it's Muslim inspiration barely talk about icons at all, although it is obvious that they venerate them all over the place. They talk far, FAR more about the Tabot, the tablet with the Ten Commandments written on it representing the Ark of the Covenant, in every Ethiopian Church.
It corresponds to our Antimens, the Syriac Tabilitho, and Rome's Altar Stone (I know those terms mean nothing to you, but they do to our readers, and others will learn).
(There's a lovely video of Cornell West (who spurned the Ethiopian Orthodox Church when a priest pointed out that denominations in America are like consumer goods but religion is serious in Ethiopia) trying to see a tabot at an Orthodox Church. The priest, in full vestments and Cross in hand, meets him at the door and asks him what he wants. "To see the tabot. I'm curious" Cornell announces. "You cannot," the priest answers. "Wny? Have you seen it?" Cornell pesters. "I don't need to see it,"the priest replies in confidence. THAT's walking by Faith and not by sight)
No one needed to beg for veneration of the Holy Icons when no one questioned it.
And oh, btw, the Fathers of the Church were about as silent about Trinitarian Theology until the 4th century, around the same time as St. Basil, his biography, and the miracle of the icon of St. Mercurius.
No, they trumpet it and even demand others bow down and kiss their images or they are denying xyz.
The Incarnation. Not xyz, the Alpha and Omega.
So the loudness of the Orthodox comes from their fallen human nature, which doesn't change.
No, it comes from the Apostles' preaching, which doesn't change.
Odd that you bring up the loudness of the Orthodox. Muslim polemicists make the same complaint about us singing our praises of Christ too loud.
Therefore when we see
I Cor. 3:14-18, 4:3-6.
Take your iconoclast spectacles off. You are seeing things, or rather, not seeing things.
the humble God fearing Bible loving Christians of the first century say nothing about icon veneration, we know they are not like the Orthodox today.
LOL. The first century is silent on the New Testament canon too. And for that matter, the OT canon: it's not until the rise of the Church that the Jews fixed the canon you adopt from them, and it wasn't until the heresy of Marcion that the Church gave anythought to the OT, and until the Ebionites split off from the Hebrew Orthodox that the Church gave thought to the NT Canon. The idea of the canon of Four Gospels doesn't appear until c. 185 in St. Iranaeus.
The Orthodox of today are the humble God fearing Bible loving Christians of the first century, in the 21st century. And in the first century we listened to the Apostles preaching the Icon of the invisible God.http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.msg461788/topicseen.html#msg461788
That is the fundamental objection to icons, that its not taught by the apostles.
No, that's your fundamental claim, to speak for the apostles while walking disorderly and not in the way of the Tradition received of them. The Church, which actually does speak for them, stands firm in the Tradition received of them, and enjoin the icon of Christ the icon of the inviisble God.
That is why the lack of testimony for icons in the early church is probative.
Unlike sola scriptura, there is no lack of testimony for icons in the early church.