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Author Topic: The Fuss Over Icons  (Read 5518 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: November 09, 2011, 05:52:57 PM »

Quote
However, the third reason I listed works both ways: we not give the glorification deserving of God to another, but neither should we "hold back" any veneration or devotion we hold towards an individual.

How can you say we mustn't hold back any veneration due? Glory to God obvious but where is the mandate concerning veneration?



"Veneration due" is "veneration due"; why would you want to hold back on something (anything) that is due to another?

I think it would help if I understood what you thought the difference between worship and veneration is, and where/how that line can be crossed.

I'm asking where the line is from you all?


Weeeell, your original question was along the lines of: "Look at how you venerate icons... don't you think that's a bit over the top??" -- which assumes already that we've crossed a line. We can't answer your question unless you tell us where you think this line is.

I could answer the question of what I think the difference between veneration and worship is (and if you ask me directly in your reply I will) but that's not answering your original question.



No, it's okay. There's enough info here for me to go on for now.

Could you answer my question, then? Where do you think the line between worship and veneration is?

The attitude behind the word is what defines the line, and basically it's understood only in context. Veneration, honour, adore, respect are all definitions of worship.

I agree, but I wanted to know what FountainPen thought, and whether she could in any objective way define where the line was.

I apologise for butting in, then. Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: November 09, 2011, 07:02:32 PM »

Quote
However, the third reason I listed works both ways: we not give the glorification deserving of God to another, but neither should we "hold back" any veneration or devotion we hold towards an individual.

How can you say we mustn't hold back any veneration due? Glory to God obvious but where is the mandate concerning veneration?



"Veneration due" is "veneration due"; why would you want to hold back on something (anything) that is due to another?

I think it would help if I understood what you thought the difference between worship and veneration is, and where/how that line can be crossed.

I'm asking where the line is from you all?


Weeeell, your original question was along the lines of: "Look at how you venerate icons... don't you think that's a bit over the top??" -- which assumes already that we've crossed a line. We can't answer your question unless you tell us where you think this line is.

I could answer the question of what I think the difference between veneration and worship is (and if you ask me directly in your reply I will) but that's not answering your original question.



No, it's okay. There's enough info here for me to go on for now.

Could you answer my question, then? Where do you think the line between worship and veneration is?

The attitude behind the word is what defines the line, and basically it's understood only in context. Veneration, honour, adore, respect are all definitions of worship.

I agree, but I wanted to know what FountainPen thought, and whether she could in any objective way define where the line was.

"objective way" #laughs. Is that an 'emotional female' dig? I kid, i kid

Yes, objectively the attitude behind the action or word makes it one thing or the other. We all  know though that words can be used to justify what is really going on and when it's an individual doing something that can't be known fully, we say that we must not judge the person and i'd agree with that. However, and it's a serious "However," when you have many, many people all doing the same thing it can easily go off course and get out of hand. Slipping from an occasional rememberance and respectful nod to those who have gone before us, into something bordering on worship -- especially if it's down to attitude.

Think how easy it is to slip this line with money for instance. How easy it can become too important to us all. Churches (or rather movements) that justify having lots of it just to cover the improper attitude behind the words they use when talking about it.
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« Reply #47 on: November 09, 2011, 09:51:45 PM »

Quote
However, the third reason I listed works both ways: we not give the glorification deserving of God to another, but neither should we "hold back" any veneration or devotion we hold towards an individual.

How can you say we mustn't hold back any veneration due? Glory to God obvious but where is the mandate concerning veneration?

"Veneration due" is "veneration due"; why would you want to hold back on something (anything) that is due to another?

I think it would help if I understood what you thought the difference between worship and veneration is, and where/how that line can be crossed.

I'm asking where the line is from you all?

My recession-friendly, Walmart version: cubic zirconia, encrusted bible set on a plinth with fairy lights in a glass case (converted fish tank) surrounded by burning incence sticks. Is that too far and why?



It depends on the individual.

Let me first go back a few steps. I have photographs throughout my home of friends and family members. Some living, some dead. The pictures I have of my dead relatives are not because I am still grieving their loss, but it is to remind me of happy memories of them, and to ask them for their prayers.

In a similar fashion, I have icons in my home and in my car. Particularly of the Theotokos. I talk to her, I ask for her prayers, just as I do my deceased family members. Can I pray without icons? Yes. Do I prefer to pray with icons? Yes. It helps me focus and not become lost in my own thoughts. (I get distracted -- oooh, shiny object!)

You ask how many icons are too many? Depends on the individual. I've heard some of the European members of this board say that in Russia or Greece, it is the custom to only have one icon in an icon corner. Most Americans I know have several. Is this out of money, tradition, or culture? I don't know.

You also keep on talking about the diamond encrusted Bible.

I present to you, The Holy Gospel:



Why do we decorate the Gospel? It is out of reverence for Christ, the Logos. We honor the Word of God by decorating the Gospel.

Protestants are always fearful that icons will take away devotion to Christ. That suddenly people will fall so enamored with an icon of a saint, that they will forget who is Lord. The thing is, this is next to impossible to do. For all icons ultimately point to Christ. All icons of saints are icons of people who lived for Christ. Who died for Christ. Who wanted nothing more than to serve Christ.

If I did nothing but sat and read about the lives of the saints (hagiography) all day, I would still learn about Christ. Why? Because any true saint, and their life, points to Christ.

I dare you to find an icon and read about the life of a saint, and show me how it does not point to Christ in some way.

You see, as Orthodox Christians, we realize that the icon is just an icon. It's not God. Just as the statue in the Lincoln Memorial is not Abraham Lincoln, it memorializes him and helps people remember the ideas he fought for.

I'm starting to ramble, but I hope this helps.
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« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2011, 04:59:32 AM »

Quote
However, the third reason I listed works both ways: we not give the glorification deserving of God to another, but neither should we "hold back" any veneration or devotion we hold towards an individual.

How can you say we mustn't hold back any veneration due? Glory to God obvious but where is the mandate concerning veneration?



"Veneration due" is "veneration due"; why would you want to hold back on something (anything) that is due to another?

I think it would help if I understood what you thought the difference between worship and veneration is, and where/how that line can be crossed.

I'm asking where the line is from you all?


Weeeell, your original question was along the lines of: "Look at how you venerate icons... don't you think that's a bit over the top??" -- which assumes already that we've crossed a line. We can't answer your question unless you tell us where you think this line is.

I could answer the question of what I think the difference between veneration and worship is (and if you ask me directly in your reply I will) but that's not answering your original question.



No, it's okay. There's enough info here for me to go on for now.

Could you answer my question, then? Where do you think the line between worship and veneration is?

The attitude behind the word is what defines the line, and basically it's understood only in context. Veneration, honour, adore, respect are all definitions of worship.

I agree, but I wanted to know what FountainPen thought, and whether she could in any objective way define where the line was.

"objective way" #laughs. Is that an 'emotional female' dig? I kid, i kid

Yes, objectively the attitude behind the action or word makes it one thing or the other. We all  know though that words can be used to justify what is really going on and when it's an individual doing something that can't be known fully, we say that we must not judge the person and i'd agree with that. However, and it's a serious "However," when you have many, many people all doing the same thing it can easily go off course and get out of hand. Slipping from an occasional rememberance and respectful nod to those who have gone before us, into something bordering on worship -- especially if it's down to attitude.

I'm sorry, but you haven't given me anything here that defines the line between worship and veneration. You've just restated that there is a line that should not be crossed - and now confirmed that it is an objective line. So what is the line, and what makes something worship rather than veneration?

"Out of hand", "over the top", "fuss" -- these are all subjective terms: what is "fussy" to one person may not be fussy to another. Even your example of the bejeweled Bible is merely a matter of taste: you clearly think that such decorations are gaudy, therefore "wrong" or "over-the-top", yet if you actually thought such decorations were tasteful and discrete then you wouldn't be using this example at all. I'm just asking if you have a more definite and, yes, objective criteria for what constitutes worship as opposed to veneration.

You can even talk about attitude if you like, because you don't have to try and apply this standard to other people. Just give us something that we could at least apply to ourselves: what is worship as opposed to veneration, and where is the line between the two?
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« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2011, 05:16:44 AM »

Quote
However, the third reason I listed works both ways: we not give the glorification deserving of God to another, but neither should we "hold back" any veneration or devotion we hold towards an individual.

How can you say we mustn't hold back any veneration due? Glory to God obvious but where is the mandate concerning veneration?



"Veneration due" is "veneration due"; why would you want to hold back on something (anything) that is due to another?

I think it would help if I understood what you thought the difference between worship and veneration is, and where/how that line can be crossed.

I'm asking where the line is from you all?


Weeeell, your original question was along the lines of: "Look at how you venerate icons... don't you think that's a bit over the top??" -- which assumes already that we've crossed a line. We can't answer your question unless you tell us where you think this line is.

I could answer the question of what I think the difference between veneration and worship is (and if you ask me directly in your reply I will) but that's not answering your original question.



No, it's okay. There's enough info here for me to go on for now.

Could you answer my question, then? Where do you think the line between worship and veneration is?

The attitude behind the word is what defines the line, and basically it's understood only in context. Veneration, honour, adore, respect are all definitions of worship.

I agree, but I wanted to know what FountainPen thought, and whether she could in any objective way define where the line was.

I apologise for butting in, then. Smiley

Sorry if I came across as brusque.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #50 on: November 10, 2011, 05:46:24 AM »

Quote
However, the third reason I listed works both ways: we not give the glorification deserving of God to another, but neither should we "hold back" any veneration or devotion we hold towards an individual.

How can you say we mustn't hold back any veneration due? Glory to God obvious but where is the mandate concerning veneration?



"Veneration due" is "veneration due"; why would you want to hold back on something (anything) that is due to another?

I think it would help if I understood what you thought the difference between worship and veneration is, and where/how that line can be crossed.

I'm asking where the line is from you all?


Weeeell, your original question was along the lines of: "Look at how you venerate icons... don't you think that's a bit over the top??" -- which assumes already that we've crossed a line. We can't answer your question unless you tell us where you think this line is.

I could answer the question of what I think the difference between veneration and worship is (and if you ask me directly in your reply I will) but that's not answering your original question.



No, it's okay. There's enough info here for me to go on for now.

Could you answer my question, then? Where do you think the line between worship and veneration is?

The attitude behind the word is what defines the line, and basically it's understood only in context. Veneration, honour, adore, respect are all definitions of worship.

I agree, but I wanted to know what FountainPen thought, and whether she could in any objective way define where the line was.

I apologise for butting in, then. Smiley

Sorry if I came across as brusque.  Embarrassed

No, no, Not at all!  Smiley
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« Reply #51 on: November 10, 2011, 11:35:03 AM »

Quote
However, the third reason I listed works both ways: we not give the glorification deserving of God to another, but neither should we "hold back" any veneration or devotion we hold towards an individual.

How can you say we mustn't hold back any veneration due? Glory to God obvious but where is the mandate concerning veneration?



"Veneration due" is "veneration due"; why would you want to hold back on something (anything) that is due to another?

I think it would help if I understood what you thought the difference between worship and veneration is, and where/how that line can be crossed.

I'm asking where the line is from you all?


Weeeell, your original question was along the lines of: "Look at how you venerate icons... don't you think that's a bit over the top??" -- which assumes already that we've crossed a line. We can't answer your question unless you tell us where you think this line is.

I could answer the question of what I think the difference between veneration and worship is (and if you ask me directly in your reply I will) but that's not answering your original question.



No, it's okay. There's enough info here for me to go on for now.

Could you answer my question, then? Where do you think the line between worship and veneration is?

The attitude behind the word is what defines the line, and basically it's understood only in context. Veneration, honour, adore, respect are all definitions of worship.

I agree, but I wanted to know what FountainPen thought, and whether she could in any objective way define where the line was.

"objective way" #laughs. Is that an 'emotional female' dig? I kid, i kid

Yes, objectively the attitude behind the action or word makes it one thing or the other. We all  know though that words can be used to justify what is really going on and when it's an individual doing something that can't be known fully, we say that we must not judge the person and i'd agree with that. However, and it's a serious "However," when you have many, many people all doing the same thing it can easily go off course and get out of hand. Slipping from an occasional rememberance and respectful nod to those who have gone before us, into something bordering on worship -- especially if it's down to attitude.

I'm sorry, but you haven't given me anything here that defines the line between worship and veneration. You've just restated that there is a line that should not be crossed - and now confirmed that it is an objective line. So what is the line, and what makes something worship rather than veneration?

"Out of hand", "over the top", "fuss" -- these are all subjective terms: what is "fussy" to one person may not be fussy to another. Even your example of the bejeweled Bible is merely a matter of taste: you clearly think that such decorations are gaudy, therefore "wrong" or "over-the-top", yet if you actually thought such decorations were tasteful and discrete then you wouldn't be using this example at all. I'm just asking if you have a more definite and, yes, objective criteria for what constitutes worship as opposed to veneration.

You can even talk about attitude if you like, because you don't have to try and apply this standard to other people. Just give us something that we could at least apply to ourselves: what is worship as opposed to veneration, and where is the line between the two?

I don't think it's gaudy but it does seem excessive.

I could easily have given you the definition of both the words "worship" and "veneration" because there are definitions for them. It doesn't matter what i think the definitions are. The reason i haven't been so objective is because it's my struggle with the issue that's the deal here. They're my terms to describe how i feel about it when i see an icon corner for instance or when i look at a shrine to some saint. Hopefully you can see that i have moved a little from icon veneration being wrong in principle, to one of it being wrong in the way it's performed.

If we were just discussing the definitions, this thread would be over in a flash because they are close but there is a slight distinction which i think we both know would extricate Orthodoxy of all charges, in the mind of the person throwing rocks of idolatry.

I could give you verses from scripture to back up all the nonsense that passes for 'a gold dust, teeth filling, barking, writhing around on the floor' move-of-the-Spirit as well, but it wouldn't convince me any longer that it's right or healthy, even though i did believe it and participate, at one time.

What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right.
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« Reply #52 on: November 10, 2011, 11:48:04 AM »

Quote
What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right.

Why is that wrong?
Shall I tell you of the little girl in our parish that went into remission of her cancer after a healing unction service when the Sitka Mother of God was in our parish?
Shall I tell you of a darkened church lit only by candles, a bald little girl sitting in a chair, surrounded by priests, who were praying for her healing?

Shall I tell you about the light that I saw emanating from the middle of them?

Or would you just dismiss that as wrong and me as delusional?


(note: I may very well be delusional about other things - but I know what I saw that night...)
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« Reply #53 on: November 10, 2011, 12:44:00 PM »

Dear Fountain Pen,

"What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right."

You refused my invitation to come and see, but are still trying to judge that which you have not experienced.
Do you mean morally right? Ethically right? Spiritually right?  Mathematically right?  Economically right?  Legally right? 

Love,

elephant
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« Reply #54 on: November 10, 2011, 01:00:10 PM »

I don't think it's gaudy but it does seem excessive.

I could easily have given you the definition of both the words "worship" and "veneration" because there are definitions for them. It doesn't matter what i think the definitions are. The reason i haven't been so objective is because it's my struggle with the issue that's the deal here. They're my terms to describe how i feel about it when i see an icon corner for instance or when i look at a shrine to some saint. Hopefully you can see that i have moved a little from icon veneration being wrong in principle, to one of it being wrong in the way it's performed.

If we were just discussing the definitions, this thread would be over in a flash because they are close but there is a slight distinction which i think we both know would extricate Orthodoxy of all charges, in the mind of the person throwing rocks of idolatry.

I could give you verses from scripture to back up all the nonsense that passes for 'a gold dust, teeth filling, barking, writhing around on the floor' move-of-the-Spirit as well, but it wouldn't convince me any longer that it's right or healthy, even though i did believe it and participate, at one time.

What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right.

I find it very difficult to accept your assessment when you have never prayed using icons, and have never visited a person's icon corner.

An icon corner is a very personal and very intimate thing.

Perhaps you have in your home, or have seen in other peoples homes a wall where they keep all of their family photos. It may show the many generations of their family, or just photos of their children growing through the years. The wall is intimate and personal to that family. It shows their relationship to their kin. To outsiders, it may seem gaudy and excessive to have so many photos on one wall, but to the owner of the photos, they are happy reminders of their loved ones.

Similarly, a person with many icons will often have them because through the years they have asked for the invocation of various saints through times of trouble, and because that saint prayed for them, they have an icon of the saint.

For example, I asked for the prayers of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg during a period of unemployment. I now have her icon as part of my icon corner. Although I am now employed, I am still grateful for her prayers, and grateful to God for answering them.

I think it is a bit haughty of self-righteous of you to judge whether an icon corner and the veneration of icons is gaudy and over the top, when you have never prayed with them yourself.

There's an old expression, "don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins." I believe it applies here.
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« Reply #55 on: November 10, 2011, 01:51:57 PM »


What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right.
How very true! Miracle-working icons, icons, the Orthodox faith itself are not dependent on any or "all [of] the correct definitions in the world". This world can't explain them fully or even accurately. You will never understand icons by studying dictionaries and other books. As others have said, they must be experienced. Right now, your intellect is controlling your faith. I hope that some day your faith will control your intellect.
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« Reply #56 on: November 10, 2011, 02:20:16 PM »

Quote
What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right.

Unfortunately, FP, you know not of what you speak, as you have not even attended any Orthodox services. A miracle-working icon is visiting my town right now. No words can adequately express the reverence, the quiet joy, the sense of humility and awe and gratitude of being in the presence of greatness, in the same place as a vessel of the grace of God, whether such a treasure is visiting one's home, or in a church where a supplicatory service is conducted in its honor (the honor, of course, directed to who is depicted on the icon), and to be granted the great privilege to pray before the icon, and to venerate it with faith and love.

There are no grand displays of emotion at such services or visits, no histrionics or mass hysteria, nothing over-the-top. All is subdued, subtle and dignified. katherineofdixie's observations and experiences are right on the mark.
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« Reply #57 on: November 10, 2011, 02:37:27 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Perhaps you have in your home, or have seen in other peoples homes a wall where they keep all of their family photos. It may show the many generations of their family, or just photos of their children growing through the years. The wall is intimate and personal to that family. It shows their relationship to their kin. To outsiders, it may seem gaudy and excessive to have so many photos on one wall, but to the owner of the photos, they are happy reminders of their loved ones.

Similarly, a person with many icons will often have them because through the years they have asked for the invocation of various saints through times of trouble, and because that saint prayed for them, they have an icon of the saint.


This is the best explanation here.  If you walk into a person's home, you will not automatically understanding the meanings behind all the photographs on their walls, and neither can you understand the deeply personal reasons folks also have Icons.  So, just like when you are trying to understand who and why the pictures are hanging, isn't it better to ask a person the meaning behind their icons rather then condemn them outright out of admitted ignorance?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #58 on: November 10, 2011, 08:31:46 PM »


I think it is a bit haughty of self-righteous of you to judge whether an icon corner and the veneration of icons is gaudy and over the top, when you have never prayed with them yourself.

There's an old expression, "don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins." I believe it applies here.

I said i didn't think it was gaudy.
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« Reply #59 on: November 10, 2011, 08:45:43 PM »


What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right.
How very true! Miracle-working icons, icons, the Orthodox faith itself are not dependent on any or "all [of] the correct definitions in the world". This world can't explain them fully or even accurately. You will never understand icons by studying dictionaries and other books. As others have said, they must be experienced. Right now, your intellect is controlling your faith. I hope that some day your faith will control your intellect.

Then how genesisone, in all sincerity, if it's down to experience, can anyone escape from slipping into the kind of 'experiential' error that leads people to bark like dogs because it's their 'personal experience'. Isn't that similar to what's happening here with this? Because i can't, for the life of me, see a difference.

N.B.Thank you for understanding what i was meaning concerning the definitions of those two words.
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« Reply #60 on: November 10, 2011, 08:56:58 PM »

Quote
What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right.

Why is that wrong?
Shall I tell you of the little girl in our parish that went into remission of her cancer after a healing unction service when the Sitka Mother of God was in our parish?
Shall I tell you of a darkened church lit only by candles, a bald little girl sitting in a chair, surrounded by priests, who were praying for her healing?

Shall I tell you about the light that I saw emanating from the middle of them?

Or would you just dismiss that as wrong and me as delusional?


(note: I may very well be delusional about other things - but I know what I saw that night...)

Katherine, we can't get into a discussion about healing and miracles, we can't. It wouldn't go anywhere productive because i have similar stories from the church where we all went, of things i saw and experienced. Some of where i believe the (charismatic) Pentecostal churches have strayed is because they have been guided by their experience rather than what the scriptures (et al.) tell us.

It seems to me that's what's being said about icons and icon corners, that they're deeply personal and subjective.



You don't at all seem delusional #smiles. In fact i can relate to some of your experiences.
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« Reply #61 on: November 10, 2011, 09:06:23 PM »

The original post also seems to make reference to the idea of having a "sacred space" in the home. There is much written on that subject, too. Just as we go to our church to worship we have the icon corner at home as a special, holy place set aside, to remind us to pray, to worship.
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« Reply #62 on: November 10, 2011, 09:15:39 PM »


What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right.
How very true! Miracle-working icons, icons, the Orthodox faith itself are not dependent on any or "all [of] the correct definitions in the world". This world can't explain them fully or even accurately. You will never understand icons by studying dictionaries and other books. As others have said, they must be experienced. Right now, your intellect is controlling your faith. I hope that some day your faith will control your intellect.

Then how genesisone, in all sincerity, if it's down to experience, can anyone escape from slipping into the kind of 'experiential' error that leads people to bark like dogs because it's their 'personal experience'. Isn't that similar to what's happening here with this? Because i can't, for the life of me, see a difference.

FountainPen, let me try this analogy (I hope we all understand that analogies always fall short at some point and shouldn't be taken beyond the point that is being made.)

I have never visited the United Kingdom. However, I have read much about that country. There are certainly elements about it that are reflected in my own (Canada). I have met many people from the UK. I have seen travelogues and other documentaries. I read BBC news online every day (usually more than once  Smiley). What else do you suggest that I read or study to better understand your country and grasp all that it has to offer? I'm guessing that you would really like to make another suggestion  Wink.
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« Reply #63 on: November 10, 2011, 09:16:29 PM »

The original post also seems to make reference to the idea of having a "sacred space" in the home. There is much written on that subject, too. Just as we go to our church to worship we have the icon corner at home as a special, holy place set aside, to remind us to pray, to worship.

Yes, we're told to go into our closet and pray. That 'special place' which i can accept would be a place for reflection, with possibly a bible, a cross, maybe even an icon or two -- i can see that. It's the amount of icons i think that's bothering me and the extent to which the veneration is taken both individually and corporately.
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« Reply #64 on: November 10, 2011, 09:21:27 PM »

FountainPen, it seems it is not the concept of the icons per se which is upsetting to you, but the ostentation that sometimes accompanies their use. Is this a fair statement? Because, if so, you're in a pretty good place, in my opinion.
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« Reply #65 on: November 10, 2011, 09:21:55 PM »


What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right.
How very true! Miracle-working icons, icons, the Orthodox faith itself are not dependent on any or "all [of] the correct definitions in the world". This world can't explain them fully or even accurately. You will never understand icons by studying dictionaries and other books. As others have said, they must be experienced. Right now, your intellect is controlling your faith. I hope that some day your faith will control your intellect.

Then how genesisone, in all sincerity, if it's down to experience, can anyone escape from slipping into the kind of 'experiential' error that leads people to bark like dogs because it's their 'personal experience'. Isn't that similar to what's happening here with this? Because i can't, for the life of me, see a difference.

FountainPen, let me try this analogy (I hope we all understand that analogies always fall short at some point and shouldn't be taken beyond the point that is being made.)

I have never visited the United Kingdom. However, I have read much about that country. There are certainly elements about it that are reflected in my own (Canada). I have met many people from the UK. I have seen travelogues and other documentaries. I read BBC news online every day (usually more than once  Smiley). What else do you suggest that I read or study to better understand your country and grasp all that it has to offer? I'm guessing that you would really like to make another suggestion  Wink.

I understood the concept of 'the key to fully understanding being experiential' several posts ago. This analogy doesn't work, it's not even in the same arena.

Thanks anyway.
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« Reply #66 on: November 10, 2011, 09:25:57 PM »

FountainPen, it seems it is not the concept of the icon per se which is upsetting to you, but the ostentation that sometimes accompanies their use. Is this a fair statement? Because, if so, you're in a pretty good place, in my opinion.

Yes that's a fair comment, though not in any monetary sense. I've been trying to bottom-line it for a few days now and in doing so i realise i've moved quite a bit from my original position a few weeks ago. #smiles
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« Reply #67 on: November 10, 2011, 09:57:46 PM »

Do you think heaven will just be you and one or two saints?  Just engaging in a little bit of praise? Huh

Yes, we're told to go into our closet and pray. That 'special place' which i can accept would be a place for reflection, with possibly a bible, a cross, maybe even an icon or two -- i can see that. It's the amount of icons i think that's bothering me and the extent to which the veneration is taken both individually and corporately.
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« Reply #68 on: November 11, 2011, 03:57:33 AM »

I've been thinking about this thread all day and keep coming back to your posts and most specifically what you have surmised in your own mind what is actually happening when one venerates an icon.  Again, I would entreat you to "go and see" because I think you have made it something far bigger in your own mind than it really is. 

I also wanted to comment about your thoughts on veneration and how you said it can get out of hand when many people are doing it.  The fact is, the Church teaches right veneration and right worship.  I'm currently attending catechism classes and every single time veneration is mentioned, it is always brought around to the reason why: the person or history depicted in the icon points us to *Christ*.  Period.  If one takes it further than that and begins worshipping it, they are not in line with Church teaching.

After a recent Divine Liturgy, I spent some time thinking about my journey and what I've learned so far.  I remembered catechism one night...how the priest walked us through the nave explaining the whole room, the layout, what's happening where.  As I allowed that memory to ruminate, I realized that the icons *tell the history of our faith* AND *why we have faith at all*.  I come from churches that are devoid of anything but a cross on a wall.  Otherwise, nothing.  Nada.  They're sterile buildings.  Nothing to remind me, save the possibility that the pastor *might've* reminded us during the sermon, *why* we're there or what happened beyond those walls in the history of the Church.  It's a beautiful story and one that is told on the walls of the Orthodox Church and in the worship.  You just don't see that anywhere else!

I thought about you when I came home from class tonight and wished you could've been there as the priest described each part of the Divine Liturgy...(all of it pointing us to Christ, Alleluia!!!) because I can hear you warring within yourself and I know that frustration.  But until you DO go and see, you'll continue to have these burning questions that not one of us can truly answer for you.  Once you put together what you see, hear, and smell, and combine that with talking to a priest, you will stay right where you are in your frustration.  At least going and seeing and talking with a priest in person might help you move to one side or the other. 
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« Reply #69 on: November 11, 2011, 05:43:23 AM »

The reason i haven't been so objective is because it's my struggle with the issue that's the deal here. They're my terms to describe how i feel about it when i see an icon corner for instance or when i look at a shrine to some saint. Hopefully you can see that i have moved a little from icon veneration being wrong in principle, to one of it being wrong in the way it's performed.

I haven't been reading your posts elsewhere on the forum, but I'll take your word for it that there's been a change.


What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right.

This is also your opinion, of course, despite how strident it sounds now. Going by what you said before, then previously you would have been equally strident about icon veneration being wrong in principle. And now you aren't. You can't expect it all to change in the blink of an eye, it has been a continual process, and it will continue to be.
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« Reply #70 on: November 11, 2011, 05:54:18 AM »

I've been thinking about this thread all day and keep coming back to your posts and most specifically what you have surmised in your own mind what is actually happening when one venerates an icon.  Again, I would entreat you to "go and see" because I think you have made it something far bigger in your own mind than it really is.  
That's possible and i'm open to that being the case.

It's a substantial chunk of the Orthodox experience though and if veneration slips too far it could become idolatrous --that's a weighty charge. (I'm not saying that's what's happening, just from a Protestant perspective it seems that way). How much bigger could that concern be?

I also wanted to comment about your thoughts on veneration and how you said it can get out of hand when many people are doing it.  The fact is, the Church teaches right veneration and right worship.
I suppose that is the bottom line and the difference between what i have described before about the charismatic services that some don't teach correctly.

I'm currently attending catechism classes and every single time veneration is mentioned, it is always brought around to the reason why: the person or history depicted in the icon points us to *Christ*.  Period.  If one takes it further than that and begins worshipping it, they are not in line with Church teaching.
Right.

After a recent Divine Liturgy, I spent some time thinking about my journey and what I've learned so far.  I remembered catechism one night...how the priest walked us through the nave explaining the whole room, the layout, what's happening where.  As I allowed that memory to ruminate, I realized that the icons *tell the history of our faith* AND *why we have faith at all*.  I come from churches that are devoid of anything but a cross on a wall.  Otherwise, nothing.  Nada.  They're sterile buildings.  Nothing to remind me, save the possibility that the pastor *might've* reminded us during the sermon, *why* we're there or what happened beyond those walls in the history of the Church.  It's a beautiful story and one that is told on the walls of the Orthodox Church and in the worship. You just don't see that anywhere else!
Historically, i understand the significance and can appreciate this to a degree. It reminds me of a story our pastor used to tell about the elderly in our congregation selling their jewelry and precious items to purchase the building we owned as a church. Those people are honoured in a special way because they gave so much for what we had which was evident in the way others responded to them. They had an unofficial mention and applause at least once a year.

I thought about you when I came home from class tonight and wished you could've been there as the priest described each part of the Divine Liturgy...(all of it pointing us to Christ, Alleluia!!!) because I can hear you warring within yourself and I know that frustration.  
Yes, that's exactly what it's like! #laughs

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« Reply #71 on: November 11, 2011, 06:11:02 AM »

What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right.

This is also your opinion, of course, despite how strident it sounds now.

No, it's a fact. Sometimes what is officially taught on one level isn't what happens on another.
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« Reply #72 on: November 11, 2011, 06:16:33 AM »

What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right.

This is also your opinion, of course, despite how strident it sounds now.

No, it's a fact. Sometimes what is officially taught on one level isn't what happens on another.

Your second sentence is a fact; your statement on what is OTT is opinion. As you yourself said:

Quote
it does seem excessive.

"Seems" excessive. It's how it appears to you, it's your feeling on the matter, it's your opinion.

Anything which is "over-the-top" or "excessive" is wrong by definition; the disagreement lies in what you are calling OTT and excessive. When asked what standards you are applying to conclude something (like processing icons) is OTT or excessive, you are either refusing to answer, or saying outright it's just your own feelings on the subject. So until you bring forward the objective standard you are using to conclude that such-and-such a practice is excessive, we can only assume what you're saying is opinion - a strongly held opinion, yes, but opinion nonetheless. Like your view on icons being outright idolatry, it can change.
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« Reply #73 on: November 11, 2011, 06:32:39 AM »

I can definitely understand your concerns. I definitely had a time when I believed iconography was pure and simple idolatry. I rejected it outright. I rejected just about everything the Church teaches, as a matter of fact. I had to do a lot of changing.

I have seen, even in this thread, your opinion change on this issue. I'm glad to see you in dialogue with it, sincerely and honestly discussing, asking questions, etc. It's good. I'm glad you're here!

What I'd like to talk about is how so many people have commented on the importance of experience when it comes to Orthodoxy, because I both totally agree with them and came originally from the presupposition that the idea was complete bunk. Going to an Orthodox service isn't going to make you Orthodox. It isn't going to suddenly convince you that this is all there is and it's beautiful and wonderful and you're ready to get dunked for Jesus RIGHT NOW. Of course, we wouldn't dunk you for Jesus right then, anyway. We're a little more careful with the mysteries than the run-of-the-mill evangelical megachurch. Wink

However, experiencing the Liturgy, the cycle of services, etc. is very beneficial. It lets you directly interact with that you're trying to understand. You can talk to us and read as many books as you want, and while you'll learn a lot about Orthodoxy, you won't learn Orthodoxy itself. That's because it is indeed a way of life. We're made Orthodox not because what we say and believe (though it's a prerequisite), but because we have lived it. We've been baptized and chrismated. We commune at the Liturgy, we make confession, we fast, pray and give alms (as a community, within the liturgical year), etc. Until you start doing Orthodoxy, you won't get it like the Orthodox faithful get it. For all the knowledge you can gain about it, you can't see it as we see it until you experience.

Now, all that said...you need to do far more than experience it. If you're someone who might convert, you've got a lot to resolve and in many different ways. I've never met anyone who's had an easy time in the conversion process. If nothing else, there's a ton of theology to understand and wrestle with which are very different from much of what we've been exposed to. I know as a former Presbyterian, I had a bunch of theological hang-ups. I loved the services, thought they were beautiful, and admired the Church very much as something beautiful...but it had dreadful heresies! I would think to myself "The Orthodox know how to do church...too bad they're so wrong about everything!" I'm not saying you're echoing that, you're not...but I certainly did. I had to read a lot about Orthodox theology, church history, etc. to get more okay with the idea of Orthodoxy. It happened, but it wasn't easy. I had many times I spent with my priest wrestling with different ideas. He could point me to resources, clarify misunderstandings, exhort me to continue on...but it's something I had to go through.

In the same vein, even when I was okay with most of it, I still had hang-ups. I just couldn't fully make that jump. I wanted to. Badly. But, I wouldn't let myself. It just didn't feel right. What finally made me desire to convert was making it all my own. To attend the service and be in prayer with the people. To try participating in the fasting seasons, keep a regular Orthodox prayer rule, etc. I took on the Orthodox lifestyle in every way I possibly could. Then, I started seeing it like the Orthodox do. I finally, after so long, got it. I couldn't do anything but convert. It's a strange feeling when you go from defending a practice to simply loving the truth of it. For me, that transition was with the Theotokos. I went on a progression from the standard Protestant perspective, to intellectually defending her Ever-Virginity...to just loving her. That last step, from the head to the heart...is Orthodoxy. That's what we're about. Sinking our heads into our hearts and truly being where we need to be. Communing with God in relation, not just thinking nice things about the idea. I now simply love the truths of the Orthodox. I don't even like arguing them really anymore (I used to be a really big Calvinist debater...and went to a Wesleyan school! How much fun that was!), I just love it all. In my particular example, my growing devotion to the Mother of God is very special to me. You may be scandalized for me to say that there's a icon corner of about six icons in one part of my house that are all of the Blessed Virgin. I keep one of my Bibles there, a candle, and a rosary.

And, thinking on it now, that's a good thing to talk about, I think. You probably don't really get my devotion to the Mother of God at all (or to any saint). It's alien to you, I'm sure. Because, while I can tell you all of the reasons why the Orthodox venerate her, I don't actively think of any of those things when I see her icon. If you ask me to talk about her at all, of course I can't help but talk about the Incarnation, and how she gave of herself for the sake of Christ...that's all great and wonderful and true. But, when I see her icon, the first response I have is just...love. I want to smile at it, to venerate it, etc. I feel weird not doing so...actually. I want to because I want to give her respect, honor and love because I have all of those things for her...and for me that's on a very personal level. But, she's the Mother of God! The entire Church also loves and venerates her! It is proper to do so both personally and corporately.

I'm rambling...apologies. My point is simply that, there are both things to get your head around, but no matter how well your head is around it...you won't see it like the Orthodox do until you experience it. Until you start joining in. So, with that, I do hope you go to an Orthodox service soon. Speak with the people, introduce yourself to the priest, etc. Get involved. Wrestle with your ideas there, think on them, talk to others about them...but do it while you're involved. The results might surprise you.
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« Reply #74 on: November 11, 2011, 07:35:42 AM »

^ POM nominee!
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« Reply #75 on: November 11, 2011, 10:17:53 AM »


It may seem a fuss if one has no or not much of a relationship with that represented in the holy icon, but really no fuss at all compared to the virtues in Christ of the one venerated. And just as physical expression of affection can enhance a human relationship with spouse, children, etc., veneration, i.e. kissing, bowing, ornate decoration, etc. can deepen the relationship with the prototype of the holy icon. Don't worry, you cannot love too much.  Orthodox worship God alone. Veneration is for everyone else.

Quote
In the literal view, things are things. What you see is what there is. In an iconic view, things point to something beyond themselves – they make present that to which they point.

However, there is much more to this than the mere act of seeing. To see an icon requires that we also be in relationship with that which it represents. Christ is present in His icon but is only made manifest to us because we are in relationship with Him. Thus I have said that to see an icon properly involves its veneration. Veneration is an expression of our relationship with that which is represented. http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/icons-and-truth-2/
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« Reply #76 on: November 11, 2011, 10:35:30 AM »

Quote
What i'm trying to say is that all the correct definitions in the world can't make some of the more OTT practises, such as a touring miracle-working icon, right.

Why is that wrong?
Shall I tell you of the little girl in our parish that went into remission of her cancer after a healing unction service when the Sitka Mother of God was in our parish?
Shall I tell you of a darkened church lit only by candles, a bald little girl sitting in a chair, surrounded by priests, who were praying for her healing?

Shall I tell you about the light that I saw emanating from the middle of them?

Or would you just dismiss that as wrong and me as delusional?


(note: I may very well be delusional about other things - but I know what I saw that night...)

Katherine, we can't get into a discussion about healing and miracles, we can't. It wouldn't go anywhere productive because i have similar stories from the church where we all went, of things i saw and experienced. Some of where i believe the (charismatic) Pentecostal churches have strayed is because they have been guided by their experience rather than what the scriptures (et al.) tell us.

It seems to me that's what's being said about icons and icon corners, that they're deeply personal and subjective.



You don't at all seem delusional #smiles. In fact i can relate to some of your experiences.

The Church keeps us from being guided only by our experiences. Icons and icon corners are deeply personal because ours is a relational faith, as well as the faith given to the Apostles by our Lord.
And don't be so dismissive of personal experinces. When in the right context, the are essential to our faith and praxis.
After all, don't you keep telling me that Protestants are guided and enlightened by the Holy Spirit? What is that but personal experience of the Holy Spirit?
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« Reply #77 on: January 28, 2012, 06:06:30 PM »

As i'm still thinking about icons and mulling over what's been posted and other info i've read. I can't accept that images of cherubim in the temple and elsewhere can be used to set a precedent for the kind of icons that we see today, where they are and what is done with them. This seems a bit of a stretch to me.
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« Reply #78 on: January 28, 2012, 08:44:10 PM »


The cherubim in the temple are merely showing that the second commandment by itself is not a reason for prohibiting the making of images and placing them in churches. You're right that it would be a stretch to point to these as the main reason for venerating icons of Christ and the Saints.

The Incarnation is the precedent for icons as you are thinking of them: images which are venerated. Jesus Christ was worshiped whilst on earth, as recorded in Scripture, yet (as it says in the Divine Liturgy): "(they) have bowed not before flesh and blood but before You the awesome God". But of course.... they did "literally" bow before flesh and blood, because Jesus Christ (called the "image" or "icon" of God in Scripture) was fully man. So, the disciples bowed down before Jesus, took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him (Matthew 28:9), yet they are not worshiping a man, but their Lord, God and Saviour. A casual observer would just see some men bowing down and kissing he feet of another man, but the disciples knew what they were doing, and Who they were doing it to. It is similar with icons: we are not kissing or venerating pieces of wood and paint, but the the prototype of what they represent.
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« Reply #79 on: January 28, 2012, 08:52:27 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I really don't understand all the fuss one way or the other.  Most Protestants and Evangelicals have pictures of Jesus up in their  homes, give their kids Christian coloring books with animated Bible stories, watch movies and cartoons about Biblical stories.  What is the difference? Images of God and the Saints are Images of God and Saints, the truth is that Protestants are generally hypocrites and their rejection of iconography whether they see it or not..

stay blessed,
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« Reply #80 on: January 28, 2012, 09:18:17 PM »


The cherubim in the temple are merely showing that the second commandment by itself is not a reason for prohibiting the making of images and placing them in churches. You're right that it would be a stretch to point to these as the main reason for venerating icons of Christ and the Saints.

The Incarnation is the precedent for icons as you are thinking of them: images which are venerated. Jesus Christ was worshiped whilst on earth, as recorded in Scripture, yet (as it says in the Divine Liturgy): "(they) have bowed not before flesh and blood but before You the awesome God". But of course.... they did "literally" bow before flesh and blood, because Jesus Christ (called the "image" or "icon" of God in Scripture) was fully man. So, the disciples bowed down before Jesus, took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him (Matthew 28:9), yet they are not worshiping a man, but their Lord, God and Saviour. A casual observer would just see some men bowing down and kissing he feet of another man, but the disciples knew what they were doing, and Who they were doing it to. It is similar with icons: we are not kissing or venerating pieces of wood and paint, but the the prototype of what they represent.

I can accept that explanation possibly, for the icons of Christ.
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« Reply #81 on: January 28, 2012, 09:20:53 PM »

Habte,

I remember years ago, when I went to see "The Passion of the Christ".  A lot of 'evangelical' Protestants and charismatic types were there; the kind of people that would cry 'idolatry' over Christians who weep before icons, or would accuse St. Basil of idolatry when he said he could not pass by an icon of Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac, without tears.  

Yet, by the end of the movie, there wasn't a dry eye in the whole theater.  So, some how it's fine to cry at millions of moving pictures of Our Lord God and Savour Jesus Christ suffering for us; while it is unacceptable to weep or have an icon of the Crucifixion?

I remember growing up, and my old 'fundamentalist' Methodist grandmother always had pictures of Jesus Christ in her house, always a Bibles with pictures, even statures of Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemene (that was popular in all kinds of Baptist and Methodist houses).  I remember whenever we did something bad in her house, she'd say, "You see Jesus up there," pointing to Rembrandt's Christ, "He's looking at you; you should do that." And I admit, even when she wasn't there, me, my brother, and my cousin always felt awkward saying or doing anything bad if there was a picture of Christ around.

The whole atmosphere reminded me of that phrase of Flannery O'Connor about the 'Christ haunted South'. Thanks to these attitudes, no one would get in an argument, or would try to avoid it, if there was noticeable religious imagery in the room; you always went outside.
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« Reply #82 on: January 28, 2012, 09:22:37 PM »

Sorry the line:

"You see Jesus up there," pointing to Rembrandt's Christ, "He's looking at you; you should do that."

should read

"you SHOULDN'T do that".

sorry for the typo
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« Reply #83 on: January 28, 2012, 09:24:08 PM »


I really don't understand all the fuss one way or the other.  Most Protestants and Evangelicals have pictures of Jesus up in their  homes, give their kids Christian coloring books with animated Bible stories, watch movies and cartoons about Biblical stories.  What is the difference?

That's rather pathetic if i may say so. Children are hardly kissing and venerating colouring books or video screens and no 'most' Protestants don't have pictures up of Jesus in their homes.
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« Reply #84 on: January 28, 2012, 09:29:50 PM »

I think the idea has to do with how different cultures expressed respect.  I can't imagine the reaction if had been 6 years old and took a picture of Christ and told me Grandmother, "here's what I think of Jesus" and spit on it.

Kissing icons, etc, are just the forms of respect that were paid to people and other things. If the culture iconography had developed in, had been one in which you just looked with longing and devotion on someone, but, never touched them physically, then it would have been transferred to Christian art and iconography.
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« Reply #85 on: January 28, 2012, 09:34:57 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I really don't understand all the fuss one way or the other.  Most Protestants and Evangelicals have pictures of Jesus up in their  homes, give their kids Christian coloring books with animated Bible stories, watch movies and cartoons about Biblical stories.  What is the difference?

That's rather pathetic if i may say so. Children are hardly kissing and venerating colouring books or video screens and no 'most' Protestants don't have pictures up of Jesus in their homes.

My dear, pictures are pictures.  The Eastern Orthodox iconoclasts beef was with ALL religious imagery, you can't have your cake and eat it too.  There is simply no intellectual or theological explanation for this aside from hypocrisy Wink

And yes, the majority of Protestant homes that I have been in have at least ONE picture of Jesus up somewhere.. Come to think of it my grandmother is like FrAugustineFetter, she has both the Rembrandt Jesus AND some bricabrac statues of the Lord's Supper and Jesus with some children on his lap (and we in Orthodox would frown upon statues)  Smiley

Now if you want to be an iconoclast, you must rightfully condemn ALL these images of Jesus or Saints or Angels or any such things, otherwise it is simply an illogical and redundant argument of hair-splitting.  We in Orthodox have images in our homes, in our churches, in our lives, and so to do many Protestants and Evangelicals, in reality, they think we are being sacrilegious because of how we treat these images, we think sometimes they are sacrilegious for how they DO NOT treat these same images, but the images remain the same.  Either God can be experience through human art or He can't, which way is it?


stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #86 on: January 28, 2012, 10:12:36 PM »

Years ago there were many illiterate people and Icons were used to express biblical stories to those that couldn't read. That is why the images are usually referred to as written and not drawn.
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« Reply #87 on: January 28, 2012, 10:48:55 PM »

Habate,

I think you're referring to my grandmother, and not me! I don't have that Rembrandt painting of Christ! Though it is beautiful!

But you are right; when I was a protestant, years ago, I remember every Baptist home I went in, had pictures of Jesus, little scenes on the mantle of the Good Shepherd, and there was painting I saw in so many houses, and so many Protestant Sunday School rooms of Christ knocking on the door.  The door had no handle on the outside, and Jesus was standing outside with a lantern knocking.  We were taught as children what it meant; it symbolized that Jesus was always knocking on the door of the heart of man, but, he would not come in (thus, no door handle on the outside), unless opened it from our side.  Then there were the stained glass windows in all the old protestant churches (as opposed to the new mega church design that wanted to be grotesque), with the Lamb and Banner, the Cross and Crown, the Resurrection, the Crucifixion, the Raising of Lazarus, the Ten Commandments scene and the Ten Commandments, the Ascension, and everyones repeated favourite of Jesus the Good Shepherd with the sheep.  Then there were the pictures of the Apostles (in Rembrandt type style, with dark colours, etc) in the dinning halls; and of course the Cross. However, I rarely saw a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.  They seemed to think that was too much! Yes, the old Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians could have that stuff, but, you had better not have a picture of Our Lady!

I always find this stuff amazing, as Protestants used to vigourously object to even the Cross as a decoration or image.

-Fr. Augustine
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« Reply #88 on: January 29, 2012, 05:14:51 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


I really don't understand all the fuss one way or the other.  Most Protestants and Evangelicals have pictures of Jesus up in their  homes, give their kids Christian coloring books with animated Bible stories, watch movies and cartoons about Biblical stories.  What is the difference?

That's rather pathetic if i may say so. Children are hardly kissing and venerating colouring books or video screens and no 'most' Protestants don't have pictures up of Jesus in their homes.

My dear, pictures are pictures.  The Eastern Orthodox iconoclasts beef was with ALL religious imagery, you can't have your cake and eat it too.  There is simply no intellectual or theological explanation for this aside from hypocrisy Wink

And yes, the majority of Protestant homes that I have been in have at least ONE picture of Jesus up somewhere.. Come to think of it my grandmother is like FrAugustineFetter, she has both the Rembrandt Jesus AND some bricabrac statues of the Lord's Supper and Jesus with some children on his lap (and we in Orthodox would frown upon statues)  Smiley

Now if you want to be an iconoclast, you must rightfully condemn ALL these images of Jesus or Saints or Angels or any such things, otherwise it is simply an illogical and redundant argument of hair-splitting.  We in Orthodox have images in our homes, in our churches, in our lives, and so to do many Protestants and Evangelicals, in reality, they think we are being sacrilegious because of how we treat these images, we think sometimes they are sacrilegious for how they DO NOT treat these same images, but the images remain the same.  Either God can be experience through human art or He can't, which way is it?


stay blessed,
habte selassie

How is it hair-splitting? It is if we were discussing possession of any images then yes but as with money, it's not money itself that is the problem or possessing it, it's the love of money that is the problem. As long as you'd be ok with me throwing such icons in the garbage as i would a colouring book (which i know you probably wouldn't -- i wonder why?) then imight be able to see your point. Unfortunately and sadly i think you'd probabkly save the colouring book if it had iconic images of 'Jesus' in it and either burn it or colour it in, varnish it and frame it for your wall!
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« Reply #89 on: January 29, 2012, 05:20:06 AM »

Years ago there were many illiterate people and Icons were used to express biblical stories to those that couldn't read. That is why the images are usually referred to as written and not drawn.

And i would not have an issue with that at all as a teaching tool.
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