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Offline lost

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Idolatry
« on: January 30, 2012, 12:52:45 PM »
What is the deffinition of Idolatry according to Orthodoxy?

Offline witega

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 02:04:09 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.
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Offline primuspilus

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 02:09:10 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.
Perfect :)

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Offline lost

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 03:13:40 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.

and how is the cult of Mary, the saints, icons not part of this category?

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 03:32:16 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.

and how is the cult of Mary, the saints, icons not part of this category?
We do not offer the saints adoration or divine service.
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Offline primuspilus

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 03:48:13 PM »
Quote
cult of Mary
Huh?

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saints
A guy at work: "Hey Steve, can you pray for me? Im having a bad day...."
Same guy at Church "Hey St. Paul, Im having a bad day, as you stand before God, undistracted by this world, can you pray for me?"

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icons
Do you have a picture of your mom? boyfriend/girlfriend? Spuse? Have you ever kissed it? Are you loving the picture, and adoring it in-and-of-itself, or the person itself?

Kind of a simplistic way to look at it but.....

PP
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Offline witega

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 03:49:56 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.

and how is the cult of Mary, the saints, icons not part of this category?

Because veneration of Mary and the other saints no more takes the place of God than my respect for my parents, my love of my wife and kids, or my fandom of Dostoyevsky or some rock band does. Theoretically, any of those things could become an idol if I place that relationship above my relationship to God, but the mere fact of having relations with others beside God does not consititue idolatry. And, if anything, since my veneration of the Theotokos and the saints is based on *their* relationship with God, that particular relationship is less likely to turn into idolatry than the others since they consistently point me toward God.
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For it were better to suffer everything, rather than divide the Church of God. Even martyrdom for the sake of preventing division would not be less glorious than for refusing to worship idols. - St. Dionysius the Great

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 04:15:52 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.

Indeed! For instance, some people may have their own fictitious pre-conceptions of Apostolic doctrine or Church history that becomes so dogmatized for them that, when they are confronted with the Truth, they cannot accept what has been taught them.

Instead, they continue to rail against that which is established history and theology, showing that their pre-conceptions have become like a god to them showing another manner that a person becomes an idolator.
"As the sparrow flees from a hawk, so the man seeking humility flees from an argument". St John Climacus

Offline lost

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2012, 01:19:19 PM »
Quote
icons
Do you have a picture of your mom? boyfriend/girlfriend? Spuse? Have you ever kissed it? Are you loving the picture, and adoring it in-and-of-itself, or the person itself?

Kind of a simplistic way to look at it but.....

PP
[/quote]

I never kissed a picture..

Offline lost

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2012, 01:19:19 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.

and how is the cult of Mary, the saints, icons not part of this category?

Because veneration of Mary and the other saints no more takes the place of God than my respect for my parents, my love of my wife and kids, or my fandom of Dostoyevsky or some rock band does. Theoretically, any of those things could become an idol if I place that relationship above my relationship to God, but the mere fact of having relations with others beside God does not consititue idolatry. And, if anything, since my veneration of the Theotokos and the saints is based on *their* relationship with God, that particular relationship is less likely to turn into idolatry than the others since they consistently point me toward God.

But we consider Mary and the saints to be like gods and give them divine attributes.

We have a saying here that goes a little like this 'asking all the saints' or 'praying to all the saints' .. It is used when you ask something and you don`t receive it.

Nikolai Berdiaev said that sin is submission to an inferior world.

“Idolatry' is the practice of seeking the source and provision of what we need either physically or emotionally in someone or something other than the one true God. It is the tragically pathetic attempt to squeeze life out of lifeless forms that cannot help us meet our real needs.” ― Scott J. Hafemann, The God of Promise and the Life of Faith: Understanding the Heart of the Bible

“You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
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There is nothing so abominable in the eyes of God and of men as idolatry, whereby men render to the creature that honor which is due only to the Creator -- Blaise Pascal

“'Tis mad idolatry to make the service greater than the god.” William Shakespeare

Clement of Alexandria, c. A.D. 190

The swallows and most birds fly to these statues, and void their excrement on them, paying no respect either to Olympian Zeus, Epidaurian Asclepius, or even to Athene Polias or the Egyptian Serapis; but not even from them have you learned the senselessness of images. (Exhortation to the Heathen 5)

Ultimately all idolatry is worship of the self projected and objectified: all idolization is self-idolization. -Will Herberg


Offline lost

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 01:19:19 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.

Indeed! For instance, some people may have their own fictitious pre-conceptions of Apostolic doctrine or Church history that becomes so dogmatized for them that, when they are confronted with the Truth, they cannot accept what has been taught them.

Instead, they continue to rail against that which is established history and theology, showing that their pre-conceptions have become like a god to them showing another manner that a person becomes an idolator.

Hate to dissapoint you but that`s not me.. I was born and raised Orthodox(can you say the same), i have no pre-conceptions on this.

Offline lost

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2012, 04:43:41 PM »
bump.

Offline genesisone

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2012, 05:01:09 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.

and how is the cult of Mary, the saints, icons not part of this category?

Because veneration of Mary and the other saints no more takes the place of God than my respect for my parents, my love of my wife and kids, or my fandom of Dostoyevsky or some rock band does. Theoretically, any of those things could become an idol if I place that relationship above my relationship to God, but the mere fact of having relations with others beside God does not consititue idolatry. And, if anything, since my veneration of the Theotokos and the saints is based on *their* relationship with God, that particular relationship is less likely to turn into idolatry than the others since they consistently point me toward God.

But we consider Mary and the saints to be like gods and give them divine attributes.

"we" who?

Offline Cavaradossi

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2012, 05:03:23 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.

Indeed! For instance, some people may have their own fictitious pre-conceptions of Apostolic doctrine or Church history that becomes so dogmatized for them that, when they are confronted with the Truth, they cannot accept what has been taught them.

Instead, they continue to rail against that which is established history and theology, showing that their pre-conceptions have become like a god to them showing another manner that a person becomes an idolator.

Hate to dissapoint you but that`s not me.. I was born and raised Orthodox(can you say the same), i have no pre-conceptions on this.

Sure you do. You know something about a book even before you open its cover; to say otherwise is utter nonsense.
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Offline Ionnis

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2012, 05:40:21 PM »
Lost,

The saints are indeed gods.  Christ, through the Prophet David, said, "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you."  St. Paul says in Romans that we are "heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ."  St. Peter in his second epistle says that we "may participate in the divine nature." St. John in his first epistle says that at the end, "when it is revealed we shall be like him [Christ]..."  When the Son became Man he made our nature godlike.  It was even further perfected when Christ ascended into Heaven and enthroned our nature at the right hand of the Father.

And the saints have many divine attributes.  Here are but a few: faith, hope, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  (I Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 5:22-23)

It should be noted though that we are called to the same.  Those saints which are glorified by the Church are not inherently unique.  We are called to be like them.  Like them we are called to imitate Christ. 
"If you cannot find Christ in the beggar at the church door, you will not find Him in the chalice.”  -The Divine John Chrysostom

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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2012, 08:29:30 PM »
Lost,

The saints are indeed gods.  Christ, through the Prophet David, said, "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you."  St. Paul says in Romans that we are "heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ."  St. Peter in his second epistle says that we "may participate in the divine nature." St. John in his first epistle says that at the end, "when it is revealed we shall be like him [Christ]..."  When the Son became Man he made our nature godlike.  It was even further perfected when Christ ascended into Heaven and enthroned our nature at the right hand of the Father.

And the saints have many divine attributes.  Here are but a few: faith, hope, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  (I Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 5:22-23)

It should be noted though that we are called to the same.  Those saints which are glorified by the Church are not inherently unique.  We are called to be like them.  Like them we are called to imitate Christ. 

In fact, we give honor to them because they are what we hope to become, because they are like God and the whole of our life is meant to be the pursuit of becoming like God.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2012, 01:30:16 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.

and how is the cult of Mary, the saints, icons not part of this category?

They can be put in the place of God, but I think the number of Orthodox that actually do this is minute. God is God, the others, like me, depend upon Him.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2012, 01:31:09 PM »
Quote
icons
Do you have a picture of your mom? boyfriend/girlfriend? Spuse? Have you ever kissed it? Are you loving the picture, and adoring it in-and-of-itself, or the person itself?

Kind of a simplistic way to look at it but.....

PP

I never kissed a picture..
[/quote]

You ever kissed a person? You've kissed an icon of God.
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
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I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2012, 01:32:09 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.

Indeed! For instance, some people may have their own fictitious pre-conceptions of Apostolic doctrine or Church history that becomes so dogmatized for them that, when they are confronted with the Truth, they cannot accept what has been taught them.

Instead, they continue to rail against that which is established history and theology, showing that their pre-conceptions have become like a god to them showing another manner that a person becomes an idolator.

Hate to dissapoint you but that`s not me.. I was born and raised Orthodox(can you say the same), i have no pre-conceptions on this.

Maybe not pre-conceptions, but false conceptions or misunderstandings.
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
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I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2012, 02:35:11 PM »
Lost,

The saints are indeed gods.  Christ, through the Prophet David, said, "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you."  St. Paul says in Romans that we are "heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ."  St. Peter in his second epistle says that we "may participate in the divine nature." St. John in his first epistle says that at the end, "when it is revealed we shall be like him [Christ]..."  When the Son became Man he made our nature godlike.  It was even further perfected when Christ ascended into Heaven and enthroned our nature at the right hand of the Father.

And the saints have many divine attributes.  Here are but a few: faith, hope, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  (I Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 5:22-23)

It should be noted though that we are called to the same.  Those saints which are glorified by the Church are not inherently unique.  We are called to be like them.  Like them we are called to imitate Christ. 

[/thread]
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2012, 03:35:34 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.

and how is the cult of Mary, the saints, icons not part of this category?

this is a loaded question if i've ever heard one... :(

Offline lost

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2012, 04:09:54 PM »
How do you guys take the quote of Clement of Alexandria?

Doesn`t having other gods beside the one true G-d be conflicting or contradicting?How is the thing about all glory belongs to G-d?Why did the Apostles reject veneration and why did the angel in Revelation stopped John from venerating him?Aren`t the gods you mentioned in psalms and elsewhere as others interpret them idols and god judging idolatry?or angels, 'elohims' ?

Job 5:1Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn?

I had one in my language that goes a little like this "you venerate the elbow of a saint and the bones of the death.you and my dog have something in come you both venerate bones.one does this according to his nature another contrary to his nature"... Also how do you take this in the context of Nikolai Berdiaev who said the "sin is submission to an inferior world" ?

Offline lost

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2012, 04:17:59 PM »
Quote
icons
Do you have a picture of your mom? boyfriend/girlfriend? Spuse? Have you ever kissed it? Are you loving the picture, and adoring it in-and-of-itself, or the person itself?

Kind of a simplistic way to look at it but.....

PP
Quote
I never kissed a picture..

You ever kissed a person? You've kissed an icon of God.

Yes.A person is a living "icon" of God not a wood one.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 04:18:30 PM by lost »

Offline Isadore

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2012, 04:59:00 PM »
Icons help guide and stimulate spiritual feelings to God, whether they are representational, or non-representational art.
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Offline Melodist

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2012, 05:10:27 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.
and how is the cult of Mary, the saints, icons not part of this category?

We don't place them in the place of God.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Offline lost

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #25 on: February 29, 2012, 12:25:49 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.
and how is the cult of Mary, the saints, icons not part of this category?

We don't place them in the place of God.

What is G-d's place?What is the place of Mary , the saints , etc?

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #26 on: February 29, 2012, 12:38:13 PM »
The definition Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory often used in his sermons was "placing any created thing (including our own conceptions of God) in the place of God'.
and how is the cult of Mary, the saints, icons not part of this category?

We don't place them in the place of God.

What is G-d's place?What is the place of Mary , the saints , etc?

The Pinnacle of Creation.

Offline Melodist

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #27 on: February 29, 2012, 01:38:12 PM »
What is G-d's place?What is the place of Mary , the saints , etc?
The Pinnacle Creator of Creation.

Well for starters...

Quote from: http://www.liturgies.net/Liturgies/Eastern/ChrysostumsLiturgy.htm
It is proper and right to sing to You, bless You, praise You, thank You and worship You in all places of Your dominion; for You are God ineffable, beyond comprehension, invisible, beyond understanding, existing forever and always the same; You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit. You brought us into being out of nothing, and when we fell, You raised us up again. You did not cease doing everything until You led us to heaven and granted us Your kingdom to come. For all these things we thank You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit; for all things that we know and do not know, for blessings seen and unseen that have been bestowed upon us. We also thank You for this liturgy which You are pleased to accept from our hands, even though You are surrounded by thousands of Archangels and tens of thousands of Angels, by the Cherubim and Seraphim, six-winged, many-eyed, soaring with their wings,
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Offline Melodist

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #28 on: February 29, 2012, 01:41:30 PM »
Mary and the saints are creatures created by God to serve Him and show forth His glory. Actually, all are called to serve Him and show forth His glory, Mary and the saints are the ones who have lived lives positively responding to this call.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #29 on: February 29, 2012, 02:47:29 PM »
What is G-d's place?What is the place of Mary , the saints , etc?
The Pinnacle Creator of Creation.

Well for starters...

Quote from: http://www.liturgies.net/Liturgies/Eastern/ChrysostumsLiturgy.htm
It is proper and right to sing to You, bless You, praise You, thank You and worship You in all places of Your dominion; for You are God ineffable, beyond comprehension, invisible, beyond understanding, existing forever and always the same; You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit. You brought us into being out of nothing, and when we fell, You raised us up again. You did not cease doing everything until You led us to heaven and granted us Your kingdom to come. For all these things we thank You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit; for all things that we know and do not know, for blessings seen and unseen that have been bestowed upon us. We also thank You for this liturgy which You are pleased to accept from our hands, even though You are surrounded by thousands of Archangels and tens of thousands of Angels, by the Cherubim and Seraphim, six-winged, many-eyed, soaring with their wings,


I was referring to his second question, for some reason I missed the first question regarding God's place.

Offline Tgebar

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2012, 01:36:05 AM »
Iconoclasm is practical dualism, Christianity is non-dualist and condemns dualism, ergo iconoclasm is a heresy. Problem solved.
:)

Offline Nicene

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2012, 06:32:47 AM »
I think a good way to define idolatry (in my opinion) that covers all areas of how it is used rhetorically within Orthodoxy would be.

The worship of things as if they were Divine and or God but they are not Divine and or God.
Thank you.

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2012, 07:02:48 AM »
Iconoclasm is practical dualism, Christianity is non-dualist and condemns dualism, ergo iconoclasm is a heresy. Problem solved.

Alternatively, one could argue the reverse.  Iconoclasm is non-dualistic, believing that the only thing that truly matters is the soul, and that the physical world is (if not evil, then at least) unimportant.  On the other hand, Christianity is dualistic, believing that both the physical and spiritual are equally important.
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Offline Tgebar

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Re: Idolatry
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2012, 02:55:57 PM »
That would make the debate a semantic one, however. Hatred of the material world has been a common aspect of dualistic philosophy throughout history; this is why Plotinus wrote his treatise 'Against the Gnostics'.
:)