I'm aware of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, but all that tells me is the Worship of Icons is controversial.
If it were a source of belief as you say, then there would be no need for a Sunday of Orthodoxy;
as Icons would be automatically accepted by everyone without question.
Does that mean divinity of Christ is also not a part of belief since it hadn't been universally accepted?
The issue of "belief" as you say seems to be related more to ideology, than the difference between "beliefs" and "actions".
It is one thing to be raised Orthodox from birth, and quite another to encounter it as an adult, and attempt to make sense of it.
The statement of "divinity of Christ" is meaningless to me; because that is an internal state of belief.
You can say whatever you think is right at the time, but your inner beliefs are not openly exposed to public examination.
For someone new to the Orthodox Church; and being seriously and severely forewarned (from your own prior religious faith)
that the Veneration of Icons either appears to be Idolatry or actually could be; this is a little different from every other issue.
There is a point in the Orthodox Services where everyone in Church goes up to Venerate an Icon.
Without getting any further explanation or justification of this practice, or even being told the proper way to do it;
that puts an Observing Visitor into an extremely precarious position.
Your ideological beliefs can be molded to fit the demands of the moment;
but if you are told that Venerating an Icon is a very serious sin by your prior religious group;
now you have several hundred witnesses that you just went up and Venerated an Icon.
Now you will be severely judged by God for doing so, because YOU know better,
even if everyone else attending the Church does not,
or is clueless about the specific Bible scriptures your initial belief is based on.
Whatever your ideological predisposition is: whether Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, etc...
the act of going up and publicly Venerating and Icon; is much more than just BELIEF.
My personal statement to you Michal is: how do you know that you are right?
What proof do you have that your Ideological understanding is superior to the Protestants?
I'm not saying this to provoke argument or to question the Orthodox belief system.
I'm saying this from not knowing or understanding Orthodoxy at all; and now being forced to publicly Venerate an Icon
after being told by my prior religious group that doing this is a grave and serious sin.
Because you are raised Orthodox, it is no skin off your back to Venerate an Icon because you have been doing it from birth.
But, what if my studies of the bible have brought me into a close personal relationship with God, and I don't want to lose it;
or even better, I'm terrified of jeopardizing it?
Can you prove to me that God will not severely punish me, for Venerating an Icon in the Orthodox Church;
when I have been specifically told by my bible teachers, that this is Idolatry and a grave sin?
How do you know that you are right?
What if I listen to you, and start publicly Venerating Icons straight away;
and then something terrible happens to me as a result of that?
I'm not saying this to doubt you or question your beliefs.
I'm just asking you to explain your beliefs to me,
to try and overcome these bible based objections from the Protestants or whoever else.
If all you can do is pretend it is part of Ideology, or threaten with heresy and anathema;
then you are proving yourselves wrong from the very outset.
You cannot threaten someone into believing what you want them to believe,
and none of you on this board has even attempted to give a valid defense of
why there is such a necessity of venerating icons in the first place?
Please explain to me: Why it is necessary to publicly Venerate an Icon in Church,
and try to make it good enough for me to feel comfortable taking the risk of offending God by doing so.
There is a lot of fear to overcome in doing this publicly, and I need something better than Ideology
because I am being asked to take a public action here, that cannot be undone,
not merely a statement of beliefs, as you proclaim.