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William
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« on: August 08, 2013, 11:35:02 PM »

Do Lutherans usually have problems with icons and venerating them and such?
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2013, 11:51:22 PM »

In my experience, it seems to depend on which strand of Lutheranism they belong to. The Lutherans I know well enough accept icons in their homes and churches, but I can't be sure if they actually venerate them or not.
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2013, 11:54:36 PM »

I used to burn them.
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2013, 11:55:33 PM »

Do Lutherans usually have problems with icons and venerating them and such?
yes.  Not as much as the Baptists, but more than the Episcopalians.
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 12:01:50 AM »

Further to my earlier post, I was once asked to give a lecture and visual presentation on iconography at the Lutheran seminary in the city where I live, as part of the students' tuition on different Christian traditions. It went down very well, and many of the students besieged me with questions afterwards. Most had no idea that icons were much, much more than exotic-looking religious art.  Smiley

But I don't doubt that there would be Lutherans who are against them.
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2013, 12:03:28 AM »

Okay. I ask because I'm going to live with one for a year. I guess in the end it doesn't really matter at all what my roommate thinks of my religious practices. I don't even know if he's practicing yet.
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2013, 12:13:30 AM »

Okay. I ask because I'm going to live with one for a year. I guess in the end it doesn't really matter at all what my roommate thinks of my religious practices. I don't even know if he's practicing yet.

You could always ask him, I s'pose.
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2013, 03:25:32 AM »

There's a Lutheran pastor from PA who is a member at ByzCath and posts very regularly there. I forget to which Synod his parish belongs, but the congregation is very 'High Church' (for lack of a better term) and not infrequently incorporates Eastern prayer into their worship. Pastor Thomas is very familiar with icons and very reverential toward them. In fact, believe that there may actually be some in his church.

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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2013, 08:28:07 AM »

The Lutherans I know well enough accept icons in their homes and churches, but I can't be sure if they actually venerate them or not.

Basically this...
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2013, 09:02:59 AM »

In my experience, it seems to depend on which strand of Lutheranism they belong to. The Lutherans I know well enough accept icons in their homes and churches, but I can't be sure if they actually venerate them or not.

The Lutheran church I used to go to has both statues, icons and other religious art. However, if someone were to kiss any of it I think a lot of eyebrows would be raised.
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2013, 11:29:07 AM »

Do Lutherans usually have problems with icons and venerating them and such?

Lutherans have a history, especially in this country, of being iconoclasts.  Early in the days of the Reformation, some Lutherans considered the cross to be even idolatry.  Religious art is rare in most Lutheran churches in this country, a stark contrast from the churches in Germany.  Lutherans confuse idolatry and veneration as one and the same thing. They don't see the distinction, hence their insistence that we must worship Mary because we have an icon to her and bow down in front of it.
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2013, 12:03:59 PM »

High Lutherans don't have a problem with images, but I doubt most would venerate an icon.

My local Lutheran Church has two "icons" on each interior entrence wall, one of St.Augustine and one of "st."Luther.
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2013, 12:33:44 PM »

Many Finnish Lutherans have icons of Christ and the Mother of God in their homes. They don't venerate them though. They probably see them as pieces of Christian art and/or symbols. 
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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2013, 05:23:28 PM »

It honestly depends upon the particular synod/denomination, and the particular Lutheran specifically.

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils, we technically shouldn't have a problem with icons. However, as we are children of the Western traditions, venerating icons isn't exactly in our bag of tricks (especially if the icon is of a saint).

More importantly, though, is that you probably won't see much icon-venerating because:
A) We don't necessarily have icons in our churches and homes
B) Many don't know the theology behind icons, and as such probably wouldn't

If the veneration of icons was properly explained and taught, the reactions would likely be:
A) No way, that isn't right
B) Okay, I get it. You can do that, but I probably won't, but I won't bother you about it.
C) Sweet, I'm all for the veneration of the Holy Ikons! (A slim chance)
D) Can we just have our coffee and donuts now?  Wink

For the record, this Lutheran is an iconodule. I have an icon, and whenever I have visited any Orthodox temple, I have always venerated the icons, especially of Christ and the Holy Theotokos.  Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2013, 05:34:24 PM »

Do Lutherans usually have problems with icons and venerating them and such?

Lutherans have a history, especially in this country, of being iconoclasts.  Early in the days of the Reformation, some Lutherans considered the cross to be even idolatry.  Religious art is rare in most Lutheran churches in this country, a stark contrast from the churches in Germany.  Lutherans confuse idolatry and veneration as one and the same thing. They don't see the distinction, hence their insistence that we must worship Mary because we have an icon to her and bow down in front of it.

Scamandrius,

  It should be noted, first off, that a completely iconoclastic attitude was not the prevailing attitude of the Lutheran Reformers. Of course, in the craziness that was those times, there were some that did advocate iconoclasm (although I've never heard of any considering the Cross to be an idol; where did you hear that?). However, they were always rebuked.

  And I wouldn't say religious art is sparse in Lutheran churches in America today per se. Compared to the abundance of icons in an Orthodox temple (which I recognize aren't purely religious art, but for the sake of comparison), or the art back in Europe, yeah we're a bit sparse. And, it cannot be denied that many churches recently built lack good artwork (whether by choice, or because they are starting out, I don't know). However, many older churches when Lutherans first came over still maintain many traditions of artwork and architecture. And many more "sparse" ones today have at least stained glass windows.

  And, unfortunately, it can be said that many still confuse veneration and idolatry. I cannot say that will necessarily change. However, I will say that many pastors and theologians, even if they disagree with the veneration of icons, still explain that the people aren't purposefully worshiping Mary or the saints. So, in that respect, things are improving, and I hope they do. Again, depends on which synod you talk to.

 
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« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2013, 06:44:33 PM »

I remember visiting the Roskilde Cathedral (near Copenhagen) and I noticed that, while religious iconography had been toned down, the various royals buried there had insanely lavish tombs and chapels devoted to them, complete with statuary.
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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2013, 06:59:32 PM »

Okay. I ask because I'm going to live with one for a year. I guess in the end it doesn't really matter at all what my roommate thinks of my religious practices. I don't even know if he's practicing yet.

Martin Luther didn't have a problem with them. While he was away, Karlstadt (?) went about smashing statues, and Luther rebuked him when he returned saying something to the effect that if they brought people to faith, they weren't bad.
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« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2013, 07:01:27 PM »

In my experience, it seems to depend on which strand of Lutheranism they belong to. The Lutherans I know well enough accept icons in their homes and churches, but I can't be sure if they actually venerate them or not.

The Lutheran church I used to go to has both statues, icons and other religious art. However, if someone were to kiss any of it I think a lot of eyebrows would be raised.

Kissing is a strange form of veneration to many Westerners, but it is not at all the only form of veneration. Such forms include bowing, genuflection, and an attitude of reverence and affection. And I daresay they may strongly object to dishonoring an icon.
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2013, 07:03:34 PM »

Do Lutherans usually have problems with icons and venerating them and such?

Lutherans have a history, especially in this country, of being iconoclasts.  Early in the days of the Reformation, some Lutherans considered the cross to be even idolatry.  Religious art is rare in most Lutheran churches in this country, a stark contrast from the churches in Germany.  Lutherans confuse idolatry and veneration as one and the same thing. They don't see the distinction, hence their insistence that we must worship Mary because we have an icon to her and bow down in front of it.

When you say "this country," do you mean the United States? I have always seen crosses in Lutheran churches I've been to in America and often icons or statues, or Christ on the cross.
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2013, 08:37:31 PM »

In my experience, it seems to depend on which strand of Lutheranism they belong to. The Lutherans I know well enough accept icons in their homes and churches, but I can't be sure if they actually venerate them or not.

The Lutheran church I used to go to has both statues, icons and other religious art. However, if someone were to kiss any of it I think a lot of eyebrows would be raised.

Kissing is a strange form of veneration to many Westerners, but it is not at all the only form of veneration. Such forms include bowing, genuflection, and an attitude of reverence and affection. And I daresay they may strongly object to dishonoring an icon.
Or they may not, especially one not of Christ.
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« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2013, 08:41:28 PM »

Kissing is a strange form of veneration to many Westerners, but it is not at all the only form of veneration. Such forms include bowing, genuflection, and an attitude of reverence and affection. And I daresay they may strongly object to dishonoring an icon.

The closest thing to veneration I've seen there is people getting their picture taken with their arm around St. Olav.

Dishonouring an icon they would object to, but probably more because it's a general disregard or disdain for things belonging to the church building than because it dishonours the person depicted on the icon.
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« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2013, 08:45:37 PM »

Do Lutherans usually have problems with icons and venerating them and such?

Lutherans have a history, especially in this country, of being iconoclasts.  Early in the days of the Reformation, some Lutherans considered the cross to be even idolatry.  Religious art is rare in most Lutheran churches in this country, a stark contrast from the churches in Germany.  Lutherans confuse idolatry and veneration as one and the same thing. They don't see the distinction, hence their insistence that we must worship Mary because we have an icon to her and bow down in front of it.

When you say "this country," do you mean the United States? I have always seen crosses in Lutheran churches I've been to in America and often icons or statues, or Christ on the cross.
My old Lutheran church found an antique crucifix in the original sanctuary (the church expanding with the baby boon, and then busted last year).  There was a debate at the time ('80s) on whether to allow it on the altar or not, that dragged on for some time.  Many were not happy when it did end up there.  Even the stained glass in the nave was just colored squares (although there were some abstract representations of Creation and the Crucifixion in the narthax, and a beardless Christ, or was it the angel?).  There was also Christ knocking at the door in the narthax).
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« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2013, 09:23:13 PM »

Do Lutherans usually have problems with icons and venerating them and such?

Lutherans have a history, especially in this country, of being iconoclasts.  Early in the days of the Reformation, some Lutherans considered the cross to be even idolatry.  Religious art is rare in most Lutheran churches in this country, a stark contrast from the churches in Germany.  Lutherans confuse idolatry and veneration as one and the same thing. They don't see the distinction, hence their insistence that we must worship Mary because we have an icon to her and bow down in front of it.

When you say "this country," do you mean the United States? I have always seen crosses in Lutheran churches I've been to in America and often icons or statues, or Christ on the cross.

America, yes.  There are exceptions to every rule, but even when a crucifix is present, that's usually it.  Like I wrote, the Lutheran churches of Germany are very different in recandarchitecture.  Granted, many of those churches were converted from Catholic Churches, but the artwork was almost retained.
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« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2013, 01:51:59 AM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans
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« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2013, 09:30:10 AM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans

Why "even moreso"?
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« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2013, 11:26:11 AM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans

Why "even moreso"?

Because Confessional High Church Lutheranism is fairly non-existent phenomenon in here. Confessional Lutherans tend to de-emphasize Fathers and institutional church despite all the fancy words written in the Book of Concord. Mainstream Lutheranism has had some influences from ecumenical discussions with EOs and the RCC and thus has partly re-discovered historical Lutheran appreciation of the Patristics, liturgy and the like.
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« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2013, 12:01:31 PM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans

I will disagree with you there.  Confessionals, right now, are making inroads especially in the  LCMS and trying to get away from the baptist theology and style of liturgy that came to dominate in the mid 20th century.  As far as councils go, they will accept the first four, but not necessarily the last three.  The criteria for which councils  they will accept is vague and changes.  They don't ignore patristics, save for St. Augustine, but they only read the fathers through the lenses of the Lutheran fathers, e.g. Luther, Chemnitz, Melancthon, etc.
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« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2013, 12:12:39 PM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans

I will disagree with you there.  Confessionals, right now, are making inroads especially in the  LCMS and trying to get away from the baptist theology and style of liturgy that came to dominate in the mid 20th century.  As far as councils go, they will accept the first four, but not necessarily the last three.  The criteria for which councils  they will accept is vague and changes.  They don't ignore patristics, save for St. Augustine, but they only read the fathers through the lenses of the Lutheran fathers, e.g. Luther, Chemnitz, Melancthon, etc.

I gave my impressions basis of what I've seen here. The US might be different. I'm not even sure we are talking about the same things despite the same terms

I've heard about alleged acceptance of the Councils and the Fathers but IMO that means just about nothing since they don't have any use for them as a part of normal parochial or devotional life.
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« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2013, 12:43:51 PM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans

I will disagree with you there.  Confessionals, right now, are making inroads especially in the  LCMS and trying to get away from the baptist theology and style of liturgy that came to dominate in the mid 20th century.  As far as councils go, they will accept the first four, but not necessarily the last three.  The criteria for which councils  they will accept is vague and changes.  They don't ignore patristics, save for St. Augustine, but they only read the fathers through the lenses of the Lutheran fathers, e.g. Luther, Chemnitz, Melancthon, etc.

I gave my impressions basis of what I've seen here. The US might be different. I'm not even sure we are talking about the same things despite the same terms

I've heard about alleged acceptance of the Councils and the Fathers but IMO that means just about nothing since they don't have any use for them as a part of normal parochial or devotional life.

I'm speaking as one who grew up lutheran in the USA.

That's true with regards to your second point.  Lutherans have divorced theology and praxis so much (and that's true of most Lutherans, whether they be liberal or confessional) that the fathers only use is for their theology.
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« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2013, 01:04:53 PM »

That's true with regards to your second point.  Lutherans have divorced theology and praxis so much (and that's true of most Lutherans, whether they be liberal or confessional) that the fathers only use is for their theology.

And even for the theology the use is fairly limited. Most references I've heard have been about infant baptism.
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« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2013, 02:23:54 PM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans

Why "even moreso"?

They're more inquisitional than other Lutherans.
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« Reply #31 on: August 10, 2013, 02:52:23 PM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans

Why "even moreso"?

They're more inquisitional than other Lutherans.

At least they are certain about what they believe and not washy-washy and quasi-heretical like the ELCA and other heterodox Lutheran confessions.
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« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2013, 03:06:52 PM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans

Why "even moreso"?

They're more inquisitional than other Lutherans.

At least they are certain about what they believe and not washy-washy and quasi-heretical like the ELCA and other heterodox Lutheran confessions.

All Lutherans are heretics. Not just some specific Lutheran churches.
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« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2013, 03:26:02 PM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans

Why "even moreso"?

They're more inquisitional than other Lutherans.

At least they are certain about what they believe and not washy-washy and quasi-heretical like the ELCA and other heterodox Lutheran confessions.

But all Lutheran confessions are heterodox.
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« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2013, 03:26:55 PM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans

Why "even moreso"?

They're more inquisitional than other Lutherans.

At least they are certain about what they believe and not washy-washy and quasi-heretical like the ELCA and other heterodox Lutheran confessions.

All Lutherans are heretics. Not just some specific Lutheran churches.

And, based on what I've read about Lutheran iconoclasm, they've got little to do with classical Lutheranism.
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« Reply #35 on: August 10, 2013, 03:32:02 PM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans

Why "even moreso"?

They're more inquisitional than other Lutherans.

At least they are certain about what they believe and not washy-washy and quasi-heretical like the ELCA and other heterodox Lutheran confessions.

All Lutherans are heretics. Not just some specific Lutheran churches.

I was referring to how the Lutherans would consider themselves, not how they're viewed from the outside.
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« Reply #36 on: August 10, 2013, 05:31:16 PM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans

Not much different than some modern Orthodox.  The difference would be that Lutherans do not recognize any council to be completely authoritative when it comes to canons, where the Orthodox only recognize those that are convenient at the time and for the purpose at hand.
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« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2013, 05:57:12 PM »

Officially speaking, since we profess to adhere the seven Ecumenical Councils

Sophistry. Outside of basic Christological and Trinitarian statements practically all Lutherans ignore all seven councils and patristics in general. Confessional Lutherans even moreso than mainstream Lutherans

Not much different than some modern Orthodox.  The difference would be that Lutherans do not recognize any council to be completely authoritative when it comes to canons, where the Orthodox only recognize those that are convenient at the time and for the purpose at hand.

There are certain differences between "some" and "all". I'm not entirely confident with the approach of some Orthodox either but generally speaking the most progressive Orthodox are more patristic than the most traditionalist Lutheran.
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« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2013, 09:55:06 AM »

Do Lutherans usually have problems with icons and venerating them and such?

No. Lutheranism is basically icon friendly, and it has gotten even more so lately.

There are also High Church currents in Lutheranism that are very close to Catholicism on many issues such as icons, monasticism, intercession of Saints, traditional marriage etc.

On the issue of icons specifically, Lutheranism has a problem with iconoclasm in other Protestant movements, in my opinion. Protestant iconoclasm reminds the Lutheran mind of denial of the Incarnation, and a Lutheran will have problems recognizing that a house is a place of worship if there are no images there.
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« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2013, 02:16:22 PM »

Do Lutherans usually have problems with icons and venerating them and such?

No. Lutheranism is basically icon friendly, and it has gotten even more so lately.

There are also High Church currents in Lutheranism that are very close to Catholicism on many issues such as icons, monasticism, intercession of Saints, traditional marriage etc.

On the issue of icons specifically, Lutheranism has a problem with iconoclasm in other Protestant movements, in my opinion. Protestant iconoclasm reminds the Lutheran mind of denial of the Incarnation, and a Lutheran will have problems recognizing that a house is a place of worship if there are no images there.

I don't know if you have many Lutherans in Sweden following the pietist tradition. There are many Germans and Norwegians who were influenced by it and began to de-emphasize liturgy and sacraments. In the United States, there are many Lutherans who have basically become run-of-the-mill Protestants, being influenced by the larger Protestant presence.
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« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2013, 03:01:46 PM »

Do Lutherans usually have problems with icons and venerating them and such?

No. Lutheranism is basically icon friendly, and it has gotten even more so lately.

There are also High Church currents in Lutheranism that are very close to Catholicism on many issues such as icons, monasticism, intercession of Saints, traditional marriage etc.

On the issue of icons specifically, Lutheranism has a problem with iconoclasm in other Protestant movements, in my opinion. Protestant iconoclasm reminds the Lutheran mind of denial of the Incarnation, and a Lutheran will have problems recognizing that a house is a place of worship if there are no images there.

I don't know if you have many Lutherans in Sweden following the pietist tradition. There are many Germans and Norwegians who were influenced by it and began to de-emphasize liturgy and sacraments. In the United States, there are many Lutherans who have basically become run-of-the-mill Protestants, being influenced by the larger Protestant presence.

The pietists in Sweden who did not want to be a part of traditional Lutheranism anymore joined other Protestant denominations or formed new ones.
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« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2013, 03:07:43 PM »

Not much different than some modern Orthodox.  The difference would be that Lutherans do not recognize any council to be completely authoritative when it comes to canons, where the Orthodox only recognize those that are convenient at the time and for the purpose at hand.

LOL
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« Reply #42 on: August 20, 2013, 04:39:51 PM »

My former parish has icons on the altar and on tables by the altar.  I believe the pastor there has them in his home (I know their former deaconess did).

They do not venerate them.  But those particular Lutherans, as well as others I know, have no problem with icons for devotional aids, etc.
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« Reply #43 on: October 10, 2013, 03:33:22 PM »

    Venerating icons the way Orthodox do is a bit alien to the western tradition in general, hence why the 7th ecumenical council was not received as eagerly.  The West has always looked more at images as symbols than a mystery or sacrament.   This is not just a Protestant issue, there were some Catholic religious movements that were somewhat iconoclastic (Savanarola in Florence comes to mind), and Catholic orders like the Cistercians that do not favor widespread use of religious images.

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