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Author Topic: Coptic flashing icon!  (Read 7133 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 15, 2006, 06:35:46 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o55SjyKVFRE

As tacky as this is, I have to admit it's kind of cool.

Anastasios
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2006, 06:49:02 PM »

 Cheesy LOL! I love it!
Right up there with "Buddy Jesus"
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2006, 06:49:53 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o55SjyKVFRE

As tacky as this is, I have to admit it's kind of cool.

Anastasios
Looks fun. Perhaps irreverent though.
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2006, 08:47:10 PM »

Looks fun. Perhaps irreverent though.

It's in a Church. That's what's even more funny.
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2006, 10:16:38 PM »

It's in a Church. That's what's even more funny.
I would be horrorfied if I saw it in my Church. Even with all the Liturgical abuses in the Catholic Church, I couldn't imagine seeing such a thing in a Catholic Church.
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2006, 10:41:31 PM »

I would be horrorfied if I saw it in my Church. Even with all the Liturgical abuses in the Catholic Church, I couldn't imagine seeing such a thing in a Catholic Church.

Well, you haven't been to eastern europe then...
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2006, 10:42:26 PM »

I mean really it's not that bad. Some overzealous teenager probably put it together and gave it to his priest and the priest was like ok sure uh let's not hurt his feelings..
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2006, 10:44:40 PM »

Well, the buddy Jesus was meant to be silly and is offensive, this Coptic thing is meant to be pious and is just tacky.
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2006, 11:15:33 PM »

I dont like it. Sorry.

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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2006, 11:38:10 PM »

I mean really it's not that bad. Some overzealous teenager probably put it together and gave it to his priest and the priest was like ok sure uh let's not hurt his feelings..
I understand what you are saying, but we are talking about God's temple here.
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2006, 11:42:04 PM »

I understand what you are saying, but we are talking about God's temple here.

You're in America, right? Have you ever travelled to Europe or the Middle East? I think you would be surprised at the difference in cultural norms.  In India for instance, I saw what was basically flashing Christmas lights around an altar or tabernacle (I don't want to be specific lest I bear false witness) in a Church.  My point at showing the link was not to say it was wrong per se--it certainly would have no place in an American church--but rather just because I found it interesting, quaint, tacky, sort of cool, the whole range of emotions, while still beleiving it was not per se badly intentioned. I agree it shouldn't be in a Church but I am an American like you and have certain cultural presuppositions. Obviously those people don't think it's all that blasphemous.

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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2006, 11:50:49 PM »

Oh ya, we got lots of those.   I visited that monastery/cathedral (St. Mina's off of Alexandria).  It is beautiful.

This is the icon of the first Abbott of the Monastery (HE the late Metropolitan Mina), may his memory be eternal.

I don't think though that this icon is directly in the main part of the Church.  This is near his burial shrine.  The actual Church with pews and altar don't have these types of icons to my knowledge.  I'll have to check my video in thanksgiving and refresh my memory.  I have these things recorded.

HH the late Pope St. Kyrillos the Sixth is also buried in a shrine right across from that other shrine, and there's a lighted icon effect as well of him near his burial shrine.

While I don't think it's blasphemous to have them in Church, I don't prefer them.  Maybe it's because I'm just not used to them.

God bless.

Mina

PS It is also somewhere in the vicinity (and I wish I recorded them) where you see various photos of HIM Haille Sellassie with St. Pope Kyrillos, which is PLENTY.  HIM loved the Pope.
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2006, 11:56:33 PM »

You're in America, right? Have you ever travelled to Europe or the Middle East? I think you would be surprised at the difference in cultural norms.  In India for instance, I saw what was basically flashing Christmas lights around an altar or tabernacle (I don't want to be specific lest I bear false witness) in a Church.  My point at showing the link was not to say it was wrong per se--it certainly would have no place in an American church--but rather just because I found it interesting, quaint, tacky, sort of cool, the whole range of emotions, while still beleiving it was not per se badly intentioned. I agree it shouldn't be in a Church but I am an American like you and have certain cultural presuppositions. Obviously those people don't think it's all that blasphemous.

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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2006, 08:09:12 AM »

I think that ultimately there can be no substantial argument made against the type of Icon in question. We can poke fun at it for being distasteful and tacky etc. but such responses are, as Anastasios has pointed out, influenced by our various predispositions that are shaped by our cultural, social, and various other contexts.

Let me try and propose a new perspective on this. Let us reflect for a moment on the Orthodox conception of Icons as "windows to heaven". Can we posit an interpretation of the purpose of the flashing effect which could properly relate to this theological perspective of the icon--a purpose with more meaning than one merely intended to make the icon "catchy" or "cool"? I would argue that we can: The icon was evidently designed in such a way so as to give the viewer the impression that they are being actively and presently blessed by the Saint of the icon (according to the manner in which the flashing effect animates his hand in the sign of the cross) in spite of his physical absence to do so before their very eyes. I guess the intention of the designer was to reinforce the idea that though His Eminence has departed from this world, he is now part of the Heavenly Church which is One with the earthly Church; he thus remains part of the Church, communing with Her, worshipping with Her, actively blessing Her congregation, absolving her congregation, interceding on behalf of her congregation etc.

That said, I nevertheless personally find it tacky too upon reflection, though I don't think I thought much of it when I first saw it in person upon my visit to His Holiness Pope St. Kyrillos' burial site in Alexandria. My main point is that there is certainly no objective basis for deeming it irreverent, nor is there any reasonable basis for its being compared to the "Buddy Jesus" graphic, which as Anastasios noted, was quite obviously intended to be silly.
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2006, 08:39:22 AM »

I think that ultimately there can be no substantial argument made against the type of Icon in question.
To have an icon of a Saint "bless" us is, I think, dangerously close to idolatry. The Pagan Greeks would use devises to make their idols appear to speak and move, so that the idol was identified as itself having the nature of a god. Christian Icons, on the other hand, depict hypostasis, and not nature. I think the idea of "animated" icons is something we need to be wary about. Where do we draw the line? Will our Iconostasis eventually be an array of video screens?
In the latest Shinto funerary practice in Japan, an animated automaton "priest" chants prayers and blesses the departed one.
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2006, 08:57:25 AM »

ALL OF YOU. LOG BACK ON A WATCH MY CHRISTIAN BLOOD AND THEN PRAY FOR THE MARTYRS OF EGYPT AND THANK GOD FOR YOUR FREEDOMS.
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« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2006, 09:14:38 AM »

ALL OF YOU. LOG BACK ON A WATCH MY CHRISTIAN BLOOD AND THEN PRAY FOR THE MARTYRS OF EGYPT AND THANK GOD FOR YOUR FREEDOMS.

Please refrain from  yelling at us.  As anyone here knows, I have a high regard for the Coptic Church and have said so on many occasions. This is not exactly the most important thing on my or anyone else's mind. However, people do discuss the little things on occasion. That doesn't take away from the plight of Coptic Christians under Muslim subjugation.
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« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2006, 09:50:38 AM »

Only imagine what could be done with the notorious legendary dancing saints of St. Gregory of Nyssa!

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« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2006, 09:55:46 AM »

ozgeorge,

Maybe I missed the point of your post, but as far as what seems clear to me regarding the point you're trying to make, I think my previous post pre-emptly addresses the issue you have in its primary stress on the idea of the Icon as the depiction of a heavenly reality, namely, the reality that this Saint remains a living and active Heirarch of the Church in spite of his departure from the earthly realm, and hence continues his Heirarchical functions (none of which, appropriately understood within the Orthodox context, have anything to do with his "nature")—interceding on behalf of his flock, absolving his flock of their sins, and blessing his flock by the sign of the Cross.
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« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2006, 03:14:10 PM »

it is not inside the church itself , i know this place well
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« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2006, 03:17:46 PM »

Oh ya, we got lots of those.   I visited that monastery/cathedral (St. Mina's off of Alexandria).  It is beautiful.

This is the icon of the first Abbott of the Monastery (HE the late Metropolitan Mina), may his memory be eternal.

I don't think though that this icon is directly in the main part of the Church.  This is near his burial shrine.  The actual Church with pews and altar don't have these types of icons to my knowledge.  I'll have to check my video in thanksgiving and refresh my memory.  I have these things recorded.

HH the late Pope St. Kyrillos the Sixth is also buried in a shrine right across from that other shrine, and there's a lighted icon effect as well of him near his burial shrine.

While I don't think it's blasphemous to have them in Church, I don't prefer them.  Maybe it's because I'm just not used to them.

God bless.

Mina

PS It is also somewhere in the vicinity (and I wish I recorded them) where you see various photos of HIM Haille Sellassie with St. Pope Kyrillos, which is PLENTY.  HIM loved the Pope.

Mina is right , this is not in the Church
i know this place very well
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« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2006, 05:25:40 PM »

ozgeorge,

Maybe I missed the point of your post, but as far as what seems clear to me regarding the point you're trying to make, I think my previous post pre-emptly addresses the issue you have in its primary stress on the idea of the Icon as the depiction of a heavenly reality, namely, the reality that this Saint remains a living and active Heirarch of the Church in spite of his departure from the earthly realm, and hence continues his Heirarchical functions (none of which, appropriately understood within the Orthodox context, have anything to do with his "nature")—interceding on behalf of his flock, absolving his flock of their sins, and blessing his flock by the sign of the Cross.

I see, so Coptic Orthodox Christians have no need to confess to a Priest here on Earth, they can just confess to a departed Saint who was ordained while on Earth, and he will absolve them. And obviously, there is no need for you to pray for departed priests and heirarchs since they can offfer the Eucharist for the repose of their own souls even when they're departed.....
Do you see where such idolatry leads? If it has managed to deceive someone as intelligent as yourself, what is it doing to people of weak or simple faith?
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« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2006, 07:34:39 PM »

Only imagine what could be done with the notorious legendary dancing saints of St. Gregory of Nyssa!

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HAHA!!

This is all very funny. Perhaps not in the best taste, but hey, let the Priest and Parish Council do what they want.
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« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2006, 12:28:17 AM »

Quote
I see, so Coptic Orthodox Christians have no need to confess to a Priest here on Earth, they can just confess to a departed Saint who was ordained while on Earth, and he will absolve them.

I don’t think I mentioned anything regarding the practical implications of the truth in question to the Orthodox life of the faithful believer on earth. Obviously the earth/heaven divide, though having no bearing on the real and transcendental unity between the earthly and heavenly Churches, nonetheless denies the earthly faithful believer’s ability to have personal confession with a Hierarch who is not physically present albeit truly living and active. Nevertheless, it is because the Saints are truly living and active that we invoke the general absolution of these hierarchs during the earthly Liturgy upon the belief that these Saints participate with us in a heavenly liturgy. Here is the relevant prayer of the priest said immediately following the Thanksgiving Prayer according to the Coptic Liturgy of St. Basil the Great:

“May your servants, ministers of this day, the hegomens, the priests, the deacons, the clergy, all the people and my weak self, be absolved from the mouth of the all-Holy Trinity, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and from the mouth of the one only holy catholic and apostolic church, and from the mouth of the beholder-of-God the evangelist Saint Mark the apostle and martyr, the patriarch Saint Severus, our teacher Dioscorus, Saint Athanasius the Apostolic, Saint Peter the priest- martyr and the high priest, Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Cyril, Saint Basil, and Saint Gregory, and from the mouths of the three hundred and eighteen assembled at Nicea, the one hundred and fifty at Constantinople, and the two hundred at Ephesus, and form the mouth of our honoured father, the high priest Abba....., and from the mouth of my abject self. For blessed and full of glory is Your holy name, O Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, now and at all times and unto the age of all ages. Amen.”

Quote
Do you see where such idolatry leads?

Your objection to it as such sounds quite Protestant. Receiving the blessing of a Heirarch living in heaven is no more idolatrous than receiving the blessing of a Heirarch living on earth—as you can see I am resorting to pretty much the same logic used in response to the typical Protestant objection to the practice of requesting the intercession of the Saints. Whether or not you realise it, your baseless objections challenge the reality of a living and heavenly Church that remains in intimate communion with we who await to join them in due time.
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« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2006, 04:56:25 AM »

Your objection to it as such sounds quite Protestant. Receiving the blessing of a Heirarch living in heaven is no more idolatrous than receiving the blessing of a Heirarch living on earth—
EA, it's an Icon. It's an inanimate object. Inanimate objects do not have the authority to administer benedictions. If you put this icon in a brothel and plugged it in, by your logic, St. Mina would be blessing adultery and fornication.
Like I said, an Icon's similtude is like it's prototype with regard to hypostasis, not nature. Holy Orders changes the Nature of the person so that he becomes clergy, but this Nature is not present in the Icon. To say it is present is idolatry, plain and simple.
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« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2006, 02:50:16 PM »

Quote
EA, it's an Icon. It's an inanimate object. Inanimate objects do not have the authority to administer benedictions. If you put this icon in a brothel and plugged it in, by your logic, St. Mina would be blessing adultery and fornication.


My position clearly does not entail the idea that a blessing is automatically and magically dispensed from the icon upon the completion of the animated making of the sign of the cross. I have clearly argued that the animation simply serves as a reminder to the viewer that the subject of the icon remains a living and active member of the Church—that they can request his prayers as they were requested whilst he were on earth, and receive his blessings as they were received on earth. It serves as a pointer to a higher reality—it is not that higher reality itself. This seems to support the very service of an icon as a window to heaven, as I have already suggested.
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« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2006, 04:27:14 PM »

I doubt this is the beginning of some mass Paganism-idol ritual where people actually THINK the icon is blessing them.
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« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2006, 04:38:38 PM »

I doubt this is the beginning of some mass Paganism-idol ritual where people actually THINK the icon is blessing them.

Ya...I think that would be quite extreme to assume.  It's no different than Protestants saying that we actually worship the wood or ceramic surface when we're praying in front of an icon.

We would condemn such extremism, but that doesn't invalidate this "tacky" icon.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2006, 08:31:18 PM »

I have not seen this "icon" or "art work"; but having read the various points here and having seen a similar 'flickering' icon in the sanctuary of an Ethiopian Church I was visiting in the USA I must say that the I do not agree with the new-age, Ortho-protestantness of these pictures.

Icons are NOT designed they are written.

They are the truth of the Holy Gospel first and foremost.

To revise the Iconographical tradition to me is leading to or pointing to an already lax or laid back brand of Orthodoxy which seems to be more and more prevelent these days. I can not count how many times lately I see these ceramic statues in Orthodox Churches....shocking. Statues?

The flickering or shinning icons are NOT an improvement or and extention of Holy Iconographical Orthodox tradition no matter how this idea is supported.

But people have the right to express their faith. The Othodoxy of it is the thing we must measure.

I am happy the site is back

 
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« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2006, 04:01:23 AM »

Amdetsion,

Your post goes on about how the icons in question presumably compromise the Orthodox Tradition of iconography, yet you failed to provide any substantial reason as to why that is so.

I hope to see more substance and less irrational (so-called) fundamentalism from those who wish to make serious issues out of this very negligble and harmless matter.
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« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2006, 04:45:39 AM »

I doubt this is the beginning of some mass Paganism-idol ritual where people actually THINK the icon is blessing them.
Do you know where the word "animate" comes from?
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« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2006, 07:07:32 AM »

If one is to have any decent case in regard to this quite clearly ridiculous “pagan-idol” argument, they are going to have to prove either that the intention behind the icon was to present it as if it actually possessed life and hence itself were capable of actively blessing people, or that such is the manner in which it leads itself to being reasonably misapprehended and abused by those beholding it.

If they cannot do that, then that one’s case is—as Mina properly suggested—no more or less valid than the case of the Protestant which denounces icon veneration as idolatrous worship of the physical icon itself. The Protestant’s argument falls flat on its face precisely because icons do not exist within the Orthodox context for the purpose of divine worship, nor does the Orthodox practice of icon veneration lead itself to potentially being reasonably misapprehended as such by those so exercising such a practice.

Consequently, those who wish to do away with animated icons by virtue of their pedantic and irrational fears, must also, if they are to maintain any sort of consistency in their logic, do away with icons all together.
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« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2006, 09:26:37 AM »

Consequently, those who wish to do away with animated icons by virtue of their pedantic and irrational fears, must also, if they are to maintain any sort of consistency in their logic, do away with icons all together.
What do you mean by "consequently"?  Consequently to what?
Your "consequently" refers to nothing I have said. I believe your favourite term "straw man" applies here. Wink
The logic is simple if you answer three questions:
1) Where does the term "animated" come from etymologically?
2) Is animation a quality of nature or hypostasis?
3) Do Icons depict nature or hypostasis?

"And the people bowed and prayed
to the neon god they made."

-Simon & Garfunkel. "The Sounds of Silence".
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« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2006, 09:44:43 AM »

Quote
What do you mean by "consequently"?  Consequently to what?

Consequently to the application of the ridiculous Protestant logic that your whole argument rests upon. Please learn to read things in context.

Quote
The logic is simple if you answer three questions:
1) Where does the term "animated" come from etymologically?
2) Is animation a quality of nature or hypostasis?
3) Do Icons depict nature or hypostasis?

The logic is indeed simple for one who can manage to understand the substance of what I have been saying to you since my very first response to you in this thread: Your questions attempt to procure answers that are absolutely irrelevant ti the issue at hand in light of the obvious fact that people aren’t stupid enough to be mislead to believe that the animation is an attempt to depict the physical icon itself as if it were a living animate thing, anymore than people are stupid enough to be mislead to believe that prostrating before or kissing an icon is an attempt to venerate the mere physical substance of the icon itself.

I'm not sure how much longer I will be required to keep reiterating the very same simple and obvious point.
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« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2006, 09:53:08 AM »

prostrating before or kissing an icon is an attempt to venerate the mere physical substance of the icon itself.
That is not what consitutes idolatry. The Ancient Greeks also knew that their statues were hewn from marble and that they were not worshipping marble.

I'm not sure how much longer I will be required to keep reiterating the very same simple and obvious point.
You're welcome to reiterate it as often as you like, not that it is necessary or anyone is requiring you to do so. Perhaps because it is so "simple" you cannot see past it to what I'm actually saying. I can't respond to your oft-repeated "logic" since it has no bearing on what I'm saying.
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« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2006, 11:06:56 AM »

Quote
That is not what consitutes idolatry. The Ancient Greeks also knew that their statues were hewn from marble and that they were not worshipping marble.

Which is besides the point nevertheless. What constitutes idolatry is intention and apprehension; it's got nothing to do with whether the subject of veneration is 2D or 3D, black and white or colour, animated or not etc. but rather how such things are intended and apprehended. That is substantially what I have been arguing since my first response to you.

Quote
I can't respond to your oft-repeated "logic" since it has no bearing on what I'm saying.

It quite clearly deems what you're saying to be irrelevant. Are the Saints living and active members of the Church? Yes. Do they actively intercede for us? Yes, hence we ask for their intercessions during the Liturgy (see the 'Commemoration of the Saints'). Do they actively worship with us? Yes, hence we invoke their absolution during the Liturgy (see the 'Absolution of the Ministers'). Do they bless us? Yes, hence we ask for their blessings during the Liturgy (see Congregation's response to the 'Commemoration of the Saints'). If an icon is designed in such a way so as to indicate or point to any of these higher realities--to remind us of them, to direct our consicences towards them, to prompt us to seek them--if such is the intention and apprehension of the icon, then how can it possibly be deemed idolatrous in a way that is any different to the Protestant's dismissal of icon veneration per se as idolatrous? It can't. Period.
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« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2006, 04:49:06 AM »

its not even an icon!  Huh
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« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2006, 10:11:36 AM »

It is not icon and this bishop is not considered as a saint and it is not inside the church , what is the problem then !!!!
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« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2006, 01:50:40 PM »

Dear Macarius,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've seen "icons" of St. George like this.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2006, 02:55:07 PM »

Dear Macarius,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've seen "icons" of St. George like this.

God bless.

Mina

i have seen pictures like this but it was out the church itself , i don't like it by the way
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« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2006, 03:50:06 PM »

EkristosEnesti

I have read enough of your posts over my time on this site and have found that most times you are the model of true Orthodoxy in you views ( at lease in my opinion).

You may see the flashing icon as a small matter.

I see it as a medium-to-big matter due to its newness and lack of known and excepted Orthodox character.

I never saw the picture myself as I said. I also said that people have the right to express their faith. So I will not knock the usage if this kind of thing is needed and accepted by the Church fathers for use in divine worship.

I can not however feel good about it since I am an advocate for true Orthoodoxy and Iconography is a powerful true Christian expression which must be understood and protected. Many Orthodox Christians do not know the deep truths of Iconography. Most think that Icons are church decorations or pictures to admire. Of course they are niether.

I suggest that you immerse yourself in some research on the meaning and purpose of Orthodox Iconography. Then share with us how you support flashing or twinkling icons.

The whole idea of these electronic gizmos (made in China) as elements of divine worship is silly to me.

But I am a person who does not support the christmas tree either which so many Orthodox Christians has found a way to justify. This large colorful blinky thing is objectionable to me in a house, Church or anywhere.

So I will stay out of it form here.

 
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« Reply #41 on: November 05, 2006, 01:57:50 AM »

Amdetsion,

My last response to you still applies. Once again you have argued that the "Icon" in question undermines Orthodox Iconography. Please explain how. The only reason you have suggested regards the idea that there is no patristic support for flashing icons. That's obviously quite an absurd argument from silence to make for flashing icons did not even exist for the Fathers to accept/reject in the first place.

By the way, I should emphasise--because some people in their desparation and insecurity of faith seem to have made an issue of this at other forums--that this is not some new "innovation" in Coptic Iconography, as if something Synodally discussed and approved. Some random person simply took a random photo of a departed Bishop and sought to commemorate him by putting flash/animation effects on the picture. It is not placed in the sanctuary or the Church itself, but rather next to his burial chamber. There is no deep intention behind it; the person behind it probably had no intention whatsoever than to do something he thought was "nice". In any event, there is clearly nothing wrong with the concept per se, and I await someone to make a substantial case of the issue if they feel the need to exaggerate this non-issue any further.
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« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2006, 03:11:15 PM »

EkhristosAnesti

I said before that you have nothing to defend with me.

You seem to be more concerend about how the opinions of other effect you.

If people are allowed to use blinking gizmos as images of worship or to define the way they feel about their faith than so-be-it.

If the fathers of the Church allow these behaviors than who am I or anyone else to say otherwise?
It-is what-it-is.

I see the blond haired, blue eyed, lilly white euro-centric Icons which are produced by the RCC. I also see the scrawny, human destruct of agony and despair reeling in ghastly posture in the grotesque christ like characturizations produced and distibuted by protestants all being used by the Orthodox Church. These images do not teach the word in purity but are socio-political / religio in intent.

My point to you is:
Blinking gizmos are not Icons and should not be used as the center of devine worship or an expression of the holy faith. This is dagerous and risky behavior. Who know where it will lead?

The Church has established all the standards long ago. Blinking lights are not Orthodox.

It is that simple.

Iconograhpy is not easy to understand. I can assure you that It is not the open ended liberalism freedom of expression that you seem to think it is.

Like a Russian Iconographer of our era recently stated: "An Icon is not a picture or a decoration to be admired. It is not to be seen  in the eye of the beholder, it is not art. It is the holiness, the truth, the expression of the ineffable word of God.... The true Icon is not painted it is written".

I gasped when I read that.

You can be sure that this Russian would also object to electronic "icons" that blink. As it is this Russian would not understand how you and I worship in chuches with pews. They stand at all times.

You have allot to learn about Icons and what they are to us.

Study my brother.....study!
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« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2006, 11:49:01 PM »

Fr. Amdetsion,

It looks like we are going to keep running around in circles, because as of yet you have presumed much about my position and failed to respond to the actual arguments that I have offered with respect to this subject.

The first issue concerns whether the object in question is in fact an Icon or just a commemorative. Given the location, and the likely intention behind the creation and possession of the object in question, it probably falls under the latter category.

The second issue concerns whether the flashing effect in question poses any substantial threat of compromise to the Orthodox conception of Iconography presuming the subject of the flashing effect to be an Icon in the first place. This is a presumption I proceeded with in this thread since my initial purpose was to counter what I perceived to be arguments inspired by irrational paranoia. To prove that the arguments were of such a nature I chose to grant the presumption regarding the nature of the object in question rather than to take the easy way out by denying it to be an Icon, in the proper sense of the word, in the first place. If you go back and read my posts you will find that I offered an interpretation of the flashing effect's purpose and implications that promotes the Orthodox conception of Icons as "windows to heaven". Nowhere did I attempt to validate the role of the flashing effect as a decorative element, so your emphasis on the idea of Icons not being artwork is not necessary, and your condascending remarks (though offered with good intentions i'm sure) regarding my understanding of Orthodox Iconography are unwarranted.
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« Reply #44 on: November 07, 2006, 12:59:22 AM »

Dear Fr. Amdetsion,

Perhaps we can also include another argument to the picture.  It is well known that St. John Chrysostom did not like the use of instruments in the liturgy.  And yet due to evangelization purposes, some churches use drums or organs as part of their culture, as a way to praise God in the Liturgy.

Likewise, the theology of iconagraphy can accomodate novel ways if such ways can help people pray better in Church.  If such is a cultural norm, then EA is arguing that iconographic theology is not in any way contradicted by the use of such "icons".

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #45 on: November 07, 2006, 06:23:58 PM »

EkhristosAnesti

I said before that you have nothing to defend with me.

You seem to be more concerend about how the opinions of other effect you.

If people are allowed to use blinking gizmos as images of worship or to define the way they feel about their faith than so-be-it.

If the fathers of the Church allow these behaviors than who am I or anyone else to say otherwise?
It-is what-it-is.

I see the blond haired, blue eyed, lilly white euro-centric Icons which are produced by the RCC. I also see the scrawny, human destruct of agony and despair reeling in ghastly posture in the grotesque christ like characturizations produced and distibuted by protestants all being used by the Orthodox Church. These images do not teach the word in purity but are socio-political / religio in intent.

My point to you is:
Blinking gizmos are not Icons and should not be used as the center of devine worship or an expression of the holy faith. This is dagerous and risky behavior. Who know where it will lead?

The Church has established all the standards long ago. Blinking lights are not Orthodox.

It is that simple.

Iconograhpy is not easy to understand. I can assure you that It is not the open ended liberalism freedom of expression that you seem to think it is.

Like a Russian Iconographer of our era recently stated: "An Icon is not a picture or a decoration to be admired. It is not to be seen  in the eye of the beholder, it is not art. It is the holiness, the truth, the expression of the ineffable word of God.... The true Icon is not painted it is written".

I gasped when I read that.

You can be sure that this Russian would also object to electronic "icons" that blink. As it is this Russian would not understand how you and I worship in chuches with pews. They stand at all times.

You have allot to learn about Icons and what they are to us.

Study my brother.....study!

by the way , this is not icon
this is a picture for a bishop out the church
what is the problem then !!
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« Reply #46 on: November 07, 2006, 08:41:47 PM »

Quote
by the way , this is not icon
this is a picture for a bishop out the church
what is the problem then !!


We've already established that it's not an icon; that it is a mere commemorative. The objections to the concept--even if it is not a concept of any significance to anyone, and in particular the Coptic Orthodox Church--are nonetheless quite irrational.
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« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2006, 03:17:22 PM »

If this picture is some how connected to a bishop than I must point out that it is not good Orthodoxy. Our Church fathers must be respected with the highest honor.

I do not think a blinking picture does that. Although the intention is well taken.

I am surprised!.....

None of us are perfect but; I have found so much great detail to "pure" Orthodoxy among the Coptic.

But lately it seems that things are changing in these small ways among the faithful.

I just saw Coptic singers wearing electronic "blinking" crosses recently. It looked fine don't get me wrong.

I could not help however but think that thier must be some other tradition for the children that provides them with a connection to thier own Coptic tradition that would make even a much greater impression not only of the the faith but also of the ancient heritage of the people and the Coptic faith.

I hope you understand my point.

It is fine to use the new modern things of today.

But look around...

Are we starting to look like protestants and RCs?

Thats O.K. if this is the case. (note that they are not trying to look Orthodox)

But is that what we are aiming for?....Thats the question?

Peace

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« Reply #48 on: November 11, 2006, 12:48:38 AM »

Quote
If this picture is some how connected to a bishop than I must point out that it is not good Orthodoxy. Our Church fathers must be respected with the highest honor.


First of all, the "Orthodoxy" of a thing and the "respectfulness" of a thing, are two different issues. We have already established that this matter has nothing to do with Orthodoxy, and if you wish to maintain that it does then I am still waiting for you to present the basis of that belief.

Second of all, "respect" is a very subjective concept, the individual's understand of which is largely shaped by that individual's cultural and social context. His Grace Abba Mina was/is a most respected figure at St. Mina's Monastery; he was/is known to be a holy man who communicated with the Saints, in partiuclar the late Patriarch His Holiness Pope Kyrillos VI and St. Mina. The commemorative serves the purpose of honouring his memory, nothing more and nothing less.

Quote
None of us are perfect but; I have found so much great detail to "pure" Orthodoxy among the Coptic.

But lately it seems that things are changing in these small ways among the faithful.


I have read many great threads on this forum exposing the absurdity of those who seem to think that "pure Orthodoxy" is contingent upon "super-correctness". You might want to read up on them. You think you are arguing in favour of "pure Orthodoxy", whereas I think the very nature and focus of your arguments misunderstand the real essence of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #49 on: November 13, 2006, 01:22:42 AM »

EkhristosAnesti

My our Lord Jesus Christ give us all peace and may he bless the memory of our fathers.
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« Reply #50 on: November 13, 2006, 02:52:58 AM »

revised response
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« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2006, 02:59:55 AM »

EkhristosAnesti


 
I found some info for you which helps with my basis. All from Coptic Church.

Please note these are small excepts from a larger article:
 
The art  of  making Orthodox  icons  follow certain  symbolism that carries  a
meaningful message.


Although the
aristic style of iconography varies a little from one  culture to another, all
Orthodox icons  have the same meaning,  usage and symbolism (this includes the
Eastern Orthodox Churches;  Greek,  Russian,  Serbian, Bulgarian, ... etc,  as
well  a the Oriental  Orthodox Churches; Coptic, Armenian,  Syrian, Ethiopian,
... etc).


Therefore, the  leaders of the  Early Church permitted the  use of
religious pictures  (icons) because the  people were  not able  to  assimilate
Christianity   and its doctrine   unaided  by  visual means.  Therefore, these
presentations  aided the faithful in understanding  the  new  religion and, at
same time,    illustrated it.



In conclusion, icons in the Orthodox tradition are not  to be taken as art for
art's sake but  rather, they are to be  used as  windows into spiritual world,
designed to help us achieve a prayerful mind set and  lead  us into a  life of
prayer and contemplation. The interested reader might want  to check the icons
scanned and stored in Copt-Net Archives.


The above are just a small sample of what the Coptic Church teaches and you see that the image written (painted) in the Icons are to be venerated for worship. The Icon itself is NOT to to be used as an object of worship or a decoration for arts sake. Thus the blinking lights can imply that the Icon itself 'in-the-physical' has some center of attention or significance even though this may not be intended and thus goes against the central purpose of 'why' we use Icons in the Orthodox Church.

The way the Icon was used for father Mina was understandable but rather liberal. The Coptic Church nor the Orthodox Church in general teach that the holy images can be used the way 'we want'. such as adding blinking lights.

We have to be careful with the Holiness of the Orthodox tradition ..we must protect its innocence and holy intent. Doing this leaves us little room for levity or creativity.

You should read the whole article yourself.
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« Reply #52 on: November 13, 2006, 03:25:49 AM »

I think one of EA's points was that this was not an icon, since it was not in a church or set up for veneration.  Therefore, since it is not an icon, the normal rules regarding how icons are made (written) do not necessarily apply. 

An interesting question which comes of this is what are the rules (if any) for religious images which are not in a church or intended for veneration. 

For example, I know both Coptic Orthodox Christians and Armenian Orthodox Christians who have statues of the Mother of God in their gardens outside their homes.  These statues are not in their prayer corners in their homes where they pray.  Is this, however, a good practice?  Statues, of course, are not allowed in a church, and are not to be venerated.  But should they be allowed in a garden, or some other place where they are not venerated?  Personally, I think "Mary gardens" are sweet, but I wonder if it is proper for an Orthodox Christian. 

Sorry to redirect the topic, but this is something I always wondered about and this seems somewhat related to the topic.
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« Reply #53 on: November 13, 2006, 02:49:20 PM »

Salpy

My main concern is how we treat the holy things that are FOR veneration. Thiings connected to or related to worship should not be used in any other way.

It also concerns me that so many of us see the "Church" and our relationship to it as this multi - milion dollar building down the street with an Alter inside and all other vessels of the church and when we are in it we are in the "Church" and when we leave we are "outside" the Church.

This thinking is incorrect and not Orthodox.

Orthodox Christians are always inside the Church. WE are what the Church is right.

What is correct is: What is "in" the Church is "in" you. The "Church" ( the sanctuary is the center of worship and the meaning of our faith).

If The Chuirch does not have pagan idols in it why would you leave each day to go home to a pagan idol where you live?

If thier is no fornication, cursing or unclean behavior inside the church why would you go home to all these things..

You (your life) and your home are extentions of the Church. What you see in Church is what you should see in your life and your home. If you see things contrary at home and in your life when compared to the church than you are not ONE with what your Church.

Statues are for idol worshippers period..

It does not matter how holy the idolic image may be. It is a graven image and God says donot worship or even look toward a graven image. Statues are graven images.

I know people who do this as well who are orthodox. Its sad.

The excuses that make are very colorful and logical. Which only makes me feel that much more sad for them since no matter what a graven image of christ or the virgin mary or whoever is still a graven image.

Some people do not realise or care about the damage they cause to themselves when they do things without guidance.

If the  Church celebrates with statues then I would expect the people to follow this at home. If It does not than I wouild expect that the peole would avoid this at hoem as well.
 
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« Reply #54 on: November 15, 2006, 07:09:30 AM »

Amdetsion,

I know the Coptic Church's position on Iconography sufficiently well. You highlight the sentence from that article regarding the fact Icons do not serve an aesthetic purpose, yet none of my arguments have presumed such to be the case.

It seems like we're running around in circles. This debate is far past its expiry date in my opinion, so unless anyone has any fresh perspective to offer i'm finished here.

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« Reply #55 on: November 15, 2006, 02:42:50 PM »

EkhristosAnesti

If you look back at your posts your point seems to be clear that: The Icon used was not for divine worship but simply to place at a location set up to commemorate the Bishops memory you said:

"The commemorative serves the purpose of honouring his memory, nothing more and nothing less".


My last post on this matter was in response to your request to provide basis for my concerns and opinions. Which I found on a Coptic website. The excerpts I clipped in the post clearly demostrate and support what my point has been all along which is again..." Icons are for divine worship only".

I do not see where the debate is? Especially since you say that you are well aware of what the Coptic teachings are on Iconography. If you are aware then you can see that Icons are for divine worshiop only.

The way the blinking Icon (although with good intention) is being used is NOT for "divine worship". The blinking lights are a artful enhancement which does not add to the Iconographical intention; since ALL Icons preach a message. The Blinking lights are irrelevant having no ties to the Holy message of the Icon but has the tendency (real or imagined) to reduce the Icons purity (Its Holy Orthodoxy) do to the artful enhancement. Proof of this is the posts you have encountered on this forum inlcuding mine.

If you choose to withdraw here than thats your poragotive.

I have made a solid case here which is a benefit to both of us; indeed all of us.

God bless you habibi
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« Reply #56 on: November 16, 2006, 09:17:58 PM »

God bless you too Amdetsion.
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« Reply #57 on: November 16, 2006, 10:17:57 PM »

I can feel the love now.
Close this thread before someone says something offensive, please!?!?!?

Peace and quickness,
Panagiotis
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« Reply #58 on: November 17, 2006, 12:33:33 PM »

I think one of EA's points was that this was not an icon, since it was not in a church or set up for veneration.  Therefore, since it is not an icon, the normal rules regarding how icons are made (written) do not necessarily apply. 

An interesting question which comes of this is what are the rules (if any) for religious images which are not in a church or intended for veneration. 

For example, I know both Coptic Orthodox Christians and Armenian Orthodox Christians who have statues of the Mother of God in their gardens outside their homes.  These statues are not in their prayer corners in their homes where they pray.  Is this, however, a good practice?  Statues, of course, are not allowed in a church, and are not to be venerated.  But should they be allowed in a garden, or some other place where they are not venerated?  Personally, I think "Mary gardens" are sweet, but I wonder if it is proper for an Orthodox Christian. 

Sorry to redirect the topic, but this is something I always wondered about and this seems somewhat related to the topic.
You seriously believe that it is wrong to venerate statues but that it is ok to venerate icons? This seems inconsistant.
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« Reply #59 on: November 17, 2006, 12:58:45 PM »

You seriously believe that it is wrong to venerate statues but that it is ok to venerate icons? This seems inconsistant.

Yes, the use of statues for veneration is wrong (I thought at one time I remember reading it was condemned by an Ecumenical Council, but I'd have to check to be sure on this, so don't quote me on it).  There is a deeper meaning behind Icons than statues, of which I really don't understand fully myself, but I'm sure someone on here better than I could explain the true meaning of Icons (they are more than just pretty paintings that represent a holy figure). 

EDIT: I think the statues were indeed banned by the 7th Ecumenical Council, as I found this from a Greek Orthodox parish website: "The practice of keeping the Holy Icons eventually lead to great controversy in the Church. In the Eighth Century a group called the Iconoclasts, under pressure from the encroaching Turks made a move to have the Holy Icons banned and destroyed, causing a great division amongst the Christian Church. This controversy led to the convening of the 7th Ecumenical Council in 787. That Synod decreed that the Holy Icons are to be used to render honor (veneration) to the person honored, but not worship, since worship is due God alone. This Ecumenical decision is the source of the annual celebration of the Triumph of Orthodoxy on the First Sunday of Great Lent. At the same synod, the use of statues, the use of which had become perverted over time, was banned." 
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« Reply #60 on: November 17, 2006, 02:04:53 PM »

 drewmeister2

Thanks for your insightfulness. God bless you.

I am not an authority on anything not to mention Icons; but I have offered on this thread some aspects of my research and study on this subject. It may help if you go back to the beginning and read the posts. You may gain some valuable insights or be directed to where you need to be in your thinking as to what an Icon is and when and how it to be used.

Many of us beleive that we can use Icons and Holy images (not statues) any way we want if we feel that the purpose is good. This is right in theory and logic. But wrong in that the Icon and Holy image has a specific place in the Holy faith like the liturgy and the reading of the Holy Gosple and the Holy communion.

All things have order in the Holy Church.

Imagine the sun rising in the west sometimes and setting in the north sometimes. This is chaos. LIfe would not be sustainable.

Well the Holy Orthodox Church has order and this order is Holy, Universal and Apostolic in the Lord.
We are hinged to it till Christs returns.

Icons and thier Holy images are Holy objects for veneration and worship of the one true God alone. Not artful emblishments for walls, clothing, T-shirts, book covers or any other area that is not the center of divine worship of God. I know you have seen Icons or Holy images on books published by bishops and priests and on church fund raising material etc. I have to. I am guilty of using Iconigraphical or Holy images on articles myself. It is the condition of our current age of publishing, marketing and the need to make OUR faith known and recognizeable; to distinguish us. In these times this is vastly important. But this is not good Orthodoxy. I have a problem with where to and how to treat a book, t-shirt, article with a Holy image on it. Do I put the book down with all other books? do I stack it up out of view? Do I wash the t-shirt with the image of the Virgin Mary Mother God on it with my underwear and other washables? Or do I wash it alone in holy water? etc.

Things to think about?

I have seen Icons used in ways among the members of my own tradition (The Ethiopian Church) which is completely objectionable.

Also and of much importance is HOW the Icon is made. The Iconographical tradition varies in ways among the various traditions but it is standard to maintain the proper geometry or sacred geometry. Also the Icon must exhibit truth and only the truth. It must be the facts of scripture and the word of God that is ingrained in the image. You should study this area.

The Icon must be commissioned by a bishop or parish priest before it is started and blessed by them before it is finished and enters the church or is hung anywhere on church property. That does inlcude the homes of all church members. Is not your property Gods property? Or is your property held back from God for your own use? You decide. The Church teaches that our very lives are Gods property...Amen; so of course the domicile that we live in is His....correct? I hope so.

So any Icon that is not commissioned for production and approved for use by the Church (bishop or priest) is not an Icon. It is a picture and as such should not be used in or around the faithful (dead or alive) of the Holy Church for any purpose. To do so is an aggressive act of defiance against the established order which is administered by the priests ( If a priest permits the use of a non-commissioned work then he is resposible for the image and what it does to others who view it.. good or bad). Just because a person feels that they are doing something good and means good does not change the fact that they are not following sound Orthodoxy when they take it upon themselves to produce their own versions or styles of Icons.

This is my brief explanation.

Challenge the words I have put here. Speak to any Orthodox priest and compare. I will gladly except any correction.

As Orthodox Clergy we are to blame for allowing Holy images to be used by the members the way they want for so long without teaching what these Holy images are reserved for.

Lord have mercy, God bless...Amen
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« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2006, 02:46:51 PM »

I took a look at my library of Orthodox books and articles. I just noticed that books produced by the Coptic Church have no Holy Iconographial images on them. The Ethiopian or Syrian books niether. I have a prayer book used i the Ethiopian Church called the Wadasseh Mareyam (Salutations to the mother of God) whch ahs an Icon of the Virgin Mary on the cover. Interesting this book although the content is that which is found in Church books was compiled and produce by laymen.

I failed to notice this before.

Books published by Russian and Greek Churches that I have has Iconographical or Holy images on the covers.

Interesting.
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« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2006, 04:56:01 PM »

Yes, the use of statues for veneration is wrong (I thought at one time I remember reading it was condemned by an Ecumenical Council, but I'd have to check to be sure on this, so don't quote me on it).  There is a deeper meaning behind Icons than statues, of which I really don't understand fully myself, but I'm sure someone on here better than I could explain the true meaning of Icons (they are more than just pretty paintings that represent a holy figure). 

EDIT: I think the statues were indeed banned by the 7th Ecumenical Council, as I found this from a Greek Orthodox parish website: "The practice of keeping the Holy Icons eventually lead to great controversy in the Church. In the Eighth Century a group called the Iconoclasts, under pressure from the encroaching Turks made a move to have the Holy Icons banned and destroyed, causing a great division amongst the Christian Church. This controversy led to the convening of the 7th Ecumenical Council in 787. That Synod decreed that the Holy Icons are to be used to render honor (veneration) to the person honored, but not worship, since worship is due God alone. This Ecumenical decision is the source of the annual celebration of the Triumph of Orthodoxy on the First Sunday of Great Lent. At the same synod, the use of statues, the use of which had become perverted over time, was banned." 
Can you please provide a quote from the ecumenical council itself? I already new about he iconoclast controversy btw, but thank you for sharing.
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