Well, since David Bryan linked to a recent post on icons not long ago in his return to the blogosphere, I'll go ahead and get back on the topic since I have some time and a little motivation, borrowed from God-knows-where.
How does our differentiating the two (latria and dulia) excuse you for lexical fallacies?
B/c the transparent teaching of the OT is NOT to fall down before images. You do so. Your excuse partly consists of pleading a difference between latria and dulia. The lexical differentiation is disproved by the OT itself. It's idolatry.
We differentiate the two because we believe they should be differentiated
But you're *supposed* to hold to beliefs that are in harmony with Scriptural teaching. Since the OT does NOT differentiate, what is your explanation for the differentiation?
MAYBE you would have an argument if you related it to the PRACTICE, not to the words.
Your problem is that your practice is undistinguishable from the pagan idolatry condemned in the OT. The words are YOUR refuge, not mine.
I'm not aware that we can force the saints in heaven to stand on a pedestal.
The icons are on pedestals and hung on walls.
it's quite common for the priest or bishop to pray from a small pedestal.
Do you pray TO the priest? Inaudibly? At the expense of time you could be spending praying to God?
I fail to see how the communication method is indicative of worship or not worship.
1) Ascribing non-human inabilities to these dead people (ie, hearing you when you pray silently)
2) Falling down before them
3) Lighting candles to them
4) burning incense to them
5) addressing THEM in prayer
God reserves the right to define how He will be worshiped. He has condemned such things, so why not stick with what is not condemned? I'm not even arguing for the Regulative Principle of Worship or anythg, just don't commit idolatry!
I'm communicating to you inaudibly right now, it doesn't mean I worship you.
You're typing and I can read.
This kind of equivocation does not inspire confidence that your argument is very strong.
They represent my prayers to God.
Brilliant, except you're not praying TO GOD. That's the problem.
Lots of ancient cultures communicated by light messages. Light a fire on a mountain top and send morse code.
Well, incense is burnt to the living during the church service while we pray. That counts, right?
That's its own question.
You're trying to communicate with dead people.
what exactly are the situations you would "ordinarily pray to God", but would NOT ask other Christians to pray for you
"Oh God, I repent of my sin."
"Oh God, please provide for me and my family."
I pray everything ***TO*** God. What I pray to God I don't ask from humans. I might tell them what I'm praying some or many times. It's not the same.
I'm not talking about asking people to pray for you. You're praying TO these dead people.
I guess because in OT times they were not yet able to intercede for us.
1) Your appeal to "tradition" doesn't do a lot for me.
2) Especially since the OT stands against it.
3) From your perspective, what changed after Christ's coming, that people began to be able to intercede for others though dead?
Do you follow all the OT laws?
How is that relevant?
I don't bow down to images or serve them, that's for sure.
Good to see you back in the blog o' sphere, my friend.
It'll make me have to be more on my toes though. :-\
David Bryan said:
Because the distinction is made within the heart of the Christian.
Can I kill an innocent man w/ premeditation b/c my heart was pure?
Can I worship the Buddha even though my intentions are good?
No Orthodox I've ever met thinks we're worshiping the wood and paint, period
Then why act like you are?
Could an OT Israelite have used this same defense?
(skipping down a bit for a moment...)
He was not worshiping him; he was consulting him for information.
Hey, this is MY thought experiment! :-D He is INDEED worshiping the image. So, what do you say?
I've never asked the Theotokos for information about the future, other people's plans, prophetic insight, etc. I just ask her, as a member of the Body of Christ, to pray for me to God.
This is the exact defense that the OT Israelite gives in the thought experiment - he was dulia-ing his ancestor, not latria-ing him.
Is it your position that he would be exonerated? Should he be?
Same idea as why it's OK to honor the king as king with a bow
Said king is typically alive when you bow to him, isn't he?
1 Chronicles 29:20
But the king is ALIVE here, and nobody disputes the usage of the idiomatic "worship" for certain humans in authority.
But the image of a dead person, is that not the central question? There's not one in this psg.
Are you aware of any teaching in either the Roman or Eastern Church that states that a saint has...ontologically bridged the gap between the two, formerly-estranged natures?
I don't want to turn this into a debate on theosis, but no I'm not aware of any.
Nor do I honestly think that's very relevant, or more pointedly I'd say that it strengthens my argument either way.
I doubt you'd deny that you are praying TO this person, and then expecting this person to intercede for you with God. QED, and since these people are not God, it's even a more offensive notion.
'Course, if you thought they WERE God, you'd have another problem that starts with the letters L, D, and S...
Mediators in sense of some other hypostatic union? No.
You're just defining it away, but since God is the One Who defines how He shall be worshiped, I don't see why that should stand.
I'm not claiming you think these are God-men. You insist, however, in rendering to dead people what is due to God only - worshipful actions.
They are alive in God (Luke 20:37-38),
With respect, this is equivocation. You think God didn't know when He breathed out Deut 18 that dead people were alive in God? He still said it.
and we don't "call them up" expecting answers, which was the issue in the Old Testament.
You don't expect them to do anythg for you?
You don't expect the prayers to reach God, Who will then act out of love and generosity to answer?
Why should death, then, be a reason why one part of the Body cannot pray for another?
It's a separation put in place by God Himself.
1) made physical death a separation between living and dead people.
2) made it so that a corpse doesn't talk to a living person.
3) made it so that corpses appear to be asleep. And start rotting after a few days, much more quickly than the rot when I don't shower for a month.
4) proscribed communication with the dead.
They may be alive to God, but physical death DOES change a lot, you know. Once my wife dies, I am forbidden to have sexual intercourse with her corpse, right (not that I'd want to)? Once she dies, we're not even married, right?
If I pray to a living saint RIGHT NOW, by hanging an image of them in the church, lighting candles to the image, burning incense to the image, prostrating myself before the image, and asking the living saint thru the image to intercede with the Father for me inaudibly, is that OK? Why or why not?
In what way can Christ be said to have trampled down death by His death if this is the case?
B/c death is the last enemy and WILL BE conquered fully and finally at the Last Day.
Then all will be made fully alive with no difference, with imperishable bodies, and there will not be the appearance of separation in the Body of Christ. That hasn't happened yet and God has said that such activities are not licit forms of worshiping Him.
did you ask the person if he was doing these things as to a god or to a man?
In the middle of the EO Divine Liturgy? No, that wouldn't have been appropriate or respectful.
how would it be "bad" if God granted them this
This is like asking "Well, couldn't God have used evolution if He wanted to?"
Of course He "could" have, but I'm more interested in what He *has* said.
how is that "stealing God's thunder," since the "ability" comes from God?
B/c God is more interested than anything else in His own glory. Praying to others in a worshipful context apparently diminishes this. I can see why He thinks so.
I usually ask folks to pray for me while in church
This is equivocation.
I stated the conditions, describing (hopefully) nothing more nor less than what you do, and you're dicing it up and saying "Heck yeah, I do that." Do you do ALL THAT to the living? If not, why not?
Those departed this life are aware of what goes on down here
What is your evidence for that?
In Christ's tale of Lazarus, Abraham knew of Moses, who came after him, and the rich man knew his brothers remained lost on earth.
That proves that the rich man had memories of how it WAS, that he HAD brothers. Not that he knew events on earth that had occurred after he died.
Besides, this guy was in TORMENT, not in heaven, so that's very different than what you're trying to prove.
the martyrs under the altar are aware that their blood has not yet been avenged.
B/c the end had not come yet. That's not rocket science to them. ;-)
rejoice that the Holy Spirit would reveal to their holy hearts that I had unspoken burdens that are harming my soul and that they would, in response, pray for me
Fine if the *Holy Spirit* does that - He has not revealed in Scripture whether He does or doesn't. But you are forbidden from calling up the dead.
rejoice that God has seen fit, in his mercy, to assign me intercessors who, in addition to my own prayers to God, will lift theirs up to Him with me
No one's arguing that they are definitely not interceding for us. I'm saying that committing worshipful actions to them and communicating with the dead is proscribed. It's a fairly focused point; I was trying to be careful in this post.
Thanks for the time. Happy New Year!