Perry Robinson aka Acolyte4236 and I have been discussing a quote from Irenæus related to icons and worship over at his blog. I reproduce here my latest comment:
one has to wonder what to make of these,
Oh, did the picture cut out the droves of faithful bowing down and offering incense and candles and prayers to these statues?
Are these idols? If not, why not?
No, b/c nobody is bowing down and offering incense and candles and prayers to these statues.
simply stating your position isn’t a demonstration that it is correct
You act like early church writers can do that all the time, though, and they have some kind of intrinsic authority. Why the inconsistency?
Maybe you should tell Irenaeus this same thing; will you?
Irenaeus doesn’t invoke the 2nd Commandment in the way you would here.
Have I so far invoked the 2nd cmdmt? No.
noting that your position doesn’t admit these distinctions
I reject the distinctions; that's probably why.
One can bow down to persons and images without adoration.
Sorry, it strains credulity when you tell me that it's OK to do all of the above:
1) Kiss their image. While they're not there.
2) Burn incense and light candles to their image. While they're not there.
3) Set up that image in church. You know, the place where religious activity frequently takes place. While they're not there.
4) Pray inaudibly to them and expect them to read your thoughts and carry the prayer to God. While they're not there. And you can't say it audibly to their ears since the dead don't hear with their physical ears.
Why divorce the one action (bowing down) when it's never alone in real practice? Unless you were trying to hide something or commit the fallacy of division?
So the mere fact that the sect of the Gnostics bowed before images isn’t a sufficient condition to label them as iconodules.
This question would seem to come down to semantics and definitions. For the purposes of this discussion, I've been using "iconodule" as "someone who uses images in worship".
You’d need to show that the Orthodox got their teaching and practice of iconic veneration from paganism.
That principle doesn't seem to stop you when you compare Reformed theology to Nestorianism, or when your friends do so with Gnosticism. You first.
Its clear from their texts that what they are objecting to is the false claims of apostolicity which were grounded in part in fake images of Jesus
Irenaeus' citation doesn't mention false claims of apostolicity.
Even if it did, in the context, for example, I don't see how that helps you since I'm concerned about the exact same thing with respect to the EOC and its "apostolic succession".
Irenaeus doesn’t seem to be objecting to the idea of an image of Jesus
But in your last comment you thought he was mad about its "fake" nature. Which is it?
I don’t see why I need to be absolutely certain (certainty is irrelevant for knowledge anyhow) of the spiritual state of the iconographer.
OK, didn't think so. So the point: "It seems the text indicates it was of whom the images were made, associated together and that they claimed to have an image of Jesus" is moot.
So the fact that no one is bowing down before the coin doesn’t imply that the image on the coin wasn’t a form a honoring.
But not *religious* honoring, at least not to Christians. Unless you think Jesus thought it was fine to participate in pagan Roman emperor worship.
Are they fakes and counterfeit images of Calvin, Luther, et al?
Remember - YOU were making the argument wrt 'fakes', not me. This is not an argument I produced, and doesn't apply to my position.
I don't object to pictures hung on the walls of the church; actually I kinda think it can be helpful, but in the worship hall I'm not so sure, and for sure we worship only God and don't flirt with worshiping mere men.
I think the question is impossible to answer in reality - the blood of Christ is all dried up (at least, the blood that spilled during His passion) and I can't imagine how anyone would be able to identify it or the True Cross. So b/c of the impossibility of the question, I'd have to say that I'd just stick to what I know is true and bow down to God alone, in Heaven, and give Him all my worship. What's wrong with bowing down to God alone? It's like EOx think that they give plenty of adoration to God so there's plenty of time on this Earth left over to bow down to lessers, like JWs. It's so bizarre to me - does not God deserve infinite praise, infinitely more than anyone else?