John of Damascus' exegesis of De 4:15 is impossible

Alfred Persson

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recent convert said:
Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Well we can go one step further than icon veneration and find that relic veneration was practiced by the early Christians. In the martyrdom of Polycarp (2nd c.) it is stated that the devil, "...proceeded to do his best to arrainge that at least we should not get possession of his (St. Polycarp's) mortal remains, although numbers of us were anxious to do this and to claim our share in the hallowed relics." Tertullian asserts that St. Polycarp was appointed by the apostle St. John, he was known by St. Ignatius (who was known by St.Paul), and highly revered by St. Irenaeus whose words our inquisitor has used in attemp to undermine holy tradtion. So what does he know from the Bible of what is holy tradition vs. the tradition of man?
Only proves we cannot go far from the apostles, if we are to learn what they  believed.

"Claim our share," neither can the ghoulish practice of dismembering the dead be found in the New Testament.  When Jesus died, they no one "claimed their share" of body  parts. When James was stoned, same thing. Not once in the NT do we see the ghoulish superstition.

That Polycarp is relevant to what the apostles taught is not disputed, someone writing about him in the 2nd century, is.
All proper Christian burial would be observed since apostolic Christians administered the rite. since St. Polycarp died in the 2nd c. the authentic eyewitness account was written then & preserved in the apostolic tradition. Your earler claims of us (meaning those who you perceive as being apostolic) are faulty, unsupported by sources, & only relies on how you interpret scripture.
Its hearsay, unreliable.

What they believed does not prove what Polycarp believed and certainly not what the apostles taught.
Lets see you claim to be in apostolic sucession & yet say that someone (me) who finds an apostolic source as evidence of a veneration practice by apostolic Christians of the remains a martyred apsotolic Christian & that I trust these people as observing proper Christian burial rite as relying on unreliable hearsay?

The Church is Apostolic (ecclesia apostolica) inasmuch as all its members to the Last Day come to faith in Christ through the Word of the Apostles (John 17:20: πιστεύσοντες διὰ λόγου αὐτῶν εἰς ἐμέ) and cling to the Word of the Apostles (Acts 2:42: προσκαρτεροῦντες τῇ διδαχῇ τῶν ἀποστόλων), and this over against all departures from the truth of Scripture. Rom. 16:17: “Avoid them,” namely, those who “cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned.”

Pieper, F. (1999). Vol. 3: Christian Dogmatics (electronic ed.) (411). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House.



"Doctrine which ye have learned", the action is completed in Paul's time.

Therefore doctrines which arose centuries later are not apostolic and all who practice things not taught by  the apostles, are not apostolic.

 

FormerReformer

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Alfred Persson said:
FormerReformer said:
Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Well we can go one step further than icon veneration and find that relic veneration was practiced by the early Christians. In the martyrdom of Polycarp (2nd c.) it is stated that the devil, "...proceeded to do his best to arrainge that at least we should not get possession of his (St. Polycarp's) mortal remains, although numbers of us were anxious to do this and to claim our share in the hallowed relics." Tertullian asserts that St. Polycarp was appointed by the apostle St. John, he was known by St. Ignatius (who was known by St.Paul), and highly revered by St. Irenaeus whose words our inquisitor has used in attemp to undermine holy tradtion. So what does he know from the Bible of what is holy tradition vs. the tradition of man?
Only proves we cannot go far from the apostles, if we are to learn what they  believed.

"Claim our share," neither can the ghoulish practice of dismembering the dead be found in the New Testament.  When Jesus died, they no one "claimed their share" of body  parts. When James was stoned, same thing. Not once in the NT do we see the ghoulish superstition.

That Polycarp is relevant to what the apostles taught is not disputed, someone writing about him in the 2nd century, is.
Someone writing about him in the 2nd century, which is the same century in which he died, is irrelevant?

The "claiming of the share" by the way refers to recovering the body of St Polycarp, not dismemberment (St Joseph of Arimethea "claimed" this particular "share" after our Lord died).  St Polycarp's body was seen by the Church he led as their inheritance, and it was practice of the ancient Church to commemorate a martyr over their remains on the anniversary of the day of their death.  Much the same as it was the practice of pious Jews to gather in the tombs of the Patriarchs in remembrance.  Our Lord would have been commemorated by His disciples in this way, except He did something beyond all expectation.

By the way, refer to the bones of Elisha (II Kings 13:21) for an account of God working a miracle through the remains of a holy man.
Yes, that's "hearsay," inadmissible testimony because that kind of testimony is notoriously unreliable.
Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Well we can go one step further than icon veneration and find that relic veneration was practiced by the early Christians. In the martyrdom of Polycarp (2nd c.) it is stated that the devil, "...proceeded to do his best to arrainge that at least we should not get possession of his (St. Polycarp's) mortal remains, although numbers of us were anxious to do this and to claim our share in the hallowed relics." Tertullian asserts that St. Polycarp was appointed by the apostle St. John, he was known by St. Ignatius (who was known by St.Paul), and highly revered by St. Irenaeus whose words our inquisitor has used in attemp to undermine holy tradtion. So what does he know from the Bible of what is holy tradition vs. the tradition of man?
Only proves we cannot go far from the apostles, if we are to learn what they  believed.

"Claim our share," neither can the ghoulish practice of dismembering the dead be found in the New Testament.  When Jesus died, they no one "claimed their share" of body  parts. When James was stoned, same thing. Not once in the NT do we see the ghoulish superstition.

That Polycarp is relevant to what the apostles taught is not disputed, someone writing about him in the 2nd century, is.
All proper Christian burial would be observed since apostolic Christians administered the rite. since St. Polycarp died in the 2nd c. the authentic eyewitness account was written then & preserved in the apostolic tradition. Your earler claims of us (meaning those who you perceive as being apostolic) are faulty, unsupported by sources, & only relies on how you interpret scripture.
Its hearsay, unreliable.
Again, "You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means."

And eyewitness account is the exact opposite of hearsay.  It is firsthand evidence.

That some in the Second Century were robbing graves does not make Polycarp a relic merchant.
Since when is it grave robbing to give someone a proper burial?  I guess Moses was a grave robber for transporting Joseph's bones from Egypt to Canaan.


Given the ghoulish glee over claiming their share of body parts, its odd any think this is Christian. Find that practice in Jesus' teachings.

Your Jewish analogy also fails, they did not exhume the dead and "claim their share" of remains.
No, they buried their dead in tombs, as most of pious humanity was buried before the Black Plague.  

And again, you are mistranslating a word "claiming their share", as if the intact body of St Polycarp was being hacked into pieces and spread around.  Let's look at the rest of the passage:

"The centurion then, seeing the strife excited by the Jews, placed the body[4] in the midst of the fire, and consumed it. Accordingly, we afterwards took up his bones, as being more precious than the most exquisite jewels, and more purified[5] than gold, and deposited them in a fitting place, whither, being gathered together, as opportunity is allowed us, with joy and rejoicing, the Lord shall grant us to celebrate the anniversary[6] of his martyrdom, both in memory of those who have already finished their course,[7] and for the exercising and preparation of those yet to walk in their steps."

Finally, ad hominem against Novatian's testimony about icons is unsound. If you could find a contemporary of his that disputes his testimony about this, you would cite it.

Instead you smear him because his testimony is correct, only heretics venerate icons. That the heresy overtook the Catholic church is irrelevant and immaterial, we are discussing what the apostles likely believed. I only cite him to show the "silence" about icons stretches far from the apostles in time.
Without referring to Novatian's heretical belief (that those Christians who offered sacrifice to Roman idols during the persecutions could never be forgiven) how am I to place your passage into the proper context?  

Here goes: Novatian wasn't speaking of the pictures used in the Church.  What Novatian was speaking of were IDOLS of Roman GODS and EMPERORS.  The "heresy" Novatian was condemning was the belief that Christians who fell to temptation (to offer the sacrifices to Roman GODS in order to save their lives) during the persecutions could, after the persecutions ended, ever be forgiven.  

Which, if you knew anything of Novatian's writings, beliefs, and life, you would already know.

Beneath my "Its a cogent argument" you cite Joh 21:25 hyperbole as proof its wrong?
To a degree.  What comes after "It's a cogent argument"?  Oh, yeah:

Human nature doesn't allow divine words not be written down
You seize on the "hyperbole" of St John while overlooking: "And there are also many other things Jesus did..."

As for I Clement, this thread is about icon veneration by the apostolic church which your reply glaringly omits any proof for.
True, but you gave us the digression in this:

That's what make Catholic claims to have apostolic tradition from the very lips of the apostles, so unbelievable. If they did, they would have written it down, and canonized it.
Which Clement answers.

These facts make Catholic claims of possessing apostolic oral tradition only the Magisterium can interpret, incredible.
Well, you're on an Orthodox discussion board.  I believe so far only one Roman Catholic and defender of the Magisterium has gotten involved so far.  Our interpretation of Holy Tradition depends upon Ecumenical Councils, in the tradition of the Apostles who had a little meeting in Acts 15.
 

Marc1152

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Something to ponder. What if there was something Jesus himself wrote down and was preserved until today? How would it be handled? Would it be proper to venerate the paper and ink in some way? Even if it wasn't a teaching, maybe just something mundane : "Bread, Oats, Soda, detergent, fruit"...  

Or a relic like one of his sandals perhaps?

Just asking....

I have a picture here of my wife who passed away.. I think I'll toddle on over and give it a kiss.
 

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Alfred Persson said:
dcommini said:
Alfred Persson said:
dcommini said:
Alfred Persson said:
Shanghaiski said:
Alfred Persson said:
But history is clear, icon veneration is a non apostolic practice.
But, the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of which you have no part says that it is. Really, you have no argument. If it were only the veneration of icons that you reject, we might be able to have a conversation. But you have shown here that you reject far more than that, so we really have no common ground to start from.
Its elementary deduction, as human nature does not allow the Orthodox religion be silent about icon veneration, wherever human religion is silent about icons, they aren't like the Orthodox.

The church seen in the pages of the New Testament is silent about icons, therefore it isn't like the Orthodox.

Indeed, the silence about icon veneration in the Bible is an overwhelming mass of irrefutable evidence they didn't practice it, given the heat and froth of the Orthodox manifest on this thread.
Human Nature does not change? Oh really? Well, I guess all hope is lost. If human nature does not change then why does the mass murder who repents of his sins and becomes a Christian not go out and start killing again? What of the thief who repents and becomes a Christian who then no longer steals? What about those who have persecuted Christians who then become Christians and never persecute again?

I guess those people are not human? Or perhaps human nature can not change with out outside circumstances.
That didn't change his nature, only his personality.
For many murders it has been shown that it is in their nature to murder, yet those who become saved murder not any more... That sounds like nature changing to me.

na·ture n. 1. The material world and its phenomena.-American Heritage Dictionary

Then explain how acts change a person's human nature.

Does repentance result in a physical change?

Does one's heart grow bigger?


What happens to one's material form when they stop murdering, what new "organ" or body part appears?


To discuss theological concepts, one must be precise, unless one wants to be a fool, then what the heck...why not use any word you want...
It is apparent to me that you have nature and body confused. You use the definition of the word nature to "refute" my argument when you use the word referring to the world and not to man.

From Merriam-Webster online
Main Entry: na·ture
Pronunciation: \ˈnā-chər\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin natura, from natus, past participle of nasci to be born — more at nation
Date: 14th century

1 a : the inherent character or basic constitution of a person or thing : essence b : disposition, temperament
2 a : a creative and controlling force in the universe b : an inner force or the sum of such forces in an individual
3 : a kind or class usually distinguished by fundamental or essential characteristics <documents of a confidential nature> <acts of a ceremonial nature>
4 : the physical constitution or drives of an organism; especially : an excretory organ or function —used in phrases like the call of nature
5 : a spontaneous attitude (as of generosity)
6 : the external world in its entirety
7 a : humankind's original or natural condition b : a simplified mode of life resembling this condition
8 : the genetically controlled qualities of an organism
9 : natural scenery
Hmmmm... I believe that Merriam-Webster has proved you wrong here. I see people change their character all of the time. For an example, I knew this one guy in my National Guard unit who was kind of shy and talked to only a very few people; however, shortly after we arrived in Iraq his character (nature) changed and he became more outgoing, and to be honest kind of pompous. His brother-in-law was actually surprised as he knew this guy since highschool and had never seen him act this way.

Speaking of being precise... See how I included the whole definition of nature? You only used the first definition and stopped there because that was the definition that you wanted to use to support your argument, as you have been doing with scripture as well.

To discuss theological concepts, one must be precise, unless one wants to be a fool, then what the heck...why not use any word you want...
Good advice, I suggest you take it to heart.
 

ialmisry

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Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Hasty and anachronistic generalization.  You're drawing conclusions about the Early Church from the practice of the Church today without accounting for the differences between the specific circumstances the Early Church faced and the specific circumstances today's Church faces.
and do the homework needed to construct a much more cogent argument, then maybe I'll listen to you.  Right now, you're just babbling incoherently.
Your objection is specious, there is nothing different about human nature, that hasn't changed. The human nature of the Orthodox doesn't allow they practice their veneration of images in private,
It's divine inspiration, and command:"What I tell you in darkness that speak ye in light and what ye hear in the ear that preach ye upon the housetops." Mat. 10:27.

without witnesses,
We don't need witness. We are the the witnesses:
14:6"Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
7If you really knew Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.”
8Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say to you are not just My own. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work.
11Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
15“If you love me, you will obey what I command.
16And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees iHm nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.
18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live.
20On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.
21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him.”
22Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23Jesus replied, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24He who does not love Me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me.
25“All this I have spoken while still with you.
26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
15:26"But when the Comforter is come whom I will send unto you from the Father even the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father He shall testify of Me.
27And you also must testify, for you have been with Me from the beginning." John 14:6-25, 15:26-27.  
"But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:8.
"And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him." Acts 5:32
"For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things" Acts 15:28
"God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will." Hebrews 2:4

and never write about it.
Since you are not a student of history I see how you make this mistake. Take just the written evidence between 325 (Coucnil of Nicea) and 722 (Leo III's edict against the Holy Icons).  The written evidence is in abundance, but yet mostly is silent on the veneration of the Holy Icons, despite we have plenty of physical evidence (the actual icons themselves) and the occational off hand reference to them, many of which St. John collects, e.g.
Listen to what I am going to say as a proof that images are no new invention. It is an ancient practice well known to the best and foremost of the fathers. Elladios, the disciple of blessed Basil and his successor, says in his Life of Basil that the holy man was standing by the image of Our Lady, on which was painted also the likeness of Mercurius, the renowned martyr. He was standing by it asking for the removal of the impious apostate Julian, and he received this revelation from the statue. He saw the. martyr vanish for 'a time, and then reappear,-holding a bloody spear.
Julian was killed from a spear appearing out of nowhere while fighting the Zoroastrian empire (who were, btw, iconoclastic and banned images in worship.  That didn't protect them from being wipped out by the Muslims, unlike the Christian empires and kingdoms who spread).

To this day differences among the Orthodox on icons and iconography persist, although we differ not a jot on the theology of the icon. What you characterize as Orthodox behavior applies only to the Roman Orthodox, who were martyred under the iconoclast emperors, and the Slavs, who got their practice from Constantinople.  The Orthodox in the West, outside of the iconoclasts reach, continued to take icons for granted until you Protestants appeared nearly a millenium later: compare a Gothic or Romanesque Church with a Baroque one built after the Protestants started smaching icons in the West.  In the West, the Melkite EO resembled the Roman Orthodox because of their links to Constantinople.  The Copts, Syriac and Armenians remained low key for the simple reason that the only ones burning their icons, the Muslims, were burning their Crosses and Bibles as well, as well as slaughtering them and burning their Churches.  The fact that the Nestorians didn't have icons didn't make the Muslims stop burning the Nestroian churches with their crosses and Bibles, as well as slaughtering the Nestorians.

The Ethiopian Orthodox, neither connected to Constantinople's iconoclastic period nor conquered by it's Muslim inspiration barely talk about icons at all, although it is obvious that they venerate them all over the place.  They talk far, FAR more about the Tabot, the tablet with the Ten Commandments written on it representing the Ark of the Covenant, in every Ethiopian Church.

It corresponds to our Antimens, the Syriac Tabilitho, and Rome's Altar Stone (I know those terms mean nothing to you, but they do to our readers, and others will learn).

(There's a lovely video of Cornell West (who spurned the Ethiopian Orthodox Church when a priest pointed out that denominations in America are like consumer goods but religion is serious in Ethiopia) trying to see a tabot at an Orthodox Church.  The priest, in full vestments and Cross in hand, meets him at the door and asks him what he wants. "To see the tabot. I'm curious" Cornell announces.  "You cannot," the priest answers. "Wny? Have you seen it?" Cornell pesters. "I don't need to see it,"the priest replies in confidence. THAT's walking by Faith and not by sight)

No one needed to beg for veneration of the Holy Icons when no one questioned it.

And oh, btw, the Fathers of the Church were about as silent about Trinitarian Theology until the 4th century, around the same time as St. Basil, his biography, and the miracle of the icon of St. Mercurius.

No, they trumpet it and even demand others bow down and kiss their images or they are denying xyz.
The Incarnation. Not xyz, the Alpha and Omega.

So the loudness of the Orthodox comes from their fallen human nature, which doesn't change.
No, it comes from the Apostles' preaching, which doesn't change.

Odd that you bring up the loudness of the Orthodox. Muslim polemicists make the same complaint about us singing our praises of Christ too loud.

Therefore when we see
I Cor. 3:14-18, 4:3-6.

Take your iconoclast spectacles off. You are seeing things, or rather, not seeing things.

the humble God fearing Bible loving Christians of the first century say nothing about icon veneration, we know they are not like the Orthodox today.
LOL. The first century is silent on the New Testament canon too. And for that matter, the OT canon: it's not until the rise of the Church that the Jews fixed the canon you adopt from them, and it wasn't until the heresy of Marcion that the Church gave anythought to the OT, and until the Ebionites split off from the Hebrew Orthodox that the Church gave thought to the NT Canon.  The idea of the canon of Four Gospels doesn't appear until c. 185 in St. Iranaeus.

The Orthodox of today are the humble God fearing Bible loving Christians of the first century, in the 21st century. And in the first century we listened to the Apostles preaching the Icon of the invisible God.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29149.msg461788/topicseen.html#msg461788

That is the fundamental objection to icons, that its not taught by the apostles.
No, that's your fundamental claim, to speak for the apostles while walking disorderly and not in the way of the Tradition received of them. The Church, which actually does speak for them, stands firm in the Tradition received of them, and enjoin the icon of Christ the icon of the inviisble God.

That is why the lack of testimony for icons in the early church  is probative.
Unlike sola scriptura, there is no lack of testimony for icons in the early church.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Hasty and anachronistic generalization.  You're drawing conclusions about the Early Church from the practice of the Church today without accounting for the differences between the specific circumstances the Early Church faced and the specific circumstances today's Church faces.
and do the homework needed to construct a much more cogent argument, then maybe I'll listen to you.  Right now, you're just babbling incoherently.
Your objection is specious, there is nothing different about human nature, that hasn't changed. The human nature of the Orthodox doesn't allow they practice their veneration of images in private, without witnesses, and never write about it.

No, they trumpet it and even demand others bow down and kiss their images or they are denying xyz.

So the loudness of the Orthodox comes from their fallen human nature, which doesn't change.

Therefore when we see the humble God fearing Bible loving Christians of the first century say nothing about icon veneration, we know they are not like the Orthodox today.

That is the fundamental objection to icons, that its not taught by the apostles.

That is why the lack of testimony for icons in the early church  is probative.
Ahh, but you overlook the fact that this has nothing to do with human nature.  Historical circumstances change, and that's a fact.

And that you can keep on saying that icons were not used in the Early Church without addressing the contradictory evidence provided since my last post shows that you're really not reading us and engaging our arguments.  Merely repeating the same old claims ad infinitum and ad nauseum won't make them true, especially when these claims you keep repeating just get shot full of holes each time you bring them up.  You really need to come up with some new material. :p
 

PeterTheAleut

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Alfred Persson said:
FormerReformer said:
Alfred Persson said:
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Okay, summing up arguments already made that speak to this (you probably overlooked them because the replies contained pictorial evidence, and you don't answer our "icons sent against you") the presence of icons can be attested to in the historical record from the earliest time of the Church.  They were used, much as the pictures and felt cut-outs of many a Protestant Sunday school and children's church, in order to aid the spreading of the Gospel to a largely illiterate population.  The Gospel was not meant just for Jews and wealthy citizens of the Roman Empire (the only portion of the population with literacy), but (perhaps most especially) for the poor.

We don't need writings about this, we have the actual pictures themselves (see jnorm88's posts above, if you do not mind sullying your eyes with visual evidence).  

Let us accept your argument from silence (just for the time being) that these icons were not "venerated" (that is to say, shown honor and respect) as they are today.  That is all fine and well.  But the icons from eras where there is a textual silence exist.

BUT the Orthodox can hardly be silent about their images, therefore the silence about it in the Bible does indicate they didn't practice it.
Not exactly.  Let us look into the historical record and see when it was that the Orthodox no longer maintained a standard of silence about their icons.... Ah yes, during the time of the Iconoclasts.  Much like Trinitarian theology, which itself receives little textual evidence until it came under attack (by Arius and his spiritual descendants), the Iconophiles are silent until their icons come under attack.  Perhaps, as you say, no reverence was shown before this point, but the very heights of the irreverence of the Iconoclasts prompted a reaction.  St John of Damascus' treatise is one of these reactions, the outcry of just those illiterate peasants the icons were meant for is another.

So that when the Seventh Council is called it is decided that a) icons are an acceptable means of transmission of the Gospel teachings and b) icons are worthy of the same respect and honor (veneration) that we would give to the Gospel.

Which, BTW, I don't know if you know this, but we venerate the Gospel in much the same way we do icons, and have since the time of their writings.  But there has been no loud theological defense of this fact, we don't proclaim it as often as we talk about our icons (Protestants not wanting to go around burning Bibles, for some reason), so obviously it is something that we've never really done and I am just making this little fact up on the spot (the historical record being silent and all).
That there were pictures in the catacombs etc begs the question whether these were worshiped, and are irrelevant to what the apostles taught.

Only in scripture do we read what the apostles taught, every other source is suspect or it would have been canonized.
For someone who can recognize the argument from silence and that it's generally seen as a fallacy, you certainly like to use it a lot. ::)

Alfred Persson said:
God Does Not Give His Majesty to Another. Novatian (Novatian of Rome 235-258): We acknowledge, therefore, and know that he is God, the Creator of all things. He is our Lord, because of his power; our author, because of his creation. “He spoke, and all things were made. He commanded, and all things came forth.”8 Of him it is written, “You have made all things in wisdom.”9 Moses says of him, “God is in heaven above and on earth below,”10 and according to Isaiah, “He has measured the heavens with a span, the earth with the width of the fist”;11 he “looks upon the earth and makes it tremble.”12 He “holds the orb of the earth and those who live on it as if they were locusts”;13 he “weighed the mountains on scales and the groves on a balance,”14 by the exact precision of the divine plan. He laid out this weight of the earth’s mass with precise equipoise, lest the huge ill-balanced mass should easily fall into ruin, if they were not balanced by providential weights.15 It is he who says through the prophet, “I am God, and there is none beside me.”16 He says by means of the same prophet, “I will not give my majesty to another,”17 so that he might exclude all heathens and heretics with their images, proving that he is God who is not made by the hand of an artificer.18 Nor is he some God whom heretical ingenuity has devised.

Ferreiro, A. (2003). The Twelve Prophets. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture OT 14. (35). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.  
Again, as I'd already mentioned earlier, you can't just take someone whose authority we rejected 1800 years ago and parade him about as though he's an Early Church Father to whom we owe our obedience.  You're going to have to do much better than trot out that old canard if you mean to convince us of anything.

Alfred Persson said:
The Gnostic practice of icon veneration, like other heresies, was adopted by the Catholic church, but not without a fight, which we lost.

But history is clear, icon veneration is a non apostolic practice.
Since so many others have already refuted this claim here, I'm not going to add anything to what they've already done.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Alfred Persson said:
Shanghaiski said:
Alfred Persson said:
But history is clear, icon veneration is a non apostolic practice.
But, the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of which you have no part says that it is. Really, you have no argument. If it were only the veneration of icons that you reject, we might be able to have a conversation. But you have shown here that you reject far more than that, so we really have no common ground to start from.
Its elementary deduction, as human nature does not allow the Orthodox religion be silent about icon veneration, wherever human religion is silent about icons, they aren't like the Orthodox.

The church seen in the pages of the New Testament is silent about icons, therefore it isn't like the Orthodox.

Indeed, the silence about icon veneration in the Bible is an overwhelming mass of irrefutable evidence they didn't practice it, given the heat and froth of the Orthodox manifest on this thread.
Could the heat and froth on this thread be because you're attacking our faith?  This thread is actually a microcosm of why we became so vocal in defending our veneration of icons during the iconoclastic controversies.  If you hadn't come along to attack us, we would be devoting our time to talking about other things.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Well we can go one step further than icon veneration and find that relic veneration was practiced by the early Christians. In the martyrdom of Polycarp (2nd c.) it is stated that the devil, "...proceeded to do his best to arrainge that at least we should not get possession of his (St. Polycarp's) mortal remains, although numbers of us were anxious to do this and to claim our share in the hallowed relics." Tertullian asserts that St. Polycarp was appointed by the apostle St. John, he was known by St. Ignatius (who was known by St.Paul), and highly revered by St. Irenaeus whose words our inquisitor has used in attemp to undermine holy tradtion. So what does he know from the Bible of what is holy tradition vs. the tradition of man?
Only proves we cannot go far from the apostles, if we are to learn what they  believed.

"Claim our share," neither can the ghoulish practice of dismembering the dead be found in the New Testament.  When Jesus died, they no one "claimed their share" of body  parts. When James was stoned, same thing. Not once in the NT do we see the ghoulish superstition.

That Polycarp is relevant to what the apostles taught is not disputed, someone writing about him in the 2nd century, is.
All proper Christian burial would be observed since apostolic Christians administered the rite. since St. Polycarp died in the 2nd c. the authentic eyewitness account was written then & preserved in the apostolic tradition. Your earler claims of us (meaning those who you perceive as being apostolic) are faulty, unsupported by sources, & only relies on how you interpret scripture.
Its hearsay, unreliable.

What they believed does not prove what Polycarp believed and certainly not what the apostles taught.
Likewise, what the Orthodox believe and practice today cannot be used to prove what the Early Church did NOT believe and practice back in their day.
 

Second Chance

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Alfred Persson said:
"Doctrine which ye have learned", the action is completed in Paul's time.

Therefore doctrines which arose centuries later are not apostolic and all who practice things not taught by  the apostles, are not apostolic.
Interesting: you remind me of the Jehovah's Witness fellow who came over to my front porch a month ago. Just as dogmatic, close-minded and wrong, but with triple the attitude.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Alfred Persson said:
elijahmaria said:
Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Hasty and anachronistic generalization.  You're drawing conclusions about the Early Church from the practice of the Church today without accounting for the differences between the specific circumstances the Early Church faced and the specific circumstances today's Church faces.
and do the homework needed to construct a much more cogent argument, then maybe I'll listen to you.  Right now, you're just babbling incoherently.
Your objection is specious, there is nothing different about human nature, that hasn't changed.
You might want to edit this.
Why, its a cogent argument. Human nature doesn't allow divine words not be written down, the testimony of history supports that.
However, you're assuming that ALL divine words would be written down, that human nature would not allow a single divine word to not be written down.  Do you realize how much of an unprovable negative statement this is?  All it takes is one example of the contrary to prove you wrong.

Do the Hindu sacred writings contain EVERYTHING the Hindus believe?  Can ALL the teachings of the Buddha be found complete in the writings of his followers?  Did the native tribes of Alaska even bother to commit any of their spiritual tradition to writing?  I don't know for certain, but it seems you're making an assertion regarding human nature that reflects a very minuscule understanding of history and cultures.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Alfred Persson said:
recent convert said:
Well we can go one step further than icon veneration and find that relic veneration was practiced by the early Christians. In the martyrdom of Polycarp (2nd c.) it is stated that the devil, "...proceeded to do his best to arrainge that at least we should not get possession of his (St. Polycarp's) mortal remains, although numbers of us were anxious to do this and to claim our share in the hallowed relics." Tertullian asserts that St. Polycarp was appointed by the apostle St. John, he was known by St. Ignatius (who was known by St.Paul), and highly revered by St. Irenaeus whose words our inquisitor has used in attemp to undermine holy tradtion. So what does he know from the Bible of what is holy tradition vs. the tradition of man?
Only proves we cannot go far from the apostles, if we are to learn what they  believed.

"Claim our share," neither can the ghoulish practice of dismembering the dead be found in the New Testament.  When Jesus died, they no one "claimed their share" of body  parts. When James was stoned, same thing. Not once in the NT do we see the ghoulish superstition.

That Polycarp is relevant to what the apostles taught is not disputed, someone writing about him in the 2nd century, is.
All proper Christian burial would be observed since apostolic Christians administered the rite. since St. Polycarp died in the 2nd c. the authentic eyewitness account was written then & preserved in the apostolic tradition. Your earler claims of us (meaning those who you perceive as being apostolic) are faulty, unsupported by sources, & only relies on how you interpret scripture.
Its hearsay, unreliable.

What they believed does not prove what Polycarp believed and certainly not what the apostles taught.
Lets see you claim to be in apostolic sucession & yet say that someone (me) who finds an apostolic source as evidence of a veneration practice by apostolic Christians of the remains a martyred apsotolic Christian & that I trust these people as observing proper Christian burial rite as relying on unreliable hearsay?

The Church is Apostolic (ecclesia apostolica) inasmuch as all its members to the Last Day come to faith in Christ through the Word of the Apostles (John 17:20: πιστεύσοντες διὰ λόγου αὐτῶν εἰς ἐμέ) and cling to the Word of the Apostles (Acts 2:42: προσκαρτεροῦντες τῇ διδαχῇ τῶν ἀποστόλων), and this over against all departures from the truth of Scripture. Rom. 16:17: “Avoid them,” namely, those who “cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned.”

Pieper, F. (1999). Vol. 3: Christian Dogmatics (electronic ed.) (411). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House.



"Doctrine which ye have learned", the action is completed in Paul's time.

Therefore doctrines which arose centuries later are not apostolic and all who practice things not taught by  the apostles, are not apostolic.
Relying on a Lutheran theologian's definition of "Apostolic" to tell us Orthodox what "Apostolic" means?  Particularly when the St. Irenaeus whom you love to quote gave us this definition:

It is within the power of all, therefore, in every Church, who may wish to see the truth, to contemplate clearly the tradition of the apostles manifested throughout the whole world; and we are in a position to reckon up those who were by the apostles instituted bishops in the Churches, and [to demonstrate] the succession of these men to our own times; those who neither taught nor knew of anything like what these [heretics] rave about. For if the apostles had known hidden mysteries, which they were in the habit of imparting to “the perfect” apart and privily from the rest, they would have delivered them especially to those to whom they were also committing the Churches themselves. For they were desirous that these men should be very perfect and blameless in all things, whom also they were leaving behind as their successors, delivering up their own place of government to these men; which men, if they discharged their functions honestly, would be a great boon [to the Church], but if they should fall away, the direst calamity.
St. Irenaeus:  Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter 3, Paragraph 1  (from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.iv.iv.html)

I will concede that St. Irenaeus certainly supports Dr. Pieper's and your definition of "Apostolic", since the saint identified doctrine as Apostolic if it was what the Apostles taught, but I would suggest that Dr. Pieper's definition of "Apostolic" is incomplete.  To Irenaeus, the visible succession of bishops from the Apostles was just as much a witness to Apostolicity of a doctrine as the fact that the doctrine was learned from the Apostles themselves.  And, just as St. Ignatius of Antioch taught his flocks to do everything in union with their bishops lest they fall prey to the heretics, so did Irenaeus declare that the truth of doctrine could be ascertained by the fact that those bishops who taught the doctrine were verifiable successors to the Apostles.  If you are not in communion with these bishops, how can you know that your doctrine is Apostolic?
 

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Alfred Persson said:
That there were pictures in the catacombs etc begs the question whether these were worshiped,
No, it answers the questions whether the Chrisitans had images in their places of worship (besides the obvious, the inscriptions and literary evidence show worship is what was going on in the catacombs).  Your Protestant forebares denied their existence when they were creating the church from whence you come, but then in the 17th century the catacombs were rediscovered, and exposed your forebares' fallacy.

Then your Protestant forebares fell back on the waving the veil of Moses, claiming that the Jews don't have images, and so the early Christians didn't either.  But now we have unearthed early synagogues, and they are covered in images.  So much for that.

So now you are left begging the question that the early Christians had no images, with no evidence.  Christ said the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church, the pillar and bulwark of Truth.  All those early Churches uncovered have images that cover them.  Either call Christ a liar as His Church fell prey to Satan, and hence nothing He said 2,000 years ago has no relevance to us today.

Btw, I was talking to someone about the Chapel at Fort Ross, the first Orthodox parish in the lower 48.  If you look inside it today, you might conclude that the early Orhtodox in this country had no images:

(the icons in the cabinet on the walls are period IIRC, but recently restored)
There is almost no description of the Chapel's inside. After all, most at Fort Ross had seen the inside of a Russian Church. THere is more detailed descriptions of the governor and manager's home (which also include the icons that were in the rooms, something different for American and Western European visitors).  When the Russians evacuated, they told everything with them to the Cathedral in Sitka, except a lectern, the candlelabra and candle stand.  

As for the early Christian Churches, there is the problem that they a) had to be hidden, as they were illegal, b) were being destroyed constantly, because they were illegal, c) after the peace of Constantine, many old icons had "restoration" jobs which inadvertedly destroyed the earlier layers, d) between the iconoclast emperors and muslim caliphs, many more Churches and icons were destroyed (Mt. Sinai, for instance, has many icons from the two centuries before the iconoclasts which do not survive elsewhere).  

The Church in Dura Europas survives (from a century before Holy Constantine and only just after a century after the Apostle John), for instance, because it was raised in a remote area, in between persecusions, and the whole section of the city where it was located was filled in with rubble to whithstand the Persian invasion shortly thereafter, protecting the site when the Persians sacked it, and it was never inhabited again. Some of the earliest Eucharist prayer texts and a Gospel harmony come from the same site.

Alfred Persson said:
and are irrelevant to what the apostles taught
Only if Christ's promisse that the Church He founded on them would not fall to the gates of Hell, and that He would remain with it all the days until the end of the age, are lies.

The catacombs comport with what the Apostles taught, and what their One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church teaches still.

Alfred Persson said:
Only in scripture do we read what the apostles taught,
ialmisry said:
I had thought of starting a thread on Perssonism's teaching on sola scriptura, but decided the thread "Sola Scriptura - A Diversion From the True Word of God" would be an appropriate place to taste test, to spew out as poison, Perssonism's flavor of Sola Scriptura.
Alfred Persson said:
mike said:
2 Thessalonians 2 said:
So then, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye were taught, whether by word, or by epistle of ours.
That teaches sola scriptura. We are to obey ONLY
My, in capitals. But I don't see that in that verse.
Ἄρα οὖν, ἀδελφοί, στήκετε, καὶ κρατεῖτε τὰς παραδόσεις ἃς ἐδιδάχθητε εἴτε διὰ λόγου εἴτε δι’ ἐπιστολῆς ἡμῶν
No, not in the original. Maybe in a Latin or Syriac translation or textual varient.
http://biblos.com/2_thessalonians/2-15.htm
No, not there either.
Maybe someone can find "only" in some translation or another.
http://multilingualbible.com/2_thessalonians/2-15.htm
but I don't see it in the languages I can read (which are a couple).
So Perssionism has made its own translation to suit its own dogma, like the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Alfred Persson said:
every other source is suspect or it would have been canonized.
Your evidence for this (baseless, btw) assertion?  The early Church used lots of sources that they did not canonize nor did she doubt; and canonized, for instance, Mark and Luke/Acts (though not Apostles), the annonymous Matthew and Hebrews, and John, despite the fact that he does not identify himself by name.

Alfred Persson said:
Of much less weight is the testimony of sub apostolic church fathers, presumably some of them were taught either by an apostle, or someone they taught.
Yes, your testimony is so much weightier than that of those whom were taught either by an Apostles or someone they taught.  Of course, since you do not have the autographs of the Apostles, you depend on the Church who preserved, canonized and copied their writiings for a millenium.

Alfred Persson said:
To go further away from the apostles begs the question what they apostles taught.
So where does that leave you, in the 21st century, with roots too short to connect to the Apostles by centuries, and dependent on the textual witness of the Orthodox Church and the Jews who denied Christ for your scripture?

Alfred Persson said:
Your argument also fails when you argue icons are teaching tools...1)if that's all they were, I wouldn't be objecting to them nor would you insist they be kissed as did the 7th council
LOL. Who needs your approval?

As for the learning angle, it, like the natural affection humans have for things and people they admire, it is so part of human nature, and the before the Fall, that it is taken as a given. As St. John challenged the iconoclasts, whose error you do not continue, but you merely repeat:
ialmisry said:
Alfred Persson said:
by faith without the sensible being needed at all:
Oh? Is your Bible written in invisible ink?  Is it written on the air? As St. John says "Israel of old did not see God, but we see the Lord's glory face to face."
He goes ont to show the absence of substance to this empty argument:
If you say that only intellectual worship befits God, take away all corporeal things, light, and fragrance, prayer itself through the physical voice, the very divine mysteries which are offered through matter, bread, and wine, the oil of chrism, the sign of the Cross, for all this is matter. Take away the Cross, and the sponge of the Crucifixion, and the spear which pierced the life-giving side. Either give up honouring these things as impossible, or do not reject the veneration of images. Matter is endued with a divine power through prayer made to those who are depicted in image. Purple by itself is simple, and so is silk, and the cloak which is made of both. But if the king put it on, the cloak receives honour from the honour due to the wearer. So is it with matter. By itself it is of no account, but if the one presented in image be full of grace, men become partakers of his grace according to their faith. The apostles knew our Lord with their bodily eyes; others knew the apostles, others the martyrs. I, too, desire to see them in the spirit and in the flesh, and to possess a saving remedy as I am a composite being. .I see with my eyes, and revere that which represents what I honour, though I do not worship it as God. Now you, perhaps, are superior to me, and are lifted up above bodily things, and being, as it were, not of flesh, you make light of what is visible, but as I am human and clothed with a body, I desire to see and to be corporeally with the saints. Condescend to my humble wish that you may be secure on your heights. God accepts my longing for Him and for His saints. For He rejoices at the praises of His servant, according to the great St Basil in his panegyric of the Forty Martyrs. Listen to the words which he uttered in honour of the martyr St Gordion.  The mere memory of just deeds is a source of spiritual joy to the whole world ; people are moved to imitate the holiness of which they hear. The life of holy men is as a light illuminating the way for those who would see it. And again, when we recount the story of holy lives we glorify in the first place the Lord of those servants, and we give praise to the servants on account of their testimony, which is known to us. We rejoice the world through good report.  Commentary.—The remembrance of the saints is thus, you see, a glory to God, praise of the saints, joy and salvation to the whole world. Why, then, would you destroy it ? This remembrance is kept by preaching and by images, says the same great St Basil.  Just as burning follows naturally on fire, and fragrance on sweet ointment, so must good arise from holy actions. For it is no small thing to represent past events according to life.

Blessed Dionysios (the Areogapite) who has made divine things in God's presence his study, says that these representations and images are marked out beforehand. In His counsels, God has noted and settled all that He would do, the unchanging future events before they came to pass. In the same way, a man who wished to build a house, would first make and think out' a plan. Again, visible things are images of invisible and intangible things, on which they throw a faint light. Holy Scripture clothes in figure God and the angels, and the same holy man (Blessed Denis) explains why. When sensible things sufficiently render what is beyond sense, and give a form to what is intangible, a medium would be reckoned imperfect according to our standard, if it did not fully represent material vision, or if it required effort of mind. If, therefore, Holy Scripture, providing for our need, ever putting before us what is intangible, clothes it in flesh, does it not make an image of what is thus invested with our nature, and brought to the level of our desires, yet invisible ? A certain conception through the senses thus takes place in the brain, which was not there before, and is transmitted to the judicial faculty, and added to the mental store. Gregory, who is so eloquent about God, says that the mind which is set upon getting beyond corporeal things, is incapable of doing it. For the invisible things of God since the creation of the world are made visible through images. We see images in creation which remind us faintly of God, as when, for instance, we speak of the holy and adorable Trinity, imaged by the sun, or light, or burning rays, or by a running fountain, or a full river, or by the mind, speech, or the spirit within us, or by a rose tree, or a sprouting flower, or a sweet fragrance.

The fourth kind of image are the figures and types set forth by Scripture of invisible and immaterial things in bodily form, for a clearer apprehension of God and the angels, through our incapacity of perceiving immaterial things unless clothed in analogical material form, as Dionysius the Areopagite says, a man skilled in divine things. Anyone would say that our incapacity for reaching the contemplation of intellectual things, and our need of familiar and cognate mediums, make it necessary that immaterial things should be clothed in form and shape. If, then, holy Scripture adapts itself to us in seeking to elevate us above sense, does it not make images of what it clothes in our own medium, and bring within our reach that which we desire but are unable to see ? The spiritual writer, Gregory, says that the mind striving to banish corporeal images reduces itself to incapability. But from the creation of the world the invisible things of God are made clear by the visible creation. We see images in created things, which remind us faintly of divine tokens. For instance, sun and light and brightness, the running waters of a perennial fountain, our own mind and language and spirit, the sweet fragrance of a flowering rosetree, are images of the Holy and Eternal Trinity.

The sixth kind of image is for a remembrance of past events, of a miracle or a good deed, for the honour and glory and abiding memory of the most virtuous, or for the shame and terror of the wicked, for the benefit of succeeding generations who contemplate it, so that we may shun evil and do good. This image is of two kinds, either through the written word in books, for the word represents the thing, as when God ordered the law to be written on tablets, and the lives of God-fearing men to be recorded, or through a visible object, as when He commanded the urn and rod to be placed in the ark for a lasting memory, and the names of the tribes to be engraved on the stones of the humeral. And also He commanded the twelve stones to be taken from the Jordan as a sacred token. Consider the prodigy, the greatest which befell the faithful people, the taking of the ark, and the parting of the waters. So now we set up the images of valiant men for an example and a remembrance to ourselves. Therefore, either reject all images, and be in opposition to Him who ordered these things, or receive each and all with becoming greeting and manner
Alfred Persson said:
2)As they image the Whole Christ in one icon, they teach the illiterate monophysite heresy,
I don't believe Eutyches was illiterate, though I know he was a heretic. Do you know who that is?  Do you know what "monophysite" (or for that matter, "heresy") means? Besides tossing the terms around, you don't demonstrate any knowledge of what they mean.

[
Alfred Persson said:
rendering the Transcendent infinite Jesus in two natures,
Christ's human nature is not infinite, as that is against human nature.

Alfred Persson said:
into a finite image
Like John 1:14? Phililpians 2:7?

Alfred Persson said:
the illiterate believes represents the prototype.
Like John 14:9? Colossians 1:15, 19? Phillippians 2:8?

Alfred Persson said:
Your second argument is revisionist history. Icon veneration arose centuries after the apostles,
Your assertion, where is your proof?

Alfred Persson said:
as the heresy grew, iconoclasm grew, prior to that there was no need for iconoclasm.
The first iconoclast edict came in 726, with practically no evidence of debate on the matter among Christians, though we have plenty of physical evidence for the prior four centuries of the veneration of icons.  Plenty for the iconoclasts, if they had lived, to condmen icons, and plenty of time to do it.

Where we see the start and development of the debate is in Islam, in their second civil war c. 690. For one thing, too many Muslims were attracted by the icons and submitted to baptism as a result. So prior to the need to validate and establish Islam as the supplanter of Christianty, Muhammad as the successor of Christ, and the Quran and the fulfillment of the Bible, yes, there was no need for iconoclasm.

Alfred Persson said:
That fits the historical record:
Irenaeus [A.D. 130-200]  Against Heresies, Book I, Chapt XXV, 6
6. Others of them employ outward marks, branding their disciples inside the lobe of the right ear. From among these also arose Marcellina, who came to Rome under [the episcopate of] Anicetus, and, holding these doctrines, she led multitudes astray. They style themselves Gnostics. They also possess images, some of them painted, and others formed from different kinds of material; while they maintain that a likeness of Christ was made by Pilate at that time when Jesus lived among them.300 They crown these images, and set them up along with the images of the philosophers of the world that is to say, with the images of Pythagoras, and Plato, and Aristotle, and the rest. They have also other modes of honouring these images, after the same manner of the Gentiles.5- Roberts, A., Donaldson, J., & Coxe, A. C. (1997). The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol.I : Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325 (351). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.
 

Yes, St. Irenaeus was interested in preserving the teaching of the Apostles, and not that of Pilate's pagan Rome nor the pagan philosophers.  It doesn't strike you as odd that they evidently depended on Pilate for their icons? And that they placed such an icon among the pagan philosophers? Anyways, notice how St. Irenaeus mentions it offhand, without censure, which is not how he treats of their other beliefs and practices:
1. Carpocrates, again, and his followers maintain that the world and the things which are therein were created by angels greatly inferior to the unbegotten Father. They also hold that Jesus was the son of Joseph, and was just like other men, with the exception that he differed from them in this respect, that inasmuch as his soul was steadfast and pure, he perfectly remembered those things which he had witnessed within the sphere of the unbegotten God. On this account, a power descended upon him from the Father, that by means of it he might escape from the creators of the world; and they say that it, after passing through them all, and remaining in all points free, ascended again to him, and to the powers, which in the same way embraced like things to itself. They further declare, that the soul of Jesus, although educated in the practices of the Jews, regarded these with contempt, and that for this reason he was endowed with faculties, by means of which he destroyed those passions which dwelt in men as a punishment [for their sins].
2. The soul, therefore, which is like that of Christ can despise those rulers who were the creators of the world, and, in like manner, receives power for accomplishing the same results. This idea has raised them to such a pitch of pride, that some of them declare themselves similar to Jesus; while others, still more mighty, maintain that they are superior to his disciples, such as Peter and Paul, and the rest of the apostles, whom they consider to be in no respect inferior to Jesus. For their souls, descending from the same sphere as his, and therefore despising in like manner the creators of the world, are deemed worthy of the same power, and again depart to the same place. But if any one shall have despised the things in this world more than he did, he thus proves himself superior to him.
3. They practise also magical arts and incantations; philters, also, and love-potions; and have recourse to familiar spirits, dream-sending demons, and other abominations, declaring that they possess power to rule over, even now, the princes and formers of this world; and not only them, but also all things that are in it. These men, even as the Gentiles, have been sent forth by Satan to bring dishonour upon the Church, so that, in one way or another, men hearing the things which they speak, and imagining that we all are such as they, may turn away their ears from the preaching of the truth; or, again, seeing the things they practise, may speak evil of us all, who have in fact no fellowship with them, either in doctrine or in morals, or in our daily conduct. But they lead a licentious life, and, to conceal their impious doctrines, they abuse the name [of Christ], as a means of hiding their wickedness; so that their condemnation is just, Romans 3:8 when they receive from God a recompense suited to their works.
4. So unbridled is their madness, that they declare they have in their power all things which are irreligious and impious, and are at liberty to practise them; for they maintain that things are evil or good, simply in virtue of human opinion. They deem it necessary, therefore, that by means of transmigration from body to body, souls should have experience of every kind of life as well as every kind of action (unless, indeed, by a single incarnation, one may be able to prevent any need for others, by once for all, and with equal completeness, doing all those things which we dare not either speak or hear of, nay, which we must not even conceive in our thoughts, nor think credible, if any such thing is mooted among those persons who are our fellow citizens), in order that, as their writings express it, their souls, having made trial of every kind of life, may, at their departure, not be wanting in any particular. It is necessary to insist upon this, lest, on account of some one thing being still wanting to their deliverance, they should be compelled once more to become incarnate. They affirm that for this reason Jesus spoke the following parable:— Whilst you are with your adversary in the way, give all diligence, that you may be delivered from him, lest he give you up to the judge, and the judge surrender you to the officer, and he cast you into prison. Verily, I say unto you, you shall not go out thence until you pay the very last farthing. Matthew 5:25-26; Luke 12:58-59 They also declare the adversary is one of those angels who are in the world, whom they call the Devil, maintaining that he was formed for this purpose, that he might lead those souls which have perished from the world to the Supreme Ruler. They describe him also as being chief among the makers of the world, and maintain that he delivers such souls [as have been mentioned] to another angel, who ministers to him, that he may shut them up in other bodies; for they declare that the body is the prison. Again, they interpret these expressions, You shall not go out thence until you pay the very last farthing, as meaning that no one can escape from the power of those angels who made the world, but that he must pass from body to body, until he has experience of every kind of action which can be practised in this world, and when nothing is longer wanting to him, then his liberated soul should soar upwards to that God who is above the angels, the makers of the world. In this way also all souls are saved, whether their own which, guarding against all delay, participate in all sorts of actions during one incarnation, or those, again, who, by passing from body to body, are set free, on fulfilling and accomplishing what is requisite in every form of life into which they are sent, so that at length they shall no longer be [shut up] in the body.
And then the paragraph before your quote trawl's catch:
5. And thus, if ungodly, unlawful, and forbidden actions are committed among them, I can no longer find ground for believing them to be such. And in their writings we read as follows, the interpretation which they give [of their views], declaring that Jesus spoke in a mystery to His disciples and apostles privately, and that they requested and obtained permission to hand down the things thus taught them, to others who should be worthy and believing. We are saved, indeed, by means of faith and love; but all other things, while in their nature indifferent, are reckoned by the opinion of men— some good and some evil, there being nothing really evil by nature.
Due to lenght I'll deal with you and Novatian, whom you have brought up before it seems in a post I haven't seen, later.

Alfred Persson said:
The Gnostic practice of icon veneration, like other heresies, was adopted by the Catholic church,
Actually, St. Irenaeus does not mention the practice of the followers of Marcellina because of the difference between them and the Catholic Church, but because they resembled the practice of the Catholic Church in this, unlike most Gnostics. The gnostics, hating the body and denying, like you, that Christ was really incarnate, had no need for icons, because images and the physical world were the creation of an evil demiurge, the God of the Hebrews.  Hence why the gnostic Marcion denied the OT and used only the Gospel of Luke (the only one written by a Gentile, or so the Church tells us), expunged of all references to the OT.  Marcellinus attributing the earliest icons to Pilate differs from the Church, who attribute them to St.Luke and the image given to Agbar, but that doesn't seem to have been an enormous problem for St. Irenaeus, seeing how he condemns their "abominations," "madness," etc. In fact, we know that before the Edict of Milan and the Peace of Constantine, some pagans included a portrait of Jesus among their portraits of their philosophers, being chic like Buddhist figures among the Hollywood snobs of today.  Where would they get an idea of an image of Christ? ::)

Alfred Persson said:
but not without a fight,
We hardly hear a whimper from the iconoclasts until the Muslims raised their hue and cry.

And whereas the iconoclasts' policies were only implemented in areas subjugated by the caliphs and iconoclast emperors, the veneration of icons was over the centuries the universal (i.e. CATHOLIC) practice of the Church, as amply demonstrated.

Alfred Persson said:
which we lost.
LOL. Who's "WE?" Is Christ's True Church so puny that from the rising to the setting of the sun the praise of the Holy Icons shouted it down?

No evidence of their theology for nearly a millenium after the foundation of the Church, and then borrowed from the Muslims, the Iconoclasts have no part in Christ Victor.

Alfred Persson said:
But history is clear, icon veneration is a non apostolic practice.
Only in the alternative history of the iconoclasts. I'll stick with the history the archeologists dig up and the sources record, which comport with Christ's promises that His Church would not be overcome by Hell, of which heretics are the gatekeepers and guides. The continuous teaching His Church has passed down, which we celebrate in the Triumph of Orthodoxy, demonstrates that is what to depend on.
ialmisry said:
Alfred Persson said:
BUT apostolic doctrine has us walking:
LOL. What do you know of apostolic doctrine? as thou walkest disorderly, and not after the Tradition which are received of the Apostles, as St. John points out:
In the first place, grasping as a kind of pillar, or foundation, the teaching of the Church, which is our salvation, I have opened out its meaning, giving, as it were, the reins to a wellcaparisoned charger, For I look upon it as a great calamity that the Church, adorned with her great privileges and the holiest examples of saints in the past, should go back to the first rudiments, and fear where there is no fear. It is disastrous to suppose that the Church does not know God as He is, that she degenerates into idolatry, for if she declines from perfection in a single iota, it is as an enduring mark on a comely face, destroying by its unsightliness the beauty of the whole. A small thing is not small when it leads to something great, nor indeed is it a thing of no matter to give up the ancient tradition of the Church held by our forefathers, whose conduct we should observe, and whose faith we should imitate.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
elijahmaria said:
Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Hasty and anachronistic generalization.  You're drawing conclusions about the Early Church from the practice of the Church today without accounting for the differences between the specific circumstances the Early Church faced and the specific circumstances today's Church faces.
and do the homework needed to construct a much more cogent argument, then maybe I'll listen to you.  Right now, you're just babbling incoherently.
Your objection is specious, there is nothing different about human nature, that hasn't changed.
You might want to edit this.
Why, its a cogent argument. Human nature doesn't allow divine words not be written down, the testimony of history supports that.
However, you're assuming that ALL divine words would be written down, that human nature would not allow a single divine word to not be written down.  Do you realize how much of an unprovable negative statement this is?  All it takes is one example of the contrary to prove you wrong.

Do the Hindu sacred writings contain EVERYTHING the Hindus believe?  Can ALL the teachings of the Buddha be found complete in the writings of his followers?  Did the native tribes of Alaska even bother to commit any of their spiritual tradition to writing?  I don't know for certain, but it seems you're making an assertion regarding human nature that reflects a very minuscule understanding of history and cultures.
Debate tactic 101, change your opponent's argument to "all" and ridicule it. I never said "all", the point is its impossible the event occur and  NOTHING be written down:

"Why, its a cogent argument. Human nature doesn't allow divine words not be written down, the testimony of history supports that. That's what make Catholic claims to have apostolic tradition from the very lips of the apostles, so unbelievable. If they did, they would have written it down, and canonized it.

Icon veneration doesn't happen in a corner, its a public activity. Just as we can locate icon veneration by the "noise" it makes i.e., by the statements of icon venerators in their writings, so also we can determine who is not practicing icon veneration, by the lack of references to it in their writings."

It is impossible icon veneration occur without something being written about it, just as its impossible "God speak" without His words being recorded. Whether it everything He ever said, most of it, or just what the "prophet" wants to reveal, is irrelevant to the analogy, and you know that. The point is, God does not speak without the event being written down.


You have no answer and so use debate tactics to change the subject from the total absence of icon veneration in the bible, the apostolic church, even in the sub apostolic fathers.


Icon veneration cannot be found in the Bible, not one word, not one hint, not one allusion, NOTHING. Clearly icon veneration is not apostolic practice.



 

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Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
elijahmaria said:
Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Hasty and anachronistic generalization.  You're drawing conclusions about the Early Church from the practice of the Church today without accounting for the differences between the specific circumstances the Early Church faced and the specific circumstances today's Church faces.
and do the homework needed to construct a much more cogent argument, then maybe I'll listen to you.  Right now, you're just babbling incoherently.
Your objection is specious, there is nothing different about human nature, that hasn't changed.
You might want to edit this.
Why, its a cogent argument. Human nature doesn't allow divine words not be written down, the testimony of history supports that.
However, you're assuming that ALL divine words would be written down, that human nature would not allow a single divine word to not be written down.  Do you realize how much of an unprovable negative statement this is?  All it takes is one example of the contrary to prove you wrong.

Do the Hindu sacred writings contain EVERYTHING the Hindus believe?  Can ALL the teachings of the Buddha be found complete in the writings of his followers?  Did the native tribes of Alaska even bother to commit any of their spiritual tradition to writing?  I don't know for certain, but it seems you're making an assertion regarding human nature that reflects a very minuscule understanding of history and cultures.
Debate tactic 101, change your opponent's argument to "all" and ridicule it. I never said "all", the point is its impossible NOTHING be written down:

"Why, its a cogent argument. Human nature doesn't allow divine words not be written down, the testimony of history supports that. That's what make Catholic claims to have apostolic tradition from the very lips of the apostles, so unbelievable. If they did, they would have written it down, and canonized it.

Icon veneration doesn't happen in a corner, its a public activity. Just as we can locate icon veneration by the "noise" it makes i.e., by the statements of icon venerators in their writings, so also we can determine who is not practicing icon veneration, by the lack of references to it in their writings."

It is impossible icon veneration occur without something being said about it, just as its impossible "God speak" without His words being recorded. Whether it everything He ever said, is irrelevant to the analogy, and you know that.

You have no answer and so use debate tactics to change the subject from the total absence of icon veneration in the bible, the apostolic church, even in the sub apostolic fathers.


Not one word, not one hint, not one allusion, NOTHING. Clearly icon veneration is not apostolic practice.
It is a valid statement, you said that Human Nature would not allow for divine words to not be written down, however you would have to make the assumption that ALL divine words would then be thus written down due to human nature. That is not a tactic, it is logic.

The testimony of history supports the fact that men make errors. Again, as I have stated before, Jesus is the Word of God and we have from the time He was about 12 to the age of about 30 where nothing was written down about Him. We have no record of what the Divine Word said during this time, so obviously human nature did allow for divine words to not be written down.
 

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If the four canonical Gospels and a few excerpts from the Epistles, records everything the Lord said in His three year public ministry, He must have been awfully quiet and pretty wordless for being the Word of God. But, as the Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian records, the whole world could not contain the books that could be written were all the Lord said or did written down.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
elijahmaria said:
Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Hasty and anachronistic generalization.  You're drawing conclusions about the Early Church from the practice of the Church today without accounting for the differences between the specific circumstances the Early Church faced and the specific circumstances today's Church faces.
and do the homework needed to construct a much more cogent argument, then maybe I'll listen to you.  Right now, you're just babbling incoherently.
Your objection is specious, there is nothing different about human nature, that hasn't changed.
You might want to edit this.
Why, its a cogent argument. Human nature doesn't allow divine words not be written down, the testimony of history supports that.
However, you're assuming that ALL divine words would be written down, that human nature would not allow a single divine word to not be written down.  Do you realize how much of an unprovable negative statement this is?  All it takes is one example of the contrary to prove you wrong.

Do the Hindu sacred writings contain EVERYTHING the Hindus believe?  Can ALL the teachings of the Buddha be found complete in the writings of his followers?  Did the native tribes of Alaska even bother to commit any of their spiritual tradition to writing?  I don't know for certain, but it seems you're making an assertion regarding human nature that reflects a very minuscule understanding of history and cultures.
Debate tactic 101, change your opponent's argument to "all" and ridicule it. I never said "all", the point is its impossible the event occur and  NOTHING be written down:

"Why, its a cogent argument. Human nature doesn't allow divine words not be written down, the testimony of history supports that.

What testimony of history do you have for this otherwise unsupported assumption that human nature doesn't allow divine words not be written down?  Do you realize that this requires solid evidence from history?  Do you also realize that according to the logic of your statements, you need to prove from the historical record that EVERY utterance understood to be of divine origin was written down, that NO utterance of "divine" origin failed to find its way into writing?  Are you up to the task of proving that no exceptions exist?  For that's what you'll need to do.
 

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Alfred Persson said:
The church seen in the pages of the New Testament is silent about icons, therefore it isn't like the Orthodox.

Indeed, the silence about icon veneration in the Bible is an overwhelming mass of irrefutable evidence they didn't practice it, given the heat and froth of the Orthodox manifest on this thread.
The same can be said about the New Testament canon, and yet I bet you own and read a New Testament.

By the way, you never answered my question about the Shroud of Turin.  Do you believe it is authentic?
 

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Alfred Persson said:
Shanghaiski said:
Alfred Persson said:
But history is clear, icon veneration is a non apostolic practice.
But, the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of which you have no part says that it is. Really, you have no argument. If it were only the veneration of icons that you reject, we might be able to have a conversation. But you have shown here that you reject far more than that, so we really have no common ground to start from.
It's elementary
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. Heb. 5:12
So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. Gal. 4:3
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?  Gal. 4:9
If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" Col. 2:20-21
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.Col. 2:8-9
He is the icon of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. Col. 1:15
Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God. Heb. 6:1

deduction, as human nature does not allow the Orthodox religion be silent about icon veneration, wherever human religion is silent about icons, they aren't like the Orthodox.
So, since the Ehtiopia Orthodox do not talk much, barely at all if at all, about icons, that means they don't have them?

Oops.

Converesely, since the Jews in the Talmud write against images of the pagans/Gentiles, and do not expound on their own images in their synoguoges the Jews must not have had them, and so the early Christians couldn't.
ialmisry said:
Alfred Persson said:
comes away believing God wants to be imaged.[/i] [/b]
We can't even say that all those who wear the veil of Moses over their sight come away believing like you after you went back and walked with the Lord no more.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dura_Europas_Synagogue#Wall-paintings
Ooops.

Btw, "The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman culture," Volume 3 By Peter Schäfer, Catherine Hezser
R. Yohannan said to Bar Darosai, "Go, break all the idols that are in the public baths [of Tiberias]," and he went and broke all of them except for one. And why so? Said R. Yose be R. Bun: Because an Israelite was suspected of going and offering incense on that one." The function of this story is to illustrate the underlying Mishna (AZ 4:4),  according to which an idol worshiped by a Jew cannot be nullified by a Jew; hence, Bar Darosai could nullify only the pagan idols
http://www.google.com/search?tbs=bks%3A1&tbo=1&q=Talmud+Yerushalmi+nullify+pagan+idols


The church seen in the pages of the New Testament is silent about icons, therefore it isn't like the Orthodox.
Then you are not looking nor listening. As posted several times, the Apostles write much about "the icon of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15).

Matthew 13:14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
ialmisry said:
ialmisry said:
Then why does he "come to visions and revelations of the Lord" (2Cor 12;1) and ask the same Church "Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?" (1Co 9:1). Before your quote the Apostles says:
(2Cor. 3:)4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.
12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech— 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
What do you think is the mirror we are looking in? 2Cor. 4:3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the icon of God, should shine on them. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Read the Gospel book He holds open.
2Cor. 5:19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.
Indeed, the silence about icon veneration in the Bible


because you stick your fingers in your ears doesn't mean the Bible is silent, as has been mentioned to you above, and frequently. Because the Word became flesh and His words sank into the ears of the Apostles, we hear them and so hear Him; and stand fast, and hold the Traditions which we have been taught, whether by word, or their writing.  He that walketh disorderly, and not after the Tradition which is received of the Apostles, he despises them and  despises Christ Who sent them; and he that despises Him despises Him that sent the icon of God, revealing themselves as the unlearned and unstable who wrest the scriptures unto their own destruction. (John 1:14, Luke 9:44, 10:16, II Thess. 3:6, II Cor. 4:4, II Pet. 3:16)


is an overwhelming mass
if the evidence were so overwhelming, you should be able to produce a gramm.


of irrefutable evidence they didn't practice it
You are in CA. Go the Chapel at Fort Ross:
ialmisry said:
Btw, I was talking to someone about the Chapel at Fort Ross, the first Orthodox parish in the lower 48.  If you look inside it today, you might conclude that the early Orhtodox in this country had no images:

(the icons in the cabinet on the walls are period IIRC, but recently restored)
There is almost no description of the Chapel's inside. After all, most at Fort Ross had seen the inside of a Russian Church. THere is more detailed descriptions of the governor and manager's home (which also include the icons that were in the rooms, something different for American and Western European visitors).  When the Russians evacuated, they told everything with them to the Cathedral in Sitka, except a lectern, the candlelabra and candle stand.
and come back and tell us how the Russian Orthodox didn't have icons.


given the heat and froth of the Orthodox manifest on this thread.
LOL. If I was interested in reality TV or crosswords, I wouldn't bother with your posts. Careful, your martyr complex is showing.


 
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