Orthodox response to Coronavirus / Great Reset

Refusing to venerate icons, which is neither “worshiping” nor “serving” either them or the deified people represented on the material, can bring about an anathema as per the 8th Ecumenical Council. It is showing respect to our family in Heaven, the Church Triumphant, asking their prayers and reminding us of our true nationhood. I know it seems weird to Protestants, as it seemed to me when I was making the transition from Wesleyanism to Orthodoxy, but they now bring me tremendous comfort and inspire me to higher degrees of faith, hope, and love. Praying without them is just not the same anymore.

Romans 1:25 was about the pagan practice of worshipping objects in which they believed God dwelled, or actually were a “god.” It’s like worshipping the sun or moon, except something made by human hands and, subsequently, even more degraded a practice (in my opinion) than at least worshipping cool and mysterious things in the sky. Iconography is not idolatry.

I already stated in my previous post that I know that iconography is not idolatry.

Whether or not it improves a particular individual's prayers doesn't make it objective truth. It is subjective to your personal experience with God.

My personal and very real experience with God is through a relationship with Jesus Christ, which has been for years without veneration to anyone but him.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
When I first discovered Orthodoxy I thought icons were a bit strange, but once I really started looking into it I quickly became fascinated by them, and it was obvious upon even the most cursory of research that Orthodox believers don't "worship" icons. My immediate impression was that they were holy tools, so to speak, that help to facilitate your connection to God and understanding of His work.

In visiting an Orthodox church I've found icons incredibly helpful in maintaining my spiritual focus and getting my mind to stay focused on God when it begins to wander. This is in stark contrast to my non-denominational background, in which there's rarely any decoration to speak of and the flashy worship bands and pastor in skinny jeans quite effectively distract you from focusing on God. Seeing depictions of Biblical events and saints draws my focus back to God.

I think one of Satan's most subversive and effective tricks is to get Christians to self-isolate, and forget that they are surrounded by "so great a cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12.1.) Satan wants Christians cut off from their own history and continuity because when you are isolated you are weak; a troop of soldiers is effective when fighting as a unit, but easy destroyed when isolated and cut off from each other, best of all when each is convinced that he can do it all himself and doesn't need his companions.

We see this taken to its extreme with the modern phenomenon of Christians who don't belong to a church and essentially "do" their faith all alone, but it's also present in many churches, too. Churches with no history, no connection to the past ~2000 years of Christianity, no knowledge of those great Christians who've gone before them, from whose lives they might learn and be encouraged. Icons seem to help keep you from myopia and focus your spiritual gaze on the big picture. It's a reminder that contra to what western society (and often the church!) teaches us, you aren't the hero of your own spiritual story; you're a minor character in a massive epic in which the Spirit of God has been active for two millennia.

As far as the Covid situation goes, I would think God would judge those responsible for preventing veneration rather than those prevented from doing it, who are caught in a tricky position as far as obeying the Church's authority in this case.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
The way to Heaven and the way to not go to Hell is to accept our Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts.

Not showing veneration to icons isn't a sin. That isn't stated in the Bible as a requirement to reach our Lord.

I understand this:

In the Orthodox Church icons are venerated with the understanding that veneration is not paid to the material icon but to the person or event represented “in spirit and truth” (John 4: 24).

But then, there is also this:

Rom. 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

I am well aware that icons are not idols, but
believing that veneration is required to reach Heaven is like saying all Christians and non-Orthodox are bound for Hell...

There's a lot of things not stated in the Bible. It's an abbreviation of revealed truth.

You say that you know, but you're not quite understanding, otherwise you wouldn't have referred to Romans 1:25. Why do you think the Orthodox venerate icons? What about them makes them worthy of veneration? What do all of the saints have in common? The answer to all 3 questions is the same idea. Think about it for a minute before you proceed.

Every saint is a manifestation of Christ on earth, they showed that Christ is in their heart by their actions

With that in mind, reread your post, is veneration unnecessary?

Saying veneration is unnecessary is saying it's unnecessary to honor those that follow in the footsteps of Christ, and if you don't honor those that followed Christ, what makes you think He will honor you?
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Sorry to doublepost but spoiler feature wasn't working properly.

you're a minor character in a massive epic in which the Spirit of God has been active for two millennia since the beginning of time.

As far as the Covid situation goes, I would think God would judge those responsible for preventing veneration rather than those prevented from doing it, who are caught in a tricky position as far as obeying the Church's authority in this case.

Something to consider; Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect was in a tricky position, for if he was to let Christ go, he would have had a rebellion on his hands, and those slandering him saying he was disloyal to the emperor supporting a foreign King, but if he assented to the execution of Christ, he would have innocent blood on his hands. He said he "washed his hands" of the matter, but can you walk away from responsibility? Is he guilt free for the torture and crucifixion of Christ?

You've touched on something else, What is the Church, and where does it draw it's authority from? Is it a worldly body, or a heavenly one?
 
Two things that I think are relevant:
First: Kissing icons is the result of the iconoclast controversies. In the East, Muslim-influenced heretics started smashing the icons, and even the Byzantine emperors were party to the madness, putting the orthodox Christians to death. Orthodox believers responded by making their icon veneration as obvious as possible, kissing the icons, and many of them died for it. In the West, where icon veneration was never that controversial, icon kissing never became widespread.

Second: the traditional greeting for our fellow Christians on earth is the same one that we give the pictures of our departed brethren: a kiss. This goes back to Biblical times, as St. Paul instructs us to "green one another with a holy kiss." Dropping the kiss of peace from the liturgy, and greeting one another with handshakes as we do on the US, destroys some of the context for icon kissing.

To stop kissing icons now, out of fear, is doing the exact opposite of what our fathers in the faith did during the iconoclast persecution. I suggest that the way we can send the right message to the hierarchy, leading by example as Christ taught us, is to start greeting each other with the cheek kiss at every church service. And if we are willing to reverence the Church militant with a kiss, I think our bishops might consider letting us reverence the Church triumphant with a kiss. It just takes at least one likeminded person at your parish to help get things rolling.
 
There's a lot of things not stated in the Bible. It's an abbreviation of revealed truth.

You say that you know, but you're not quite understanding, otherwise you wouldn't have referred to Romans 1:25. Why do you think the Orthodox venerate icons? What about them makes them worthy of veneration? What do all of the saints have in common? The answer to all 3 questions is the same idea. Think about it for a minute before you proceed.

Every saint is a manifestation of Christ on earth, they showed that Christ is in their heart by their actions

With that in mind, reread your post, is veneration unnecessary?

Saying veneration is unnecessary is saying it's unnecessary to honor those that follow in the footsteps of Christ, and if you don't honor those that followed Christ, what makes you think He will honor you?

I'm sorry, but if I don't venerate supposed manifestations of Christ and as a result, they get angry and declare me anathema...how is that Christ-like exactly?

The real Christ wouldn't get so easily offended and behave this way.

Honestly, this just seems like yet another example of how the Jews inverted western religion.

It has that "I'm a special boy" vibe to it. I'm a saint and if you don't recognize me as a Christ-like figure and venerate me, then I declare you anathema!

This is absurd and childish.

I would laugh in his face knowing that Jesus Christ would never act in such an evil way and that I already know Jesus in my heart.

They want to be foolish enough to cast anathema unto a man that has Jesus in his heart, then they are in a sense attacking Jesus too.
 

DanielH

Pelican
I'm sorry, but if I don't venerate supposed manifestations of Christ and as a result, they get angry and declare me anathema...how is that Christ-like exactly?

The real Christ wouldn't get so easily offended and behave this way.

Honestly, this just seems like yet another example of how the Jews inverted western religion.

It has that "I'm a special boy" vibe to it. I'm a saint and if you don't recognize me as a Christ-like figure and venerate me, then I declare you anathema!

This is absurd and childish.

I would laugh in his face knowing that Jesus Christ would never act in such an evil way and that I already know Jesus in my heart.

They want to be foolish enough to cast anathema unto a man that has Jesus in his heart, then they are in a sense attacking Jesus too.
If a man loves his country, he salutes its flag and pays respect to its heroes and its martyrs. Same exact thing with Christianity. I hope you're joking when you accuse thousands years of apostolic tradition of being jewish tricks. I think you might be perceiving offense where there is none.
 
If a man loves his country, he salutes its flag and pays respect to its heroes and its martyrs. Same exact thing with Christianity. I hope you're joking when you accuse thousands years of apostolic tradition of being jewish tricks. I think you might be perceiving offense where there is none.

No offense to be perceived?

You must be joking if you actually believe that a good soul with Jesus in his heart somehow goes to Hell anyway just because some old fart on a power trip thinks he is a manifestation of Christ and declares me anathema.

Men can be Christ-like, but they can never manifest Christ.

Only CHRIST can do this.
 

DanielH

Pelican
You must be joking if you actually believe that a good soul with Jesus in his heart somehow goes to Hell anyway just because some old fart on a power trip thinks he is a manifestation of Christ and declares me anathema.

Men can be Christ-like, but they can never manifest Christ.

Only CHRIST can do this.
That's not what he or I were saying. We were all made in the image of God and by being saintly, we act as Christ would, therefore Christ is shown in our actions. Christians once acted in a way that you could reverse engineer the Gospel from their actions. That's what he means by manifesting Christ, we're not summoning Him like we're warlocks or something. We're trying to emulate Him.

The saints were people just like us who showed great repentance and humility and led Christ-like lives, at least in their deaths. That is worth venerating.
 

DanielH

Pelican
No offense to be perceived?

You must be joking if you actually believe that a good soul with Jesus in his heart somehow goes to Hell anyway just because some old fart on a power trip thinks he is a manifestation of Christ and declares me anathema.

Men can be Christ-like, but they can never manifest Christ.

Only CHRIST can do this.
And by the way, it's not some “old fart” pronouncing these canons. What a disgusting way to refer to our Church Fathers. We don't have the power to make these declarations, this is the 7th Ecumenical Council where the entire Church, east and west, got together, were guided by the Holy Spirit, and wrote down some rules to counter heresy.
 
And by the way, it's not some “old fart” pronouncing these canons. What a disgusting way to refer to our Church Fathers. We don't have the power to make these declarations, this is the 7th Ecumenical Council where the entire Church, east and west, got together, were guided by the Holy Spirit, and wrote down some rules to counter heresy.

If some man has the nerve to claim to send my soul to Hell, you bet your bottom dollar I would call him an old fart or worse!

How can you not see my point?

A man claiming to be a manifestation of Christ is blasphemy. Only CHRIST is Christ!

And declaring a good man anathema is much more disgusting than calling someone an old fart.

These men are declared manifestations of Christ...by other men not Christ himself...so how can you believe these men are Christ-like so easily?

All men are imperfect, so nobody is worthy of even pretending to manifest Christ.
 

DanielH

Pelican
If some man has the nerve to claim to send my soul to Hell, you bet your bottom dollar I would call him an old fart or worse!

How can you not see my point?

A man claiming to be a manifestation of Christ is blasphemy. Only CHRIST is Christ!

And declaring a good man anathema is much more disgusting than calling someone an old fart.

These men are declared manifestations of Christ...by other men not Christ himself...so how can you believe these men are Christ-like so easily?

All men are imperfect, so nobody is worthy of even pretending to manifest Christ.
Look, if you disagree with the 7th Ecumenical Council's teaching on veneration of icons, you are anathema and you should not receive communion until you repent. These are not optional teachings. Those aren't my rules, that's the rules of the Orthodox Church, and also the Roman Catholic Church. You need to talk about this with your priest. Dont get so angry over internet misunderstandings. You just accused a man of blasphemy through misinterpreting what he was saying. Nobody here thinks you can literally become Christ by acting like a saint. Please forgive me, I'm not trying to make you upset.
 
Look, if you disagree with the 7th Ecumenical Council's teaching on veneration of icons, you are anathema and you should not receive communion until you repent. These are not optional teachings. Those aren't my rules, that's the rules of the Orthodox Church, and also the Roman Catholic Church. You need to talk about this with your priest. Dont get so angry over internet misunderstandings. You just accused a man of blasphemy through misinterpreting what he was saying. Nobody here thinks you can literally become Christ by acting like a saint. Please forgive me, I'm not trying to make you upset.

But I am trying to explain that all men are not worthy enough to declare another man someone to be venerated.

Men declare other men saints...not God...so why believe these men are manifestations of Christ requiring veneration just because other men said so?

Same argument for the 7th Ecumenical Council...they are not Christ either...so where does this authority come from?

You will counterpoint that their authority comes from Christ, which isn't true. The Lord didn't make an announcement to put together this council. This council was the result of men lusting for power deciding to gather together to create their own rules which are not even of the Bible.

A man does not go to Hell just because a man declares him anathema. So you actually believe these saints are granted a sort of magic ability from the Lord to cast on people?

Curses are a type of magic and all magic is of the devil...so that doesn't make them look Christ-like to me at all.
 

DanielH

Pelican
But I am trying to explain that all men are not worthy enough to declare another man someone to be venerated.

Men declare other men saints...not God...so why believe these men are manifestations of Christ requiring veneration just because other men said so?

Same argument for the 7th Ecumenical Council...they are not Christ either...so where does this authority come from?

You will counterpoint that their authority comes from Christ, which isn't true. The Lord didn't make an announcement to put together this council. This council was the result of men lusting for power deciding to gather together to create their own rules which are not even of the Bible.

A man does not go to Hell just because a man declares him anathema. So you actually believe these saints are granted a sort of magic ability from the Lord to cast on people?

Curses are a type of magic and all magic is of the devil...so that doesn't make them look Christ-like to me at all.
I'm so sorry I led you down this path, please forgive me. Further continuation of this discussion would not be good for either of us. If you are an Orthodox Christian I recommend talking to your priest about these issues and look up orthodox responses to them.
 
I'm so sorry I led you down this path, please forgive me. Further continuation of this discussion would not be good for either of us. If you are an Orthodox Christian I recommend talking to your priest about these issues and look up orthodox responses to them.

I am not Orthodox Christian. I am a Christian but I don't attend one of those cucked, new-age type Christian churches either.

Well, I am not angry. I am happy knowing that Christ is in my heart and that is more than enough.

Everyday, I feel reborn in Him and my life is fulfilled.
 
Sorry, you are in prelest. What you think you are feeling is not Christ.

What nerve you have to make such a claim!

You are evil. There is no way Jesus Christ is in your heart to be able make such a claim about someone you have never even met online.

It is people like you that makes the entire world loathe religious people.
 

NickK

Robin
You are the evil one.

You denegrade the saints, you don't even know what a saint is, you 've never been in a saint's presense. Yet you have the pride to put yourself above them, above the Church, above the Ecumenical Councils, above the Holy Tradition and essentially claim that you know better than them.

You got your own thing with "Jesus" afterall...
 
You are the evil one.

You denegrade the saints, you don't even know what a saint is, you 've never been in a saint's presense. Yet you have the pride to put yourself above them, above the Church, above the Ecumenical Councils, above the Holy Tradition and essentially claim that you know better than them.

You got your own thing with "Jesus" afterall...

Actually, you didn't read my posts. If you did, you would have realized that I only said I would call a saint an old fart or something else in the hypothetical situation where one was unjustifiably declaring anathema against me.

Believing in Jesus Christ without venerating the saints isn't a sin.

If you actually believe that venerating saints, when they have already been venerated in Heaven, then you are misunderstanding your own religion.

Veneration of saints is GOOD to do but not REQUIRED.

Then you mock my relationship with Jesus Christ?

Even if you don't intend to, you are making yourself look evil and closed-minded.
 

DanielH

Pelican
Actually, you didn't read my posts. If you did, you would have realized that I only said I would call a saint an old fart or something else in the hypothetical situation where one was unjustifiably declaring anathema against me.

Believing in Jesus Christ without venerating the saints isn't a sin.

If you actually believe that venerating saints, when they have already been venerated in Heaven, then you are misunderstanding your own religion.

Veneration of saints is GOOD to do but not REQUIRED.

Then you mock my relationship with Jesus Christ?

Even if you don't intend to, you are making yourself look evil and closed-minded.
Please just stop posting here for your own sake. You're not Orthodox, this is an Orthodox sub forum, you're insulting our religion, and this hasn't had anything to do with covid in a long time.
 
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