Thursday, February 04, 2016

More on the Christian use of images

"You can't consider the use [veneration] of images to be idolatry; it doesn't mean you have to use them. You just can't go Protestant and say they're idols and thus wrong."
And it doesn't matter what you would do. You're a Catholic, not an Anglican. Get on board.
My interlocutor, who stomped off, is a young man, a new Catholic, from Protestantism by way of the Orthodox, still learning.

The Protestants' founders were Iconoclasts, among other heresies, in that they thought they knew better than the seventh ecumenical council (Anglican Article XXI: the church and its councils are fallible; "we" know in our hearts what the truth is) that veneration is idolatry. The Lutherans kept images, though, but only as instructional aids, not for veneration, because Luther was inconsistent and was willing to bait and switch, using the church's trappings to bring people into his new faith, plus his followers tried to reach an understanding with the church. (So they accidentally ended up our close cousins, closer to us than to Reformed.) The Anglicans, being Reformed, were definitely anti-images. Basically believing that the Jews are still right on this (where the idea of Iconoclasm among Christians came from).

Differences with Protestantism such as the nature and authority of the church, how it is set up and governed, how salvation works (the church or a feeling of being saved?), the nature of the Eucharist and other sacraments (making Christ's sacrifice present, actually doing what they signify, or just tokens of your feelings of being saved?), are essential. The idea of venerating images is a non-negotiable too: the seventh ecumenical council teaches that the Incarnation now makes that acceptable. Whether you use ornaments in church and what kind are matters of culture and discipline. (Mostly culture; rites usually slowly evolve, not with the church sitting down to compose them.) Elevating them to doctrine would be an error. (The sin of the Orthodox: "If you're not in our cultures, you're not in the church.")

We and the Protestants remain very different faiths though both Christian (for example, the content of the creeds, belief in the hypostatic union). For example, the Reformed Episcopal Church, in the Anglican tradition if not officially Anglican, was founded to oppose Anglo-Catholicism's belief that Anglicanism is a Catholicism (divinely mandated hierarchy and sacraments actually giving grace) albeit without the Pope, vs. the Reformed teachings of Anglicanism's framers. Their take is that the structure of the ancient church (bishops and a liturgy) is nice to have but not necessary: "Presbyterians with Prayer Books." It was very anti-image, anti-ornament. Now they appear to witness to other Reformed Protestants that images are an option. Not venerating them like we do but now they tolerate Eucharistic vestments, crucifixes, and Stations of the Cross! Ditto the Anglican Realigners, ACNA, Reformed with women priests but defending traditional marriage; images such as crucifixes aren't really an issue anymore. Rather like classical Lutherans in that.

With many Protestants we've gotten to the point where we're not fighting about ornaments in church anymore. And that's good.

1 comment:

  1. I feel bad coming in at this late date 2/14/21, to enter a comment. But I reason
    that Must be done, being a FOREVER EX-CATHOLIC since 1985, & having "come out"
    after serious study of the CC & KJV New Testaments (& several others)...
    SUCCESSION'/ SACRAMENTS, NOR their "meanings"...And this is based & easily Found
    when one does a simiar study, which WILL "SAVE" YOUR ETERNAL LIFE !
    Which is NECESSARY, unless you are an Idiot that may "like " Hell for eternity...
    This article above is example of the haughty taught brainwashing the CC relishes
    to keep itself in $$$ and Political Power worldwide...
    Counter point for their "earthly Kingdom" idea is All the faith in God's Word Bible. Talking New Testament here; because 'Old' is past tense if Jesus, Peter,
    Paul,All other writers are correct...Strangely, & contradictory as it seems: the
    RCC TOTALLY Endorses its members to read AND BELIEVE Bible in every Script is of God & TRUE....Just check your catechism as I also have done often to compare...
    Summarizing, because I am not here to totally write the Bible, but YOU OWE TO
    YOURSELF to diligently DO THAT...Grace is received ONLY THRU FAITH ("belief") &
    NO Sacraments nor their meanings are within AND the Lord puts BLASPHEMY upon those
    who shun/ neglect/ poke fun at HIS WORDS..."HE is a Jealous God" as stated in
    the 10 Commandments (One of which is Deleted in most CC literature): "You shall
    NOT make images of anything to worship etc." Is STILL within the Bible.
    The 'Reformers' for 600 yrs. were tortured, stolen from, murdered BECAUSE the
    Self-righteous IDIOT PAPACY feels it can murder those who say NO to their Schemes.
    A total Violation of "Thou shalt NOT Murder"; another Commandment!
    REFORMERS SIMPLY wished to Reveal God's Words for correcting the course of a
    Fraudulent ship, because the RCC are the actual "HERETICS"..Be Blessed: Get Saved.


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