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Thou shalt not make graven images

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posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 09:51 PM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
i would find someone who killed in the name of God guilty, because there is no evidence to say his actions were "good" just because he used "God" as an exuse because you cannot prove that it was God, just his physcotic thoughts.


Agreed. In the case of the God of the bible no one can judge him or those in the story since who today has substantial evidence to prove anything took place that could be considered wrong. However, Christian and other religions have used the name of God to justify many killings and there is a lot of evidence to substantiate this. Even though the book they claim to follow says to not kill. It may also be the case that many have killed in the name of greed and power as well without using a religious justification.


God is a man-made concept and is used to kill in vain, murder, slander, condemn, therefore man is guilty if you knew anything about law and order.


You seem to question our understanding of law and order even though we ourselves have stated we don't think anybody, even Atheists should die and go to hell. Our last post made it very clear what we think and believe about doing anything that would even cause any harm to one's fellow human.

We agree with your statement but with the addition to "Their God" in a sense is man-made and of course if anyone kills they are the ones responsible no matter who they blame it on. Most criminals are quick to point the finger at someone else whether they are religious or not. Besides their God is not the God of the bible or do you have evidence in the contrary? Instead of condeming Atheists we would rather they helped their priests and their young victims.


What does an atheist shout when he flies a plane into a building, what does an atheist shout when he burns down a church? He doesn't becuase he's not trying to impose his beliefs on people, only challenge theirs.


They still shouldn't fly a plane into a building or burn down a church whether shouting anything or not. Besides if one is not willing to challenge their own beliefs then Atheists are serving God's purpose because the bible actually says to test all things and hold on to that which is good. Makes sense to us so keep up the good work.


God has been used throughout history to allow terrible acts, and yes you can talk about charity and togetherness and all those distractions but you still need to prove why people "NEED" religion.


Here is an interesting thought. Can you prove that doing away with all of the religious beliefs in the world and disproving God's existance would not cause more harm than many believe it already causes? Do you have evidence that supports the fact that natural selection and survival of the fittest had a major fault in allowing the evolution of religious belief to take place within mankind?


Think before you speak, you can't accuse and invisible man to be guilty, but you can accuse the people doing to terrible things in the name of invisible man, because their logic path is flawed, why did they do those terrible things, whats the exuse...."god"


Pardon the moment, we're thinking. Exactly, preach on, only their God isn't invisible.


Wake up, show some compassion for our fellow human beings instead of telling them what to believe, or preaching your nonsense, or quote mining from bible, well lets see some Homosexual bullying in the bible, lets hear about the women getting stoned, lets hear about cities of people being enslaved and pillaged because they worship a different god.


We will do our best to show you. Would you consider this compassion for our fellow human beings?

Thanks for the dialog, looking forward to more.




posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 10:50 PM
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The graven images part is why Islam is so hated.

Muslims have been destroying religious images of other religions for 100s of years.

This is why buddhist Hindus and other religions have been fighting them for years.

www.usatoday.com...
www.scribd.com...
www.asianews.it...:-Islamic-extremists-destroy-an-immoral-and-blasphemous-sculpture-18745.html
www.islam-watch.org...
www.danielpipes.org...
www.jihadwatch.org...

60,000 HINDU TEMPLES DESTROYED: 1688: Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb demolished all temples in Mathura, said to number 1,000. During their reign, Muslim rulers destroy roughly 60,000 Hindu temples throughout India, constructing mosques on 3,000 sites.

Should other religions do the same???????

Maybe we should start by nuking The Kaaba in Mecca.
en.wikipedia.org...







posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 03:11 AM
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reply to post by The Riley Family
 


then i guess we have come to a dead end. Just a difference in beliefs, and i'm not stopping people from believing what they want.

And i guess i am a "Christian" or a "catholic" by how YOU say they lead their lives in terms of morality and kindness.

I guess i am "religious" - I just have one religion less than you. I am a moral person, i love my fellow human beings, i have meaning in my life.

The only difference being i do this as a matter of who i am, i do good because i want to do good, as a matter of my innate emotional human intelligence. I don't do it for any god i can't prove is there, i don't do it because everyone else is doing it, i won't be servile, i'm not seeking any rewards and i don't expect them afterwards (if i get them: bonus) I don't need the god you speak of or any other gods like Zeus, Allah, Shiva - they are nice stories and some interpretations can leave you with profound life messages, but that is it.

For these reasons, and those reasons alone i do not need religion in my life, whether it makes me feel good or not. Alcohol makes me feel good, but should i drink everyday just to keep me happy? Its ignorance, and i guess for some people ignorance is bliss, but not for me.

Call me a "sinner" - That's your opinion.
Call me a "coward" - I'm being more courageuos
Call me "ignorant" - For not wanting to believe the unfalsifiable.

Many times this is the general attitude i get from religious people - why should we stand for this? I am writing not just for my self but to show others they don't have to be belittled, condecended, be made to feel like nothing. To show others you can keep your individuality, your inner freedom, your free-choice, you don't have to be servile, and to only search for the truth, absolute truth.

The fact is man CANNOT know God's personal wishes, yet they all seem to know his mind, Islam seems to know it, Catholosism seems to know it, but they're all different, different rules, different rituals. Can you not see that it is man-made? and not "God" made. God is a word for the unknown, to probably the biggest question man has, what is the meaning of life? why are we here? how are we here? what is this reality? Filling those questions in with some bogus story is just illogical and a joke to Science.

Peace.

PS. I appreciate the work you have done - I hope you're not giving all the credit to the guy in the sky or doing it just for him/her/it (whatever you imagine he is) it's your hard work. Keep up the good work.

[edit on 28/6/10 by awake_and_aware]



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 03:42 PM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
reply to post by The Riley Family
 



We apologize for this, but this computer, browser, website, or something is not being very user friendly right now. Lost our original response and many posts since, and messes up on the rest. ???

[edit on 29-6-2010 by The Riley Family]



posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 03:42 PM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
reply to post by The Riley Family
 


then i guess we have come to a dead end. Just a difference in beliefs, and i'm not stopping people from believing what they want.


Well we hope not a dead end. We find most conversations we have with either Christains or Atheists they end up resorting to gross name calling and/or unwarranted character bashing. Thank you for refraining, this has actually been rather a pleasure.


And i guess i am a "Christian" or a "catholic" by how YOU say they lead their lives in terms of morality and kindness.


Actually not how they lead their lives in anything, it was more their interpretations of things.


I am a moral person, i love my fellow human beings, i have meaning in my life.

The only difference being i do this as a matter of who i am, i do good because i want to do good, as a matter of my innate emotional human intelligence. I don't do it for any god i can't prove is there, i don't do it because everyone else is doing it, i won't be servile, i'm not seeking any rewards and i don't expect them afterwards (if i get them: bonus) I don't need the god you speak of or any other gods like Zeus, Allah, Shiva - they are nice stories and some interpretations can leave you with profound life messages, but that is it.


This is a good example for the rest of us. If you do this without God those that do deplorable things in the name of God have no excuse.


ignorance is bliss, but not for me.

to only search for the truth, absolute truth.


Sounds good.


they all seem to know his mind, Islam seems to know it, Catholosism seems to know it, but they're all different, different rules, different rituals. Can you not see that it is man-made? and not "God" made.


Yes we see and so did someone a long, long time ago. They said "teaching as doctrine rules made by men",


PS. I appreciate the work you have done - I hope you're not giving all the credit to the guy in the sky or doing it just for him/her/it (whatever you imagine he is) it's your hard work. Keep up the good work.


Thanks

[edit on 29-6-2010 by The Riley Family]



posted on Jun, 30 2010 @ 12:37 PM
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reply to post by The Riley Family
 


Appreciate the response, I still believe we have come to a dead end but that has always been the case between Atheists and Theists.

God is a concept that cannot be known, which is very handy for the Theist, it's a logical fallacy and has as much weight and credibility as Goblins, The Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, or Beings in other "Realms" - We atheists believe theories like this cannot be known, yet Christians, Muslims believe they know what God wants from them, how? Because a scripture said so? Its still unfalsifiable.

Theists claim to know and claim they are more righteous for believing in the unknowable. Say that they are living the right life because they have put their faith in such a theory. And live their life by it, fully believing Love (homosexuality) is a sin, or that women are inferior to men, I believe this is wrong along with many other things man claims to say God wants from us.

Deists however believe there is a God, a creator but they cannot claim to know what he wants, his personal interests or how he created man and the universe. This i believe is a fair enough belief to have, they are not preaching or indoctrinating everyone, saying God is this, God is that, God wants this, God says no to that.

And yes, there are some decent moral values you can take from the bible, but killing people with other believes, stoning women, killing and mutitlating children - This is all wrong, completely wrong.

Its obvious to humans that killing, stealing is wrong purely based on the feeling you would get if it happened to you, i don't need 10 commandments, no thank you, especially when the first few are about this Gods jelousy, and hatred for those who fail to believe in a theory that cannot be known as truth.

I don't resort to name calling, that's fighting opression with a opression, i'm not going to opress the very thing that has been opressing humanity over hundred of years (indoctrinating children, spreading hatred and separating the human race into "groups") but i certainly will challenge it, logically may i add, and without contempt for what it has done to humanity although it is plain for all to see.

Thanks again, appreciate your courteous response.

Peace

A&A



posted on Jun, 30 2010 @ 12:48 PM
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reply to post by taccj9903
 


Thank you! This to me is the most important verse of all!

Wake up people - stop judging others and their beliefs.


Peace and Love



posted on Jun, 30 2010 @ 03:22 PM
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Originally posted by crazydaisy
reply to post by taccj9903
 


Thank you! This to me is the most important verse of all!

Wake up people - stop judging others and their beliefs.


Peace and Love



what if their beliefs are preached to others, children - even if it does make them live a servile life of fear and opression? Is it not ok to oppose those beliefs? to challenge them?

[edit on 30/6/10 by awake_and_aware]



posted on Jun, 30 2010 @ 03:26 PM
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This thread took some crazy turns.

Graven image = symbol.

Symbols communicate at a subconscious level and cannot be controlled.

Writing a law that prevents them allows communication to be controlled.

No symbols = No truth getting out.



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 10:20 AM
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reply to post by zroth
 


Symbols are graven images?

but they're more than happy to make, wear and show off symbolic represenations of the barbaric torture of this Jesus fellow though.

Like wearing a badge showing a plane and two towers, showing that this is what "god" wanted, this is our symbol of sacrifice....

If i was to conduct such an act without religion i would be called insane, crazy, delusional - but its cool with religion, cause its what god wants.

...carry on following your false prophet believers, the world will continue to hate on you, and social evolution will smite you and remove you, not to Hell unfortunately, but out of existence, that's good enough for me.



posted on Jul, 2 2010 @ 10:35 AM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
reply to post by zroth
 


but they're more than happy to make, wear and show off symbolic represenations of the barbaric torture of this Jesus fellow though.

Like wearing a badge showing a plane and two towers, showing that this is what "god" wanted, this is our symbol of sacrifice....

If i was to conduct such an act without religion i would be called insane, crazy, delusional - but its cool with religion, cause its what god wants.


Amen! See, we knew it wasn't a dead end.



posted on Jul, 2 2010 @ 10:48 AM
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Humans can't think for themselves. They need an organized religion, with laws, paintings, saints etc. Even the buddhists pray to Buddha, even thou he told his followers to not worship him as a god, to not make sculptures and paintings of him. So only people lacking knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and who don't even try to think for themselves, are in need of idols to adore and ask for guidance. We are primitives



posted on Jul, 2 2010 @ 10:55 AM
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reply to post by ccsct203
 


The Catholic church was founded by Jesus Christ himself....by his own disciples...how dare you claim Christ's own church is not Christian.

Jesus gave Peter the charge with being his vicar here on earth and promised the gates of hell shall never prevail against it. You would not even have scripture if it were not for the early Christians who each and every one of them was Catholic. Peter, Paul, Andrew, Mary Martha, Lazarus, Matthew...all the disciples celebrated Eucharist (Mass, Communion) in the Catholic tradition.

Graven Images refers to sculptures which are considered to literally be Gods. Catholic do not believe the sculpture or icon is a God. We believe it is art with informs our consciousness to keep in mind the love God has for us, by giving us his dearly beloved Son and all the saints and angels.

Please apologize to all the Catholics who read this forum, whom you have so carelessly insulted.



[edit on 7/2/2010 by Missing Blue Sky]



posted on Jul, 2 2010 @ 11:06 AM
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reply to post by sinthia
 


Your missing the point of the scripture....it does not mean you can not have a graven image...you just can not worship it...it has now power...the Power comes only from God. You can have a cross, a statue, a stained glass window...but you can not have a idol...which is a statue you keep in your home on an altar which has powers because it is a mini God. This is what the people had at the time this scripture was written.

No Graven Image

By Fr. Jack N. Sparks PhD.

The first time I invited a particular Protestant friend to step inside an Orthodox Church, he looked around very slowly, carefully, cautiously. "It's pretty," he said, "But doesn't the Bible warn against graven images?" His reference, of course, was to the icons, painted images of Jesus Christ and His followers who, through the centuries of our history as the Church, have been portrayed for all to see. Was he right in his concern? That particular Church, as are most Orthodox Churches, was very beautiful. And the Bible, specifically the Old Testament law, does say, "Thou shaft have no graven images" (Exodus 20:4). So, the question is, do those icons, those paintings portraying Christ, His Mother, the saints, and special biblical events, come under the category of graven images? The history of icons and of their use in the Orthodox Church is not only fascinating but instructive. They are no new thing. Nor were they invented by an apostate medieval Church. The use of representations for instruction and as aids to piety goes back to the earliest centuries of the Church, and likely they were there in some form from the very beginning. Certainly we know that even in legal-minded Israel, paintings and other artistic representations used to help the people remember spiritual truth were not at all unknown. In both the tabernacle and the later temples there were images used, especially of the cherubim. And a recently unearthed synagogue of the last few centuries before Christ has paintings of biblical scenes on its walls.

THE BIBLICAL PARAMETERS
But was this done contrary to the command of God? Look at Exodus 26:1. In God's commands to Moses concerning the tabernacle, given just a few chapters after the giving of the Ten Commandments, is this instruction: "Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet; you shall make them with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman." A similar command with respect to the Ark of the Covenant instructed Moses to have two cherubim of hammered gold at the ends of the mercy seat. God said, "And there I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel" (Exodus 25:22). Here are images directly connected with the presence of God, and commanded by Him. From the very earliest years of the Church, Christians used such symbols as the cross, the fish, the peacock, the shepherd, and the dove. And early Christian tombs and catacombs bear paintings which are representations of biblical scenes. For example, the fourth century church historian Eusebius tells us that outside the house of the woman in the Gospels with a hemorrhage cured by Christ was "a bronze statue of a woman, resting on one knee and resembling a suppliant with arms outstretched. Facing this was another of the same material, an upright figure of a man with a double cloak draped neatly over his shoulders and his hand stretched out to the woman . . . ." Eusebius goes on to say, "This statue, which was said to resemble the features of Jesus, was still there in my own time, so that I saw it with my own eyes" (Church History, Book 7, Chapter 18). He tells us further that portraits of the Savior and of Peter and Paul had been preserved, and that he had examined these with his own eyes as well. In that very same century the famous bishop and theologian, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, tells of being deeply moved by an icon of the sacrifice of Isaac: "I have seen a painted representation of this passion, and have never passed by without shedding tears, for art brings the story vividly to the eyes." His friend and contemporary, Saint Gregory Nazianzen, writes of the persecution of Christians by the cruel Emperor Julian the Apostate: "The images venerated in public places still bear scars of that plague." The witness of many other great early Church writers bears out the same truth. Icons were known and venerated in the earliest centuries of the Church. All right. So the early Church made and possessed images-or icons, as we call them in a transliteration of the Greek word for images. And the Christian faithful honored or venerated them. But does this fit with the biblical warning concerning images? The command in question is from the Ten Commandments: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God" (Exodus 20:3-5). Note that the context shows that the term "graven image" is used to refer to an idol-an image created to be worshipped as a god. Could this mean there are in the Bible two classifications of images-true images and false images? Appropriate images and inappropriate images? If so, how do we distinguish between them?

ICONS AND OUR FAITH IN GOD
To answer these questions, let us review for a moment what we believe about God Himself. The venerable eighth century theologian, Saint John of Damascus-a champion for the cause of icons and for Orthodox Christianity-summarizes very well what true Christians in his day believed about God. See if you don't agree. "I believe in one God, the source of all things, without beginning, uncreated, immortal and unassailable, eternal, everlasting, incomprehensible, bodiless, invisible, uncircumscribed, without form. I believe in one superessential Being, one Godhead greater than our conception of divinity, in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and I adore Him alone. I worship one God, one Godhead, but I adore three persons: God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and I adore Him alone" (On the Divine Images, page

[edit on 7/2/2010 by Missing Blue Sky]



posted on Jul, 2 2010 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by catwhoknows
I would like to ask people who believe in God and Jesus, who say "Thou shalt not make graven images", how that believe that they should?

Why do you make graven images?

The whole Greek nation makes graven images.

The Catholics make graven images.




graven is defined as "engraved, carved"
engraved is defined as "anything carved in an artistic way, (lines on a metal plate, block of wood, etc.), fix firmly, print on/from such materials"



Every "Holy Book" is a graven image.
Every "Church" is constructed of graven images.
Every "Chapel" is constructed of graven images.
Every "Mosque" is constructed of graven images.
Every "Temple" is constructed of graven images.
Every "Synagogue" is constructed of graven images.
Every "Monetary Currency" is constucted of graven images.
Every "Tombstone/Headstone & Grave Markers" are graven images.
Every "House & Bulding" are constructed of graven images.
Every "Body" is a thing that is an accumilation of graven images.


Originally posted by catwhoknows
I would like to ask people who believe in God and Jesus, who say "Thou shalt not make graven images", how that believe that they should?

Why do you make graven images?


you make graven images by engraving words/symbols/art/ onto it, or simply by carving it or altering it by cutting and other means.



anyone offering alternatives?

who said the ten commandments anyways?

i learned about compound words from Mrs. Yates in third grade.
who am i to call Mrs. Yates a liar?

Say ten?

SAY
+ TEN = SAYTEN = SATAN

or is my math wrong?


but what do i know?
ET

[edit on 2-7-2010 by Esoteric Teacher]



posted on Jul, 2 2010 @ 11:19 AM
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continued.....

ICONS AND OUR FAITH IN GOD
To answer these questions, let us review for a moment what we believe about God Himself. The venerable eighth century theologian, Saint John of Damascus-a champion for the cause of icons and for Orthodox Christianity-summarizes very well what true Christians in his day believed about God. See if you don't agree. "I believe in one God, the source of all things, without beginning, uncreated, immortal and unassailable, eternal, everlasting, incomprehensible, bodiless, invisible, uncircumscribed, without form. I believe in one superessential Being, one Godhead greater than our conception of divinity, in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and I adore Him alone. I worship one God, one Godhead, but I adore three persons: God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and I adore Him alone" (On the Divine Images, page 15). Nothing could be more sound, more biblical, more Christian, more Orthodox. But given our understanding of the Godhead, if God is invisible, as Saint John writes, how can we possibly depict God? Listen once again to Saint John of Damascus: "It is obvious that when you contemplate God becoming man, then you may depict Him clothed in human form. When the invisible One becomes visible to flesh, you may then draw His likeness. When He who is bodiless and without form, immeasurable in the boundlessness of His own nature, existing in the form of God, empties Himself and takes the form of a servant in substance and in stature and is found in a body of flesh, then you may draw His image and show it to anyone willing to gaze upon it" (On the Divine Images, page 18). The old Chinese adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" comes to mind. If we use word-pictures to illustrate our sermons, what about graphic pictures to illustrate the gospel of Christ itself? This is Saint John's plea: "Depict His wonderful condescension, His birth from the Virgin, His baptism in the Jordan, His transfiguration on Tabor, His sufferings which have freed us from passion, His death, His miracles which are signs of His divine nature, since through divine power He worked them in the flesh. Show His saving cross, the tomb, the resurrection, the ascension into the heavens. Use every kind of drawing, word, or color" (On the Divine Images, page 18). Absolutely! Right on target! It is incredibly important that we Christians be allowed the latitude to depict Christ's humanity and work, because by His incarnation He revealed Himself in and through material creation. And material creation thus sanctified must be allowed to reveal Him.

TO WHOM HONOR IS DUE
But suppose you saw me kneeling before an array of icons of the scenes Saint John described, praying to Christ-perhaps even kissing those icons. What then? Am I engaged in the worship of idols? For here, you see, is where we come across the crucial reason for having icons in the first place. In the image we see the Prototype. An icon of Christ reveals to us the Original. And through Him, He taught us, we also glimpse the Father. Icons become for us windows to heaven, revealing the glory of God. The fact is, icons help to protect us from idolatry! Thus, we bow before the icon of Christ, seeing through it Him and His Father. These icons, these windows, may be seen as offering movement in two directions. In an Orthodox Church the icons are for us who worship a passage into the Kingdom of God, but as well bring a revelation, a manifestation of the unseen heavenly host of angels, saints, and martyrs-yes, even the eternal saving events-into our presence. The Church becomes a true outpost of heaven on earth. This veneration, by the way, is accompanied by rich scriptural precedent. Saint John of Damascus reminds us that: "Abraham bowed down to the sons of Hamor, men who had neither faith nor knowledge of God, when he bought the double cave intended to be a tomb. Jacob bowed to the ground before Esau, his brother, and also before the tip of his son Joseph's staff. He bowed down, but he did not adore. Joshua, the son of Nun, and Daniel bowed in veneration before an angel of God, but they did not adore him" (The Divine Images, page 19). Wisdom. In that perceptive statement lies a choice of words that makes all the difference in the world to Orthodox Christians when it comes to their use of icons. A major distinction is made between adoration or worship and honor or veneration. Worship is reserved only for God. Honor and veneration are given more broadly, a different matter entirely. We all honor and venerate various objects, positions, and people-and that to differing degrees! Husbands and wives are told in the New Testament to honor each other. And likewise children honor (we hope!) their parents. At school we honor teachers and principals. We honor professors and scientists; governors and members of congress; senators and judges; presidents and prime ministers. "Take a letter to the Honorable Mr. Jones," a man may say to his secretary. The word "venerate" is less familiar today, perhaps because we do less venerating than earlier generations. The verb "to venerate" means to regard with reverential respect or with admiration. I asked my friend how he felt about the Bible. Did he feel any more respect for it than for any other book, say a dictionary or a novel? "Yes," he said emphatically, "the Bible is the word of God, so I respect it above any other book." "Well, then," I asked, "would you say you venerate the Bible?" He thought it was a very strong word, but when it came right down to it, yes, he did venerate the Bible. "What, then, about your pastor," I asked, "or some other very pious or spiritual person you know? Is there someone like that whom you venerate?" There he wasn't sure. He did respect his pastor and some other Christians he knew, respected them very highly, but it seemed that "venerate" was a word too strong. Even though we Americans are uneasy about veneration, many of us are still willing to venerate the Bible, and, yes, some even know what it is to venerate a wise and godly pastor or an aged grandparent. So indeed do Orthodox Christians venerate icons, honoring and respecting them for what they depict, for the story they tell, for what they reveal of heaven and of the glory of God. "But wait," said my friend, "If you are going to worship God, why don't you just worship God." Our discussion led to a consideration of what he would consider the ideal environment for worship: four blank, undecorated walls in a neutral but pleasant color, and a pulpit. Would such severe bareness serve to speak of the presence of a living God? Even bare walls are an image, speaking of absence and emptiness. How one worships, you see, is a crucial concern for a Christian. And icons are central to Orthodox Christian worship. Not only do they help us to see the glory of God, but some icons, such as those of the saints, give us holy models to follow as patterns for our lives. Our primary example, of course, is Christ Himself, Who said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (John 13:34). And Saint Paul wrote, "Therefore be followers of God as dear children. And walk in love as Christ also has loved you and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma" (Ephesians 5:1-2). But the Apostle Paul even exhorted his readers to follow or imitate him (I Corinthians 4:16; 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 4:9). And throughout the ages of the Church, sensible believers have seen that following godly men and women who have gone before is a help in personal growth toward the image and likeness of God. When Orthodox Christians honor an icon of one of the saints by bowing before it, kissing it, and saying a prayer before it, they are intent upon the godly example of that saint and upon following that example.

THE WORD BECOMES FLESH
Orthodox worship is made up almost entirely of Scripture readings, prayers, and hymns. And the movements we make in connection with some of these readings, prayers, and hymns, are movements which turn our eyes and our attention to certain icons. This direction of our attention to the icons is central to the purpose of Orthodox Christian worship: to direct us to Christ, Who directs us to the Father. This, after all, is why the Son and Word of God became incarnate. As He Himself said: "He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him Who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him Who sent Me" (John 12:44, 45). Jesus, the Son and Word of God, was made Man that we might be drawn to the Father, might see Him, might know Him. Becoming incarnate, He joined created matter, humanity, to Himself, uniting God and humanity in His Person that we might know the Father. In that very act He sanctified matter and used it, His very humanity, to unite us to God. In Christ, therefore, the uncreated was united to the created, creation to Creator, in order to bring us to God. Thus, icons (along with the Scripture readings, prayers, and hymns) help us worship God, help us grow in the image and likeness of God. Though visible and material, their content, theology in color, helps us to see and know the invisible and spiritual. We all know that the birth of Christ is a celebration of joy, for God the Son was pleased to be born a baby. Let us build in our minds the image of Him, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger cave, with the divine light brightening the dark of that cave. Thus, the black mouth of the cave is the fallen world, under the shadow of death, but enlightened by the "Sun of Righteousness" which has now dawned. We also see the Virgin Mother beside her Son, resting upon that hammock-style bed used by the Jews of that day in their travels. But our image, being that of the traditional icon, will show much more. As the Gospels tell us, all mankind is called to witness the event. Shepherds on the hills on the upper right of our scene represent the ordinary and humble people of this world. From the mid-left approach the Wise Men who represent the wise and learned. Above, a multitude of angels announces the blessed event to humanity. In the center the star shines down, centering its rays upon the stable cave. Several other events are simultaneously presented in the lower front of our scene: At the left, Joseph sits painfully reflecting, while the devil, disguised as an old and bent shepherd, whispers new doubts and suspicions in his ear. In the far right corner, two women may be seen bathing the new-born Christ, signifying the reality of His humanity. Thus our icon pictures Jesus twice. Also in the front, across from Joseph, is a tree, included in its own right as an offering to Christ, but in addition, to fulfill the words of the Prophet Isaiah, "There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots" (Isaiah 11:1). Within the cave the baby lies guarded by an ox and a donkey, again fulfilling the words of Isaiah, "An ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib" (Isaiah 1:3). The written description of this scene has taken many words. But one icon, with color, brings to the visual senses the complete scene, flooding our minds and hearts with the glory of the moment of the incarnation, along with its manifold implications. In Orthodox worship, this visual theology is received along with all that is heard and said and sung, to fill our whole being with wonder and the glory of God. In concert with the hymns, the Scriptures, and the prayers, the theology in color conveyed by the icons to the receptive heart helps bring the worshipper into the very presence of God to adore and to know Him. For it is the whole being-the whole "me" or "you" who worships, not just some ethereal aspect called the soul. We Christians are not, after all, Gnostic dualists who consider the spiritual part of us worthy of God and the body a lesser or unworthy part. Thus, Orthodox worship involves the body with all its senses in worship. Icons false images? Oh, no! For we do not picture the invisible, and we do not worship the icon. They are true images indeed, safely within the boundaries of the biblical tradition surrounding true worship. They engage the human eye in the worship and adoration of God. Saint John of Damascus summarizes the balance: "I do not adore the creation rather than the Creator, but I adore the one Who became a creature, Who was formed as I was, Who clothed Himself in creation without weakening or departing from His divinity, that He might raise our nature in glory and make us partakers of His divine nature . . . . "Therefore I boldly draw an image of the invisible God, not as invisible, but as having become visible for our sakes by partaking of flesh and blood. I do not draw an image of the immortal Godhead, but I paint the image of God Who became visible in the flesh, for if it is impossible to make a representation of a spirit, how much more is it to depict the God who gives life to the spirit?" (On the Divine Images, pages 15, 16).

THE WHOLE CHURCH SAYS "YES!"
In A.D. 787, the leadership of the entire Christian Church convened what is called the Seventh Ecumenical Council. After a thorough and lengthy examination of the Holy Scriptures and a consideration of the tradition bearing on the making and use of icons, this body decreed: "We, therefore, following the royal pathway and the divinely inspired authority of our Holy Fathers and the traditions of the Church (for, as we all know, the Holy Spirit indwells her), define with all certainty and accuracy that just as the figure of the precious and life giving Cross, so also the venerable and holy images, as well in painting and mosaic as of other fit materials, should be set forth in the holy Churches of God, and on the sacred vessels and on the vestments and on hangings and in pictures both in houses and by the wayside, to wit, the figure of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, of our spotless Lady, of the honorable Angels, of all Saints, and of all pious people. "For by so much more frequently as they are seen in artistic representation, by so much more readily are people lifted up to the memory of their prototypes, and to a longing after them; and to these should be given due salutation and honorable reverence, not indeed that true worship of faith which pertains alone to the divine nature; but to these, as to the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross and to the Book of the Gospels and to the other holy objects, incense and lights may be offered according to ancient pious customs." For the honor which is paid to the image passes on to that which the image represents, and he who reveres the image reveres in it the subject represented. Thus, the icon is a true image, a window to heaven and a light which guides us there. In that sense it takes the same role as the pillar of fire which guided Israel through the wilderness to the Promised Land and the star which led the Wise Men to Christ. The icon is not intended to serve as a photograph of an earthly scene. Nor does it merely awaken in us the sense of ages past. Rather, the icon is there to lead our hearts to the King of Kings, to the brilliant glory of the Age to Come. The icon is a holy image, a door to heaven. It tells us that our Lord Jesus Christ and His great cloud of witnesses are present, on hand, on high, with us. Therefore, it is indispensable for those who sincerely pursue and desire the fullness of Christian worship.



posted on Jul, 2 2010 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by Missing Blue Sky
reply to post by sinthia
 


Your missing the point of the scripture...


you are missing the point of the scriptures.

by the definitions, scriptures are graven images.



Main Entry: graven image
Function: noun
Etymology: graven, past participle of 1grave
Date: 14th century
: an object of worship carved usually from wood or stone : idol
www.merriam-webster.com...


how logical is it to quote from graven images (books carved from wood, and worshipped by some) to rely on quotes that stress the irrelavence of graven images?


rationally,
ET

[edit on 2-7-2010 by Esoteric Teacher]



posted on Jul, 2 2010 @ 03:54 PM
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Originally posted by Missing Blue Sky
reply to post by ccsct203
 


Graven Images refers to sculptures which are considered to literally be Gods. Catholic do not believe the sculpture or icon is a God. We believe it is art with informs our consciousness to keep in mind the love God has for us, by giving us his dearly beloved Son and all the saints and angels.


Even people of today call their churches "The House of God". But God does not dwell in them. Acts 7:48 However, the Most High doesn't’t dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says, 7:49 ‘heaven is my throne, and the earth a footstool for my feet. What kind of house will you build me?’ says the Lord; ‘or what is the place of my rest? 7:50 Didn't’t my hand make all these things?’

As for any symbolism, or representation via carved or molten images, no one was ever told to do this in remembrance of him. He was specific in what he wanted believers to do in remembrance of him. He was a carpenter and he could have made his own statue if he wanted people to bow down to it. Besides the crucifix, it's elements, and other things are used in Christian worship, period. No way around it unless Christians do not consider what they do worship. Ever seen anyone bow down in front of a representation of Jesus. He said do not bow down to them. What do you think bowing down represents?

Leviticus 26:1 ...neither shall you raise up an engraved image or a pillar, neither shall you place any figured stone in your land, to bow down to it.

Deuteronomy 4:16 Lest you corrupt yourselves, and make yourself an engraved image in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female

He never said just in the likeness of a God he said the likeness of any figure. The Lord never said "don't do it unless it's one of me".



IDOL

Ancient Near Eastern writings indicate an awareness of the difference between gods themselves and the images that represented the gods or that the gods temporarily inhabited. Mercer Dictionary of the Bible

The second commandment does not distinguish between these different senses; it strictly forbids the paying of divine homage to any image or likeness, however make, and whatever being it might purport to represent, of things in heaven, or on earth, or in the lower regions of the deep. Classic Bible Dictionary


an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship. The New Oxford American Dictionary.

an image of a god, used as an object or instrument of worship. Webster's New World College Dictionary.

an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd ed.

a : an image of a divinity : a representation or symbol of a deity or any other being or thing made or used as an object of worship; broadly : a false god : a heathen deity b : an image (as of a saint) used in Christian worship. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, UNABRIDGED

Even today I wouldn't think those that are thought to be pagans would say their sculpture that they made is actually the God itself but rather a representation that may be used in the same way Christianity uses theirs. That God or the God's can be manifested in some way. Something even like the claim that the church building is the church, like people say "I'm going to the church", and the building is "The House of God". No, No, No not according to scripture.

Bowing down to something is showing, amongst other things, acknowledgment, submission, and veneration. That is part of worshiping.

[edit on 2-7-2010 by The Riley Family]



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 07:48 AM
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reply to post by The Riley Family
 



Bowing down to something is showing, amongst other things, acknowledgment, submission, and veneration. That is part of worshiping.


Submit to an invisible personified cosmic ruler, For me? No thanks - i'd like to think i have at least the intelligience to say this is idiocy. You say there is reason to submit, show me.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 08:13 PM
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Originally posted by awake_and_aware
reply to post by The Riley Family
 



Bowing down to something is showing, amongst other things, acknowledgment, submission, and veneration. That is part of worshiping.


Submit to an invisible personified cosmic ruler, For me?


Easy now. Your just misunderstanding the point, so it's not for you or anyone to bow down to any personified cosmic ruler. This is exactly what we were saying. You see these folks think that they don't worship their "personified cosmic ruler" (nice coinage by the way, we likes it). So they don't consider it an idol. The point we were making is that they do bow down to their personified cosmic ruler which means they do worship it, period. They do exactly what they tell others they aren't supposed to be doing. It's the old “do as we say not as we do” kinda thing. They may want to use the scriptures to supposedly judge you, any other atheists, and others but in fact the book they tote around says “in the same way you judge others you will be judged” and “you have no excuse, you who judge the other, for you are condemning yourself, because while your passing judgment your doing the very same things”


No thanks - i'd like to think i have at least the intelligience to say this is idiocy.


Yeah again. You see, we told you things weren't dead between us. Thank you for your intelligience. To bow down to a graven image or idol or anything made with human hands or any visible things of nature or how you say "personified cosmic ruler" is definitely idiocy!


You say there is reason to submit, show me.


No we didn't and we don't say their is a reason to submit to that kind of shenanigans, but we think you may have gotten that point by now, it was just a misunderstanding of the point we were making. However thanks for the opportunity to offer a different perspective, this in due time, but one thing we want to point out. Between a Christian perspective of the universe “supposedly” through the bible compared to a scientific perspective of the universe through the universe, the scientific perspective is far more relative to the writings of the bible than Christianities is. So why do many science types including Atheists disregard their own interpretation capabilities as if the Christians, who worship (bow to, submit) their visibly invisible personified cosmic ruler, are more validated in having their interpretions so easily accepted? Do you buy into their interpretation of the natural things? So why buy into their interpretation of someones writings of other things. If they can't get things right of what they can see how can they get things right of what they can't see?




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