More Greek Orthodox Theology

(Apologies to all my Protestant friends...)

Question IV: How ought we to think of Icons? As we are taught by the Divine and Sacred Scriptures, which say plainly, 'Thou shalt not make to thyself an idol, or a likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath; thou shalt not adore them, nor shalt thou worship them;' since we ought to worship, not the creature, but only the Creator and Maker of the heaven and of the earth, and Him only to adore. From which it is evident that we do not reject pictorial representations, which are a noble art, and we permit those that so desire to have Icons of Christ and of the Saints; but the worship and service of them, as being forbidden by the Holy Spirit in Sacred Scripture, we reject, lest we should forget, and instead of the Creator and Maker, adore colours, and art, and creatures. And them that thinketh otherwise we regard as wretched, and having awful darkness in his mind, and his heart hardened. And it were better to yield obedience to the commandment of God than to be persuaded by the vain reasonings of men; as we have explained in the fear of God and with a good conscience; though the subject, we acknowledge, might have been treated better. Having thus answered in writing those that interrogated us, we conclude, and subjoin the answers to our Confession. And may the Lord give to all to be right-minded in all things, and to have a sincere conscience. -Patriarch of Constantinople, January 1631

Comments

Xindaeltal said…
Why are you apologizing?
Rick said…
My tongue is firmly planted in my cheek. I don't know a Protestant that would have a problem with it. However at the time a lot of his fellow Orthodox political rivals didn't like it. One of his rivals in particular, Contari, later had him strangled and tossed into the sea, whereupon he became the new patriarch.