The Orthodox kissing icons, is it paganism?

by greendawn 13 Replies latest jw friends

  • the_classicist

    [quote]My mother in-law though prays in front of her icons, lights candles and leaves out food for them and yes, kisses them.[/quote]

    Augustine, in his Confessions, relates how it was customary amongst the women of North Africa to carry wine and bread to the tombs of the saints and leave them there. His mother did this, and when they went to Italy, Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, told them to discontinue the practise as it was too pagan. To think, that was the 4th century and while the two things aren't directly related, it shows a common sociological approach to religion that would be interesting to study.

  • lovelylil


    That would be interesting to study. My mother in-law is from Puerto Rico and they have some African heritage mixed in the family. When my kids asked her why she left the food for the icons, which are saint statues, she said it would to appease them so they would bless her and give her good luck. I thought about some African tribes that also believe you should appease the dead - especially dead relatives as they may wish bad on you.

    My family is from Italy and my dad and grandparents did not kiss their icons but they would kiss the crosses in our home. I always felt uncomfortable to do that only because the cross is the thing Christ died on and I found it creepy personally. But they would tell me they did it to show appreciation for Christ and the fact that he died on the cross for us. So it goes to show you that we don't know why people do what they do and shouldn't make judgement calls on it.

    When the WT used to teach that all icons were idols that people worship - that is just not true and since I have such a rich experience in my family with these things, I knew they were lying. My kids were always allowed to sit and play around all the incons. My dad had a large Mary statue in his room next to his bed. My kids found it amusing but they were never afraid of it. Can you imagine if the elders found out?

    The only thing I do not like to be around is any kind of altar for witchcraft or black magic - as we have some in my family that are into this too. I do not judge them, and I am not afraid of it but it is not my cup o tea.

  • SonoftheTrinity

    Of course not. Now if you have the Vigin Mary and you call her Yemonja, call the Cross Papa Legba, etc.,etc. that's when its paganism, but that's New World Catholicism.

  • justhuman

    As a Greek Orthodox my answer to it is simply NO...We respect them and not worship them. The reason that in the Orthodox Iconography Saints are portraided like that is because we do not seek for the human form, rather we look to glorify the spiritual form of man. In the Orhtodox Church we do not have any icon of God, because God was manifested through Jesus.

    It is interesting to see how Icons started. The first Christians the used to paint Bible scenes in the wall of their Early Churches, and Martyrs that died for their Christian faith. A look at the catacobs all over mediteranean you will see what it is painted today in the Orthodox Church. Look at this links bellow to see what I'm telling you

    We have Saints their bodies are not desiccated, because they have lived a holy life, and even some they perform miracles. For it is a sign that in Gods Kindom mankind will be glorified with uncorrapted nature. In Acts we see that people were trying to reach Paul's shadow to heal themselves, and in other occusion they used touch his garments. So the Holy belongings of the Saints are also importand to us. Again it is the grace of God through imperfect nature to perfection.

    That is why we honor them, not worship them. That is why for a faithfull Orthodox Christian faith hasn't changed for 2000 years. As for my self when I looked the Christian History I ended up an Orthodox. I couldn't believe it, but Christianity remains the same as it was delivered from the Early Apostolic Church, that was right under my nose!

    Now I can walk to tombs, catacombs, see Holy Relics, see the places that Saints lived and with their lifes they have glorified God. I can go to the place were Apostle Paul preached in Pafos and Salamis. I can visit the place were Apostle Barnabas lived, since he was the first Bishop of Cyprus. I can go to Lazarus tomb the first Bishop of Kition(he find rescue here because of the Jews that wanted to kill him) were a Church of 1200 years old is build upon.

    Yes we do honor them

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