Icons and Prayer Ropes???

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by ABabeInChrist, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. This has been something that I have thought about periodically.
    are usually paintings that I was first properly introduced by a friend who is of a certain religion that I won't say but some might know what it is. He had a picture that depicted what Jesus might look and also a depiction of what God the Father would look like in human form. (Man with white hair and white beard I believe) He would use this icon as way of worship to remind him of the imagery of Jesus and God the Father.

    Prayer Ropes: The same friend Used a prayer rope and was telling me how that he uses each knot to say repetitively saying the Sinners prayer usually in his native tongue in the mind "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner" (English version)

    My first question is this.. A lot of people use icons that not only depicts Jesus and God the Father's predicted images but also other saints throughout their church history and even Mary to a degree. Isn't this wrong to do because there's no way we know what God the Father looks like so by using worship with a most likely false image of God Father,Son, and Ghost is bad??? Also, there's no way you can tell me anywhere in the Bible to use these icons to also depict other saints and Mary as worship. We are to Worship God and God only!

    Second Question is this: Matthew 6:7 "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." With this scripture isn't it telling obviously not to say a main prayer over and over and over and over??? Some ropes have certain number of knots that can be 33 plus times. So if you're saying more then that so many times in your head isn't that NOT what God wants you to do?

    I know that there's history behind these two things but just because there's a historical tradition involved in these two practices of worship to me doesn't make it valid to do for God especially if the Bible doesn't talk about it or even talks against it.

  2. Well I don't think God hears someone better if they use an icon or anything like that. That sort of thing is just theatrics if you ask me. Now for the repetition part. I know pagans today use a lot of chanting and things like this to build up their energy and it amounts to nothing but building yourself up. Got wants a personal relationship with us and constantly saying the same thing over and over again is just routine and can get to where the person just says it and doesn't really have any emotion behind it. It is kinda like praying over our meal, how many of us have a set prayer and at times just say the words and never put any meaning behind them?
    Euphemia and ABabeInChrist say Amen and like this.
  3. #3 calvin, Sep 20, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
    I suppose there will be a few slick and slippery replies justifying these things.
    The commandment is to have no graven images of anything on earth or in heaven....period.
    Exo 20:1. And God spoke all these words, saying,
    Exo 20:2. "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
    Exo 20:3. "You shall have no other gods before me.
    Exo 20:4. "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
    Exo 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
    Some would argue that they are not objects of worship, but reminders or objects of inspiration.:rolleyes:
    God will judge the heart.
    I believe He will not hold guiltless those who flagrantly disobey or disrespect His commands.
    The reason (one of them) why I don't have a picture of Jesus, is that they didn't have cameras in those days.
    I believe the danger of having pictures of Jesus or Paul or any others is that whatever attributes that picture portrays to the owner will right or wrong transfer to their perception of the real person (ie Jesus)

    Repetitious prayer is not good, however if a person needs to repeat a prayer to hammer it in so to speak and not as a means of pestering the Lord, (as a child pestering mom or dad for an ice-cream 20 times a minute) what's the harm?:) It all comes down to the heart attitude I think.
    SO, IMNSHO you are right to both question and reject these practices.
    Grant Melville, Ghid, Major and 2 others say Amen and like this.
  4. Great response thanks for sharing really appreciated and I agree with the praying part. I think in a sense you can sometimes get caught in repeating prayers but for good reasons example: "God today feed the hungry and give drink the thirsty and keep our saints on the right track." or "Lord Bless my food please" I think you could do that daily for morning prayer to God. But if you're hammering the same prayer 30 to 100 times in a row that can be a problem if you make it a mantra because you can almost lose that sense of emotional connection with God if you do it too much. Also, one thing I've worked on is sometimes praying for that one thing like I've prayed to God to lose fear of everything except for Him of course. After I've done that I might've prayed about it more than I thought but I think what's more important is reminding God in prayer that you believe that He is going to answer your specific prayer and letting Him know that you Have faith that He will change you.
    Major, C1oudwatch3r and calvin says Amen and like this.
  5. On Icons... I've found that beautiful chapels with stained glass windows, golden crosses, gold chalices etc. are all very inspirational and in a lot of ways help us find windows into heaven. Some people get a little misconception of what an Icon is, and really, as far as I know, an Icon can be anything that is a sacred image of something Holy. The cross is an icon, so is the Bible, and even people are considered icons (made in the Image of God).

    Prayer ropes I sometimes am uncertain about. I think people can be caught up in using to many prepared prayers. I think ideally one should, as a general rule, say at least one prayer from the heart for every prayer the read from a psalm or saint. However, I suppose praying even a prepared prayer is better than not praying at all. I admit I don't pray enough, so it would be awfully hypocritical of me to criticize someone who prayed either heartfelt or written prayers more than I prayed at all.

    Also, on Iconography, the Holy Father has no tangible image, although Jesus was the Icon of God. The Holy Spirit is often depicted as a dove, although that is probably not His image either. Using Icons in worship is fine. None of us know what Jesus looked like because his image wasn't actually depicted until well after His death.
    PeaceLikeaRiver likes this.
  6. Grant Melville likes this.
  7. This is really dangerous. God wants trust and faith in Him NOT in things. Even empty repetitive prayers meaning nothing to Him. Humans want to DO stuff, but God says "I've done it all, trust me." Because our flesh wants control, we invent these "things" to help us DO what God clearly says means nothing. He wants to fellowship with everyone, but they have to be still and at peace to hear Him speak to them. Instead many become impatient and without faith, give up and go back to beads, chants, repeated prayers, books, sermons... whatever floats their boats.

    Psalms 46:10 (KJV)
    Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
    Euphemia, ABabeInChrist and Major says Amen and like this.
  8. The impious very much enjoy the persecution and destruction of the things they don't begin to understand.
    PeaceLikeaRiver likes this.
  9. I agree. Yes....there will be some interesting answers given, always are.
  10. Now that is the correct answer and attitude to have.

    Ex, 20:1-5
    "Then God spoke all these words, saying,
    2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of [a]slavery.
    3 “You shall have no other gods [b]before Me.
    4 “You shall not make for yourself [c]an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me".

    Simple, clear and understandable.
  11. And yet, God commanded that Moses make a bronze serpent and the Ark of the Covenant, which had graven images all over it.
    Things are not as cut and dried as you would make them seem.
    The Temple of Solomon had carved lions in it (among other things).
    PeaceLikeaRiver likes this.
  12. Because it was a symbol of Jesus. All they had to do was look and believe and they'd be saved. Many died because they refused. Many believe in the historical figure of Jesus, but few believe in Jesus the Son of God alive today and knocking on their heart's door.
    Grant Melville likes this.
  13. You are missing the point. The subject was the commandment "no graven images", and yet God commanded men to make graven images.
    So, things are not as cut and dried as many would like one to believe.
    The early church councils (the same ones that compiled the Bible) authorized the use of religious images and statuary, i.e. icons.
    So it follows, that if you hate religious art because you consider it idolatrous, then you should hate the Bible also, for the same people approved both.
    Not to mention (but I will) that bibliolatry is a persistant problem among some Protestants.
    PeaceLikeaRiver likes this.
  14. I agree. Iconoclasm is basically a form of sacrilege. How would everyone here feel if Jehovah's Witnesses started burning Bibles and chopping up crosses because they were "idolatrous"?

    Of course we don't revere the Bible because there is anything special about the paper and words, but because of what it represents--what it is an icon of.
    PeaceLikeaRiver likes this.
  15. Sir, I believe it is you who are missing the point by "a country mile".
    The commandment was:
    2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of [a]slavery. (introductory statement)
    3 “You shall have no other gods [b]before Me. (Commandment)
    4 “You shall not make for yourself [c]an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. (Illustration/application/amplification)
    5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me". (explanation/consequence).
    ABabeInChrist likes this.
  16. True, we do not worship the Bible, we only worship the One who inspired it and who it is a revelation of.
  17. Common sense is often the best route to take in these situations.

    Firstly, regarding iconography, if you see someone praying before a statue, does that in any way paint the full picture of what is going on? So are you to suppose they are praying TO the statue, or to what the statue represents? Isn't that a CRUCIALLY important factor to determine before making a judgment? Important lesson here: we must not assume.

    Secondly, regarding vain repetitions, you have two words to consider, "vain" and "repetition". Clearly repetitions alone are not the issue or we would not be commanded to pray The Lord's Prayer. Therefore the focus should be on "vain". Personally I find repetition of anything is the key to its memorization and therefore the key to it being ingrained and therefore earnest and heartfelt.

    Incidentally, Glomung is entirely correct about the construction of graven images. The warning is not the construction of them but their worship. And statues are not worshipped.
  18. You don't get the point. God doesn't want men to worship these things. God had Moses make the serpent on the pole because of their hardness of heart to get this truth - obey God. They wanted graven images, so He gave them one to look on to get saved. Many still died because they wouldn't obey. So be it to those that refuse to obey God. That's why in the great day of judgment, people's own words and actions will condemn them. There's no excuse.
  19. I think that is the recurring “issues of concern" being raised....

    Saints: admiration vs. worship

    Angels: Pray for one another vs. worship

    Graven images : representation vs. worship

  20. I think the line is not thin…

    Is there a possibility of people crossing the line? Who knows the hearts of men, am not to judge….

    Now: if one thinks there is indeed a possibility, then why encourage?

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