ICONS ARE IDOLS!
WHAT IS AN IDOL?
The Oxford English Dictionary:
an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship.
• a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered: a soccer idol.
Here are examples of things sometimes believed to be idols:
1) Your new car (an idol to some people - as practically worshipped by the owner!)
2) A pop star or film star poster (idolized)
3) Stick figures of the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit drawn in the Good News version of the bible.
4) Coins with Caesars on it, who were sometimes worshipped as a god, or other ancient kings.
5) Ted Neely playing Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar.
6) Victor Garber as the clown figure of Jesus in the musical Godspell
7) Paintings and icons of Jesus in churches (some would insist this differs as it is pictures of his manhood, his human body)
8) Paintings or icons of a Theophany
9) Paintings or icons of God the Father, or God the Holy Spirit.
10) Paintings or icons of the Son of God pre incarnation (such as in the lions den in Daniel)
11) Paintings oe icons of Jesus post resurrection and post ascension into heaven.
12) Statues of God, Father, Son or Holy Spirit
13) Statues of a god, such as Moloch, or Shiva, or Diana of the Ephesians.
14) Statues of the virgin Mary.
15) So called acheiropoieta.
16) High relief images, some just call carvings, not considered statues by many.
17) Enshrined statues, paintings or icons.
18) The idols under trees specifically called just that, idols by God.
19) Permissible statues, carvings and images not of God or gods, specifically allowed by God in the old covenant in the temple such as cherubims, oxen, etc.
20) A crucifix.
The list goes on. This is not a total list, but I feel I must be fairly expansive to see if there are grey areas, and clear areas of what an idol is, and what idolatry is. This will include the subjects or word definitions such as worship, dulia, latria, reverence, obeisance, homage, deferential respect (as to a king) etc. It will also be considered whether representing Jesus as a clown in films like Godspell is not more properly simply the sin of blasphemy rather than an idol, as it could be argued its a sin to call such an idol, as the person is so unchristlike.
Sad to say the more thorough an analysis is of a subject, the more complex it gets, and this can be a stumbling block to shallow souls described in this way "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:16. This cannot be helped except by prayer and "all longsuffering of doctrine".
When dealing with idols it is sensible to remember that Empress Irene, who is considered a saint in Orthodoxy (even though like many of their saints she was totally evil) has had a supermassive influence on the history of icons / idols (however you see them). To me her evil life is in itself a testimony or litmus test that she had it wrong to help reestablish idols after the iconoclasm period.
ICONS ARE IDOLS!
1) Luke created the first "icon" of Mary with Jesus (blasphemy)
acheiropoieta or "images not made by human hands". These sacred images were a form of contact relic, which additionally were taken to prove divine approval of the use of icons. The two most famous were the Mandylion of Edessa (where it still remained) and the Image of Camuliana from Cappadocia, by then in Constantinople. The latter was already regarded as a palladium that had won battles and saved Constantinople from the Persian-Avar siege of 626, when the Patriarch paraded it around the walls of the city. Both were images of Christ, and at least in some versions of their stories supposedly made when Christ pressed a cloth to his face (compare with the later, western Veil of Veronica and Turin shroud).
2) "The image of Edessa" or "Mandylion" is supposed to be the first icon, that Jesus made, after that some Orthodox say Jesus made the icon The Shroud of Turin, so if "he made icons" we all can (blasphemy!).
they say Jesus himself was a walking talking icon (ridiculous), and by the same logic I suppose they would say any Theophany is God making an icon (blasphemous).
3) It is part of the Orthodox Faith for their clergy to wear a crucifix in high relief instead of a cross, this is a graven image of God in the flesh, and as such is an idol.
4) These icons and idols are the "merchandise" the Whore of Babylon and her daughters trade in.
5) There were two massive iconoclastic upheavals in Orthodox history.
726-787 - The first Iconoclast Schism - 726-787 .
814-842 - The Second Iconoclast Schism - 814 and 842. .
see also the overall topic of
Byzantine Iconoclasm. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Iconoclasm
The following Synod of Elvira 305 AD and Council of Hieria of 754 AD should be studied closely by all those who wish to oppose idols, and making a list of all the bishops and others who opposed icons would be helpful.
was against icons
The volcanic eruption of 726 in the Aegean Sea may have been a sign of Gods anger towards icon worship.
known as Leo the Isaurian, (c. 685 – 18 June 741), was Byzantine Emperor from 717 until his death in 741 who founded the Isaurian dynasty. He put an end to the Twenty Years' Anarchy, a period of great instability in the Byzantine Empire between 695 and 717, marked by the rapid succession of several emperors to the throne. He also successfully defended the Empire against the invading Umayyads and forbade the veneration of icons.
Byzantine Empire suppresses icons (717–741). .
726-787 - The first Iconoclast Schism - 726-787 .
Council of Hieria of 754 AD - opposes images
The iconoclast Council of Hieria was a Christian council of 754 which viewed itself as ecumenical, but was later rejected by the medieval Catholic Church (what would later fracture into the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic communions). It was summoned by the Byzantine, Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine V in 754 in the palace of Hieria opposite Constantinople. The council supported the emperor's iconoclast position in the Byzantine iconoclasm controversy, condemning the spiritual and liturgical use of iconography as heretical.
Opponents of the council described it as the Mock Synod of Constantinople or the Headless Council because no patriarchs or representatives of the five great patriarchates were present: the see of Constantinople was vacant; Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria were under Islamic dominion; while Rome was not asked to participate. Its rulings were anathematized at the Lateran Council of 769 before being overturned almost entirely by the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, which upheld the orthodoxy of and endorsed the veneration of holy images.
allowed icons but forbad the worship of them.
794 - The Carolingian Council of Frankfurt
Roman Emperor Charlemagne
- feared that the “Eastern” Council of Nicaea II had sanctioned the veneration of images beyond due limits. In other words the Council of Frankfurt unanimously banned and completely banned image worship. Therefore establishing 4 doctrinal stances:
1) Council of Nicaea - allowing icons and the worship of them.
2) Council Frankfurt - allowing icons but forbidding their worship.
3) Evangelicalism - against icons but not an iconoclast
4) Emperor Leo III and Emperor Leo V - forbidding all icons and forcibly destroying them. Iconoclasts.
( note: The Carolingian Council of Frankfurt also had the minor issue of the insertion of the word Filioque into the Nicene-Constantinoplitan creed, deliberately blown out of all proportion to hide "weightier matters of the law" as it is a small issue in comparison to idols, icons and statues, as the bible tells us whole nations have been destroyed over such idolatry.)
Other issue - Adoptionism heresy.
The Council of Frankfurt continued:
Discussion about the Byzantine Iconoclasm.  The rulings of the Council of Nicaea had brought an end to the iconoclastic controversy between the Popes and the Byzantine emperors. The Council of Frankfurt rejected the rulings of the Council of Nicaea, although Charlemagne, just as the Byzantines before the ruling at Nicaea, wished to see the veneration of icons expressly permitted. The rejection derived from the loss of prestige Charlemagne had suffered at not being represented at the Council of Nicaea, which led him to consider the council unecumenical. The Council of Frankfurt possessed a memorandum about iconodulism, which had been produced previously by Frankish theologians on the order of Charlemagne concerning the Byzantine iconoclastic controversy: the Libri Carolini.
Because the Pope had to take account of Byzantium as well as the Franks in his decisions, he had allowed the rulings of Nicaea to be accepted but only with reservations. In the capitulary summarising the conclusions of the Council of Frankfurt, the rejection of image worship was formulated as "complete" and "unanimous". 
814-842 - The Second Iconoclast Schism - 814 and 842.
814 - Emperor Leo V - forbad images. However, later in the same century, Empress Theodora proclaimed the restoration of icon worship, an event which is still celebrated in the Orthodox Catholic Church today as the ‘Feast of Orthodoxy’. SO A WOMAN CONSIDERED A TEACHER BROUGHT BACK IDOLS !!!
forbad icons and images
Byzantine Empress Theodora
restored the idols and icons, showing the deadly danger of following female teachers. She brought utter religious evil with her, destroying millions of souls with idolatry,
769 - The Lateran Council of 769 - was a synod held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran to rectify perceived abuses in the papal electoral process which had led to the elevation of the Antipopes Constantine II and Philip. It also condemned the rulings of the Council of Hieria.
Question - How many "apostolic church" members accepted the Council of Hieria of 754 AD? And thus were supposedly apostates because of that?
Three hundred and thirty-three bishops attended the 754 council of Hieria. It endorsed Constantine V's iconoclast position, with the bishops declaring:
"the unlawful art of painting living creatures blasphemed the fundamental doctrine of our salvation--namely, the Incarnation of Christ, and contradicted the six holy synods. . . . If anyone shall endeavour to represent the forms of the Saints in lifeless pictures with material colours which are of no value (for this notion is vain and introduced by the devil), and does not rather represent their virtues as living images in himself, etc. . . . let him be anathema."'
This council declared itself the 'Seventh Ecumenical Council'.'
Edward J. Martin writes, "On the ecumenical character of the Council there are graver doubts. Its president was Theodosius, archbishop of Ephesus, son of the Emperor Apsimar. He was supported by Sisinnius, bishop of Perga, also known as Pastillas, and by Basil of Antioch in Pisidia, styled Tricaccabus. Not a single Patriarch was present. The see of Constantinople was vacant. Whether the Pope and the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem were invited or not is unknown. They were not present either in person or by deputy. The Council of Nicaea [II] considered this was a serious flaw in the legitimacy of the Council. 'It had not the co-operation of the Roman Pope of the period nor of his clergy, either by representative or by encyclical letter, as the law of Councils requires.' The Life of Stephen borrows this objection from the Acts and embroiders it to suit the spirit of the age of Theodore. It had not the approval of the Pope of Rome, although the modern day Catholic theologians assert that there is a canon that no ecclesiastical measures may be passed without the Pope.' The absence of the other Patriarchs is then noticed."
Iconodulism (also Iconoduly or Iconodulia) designates the religious veneration of icons. The term comes from Neoclassical Greek εἰκονόδουλος (eikonodoulos), meaning "one who serves images". It is also referred to as Iconophilism (also Iconophily or Iconophilia) designating a positive attitude towards the religious use of icons. In the history of Christianity, Iconodulism (or Iconophilism) was manifested as a moderate position, between two extremes: Iconoclasm (radical opposition to the use of icons) and Iconolatry (idolatric adoration of icons).
High relief .
The Orthodox say they do not make statues, but before the two great iconoclastic schisms they did! and even today it is common for them to make high relief idols to feel and handle, and also on crucifixes.
6) Bishop Jerome (347 -420) said: in pre iconoclast Byzantium there were statues in public squares were the 'stational' cathedral Liturgy of the 'Polis' halted for prayer stations, from where they presented Enarxis, After the iconoclastic debate the Byzantine Church opted for the two dimensional icon, perhaps simply to avoid more major upheavals about idols!! This shows their false church has changed and has been deeply corrupted by 3D idols in the past.
7) If icons are ok, in fact desirable, why not have them in the Old Testament covenants?
8) Where are icons in the old testament? All over the old testament! called idols and graven images, an similitudes and likenesses of God or gods!
1) A large number of Orthodox idol statues were displayed in exhibition on russian Sacred Art in Walter's Art Gallery in the early '90 in Baltimore USA. including:
"The Virgin, crowned by two angels" portrayed as the "Queen of Heaven," royal mother of God and mediator between heaven and earth.
2) Eastern Icons - by Robert Lentz
reliquary theca (thecae): A container for holy relics. such as limbs of saints, fingers, and perhaps high relief carvings (?).
Jesus is Jesus, not a walking talking painting of himself. Jesus was not an icon. Where does it say he had long hair for instance
You say people don’t understand the difference between an icon and an idol. but rather you dont understand the difference between a reason and an excuse.
did the 2nd commandment forbid statues only, or "a likeness" of God?
Icons are transparently missing from archaeology digs. I mean you can say the same thing of icons as they do with the Liturgy of St Mark. "This icon from the 4th century is a copy of one St Mark personally owned".
Icons - idols in the Greek Orthodox church are renamed (with typical Greek sophistry) "icons". The 2nd commandment said - Thou shalt not make them, neither shalt thou worship them. So making them was also a sin, not just worshipping them. Where is the word "icon" in the entire Holy Bible by the way? The Orthodox often insist before houses full of icons (that the disciples are supposed to have had) all the sunagogues were full of icons.
The complete omission of the word from the entire Holy Bible is rather conspicuous. The word should be idol or image. But its almost literal translation as some special word meaning more than an image (as in Romans 8:29, I Corinthians 15:49, II Corinthians 3:18, and Hebrews 1:3) we get the ridiculous idea of Jesus being "the icon of the Father". They are trying to translate the word sound for sound, then make it a word in OUR language that evades being an idol or just a simple image. Its like trying to translate the word baptize into our language as Chrismation.
The word means:
1 (also ikon)a devotional painting of Christ or another holy figure, typically executed on wood and used ceremonially in the Byzantine and other Eastern Churches.
2 a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration: this iron-jawed icon of American manhood.
nowhere does the bible use a word "icon" that means more than simply imgage, it does not add to the definition words like "devotional" and "holy" and "used ceremonially" and "representative symbol" and "worthy of veneration.".
"TRIUMPH OF THE ICONS":
At some point in the history of Greece a massive spiritual battle went on. Some opposed icons (idols) others wanted icons (idols).
The ladder of divine ascent
WHAT IS AN ICON?
WHAT IS AN IDOL?
A statue or a painting or any other likeness becomes an idol in several ways. But the first and foremost way of all to make something an idol, the absolute pinnacle of idols, the top number one way, is when the graven image, statue, painting, or likeness is of God, or a god. This was the core centre of the 2nd Commandment. Any image of God or a god was an idol. Period (American). Fullstop (British). άνω τελεία (Greek). Finito. Finish. End of story.
Not only was a graven image, or statue of God or a god banned by the Second Commandment of the Law of Moses, but also any likeness, or image, or picture. Let us get this clear. The Old Testament Law of Moses did not ban images, statues or likenesses of other things necessarily. Let us look at proof of that. Some examples: The serpents Moses held up in the wilderness, when God healed people. The seraphims over the Ark of the Covenant. The 4 statues of oxen in the temple. The pomegranates carved into the temple walls. quote "And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without." 1 Kings 6:29.
Heresy - Icons work miracles.
THE SHIP OF FOOLS:
Icon of the mystical church
A priest friend brought some oil that had been miraculously streaming from an icon.
there do exist three-dimensional raised icons in many cathedrals.
If the early church had been saturated with crucifixes and icons of Jesus crucified on a cross, it would be proof to JW's that Jesus died on a cross not a pole, but they dont exist so far as I know, as only a few believers would be carnal enough to go off after idols I think
Likenesses were certainly not forbidden in the bible, if the thing made was something that was not worshipped. There are several examples of this. The Serpent lifted in the wilderness by Moses. The cherubim over the Arc of the Covenant. The oxen in the temple. The list goes on. If anything in the likeness was made (not just graven) it was a sin if the likeness was something to be worshipped, or it if was supposed to represent a god, or God. Therefore a likenesses of a Theophany, or the incarnation of Christ are both forbidden. Icons in Orthodoxy are also made of demons and even of the Devil himself, or Satan! It can be strongly argued that is also explicitly forbidden by the scriptures banning images of God or false gods, as Satan is a false god called "the god of this world" (2 Cor 4:4) and all the other demons who fell became the pagan gods and idols, identified clearly as devils (Deut 32:17, Psalm 96:5, Psalm 106:37, Leviticus 17:7, Revelation 9:20)
It is especially relevant to this subject and Eastern Orthodoxy that they have a Feast Day about this.
The subject of icons (idols) makes it necessary to also discuss iconoclasm, and if that is another sin, but at the other end of the spectrum regarding this subject.
The Feast of Orthodoxy (Sunday of Orthodoxy or the Triumph of Orthodoxy) is celebrated on the first Sunday of Great Lent. The dominant theme of this Sunday since 843 has been that of the victory of the icons.
"Icons are considered by Orthodox Christians to have a sacramental character, making present to the believer the person or event depicted on them. However, the Orthodox always make a clear doctrinal distinction between the veneration (proskynesis) paid to icons and the worship (latria) which is due to God alone."
quote "Even prior to Christ coming, there were synagogues covered with iconography of various Old Testament scenery. The earliest churches had them as well. St. Luke made the first icon of the Theotokos. There is a book made of led pages from the first century that has iconography in it (among other things). There are the catacombs of Rome from the second century that have iconography"
The heresy that St Luke made the first icon - an icon of Jesus. (note - if icons were all over the old testament they all woyld have had icons already, including Jesus!)
Icons are of great importance to Orthodox Christians. These elaborate paintings are described as "windows into the kingdom of God". They are used in worship both in the decoration of the church and for private homes. The icon is seen as both a form of prayer and a means to prayer.
An icon is usually an elaborate, two dimensional painting. They often have a gold leaf background and are usually on wood. They depict The Trinity, God the Father, Jesus, his mother Mary, scenes from the Bible or the lives of the Saints.
The iconographer prepares for the painting of an icon with prayer and fasting. By worshipping at the Icon the Orthodox Christian enters into a sacred place with God.
The icon is venerated and often candles and oil lamps are burnt before them. The worshipper kisses the icon, making the sign of the Cross and may kneel or prostrate before it.
In most Orthodox churches the Altar, or sanctuary, is separated from the main body of the church by a solid screen (known as the iconostasis), pierced by three doors, the one in the centre being known as the Holy door. The screen is decorated with icons, of which the principal ones are those on either side of the Holy Door of Christ and the Theotokos.
These are normally flanked by icons of St John the Baptist and of the Saint, or Feast, to which the church is dedicated. In Russian churches the iconostasis normally forms a solid wall decorated with four or five rows of icons according to an elaborate traditional arrangement.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT:
Did you know Alexander the Great had a catastrophic effect on India and China? Even he turned back when he was vastly outnumbered by Indian tribes joined together with war elephants. Before Alexander the Buddhists used symbols like a hand to represent their religion, but Alexander's image so impressed them they started to make Buddah's. It may be that Alexander the Great also influenced the corruption of Greek Christianity in this way, along with their big big history of having false gods and images and mythology. This toleration and encouragement of idols relabelled icons (as if it made a difference) then quickly corrupted their Faith. If idols and icons like they have now are to be part of the Faith now, why didn't they have synagogues and houses full of icons in the old covenant? The cherubim and the bullocks in the temple were not a green card to an explosion of idols across the old testament Faith, but there is a history of idols worshipped under trees.
If icons are spiritual now, they were spiritual in the old testament, and synagogues would have been full of icons of Joseph, David, Daniel etc. If you argue that it would only be the more spiritual Jews who would "do icons", then are you seriously saying that the Bereans (who were Greeks) had icons in their synagogues? Were synagogues ever actually commanded by God? If icons were spiritual. Jesus and his disciples would have had them or even carried them. There is no mention of them. So where is this new covenant command or even directive to have them? Nowhere, on the contrary the 2nd Commandment is still here today, it was not dropped as the sabbath was. That command forbids both the worship and the making of any image of God or a god. And St John says "keep yourselves from idols".
1) The icons were upheld and protected by The Second Council of Nicaea which met in AD 787.
2) They are windows into heaven.
4) Iconography the same concept of the incarnation.
5) We, ourselves, are living icons of God as we are made in God’s image.