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To the Christian faith, there's no difference really. Because we practice neither. It's a pagan practice, worshiping with the use of icons. The icons representing pagan deities, of course. The only time in the Christian faith where a representation is allowed is when we worship in front of the Ark. I will immediately qualify this: A. The ark was made with direct instructions from God. It was not Moses' idea that the Hebrews needed something. And God gave Moses the detailed specifications of the Ark, the Cherubim and all furnishings. Moses actually saw the patterns. Exo 25:40. B. No Hebrew had a miniature 'ark of the covenant' at home, even though they could see the real thing. Yet they could never make copies for individuals or families, because that would constitute idolatry. The Roman Catholics love their pagan roots, and will not recant. We don't write these articles to make them recant - no. Because they won't. We write to warn the flock And should the flock ignore, at least their blood is on their heads, not on our hands. That's all, really. So there's no icons in worship or at prayer or during veneration. It's just a term to confuse the innocent. Because if they should say, 'an idol', the flock might run away. We only worship our God "in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him." John 4:23. Because "God is Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." John 4:24 I know the Roman Catholic also tries to split hairs by claiming that there's a difference between 'worship' and 'pray'. Don't buy it. Unless they can show you a believer who 'prayed' to any saint who had passed away. It's a trick. To camouflage their ancestor worship. Which is another form of idolatry. 'Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.' 1 John 5:21 Bless you.
In the first few centuries of the Church, there are no photographs and people use icons (drawings, paintings or sculptures) to tell stories of Jesus and the saints. These icons are not photographs, and does not look exactly like the person, but by standard appearance and symbolic object held by them (or by text labels) we can identify who is depicted. I have an icon of Jesus at home and I use it to teach my 2-year-old daughter how to pray. We face the Jesus and speak to him freely. The icon is a touchpoint to the person depicted. When we pray in front of the icon of Jesus, we are not praying to plastic and dye, we are praying to Jesus. St Basil said, "the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype," and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it." Is it biblical? No. Is is practical? Yes. We are Christians and praying using icons has been an ancient Christian tradition. We worship God and no one else. It is not idolatry.
Icons, circumcision or not nor rituals and religion will not avail anything. For He has provided and completed all we need IN Him. "IN" is the key Col 2:10 And ye are complete (lacking nothing) "in" him, which is the head of all principality and power: Col 2:11 "In" whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Read Col 2:1-23. Justifying Faith In Jesus Christ; is obtaining salvation through him. Faith which works by love is that confidence in him which has love for its foundation, and which leads to obedience towards God and man. Ga 5:6 "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love". Faith which worketh by love--Greek, "working by love." This corresponds to "a new creature" (Ga 6:15), as its definition. Thus in Ga 5:5,6, we have the three, "faith," "hope," and "love." The Greek expresses, "Which effectually worketh"; which exhibits its energy by love (so 1 Th 2:13). Love is not joined with faith in justifying, but is the principle of the works which follow after justification by faith. Let not legalists, upholding circumcision or orthodox religion, think that the essence of the law is set at naught by the doctrine of justification by faith only. Nay, "all the law is fulfilled in one word--love," which is the principle on which "faith worketh" (Ga 5:14). Let them, therefore, seek this "faith," which will enable them truly to fulfil the law. Again, let not those who pride themselves on uncircumcision (we are not under law or works) think that, because the law does not justify, they are free to walk after "the flesh" (Ga 5:13). Let them, then, seek that "love" which is inseparable from true faith (Jas 2:8,12-22). Love is utterly opposed to the enmities which prevailed among the Galatians (read Ga 5:15, 20). The Spirit (Ga 5:5) is a Spirit of "faith" and "love" (compare Ro 14:17; 1 Co 7:19). Ro 13:8-10 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
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