Orthodoxy and statues

Do orthodox christians believe that the use of statues is wrong? I found an article by a WRV priest who denied that was true.
Here is the article…westernorthodox.blogspot.com/2006/06/eastern-orthodox-statues.html

Thank you for your comments

where’s the love? :frowning:


I don’t have an answer for you, sorry.

But I do love you!

In Christ


Been almost a year and still no answer.:frowning: I don’t even remember posting this thread LOL

I found this:

That is one reason you will find no statues in Orthodox temples - their inclusion in our tradition never developed as that too closely resembled the pagan piety of the early days of our Church, during the time of the Apostles


Orthodox… the use of statues IS wrong!

Statues aren’t “wrong” in Eastern Orthodoxy, as anyone who’s been to Russia and seen the pre-Communist carved angel statues could tell you. The tradition of statuary as religious art just didn’t take hold as much in the East as it did in the West; it had nothing to do with paganism.

After all, the first Icons were mosaics, which was among the preferred pagan styles for depicting gods and mythology. :slight_smile:

Peace and God bless!

…statues are forbidden by our Lord. Whether or not one church says it is oksy, the bible still says no.

Make a new thread to argue over this.

No, no, there is no need for all of that! :o

Oh come on, you don’t love fiery arguments with circular logic and lots of smilies beating their faces against their tiny computers? :smiley:

But I’lll probably get banned soon! Look at my profile, I already have infractions for having contempt for catholicism! :frowning:

…I need to be careful these days! :wink:

EVERY standard defense of icons by Orthodox scholars will appeal to the STATUES that were commanded to be made for the Ark of the Covenant.


Indy not included.

…statues are forbidden by our Lord. Whether or not one church says it is oksy, the bible still says no.

You may have heard all this before, but I wanted to say it anyways. :stuck_out_tongue: What the bible says is to not worship idols. Not quite the same thing. But as statues were the norm for depicting false gods in those times, people wrongly think of them as synonymous today.

Someone who as abandoned God for their belief in the theory of evolution has a false idol. Someone who chooses to watch a football game over going to church and give Jesus a simple, “Thanks for dying on the cross for me; that was swell.” That’s idolatry.

Having a picture (or even a statue) of someone to remember how they lived their life and be inspired by their closeness with the lord doesn’t even come close. And try to keep in mind, that unless you are advocating banning all family photos or destroying the Lincoln Memorial, you are guilty of the exact same thing we Catholics are.:eek:

The icon is an artistic depiction of Christ, the Mother of God and the Saints. God the Father cannot be painted, because He has never been seen. God the Holy Spirit has appeared as a dove and as “tongues of fire.” He may be shown in this way. God the Son became a man, and He may be painted in His human form.

Icons are more than sacred pictures. Everything about them is theological. For example, they are always flat, flat so that we who inhabit the physical world will understand that the world of the spirit where Christ, His Mother, the angels, the saints, and the departed dwell, is a world of mystery which cannot be penetrated by our five senses.

Customarily, Roman Catholicism has historically employed statues in its worship. The statues are life-like and three-dimensional. They seem to imitate the art of ancient Greece. Both arts are naturalistic. The Latins portray Christ, the Mother of God, the saints, even the angels, as if they were in a state of nature. This “naturalism” stems from the medieval idea that “grace perfects nature.”

The person or persons are represented on the icon as deified. He or she is not a perfect human being, but much more: They are transfigured and glorified. They have a new and grace-filled humanity.

Important to remember is the Latin theory of grace: It is created by God for man. Orthodoxy teaches, as we recall, that grace is uncreated, and impacts all creation. It is a mysterious extension of the Divine Nature. Orthodox iconography reflects this truth, even as Roman Catholic statues reflect its idea of grace.


Important to remember is the Latin theory of grace: It is created by God for man

Here’s the straight record: Grace is a gift of God, and all things are graces. God has given every good thing to man, including Himself. Not all graces are created - God is eternal and He is the greatest grace, the Giver of gifts. This is also what the Orthodox teach, albeit our understanding of God’s Nature and Essence is different.

I edited out my angry part. Apologies.

The simple answer is that they are not traditional worship devices for the Helenistic/Byzantine Christians, that is an answer enough. But the Orthodox theology of icons, as Podromos has pointed out, is important to this discussion. Three dimensional imagery is not satisfactory to serve as icons.

In any case, statues are not considered sinful by Orthodox. They have always been present all over the cities outside of the temples.

In the eastern temples there happen to be three dimensional artifacts, and bas relief design is not uncommon, but they are not normally thought of as iconographic.

When statues (of people) show up in eastern temples we think of that as a Latinization because it requires a Latin mindset to appreciate them as something beside art. In the past there were a lot of Byzantine Catholic parishes in the USA which had statues, with their return to their own Orthodox patrimony these are gradually disappearing.

Isn’t that a picture of a statue in your signature? :confused:


It’s a petrified angel, not a statue. :smiley:

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