7th Ecumenical Council & Icons

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by Dave, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Dave

    Dave Active Member

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    So the question has risen many times about which of the general councils does the Anglican Church hold to?
    Seems to me that that the 7th Council is probably the stickiest because of icons.

    From the Articles:
    XXI. Of the Authority of General Councils.
    GEneral Councils may not be gathered together without the Commandment and Will of Princes: and when they be gathered together (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God) they may err, & sometime have erred, even in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to Salvation, have neither Strength nor Authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture.

    XXII. Of Purgatory.
    THe Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images, as of Reliques; and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, & grounded upon no Warranty of Scripture, but rather Repugnant to the Word of God.

    Interesting Article from http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/icon_faq.aspx
    I can accept the above pretty easily.
    OK No problemo.
    Excellent point.

    Ok when we try to make distinctions between veneration and worship is where I get little fuzzy on the whole notion. But then again I've kissed photographs of dear loved ones--so what is the difference?
     
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  2. Dave

    Dave Active Member

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    From Wiki:

    Anglican Communion

    While the Councils are part of the "historic formularies" of Anglican tradition,[56] it is difficult to locate an explicit reference in Anglicanism to the unconditional acceptance of all Seven Ecumenical Councils. There is little evidence of dogmatic or canonical acceptance beyond the statements of individual Anglican theologians and bishops.
    Bishop Chandler Holder Jones, SSC, explains:
    We indeed and absolutely believe all Seven Councils are truly ecumenical and catholic – on the basis of the received Tradition of the ancient Undivided Church of East and West. The Anglican formularies address only particular critical theological and disciplinary concerns of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and that certainly by design. Behind them, however, stands the universal authority of the Holy and Apostolic Tradition, which did not have to be rehashed or redebated by Anglican Catholics.[57]
    He quotes William Tighe, Associate Professor of History at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania (another member of the Anglo-Catholic wing of Anglicanism):
    ...despite the fact that advocates of all sides to the 16th-century religious conflict, Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed alike, were given to claiming that their particular doctrinal stances and, in some cases, distinctive practices, were in accord with those of the Early Church Fathers, or at least with those of high standing (such as St. Augustine), none [but Anglicanism] were willing to require, or even permit, their confessional stances to be judged by, or subordinated to, a hypothetical 'patristic consensus' of the first four or five centuries of Christianity.' But Anglicanism most certainly did, and does so to this day.[57]
    Article XXI teaches: "General Councils ... when they be gathered together, forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and word of God, they may err and sometime have erred, even in things pertaining to God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of Holy Scripture."[58]
    The 19th Canon of 1571 asserted the authority of the Councils in this manner: "let preachers take care that they never teach anything...except what is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and New Testament, and what the Catholic Fathers and ancient Bishops have collected from the same doctrine."[59] This remains the Church of England's teaching on the subject. A modern version of this appeal to catholic consensus is found in the Canon Law of the Church of England and also in the liturgy published in Common Worship:
    The Church of England is part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, worshipping the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It professes the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds, which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation. Led by the Holy Spirit, it has borne witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons. I, AB, do so affirm, and accordingly declare my belief in the faith which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness; and in public prayer and administration of the sacraments, I will use only the forms of service which are authorized or allowed by Canon.[60]
     
  3. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The great fallacy in all these problems is the hidden assumption of what it means to be "One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Patristic, and Traditional".

    Simply because something is a tradition of 1300 years, or is an idea of some late Fathers, doesn't mean it's conducive to unity with Christ, nor with holiness, nor with apostolic faith. Bowing to an icon, kissing painted wood, and interacting with things made by human hands in ways indistinguishable from worship is not about doctrine, but about practicing our own imaginations, and making the invisible God (& mini-gods) into forms to be grasped.

    If we must receive the traditions 'of men', then I receive the tradition handed down from Moses: no images, neither of things in heaven, nor on earth, nor under the earth: at least not in churches, where we are called to worship the Father - who is Spirit and Truth - in spirit and truth. It's interesting that this only became an issue after the real heresies (about Christ's person) had been dealt with. It was a Church which seemingly had nothing better to do.

    For those interested, one of the catalysts of the Seventh Ecumenical Council's decision was John of Damascus, or John Damascene. His defense of images with the doctrine of the Incarnation is cited by those who would have us commit idolatry.
     
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  4. Jeff F

    Jeff F Well-Known Member

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    As do I Dave. As I said earlier on another thread, we lived in a Russian Orthodox community for several years and I was invited to participate in all services, and was even invited to teach a Wednesday night Vespers service. These were good folks, devoted to a simple life in Christ, but the whole "veneration" concept puzzled me. They sang to, bowed repeatedly to, kissed, and even at the suggestion of their Priest, nursed their young children in front of a particular icon. What more is worship?

    Jeff
     
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  5. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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  6. Servos

    Servos Active Member

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  7. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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  8. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Four general Councils?
    You are either damnably careless, or nearing mendaciousness. Most references to the Four General Councils are usually accompanied by a statement such as ',The authority of the first four general councils and all others sith that time in any point consonant to the same." The latter part of the phrase has been dropped either by lazy and unenterprising scholars, or hacks more intent on devaluing the work of the Church, than obtaining the truth. Indeed it seems to me that many descend to mendacity. If we were to go back to the Henrician and Elizabethan Councils, we should find the phrase missing from the copies, but printed in the original. The same is found with the Copies of Andrews statement on the Councils and James I's utterances as well. Also the Anglican Parliament of Elizabeth. Even the Romans tell the truth while sneering at Anglican interest within the councils.

    Edited for language.
    -Admin
     
  9. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    Your post is filled with personal attacks. Do you think that lends credibility to you?
     
  10. Dave

    Dave Active Member

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    I was reading a document on the CofE website describing the dialogues between the Orthodox and Anglicans and found this little tidbit:

     
  11. The Hackney Hub

    The Hackney Hub Well-Known Member

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    That's unedited Lancelot Andrewes I quoted, you can't get much more Anglican than that.
     
  12. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It isn't the unedited version that I read. This was a letter, or article within Van Meer's, Councils. Leyden 1730. Even so, it became the custom of the day to abbreviate and dwell on the first four councils, which through laziness & poor scholarship has turned in to some kind of a tragedy for the Church in England. Today it is the custom to call upon the Nicene Creed, as a guarantee of orthodoxy for our church! Yet, a vast part of that truly wonderful document, so named was was the work not simply of Niceae but of Constantinopal . Are we to doubt the veracity of the Nicene Creed, because its connection with Constantinople isn't mentioned.
     
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  13. Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Member

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    so, what came of this?

    1. as an anglican are you required to accept the 7, without qualification?
    2. what is the correct quote of bishop andrews?
     
  14. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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  15. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Seventh Ecumenical Council, unfortunately was introduced in this country by means of a faulty translation, not just in this country but in the west!The good sense of the majority of the population set the problem aright and till the English Reformation very little was heard. In Eliza's day, Dean Field a scholar, wrote his masterpiece,'On the Church.' In it he touches on the Seven Councils describing them thus, Four Christological, two explanitory and one,the Seventh as a matter of 'Manners,'. This was accepted by the Church In England without any fuss. The idea being that the relationship of the Lady Mary, being the Theotokos, The Mother of God, was not properly for public discussion, in the coarse terms, then and now used. in many cases.
    Also the relationship of the Church and the Saints, the Holy People of God, was touched upon and the difference between respect and worship was emphasised. In tthe seventeenth cent, English Non Juring Bishops in contact with the Orthodox discussed the matters. later Sharp, A/B, of Canterbury held further discussions and agreements were reached.
    In 1919 at a Conference in the Jerusalem Chamber,(I believe,) in Westminster , the earlier findings were affirmed. I was told by some Orthodox Bishop that at every meeting between the Orthodox and Anglican Church at a major level, begins with an examination and affirmation of belief in the Councils.
    (See Further CB Moss. Seventh Council and the C.of E. Proj., Cant..)
    As for the +Andrews quote?

    In the Convocations of the 16th, Century, just to proclaim Anglican belief in the Catholic Canons, 1536,42 the Anglican Synod affirmed their belief in The Seven Councils using these terms. "The authority of the first four general councils and all other ,'sith,' that time in any point consonant to the same as asserted. .' (Kidd's 39 Articles.) ( Father Pullan, The Book of Common prayer. pg 75. 'If I can read through the tea stains.)

    In the first year of Eliza, just to emphasise the point, the English Parliament passed a law using the Councils as a basis for convicting for heresy. In the Cal.S.P. The highlighted statement above is used, but in most publications it is dropped The four Christological Councils being considered the basis of the matter. Archbishop Andrews used the full usage of thee Convocations as did James the First in his utterances, but the scribes and reporters and commentators, as most do today abbreviated them. Lazy or poor scholarship.

    The trouble is today, not only the Seventh Council, but the basic principal is being savaged by our latitudian friends, who are seizing on the matter of the, 'first four councils,' to damage the principal of the Councils altogether!
     
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  16. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    Wonderfyl reading! I love the way this was put: to Andrewes, the protestant reformation is a "temporary convenience. It denotes a certain temporary attitude, not a positive creed. It is intended to last only so long as the Roman abuses are unreformed. In the English Church, religion is reformed, not formed anew. 'We are renovators, not innovators.'"
     
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  17. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I like it also, Lowly. I tracked down an 1894 copy at Abe Books for $7.50 and ordered it. I prefer to read a book in hand, rather than online. So many great Anglican books were published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
     
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  18. Robinson Crusoe

    Robinson Crusoe Member

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    this doesn't seem to have the bit about "...in any point consonant..."

    what other anglican divines or other worthy anglican authority can be pointed to that require the latter 3 councils? it seems like only the first four are required.
     
  19. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I don't want to interfere with Peteprint's discussion but your comment raises important points especially your final quote!First off, the Church in England has claims to Catholicity and independence that are based on Christ's Revelation and are not dependent on Rome's departure from Holy Tradition. Our claims are based on Scripture and Holy tradition, as in Orthodoxy. That being so we have to depend on an understanding of the Gospel that is not dependent on the view of one man.e. the Bishop of Rome, even if he has the help of a coterie of supporters in the Court of Rome .Whilst our religion stems from Christ 's teaching which we read in scripture !Our belief is built on Christ's Body the Church being founded by the Holy Ghost and the Apostles who were chosen in the main by Christ! He taught them and the y worked by the guidance of the Holy Ghost! Scripture tells us that the apostolic college chose men to succeed them, this by Christ's injunction.Thus developed the ,what we now call the, 'Bench of Bishops.'

    We are told that on being consecrated to take their position, these bishops were blessed by receiving what is known as their ,'Character,' that is God's Grace ,

    When problems came up , bishops met together with advisers, to meet the challenge. this to enable them to be the servants, in a special way, of Christ! In theory the Bishops are the Church! No Bishops No Church, was the old rallying cry! When problems came on that threatened the stabilility of the Church
    a call was sent out to rally the bishops to answer the problem. They met first to settle the question of the divinity of Christ, this at Niceae 325 AD. It took some hundred years and another Council to present the world with the Nicean reed. It took two others to calm things down. These same Councils not only answered questions about Christ, but regulated the Church its organisation and the scriptures. The Seventh Council,, was the last generally acknowledged by all of the Catholic Church!

    If we do not accept the Councils, or affirm our belief in them, what have we to prove or disprove our beliefs? Rome has the Pope, yet he has no substance for his claim and the Catholic and Apostolic Church is fractured and split!
    The fact is, as far as I understand the whole of mainstream Christendom, accept the first four Councils. It is the next three that make us Children of God and Inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven.
    For the whole of the English Reformation our Church affirmed the Councils, 1536/42 and 72. They did this by affirming the first four which are the most important and such others as matter! Yet even though during the reformation they said it was,' a matter of manners,'still they have affirmed the principal of seven. See Field, Pullan, Kidd and other authors such as C.D.Moss.

    When the Romans or indeed the Prot's ask you from where the authority of the Church stems, it stems from Christ, scripture, and the Seven Ecumenical Councils.
     
  20. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Kidd's 39 Articles.
    Field, 'Of the Church'.
    C.B.Moss, The Seventh Ecumenical Council.
    Cal.S.P. Elizabeth's First Parliament . Act on Heresy.