Iconoclast in the picture

In Abberley Hall in the north-west of the county of Worcestershire (Postcode: WR6 6DD), since 1916 occupied by Abberley Hall School the 2020 Whit Camp shall take place.

This year the theme is ‘Iconoclast’.

Throughout history, humans have made icons for themselves. These are physical or mental objects built to worship and put trust in.

Often identified as outsiders, as iconoclasts, as someone who doesn’t quite fit, there always have been people who did not want to use graven images of their gods or did not want to worship objects or nature elements. The iconoclasts criticize beliefs and things that are generally accepted by society.

Several people also consider Christadelphians or Brothers in Christ, to be iconoclasts, them not taking part in the tradition of many heathen festivals. They are often considered to attack established or traditional ideas or principles, refusing to be bound by tradition. Some people even may say Christadelphians are rebelsradicalsdissidents or even heretics.
What bothers also a lot of people, or what they can not understand, is that the Christadelphians have no powerful organization or some leaders everyone should follow, like for example the Pope in the Catholic Church or the Steering Committee of the Watchtower Organisation by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Among the Ten Commandments found in the Bible is the following:

“Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”

In the 8th and 9th centuries, these words for more than a century after the accession of Leo III (717–741), inspired some Christians of the Byzantine Empire to destroy religious images such as paintings and sculptures of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the saints.

Justinian II, gold solidus, 7th-8th century; in the British MuseumThe council of Trullo of 691-692 had decreed that Christ should be represented in human form rather than symbolically, as the lamb. The reigning emperor, Justinian II, had taken the unprecedented step of placing the image of Christ in his coinage while proclaiming himself the “slave of God”. Evidence of a reaction against such iconophile (or image venerating) doctrines and practices may be found early in the 8th century, but full-fledged Iconoclasm (or destruction of the images) emerged as an imperial policy only when Leo III issued his decrees of 730. Under his son, Constantine V (ruled 741-775), the iconoclastic movement intensified, taking the form of violent persecution of the monastic clergy, the foremost defenders of the iconophile position.

The Medieval Greek word for a person who destroyed graven images of gods was eikonoklastēs, formed from the elements eikōn, “image, likeness,” and -klastēs, “breaker,” and the Medieval Greek word is the source of the English word iconoclast. In addition to simply destroying many paintings and sculptures, the Medieval Greek iconoclasts also sought to have them barred from display and veneration. In English, the word iconoclast was originally used in reference to these Byzantine iconoclasts. During the Protestant Reformation, however, images in churches were again felt to be idolatrous and were once more banned and destroyed, and the word iconoclast came to be used of the Protestant opponents of graven images, too. In the 19th century, iconoclast took on the secular sense that it has today.

Today we should know there are many denominations, though one should question how many are really following the Nazarene master teacher Jeshua, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who is the son of God and son of man, the sent one from God, who worship his heavenly Father, the God of Abraham. That rabbi warned the people around them that they had to be careful how they prayed and to whom they prayed and made their offerings. Also his chosen preacher Paul warned about false stories and people worshipping God in the wrong way, also many liking to have graven images of their God, whilst they should know that God does not want people to make nor bow down in front of graven images.

Throughout the ages, people kept making graven images and using different rites, that we should accept them as something which is alright. Lots of church leaders tell their congregation all those statues or sculptures, paintings and coloured stained-glass windows are there to honour God and His saints and bowing down would show our respect to them. Though in the Bible is clearly told what is wrong or not right when bowing in front of images. When in church or at home we have to pay attention to the use of objects or how we look at pictures and/or statues.

In this world full of idols and gods, be it sportsmen or women, film or variety artists, we should be very careful in how we look at people who walk in the picture or who take special places in society.

 

God willing, throughout the weekend the Christadelphians will look around and within to identify “our icons, break them down, and discover together what might fill their place.”

The Whit Camp is essentially a holiday weekend and there will be the usual games, sports and relaxation with new and old friends. All are welcome.

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Find also to read:

What are Brothers in Christ

Who are Christadelphians

Living stones 4 Idols of wood and stone

Memorizing wonderfully 55 Exchanging the truth of God for a lie

Extra verses to memorize Deuteronomy 4:15-16 Watching yourselves very carefully

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