By Walid Shoebat
Christian Copts are the most stubborn Christians on earth. You will never find a Coptic Christian convert to Islam under duress. So how did the Christians of Egypt react when Muslim terrorists attacked a bus full of Christians killing twenty eight Christians traveling on the road to the St. Samuel Monastery in the Minya? In the Middle East and from ancient times, in a wedding they make this sound they call “Zaghareet” (Ululation):
Of course, the bodies are brought into the church at the sounds of women making these very sounds while mothers wail and the priests sing with joy. The Martyrs brought in the church then the procession is a joyous one. Copts show Muslims that their martyrs are in a wedding of a different type than Muslims having weddings with virgins with carnal joys. Here is how they present the bride of Christ:
And of course, the funeral for the Christian martyrs presenting them to Christ:
While some in the West might see these scenes as foreign to them, I remind; being made in God’s image and likeness means that we have within ourselves the creative nature of God. Copts bow to the martyrs. They make icons of them.
Yet I have people comment that icons and bowing are acts of worship.
I chuckle at such statements from people who are oblivious to the Bible. God creates, so we create and is why God required the Israelites to make 3-d icons of angels on the Ark and even Joshua bowed face down towards it:
Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their clothing in dismay, threw dust on their heads, and bowed face down to the ground before the Ark of the LORD until evening (Joshua 7:6).
If bowing was worship, why then when two angels approach Lot in the gateway of the city of Sodom, Lot sees them and he “bowed with his face to the ground.”
No objection from the angel. Why? Because you are supposed to bow.
“When Abigal saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. She fell at his feet.”
And I ask; did Lot get rebuke from the angels? Did David rebuke Abigal?
“Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown” (Numbers 22:31).
I can show several examples.
There are even verses that speak of human statues and God ordered it (hint, its in Ezekiel’s temple).
This alone blows away all what the scoffers say. Every day I read poorly written comments and its sad.
But will these people heed? I guess not. Why? Because perhaps they are tares. A tare thinks its wheat. Us saying this diminishes our donations, but who cares.
People kiss the hand of the priest and the priest washed my feet.
Is that an act of worship? No.
“May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you.” (Gen 27:29)
There are a ton of verses that debunk these claims:
“The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, ‘The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.’ And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.”
“When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne.”
So what say the tare? Are these so westernized that they lost the postures of respect, honor and duty?
Did they forget “blessed are the meek and humble at heart”?
The issue is not scripture, the issue is the lack of desire to search the scripture.
So likewise, all of these martyrs are icons of Christ, just like all of the martyrs of old who were depicted in Christendom’s paintings.
But in the West many object to having icons of martyrs. Where are the statues of the martyrs, where are the paintings of their contests, over which they conquered and for which they received their crowns of glory?
EVERYONE HAS ICONS. Why do we have statues of presidents, politicians, feminists and explorers, yet we do not dare inundate the society with the images that would reminds us of the most important thing? that is, the realization that we are not here for ourselves, that our “bodies are members of Christ” (1 Corinthians 6:15), that “you are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19), that we are given a destiny that breaks through the physical, the beautiful purpose to stand in the midst of this capricious world, as a beacon of order, as an exemplifier of harmony, as a living candle that shines with the unseen light that repulses the infernal spirits naked to the eye, and pulls in those whose souls are parched by the waves of the watery abyss, into the bright rays of the Holy Cross, so that we can say with the Gospel, “people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16) It is that sublime purpose, to be an icon.
As icons, we fight the idols by creating beautiful art, art that teaches the Faith through wonder and majesty. Look to the Church, and you will see beautiful paintings and images of Crosses. Oh, how the devil’s hate such art, because they — with their immaculate imagery — instill in us a sense of Christian identity, and constantly remind us that we are in Christ, and are not to be dictated by the trends of this world. This is why the wicked and evil atheists and Muslims are always pushing for governments to censor any sort of Christian imagery and expression. They want us to be devoid of icons, to forget our hope, and to place our faith in idolatry of the self. I have heard people say that crosses, church bells, Christian paintings and statues, are idols.
But the hatred against the icons is the real idolatry. For to make a society devoid of Christian imagery, is to enable the enemy to replace the icons with true idols, with the worship of celebrities, of buildings, of politicians, of false prophets. Man, by his very nature, venerates. Take away the icons and he will venerate himself, he will venerate other men, he will venerate Mammon, he will venerate the devil. But restore the holy icons and you will see Christendom revive. The icons will be everywhere, and even the least religious person will see it and feel within himself a small measure of awe, enough to compel him to express his gratitude to the One Who died for Him. Embellish the earth with holy icons, and man will be reminded of what is sacred, man will come to contemplation, and with contemplation comes wonder and inspiration, and from this does the person know that he is but an icon himself, a window into Heaven, who is to shine so brightly that men will worship their Father in Heaven.
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