08-19-2016, 08:59 PM
The Westminister Confession was definitely not a Holy Ecumenical Council. The Second Council of Nicea (787 AD) most certainly was, occuring long before the Great Schism, and it upheld the use of icons and images as being orthodox and according to the faith handed down in the Church everywhere. The truth is, every confession which can trace itself down via apostolic succession to the first century and ordination to the Apostles, incorporate images in their homes and temples (i.e places of prayer), including the communities which split from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church many centuries earlier, such as the Oriental Orthodox (in North Africa, India, and the Far East). The Oriental Orthodox Churches split away in the fourth century, and they were not involved in any Holy Ecumenical Council Church since then, yet they also hold that icons are part of the deposit of the faith handed down by the Apostles. That alone is great proof that the use of images were allowed and used as a remembrance of God going back to the early Church.
This makes sense since we worship a Father in Heaven Who was come and revealed His Face in His Son, Jesus Christ. God is with us, and has sat with us and shared our hunger and thirst and suffering. He is not some mysterious supernatural force, but rather, a Person, Whose image we were made in the image of. God's ontology is one of personhood, and we ourselves are truly persons through our relationship with the Holy Trinity. No longer named as YHWH, but known better as the Father, Who is in Heaven, Holy is His Name. Christ revealed that this Father in Heaven loves us and cares for us, and that the Son was sent to restore our broken nature which kept us from our Father. Our salvation is in Christ, Who destroys the power of death through His Holy Resurrection. He came not as a mere pillar of light, or a cloud, but as a true human, with a name Jesus, and a face and voice and hands and feet which were driven through with nails. Christ is an ikon of the Father, as St. Paul says, and we worship Him as God of God incarnated in the flesh, just as the Prophets foretold. He has overcome the world and destroyed the power of Satan over men's souls, and has given hope to mankind. Not in a mysterious, unrecognizable and hidden way, but through the image of the cross, through the image of a death of a son in the arms of His mother. So too through the image of the man of wonders and feeder of crowds and the man who raised Lazarus from the dead. Through the images also of the king riding humbly on a donkey, the quiet lamb being sent to slaughter, and the suffering servant. Through the image of the risen Christ ascending in the air towards Heaven escorted by angels, to sit at the right hand of the Father.
So too, with a face which He has now and for always will, with marks in His hands and feet and a stab wound in His side. God is no longer unseen and far away, and unrecognizable, but rather with us, as one of us, and has made His ikon known to us in the God-man Jesus Christ. The Apostles and the Church after them understood that we use images and symbols as aids to our Christian lives, not as the goal of our Christian lives. That is why the Seventh Ecumencial Council in the eighth century was convened to express that accurate Christian teaching since Islamic influences started to infiltrate a region of the Church in the East resulting in the heresy of iconoclasm. And again, it was already decided long before that, as evidenced by the archeological evidence we have and the fact that the Oriental Orthodox Churches have always maintained this doctrinal belief and practice since before separating themselves from the early Church.
The real question as pertains to this thread would then be: why would James Dobson be more authorative than such a great cloud of witnesses tracing back through the centuries to the early Church?