Recent blog activity has been caught up in a discussion over the Manhattan Declaration. This is a statement coming from Catholics, Orthodox, and Evangelicals concerning three major points about our current culture in America. The debate is over whether this is just some right wing political move or it’s legitimate.
Some of the disagreement comes down to theology. How can an evangelical stand alongside a Catholic? Some objections (like from John MacArthur) raise up old lines of division that show the Body of Christ really has a hard time standing together for just about ANYTHING without an argument breaking out. (There’s a reason it’s called the “family” of God, I suppose.)
Some objections raised would be Catholics and Orthodox theology. Perhaps it’s also the veneration of saints and icons. There are fundamentalists and Evangelicals who have a serious problem with the saints and icons of the Catholic and Orthodox traditions.
This stirred my thoughts. In my own sordid sense of humor, I would present the idea that while we don’t have “icons” in the sense of the Orthodox Church, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Reformed and other Protestants do have our own versions. We take the “high” road and say it’s not worship. But I would argue there are times we fall into celebrity cults in the Church.
It’s a serious issue I’ve seen raised since the days of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. Now, it’s even hit the Reformed movement. The likes of Mark Driscoll and others raise serious questions about our tendency to celebrate certain people. I am NOT saying Driscoll and others seek worship! I am saying we tend to set these guys up in places they do not belong.
I would offer (in a sense of humor kind of way) some of our Protestant “icons” through the centuries.