My reaction to the presentation on the Russian Orthodox Church and icons is pretty diverse. I know that the Eastern Orthodox churches have the icons so the people attending or visiting their church will have the spiritual experience given off by the icons visible. But at the same time I do not feel that in order to have a spiritual experience a person needs these images/ icons. And the speaker did say that, “The icons are an indispensable part of the orthodox traditions.” This statement makes me wonder if they feel they need these images in order to experience spiritually.
Personally I would feel distracted by the images or icons that cover the entirety of the inside wall and ceiling space. It sounds like the Vegas of all churches. Las Vegas is distracting in such a way that a person would go to Vegas for fun and end up getting so distracted with gamboling and images or dirty shows that one would not get to do all the things they panned to do; because of these distractions Vegas provides. In turn if one was to go to a Russian Orthodox Church to praise God, would it not be distracting to see all of these images/ icons of brilliance covering every inch of wall and ceiling space. Not for all but for some, yes, it would be distracting and a person may not praise God like they would in a less laborious church.
Do not get me wrong I like visiting Las Vegas and would probably enjoy visiting a Russian Orthodox Church. What I would not like is to live in Las Vegas and probably would not want to worship God in the Russian Orthodox Church. There would be to many images/ icons for me to concentrate on what is real and whom I would be there for.
The fact that some of these images/ icons cry or drip a substance can be looked at many different ways. One could say that they do this because they are sad for all of the sin in the world. Or they cry because so many people worship in the wrong religion. It can be construed as a positive or a negative in many ways. The fact of the matter is we will never know why this happens.
I am glad that we had our speakers come to speak with us. I had not known of the Russian Orthodox Church or that there were so many different icons involved. I think it would be fun to tour a Russian Orthodox Church. It does sound elaborate. I do think it is something a person needs to see for them selves in order to get the full affect of its experience.
Misty J Slavens