“Do we not ourselves prove in our daily life the requirement of our nature, its longing to have representations of the persons whom we love, when we express the desire to have their portraits and have our own portraits done, hang them up on the walls, or place them in albums, in order to look at them often, and to enjoy contemplating the respected and beloved faces? And this natural, right, and pious veneration of the holy icons many Lutherans and Anglicans regard as something unnatural, repugnant to God, as idolatry and heresy; they have not icons either in their houses or even in their temples, and consider it a sin to have and worship them. Through this they lose much in faith and piety, for by breaking the visible connection with the saints they likewise destroy the invisible one, whilst in reality, as the Church is heavenly and earthly, it forms one body. They have broken in the same way their connection with the departed, because they do not pray for them and do not offer sacrifices for their souls, sacrifices which are well-pleasing to the merciful God; and thus prove their unbelief in the power of the prayers of the Church for the departed. What kind of a Church is this that has unwisely and audaciously broken her ties with the heavenly, triumphant Church? has interrupted communion by means of prayers with the departed, and broken off communion with the Church that professes the faith in Christ in its primitive purity? Is it a living and holy body of the Church? Can a single trunk of the body, without head, without hands and feet, without eyes and ears, be called a living, organised body? And yet such a community proclaims its faith as the purified, true faith, and eschews the rites of our holy, spotless religion. Is that religion purified that has rejected the Sacrament of Orders and the other sacraments, excepting Baptism and Holy Communion, which last, however, is not valid; has rejected the veneration of the saints, of their relics, icons, fasting, monasticism, and prayers for the departed? Is this the faith of the Gospel? Is it the Church of Christ and the Apostolic Church? No; it is a self-made Church, constituted by the will of men, under the influence of human passions and pleasing human passions; it is ” the truth in unrighteousness “; it is the perverted Gospel of Christ; it is the perversion or turning away of Christ’s people ” unto another Gospel,” of which the Apostle said: “But though we or an angel from heaven preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” It is not a Church, but a soul-destroying dissection of the body of Christ.”
Sergieff, Archpriest John Iliytch; St John of Kronstadt (2010-05-26). My Life in Christ, or Moments of Spiritual Serenity and Contemplation, of Reverent Feeling, of Earnest Self-Amendment, and of Peace in God (Kindle Locations 6863-6881). Kindle Edition.
“On what grounds of principle do the denominations around us vindicate their right to exist? To some of the sects this question would come like a thunderbolt. They have never raised it. They never knew that such a question could be raised. In the Sectarian Declaration of Independence, among the certain inalienable rights are sectarian life, sectarian liberty, and sectarian pursuit of happiness. They may deny a man’s right to wear a coat or a hat not fashioned after the sacred pattern shown them in the mount of their private hallucination, but as to a man’s right to join himself to any sect he thinks good, or to make another sect if the existing sects do not suit him, of that they never doubted. In the Popery of Sect, “Stat pro ratione voluntas” — their best reason is, they wish it so.
Yet this question is a great question. It is the question. The denomination which has not raised it is a self-convicted sect. The denomination which cannot return such an answer to it as at least shows sincere conviction that it has such reasons, should be shunned by all Christians who would not have the guilt of other men’s sins.”
Krauth, Charles Porterfield. “The Relations of the Lutheran Church to the Denominations around us.” In First Free Lutheran Diet in America, Philadelphia, December 27-28, 1877: The Essays, Debates and Proceedings, by Henry Eyster Jacobs, 27-69. Philadelphia: J. Frederick Smith, Publisher, 1877.