Bowing before men.


#1

since the last topic why did people bow before Ratzinger? was moved, let me change the topic to bowing before men. btw, i’m not trying to troll or start a fight. please don’t take it that way.

can someone provide examples of bowing for respect that isn’t worship? is there also an explanation for Acts 10:25-26?
Act 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped [him].

Act 10:26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

Rev 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard [them]. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

Rev 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See [thou do it] not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

worship is from proskuneo, proskuneo defined as…
blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/words.pl?strongs=4352

  1. to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence
  2. among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence
  3. in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication
    a) used of homage shown to men and beings of superior rank
  4. to the Jewish high priests
  5. to God
  6. to Christ
  7. to heavenly beings
  8. to demons

#2

I understand your concern, but try to think of this in a non-worship context.

When a man proposes to a woman, is he getting down on one knee to worship his fiance? Of course not. It’s a profound sign on respect, a sign that shows reverence.

It’s simply the same thing when Catholics bow or even kneel before a pope or other bishop. Of course we are not worshipping these men. We are showing that we submit to their authority, and that we respect them.

Worship is an attitude of the heart. While outward actions may seem similar (such as bowing to a bishop and bowing to the Eucharist), the attitude of the heart is profoundly different. No Catholic looks to a bishop (including the pope) as the Supreme Being, the Creator of the Universe.

Hope that helps.


#3

Hmm…I don’t see any difference. If they love him that much to bow down to him…that seems like worship to me. How could it not be? You’re giving that person an amount of respect and honor that is for God only. I wouldn’t do it unless I was just joking.

It’s totally different from when a guy proposes, he’s down on one knee, begging position, not worshipping position.


#4

[quote=yqbd]since the last topic why did people bow before Ratzinger? was moved, let me change the topic to bowing before men. btw, i’m not trying to troll or start a fight. please don’t take it that way.

can someone provide **examples of bowing for respect that isn’t worship? **is there also an explanation for Acts 10:25-26?
Act 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped [him].

Act 10:26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

Rev 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard [them]. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

Rev 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See [thou do it] not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

worship is from proskuneo, proskuneo defined as…
blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/words.pl?strongs=4352
[/quote]

I believe the problem is to assume that when one bows to some one…it is automatically WORSHIP .
Big mistake !

It is possible to do any of the things you quoted in your original post WITHOUT worshipping, …
since the WORSHIP is rooted in the purpose and intent of the person doing it.
and since you can not read a person’s heart as God does, it is ereroneous to conclude that one is worshipping some one merely by his posture.

Not everyone who bows is a worshipper …just as
Not everyone who says "LORD, LORD…shall enter the kingdom of heaven.

“The Lord knows those who are His.”

gusano


#5

[quote=yqbd]since the last topic why did people bow before Ratzinger? was moved, let me change the topic to bowing before men. btw, i’m not trying to troll or start a fight. please don’t take it that way.

can someone provide examples of bowing for respect that isn’t worship?
[/quote]

Now I would like to asdk you a question;

Can you provide examples of how you worship?

…and how do you really know it is worship acceptable to God ?


#6

Begging? No. My fiancé did not beg for my hand in marriage. He was showing his reverence and love for me…that he wants to “leave his mother and father and cling unto his wife so that” we “might become one flesh.”

We genuflect before the tabernacle where the Blessed Sacrament is held because we show our reverence and love for Christ and our desire to be worthy of a one-flesh union with Him, in the partaking of the Eucharist. It is a custom similar to the way a knight would kneel, humbly, before his king. Christ is Our King, and we kneel before him. My intentions when I genuflect are such that I am paying homage to my King and my Savior.

We bow before the altar out of reverence because we know that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is performed there. When I bow or kneel before a bishop or the pope I am in a similar way recognizing, 1st that these men perform the sacrifce which allows me to have a union with my Lord, and 2nd that they, as priests, act in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) and so are due reverence. But the intention of my heart is not the same as when I genuflect before the Real Presence of my Lord.


#7

[quote=Christian4life]Hmm…I don’t see any difference. If they love him that much to bow down to him…that seems like worship to me. How could it not be? You’re giving that person an amount of respect and honor that is for God only. I wouldn’t do it unless I was just joking.

It’s totally different from when a guy proposes, he’s down on one knee, begging position, not worshipping position.
[/quote]

It may look like that from the outside, but again, worship is an attitude of the heart. Think about it: do you raise your hands in worship during church? Do you also raise your hands in excitement when your teams scores?

You see, the outward act is exactly the same-- you’re raising your hands. But the difference (and it’s profound) is your heart’s attitude. When you raise your hands in Church, you’re most likely thinking in your heart, “Lord God, I love you and I worship you!”

When you raise your hands at a football game after your team scores, you are most likely thinking, “Yes! We’re gonna win!”

Same act, completely different meaning. So it is with bowing before a bishop and bowing before the Saviour of the World.


#8

Try asking just about the entire population of Japan.


#9

[quote=Christian4life]Hmm…I don’t see any difference. If they love him that much to bow down to him…that seems like worship to me. How could it not be? You’re giving that person an amount of respect and honor that is for God only. I wouldn’t do it unless I was just joking.

It’s totally different from when a guy proposes, he’s down on one knee, begging position, not worshipping position.
[/quote]

As a man who within the last year and a half proposed on one knee, I can certainly say I wasn’t begging but asking. Was I in a Loving and adoring (as in “I adore my children” not Adoration and Worship reserved for God) position??? Yes.

Remember too that there are three main parts to a human act, good or bad: the situation, the motive (i.e. intention) and the act itself. As UK Catholic Guy pointed out, one cannot judged solely by what is seen by the senses. How can you tel the difference between kneeling in Adoration of God and kneeling to propose??? The physiological aspect is the same, but the situation and motive are different. Hope this helps. Thanks and God Bless.


#10

[quote=yqbd]since the last topic why did people bow before Ratzinger? was moved, let me change the topic to bowing before men. btw, i’m not trying to troll or start a fight. please don’t take it that way.

can someone provide examples of bowing for respect that isn’t worship? is there also an explanation for Acts 10:25-26?
Act 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped [him].

Act 10:26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

Rev 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard [them]. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

Rev 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See [thou do it] not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

worship is from proskuneo, proskuneo defined as…
blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/words.pl?strongs=4352
[/quote]

In both examples, it is stated that the men involved aren’t merely bowing or kneeling but **worshipping. **I understand that in modern society when we no longer have these customs it seems strange, but bowing and kneeling have long been a way to show respect. Think of knights in the middle ages.


#11

When a Christian for whatever reason overindulges in alcoholic beverages, and knees in front of the toilet to aid his queazy stomach, is he worshipping the toilet? Aside from all the jokes about praying to the porcelain god, the assumption that any time you kneel you are automatically worship is silly. If I get down on my knees to fix the chain on my son’s bicycle, am I worshipping the bike? If I get down on my knees to change my baby’s diaper, am I worshipping my baby? Am I worshipping the diaper? Please, can we try to display a little bit of common sense here? It is the mental disposition of the person paying respect that determines worship. Even the word worship means to give respect, for judges in Great Britain were once referred to as “Your Worship”. Does that mean that for a period of time, Britons worshipped judges? I recommend some of you who have this rediculous notion of what it means to worship God alone research the meaning of what your talking about so you don’t sound like a 3rd grader.


#12

[quote=Christian4life]Hmm…I don’t see any difference. If they love him that much to bow down to him…that seems like worship to me. How could it not be? You’re giving that person an amount of respect and honor that is for God only. I wouldn’t do it unless I was just joking.
[/quote]

As often stated here, one has to look at how that peson is approached first and foremost. That means then, looking at the attitude of the person bowing or kneeling. I think your second paragraph illustrates the point:

It’s totally different from when a guy proposes, he’s down on one knee, begging position, not worshipping position.

[font=comic sans ms]See, it’s not the position per se, but the attitude towards the object of desire. The same is true then when one approaches the Pope, or even the saints: do Catholics do such things in worship, or out of respect? Again, one has to frame this between how Catholics approach God and those below Him. Having said that, then, there is nothing in Catholic teaching that will show that Catholics do worship the saints or the Pope. And that’s what I mean by attitude.[/font]


#13

[quote=Christian4life]Hmm…I don’t see any difference. If they love him that much to bow down to him…that seems like worship to me. How could it not be? You’re giving that person an amount of respect and honor that is for God only. I wouldn’t do it unless I was just joking.
It’s totally different from when a guy proposes, he’s down on one knee, begging position, not worshipping position.
[/quote]

European men sometimes bow to a woman and kiss her hand. Does that mean he worships her?

Ask yourself why a guy gets down on one knee and proposes to his fiance’. He does it out of love, respect and reverence. In the exact same way, Catholics bow to the Pope as a sign of total respect, love and reverence.

Worship comes from the our hearts - worship is not an outward sign.

Besides, if we did “worship” the Pope - why would we deny it?


#14

hola compradres:

I think the simplest answer is this, not in the phisical form but in your mind and heart.

1.-when you bow in WOSHIP, you are thinking my lord, my love i want to be yours…
2.-when you bow in a martial arts contest both fighters are thinking: i am gonna kick you so hard…
3.-when you bow before a monarch you think: ok, this is there way of doing things, or …look at cammila´s dress or look at the ears of the prince.
4.- the shoe seller, the poor guy is kneeling all the time, but he is not worshiping, he is trying costumers shoes.

OR TELL ME SOMETHING WHEN YOU BOW DOWN TO A KING OR MONARCH ARE YOU THINKING MY LORD, I WANT TO BE YOURS???IF YOU DO YOU ARE WORSHIPING THAT PERSON.


#15

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]When a Christian for whatever reason overindulges in alcoholic beverages, and knees in front of the toilet to aid his queazy stomach, is he worshipping the toilet? Aside from all the jokes about praying to the porcelain god, the assumption that any time you kneel you are automatically worship is silly. If I get down on my knees to fix the chain on my son’s bicycle, am I worshipping the bike? If I get down on my knees to change my baby’s diaper, am I worshipping my baby? Am I worshipping the diaper? Please, can we try to display a little bit of common sense here? It is the mental disposition of the person paying respect that determines worship. Even the word worship means to give respect, for judges in Great Britain were once referred to as “Your Worship”. Does that mean that for a period of time, Britons worshipped judges? I recommend some of you who have this rediculous notion of what it means to worship God alone research the meaning of what your talking about so you don’t sound like a 3rd grader.
[/quote]

Thank you. This same type of nonsense was going on in the original thread.


#16

[quote=Christian4life]Hmm…I don’t see any difference. If they love him that much to bow down to him…that seems like worship to me. How could it not be? You’re giving that person an amount of respect and honor that is for God only…
[/quote]

Please imagine a religion that considers smiling, waving and shaking hands to be acts of worship, signs of respect and honor that is for God only. Now imagine that members of this religion question why you are worshiping other people because they don’t see any difference between the smiling, waving and handshaking you engage in with other persons as a matter of social courtesy and the smiling, waving and handshaking they reserve as acts of respect for God alone. Please consider your response to these peoples’ objections, hopefully your response will be charitible.

That is the Catholic response to your objections.


#17

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]When a Christian for whatever reason overindulges in alcoholic beverages, and knees in front of the toilet to aid his queazy stomach, is he worshipping the toilet? Aside from all the jokes about praying to the porcelain god, the assumption that any time you kneel you are automatically worship is silly. If I get down on my knees to fix the chain on my son’s bicycle, am I worshipping the bike? If I get down on my knees to change my baby’s diaper, am I worshipping my baby? Am I worshipping the diaper? Please, can we try to display a little bit of common sense here? It is the mental disposition of the person paying respect that determines worship. Even the word worship means to give respect, for judges in Great Britain were once referred to as “Your Worship”. Does that mean that for a period of time, Britons worshipped judges? I recommend some of you who have this rediculous notion of what it means to worship God alone research the meaning of what your talking about so you don’t sound like a 3rd grader.
[/quote]

We need to pray for these people. We need to pray that G-d will soften their hearts and make them see the truth.


#18

I was listening in bed last night to the book of Ruth (in MP3 format on CD, King James version). I was half asleep but still noticed the following:

Rth 2:8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:

Rth 2:9 [Let] thine eyes [be] on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of [that] which the young men have drawn.

Rth 2:10 Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I [am] a stranger?

Ruth fell on her face and bowed herself to the ground before Boaz. This was not worship, just respect.

Of course in the Far East everyone bows to everyone else, the degree of bowing dependant on your relative stations in life. It’s not worship there.

Some more Biblical examples of bowing to someone without worshipping them: Gen27:29; Gen49:8; Gen23:7; Gen23:12; Gen33:6-7; Gen42:6; Gen43:26. They’re just ones from Genesis - and there are plenty more in Genesis.


#19

[quote=Christian4life]Hmm…I don’t see any difference. If they love him that much to bow down to him…that seems like worship to me. How could it not be? You’re giving that person an amount of respect and honor that is for God only. I wouldn’t do it unless I was just joking.

It’s totally different from when a guy proposes, he’s down on one knee, begging position, not worshipping position.
[/quote]

You almost get it then don’t you… :smiley:


#20

I think that the majority of the posters here have nailed it in one:

The “act” of bowing does not necessarily make it an “act” of worship unless the** intent** of the person bowing is to make the bow an act of worship.

When I “bow to my partner” in a square dance, I am not worshipping my partner but performing a specific dance motion.

When my friends in Japan bow to greet each other, they are not worshipping each other but performing a specific greeting motion, in fact a deeply nuanced motion reflecting centuries of tradition and culture.

When I bow after giving a (hopefully terrific) theatrical or musical performance, I am not worshipping the audience (though I’m deeply grateful they recognize excellence, ha-ha), but performing a specific motion traditionally recognized as expressing thanks and acknowledgment.

When I bow to a head of state or a head of a family or someone in a position of either earthly or spiritual authority (or both), I am not worshipping them but performing a specific motion of respect or tradition, not worship.

But I feel that posters like the OP suffer from a mistaken idea that there is a “finite” amount of worship in any given person, and that any–any!–action which could be construed as giving “worship”, if given to anybody but God, is somehow “denying” God. I wonder if they feel that God is jealous about only outward signs, and is busily totting up all the “misguided Catholics”–and others, apparently–who have “bowed their heads” in any of the above situations, and reckoning those outward signs as worship and getting ready to consign us to hades for our outward signs.

But I suppose we Catholics are already doomed because we call priests “father”, medical men “doctor”, and instructors “teacher”.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.