[quote=RobNY]Conclusion 1: God is in His mystical body, and it is therefore appropriate to worship anyone in the “communion of saints.”
Wait a second… that logic doesn’t quite work, does it?
Actually, it does. But the term “worship”, like “pray”, does not apply exclusively to God. To worship is to recognize the worth or worthiness of, and anyone incorporated into Christ can only do so if Jesus considers them worthy of Himself. So in that sense, God also “worships” His own members.
Wisdom 3:5 Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded: because God hath tried them, and found them worthy of himself.
Luke 20:35 But they that shall be accounted worthy of that world, and of the resurrection from the dead, shall neither be married, nor take wives.
Luke 21:36 Watch ye, therefore, praying at all times, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are to come, and to stand before the Son of man.
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the priests that rule well, be esteemed worthy of double honour: especially they who labour in the word and doctrine:
1 Timothy 6:1 Whosoever are servants under the yoke, let them count their masters worthy of all honour; lest the name of the Lord and his doctrine be blasphemed.
Apocalypse 3:4 But thou hast a few names in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments: and they shall walk with me in white, because they are worthy.
He likewise “prays” to other persons. But how many of us listen to His pleas?
Psalms 68:21 In thy sight are all they that afflict me; my heart hath expected reproach and misery. And I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none.
Ecclesiasticus 51:10 They compassed me on every side, and there was no one that would help me. I looked for the succour of men, and there was none.
Isaias 63:5 I looked about, and there was none to help: I sought, and there was none to give aid: and my own arm hath saved for me, and my indignation itself hath helped me.
Though you may point out that the exact words “I worship you” or “I pray to you” are not used, nevertheless, the action is consistent with the milder sense of those words. God has an incommunicable name, and it should not be given to a creature. But praying or holding worthy can be done to creatures without mistaking them for God.
Your modern renderings actually expose the contradiction in your earlier assertion that to pray is to worship. Right here in front of your eyes you can see that “pray” was a general term of earnest supplication. Nowadays it is mainly associated to such pleading with God. But not totally. It can mean to any higher power or authority. For example, you will find it in various court petitions in our legal system.
Christianity did not start in the past century. For you to rely on “modern” translations and ignore centuries of practice weakens your reasoning. As I mentioned earlier, the Centurion was praised for sending others to Christ in place of coming by himself since he did so in faith.
My point is the general principle. That “other” can be any person. Jesus showed this here:
Matthew 10:41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive the reward of a prophet: and he that receiveth a just man in the name of a just man, shall receive the reward of a just man. 42 And whosoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.
Again, the Centurion’s friends pleaded with Jesus in his name.