Our lack of understanding

used with permission of Rev G
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skatsing
HI:
I’m new to this site so I hope I am replying to Steve How. Steve, in the Catholic religion we proclaim a belief in the communion of saints. Those saints recognized by the official Catholic church uniquely express the will of God in their lives as each of us are invited to do. When we use statues, they are an aid in helping us to imagine other Christian lives that successfully mirrored Christ’s. They (the saints represented by those statues) continue to be living (in heaven with God), as separate and unique individuals, and are given special grace by God because of their complete trustworthiness to carry out God’s will, as emissaries for Him. Sometimes, because they seem to have an affinity for us or our particular needs, God encourages us to communicate with them through prayer and ask for their help. This never means we have used them to replace God or Christ in our hearts which is what idolatry is.
They never replace God but are His trusted, adopted children.
Think of how a father who trusts a son he is proud of feels when others also accept him and trust him and ask for his help. This is no insult to the father but an added reason for the father to feel love and pride in his son.
I was part of a charismatic group for many years. You are lucky to be in a place that provides that sort of worship. Keep on praising the Lord!
Skatsing

Rev G’s response:
In response to this, I must say that this shows a flawed understanding of the teachings of the Bible and places tradition above Scripture. The Bible does not teach anyone to pray to anyone except to God. Catholic church tradition teaches the idea of praying to the saints. To try to justify the idolatry to praying to a false god, or a graven image (which violates the 3rd commanment), by comparing the realtionship of a father and son to our realtionship with God is an insult to God. I realize I am in a minority here, but I think the Biblical revelation is how we should guide or practices of worship. God says to pray to Him, the Catholic church says its ok to pray to images of people they felt deserving to be called saints. The Bible never says anyone has special grace, this is a false teaching of the church. The traditions of the church are not revelation from God and do not carry the authority of the Bible. The teachings of tradition as having authority was one of the causes of the Protestant Reformation. When the clergy recognized that the church was teaching ideas not found in Scripture they tried to reform the church. In response the Catholic church introduced the Septuagint into thier Bible calling it Deutero-canonical. I just think maybe it is best to stick with what the Bible says, and not what church tradition teaches.

What is bibilcal revaltion?
Since when does a book carry any authority, it seems that those holding the book are the ones in authority.
Prayer and worship are two entirely things.
One kneels by their bed to pray are they worshipping the bed? According to the bapist one is.

False teaching of the Church? If that’s true, then the Church that Christ founded has fallen to the gates of hell. That would mean that Jesus lied, and therfore Christianity is a fraud.

When cornered, the fundamentalist resorts to ad hominem. Happens every time.

Just a quick point:

Fundamentalists are always quick to quote “Biblical authority.” How do we know it is authoritative? Well, the Bible “says so” is the argument. Let us note that it is not stated explicitly that it is the sole foundation of our faith. However, 2 Timothy 3:15 does say this explicitly : But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
It was the Church that deemed the Bible to be authoritative. It is also the Church that deems Tradition to be equally authoritative along with the teaching of the Magisterium.

In additon, Revelation 6: 9,10 shows that the souls in Heaven are still praying.
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

Apparently, they must still be aware of what is occurring on Earth. I know that if I were in Heaven, I would be praying feverishly for my loved ones.

CSJ

That does not follow. It’s a non sequitur.

That’s not what a Baptist would say. This is a perfect example of a strawman argument. You know it’s completely illogical, and so does any Baptist. That’s why no Baptist would make this argument…or any argument that’s remotely similar to it. But you imply that they would do the latter, and this is not true. That’s an example of false equivalence. If you’re going to talk about Baptists, please try to avoid dishonesty in representation. It’s something that tends to get in the way of speaking charitably about other Christians.

An argument that a Baptist might actually make is that conventional, thoroughgoing idol-worshipers attempt to validate their actions in a similar way. This could fall into false equivalence if handled improperly, but to the degree that an actual idol-worshiper states that they aren’t worshiping a fetish or statue but are looking to the person or thing “behind the statue” such that their mind is assisted in focusing on the true object of their prayer or worship, that’s the degree to which Catholics really are doing something similar to idol worship.

I don’t think anyone in the history of the world has made a statue and actually prayed to it, thinking that the statue or figurine- though inanimate and a creation of their own- constituted a being that could understand anything that was said to it. No one is that stupid, and that’s not how idol-worship actually works. In reality, idols (and I mean actual idols) don’t just look kind of like the objects you use for veneration. They’re actually used in a strikingly similar manner as well. The object of your prayers is going to be different, but that’s about it.

Is that sufficient to redeem such an act and make it non-sinful? I don’t know for sure, but it doesn’t exactly make me want to participate. I say “no thanks.”

You ever talk to anyone who worships idols? You should compare notes sometime. You might be surprised at what you find.

The statement that the Catholic church “introduced the Septuagint” is completely wrong. The canon of scripture was formally proclaimed around the year 400…by the Catholic church. It included 46 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. These books were included in all bibles until the 16th century. Look at a Gutenberg bible, the first bible printed on a printing press. It includes all 73 books.

In the 16th century, the Protestant reformers decided to omit certain books that did not fit their new theology. Martin Luther even tried to remove James’ epistle from the NT until he caved under pressure from his supporters. That not being enough, he even inserted words into scripture passages that had never been there. But those, too, were removed to remain faithful to the original texts.

This also begs a separate question. If the contents of the bible were not proclaimed until 400, what did the early Christians use? Word of mouth. They shared the teachings handed down from the original apostles. A careful reading of scripture shows that Jesus himself did not write anything (except once in the dirt). Jesus did not command the apostles to, “Write everything down, make copies, and put them in the night stands of hotels all over the empire.” The apostles were commanded to go and preach the good news to all corners of the earth. The early Christians took the lessons taught and spread them by word of mouth. Even if they were written down, most of the people in the church were illiterate. That’s not a slam, it’s just the way it was.

You know what this method of sharing the Gospel is called today? Tradition. Even if one rejects doctrine founded on Tradition, they always use the bible. But that itself is problematic. The bible is simply the written tradition of the faith handed on by the apostles. The bible itself says if everything Jesus said or did was written down, there would not be enough books in the world to hold them. So to use the bible alone misses so much more teaching given us by the apostles. To ignore the apostolic Traditions is to ignore the teachings of Christ.

So how do we know which are apostolic Traditions? Look to the early Christians. Look how they lived their faith. Learn their practices and beliefs. Then find the church today that most closely resembles the early Christians. Here’s a clue - start with a Catholic church.

You’re missing the point. If the saints we ask to pray for us had not followed God, not only would they not be saints, but they would be of no importance to us. 99% of the time, anti-Catholics forget the fact that the saints’ loyalty to Christ is the whole reason we even recognize them.

So asking saints to pray for us is idolatry of graven images, and completely foreign to the Bible?

These are all from the KJV:

Psalm 89:7 “God is to be greatly feared in the assembly of saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.”

1 Corinthians 4:16 “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me”

Hebrews 6:12 “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises”

Romans 13:6-7 "For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom;

1 Corinthians 12:23-26 “And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given mor abundant honor to that part which lacked: that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care for one another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.”

Revelation 8:3-4 “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he shoud offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.”

These are just a few of many. I could go on all day about the solid scriptural basis for the saints.

Rev G:

‘I just think maybe it is best to stick with what the Bible says, and not what church tradition teaches.’

‘The Scriptures do not express everything entrusted by Christ to the Church for us to live by, even though, according to an opinion common to the Fathers and to the Middle Ages, they contain all the truths necessary for salvation. However providential the recording of the apostolic writings might be, at the time they were the reply to given circumstances…Had it not been for the defects in the celebration of the Eucharist at Corinth, we should not have St. Paul’s important text on the mystery of the Body and Blood, and critics would not have failed to say that this mystery was unknown to Paul, and so on.’

‘She was the Church from the time of the apostles and not the product of their writings;’

The Meaning of Tradition by Yves Congar, O.P.

Still doesn’t equal worship No Catholic is worshipping the person “behind” the image

I don’t think anyone in the history of the world has made a statue and actually prayed to it, thinking that the statue or figurine- though inanimate and a creation of their own- constituted a being that could understand anything that was said to it. No one is that stupid, and that’s not how idol-worship actually works. In reality, idols (and I mean actual idols) don’t just look kind of like the objects you use for veneration. They’re actually used in a strikingly similar manner as well. The object of your prayers is going to be different, but that’s about it.

Is that sufficient to redeem such an act and make it non-sinful? I don’t know for sure, but it doesn’t exactly make me want to participate. I say “no thanks.”

You ever talk to anyone who worships idols? You should compare notes sometime. You might be surprised at what you find.Looking at Exudus 32:1-10 The calf was being called god and the people worshipped it as such. Sainta are being called saints not gods.

Looking at Exudus 32:1-10 The calf was being called god and the people worshipped it as such. Sainta are being called saints not gods.

The Essential Catholic Survival Guide described it like looking at a picture of your mom. It reminds you of who you are asking for prayers. According to anti-Catholics’ logic, having pictures of your family is idolatry :smiley:

Note how I am frequently saying “asking saints for prayers”, not “praying” or “worshipping”, because that is what we are doing.

Indeed.

Check out this image:

Does anyone here believe that these folks are worshipping the kleenex box because they are kneeling before it?

:smiley:

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