"Worship"

Catholics seemed divided on this sometimes; and Protestants basically have an uproar about Catholics on this issue, and that’s “Worship”, who’s being worshiped, and what qualifies as worship?

According to the Oxford Dictionary:
1The feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity:
the worship of God
ancestor worship

1.2Adoration or devotion comparable to religious homage, shown toward a person or principle:
our society’s worship of teenagers

The most difficult thing for me is understanding when someone or something is ‘worshiped’?

I do not accuse Catholics as worshiping anyone else or anything else as God; but how does one know if they’ve gone too far or not? At what point is high reverence considered worship and no longer reverence?

For example; one can worship money and yet not even believe in God or know that they are worshiping money. Or one can idolize a sports team and not realize they’re taking part in idolatry. Even the popular American show with up and coming singers has the word ‘idol’ in it. Is this the kind of idolizing and worship that God would not permit? And if so, does it extend to Saints?

Finally I want to ask about the words themselves and how terms change. For example; many Catholics will say that they don’t worship Mary and yet this Catholic article says they do, but not like you think. From Catholic Answers: catholic.com/tracts/saint-worship

Another example of a word change would be ‘Adoration’. Catholics say that Adoration is only for God; but again someone could say they adore their cute little babies face. Even the french phrase when referring to a deep love for someone is J’adore. It doesn’t show Adoration only due to God, but an intimate love for another that isn’t worship.

So how and where do we draw the line? How do we know that we’re not worshiping someone/something without knowing?

Here are some passages that sparked my interest as it relates to the Catholic/Protestant debate on icon/saint reverence/worship:

Colossians 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, { Or b about the things he has seen b } puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations

Here we can see that in most of this chapter Paul condemns much of what a Protestant may see as The Catholic/Orthodox Church today. He even shuts down observance of day, festivals and not eating certain foods! (Fish Fridays anyone?)

Likewise, two other places where people are ‘worshiped’ but not as God. No extra context is given:

Rev 19:10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant { Greek b fellow bondservant b } with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God. " For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

And,

Acts 10:25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him.

26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am a man. "

Now, can we accuse these very devout men of thinking they worshiped Peter or the Angel as God? Or did they take their reverence too far? How can we know why there was a line drawn?

We can know that we’ve gone too far because other Catholics will often let us know that we’ve gone too far. It’s a part of human nature to worship. Yes, we can go too far in a direction that’s not conducive to spiritual growth, but we can depend on the teachings of the Church to guide us and put us back on the right track, if we sincerely pay attention to what she teaches. :slight_smile:

Cherry picking quotes out of context often leads to incomplete comprehension or misapprehension.

Have you read the Early Church Fathers?

The ambiguity and changing nature of a living language like English is why we often fall back on the ancient (dead) languages these discussions originally took place in, to carry out unambiguous discussions of these things. There is no point in showing that an English translation uses the word ‘worship’ somewhere, and taking that as evidence for worship meaning only one thing or the other, if you don’t look at the original words that are being translated.

I’m sure that if you’ve looked at some of the Catholic answers tracts on this topic, you’ll have seen some of the discussions of latria and dulia: nowhere does French come into the picture. Did the concepts of latria and dulia help clear any of this up for you?

Dulia is the reverence accorded to saints and angels.
Hyperdulia is the special veneration due only to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Latria is that worship and adoration that is ONLY to ONLY be offered to God ALONE

One cannot accidently worship.

Peace

Protestants have gotten into the annoying habit of nit-picking a narrow meaning of the word “worship” as well as the word “pray.” As the article from CA states (the link you posted) the word worship is an old word and has a broad meaning. People used to be called “Your Worship” quite commonly. People also used the word “pray” very broadly as well. “Pray” means “to request” or “to ask, petition, plead, entreaty.” It does not mean “worship.” You can still regularly find the word “pray” on legal documents (“We pray for a settlement”). Only in modern times has “pray” become solely synonymous with worshiping God. Only in modern times have both these words been shoved into a very tiny box, mainly by protestants who have no concept of linguistic history because their churches are so new. Our Church is 2000 years old. We do things the old way. The old way is not the new way.

Instead of focusing on the narrow meaning of words, why not simply ask Catholics how they view God, Jesus and the saints? Ask them what is going on in their heads when they are doing something that seems offensive to protestants. Ask them - “When you are praying to Mary, are you putting her on an equal level with God?”

You can debate the nuances of words until the cows come home but you’ll never get to the bottom of your concerns until you understand what a Catholic’s *intent *is. Your goal should be to try to understand what they are thinking when they do things that seem offensive, especially in the light of the historicity of the world’s oldest Church. Quibbling about the meaning of words will settle nothing.

Catholic cultural practices are not modern evangelical practices any more than Amish practices are the picture of modern American society. If you understand what Catholics are thinking when they are praying to saints, or kneeling before a statue of Mary, you’ll find they are not offensive at all, but are, like the Amish, simply *different *than what you’re used to.

Again, it’s not a matter of whether or not one is worshiping something as God. People can worship money or an idol/singer/saint without really thinking that they are worshiping said person, can they not?

Or would the argument be that it’s an impossibility to worship one without intention to go overboard?

Yes I looked, and I’m glad it got brought up twice.

When had these 3 different definitions of the word ‘worship’ first made an appearance? Thanks.

Intent is everything. Even a “mortal sin” in Catholicism is not a mortal sin for you if you are unaware of it. Your intent counts big-time.

I’m not sure what you’re asking. These words are not ‘definitions’ of the word ‘worship’ as such: they are words that were used in Greek and Latin to describe different things that we later translated into English with the broad word ‘worship’ (which is a little confusing) and then proceeded to change what the English word meant (as happens with living language).

It really helps if you avoid trying to translate them as ‘worship’ (an English word which, as an English-speaker, you bring your own interpretation to), and instead take them as new words whose meanings and uses you need to learn as a separate thing.

Douleia is Strong’s word #1397. It appears five times in the NT, and is translated “bondage” in the KJV (Rom 8:15,21; Gal 4:24, 5:1; Heb 2:15: none referring to God).

Latreia is Strong’s word #2999. It appears 5 times in the NT, and is translated “service” or “divine service” in the KJV - in reference to God (Jn 16:2; Rom 9:4, 12:1; Heb 9:1,6). It is related to cognate latreuo, Strong’s word #3000, usually rendered “serve” or “service.” It appears 21 times in the NT.

socrates58.blogspot.co.uk/2004/02/is-mary-worshiped-by-catholics-latria.html

A quick and dirty reference, but quicker than looking them up myself for you.

Christians seem to have made the distinction fairly early on: it’s in some of the Church Fathers, as I recall, but I’d have to look it up if you wanted details. But you could also look it up fairly easily yourself, in more detail than a forum post, if you’re interested. There’s a fair amount out there.

Dronald…you have to look at the roots of Christianity…Judaism…to know and understand how is God to be worshipped…through a sacrifice…the lamb in the OT…and now the Lamb of the NT.

I would say start there.

At what point is high reverence considered worship and no longer reverence?

We look to the Church for guidance…just as a protestant would look at his pastor, or his interpretation of the Bible…for guidance.

Indeed it is a big issue. The first thing we should do, always, is define our terms.

If this is our definition then we have to answer what is due to God alone? But we immediately have a problem. If worship is so defined then our conception of God determines what is due to God alone. If we disagree on that then we disagree as to what worship is. So really the problem is not over what worship is but the nature of divinity. So long as we disagree on that we can’t agree on what worship is. The problem would be most obvious between polytheists and monotheists. But it would also be a problem among monotheists who hold different beliefs. It would seem that worship is just a derivative problem of disagreement on the nature of God, which could also include the Communion of Saints or any other doctrinal belief.

Douleia = bondage is quite telling.

Rereading the Gospels and NT, reflecting on the OT reference to ‘bondage’ - compare that to the ‘yoke of bondage’ removed in our Lord… Do not be unequally yoked - do not be bound (bondage) to idols, etc…

In Christ, we are ‘bound’ to one another in Love, that even death transcends.

“The LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of bondage…”

From the House of Bondage (pre-Christ) to the being Bound in the Love of Christ!
(real freedom)
When seen in that light, it is so much more rich!

Since you brought up the BVM let me answer in her context:

  1. She is human. She is not to be worshipped as God.
  2. Everything about her and her stature is from God. Without Christ she is nothing.
  3. We do pay homage to her and view her as someone who:
    a. We should emulate for saying YES to God.
    b. Who can be the ultimate intercessor for us given her relationship with Christ.
  4. She plays a huge roll in salvation history and in the church. Please check out this short video that explains her roll as Queen of Heaven, the new Eve and Arc of the new Covenant. This should give you an understanding of her importance with regard to the battle against Satan. God Bless

youtube.com/watch?list=PLBB49D26866278F74&feature=c4-overview-vl&v=xg2OQ_iPTv8&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dxg2OQ_iPTv8&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLBB49D26866278F74&app=desktop

Douleia

Definition
slavery, bondage, the condition of a slave

δουλεία (Tdf. δουλια (see Iota)), δουλείας, ἡ, (δουλεύω); slavery, bondage, the condition of a slave: τῆς φθορᾶς, the bondage which consists in decay (Winers Grammar, § 59, 8 a., cf. Buttmann, 78 (68)), equivalent to the law, the necessity, of perishing, Romans 8:21; used of the slavish sense of fear, devoid alike of buoyancy of spirit and of trust in God, such as is produced by the thought of death, Hebrews 2:15, as well as by the Mosaic law in its votaries, Romans 8:15 (πνεῦμα δουλείας); the Mosaic system is said to cause δουλεία on account of the grievous burdens its precepts impose upon its adherents: Galatians 4:24; Galatians 5:1

This only confused me more as it’s supposed to relate to Saints, and even higher with Mary.

Tto have or express feelings of profound adoration. And to attend services of divine worship.

You have earlier predefined what worship is. To a deity. Mary and the saints are not deities. Hence worship will NEVER apply to them. Word play doesn’t change that fact. One can argue whether outward expressions can define worship. Short answer is not. Outward expressions do not reflect intent. One may petition Mary and the saints for assistance but they have never been worshiped as deities, as gods.

So then how do you explain:

Acts 10:25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him.

26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am a man. "

Rev 19:10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant { Greek b fellow bondservant b } with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God. " For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Colossians 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, { Or b about the things he has seen b } puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations –

21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”

22 ( referring to things that all perish as they are used ) – according to human precepts and teachings?

23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

dulia noun: (in Roman Catholic theology) the reverence accorded to saints and angels.

Latria is a theological term (Latin Latrīa, from the Greek λατρεία, latreia) used in Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic theology to mean adoration, a reverence directed only to the Holy Trinity. Latria carries an emphasis on the internal form of worship, rather than external ceremonies.

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