Skip to comments.The Worship of Mary? (An Observation)
Posted on 05/30/2008 10:21:34 AM PDT by Ultra Sonic 007
Some of you will remember my recent decision to become a Catholic. I suppose I should be surprised it ended getting derailed into a 'Catholic vs. Protestant' thread, but after going further into the Religion forum, I suppose it's par for the course.
There seems to be a bit of big issue concerning Mary. I wanted to share an observation of sorts.
Now...although I was formerly going by 'Sola Scriptura', my father was born and raised Catholic, so I do have some knowledge of Catholic doctrine (not enough, at any rate...so consider all observations thusly).
Mary as a 'co-redeemer', Mary as someone to intercede for us with regards to our Lord Jesus.
Now...I can definitely see how this would raise some hairs. After all, Jesus Himself said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that none come to the Father but through Him. I completely agree.
I do notice a bit of a fundamental difference in perception though. Call it a conflict of POV. Do Catholics worship Mary (as I've seen a number of Protestants proclaim), or do they rather respect and venerate her (as I've seen Catholics claim)? Note that it's one thing to regard someone with reverence; I revere President Bush as the noted leader of the free world. I revere my father. I revere Dr. O'Neil, a humorous and brilliant math teacher at my university. It's an act of respect.
But do I WORSHIP them?
No. Big difference between respecting/revering and worshiping. At least, that's how I view it.
I suppose it's also a foible to ask Mary to pray for us, on our behalf...but don't we tend to also ask other people to pray for us? Doesn't President Bush ask for people to pray for him? Don't we ask our family members to pray for us for protection while on a trip? I don't see quite a big disconnect between that and asking Mary to help pray for our wellbeing.
There is some question to the fact that she is physically dead. Though it stands to consider that she is still alive, in Heaven. Is it not common practice to not just regard our physical life, but to regard most of all our spirit, our soul? That which survives the flesh before ascending to Heaven or descending to Hell after God's judgment?
I don't think it's that big of a deal. I could change my mind after reading more in-depth, but I don't think that the Catholic Church has decreed via papal infallibility that Mary is to be placed on a higher pedestal than Jesus, or even to be His equal.
Do I think she is someone to be revered and respected? Certainly. She is the mother of Jesus, who knew Him for His entire life as a human on Earth. Given that He respected her (for He came to fulfill the old laws; including 'Honor Thy Father and Mother'), I don't think it's unnatural for other humans to do the same. I think it's somewhat presumptuous to regard it on the same level as idolatry or supplanting Jesus with another.
In a way, I guess the way Catholics treat Mary and the saints is similar to how the masses treated the Apostles following the Resurrection and Jesus's Ascension: people who are considered holy in that they have a deep connection with Jesus and His Word, His Teachings, His Message. As the Apostles spread the Good News and are remembered and revered to this day for their work, so to are the works of those sainted remembered and revered. Likewise with Mary. Are the Apostles worshiped? No. That's how it holds with Mary and the saints.
At least, that's how my initial thoughts on the subject are. I'll have to do more reading.
it does draw an interesting line in the sand - those Christians who view the nature and understand of God as more important than spewing hate towards Catholics will certainly be offended by his accusations of their paganess. Those who don’t, well, says an awful lot about them, doesn’t it?
I think not exactly metaphors. I think analogies.
All our language is informed by created things processed through created organs of sense and mulled over by created minds. There can be no language or "concept" adequate to uncreated Reality.
It does NOT follow though that no analogy is better or worse than any other.
I personally do not like analogies as it does not limit the scope. metaphor |ˈmetəˌfôr; -fər| That said, I prefer to describe the terms Father and Son as Metaphors YHvH and Yah'shua are not of this world and are therefore not literally applicable. I'll address the rest of your points later today when I have some more time.
First it is a pleasure to dialogue with a scholastic. shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
noun ( pl. -gies)
a comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose
of explanation or clarification : an analogy between the workings of
nature and those of human societies | he interprets logical functions by analogy with machines.
a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action
to which it is not literally applicable : I had fallen through a trapdoor of depression,
said Mark, who was fond of theatrical metaphors | her poetry depends on suggestion
because they describe things that we know in this world.
I personally do not like analogies as it does not limit the scope.
metaphor |ˈmetəˌfôr; -fər|
That said, I prefer to describe the terms Father and Son as Metaphors
YHvH and Yah'shua are not of this world and are therefore not literally applicable.
I'll address the rest of your points later today when I have some more time.
Doctrine is the expression of what we believe.. so my friend , you have a doctrine as much as Catholics or Presbyterians..
Our Doctrine informs our faith.. it informs how we read the scriptures.. Jesus taught doctrine and He felt sound doctrine was important .. We need not to minimize it
One of the definitions of Christianity is that it is trinitarian ...
How can it distract from it?
The trinitarian construction merely creates a division where one is not necessary - The OT description of the Anointed One is as the strong right arm of YHWH... Of what necessity must we dissect the Arm from the Being?
Mar 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
How does one justify altering the greatest commandment, as given by the lips of Christ Himself?
No one seemed to care that Yah'shua was, I seriously doubt it occurred in the First Century.
Perhaps it occurred after the Pagan Pontiff shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
Constantine at Nicea ruled that all Jews were Evil.
is and will always be a Jew.
No one seemed to care that Yah'shua was,
I seriously doubt it occurred in the First Century.
An interesting fantasy for which there is no proof whatsoever.
What EXACTLY is this group of non-Trinitarians that you claim has existed since the first century? Give us a name.
Peter, Paul, Matthew, James, Jude, Luke etc shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
I don't know who told you this nonsense, but they were wrong.
For starters, there is NO LIST of Popes that suggests that the Church has ever considered Constantine the Great a pope.
The question you need to ask yourself See Revelation 2:12-14
Pontiff is a Pagan term for the head shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
of the pagan state religion from
~300 BCE through ~400 CE.
is why did the leader of the ROMAN "church"
take on the trappings of Paganism
from Babylon by way of Pergamon ?
The question you need to ask yourself
See Revelation 2:12-14
Amen !! Brother. shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
Mark 12:29 Jesus answered, "The foremost is,
'HEAR, O ISRAEL! YHvH OUR Elohim IS ONE YHvH;
Thanks; that posting was quite some time ago. Funny how some things don't change all that much, yet others do...
That is perfectly OK, because Jehovah has given us that analogy/metaphor
It is in His will, and He prefers that we think of Him as "Father," as He Himself has declared it.
He has *not* declared Himself a co-equal hypostatic union. That is a tradition of men, a fanciful construct which remains unprovable (primarily because it is a false construct to begin with).
So all the language about one "substance" but three "persons" (or one "ousia" and three "hypostases" is to provide a vocabulary which allows us to say,
No, That is not it - It has become a definition of what God IS, and it has become a method of exclusion, wherein if one does not subscribe to the Roman definition of "trinity", one is outside of Christianity. It is one thing to extrapolate a theory... It is quite another to consider that theoretical extrapolation as an infallible fact, and then beat people with it.
The Bible does *not* define a Christian by his belief or disbelief in an hypostatic union. Why do you (y'all)?
[...]which allows us to say, "In the most fundamental sense 'they' are one, but in a subordinate but nonetheless real sense 'that one' is truly three."
That makes no sense. and in creating (of whole cloth) a definition that makes no sense, one invariably causes dissent... beginning with the wholesale discrediting of the Hebrew definition of YHWH which predates Rome by thousands of years.
It is best in my mind to let the Father define the parameters wrt who He is, what He is, and how He is to be worshiped. That definition has never changed, despite what His presumed agents (as opposed to true agents) have done to change it.
To be sure, there is language to build a comparison between God and a prune danish... but that doesn't make Him a prune danish.
i agree. well put.
Thank you for sharing your testimony, dear brother in Christ!
Thanks for your kind reply.
Just a note: from the, what, “stance” of us roaming calflicks and, I’d guess, of most “orthodox” Trinitarians, the expression “hypostatc union” is used to describe the idea that two “natures”, human and divine, are united in one person, that of Jesus Christ.
Usually the “fighting words” in classical Trinitarianism are “consubstantial” or “homousios”, which is used to say that the Son and the Spirit are “the same kind of thing” as the Father.
Forgive the error - I speak redneck IRL, so I don't haul out the multi-syllabic words very often :P
It is the notion of "co-equal hypostases" that I was meaning to describe... The idea of "three" co-equally in "one"...
Woo hoo! So now you think that because a term is used by other religions, it’s wrong? So do you say that “head priest” as the ancient Jews used it was pagan because even the priests of Ba’al had the same term? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard today. No wonder we have idiots who deny the divinity of Christ and the Trinity over here making silly hashem, bashem, tracshem statements.
btw, why does your cult of British-Israelism believe that the Anglo-Saxons are the lost tribes of Israel? And also, why does your cult deny the divinity of Christ and the Trinity?
Yeah. I thought that was probably it.
I find it helps my 'cred' at the co-op if I say, "Hahperstadick," and then spit -- when discussing Christology.
When discussing Trinitarianism, I recommend "Corn - sub- whaddyacallit - Stanchul, knowuhmean?"
Thank you. Full disclosure: Please note that I didn't say I was any good at it.
As to analogies about God in general, I wonder if it would help to take the sting off a little if I mention this: On those rare occasions when they let me teach I almost always say at the start,
"Whatever we try to say about God is probably more wrong than it is right. We can't begin to comprehend Him. "Heaven cannot contain Him!" Oneness itself is beyond the capacity and experience of humans who like to 'take apart', to 'analyze', who call something an 'atom' (which means 'uncuttable') and then find innumerable 'sub-atomic' parts to this thing said to have no parts.And I think I mentioned my experience that when I called God (following our Lord) "Father," what happened (over decades) was that I did in fact, over time, get a new notion of fatherhood and came to see that I am not a father the way God is. I am just kind of like a father.
"So, to say, for instance, with John that God is love, is not so much to say something about God as to open ourselves -- if we are open to Him -- to a new understanding of love, which may come to us very slowly."
Clearly I don't think theology is utterly useless, and indeed some points may be worth going to the mat for. I think it's Tom Sowell who says that all analogies are valid with respect to the similarities between things and invalid with respect to their differences. So from my POV we are doomed to analogies, but we must use them with circumspection and prudence and LOTS of checking. I am definitely not a cynic (despite my Frname - "cynic" = "doglike"), but I am definitely a skeptic in the theological enterprise.
Oh. Wait. So now we're supposed to make SENSE? Where does it say THAT in the course catalogue. I need to speak to my advisor.
and in creating (of whole cloth) a definition that makes no sense, one invariably causes dissent... beginning with the wholesale discrediting of the Hebrew definition of YHWH which predates Rome by thousands of years.
The only think I would pick at there is "(of whole cloth.)"
(NOTHING makes life more delightful than the cat puking on the rug when one is trying to condense the history of Trinitarian thought up to Nicea into a paragraph, believe me ...)
I think the 'teachers' (whoever they were) of the early Church were struggling to hold in their minds the ringing declaration of the Shema AND, for just one example, Thomas's "Ο κυριος μου και ο θεος μου."
Was Thomas blaspheming? Was he wrong? Was Jesus NOT God or was he a demigod, a created being? Or when he said, "I and the father are one," how should that be taken, especially in the context of, say, John,5:19 — Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise...."
That kind of thing was the problem, and the Gospel was being preached into a culture which for hundreds of years had asked questions about "Same and other", "The one and the many", and so forth.
Of course, the big hulking question looming over the whole thing like Banquo's ghost is the question of human reason and what, if anything, it is good for.