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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.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; mary; rcc; romancatholic
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To: wagglebee

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?


11,801 posted on 12/08/2010 12:31:18 PM PST by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: Mad Dawg; Quix
U-2012>Are the terms Father and Son metaphors ?

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.

First it is a pleasure to dialogue with a scholastic.

I personally do not like analogies as it does not limit the scope.

analogy |əˈnaləjē|
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.

metaphor |ˈmetəˌfôr; -fər|
noun
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
and metaphor.

That said, I prefer to describe the terms Father and Son as Metaphors
because they describe things that we know in this world.

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.

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
11,802 posted on 12/08/2010 1:22:43 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012
Who are we, created beings, to DEFINE the creator of the universe, creator of all time and all space

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 ...

11,803 posted on 12/08/2010 2:11:21 PM PST by RnMomof7 (Gal 4:16 asks "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?")
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To: Quix; UriĀ’el-2012
Uri’el-2012; & Roamer_1;
What do you do with the huge issue of whether
JESUS THE CHRIST CAME IN THE FLESH?

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.

(e-Sword: KJV)

How does one justify altering the greatest commandment, as given by the lips of Christ Himself?

11,804 posted on 12/08/2010 2:44:02 PM PST by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: RnMomof7
One of the definitions of Christianity is that it is trinitarian ...

Perhaps it occurred after the Pagan Pontiff
Constantine at Nicea ruled that all Jews were Evil.

No one seemed to care that Yah'shua was,
is and will always be a Jew.

I seriously doubt it occurred in the First Century.

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
11,805 posted on 12/08/2010 2:55:14 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: wagglebee; Hegewisch Dupa; Cronos; metmom; RnMomof7
U-2012>YHvH has preserved His remnant of First Century believers to share His Good News.

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
11,806 posted on 12/08/2010 3:00:24 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: wagglebee; Hegewisch Dupa; Cronos; metmom; RnMomof7
U-2012>I'm not sure what will happen to the believers of the fourth century Nicea chaired by the Pagan Pontiff Constantine.

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.

Pontiff is a Pagan term for the head
of the pagan state religion from
~300 BCE through ~400 CE.

The question you need to ask yourself
is why did the leader of the ROMAN "church"
take on the trappings of Paganism
from Babylon by way of Pergamon ?

See Revelation 2:12-14

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
11,807 posted on 12/08/2010 3:12:34 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: roamer_1; Quix
How does one justify altering the greatest commandment, as given by the lips of Christ Himself?

Amen !! Brother.
Mark 12:29 Jesus answered, "The foremost is,
'HEAR, O ISRAEL! YHvH OUR Elohim IS ONE YHvH;
shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
11,808 posted on 12/08/2010 3:41:10 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: Gamecock
hehehe

Thanks; that posting was quite some time ago. Funny how some things don't change all that much, yet others do...

11,809 posted on 12/08/2010 5:36:15 PM PST by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so..)
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To: Mad Dawg; UriĀ’el-2012; Quix
But, in my experience FWIW, there's a wonderful thing that happens. I start by saying something like, "God is kind of like a father," [...]

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.

11,810 posted on 12/08/2010 6:32:13 PM PST by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: Mad Dawg

i agree. well put.


11,811 posted on 12/08/2010 7:07:24 PM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Quix

Thank you for sharing your testimony, dear brother in Christ!


11,812 posted on 12/08/2010 7:54:37 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl

Thanks for your kind reply.


11,813 posted on 12/08/2010 8:48:05 PM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: roamer_1

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.


11,814 posted on 12/08/2010 10:52:07 PM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Mad Dawg
“hypostatc union” is used to describe the idea that two “natures”, human and divine, are united in one person, that of Jesus Christ.

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"...

11,815 posted on 12/09/2010 12:27:24 AM PST by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

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.


11,816 posted on 12/09/2010 3:21:37 AM PST by Cronos (Et Verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobis (W Szczebrzeszynie chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie))
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

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?


11,817 posted on 12/09/2010 3:23:38 AM PST by Cronos (Et Verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobis (W Szczebrzeszynie chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie))
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To: roamer_1
It is the notion of "co-equal hypostases" that I was meaning to describe... The idea of "three" co-equally in "one"...

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?"

11,818 posted on 12/09/2010 8:40:06 AM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012
First it is a pleasure to dialogue with a scholastic.

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.
"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."
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.

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.

11,819 posted on 12/09/2010 8:56:17 AM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: roamer_1
That makes no sense.

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.

11,820 posted on 12/09/2010 9:43:07 AM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012
First it is a pleasure to dialogue with a scholastic.

Also, kindly note that I am NOT referring to the people that publish the Weekly Reader which we used to get when I was in elementary school (shortly after the discovery of fire) and which now, I read to my distress, is publishing novellas for 'tweens' that feature parents shacking up and so forth.

If this isn't the end times, I want my money back.

11,821 posted on 12/09/2010 9:47:55 AM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Mad Dawg
When discussing Trinitarianism, I recommend "Corn - sub- whaddyacallit - Stanchul, knowuhmean?"

**screws in stink-eye* *looks suspiciously* Yer accent is weird... are y'all a citified yankee actin' redneck, or didja lose part of yer tongue to too much tobacca?

[...] Hahperstadick," and then spit [...]

*smiles knowingly* Whoops! Nevermind... I see... *nods approvingly*

11,822 posted on 12/09/2010 1:58:55 PM PST by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: roamer_1
are y'all a citified yankee actin' redneck,

Almost guilty. Raised in NY (but country, NY, not city -- always hated the city) but did total immersion for 4 years in Mississippi and then tore up thousand dollar bills farming in central Virginia for 20 years.

or didja lose part of yer tongue to too much tobacca?

Not yet. Talkin' 'round the chaw gets a mite tricky sometimes, though, especially when the subject is Aristotle or Heidegger. Yew try sayin' "anundfursichkeit," without swallerin' yer plug.

11,823 posted on 12/09/2010 6:26:58 PM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Mad Dawg
The only think I would pick at there is "(of whole cloth.)"

But it IS of whole cloth. There is very little evidence asserting a co-equal trinity, and there is MUCH evidence available to dissenters...

(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 ...)

Try this: Leap up, run around the room at least twice (to get breathless), throwing your arms up over your head in panic as you flee the room, while shouting the magic word, followed by the problem: WIFE!! CAT PUKE!!!

When you return, the cat-puke fairy will have come and removed all traces... It's almost miraculous...

Sometimes, if your quick enough (like when the cat first starts it's huck-motor), the entire cat may be mysteriously removed without having puked at all! Never fear, though... The cat is not gone for good... it will reappear sometime later, being in perfect health.

You will have to take your actual wife out to dinner, or something, for using her title to invoke the cat-puke fairy - it is an unfortunate coincidence that the magic word just happens to be "WIFE," which invariably causes the actual wife to become inordinately angry for some reason (mine seems to guard that title vociferously)... thus some pittance must be paid to placate her... But in the end, it is well worth it.

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."

Thanks for putting quotes around those scribbely marks. It made it SO much easier when feeding them into my search engine to decode their meaning...

Just because opposing statements exist, one need not make something up to explain the opposing parts - Evidence is required. As far as the evidence is presented is likely as far as one should go... To do otherwise is to invite blasphemy.

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...."

The fact of the matter is this: WE DON'T KNOW. We have no idea wrt the mechanics involved within the Godhead... So we shouldn't define try to them. The lion's share of those who follow the Nazarene, from Messianic Judaism all the way through Protestants and Rome/Orthodox, do not deny the divinity of the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost, which we DO have proof for. What IS divisive is the manner in which that divinity is ordered.

Those who would prefer an hierarchical order within the Godhead - a position which seems much easier to prove by the Book - are ostracized and removed from within the general Christian sphere, even though their position is opinioned upon evidences equally as strong (if not more so) as the trinitarian view. What hubris allows no dissent?

And others (like myself), who believe the Torah to be irrevocable, and that it must be reconciled within the proper view of the New Covenant, are trying to return to the historical description of YHWH (because YHWH said, and Christ said...). Such as these are laughed out of the park, even thought they are relying upon the direct declaration of the Father. It_is_Impossible for the conclusion to be any other.

It occurs to me that "settled" doctrine should not be settled, unless the evidence is overwhelmingly direct. Sola-scriptura dictates such a position, as does common sense.

The Father set forth His "metaphors." He has declared the means and methods. Why must we forever try to color outside of those lines? One can say that the entirety of scripture points to Christ, but many seem to forget: Christ inerrantly points to the Father ALONE.

This describes the final solution to the problem... the very end game:

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
1Co 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
1Co 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

(e-Sword:KJV)

11,824 posted on 12/10/2010 4:59:06 AM PST by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: Mad Dawg
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.

(Missed this part)

Indeed, that is a question of great merit... But in admitting a "place" for human reason, prudence requires an unflinching look at the errata: Evolution, Globull Warming, The European Crusades, Keynesian Econnomics, Communism, Pimento-filled olives, Brylcreme...

To wit: Small mistakes in reason can have disastrous results.

11,825 posted on 12/10/2010 5:16:55 AM PST by roamer_1 (Globalism is just Socialism in a business suit)
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To: roamer_1

In the final agonies of preparing a “talk” I’m spoze to give tomorrow.

Appreciate advice on cat. Inexplicably, wife was not there to respond to my alert. Consarned feminisds.

When talk incapable of being made worse and I’m done laughing at these posts I’ll TRY to come up with something reasonable to say. No hope of that now.


11,826 posted on 12/10/2010 9:24:48 AM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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