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Catholic Defenses - Issue 1 - Praying to Mary

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by Chris†opher Paul, Aug 27, 2002.

  1. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    Why do Catholics pray to Mary?

    We don't pray to Mary thinking that we are praying to God, because that would be worship.  Mary is not God. We do ask Mary to pray for us. Just like we ask saints to pray for us. Just like you'd ask a friend or your pastor to pray for you.

    Didn't Christ promise us eternal life? Can one be dead in heaven? No. Absolutely not. You see, Mary, the saints, people who have passed away and are in heaven are all alive. If not, Christ's promise to us of eternal life would be a lie.

    So, if we can agree that those we believe to be in heaven are, in fact, still full of life, as Christ promised, and we can agree on the fact it's okay to ask someone to pray for us, then We can agree that there is nothing wrong with asking Mary to pray for us.


    Why does Mary get special honor?

    Well, God chose Mary before every other woman on earth to be the mother of Jesus. Why do the apostles get special honor? They were chosen by God. If God honored her, what's wrong with us honoring her?
     
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  2. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    +33
    Jehovahs Witness


    Would you pray to your pastor to pray for you?

    Just a few points to take into consideration when deciding on the rights or wrongs of this.

    When the Gentile Cornelius bowed reverently to the apostle Peter, note what happened: “As Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell down at his feet and did obeisance to him. But Peter lifted him up, saying: ‘Rise; I myself am also a man.’” (Acts 10:25, 26) Bowing worshipfully to a human was improper, and Peter would not accept it. Also, after receiving a vision from an angel, the apostle John reports: “I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel that had been showing me these things. But he tells me: ‘Be careful! Do not do that! All I am is a fellow slave of you and of your brothers who are prophets and of those who are observing the words of this scroll. Worship God.’” (Revelation 22:8, 9) If not even an angel of God is to be worshiped, how much less humans or images of them.

    That such devotion to Mary may result in improper worship is acknowledged by The Catholic Encyclopedia. An early edition of this work stated: “That popular devotion to the Blessed Virgin was often attended with extravagance and abuses, it is impossible to deny.”

    What about praying to Jesus’ earthly mother Mary or to particular saints for them to “intercede” with God on one’s behalf? The Bible’s direct answer is: “There is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus.”  1 Tim. 2:5, Je.

    Praying to Mary ignores what Jesus taught, that “no one can come to the Father except through [him].” Thus, the Rosary and Mary are not God’s way to approach Him in prayer.
     
  3. Warrior4Jah

    Warrior4Jah Conservative on a mission

    285
    +0
    Petty argument like this are only a waste of time brothers. We are one in chris, and it shouldnt matter how we choose to live for HIM, there is no need to be hostile to one another, or argue about what another believes. Catholics, Protestants, its all christianity and we all live for Christ and thats all that matter.
     
  4. findtbax

    findtbax Tim Mo

    420
    +1
     i used to believe that, and things, but protestants and catholics are not on the same page, if catholics believe most of the way into Heaven is by works and praying to idols, this will not be the case and they will find out
     
  5. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    lightbearer-

    Did you read my posts carefully? I said that worshipping anyone other than God is wrong.
     
  6. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    Catholics don't pray to idols.  Catholics don't think that the way to Heaven is through doing good deeds. :sigh:
     
  7. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    +33
    Jehovahs Witness
    I appreciate what you say. I was only giving examples of how attempts at worshipful address to others rather than the Father were rejected.

    Jesus is “the way.” The one and only approach to God in prayer is through Jesus Christ. Jesus himself assures his disciples that the Father will give them whatever they ask in Jesus’ name not Mary’s or any other . (John 15:16) Prayers directed to icons or religious “saints” or replete with Ave Marias and repetitious chanting—none of these are heard and accepted by the Father. Further, concerning Jesus, we read at Acts 4:12: “There is not another name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved.”
     
  8. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    I'd ask him to, which is the same as praying to a "dead" person, since I can't personally ask someone who has died. Again, those in Heaven are not truly dead, and the way to ask them, is through prayer.
     
  9. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    Quite true, my brotha. Only Jesus saves. Catholics believe nothing different.
     
  10. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

    +2,518
    United States
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    Good job of exegesis. :) You fail to mention passages such as Genesis 19:1 and Joshua 5:14, which appear to corroborate the practice as much as the other passages condemn it, but a good job of exegesis nevertheless.

    Keep in mind, however, that the Catholic Church interprets the written Word of God (Holy Scripture) and the spoken Word of God (Sacred Tradition) in light of each other, while Protestants interpret Holy Scripture in light of itself; ergo, it is not surprising that there will be a variation in the interpetation of Scriptural passages. It also highlights that simply because a Catholic practice or doctrine is not overtly spelled out in Scripture, it does not automatically negate the veracity of the practice or doctrine.
    Yes, but notice that the quote says nothing against the proper devotion to Mary----only the improper devotion to her. What would constitute proper or improper devotion, of course, will again vary between Catholics and Protestants. There is also the matter of the difference between devotion and worship, which many Protestants confuse.
    If 1 Timothy 2:5 is to be taken in the way that you are putting it forth (that Jesus is the only one mediating for us with the Father), then passages such as Rom 15:30, Col 4:3, 1 Thes 5:25, 2 Thes 3:1, 1 Tim 2:1, et al are negated, are they not? If Jesus is the only one praying for us, why are we enjoined to pray for one another?

    There are two answers to this: one is that while there is one Mediator (Jesus), there can be any number of intercessors. The second part is, what does Jesus' position of "Mediator" mean?

    Other verses, such as Hebrews 8:9, 9:15, and 12:24 give you the answer. In these verses, Jesus is described as the "Mediator of the New Covenant". The New Covenant, of course, is God's plan of salvation through Christ, offered to all of us.

    Ergo, 1 Timothy 2:5 does not mean that Jesus is the only one taking our prayers to God; it is rather that He is the only one bringing God's new covenant to us. In short, 1 Timothy 2:5 does not say what it is usually quoted as saying. The overall Scriptural context does not support it.
    Mary always points to Jesus---never to herself; and the complete body of Catholic teaching about her bears this out. Mary's entire ministry in the life of the Christian is best summed up in her own words in John 2:5---"Do whatever He tells you."
    There are many types of prayer; the Rosary is a devotional, meditative prayer, which is more for the benefit of the one praying than it is for addressing God in supplication. For a better understanding of what the Rosary is really all about, see Post #7 in this thread: http://www.christianforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=12925.
    Catholics do not worship saints. When we address a saint, it is always in the form of a request to ask them to pray for us, the same way you'd call up your mother on the phone and ask her to pray for you. We do not ask a saint to save us, or to forgive our sins, or to do any other thing for us that only God can do for us; we only ask them to help us by praying to God for us and with us.
    We don't pray in Mary's name. We ask Mary to pray with us in Jesus' name. :)
    We also don't pray to icons or statues; we pray to the saint whom the icon or statue represents. As for repetitious prayers, notice Jesus' words in Matthew 6:7: "use not vain repetitions". The key word here is vain, not "repetitions". Jesus pointed out that the prayers of the heathens are vain, because they are directed at idols, not at the one true God. There is no injunction against repetitious prayer; if there was, then Jesus Himself would have been wrong when He prayed the same prayer over and over again in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44).
    You know this for a fact? God has told you this? You are privy to which prayers God hears and which ones He doesn't? :eek:
    Agreed. However, as I pointed out, since we do not ask saints to procure our salvation, this quote on the subject at hand is more or less irrelevant.

    My statements here are those of a Catholic, from the standpoint of the Catholic Church. You are under no compulsion to agree with them and are free to dismiss them as you like. :) I realize there are varying viewpoints, and only offer my explanations as a clarification of the Catholic viewpoint. Your mileage may vary. ;)
     
  11. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    "It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you."

    That is the actual quote, which does not exclude asking Saints, Mary, or even our friends to also ask Jesus to help us.  Be careful to understand correctly, friend, Catholics do not think anyone but Jesus answers prayers.
     
  12. suzie

    suzie Senior Member

    861
    +30
    Christian
    This issue of Mary is very confusing to the noncatholic for they see this as a form of idol worship. To "us" the noncatholic, to pray to Mary, create shrines and statues in honor of her, kneel before them in prayer, pray the rosary,liturgical feasts,novenas, venerations and devotions to her, this would indicate idol worship to us. To them, this is honoring her.

    The Catholics believe that Mary was sinless, and that is why they cannot hold to the belief that she had other children as noncatholics do, but was a perpetual virgin. That would take away from her divinity they believe she has. They believe she rose bodily to heaven. They exalt her above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son. They believe because of her exalted position that she is able to approach the Son with requests and positions from her followers. She is to them the "Mother of God" and "Queen over all things".

    The reason it is difficult for us to understand their basis for this, is because noncatholic christians hold scripture as authority The catholics however hold tradition as equal to scripture and use tradition as well to qualify scripture. That is why many times you will get a quote from the vatican or early church father in response to a question.
    The Catholics believe that they are the one true church and the first church and so they believe they are "right" so to speak, for within the scope of tradition, many doctrines have been "revealed" to the church over the centuries. The problem comes when you think if you can just explain your position then we would be understood. Although that sounds like a noble plan, it is very difficult because the base of our authority is different. Noncatholic Christians will continue to use scriptural basis to challenge Catholic doctrine, and Catholics will use tradtional thought to bring light to their teachings which the noncatholic christians cannot hold as God's truth since it came from man in their eyes. When noncatholic Christians disagree on nonessential issues of faith, we are both debating from the same source. We may bring Greek or Hebrew and cultural context into the discussion, but the basis of authority is the bible. I am not saying this to try to bash Catholics, for I was raised Catholic, and continue to have many friends within the Catholic Church. I love them and care deeply for them. However, I have great difficulty discussing Christian issues with them for the reason I have stated and I hope that this will help other noncatholics to understand where they are coming from.
     
  13. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    Please backup this statement. Mary is not divine, nor do we think she is divine. Document or retract.

    No offense, sister, but you seem to have a misunderstanding of our beliefs, which is why you don't know where we are coming from...I would be glad to enlighten you.
     
  14. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    +33
    Jehovahs Witness
    Wolsely:

    Firstly. As for the "Spoken Tradition" they do not hold fast to the Bible’s teachings, having violated the rule: “Do not go beyond the things that are written.” 1 Corinthians 4:6; see also Matthew 15:3, 9, 14.

    Secondly. Jesus does not pray to the father for us, he has no need to being in his presence.

    Thirdly. Whatever your reason for praying to Mary or the saints it still violates the direction of Jesus to address all prayer to the Father only.
     
  15. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
     
  16. LightBearer

    LightBearer Veteran

    +33
    Jehovahs Witness
    When Jesus' followers asked him to teach them how to pray he taught them you must pray this way "Our Father"

    This according to Jesus is the only and correct way to pray. All prayers are addressed to the Father.

    Anyway I think we shall have to agree to differ.

    Peace.

    Lightbearer.
     
  17. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    What about this?

    Not only that, but when "Do not go beyond the things that are written" was WRITTEN, there was no New Testament. So, by your own interpretation, the New Testament is not valid.



    Peace,
    ~VOW
     
  18. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

    +2,518
    United States
    Catholic
    Married
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    suzie: your post was pretty much on target, with a couple of nitpicks. :)
    We do not believe Mary is divine. Divinity belongs to God alone; while we may venerate Mary, and pay respect to her, she is not divine, and she is not an object of worship.
    This is shade inaccurate. Sacred Tradition, also called Apostolic Tradition, was the oral teaching of the Apostles, which they received from the Holy Spirit. Some of this teaching was eventually written down and became the New Testament; some of it remained in oral form, passed down to each generation in the Church by word of mouth. Most of that was eventually mentioned in Patristic writings and conciliar documents. However, Tradition ceased to be compiled with the death of the Apostle John, just as Scripture ceased to be written with the death of the Apostle John. Tradition may be defined--- that is, explained or clarified, by Pontiffs and councils, but nothing "new" is ever "revealed".

    Lightbearer:
    1 Corinthians was written in approximately 55 AD; if Paul was telling the Corinthians "not to go beyond what was written" at that time, they would have the Old Testament, and the books of Galatians, James, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, and 1 Corinthians. The remaining 22 books of the New Testament, including the four Gospels, had not been written yet.

    Matthew 5:9 deals with Jewish tradition, not Christian or Catholic Tradition. Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, not to the Pope. ;)

    Finally, we have Paul's instructions regarding Tradition:

    "I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you." (1 Corinthians 11:2)

    "Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours." (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

    "We instruct you, brothers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who conducts himself in a disorderly way and nor according to the tradition they received from us." (2 Thessalonians 3:6).
    Poor wording on my part. My point is that if Jesus is the only mediator, then it is foolish for us to mediate for one another by praying for each other.
    Only if one is adhering to the concept of sola Scriptura, and only if one is also adhering to the Protestant interpretation of Scripture. :)
    So you are saying that we cannot pray to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit, but only to the Father alone?

    Again, the practice of praying to saints goes back to the late 1st, early 2nd century; inscriptions of Christian tombs in the Roman catacombs invoke the saints, asking them to pray for the departed one. Hippolytus, Jerome, Augustine, and others not only mention praying to saints, but defend and uphold the practice.
    I think you're probably right. :)
     
  19. suzie

    suzie Senior Member

    861
    +30
    Christian
    I am speaking about the God-like qualities that Catholics give to Mary that would place her as separate from what noncatholics perseve Mary as,that is,fully human. Catholics believe Mary was without sin. Immaculate conception that she was born without sin and lived sinless. The noncatholics attribute this only to Christ, who was fully human and fully divine. The Catholic Church has said such things as "Mary suffered with Christ and nearly died with Him when He died, thus she might rightly be said to have redeemed the human race with Christ." "No one can approach Christ except through his mother." "My salvation depends on Mary's mediation and union in Christ, because of her exalted position as Mediatrix of all grace." "Mary's intercession continues to win for us the gift of eternal salvation." "At the command of Mary all obey, even God. She is omnipotent, for the queen, according to all laws, enjoys the same privileges as the king; and since the son's power also belongs to the mother, this Mother is made omnipotent by an omnipotent Son." These types of statements when seen by the noncatholic show a God-like charactaristics are given to Mary. To the noncatholic Mary was an blessed obedient servant who was fully human and in need of a savior also.

    Although I appreciate your offer, I have been enlightened by the Catholic Church much of my life. I do not think I misunderstand the Catholic stand.
     
  20. Wolseley

    Wolseley Beaucoup-Diên-Cai-Dāu

    +2,518
    United States
    Catholic
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    Much of the material you quote is devotional material, which is not the same thing as doctrine, and should not be considered such; but I agree with you that Marian theology is vastly misunderstood by most Protestants, and more than a few Catholics. :)
     
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