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Praying to Mary - A Biblical Defense

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by PanDeVida, Aug 7, 2017.

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  1. kepha31

    kepha31 Regular Member

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    Does your constant posting of anti-Catholic propaganda make it true?
    That's 5 topics in one paragraph. The historic Christian practice of asking our departed brothers and sisters in Christ—the saints—for their intercession has come under attack in the last few hundred years. Though the practice dates to the earliest days of Christianity and is shared by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, the other Eastern Christians, and even some Anglicans—meaning that all-told it is shared by more than three quarters of the Christians on earthit still comes under heavy attack from many within the Protestant movement that started in the sixteenth century. Praying to the Saints | Catholic Answers
    In other words, this attack is a false man made tradition.
    No, it is not entirely absent from Scripture.
    Dialogue: "Why pray to a saint rather than to God?"
    Prayers to saints is not mandatory, not a "supreme law". You are being vicious.

    The Bereans were Greek Pharisees and had accepted the Greek Deuterocanon as Scripture 200 years before Christ, the books rejected by human opinion. You can reject the Deuterocanon as Scripture if you want, I don't care. But you are forced to reject the Jewish history that goes with it. That's why you cannot, or will not, come to terms with the Jewish origins of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints.
    a Catholic invention.
    This is a misrepresentation. The "Berlin Wall" you have erected dividing heaven from earth is not biblical.
    In Revelation 5:8, the “twenty-four elders” (usually regarded by commentators as dead human beings) “fell down before the Lamb . . . with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” They appear to have other people’s prayers, to present to God. So the obvious question is: what are they doing with them? Why does Revelation present dead saints presenting the prayers of other saints to God? You have lots of verses but no answers.

    If they have them, it stands to reason as a rather straightforward deduction, that they heard the initial prayers as well, or at least were granted knowledge of them in some fashion, granted ultimately through the power of God. Revelation 8:3-4 is even more explicit. Rather than equate incense and prayers, it actually distinguishes between them, and presents the scenario that the prayers and incense are presented together.

    So the question, again, is: what is this angel doing with “prayers of the saints” — presenting them to God? It seems clear to me that they have heard the prayers, and are involved as intercessors. Angels are extremely intelligent beings. We know that they rejoice when a sinner repents. They have knowledge in ways that we do not; above our comprehension. This is biblical proof that dead saints and angels both somehow have our prayers and present them to God. They are acting as intercessors and intermediaries. How do they hear our prayers? God gives them the power to do so because they are in heaven and therefore, outside of time. They are aware of earthly events. We know that from Hebrews 12:1 (“we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses”), and from Revelation 6:9-10, where dead saints are praying for those on the earth.
    We also know of several incidents where dead men (even some from heaven) interact with those on earth:
    the Transfiguration (Mt 17:1-3 / Mk 9:4 / Lk 9:30-31),
    the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11:3-13,
    the prophet Samuel (not just a demon impersonating him: 1 Sam 28:7-20),
    and “many bodies of the saints” that came out of their graves after Jesus’ Resurrection and went into Jerusalem, appearing to many (Mt 27:50-53).
    In the deuterocanonical book of 2 Maccabees (15:13-16) the prophet Jeremiah returns to earth.

    This is our entire rationale for asking saints to pray to God for us: all from the Bible:

    1) Holy men and women’s prayers have great power. James 5:14-18
    2) Dead saints are perfected in holiness and are still part of the Body of Christ.
    3) The Blessed Virgin Mary in particular is exceptionally holy (Immaculate Conception) and as the Mother of God, her prayers have more power and effect than that of any other creature: all by God’s grace.
    4) We know that they are aware of what goes on in the earth.
    5) We know that they exercise much charity and pray for us.

    Dialogue: "Why pray to a saint rather than to God?"
    Show me where any official Catholic document, or from a reputable Catholic apologist, has taken these verses out of context, or stop making things up.
    This is sheer nonsense. Praying to created elements is just another stupid anti-Catholic myth invented by bible cults trying to undermine the historic Church to justify their late arrival.
    More anti-Catholic propaganda that you can't prove.


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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  2. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    No. Again, this is wrong. Contacting the dead for any reason is not biblical. Nowhere do we see God approving of anyone contacting the dead of their own ability. On the contrary, God condemns it big time. Familar spirits would be the same thing as dead saints. The OT forbids contacting familar spirits (i.e. dead family members, etc.). This could be a prayer to them, or getting spiritualist to conjure them up so as to talk with them. Both are wrong. A believer is to only pray to Jesus alone. For He is the one and only mediator between God and man. The Lord our God is a jealous God and all prayers are due only to Him.


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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  3. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Actors can hold charities, and love many moral and good things; That does not mean they are in line with God's will.


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  4. amariselle

    amariselle Jesus Never Fails

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    Indeed humanism is growing all the time. We need to remember that while Christians can and definitely should help others, morality and good deeds doesn't automatically mean those doing such things are serving God.

    There are many moral and kind people of other faiths and Atheists as well.
     
  5. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Yes, this is true; But I do believe that God wants his saints to live holy as a part of His salvation or grace.

    Ephesians 5:25-27 and Titus 2:14 speaks of this. For we are not called unto uncleanness, but unto holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:7).
    For the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and that we should live righteously in this present world (Titus 2:11-12). Too many Christians today justify a sin and still be saved type doctrine (That I do not agree with). Yes, we are saved by God's grace, but it is not a license to sin, but a means to overcome sin (By only the power of Jesus working in us). For it is why we do not think it is okay to indulge in contacting the dead. It is immoral.


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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  6. amariselle

    amariselle Jesus Never Fails

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    I never said otherwise.

    Agreed.
     
  7. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    I am happy to hear that.

    May God bless you greatly this fine day.


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  8. jimmyjimmy

    jimmyjimmy Pardoned Rebel Supporter

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    If you are, I can't hear you, so speak up.
     
  9. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    I like the picture of the dove. If you like animals, you may like this show.



    Me and my wife have been watching this program on Amazon Video and absolutely love it.


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  10. amariselle

    amariselle Jesus Never Fails

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    Thank you Jason. My husband and I both very much love animals also. (The dove in the photo was a white Ringneck dove I used to have. She was very sweet.

    This is the one my husband and I currently have:
     

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  11. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    So cool. Thank you for sharing.

    God bless you both.


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  12. amariselle

    amariselle Jesus Never Fails

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    And God bless you both as well. :)
     
  13. kepha31

    kepha31 Regular Member

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    This is where your stubborn prejudice has taken over your ability to reason. There is no "contacting the dead" in the occult sense.
    Yes, they are wrong. I showed you the catechism that says it is wrong, but your mind is made up that we teach against our own teaching. Here it is again:
    2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone. more here
    Catholics fully agree that these things are prohibited, but deny that the Communion of Saints is a practice included at all in those condemnations. Do you understand yet that the Church condemns conjuring up the dead??? How many more times are you going to repeat the same lunacy? Your prejudice has blinded you.

    One and only mediator has been explained 3 times on this thread. See the second heading here: Praying to the Saints | Catholic Answers It does not refute intercessory prayers but affirms it.
    The rich man didn't pray to Abraham?
    Dialogue on the Rich Man Praying to Abraham (Luke 16)
    Peter didn't pray to Tabitha to rise from the dead? Acts 9:36-41
    The prophet Samuel didn't appear to King Saul? 1 Samuel 28:12, 14-15
    What about Moses and Elijah? Matthew 17:1-3
    Matthew 27:52-53 (raised bodies after the crucifixion)
    Revelation 11:3, 6 (the “Two Witnesses”)
    We must conclude based on the above passages that contact between heaven and earth is God’s will; otherwise He wouldn’t have permitted it in these instances. The Catholic belief in the interconnection between heaven and earth cannot be ruled out as “unbiblical”. It is not "conjuring up the dead".
    Does God Forbid Absolutely ALL Contact with the Dead?
    It is my contention that a denial of the interconnection between heaven and earth is a false man made Protestant tradition. No one wrote against it for 1500 years, but has become "pop theology" in the last 200 years. That's why objection to the doctrine is a man made tradition.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  14. kepha31

    kepha31 Regular Member

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    Does Jesus love His mother?
     
  15. Phil 1:21

    Phil 1:21 Well-Known Member

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    And then you cite the following as scriptural justification for praying to the dead?

    I notice you conveniently started at verse 12. So let's see what you omitted. 1 Samuel 28:3-11

    3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.

    4 The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all Israel and set up camp at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. 6 He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium,so I may go and inquire of her.”

    “There is one in Endor,” they said.

    8 So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”

    9 But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?”

    10 Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this.”

    11 Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

    “Bring up Samuel,” he said.

    So you’re going to quote CCC 2116 as proof that you don’t support “conjuring up the dead…” and then you try to throw out 1 Samuel 28 as a scriptural mandate? Anyway, let’s see where this goes… 1 Samuel 28:12-19

    12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”

    13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”

    The woman said, “I see a ghostly figurea]" style="box-sizing: border-box">[a] coming up out of the earth.”

    14 “What does he look like?” he asked.

    “An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said.

    Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.

    15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”


    “I am in great distress,” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has departed from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do.”

    16 Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done what he predicted through me. The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David. 18 Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today. 19 The Lord will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.”


    How did that work out for him? Brother, either you’re being intentionally dishonest about citing this passage from scripture or you found the citation on a Google search and didn’t actually bother to read it. Regardless, please stop accusing people of being dishonest while you do things like this. It’s not very Christ-like. Thanks.
     
  16. amariselle

    amariselle Jesus Never Fails

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    Yes. Would He pray that prayer I shared, or encourage anyone else to do so? Absolutely not.
     
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  17. kepha31

    kepha31 Regular Member

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    I think the main difficulty you are expressing can probably be adequately explained, for the most part, in terms of:

    1) Flowery, poetic language that is not intrinsically literal in nature or intent.

    2) Interpreting the words in context (especially a Christological context).

    3) Taking into account the many less or inadequately educated Catholics who don’t understand the fine distinctions in Catholic theology. They aren’t helping matters any.

    4) Protestants have so minimized and underemphasized Mary and have categorized any devotion to her in terms of rank idolatry, and this has so penetrated the entire Christian community (especially in Protestant-to-the-bone North America), that now virtually any devotion at all can seem to be excessive, because of the stark contrast. We all (bar none) pick up influences from our surroundings.

    Let’s not get carried away here, with the “save” terminology. To speak of a human being as participating in “saving” others is perfectly biblical:
    1 Corinthians 9:22 I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

    [Paul “saves” other people]

    1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed to yourself and to your teaching: hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

    [ Doesn’t Paul know that only God can save??!!!]

    Philippians 2:12b-13 . . . work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

    [If someone says that God is mentioned in the second part, the Calvinist “monergist” still has to explain how a human being can participate at all in what only God can do (according to the monergist) ]

    2 Corinthians 4:15 For it [his many sufferings: 4:8-12, 17] is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

    Ephesians 3:2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you…

    Ephesians 4:29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.

    [Paul distributes divine grace, just as we believe Mary does, and teaches that others can do the same]

    St. Peter also joins in this folly of teaching that Christians can distribute divine grace to each other:

    1 Peter 4:8b-10 . . . love covers a multitude of sins. Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another. As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.

    Even the angels help to give grace:

    Revelation 1:4-5a John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spiritswho are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ . . .

    [ it was nice of John to add in Jesus Christ at the end, along with his own and the angels’ giving of grace, just so we’ll remember that there is but one mediator of God’s grace. Not a lot of “monergism” there, I reckon . . .]

    This is especially difficult when the comments are from Pope Benedict XVI: “We implore you to have pity today on the nations that have gone astray, on all Europe, on the whole world, that they might repent and return to your heart.

    There is nothing whatever wrong with this prayer, or the Holy Father’s reciting of it. It is perfectly orthodox. I would caution young Catholics and those considering the Church against judging high forms of Catholic pious expression. These things are not simple. It takes years to learn to appreciate them and to spiritually “resonate” with them, so to speak. One cannot do that in a few months’ time.

    Believe me, I’m still learning lots of things all the time, and I’ve been a Catholic for many years, and defend the Church almost on a daily basis. I consider myself to have a fairly strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin, but there are still some prayers that strike me even now as “excessive.”

    But the difference is that I recognize the limitation in myself, from years or Protestant and secular thinking (32 years, before I converted). I acknowledge that I am insufficiently Catholic, rather than concluding that the Church is insufficiently correct or biblical. It is because my “lens” through which this material is “filtered” is not yet fully Catholic, or without impurities that blur my vision and reception, that I think any of it is excessive, not because it actually is.

    It’s fine to say that one doesn’t fully understand something, but to start judging popes and the Church when one still personally has a great deal to learn about the faith; that is where it becomes wrong, in my opinion, and presumptuous. It requires a lot of humility to admit to ourselves that there are things we don’t yet know: that saints and doctors of the Church have pondered and thought about for centuries.

    This is one such instance. This is how a Catholic thinks. He or she bows to the superior wisdom of the Church of the Ages and recognizes that it is Holy Mother Church that determines truth and falsehood in the end, not the lone individual, stock-full of many biases and cultural / philosophical / religious (sometimes ethnic) influences hostile to the Church.

    I wouldn’t expect a brand-new Catholic who is barely starting to understand Mariology in all its fullness, to grasp a prayer like this. It would be like asking a person who just learned their time tables, to comprehend algebra, or calculus, or trigonometry. Does that make any sense?

    Mariology and Marian veneration is a very high level of spirituality. That’s precisely why millions of Protestants don’t engage in it at all. They have jettisoned this whole aspect of Christianity from their faith, and have never learned about it. Every Protestant has to “unlearn” that built-in hostility and then be willing to learn to think in a very different way: a Catholic, traditional way (that is, when closely examined, more deeply and profoundly “biblical” than any form of Protestantism).

    The way to deal with this is not to quickly determine that the pope is wrong, or sinful, or that this is proof that Catholicism isn’t perfect (like every other option out there). No; it is a time to dig in and do some serious study, to understand why these expressions are used, and why they seem so foreign and “unbiblical” and “excessive” to us (if that is how we feel about it).
    Immaculate Heart of Mary & Mary Mediatrix (Excessive Devotions?)
     
  18. amariselle

    amariselle Jesus Never Fails

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    With all due respect, (and I read everything you wrote) all those things you said about Catholicism and "Mariology"/ "Marian veneration", just sounds like some form of neo-Gnosticism. The Gospel is not complicated, and God is not the Author of confusion. There are no mystical levels of understanding one should be striving to attain to, where saying things to "Mary" such as what is said in that prayer (consecrating oneself to her body and soul and all possessions, consecrating oneself to her as her slave etc.) is ever okay. It's not. Period.

    Let us not be removed from the "simplicity" that is in Christ, remembering we must be like little children.

    God bless
     
  19. kepha31

    kepha31 Regular Member

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    It’s fine to say that one doesn’t fully understand something, but to start judging popes and the Church when one still personally has a great deal to learn about the faith; that is where it becomes wrong, in my opinion, and presumptuous. It requires a lot of humility to admit to ourselves that there are things we don’t yet know: that saints and doctors of the Church have pondered and thought about for centuries.
    Mary: The Blessed Virgin (Index Page)
     
  20. amariselle

    amariselle Jesus Never Fails

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    Well, you may not believe me, and that's fine, but I know far more about the Catholic Church than you seem to think.
     
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