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Date Posted:27/08/2010 8:09 AMCopy HTML

Ian

It is not my intention here to “debunk” Catholicism; unlike Revivalists, I am no longer bigoted against Roman Catholics, but I wish to acquire a little understanding of following phrase and from what source do you base this on.

 

(Revivalists use this type of thing as “ammunition” against RC.)

 

Mary is one of the saints who have gone on, who pray for the saints that remain in their station under the 'altar of God'.

 

Following a brief discussion from the C’box about “Angels watch over us” and “venerating” Mary, I have done a bit of research into the Catholic tradition. It seems that the Catholics believe Mary has bodily ascended to heaven and is glorified with Jesus along with the saints. I cannot find anything from the bible that supports these views.

 

The issue of Catholics praying to saints is one that is full of confusion. It is the official position of the Roman Catholic Church that Catholics do not pray TO saints or Mary, but rather that Catholics can ask saints or Mary to pray FOR them. The official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that asking saints for their prayers is no different than asking someone here on earth to pray for you.

However, the practice of many Catholics diverges from official Roman Catholic teaching. Many Catholics do in fact pray directly to saints and/or Mary, asking them for help – instead of asking the saints and/or Mary to intercede with God for help. Whatever the case, whether a saint or Mary is being prayed to, or asked to pray, neither practice has any Biblical basis.
The Bible nowhere instructs believers in Christ to pray to anyone other than God. The Bible nowhere encourages, or even mentions, believers asking individuals in Heaven for their prayers. Why, then, do many Catholic pray to Mary and/or the saints, or request their prayers? Catholics view Mary and saints as "intercessors" before God. They believe that a saint, who is glorified in Heaven, has more "direct access" to God than we do. Therefore, if a saint delivers a prayer to God, it is more effective than us praying to God directly. This concept is blatantly unbiblical. Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we, believers here on earth, can "...approach the throne of grace with confidence..." (Resource: The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and The Word of God by James McCarthy.)

 

Sincerely

Ralph

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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:27/08/2010 12:29 PMCopy HTML

Hi, Ralph.

I suppose it's important to point out, upfront, that teaching on the "assumption of Mary" isn't restricted to simply the Roman Catholic Church. It's shared by the various National Orthodox (e.g. the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, etc), and even by some branches of the Anglican Communion; the belief itself being very ancient, dating from at least the fourth century.

You're perfectly correct in highlighting that there is nothing in Scripture which indicates that we are to pray to anyone but God, and then it is to be offered
through Jesus Christ as our High Priest. And that, I suppose, is the salient point: prayer is always Godwards whether sourced from those on earth, or from those in heaven. To point out that many Catholics (whether Western or Eastern) pray through Mary, or even to Mary, is to simply identify a feature common to most "folk" expressions of Christianity: imprecision in dogmatic or doctrinal understanding. I personally know several Roman Catholic priests who are sufficiently concerned by the pastoral implications of such imprecision that they actively go out of their ways in attempting to correct errors of this sort among their parishoners.

While there's life, there's hope.

Blessings,

Ian

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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:28/08/2010 11:33 PMCopy HTML

Reply to Didaktikon

Hi, Ralph.

I suppose it's important to point out, upfront, that teaching on the "assumption of Mary" isn't restricted to simply the Roman Catholic Church. It's shared by the various National Orthodox (e.g. the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, etc), and even by some branches of the Anglican Communion; the belief itself being very ancient, dating from at least the fourth century.

You're perfectly correct in highlighting that there is nothing in Scripture which indicates that we are to pray to anyone but God, and then it is to be offered
through Jesus Christ as our High Priest. And that, I suppose, is the salient point: prayer is always Godwards whether sourced from those on earth, or from those in heaven. To point out that many Catholics (whether Western or Eastern) pray through Mary, or even to Mary, is to simply identify a feature common to most "folk" expressions of Christianity: imprecision in dogmatic or doctrinal understanding. I personally know several Roman Catholic priests who are sufficiently concerned by the pastoral implications of such imprecision that they actively go out of their ways in attempting to correct errors of this sort among their parishoners.

While there's life, there's hope.

Blessings,

Ian


THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY: A BELIEF SINCE APOSTOLIC TIMES
Father Clifford Stevens
The Assumption is the oldest feast day of Our Lady, but we don't know how it first came to be celebrated.

Its origin is lost in those days when Jerusalem was restored as a sacred city, at the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (c. 285-337). By then it had been a pagan city for two centuries, ever since Emperor Hadrian (76-138) had leveled it around the year 135 and rebuilt it as <Aelia Capitolina> in honor of Jupiter.

For 200 years, every memory of Jesus was obliterated from the city, and the sites made holy by His life, death and Resurrection became pagan temples.

After the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 336, the sacred sites began to be restored and memories of the life of Our Lord began to be celebrated by the people of Jerusalem. One of the memories about his mother centered around the "Tomb of Mary," close to Mount Zion, where the early Christian community had lived.

On the hill itself was the "Place of Dormition," the spot of Mary's "falling asleep," where she had died. The "Tomb of Mary" was where she was buried.

At this time, the "Memory of Mary" was being celebrated. Later it was to become our feast of the Assumption.

For a time, the "Memory of Mary" was marked only in Palestine, but then it was extended by the emperor to all the churches of the East. In the seventh century, it began to be celebrated in Rome under the title of the "Falling Asleep" ("Dormitio") of the Mother of God.

Soon the name was changed to the "Assumption of Mary," since there was more to the feast than her dying. It also proclaimed that she had been taken up, body and soul, into heaven.

That belief was ancient, dating back to the apostles themselves. What was clear from the beginning was that there were no relics of Mary to be venerated, and that an empty tomb stood on the edge of Jerusalem near the site of her death. That location also soon became a place of pilgrimage. (Today, the Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition of Mary stands on the spot.)

At the Council of Chalcedon in 451, when bishops from throughout the Mediterranean world gathered in Constantinople, Emperor Marcian asked the Patriarch of Jerusalem to bring the relics of Mary to Constantinople to be enshrined in the capitol. The patriarch explained to the emperor that there were no relics of Mary in Jerusalem, that "Mary had died in the presence of the apostles; but her tomb, when opened later . . . was found empty and so the apostles concluded that the body was taken up into heaven."

In the eighth century, St. John Damascene was known for giving sermons at the holy places in Jerusalem. At the Tomb of Mary, he expressed the belief of the Church on the meaning of the feast: "Although the body was duly buried, it did not remain in the state of death, neither was it dissolved by decay. . . . You were transferred to your heavenly home, O Lady, Queen and Mother of God in truth."

All the feast days of Mary mark the great mysteries of her life and her part in the work of redemption. The central mystery of her life and person is her divine motherhood, celebrated both at Christmas and a week later (Jan. 1) on the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8) marks the preparation for that motherhood, so that she had the fullness of grace from the first moment of her existence, completely untouched by sin. Her whole being throbbed with divine life from the very beginning, readying her for the exalted role of mother of the Savior.

The Assumption completes God's work in her since it was not fitting that the flesh that had given life to God himself should ever undergo corruption. The Assumption is God's crowning of His work as Mary ends her earthly life and enters eternity. The feast turns our eyes in that direction, where we will follow when our earthly life is over.

The feast days of the Church are not just the commemoration of historical events; they do not look only to the past. They look to the present and to the future and give us an insight into our own relationship with God. The Assumption looks to eternity and gives us hope that we, too, will follow Our Lady when our life is ended.

The prayer for the feast reads: "All-powerful and ever-living God: You raised the sinless Virgin Mary, mother of your Son, body and soul, to the glory of heaven. May we see heaven as our final goal and come to share her glory."

In 1950, in the Apostolic Constitution <Munificentissimus Deus>, Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of Mary a dogma of the Catholic Church in these words: "The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven."

With that, an ancient belief became Catholic doctrine and the Assumption was declared a truth revealed by God.

Father Clifford Stevens writes from Tintern Monastery in Oakdale, Neb.


This article was taken from the July-August 1996 issue of "Catholic Heritage". To subscribe write Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750-9957 or call 1-800-348-2440. Published bimonthly at a charge of $18.00 per year.


http://www.ewtn.com/library/answers/aofmary.htm


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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:29/08/2010 2:31 AMCopy HTML

Ian,

Thanks for that.

Who are the saints? I suppose it could refer to ALL believers that walk in Christ Jesus.

 

Guest,

An interesting article.

 

From it one gets a picture of a time of lack of “Sola Scriptura” as the authority on such matters, as there must have been original Christian manuscripts, or copies thereof, still in circulation.

I have heard that there are over 1400 been found.

Many a belief to “heretical” values surely “evolved” leading up to the Reformation, “a religious and spiritual movement which came about in the 16th century in the providence of God” (H DeWaard, RTC)

However I believe that the Catholic Church is an organization that does hold itself accountable for imprecision of it’s past and continues to address such issues.

 

These things may be peripheral but the important thing is that the Church holds to the core truth of the Gospel. We cannot say that of the Revivalist “church”.

 

Ralph.H

 

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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:29/08/2010 2:49 AMCopy HTML

I have heard that there are over 1400 been found.


Sorry, should have read; "I have heard there are over 14000 that have been found"

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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:29/08/2010 5:28 AMCopy HTML

Hi, Ralph.

You asked, "who are the saints?" When you have a moment, please flip through the Revelation until you come to 6:9-11. It's figurative language to be sure, but I believe it speaks to spiritual realities. You then implied that there have been over 14,000 "original" Christian manuscripts found to date. My response would be, it all depends on what you define as being "original Christian manuscripts". Probably a far more reasonable figure, and more germane to the discussion, are the approximately 5,500 manuscripts that have been catalogued addressing NT passages, whether in full (very few) or in part (quite a few).  

Blessings,

Ian

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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:29/08/2010 6:53 AMCopy HTML

Hi Ralph

Here is a site that will help you along a little. The "micks" do get it right sometimes especially when it comes to hermeneutics.

"A Catholic Introduction to Biblical Interpretation By John Gresham"

blessings

Eric


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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:29/08/2010 7:54 AMCopy HTML

Ian,
thank you.

The 5,500 was mentioned, my tutor probably was including the copies and other Christian writings of the early era.

I'm reading Revelation in the context of Fees' view and wonder at times how does one bridge the message over to our times. 6: 9-11 was considered.

Eric,
thanks also. Will look it up.

Ralph

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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:30/08/2010 6:59 AMCopy HTML

 Hey Ralphie,

Just realized something about "micks"... Cattle Ticks are the only Christian denomination that I am aware of, that carry the practice of washing feet. Perhaps the Orthodox/Byzantine Christian community probably do but I have never had my footsies washed ceremonially in any church family or rev centre that I have a member of..

Just a thought

Blessings

Eric
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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:30/08/2010 10:54 AMCopy HTML

Eric

 

Because of the general use of sandals the washing of the feet was almost everywhere recognized from the earliest times as a duty of courtesy to be shown to guests (New Advent).

I would say that the Catholics ceremony of feet washing would have a significant religious connotation of humility shown by Christ. John 13:1-15. Perhaps we should practice it more often.:lol:

 

Ralph H.

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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:30/08/2010 10:02 PMCopy HTML

 It sure would take some humility to wash a Aussie soldiers feet after a 20 kilometer route march !!! ;-p

Eric

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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:05/09/2010 2:47 PMCopy HTML

Reply to Didaktikon


You asked, "who are the saints?" When you have a moment, please flip through the Revelation until you come to 6:9-11. It's figurative language to be sure, but I believe it speaks to spiritual realities.

It also could be said that 1 Peter 3:18-19 speaks to spiritual realities. Volumes have already been written concerning the interpretation of that passage of scripture as to who were the spirits that Jesus preached to and was it in hell.

It seems obvious to me that they weren’t the saints mentioned in Revelation 6: and that Jesus didn’t go down to “hell” as his reward was resurrection life.

 

Perhaps as a part of Ian’s topic On Hell (prolegomena) may produce some understanding.

 

Ralph




 

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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:11/12/2010 9:08 PMCopy HTML

 I think that Christians should go out and recruit people by knocking of doors and placing bibles in hotel rooms and just feeding them or if they don't want to be christians don't feed them. (it happens)

But here is a guy who would make a great christian  http://wimp.com/wecould/

There are some other greats things to be found at wimp.com

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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:11/12/2010 9:46 PMCopy HTML

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ue6gfKCqnE&feature=email

in the name of the bible you will die. "what type of god is this that preaches this in these days?
What type of god wants others dead.....well it's not the god it's the people who believe in one god or the others that want others dead.
It all religions that are willing to kill to save their version of god and his books.
It's not just the pope and his underlings that like little kiddies but several if not all religions have perves that will not only patty wack kiddies but kill them in god's name

So keep up the good work christians and keep bring in the sheeple.

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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:11/12/2010 9:48 PMCopy HTML

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ue6gfKCqnE&feature=email

here is the videos of the good christians

what a fuped up world we've made.
And by the looks of it the end might be near.

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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:11/12/2010 10:56 PMCopy HTML

Reply to Guest

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ue6gfKCqnE&feature=email

in the name of the bible you will die. "what type of god is this that preaches this in these days?
What type of god wants others dead.....well it's not the god it's the people who believe in one god or the others that want others dead.
It all religions that are willing to kill to save their version of god and his books.
It's not just the pope and his underlings that like little kiddies but several if not all religions have perves that will not only patty wack kiddies but kill them in god's name

So keep up the good work christians and keep bring in the sheeple.


It all religions ?
The Christian denomoination I belong to (Presbyterian) has a far far lower rate of child abuse than state schools and way lower than cubs and scouts. I believe if we all through religion out the window as I believe you are suggesting that sex crimes would increase dramatically.
¡uıɐƃɐ ʎɐqǝ ɯoɹɟ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ɐ ƃuıʎnq ɹǝʌǝu
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Re:Who are the Saints under the 'altar of God'?

Date Posted:12/12/2010 4:01 AMCopy HTML

Guest,

Are all the people from your part of the world like you? Or are you something of an exception? Anyway ... I don't often use the word 'idiot' to describe people, but I'm sorely tempted to give it a go with you. Geez, but when I squeeze the occasional pimple, it gives a more intelligent response than anything you've offered here thus far.

Goose.

Ian
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