Hello again De Maria,
It’ s good to hear from you.
“It is perfectly Scriptural to ask Mary for prayer or anything we want. The principal is perfectly Scriptural although not expressly written in Scripture.”
We can both agree that it is not expressly written in Scripture,
but on what basis do you say that it is “perfectly scriptural”? What scriptural principle do we find that would suggest this?
Imitation of Christ. Christ was Mary's little boy. He requested everything of her.
I agree with the first two points of your syllogism (that Jesus is our example and that He is also the Son of Mary), but certainly not your conclusion (that, because of this, we can ask Mary for anything we want). It just doesn’t follow. The only thing this “proves” is that each person can successfully ask his own mom for things.
Only if you ignore the following principles.
1. We are all beloved disciples of Jesus.
We believe that on the basis that Jesus is God. God is love. And God loves all of those who obey His Word:
John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
2. Jesus gave Mary to the beloved disciple (i.e. all of us) as mother.
John 19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! ....
3. And the disciple whom Jesus loves, accepted:
John 19:27....And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
4. In addition we hold that Gen 3:15 is a veiled reference to the Virgin Mary. And her Seed is both Jesus Christ and any and every person who holds the Commandments and the testimony of the Gospel.
5. Same with Rev 12:17.
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
6. Mary is held as our mother in the beginning of Scripture, in the middle and in the end. Therefore, it is powerfully implied in Scripture that Mary is the mother of all who believe in God.
As far as the three points you used to bolster your argument, I agree with #1, that the saints in Heaven are alive, and with #3, that the prayer of the righteous is effective. But I have a problem with your understanding and usage of the concept of “communion with all the saints” in #2. In the chapter you mentioned (Romans 12), Paul is NOT speaking to, or about, the saints in Heaven, he is speaking about those on earth…
It doesn't matter. The principle is spiritually discerned. There are many things which the human authors did not know that the Spirit was revealing:
1 Cor 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
The fact that this verse is in Scripture means that it is from the Holy Spirit. Every verse of Scripture is inspired by God. Yet, based upon this comment, St. Paul did not realize that this letter would be considered inspired Scripture.
In addition, the principle that all who believe in Christ are alive in heaven, applies.
John 11:26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Also the principle in which you do not believe, that they are aware of that which happens on earth. The story of Lazarus and the Rich man clearly reveals Abraham, long dead, aware of what is happening on earth.
he is telling them to present their bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), he is telling them to renew their minds (12:2), not to think of themselves more highly than they ought to (12:3), he speaks to them of their prophetic gifts (12:6-8). But none of this applies to the saints in Heaven.
Well, its not like that is an isolated Scripture.
Let's break it down.
1. Jesus says that all who believe in Him are alive even though they die (John 11:26).
2. Luke 16:24-31 reaveals that the Saints in heaven are aware of the events on earth.
3. 1 Tim 2:1 commands all believers to make intercessions for everyone.
4. Heb 12:21-23 says that when we are baptized, we become citizens on Mount Sion with the Saints whose spirits have been made perfect.
5. Again, the principle of SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT applies (1 Cor 2:14).
Putting them all together, and there are more, we arrive at the conclusion that the Saints in heaven are ready, willing and able to intercede in our behalf.
And all throughout the rest of the chapter, it is very obvious that the “communion” he is dealing with is between church members here ON EARTH,
So, you are implying that "communion" with the saints ends here on earth? If I have understood you correctly, please provide the Scripture which supports that conclusion.
not any kind of communication with those who have gone on before us.
What does this say? Who are the men whose spirits have been made perfect?
Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
So, you are taking this out of its context, and once again, your conclusion does not follow.
Wait? But don't you believe in Sola Scriptura? By what authority then do you tell me that my interpretation is illogical? You believe in a personal interpretation of Scripture, remember?
Therefore, all you can do, to be consistent in your beliefs, is say, "Oh! Is that what you believe?"
If that isn't true, then tell me why are you putting yourself above Scripture? Why do you want me to believe you and not the Word of God that I read in the Bible?
I mentioned that no one is ignoring Mary, and you said:
“When do you praise Mary? When do you pray to Mary?”
But this is a false dichotomy. You cannot say that a person only has those two options: Either, 1) ignore Mary, or 2) praise / pray to Mary.
I don't follow? How do you not ignore Mary if you don't praise her?
As I said earlier, we can “praise” Mary in the sense of acknowledging her role in obedience to God in being a humble servant and giving birth to, and raising, the Messiah.
Hm? I see. Try that with your earthly mom. Or with your wife. see what they say. Try acknowledging their existence without expressing your love.
You see, we believe in faith AND works. its not enough to work without expressions of faith. It is not enough to express our faith, without showing it in our works. That is the teaching of Scripture.
But avoiding praying to her does not equal “ignoring her.”
Yeah, it does.
“There’s a big difference between giving Mary the type of respect (hyperdulia) which the Scriptures demonstrate and the type of rejection of her which the Protestants offer.”
Again, you’re using a false dichotomy. Just because we are not praying to her, or not constantly praising her, does not mean that we are “rejecting” her.
Hm? You don't believe she is worthy of your praise or prayer, therefore you are rejecting her.
I had said that only God is prayed to in Scripture, and you mentioned as evidence against this that the angel Gabriel praises Mary, a saintly woman (Elizabeth) praises Mary, and that Mary, herself, declares that all generations will praise her.
Ok, that’s true, but you’re avoiding the point. I had said that only God is PRAYED TO… I didn’t say “praised.” You cannot find an example of someone in Scripture praying to Mary.
Praise is a form of prayer. At least for us. Perhaps this falls under the category of a difference in interpretation of the word, "pray".
I gave you several official Catholic sources to prove that Catholics indeed PRAY TO Mary and the saints, and that anyone denying this truth is playing word games. But you simply ignored the evidence
I agree that we pray to Mary and the Saints. I deny that we hold them equal to God or that we hold them up as idols, which is what you are implying.
I presented and said that it’s Protestants who play word games. But where’s the documentation that I am playing word games? Your lack of an argument is very telling.
I thought I presented a very cogent and powerful argument. Read my message again. I presented the dictionary definition of the word pray. I explained the Catholic explanation of the word pray. And I showed how you and all Protestants insist that pray means worship, but we don't hold you as authoritative. We have our own authority. The Church.
But again, since you don't hold to the authority of the Church, how do you claim to have the authority to tell us how to understand "prayer" and "worship"? By what authority do you hold yourself to be authoritative?
Therein lies one of the many inconsistencies of Sola Scriptura. Each one of you who believes in that lie holds yourself up as Pope. Sorry Russel, your opinion carries no weight here. I mean that in the most respectful way. Please do not be offended.
You mentioned looking up the definition of “pray” in a dictionary. That’s fine, but if you want the real meaning of biblical praying, we must look to the examples in the Bible, and these examples are also very telling. They are always directed to God, and Him alone.
How many examples must I provide? All you do is ignore what I say.
1. Scripture says, "Father Abraham, have mercy...."Luke 16:24
2. Moses and Elias talk to Jesus (Mark 9:4).
3. King David commands the angels to praise God (Psalm 148:2).
4. God sends an angel as intermediary between He and Mary (Luke 1:26-28).
5. The Holy Spirit uses a Saint as intermediary between He and Mary (Luke 1:41-42).
By the way, I’m glad that our discussions have generated some interest in the cyber world.
Looking forward to your response.
Thanks for the opportunity to exchange the Word of God with you.
In His Name,