Friday, November 30, 2007

You Just ask the Saints to Pray for You, Really?

Sometimes RCC apologists try to get around the "only mediator" passage of the Bible, by saying something like: "Haven't you ever asked your friends to pray for you? That's just what we are asking when we pray to 'Saints'."

And sometimes, certainly, that is true. Some of the prayers to saints, are meta-prayers: they are prayers for prayers.

But that's a misleading claim, for many of the prayers, particularly those to Mary, are not just requests for prayers.

Consider this prayer to Mary, provided at the conclusion of the pope's encyclical of earlier today:

"Holy Mary, Mother of God, our Mother, teach us to believe, to hope, to love with you. Show us the way to his Kingdom! Star of the Sea, shine upon us and guide us on our way!"

And that's a fairly tame, ecumenical version. Consider this:

Most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel,
Fruitful Vine, Splendor of Heaven,
Blessed Mother of the Son of God,
Immaculate Virgin,
assist me in this my necessity.
O Star of the Sea,
help me and show me herein
that you are my Mother.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Queen of Heaven and Earth,
I humbly beseech you
from the bottom of my heart,
to succor me in this necessity;
there are none that can withstand your power.


(source)

It's ironic that those who deny the irresistible nature of God's saving grace, thereby implicitly denying God's omnipotence, affirm the super-omnipotence of Mary, while worshipping her in a way that clearly violates the first commandment.

-Turretinfan

9 comments:

natamllc said...

Ok, I will digress.

I have a Protestant mother, still alive and a very dumb Catholic, father, now deceased, dumb in that he did not really adhere to Roman catholicism.

When the Lord of Glory so chose to enlighten me I began having thoughts and ideas that were borderline necro, or beyond the dead!

Huh?

Yes. You are being asked to pray to someone you have never seen, ever!

So what's the parallel and the difference?

Ah, is Mary the mother of Jesus dead or alive?

Well let's bite the apple this way.

How did Peter, James and John "know" those two, Moses and Elijah are in fact two historical persons from two different periods of time in their history of talking and handing down facts they will never experience, just believe happened?

Is Mary someone we should pray too?

Ok, now that we should not, WHY DO WE PRAY TO ONE, HER SON, JESUS THEN?

Ok, let us pray:

LORD JESUS, LET OUR HEAVENLY FATHER'S KINGDOM COME AND HIS WILL BE DONE ON EARTH TODAY BECAUSE YOU ONCE WERE A MAN JUST LIKE ME. YOU EXPERIENCED THE PERFECT WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER WHEN YOU WALKED THE EARTH ESTABLISHING HIS KINGDOM IN YOUR DAY, ALBEIT, YOU DID NOT HAVE THIS COMPUTER TO USE AS I AM USING OR tf, to provide a medium upon which I OFFER THIS PRAYER TO YOU FOR ALL TF'S BLOGGER READERS TO PRAY AND AGREE WITH, ME, AN ELECT SAINT, dead to sin and ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH YOU!

amen

Turretinfan said...

EM wrote (edits and responses from TF shown in brackets):

"It's ironic that those who deny the irresistible nature of God's saving grace, therby implicitly denying God's omnipotence, affirm the super-omnipotence of Mary, while worshipping her in a way that clearly violates the first commandment."

Two obvious points: [EM goes on to list three points.]

(1) Denying that God's grace is irresistable does not deny that he is omnipotent. [Spelling errors aside, it is an implicit denial of God's omnipotence to deny that saving grace CAN be irresistible.] In fact, omnipotence guarantees that he can make his grace able to be resisted if he wants--if he were unable to make his grace resistible, then he would not be omnipotent. [Yes, of course. That is why it is only implicitly a denial of God's omnipotence to deny the irresistability of saving grace.]

(2) Not everyone who denies [Calvinism] is Roman Catholic or worships Mary. [True. Yet, soteriologically, many are close. The road to Rome is a journey of a thousand steps. Denial of Sola Gratia is but one of the stes.]

(3) You spelled worshiping with an extra P. [Ha! Actually both spellings are accepted, and "worshipping" is slightly more acceptable (though the KJV uses the short form), because of its slightly better phonetic readability.]

[To the glory of God, -Turretinfan]

Turretinfan said...

In case it's not clear, in my post above, everything that's not in brackets is EM, and everything that is in brackets is TF, except that the initial block quotation is EM quoting TF.

Clear as mud yet?

-Turretinfan

GeneMBridges said...

(1) Denying that God's grace is irresistable does not deny that he is omnipotent. [Spelling errors aside, it is an implicit denial of God's omnipotence to deny that saving grace CAN be irresistible.] In fact, omnipotence guarantees that he can make his grace able to be resisted if he wants--if he were unable to make his grace resistible, then he would not be omnipotent. [Yes, of course. That is why it is only implicitly a denial of God's omnipotence to deny the irresistability of saving grace.]

The irony here is that taken to its logical end, EM's objection denies the God of classical Christian theism such that one or more of these is true:

1. He decrees things that go undone.

2. He decrees possibilities not actualities.

3. God is not simple and undivided.

4. God makes His chosen course of action, once decreed, dependent upon man in such a way that His actions are not merely reactions to His own decree and His knowledge a species of self-knowledge, but grounded in men's actual autonomy. This thereby denies the independence of God, which is the first of His non-communicable attributes.

This "implicit denial" if followed out consistently, would, in fact, lead to an explicit denial.

natamllc said...

EM, yes and God cannot LIE, unless He lied about the ability?

I am not sure you are thinking very well in light of Paul's understanding:

2Ti 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,
2Ti 1:7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2Ti 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,
2Ti 1:9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
2Ti 1:10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
2Ti 1:11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,
2Ti 1:12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.


I would say EM:

"TAKE THE PLUNGE AND ACCEPT THE TRUTH"

Turretinfan said...

I should point out that the most frequent Marian prayer includes explicitly a request for prayer:
"(2) Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death."

It also includes something else:
"(1) Hail Mary, full of grace. Our Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus." (that's the "updated" version, the old version used "King James" English)

The parenthetical numbers above show the order in the original.

Note that the prayer includes:
- adoration; and
- supplication.

Thus, you can see that EVEN the Hail Mary is not simply a request for prayer.

Plenty more, and worse, here (link, obviously, not for emulation but for warning).

-Turretinfan

EgoMakarios said...

"EM, yes and God cannot LIE, unless He lied about the ability?"

IF he is omnipotent, he can lie as far as ability, but he has to never lie due to his character.

Turretinfan said...

EM:

It is impossible for God to lie. Scripture says so.

Surely you are aware of that.

-Turretinfan

GeneMBridges said...

See, what's implicitly a denial becomes explicit elsewhere.

It's nice to see that EM believes that God actually has the ability to lie, to violate his own law. That's libertarian freedom gone wild. It is also blasphemy.