Saturday, June 26, 2010

Prayers to God Alone (and Worship to God Alone, in general) in the Early Church

To whom should prayers be addressed? They should be addressed to God alone.

Augustine (354-430):
As for those spirits who are good, and who are therefore not only immortal but also blessed, and to whom they suppose we should give the title of gods, and offer worship and sacrifices for the sake of inheriting a future life, we shall, by God’s help, endeavor in the following book to show that these spirits, call them by what name, and ascribe to them what nature you will, desire that religious worship be paid to God alone, by whom they were created, and by whose communications of Himself to them they are blessed.
NPNF1-02 St. Augustine's City of God and Christian Doctrines, City of God, Chapter 23

Leo the Great (400-461):
From such a system of teaching proceeds also the ungodly practice of certain foolish folk who worship the sun as it rises at the beginning of daylight from elevated positions: even some Christians think it is so proper to do this that, before entering the blessed Apostle Peter’s basilica, which is dedicated to the One Living and true God, when they have mounted the steps which lead to the raised platform, they turn round and bow themselves towards the rising sun and with bent neck do homage to its brilliant orb. We are full of grief and vexation that this should happen, which is partly due to the fault of ignorance and partly to the spirit of heathenism: because although some of them do perhaps worship the Creator of that fair light rather than the Light itself, which is His creature, yet we must abstain even from the appearance of this observance: for if one who has abandoned the worship of gods, finds it in our own worship, will he not hark back again to this fragment of his old superstition, as if it were allowable, when he sees it to be common both to Christians and to infidels?

This objectionable practice must be given up therefore by the faithful, and the honour due to God alone must not be mixed up with those men’s rites who serve their fellow-creatures. For the divine Scripture says: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve [S. Matt. iv. 10.].”
NPNF2-12 Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, Sermon 27 of Leo the Great, Sections 4-5

Chrysostom (349-407) commenting on Psalm 7, v. 3:
This must everywhere be our concern, not simply to pray but to pray in such a way as to be heard. It is not sufficient that prayer effects what is intended, unless we so direct it as to appeal to God.
Robert Charles Hill, St. John Chrysostom Commentary on the Psalms, Volume 1, Psalm 7 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1998), p. 117.

Athanasius (293-373):
This was the advice he gave to those who came to him. And with those who suffered he sympathised and prayed. And oft-times the Lord heard him on behalf of many: yet he boasted not because he was heard, nor did he murmur if he were not. But always he gave the Lord thanks and besought the sufferer to be patient, and to know that healing belonged neither to him nor to man at all, but only to the Lord, who doeth good when and to whom He will. The sufferers therefore used to receive the words of the old man as though they were a cure, learning not to be downhearted but rather to be long-suffering. And those who were healed were taught not to give thanks to Antony but to God alone.
NPNF2-04. Athanasius: Select Works and Letters, Life of Anthony, Section 56

Cyprian of Carthage (died 258):
Moreover, when we stand praying, beloved brethren, we ought to be watchful and earnest with our whole heart, intent on our prayers. Let all carnal and worldly thoughts pass away, nor let the soul at that time think on anything but the object only of its prayer. For this reason also the priest, by way of preface before his prayer, prepares the minds of the brethren by saying, “Lift up your hearts,” that so upon the people’s response, “We lift them up unto the Lord,” he may be reminded that he himself ought to think of nothing but the Lord. Let the breast be closed against the adversary, and be open to God alone; nor let it suffer God’s enemy to approach to it at the time of prayer. For frequently he steals upon us, and penetrates within, and by crafty deceit calls away our prayers from God, that we may have one thing in our heart and another in our voice, when not the sound of the voice, but the soul and mind, ought to be praying to the Lord with a simple intention. But what carelessness it is, to be distracted and carried away by foolish and profane thoughts when you are praying to the Lord, as if there were anything which you should rather be thinking of than that you are speaking with God! How can you ask to be heard of God, when you yourself do not hear yourself? Do you wish that God should remember you when you ask, if you yourself do not remember yourself? This is absolutely to take no precaution against the enemy; this is, when you pray to God, to offend the majesty of God by the carelessness of your prayer; this is to be watchful with your eyes, and to be asleep with your heart, while the Christian, even though he is asleep with his eyes, ought to be awake with his heart, as it is written in the person of the Church speaking in the Song of Songs, “I sleep, yet my heart waketh.” [Cant. v. 2.] Wherefore the apostle anxiously and carefully warns us, saying, “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same;” [Col. i. 2.] teaching, that is, and showing that those are able to obtain from God what they ask, whom God sees to be watchful in their prayer.
ANG05. Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, [and] Novation, Treatises of Cyprian, Treatise IV (On the Lord's Prayer)

What did the ancients think of prayers to angels and saints? Undoubtedly there are a variety of ancient views about that subject. Here are a few of them.

Irenaeus (c. 130-c. 200):
Nor does she [the church] perform anything by means of angelic invocations, or by incantations, or by any other wicked curious art; but, directing her prayers to the Lord, who made all things, in a pure, sincere, and straightforward spirit, and calling upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, she has been accustomed to work miracles for the advantage of mankind, and not to lead them into error. If, therefore, the name of our Lord Jesus Christ even now confers benefits [upon men], and cures thoroughly and effectively all who anywhere believe on Him, but not that of Simon, or Menander, or Carpocrates, or of any other man whatever, it is manifest that, when He was made man, He held fellowship with His own creation, and did all things truly through the power of God, according to the will of the Father of all, as the prophets had foretold. But what these things were, shall be described in dealing with the proofs to be found in the prophetical writings.
ANF: Vol. I, Against Heresies, 2:32:5.

Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220):
For we offer prayer for the safety of our princes to the eternal, the true, the living God, whose favour, beyond all others, they must themselves desire. They know from whom they have obtained their power; they know, as they are men, from whom they have received life itself; they are convinced that He is God alone, on whose power alone they are entirely dependent, to whom they are second, after whom they occupy the highest places, before and above all the gods. Why not, since they are above all living men, and the living, as living, are superior to the dead? They reflect upon the extent of their power, and so they come to understand the highest; they acknowledge that they have all their might from Him against whom their might is nought. Let the emperor make war on heaven; let him lead heaven captive in his triumph; let him put guards on heaven; let him impose taxes on heaven! He cannot. Just because he is less than heaven, he is great. For he himself is His to whom heaven and every creature appertains. He gets his scepter where he first got his humanity; his power where he got the breath of life. Thither we lift our eyes, with hands outstretched, because free from sin; with head uncovered, for we have nothing whereof to be ashamed; finally, without a monitor, because it is from the heart we supplicate. Without ceasing, for all our emperors we offer prayer. We pray for life prolonged; for security to the empire; for protection to the imperial house; for brave armies, a faithful senate, a virtuous people, the world at rest, whatever, as man or Caesar, an emperor would wish. These things I cannot ask from any but the God from whom I know I shall obtain them, both because He alone bestows them and because I have claims upon Him for their gift, as being a servant of His, rendering homage to Him alone, persecuted for His doctrine, offering to Him, at His own requirement, that costly and noble sacrifice of prayer dispatched from the chaste body, an unstained soul, a sanctified spirit, not the few grains of incense a farthing buys —tears of an Arabian tree,—not a few drops of wine,—not the blood of some worthless ox to which death is a relief, and, in addition to other offensive things, a polluted conscience, so that one wonders, when your victims are examined by these vile priests, why the examination is not rather of the sacrificers than the sacrifices. With our hands thus stretched out and up to God, rend us with your iron claws, hang us up on crosses, wrap us in flames, take our heads from us with the sword, let loose the wild beasts on us,—the very attitude of a Christian praying is one of preparation for all punishment. Let this, good rulers, be your work: wring from us the soul, beseeching God on the emperor’s behalf. Upon the truth of God, and devotion to His name, put the brand of crime.
ANF: Vol. III, The Apology, Chapter 30.

Chrysostom (349-407) said the incantation of Angels was introduced by the devil:
Therefore the devil introduced those of the Angels [requests in the name of angels], envying us the honor. Such incantations are for the demons. Even if it be Angel, even if it be Archangel, even if it be Cherubim, allow it not; for neither will these Powers accept such addresses, but will even toss them away from them, when they have beheld their Master dishonored. “I have honored thee,” He saith, “and have said, Call upon Me”; and dost thou dishonor Him?
NPNF1: Vol. XIII, Homilies on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Colossians, Homily 9.
Greek text:
Διὰ ταῦτα ὁ διάβολος τὰ τῶν ἀγγέλων ἐπεισήγαγε, βασκαίνων ἡμῖν τῆς τιμῆς. Τῶν δαιμόνων τοιαῦται αἱ ἐπῳδαί. Κἂν ἄγγελος ᾖ, κἂν ἀρχάγγελος, κἂν τὰ Χερουβὶμ, μὴ ἀνέχου· ἐπεὶ οὐδὲ αὗται αἱ δυνάμεις καταδέξονται, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀποσείσονται, ὅταν ἴδωσι τὸν Δεσπότην ἀτιμαζόμενον. Ἐγώ σε ἐτίμησα, φησὶ, καὶ εἶπον· Ἐμὲ κάλει· καὶ σὺ ἀτιμάζεις αὐτόν;
In epistulam i ad Colossenses, Caput III, Homily IX, §3, PG 62:365.

Council of Laodicea (363-364 A.D.):
Christians ought not to forsake the Church of God, and depart aside, and invocate (οὐνομάζω) angels, and make meetings, which are things forbidden. If any man therefore be found to give himself to this privy idolatry, let him be accursed, because he hath forsaken our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and betaken himself to idolatry.
For translation, see James Ussher, An Answer to a Challenge Made by a Jesuit (Cambridge: J. & J. J. Deighton, 1835), p. 406.
Greek text:
Ὅτι οὐ δεῖ Χριστιανοὺς ἐγκαταλείπειν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ ἀπιέναι, καὶ ἀγγέλους ὀνομάζειν, καὶ συνάξεις ποιεῖν, ἅπερ ἀπηγόρευται. Εἴ τις οὖν εὐρεθῇ ταύτῃ κεκρυμμένῃ εἰδωλολατρείᾳ σχολάζων, ἔστω ἀνάθεμα, ὅτι ἐγκατέλιπε τὸν Κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ εἰδωλολατρείᾳ προσῆλθεν.
Synodus Laodiciae (Synod of Laodicea), Canon XXXV.

Chrysostom also speaks on the absence of need for any intermediaries between us and God to present our requests.

Chrysostom (349-407):
There is in fact no need either of doorkeepers to introduce you, or of managers, guardians or friends; rather, when you make your approach in person, then most of all he will hear you, at that time when you ask the help of no one. So we do not prevail upon him in making our requests through others to the degree that we do through ourselves. You see, since he longs for our friendship, he also does everything to have us trust in him; when he sees us doing so on our own account, then he accedes to us most of all. This is what he did too in the case of the Canaanite woman: when Peter and James came forward on her behalf, he did not accede; but when she persisted, he promptly granted her petition. I mean, even if he seemed to put her off for a while, he did it not to put the poor creature aside but to reward her more abundantly and render her entreaty more favorable.
Robert Charles Hill, St. John Chrysostom Commentary on the Psalms, Volume 1, Psalm 4 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1998), pp. 48-49.

Chrysostom (349-407):
Prayer is a great weapon, prayer is a wonderful adornment, security and haven, a treasury of good things, wealth beyond threat. When we make requests of human beings, we need an outlay of money, servile flattery, much to-ing and fro-ing and negotiating. Often, in fact, it is not possible to make a direct approach to their lordships personally to grant a favor: it is necessary first to wait upon their ministers or managers or administrators with money and words and every other means, and only then through them to be in a position to receive the request. With God, on the contrary, it is not like this: it not so much on the recommendation of others as on our own request that he grants the favor. In this case, too, both the one receiving it and the one not receiving it are better off, whereas in the case of human beings we often come off worse in both cases.

Since, then, for those approaching God the gain is greater and the facility greater, do not neglect prayer: it is then in particular that he will be reconciled with you when you on your own account appeal to him, when you present a mind purified, thoughts that are alert, when you do not make idle petitions, as many people do, their tongue saying the words while their soul wanders in every direction — through the house, the marketplace, the city streets. It is all the devil’s doing: since he knows that at that time we are able to attain forgiveness of sins, he wants to block the haven of prayer to us, and at that time he goes on the attack to distract us from the sense of the words so that we may depart the worse rather than the better for it
Robert Charles Hill, trans., St. John Chrysostom, Old Testament Homilies, Volume Three: Homilies on the Psalms (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2003), Homily on Psalm 146.1, p. 125.

Chrysostom (349-407):
And even if you do not confess, He [i.e., God] is not ignorant of the deed, who knew it before it was committed. Why then do you not speak of it? Does the transgression become heavier by the confession?—nay, it becomes lighter and less troublesome. And it is for this reason that He would have you confess, not that you should be punished, but that you should be forgiven; not that He may learn thy sin, (how could this be, since He has seen it,) but that you may learn what favour He bestows. He wishes you to learn the greatness of His grace, that you may praise Him perfectly, that you may be slower to sin, that you may be quicker to virtue. And if you do not confess the greatness of the need, you will not understand the exceeding magnitude of His grace. I do not oblige you He [God] saith, to come into the midst of the assembly before a throng of witnesses; declare the sin in secret to Me only, that I may heal the sore and remove the pain.
F. Allen, trans., Four Discourses of Chrysostom, Chiefly on the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, 4rd Sermon, §4 (London: Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer, 1869), p. 102. Cf. also Catharine P. Roth, trans., St. John Chrysostom On Wealth and Poverty, 4th Sermon on Lazarus and the Rich Man, §4 (Crestwood: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1984), p. 89. Cf. Concionis VII, de Lazaro 4.4 PG 48:1012.

Chrysostom (349-407):
For things which often we have not strength to perform successfully from our own exertions, these we shall have power to accomplish easily through prayers. I mean prayers which are persevering. For always and without intermission it is a duty to pray, both for him who is in affliction, and him who is in relief from it, and him who is in dangers, and him who is in prosperity — for him who is in relief and much prosperity, that these may remain unmoved and without vicissitude, and may never change; and for him who is in affliction and his many dangers, that he may see some favorable change brought about to him, and be transported into a calm of consolation. Art thou in a calm? Then beseech God that this calm may continue settled to thee. Hast thou seen a storm risen up against thee? Beseech God earnestly to cause the billow to pass, and to make a calm out of the storm. “Hast thou been heard? Be heartily thankful for this; because thou hast been heard. Hast thou not been heard? Persevere in order that thou mayest be heard. For even if God at any time delay the giving, it is not in hatred and aversion; but from the desire by the deferring of the giving perpetually to retain thee with himself; just in the way also that affectionate fathers do; for they also adroitly manage the perpetual and assiduous attendance of children who are rather indolent by the delay of the giving. There is to thee no need of mediators in audience with God; nor of that much canvassing; nor of the fawning upon others; but even if thou be destitute, even if bereft of advocacy, alone, by thyself, having called on God for help, thou wilt in any case succeed. He is not so wont to assent when entreated by others on our behalf, as by ourselves who are in need; even if we be laden with ten thousand evil deeds. For if in the case of men, even if we have come into countless collisions with them, when both at dawn and at mid-day and in the evening we show ourselves to those who are aggrieved against us, by the unbroken continuance and the persistent meeting and interview we easily demolish their enmity — far more in the case of God would this be effected.
NPNF1: Vol. IX, Concerning Lowliness of Mind and Commentary on Philippians 1:18, §11.

Chrysostom (349-407) commenting on John 16:22, 23:
“And ye now therefore have sorrow — [but I will see you again, and your sorrow shall be turned into joy].” Then, to show that He shall die no more, He saith, “And no man taketh it from you. And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing.”

Again He proveth nothing else by these words, but that He is from God. “For then ye shall for the time to come know all things.” But what is, “Ye shall not ask Me”? “Ye shall need no intercessor, but it is sufficient that ye call on My Name, and so gain all things.
NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Gospel of St John, Homily 79, §1.

Notice also in the following passage from Chrysostom how he emphasizes that if one gives himself to prayer frequently and fervently, then one (generally speaking) needs no instruction from an intermediary, because God enlightens one’s mind. In other words, he knows nothing of some human infallible interpreter to act as one’s mediator in to understand Holy Scripture.

Chrysostom (349-407):
Besides, what benefit would there be in a homily when prayer has not been joined to it? Prayer stands in the first place; then comes the word of instruction. And that is what the apostles said: “Let us devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word.” Paul does this when he prays at the beginning of his epistles so that, like the light of a lamp, the light of prayer may prepare the way for the word. If you accustom yourselves to pray fervently, you will not need instruction from your fellow servants because God himself, with no intermediary, enlightens you mind.
FC, Vol. 72, On the Incomprehensible Nature of God, Homily 3.35 (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1984), pp. 111.

I offer also this testimony of Ambrose who says that the Lord alone is to be invoked in prayer…

Ambrose (c. 339-97):
My heart is worn out, because a man has been snatched away, whose like we can hardly find again; but yet Thou alone O Lord, art to be invoked, Thou art to be entreated, that Thou mayst supply his place with sons.
Herbert Mortimer Luckock, After Death: An Examination of the Testimony of Primitive Times respecting the State of the Faithful Dead, and Their Relationship to the Living, 2nd Ed. (London: Rivingtons, 1880) pp. 192-193.
Latin text:
Conteror corde; quia ereptus est vir, quem vix possumus invenire: sed tamen tu solus, Domine, invocandus es, tu rogandus, ut eum in filiis repraesentes.
De obitu Theodosii oratio (Funeral Oration for Theodosius, §36, PL 16:1397A-1397B.

- TurretinFan (with assistance from Pastor David King)

69 comments:

Matthew Bellisario said...

Too bad you forgot all of the passages where these same Saints refer to asking for the intercession of the Saints. Saint Augustine frequently mentioned this and endorsed the veneration of the Saints, including their relics. Again, great cut and paste hatchet job on the Church Fathers. Don't you ever learn anything over the course of time? People who are genuinely interested in the Truth do not buy this kind of junk scholarship. Perhaps you should add this St. Augustine quote to your hatchet job.

"It was at that time too that you [God] revealed to your bishop Ambrose in a vision the place where the bodies of the martyrs Protasius and Gervasius were hidden. All these years you had preserved them incorrupt in your secret treasury, so that when the time came you could bring them to light to thwart the fury of a woman [Justina, the mother of the Emperor Valentinian]- a mere woman, but one who ruled an empire. For after the bodies had been discovered and dug up, they were carried to Ambrose's basilica with the honor that was due to them. On the way several persons who were tormented by evil spirits were cured, for even the devils acknowledged the holy relics. But this was not all. There was also a man who had been blind for many years, a well-known figure in the city. He asked why the crowd was running with joy, and when they told him the reason, he leaped to his feet and begged his guide to lead him where the bodies lay. When he reached the place, he asked to be allowed to touch the bier with his handkerchief, for it was the bier of your saints, 'whose death is dear in your sight [Ps. 115:15]." No sooner had he done this and put the handkerchief to his eyes than his sight was restored. The news spread. Your praises rang out loud and clear, and although this miracle did not convert the mind of your enemy, Justina, to sound beliefs, at least it restrained her from the madness of persecution." (The Confessions , IX, 7)

I saw you quoted St. Augustine out of context from his work the "City of God!" Did you forget to tell everyone about book 22 chapter 8 where he explicitly says that the veneration of the Saints and their relics is perfectly fine and that many miracles are done through them by Christ?

"For even now miracles are wrought in the name of Christ, whether by His sacraments or by the prayers or relics of His saints;..."

Woops, didn't you think anyone would notice those quotes? Context, context, context! I just finished a two part series on debunking all of the myths that people like you spread on the subject of the Saints.
http://catholicchampion.blogspot.com/

natamllc said...

Leo: "...the ungodly practice of....We are full of grief and vexation that this should happen, which is partly due to the fault of ignorance and partly to the spirit of heathenism: because although some of them do perhaps worship the Creator of that fair light rather than the Light itself, which is His creature, yet we must abstain even from the appearance of this observance: for if one who has abandoned the worship of gods, finds it in our own worship, will he not hark back again to this fragment of his old superstition, as if it were allowable, when he sees it to be common both to Christians and to infidels?".

Hmmmm, I thought only us native savages from our native lands, California, did that; that is, prayed to the Creator of the great light in the sky? I certainly did not think it was "common" to both Christians and us infidels as you claimed us to be.

I guess we can attribute why to some of this knowledge of the "spirit of heathenism" to wit Leo was seeing and writing?

They, the RCC, gave a bit of money and time and mission work to convert our wretched souls after the Gold rush days!

Well, I am glad my people were not the only stupid people walking around worshiping this way the Creator of the sun and moon and fish in the stream and sea? Why we even had faith to believe "turtle's blood" would cure some of what ailed us! My Auntie writes in one of her books about the time my Great Grandmother made her drink it because of the fever draining the life out of her that she had that they accused the white man brought to our land, either the Catholic or Protestant settlers who brought it with them from San Francisco Bay! grrrrr.

Now, I guess you can take your pick, seeing the Government almost exterminated my whole people group with their political programs to make way for population growth and economies that wanted to bust out redefining our way of life.

We are grateful for the practice of Bingo parlors on our Reservations thanks to the RCC! The United States government passed IGRA in 1987 so now the balance of economies of scale tip in favor of the rich wretched Indians around the country! Hmmmmmm? At least the Protestants were not behind that policy? Or were they too??

I am not complaining, mind you, seeing God has enlightened my wretched soul and given me New Life through Jesus Christ.

My point is, it just doesn't matter from what tribe, kindred, tongue or nation you are cut out of, just that the "spirit of heathenism" is in all of us until we too are delivered from darkness and brought into that Light!

I can tell you that I have been full of grief and vexation and this flesh of mine just won't stop being flesh! Grrrrr!!!

Now, here's my understanding and prayer:


Psa 143:1 A Psalm of David. Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
Psa 143:2 Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.
Psa 143:3 For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Psa 143:4 Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.

Coram Deo said...

MB,

No one ever said that Augustine was infallible, or that he was incapable of being deceived.

I don't doubt that he believed that his report was true, but that doesn't make it true. Furthermore, entire dogmas aren't to be built on the shifting sands of human experientialism which stand over and against the revealed truth contained uniquely in the 66 books of the Holy Bible.

As you should know from the footnotes of City of God, the double-reporting of the Milan miracle (in both Confessions and City of God) was given a treatment in Isaac Taylor's Ancient Christianity where, and I quote, "...this miracle [referencing Milan] is taken as a specimen of the so-called miracles of that age, and submitted to a detailed examination. The result arrived at will be gathered from the following sentence: 'In the Nicene Church, so lax were the notions of common morality, and in so feeble a manner did the fear of God influence the conduct of leading men, that, on occasions when the Church was to be served, and her assailants to be confounded, they did not scruple to take upon themselves the contrivance and execution of the most degrading impostures'. - P.270. It is to be observed, however, that Augustine was, at least in this instance, one of the deceived."

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, - 1 Tim. 2:5

Prayer is to be directed God-ward; all else is idolatry of the first order.

In Christ,
CD

dtking said...

The common complaint of the Romanist is...

Context, context, context!

But notice, the Romanist, while complaining about "context" never takes it upon himself to demonstrate what the context is. Instead, he simply offers what he believes is a conflicting testimony to cover for his lack of explanation/understanding of the context of all the testimonies that are clearly against the view of the modern day Roman communion. In other words, he has not even made the attempt to weigh the conflicting testimonies against his claims in their context.

In the meantime, we are quite content to permit the Romanist to rant in protest, because we do not fear the evidence.

Now, notice, what brings the Romanist out of the wood work the quickest to complain? Is it claims made that the Gospel has been corrupted and distorted? Is it that the deity of Christ is being challenged, or the virgin birth of the only Savior of sinners?

No, what causes the Romanist to rant in protest, with all rhetorical flare and verbal violence, is anything that disputes and/or calls into question the beliefs and/or dogmas that are peculiar to the communion of Rome.

We respond in similar fashion to such complaints as did Theodoret...

Theodoret of Cyrus (393-466): These events teach us not to quench the Spirit but to rekindle the grace we have received, not to introduce anything foreign into holy Scripture but to be content with the teaching of the Spirit, and to abhor heretics, some of whom have combined their mythological fables with the divine oracles, while others have preferred their own unholy notions to the sense of Scripture. Robert C. Hill, trans., Theodoret of Cyrus: The Questions on the Octateuch, Volume 2, Questions on Leviticus, Question 9 (Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 2007) pp. 26-27.
Greek text: Ἡμεῖς δὲ παιδευόμεθα διὰ τούτων, μὴ σβεννύναι τὸ πνεῦμα, ἀλλʼ ἀναζωπυρεῖν ἣν ἐλάβομεν χάριν· καὶ μηδὲν ἀλλότριον ἐπεισάγειν τῇ θείᾳ γραφῇ, ἀλλʼ ἀρκεῖσθαι τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ τοῦ πνεύματος, καὶ μυσάττεσθαι τὰς αἱρέ σεις, ὧν οἱ μὲν μύθους τοῖς θείοις λογίοις προσέθεσαν· οἱ δὲ τοὺς δυσσεβεῖς αὐτῶν λογισμοὺς τῆς γραφικῆς προετίμησαν διανοίας. Quaestiones in Leviticum, Interrogatio 9, PG 80:313.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Wow, as usual you are all full of excuses. First you guys quote St. Augustine as a proof that we should not venerate Saints, then when I prove you are taking him out of context by proving that he himself approved of it, then you attack me by saying that he isn't infallible and that he was mistaken. What a joke. Your excuses are disgraceful. Either stand by your quotes or quit using them, you are not helping your superficial cause against the Catholic faith.

D.T, your quote of Theodoret proves nothing since the veneration of the Saints is in no way contradicting the Scriptures. Do you need me to show you up with another quote from Theodoret which proves that you are taking him out of context too? Let me know before you speak. I know, if I prove that you are taking him out of context too, you will just come back and say it doesn't matter any ways right? He isn't infallible either. Your two faced rhetoric does not work on those seeking the truth. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Quit quoting people out of context, and then running like cowards when you are proven that you are doing so.

Coram, Saint Augustine believed and approved of the many miracles that were given by God through the veneration of His Saints, and he attested to this in many of his writings, it was not just one instance. Do I need to compile a list for you? It wasn't an isolated "specimen" as the author you quoted says it was. It was one of many. And many other Church Fathers also attested to such miracles.

Coram Deo said...

MB said: "Wow, as usual you are all full of excuses. First you guys quote St. Augustine as a proof that we should not venerate Saints, then when I prove you are taking him out of context by proving that he himself approved of it, then you attack me by saying that he isn't infallible and that he was mistaken."

There's nothing necessarily sinful about being deceived, MB. For example, you've been deceived by Rome, yet according to the Holy Bible God offers remission of sin to those who turn from darkness to His glorious light.

Will you repent and believe?

At any rate, the title of TF's post is "Prayers to God Alone (and Worship to God Alone, in general) in the Early Church"

Since this is apparently a subject you're eager to discuss, and having just written a two part series debunking people like TF, perhaps you would provide a few quotes from Augustine or Theodoret where they approve of, and/or encourage praying to and/or worshipping a being other than God.

I'm looking forward to your response.

In Christ,
CD

Matthew Bellisario said...

Read book 22 chapter 8 of the City of God. Saint Augustine approves of venerating the Saints, period. In fact he rails against blasphemers like yourselves who accused him of worshiping the Saints as being on par with God, which is obviously not the case. Saint Augustine specifically says that we honor, or venerate the Saints so that we may obtain from them their intercession of their prayers, and share in their merits, which is what the Catholic faith also teaches.

"It is true that Christians pay religious honor to the memory of the martyrs, both to excite us to imitate them and to obtain a share in their merits, and the assistance of their prayers."

So we also as Catholics rightly honor the memory of the Saints both to excite us to imitate them and to obtain the assistance of their prayers. So much for your false accusations.

natamllc said...

MB,

with all due respect, I don't like you!

Having said that, that in no way means I do not respect from where you are coming. It means your hostility is unwarranted and I don't like that about you.

You responded to CD this way:

"...or venerate the Saints so that we may obtain from them their intercession of their prayers, and share in their merits,....".

One way of looking at that phrase, the correct way, would be to say, every time I read the Bible, I venerate Saints so that I too might obtain the same absolution as they have.

Every time I read a book of the Bible or any other book written and after reading it I come away refreshed and edified, I venerate their work.

Php 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

and

2Ti 1:13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.



Where I differ from you is the degree to which you are going with your veneration, not mine. If I am mistaken, then, to what degree do you go to "...venerate the Saints so that we may obtain from them their intercession of their prayers, and share in their merits,....?"

I honor God by accepting His Word; and by Faith, when I believe that the Virgin was with child, God is glorified.

Why?

Because, after the gift of Faith was given to me and I read in both the Old Testament and New that a virgin would be with Child, I believed it. That honors and glorifies God.

Maybe your hostility is warranted? I don't think it is.

Let me see if we agree on this one matter, first?

Do you confess the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead?

If your answer is yes, according to the Bible, then you shall be saved.

Salvation is a work of the Lord and no veneration of any Saint so as to obtain from them their intercession of their prayers, and share in their merits saves us.

Now, I just don't accept your view on the papacy and the infallibility of the Pope, past or present; or the degree to which you claim Mary should be prayed to and venerated or your hostility being expressed in here.

Do you believe the Bible teaches you can pray to "Saints" passed over to their Heavenly Life, you being on this side and they on that side, so as to obtain from them their intercession of their prayers, and share in their merits?

Is that your meaning and intend on me accepting is Truth?

Matthew Bellisario said...

Natamllc says,
"MB,

with all due respect, I don't like you!"

OK so what? I could care less. What is important is that false accusations are not made against Christ and His Church, which is again happening here. If by me pointing this fact out makes you not like me, then so be it. They hated Christ for proclaiming the truth as well. I have made my case here, quit quoting the Church Fathers out of context and I won't bother you anymore. Maybe then you will like me? I doubt it, but thats OK. I won't lose any sleep over it.

natamllc said...

MB,

I am not doing the quoting, others are.

I am doing the reproving, "you".

Got it?

Why not just address my concerns here and not dodge them?

If you think I am quoting out of context something about the Church Fathers, please cut and paste it in here so I can accept your admonition.

Otherwise, you got the wrong guy.

However, I haven't found much I don't accept when TF, Pastor King, CD and others put over their interpretations of the Patristics or the Scriptures.

You though, well, I have listened to some of the audio debates and video clips from you and, as I said, I don't like the hostility.

So, where do you want to take it now between us?

Do you want answer my honest and forthright questions?

natamllc said...

MB,

do you want to answer my honest and forthright questions?

Coram Deo said...

MB said: "I have made my case here, quit quoting the Church Fathers out of context and I won't bother you anymore."

Declaring yourself the victor without offering any positive evidence whatsoever for your assertions may impress some people, or make you feel good about yourself, but things don't actually work that way in the real world.

The fact is that your quote failed to respond to my request in any meaningful way.

Let's try again:

I said: "Since this is apparently a subject you're eager to discuss, and having just written a two part series debunking people like TF, perhaps you would provide a few quotes from Augustine or Theodoret where they approve of, and/or encourage praying to and/or worshipping a being other than God."

Please offer positive evidence of Augustine, Theodoret, or another ECF who approved of and/or encouraged praying to and/or worshipping a being other than God which thing is the subject of TF's OP.

In Christ,
CD

Matthew Bellisario said...

"Please offer positive evidence of Augustine, Theodoret, or another ECF who approved of and/or encouraged praying to and/or worshipping a being other than God which thing is the subject of TF's OP."

Did you read Saint Augustine? Then I did back up my claim. St. Augustine endorsed the veneration of Saints, and the fact that they pray and intercede for us as a result of doing so. Learn to read instead of attacking. Also you have no idea what the term "worship" even means, that is very obvious being that you cannot discern what St. Augustine was saying in the quote that was posted by TF to begin with. I don't have to declare victory, the Saints in the their own words do that for themselves.

dtking said...

The Romanist makes my basic point every time he posts. :)

Matthew Bellisario said...

Blog title, Prayers to God Alone (and Worship to God alone, in general. This is what I addressed. Saint Augustine himself proves that TF took him out of context.

Too bad you can't argue your fallacy through DT. Jut make insults instead, I know it makes you feel better.

Coram Deo said...

MB,

Biblically speaking prayer and worship are offerings (or sacrifices) of petition and praise that are to be made only to the one true and living God.

This is God's own rule, as He sets forth quite clearly in the Second Commandment.

It seems quite strange to me that you would accuse me of not understanding what "worship" means even though Augustine himself decries any and all form of sacrifice to any being other than God in the very text you cite.

Is it correct to say that you do not believe that prayer and worship are representative of offerings made to God?

In Christ,
CD

Coram Deo said...

It escaped my mind when typing the previous comment that Rome attempts to evade the thrust of the Second Commandment (for reasons that ought to be obvious), preferring instead to do violence to God's Word, conflating the First and Second Commandments and absurdly bifurcating the Tenth Commandment.

As Pastor King has said, when it comes to defending her peculiar dogmas Rome would prefer to violate the Holy Scriptures themselves in favor of violating her vain traditions of men.

For those interested here is the Second Commandment:

"You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. - Exodus 20:4-6

In Christ,
CD

Matthew Bellisario said...

Obviously the veneration of Saints is not a form of sacrifice or worship that is due to God alone, which is what St. Augustine is talking about in the quote TF put up. However St.Augustine in the very same work says that we venerate the Saints, and we receive their prayers, and that miracles are attributed to the Saints by God, to those who venerate them and their relics.

The term worship has many meanings, learn them before you attack. "Worship" in the English language can mean strictly the worship due to God, or it can mean the veneration and honor made in high esteem to someone. "Worship" must be understood in the proper context of its use. Obviously St. Augustine was not using it in the sense referring to the veneration of the Saints in the quote that TF used, otherwise he is contradicting himself in the very same work. Read Book 22,chapter 8. Did you do that yet?

Coram Deo said...

MB,

Yes, I've read the excerpt, and believe it or not I actually have my very own copies of City of God and Confessions. I realize that simply owning books doesn't automatically exempt one from ignorance of their contents, as evidenced by the fact that you presumably own a Bible.

Furthermore I'm familiar with the soul destroying concept of juxtaposing Latria and Dulia as it's employed by Romanists.

This concept is, of course, impossible to justify Biblically, but then again Rome has been playing word games for a long, long time, and sadly the concept of "worship" is one of the words she loves to pervert to her own ends.

Having painted herself into a theological corner, she has no choice but to defend her aberrent and heretical practices, since to do otherwise would be to admit that she isn't infallible.

It simply comes back, as always, to questions of ultimate authority and if one begins with God's Word as his authority there's no simply way to justify giving dulia or latria to any being other than the one true and living God who is alone worthy of praise.

If one's ultimate authority is the church at Rome, well then, all sorts of things can be justified, can't they?

I'll close on this note, MB: just be thankful that you weren't born a Jew a few thousands years ago who was found giving dulia to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (or whomever); lying prostrate before an image of your object of veneration, lighting candles, and generally giving oblations and making earnest petitions to him/it because the practice you are defending is a detestable thing before the Lord.

If there is found among you, within any of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, in transgressing his covenant, 3 and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, 4 and it is told you and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abomination has been done in Israel, 5 then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones. - Deuteronomy 17:2-5

In Christ,
CD

Matthew Bellisario said...

Coram, too bad you are not honest enough to admit the proper definitions of words, and you instead force your own fallacious use of terms at your own whim. It has been proven here that my case asserting that St. Augustine has indeed been quoted out of context is upheld, and you again are on the losing side of an argument. Quit quoting Church Fathers out of context.

The great St. Jerome also scoffed at hecklers like yourselves in his day when he justified the veneration of the Saints and their relics, and the candles (tapers) which burned before their tombs representing the light of Christ, which Catholics do today, "And do we, every time that we enter the basilicas of apostles and prophets and martyrs, pay homage to the shrines of idols? Are the tapers which burn before their tombs only the tokens of idolatry? I will go farther still and ask a question which will make this theory recoil upon the head of its inventor and which will either kill or cure that frenzied brain of his, so that simple souls shall be no more subverted by his sacrilegious reasonings. "

John Lollard said...

I may be out of place to intrude between two giants here, but I don't see how Mr. Bellisario's quote from Augustine has anything to do with prayer to saints.

The quote in question speaks of Christians carrying the remains of saints with honor and duty, and people receiving healing from these relics. Similar things are mentioned in the book of Acts, albeit not with regards to dead bodies. In this context, Augustine holds up veneration of saints and hopes for their prayers.

What on earth does that have to do with praying to saints, with erecting statues of them, or of painting pictures of them on neat little cards that have poems and prayers on the back?

To venerate the saints in the Augustinian sense seems to mean to celebrate the good deeds of past saints and to seek to emulate these good deeds as an example of Christian holiness. I don't see anywhere people in the funeral procession crying out to the dead saints in heaven soliciting their help, much less going to the extent of some of the Marian prayers.

So, Mr. Bellisario, I'm afraid that I don't see your point supported with your quote (interesting though it may be) and I have to ask with CD if you could produce an example of Augustine (or anyone from that time, really) offering prayers to anyone besides God or defending the practice of prayer to anyone besides God. And by prayer, I mean prayer. Such would be very instructive, and very helpful in persuading me of an ancient date of hagiology.

Love in Christ,
JL

Matthew Bellisario said...

"I don't see anywhere people in the funeral procession crying out to the dead saints in heaven "

Where does it say it is a funeral procession? You are out of your mind. The text in Book 22, Chapter 8 says they actually brought forth the relics from another place to be venerated and people were healed, they also went to the tombs of the martyrs and venerated the Saints and were healed. The text also says that the Saints pray for us because of the veneration taking place. Again we see the dishonesty here. If you cannot even be honest and read the actual text then you are beyond hope here. "both to excite us to imitate them and to obtain a share in their merits, and the assistance of their prayers."

Matthew Bellisario said...

OK, since none of you read Book 22, chapter 8, let me put this to rest. I wanted to see if any of you were actually going to read the text, but it is apparent that you are not even willing to do that. None of you are interested in the truth.

"There was a fellow-townsman of ours at Hippo, Florentius, an old man, religious and poor, who supported himself as a tailor. Having lost his coat, and not having means to buy another, he prayed to the Twenty Martyrs, who have a very celebrated memorial shrine in our town, begging in a distinct voice that he might be clothed."

There it is, St. Augustine says, they prayed to the Twenty Martyrs. Whats your excuse now? So sad to see that none of you will even take the time to discover the truth for yourselves.

Lets look at the quote again, shall we?

"Having lost his coat, and not having means to buy another, he prayed to the Twenty Martyrs, who have a very celebrated memorial shrine in our town, begging in a distinct voice that he might be clothed."

"...he prayed to the Twenty Martyrs..."

Then, look what happened.

"But, on cutting up the fish, the cook found a gold ring in its belly; and immediately, moved with compassion, and influenced, too, by religious fear, gave it up to the man, saying, See how the Twenty Martyrs have clothed you."

Looks pretty clear to me that TF took Saint Augustine out of context no? Either admit it or let everyone see how dishonest all of you are! Unbelievable.

dtking said...

How is the memory of the martyrs best honored? Augustine tells us...

Augustine (354-430): So the good slave, as I said, who is already to be called a son, doesn’t wish himself, but his master to be venerated. Think a little, brothers and sisters, and recall what you attend every day; what does truth teach you in church? The faithful know in what style the martyrs are commemorated in the mysteries, when our wishes and prayers are addressed to God. John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., The Works of Saint Augustine, Newly Discovered Sermons, Part 3, Vol. 11, trans. Edmund Hill, O.P., Sermon 198.12 (Hyde Park: New City Press, 1997), p. 190.

louis said...

The reference to the Twenty Martyrs is a little troubling to me.

To my Reformed brothers, I ask if anyone has a response to this beyond saying that Augustine was wrong. Any background on what this shrine was? Any further context to clarify the meaning or significance of it, or its place in the history of the church?

To Matthew Bellisario, I ask if the "veneration" of "saints" occupied as prominent a place in Augustine's faith as it does in Rome today. It's one thing to mention something offhand, another to build an entire system around it.

Coram Deo said...

As previously mentioned, there's little doubt that Augustine was able to be deceived, and it appears that he was infected with superstitious and idolatrous tendencies on top of that.

Augustine was not infallible, only God's Holy Word is infallible and therefore it should be our sole guide in matters pertaining to the proper, God-ordained manner in which we are to approach Him in prayer and worship.

Giving honor and paying homage to filthy rags and rotten bones is a thoroughly pagan practice, as is attested to by secular history.

The Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth says that He alone is worthy of all praise and glory and honor.

In fact He Himself through the mouth of His prophet describes the righteous deeds of men filthy rags which carries with it the notion of soiled female menstrual garments.

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. - Isaiah 64:6

Whereas God sees the "righteous deeds" of men as so much bloody, disgusting filth, Rome elevates the righteousness of men to point of idolatrous adoration and veneration.

Even if Augustine reported such pagan nonsense with approval, it's certainly grossly anachronistic to point at his silly wives tales as evidence to support the gigantic edifice of systemized idolatry erected by Rome.

In Christ,
CD

John Lollard said...

Mr. Bellisario,

I'm afraid to say that I don't own a copy of St. Augustine's city of God and thus I had no way of looking up book 22, chapter 8.

When I spoke of a funeral procession, I was referring to the quote that you cited in the very first post, where the Christians discover the body of two martyrs and carry them to a basilica on a bier. If that's not a funeral procession, then please forgive me, but it sounds like a funeral procession to me. In that quote, I do not see anyone actually praying to the saints.

However, in the portion you have now quoted, about praying to the 20 martyrs, that is much more explicit and I'm kind of confused why you didn't quote that in the first place.

As someone else has said, that quote is very upsetting to me, and I hope you will understand that it raises in me not a little suspicion and doubt. However, I will today go look up City of God, Book 22, Chapter 8 and ensure that it truly says this (as per your own request), and also read more about this event.

As it stands now, I am willing to cede that Augustine found prayers to the dead acceptable, contrary to TF's reading of his quote in the post.

By the way, Mr. Bellisario, there is really no ned to be as rude as you are. It is perfectly possible to raise intellectual objections without all the noise and thunder you bring with it.

Love in Christ,
JL

Viisaus said...

Gentlemen, we must also take into account the distasteful possibility that some Nicene-era church fathers might have seen the saint-worship as a distasteful affair of the "the mob", the common people, which nonetheless had to be tolerated and indulged for pragmatic reasons.

In other words, when such writers express support for the cult of the saints they were merely pandering to popular prejudices without themselves being really committed to them.

"Straussian" approach, you know. That would explain why in their PUBLIC speeches some fathers seem to encourage praying to saints, while in their PRIVATE schoalrly writings they commend praying to God alone.

In his biography of Gregory Thaumaturgus, Gregory of Nyssa practically admits that the festivals in the memory of saints were originally instituted merely as to help freshly-converted, imperfect Christians to assimilate into the new life:

http://www.sage.edu/faculty/salomd/nyssa/index.html

"With God's help the tyranny was dissolved and peace returned to the populace through which allowed them to freely be at God's service. This peace descended upon the city and having permeated throughout the entire region, [J 53] it permitted everyone to attend to divine matters, and they decreed a feast for those who had contended for the faith. When the martyrs' bodies were transferred to another location, the inhabitants rejoiced at this yearly anniversary and held a festival in the martyrs' honor. This clearly demonstrated the great man's wisdom because having suddenly transformed all his people with a new way of living. As a skilled charioteer he firmly yoked them to the reigns of divine knowledge and care so that in a short they might rejoice under faith's yoke. Because he saw the naive, untrained crowd persisting in corporeal pleasures by the deception of idols, he wished to give a special precept for their guidance. In this way they might look to God instead of revering idols through celebrating the saints' memory. Thus with the passage of time, spontaneously they might turn to a more worthy, conscientious manner of life once instructed in the faith. After having accomplished this, corporeal pleasure might be directed aright to a spiritual form of joy."


Above, Gregory Nyssen was describing what happened after the Decian persecutions in the latter half of the 3rd century. (He does not yet actually mention the invocation of the saints, but it was from these festivals that the practice grew up from.)

Anyways, he testifies that in the days of Thaumaturgus, martyr-festivals were still a NOVELTY that he credits the bishop for inventing.

Viisaus said...

Referring to the account given above, Isaac Taylor coldly spelled out his theory on the disreputable origins of saint-worship, how they grew from an unprincipled compromise with the tastes of masses:

p. 370

"Too much reason is there to believe that a fatal ambition, on the part of the bishops of the third century, had given the first impulse to this infatuation. — Men like Gregory of Neo-Caesarea (Thaumaturgus), too eager to grasp the people, on any terms, within the arms of the church, allowed a yet pagan populace to cling to their inveterate habits, under the thin disguise of new appellations. The church had been used 'fondly' to pray FOR the dead: — these nominal converts, might they not therefore be allowed to pray TO them? — and then to celebrate their Parentalia, and other ancient rites, with every customary excess! Such, as it seems, was the origin of the invocation of saints, and veneration of relics; and how 'vain,' how pernicious, how presumptuous an invention let all history declare! *

* 'After the Decian persecution, during which many in this region had died as martyrs, he (Gregory)appointed a general festival in honour of the martyrs, and suffered the rugged multitude to celebrate this with the same sort of feasts as those which were usual at the heathen commemorations of the dead (Parentalia) and other heathen festivals. He thought that thus one obstacle to conversion would be removed, and that if they had once become members of the Christian Church, they would by degrees voluntarily renounce sensuous indulgences, after their minds should have become spiritualized through Christianity. But he forgot what an intermixture of heathen and Christian views, and rites, might arise from this acquiescence in heathen customs, as really did happen afterwards, and how difficult it is for Christianity to penetrate properly into the life, when it is debased from the beginning with such an admixture." — Neander, by Rose, vol. ii. p. 412."

http://www.archive.org/details/ancientchristia02taylgoog


We might say (by way of crude simplification) that the first seeds of both hagiolatry and monkery were sown in the second half of the 3rd century, then first came visible during the first half of the 4th century, and had become epidemic by the second half of the 4th century.


Philip Schaff did not put it quite so crudely as Taylor did, but he also sees it depressingly obvious that the cult of the saints became the functional successor-substitute of pagan cults:

"Here we find this veneration as yet in its innocent simplicity.

But in the Nicene age it advanced to a formal invocation of the saints as our patrons (patroni) and intercessors (intercessores, mediatores) before the throne of grace, and degenerated into a form of refined polytheism and idolatry. The saints came into the place of the demigods, Penates and Lares, the patrons of the domestic hearth and of the country."

http://www.prayerfoundation.org/why_protestants_dont_pray_to_saints.htm

Viisaus said...

I personally believe that the Nicene-era church may well correspond prophetically with the "Church of Pergamon" described in Revelation 2.

The "doctrine of Balaam" - that is, SYNCRETISTIC COMPROMISE with paganism - had infected this church, but it still had truly pious elements within it as well, as the principled resistance of people like Athanasius against Arianism shows.


Rev 2:12 "To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:

These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live--where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city--where Satan lives.

14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15 Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Viisaus said...

The great (and politically incorrect) Victorian preacher Charles Spurgeon also compared Romanism to Samaritan syncretism, and thought that it had originated at the time when masses of heathen were rushing, or were rushed, into the church.

From his sermon "Mongrel Religion":

http://www.biblebb.com/files/spurgeon/1622.htm

"Certain vain-glorious preachers desired to convert the world at a stroke, and to make converts without the work of the Spirit. They saw the people worshipping their gods, and they thought that if they could call these by the names of saints and martyrs the people would not mind the change, and so they would be converted. The idea was to Christianize heathenism. They virtually said to idolaters, "Now, good people, you may keep on with your worship, and yet you can be Christians at the same time. This image of the Queen of heaven at your door need not be moved. Light the lamp still; only call the image 'our Lady,' and 'the Blessed Virgin.' Here is another image; don't pull it down, but change its name from Jupiter to Peter." Thus with a mere change of names they perpetuated idolatry: they set up their altars in the groves, and upon every high hill, and the people were converted without knowing it—converted to a baser heathenism than their own. They wanted priests, and, lo, there they were, robed like those who served at the altars of Jove. The people saw the same altars and sniffed the same incense, kept the same holy days and observed the same carnivals as aforetime, and called everything by Christian names. Hence came what is now called the Roman Catholic religion, which is simply fearing God and serving other gods. Every village has its own peculiar saint, and often its own particular black or white image of the Virgin, with miracles and wonders to sanctify the shrine. This evil wrought so universally that Christianity seemed in danger of extinction from the prevalence of idolatry, and it would have utterly expired had it not been of God, and had he not therefore once more put forth his hand and raised up reformers, who cried out, "There is but one God, and one Mediator between God and man.""

natamllc said...

Viisaus

"...Anyways, he testifies that in the days of Thaumaturgus, martyr-festivals were still a NOVELTY that he credits the bishop for inventing."

I have thought as much.

My citation above from Leo's quotation, given, the reference to the spirit of heathenism, is what seems to me to be what was the intent driving those early bishops then; and maybe the current bishops now?

Consider, literacy was not a popular thing among the masses.

The Bible started a broader reach after the invention of the printing press. Even King James opposed the Geneva Bible because it explained to much!

So it makes good sense to me your conclusion!

What has my attention now is the fact that the system of public and charter education in the United States today is lending more to illiteracy, again.

The hands that rock the cradle give them students to the hands that rule the world by governing the masses with their knowledge not His!

Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Pro 9:11 For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.
Pro 9:12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

and methinks our lines have been drawn, already:::>

Isa 11:8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.
Isa 11:9 They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
Isa 11:10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples--of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.

And certainly, if one cannot read the Scriptures, the mass fervor will weaken the strength of the Voice of the Spirit, will it not?

I am asking??

We do read this warning by Paul:


1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
1Ti 4:2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,
1Ti 4:3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

And, in light of that, it makes perfectly good sense to me what you conclude, especially when we read this:


Joh 6:65 And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."
Joh 6:66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
Joh 6:67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, "Do you want to go away as well?"
Joh 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,
Joh 6:69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."

yet, we read this, though:

Luk 9:43 And all were astonished at the majesty of God. But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples,
Luk 9:44 "Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men."
Luk 9:45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
Luk 9:46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest.

What is more powerful, in your view, the "Spoken" Word or the "Written" Word?

If you cannot read, aren't you at the whim of the bishops, indeed?

And, if you cannot read, you must be left, then, with arguing "who is the greatest"? Me or you, or is it you or me? :)

Viisaus said...

The 2nd century "Martyrdom of Polycarp" clearly declares:

"Jesus Christ we PROSKUNEO (worship) as Son of God, martyrs we AGAPEOMEN (love)."

Clear implication: we do not PROSKUNEO saints.

http://www.earlychurchtexts.com/main/polycarp/01_martyrdom_of_polycarp_03.shtml

17:3

"τοῦτον μέν γάρ υἱόν ὄντα τοῦ θεοῦ προσκυνοῦμεν, τούς δέ μάρτυρας ὡς μαθητάς καί μιμητάς τοῦ κυρίου ἀγαπῶμεν ἀξίως ἕνεκα εὐνοίας ἀνυπερβλήτου τῆς εἰς τόν ἴδιον βασιλέα καί διδάσκαλον ὧν γένοιτο καί ἡμᾶς κοινωνούς τε καί συμμαθητάς γενέσθαι."

"For him we worship as the Son of God, but the martyrs we love as disciples and imitators of the Lord; and rightly, because of their unsurpassable affection toward their own King and Teacher. God grant that we too may be their companions and fellow-disciples."

louis said...

Viisaus, thank you.

Lucian said...

Since I see you love to quote Chrysostom so much, here's another one to add to your collection:


Considering all which things, let us prefer this way of spending our time, to all delight, all pleasure, in order that rejoicing at once, and profiting, we may be able to become partakers with these saints, both of their dwelling and of their home, through the prayers of the saints themselves, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom be glory to the Father with the Holy Spirit, now and always forever and ever, Amen.

dtking said...

Since I see you love to quote Chrysostom so much, here's another one to add to your collection

And since you love to quote Chrysostom, as well, here is one to add to your collection. :)

Chrysostom (349-407) on the communion of saints: Praise the Lord, my soul. Let us sing this together with David: if he is not present in body, at least he is in spirit. For proof that the righteous are present with us, and sing along with us, listen to what Abraham says to the rich man: when he said, “Send Lazarus so that my brothers may learn what happens in Hades and put their affairs in order,” he replied to him, “They have Moses and the prophets.” Actually, Moses and all the prophets were long dead in the body, but in their writings they had them. After all, if a person sets up a lifeless image of son or dear one and thinks that person, though dead, is present, and through the lifeless image he imagines him, much more do we enjoy the communion of the saints through the divine Scriptures, having in them images not of their bodies but of their souls, the words spoken by them being of their very souls. Robert Charles Hill, trans., St. John Chrysostom, Old Testament Homilies, Volume Three: Homilies on the Psalms (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2003), Homily on Psalm 146.1, p. 116.

natamllc said...

Lucian,

I guess what is passed is not passed by the way you put it passed?

The past can sure fool us about what is passed when you pass it off as it was not passed!

What that dear Saint meant, it seems to me, can be found by understanding another dear Saint's writings, here:


Pro 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.


Words have and convey meaning. Some words have and convey powerful meaning.

Some words are just foolish gibberish and have no meaning at all!

What you have just done here by your citation of some powerful words of Chrysostom, that have meaning, and applied an interpretation to his words that is not there, is malign the meaning of his words.

You should be ashamed of yourself for doing that, but I suppose you won't be?

Turretinfan said...

Lucian:

We're not opposed to the saints in heaven praying for us. Just so you know.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Viisaus,

Thanks for your many helpful comments!

There is definitely a problem with syncretism attempting (and sometimes gaining) inroads in the 4th and following centuries.

The degree of toleration vs. opposition varies a lot, though. So, for example, you can see Augustine complaining about folks going to the sporting events rather than church.

Chrysostom criticizes the people for things of that sort in even louder tones (and winds up dying deposed and banished).

Claudius of Turin is an interesting example of a theological conservative who opposed the introduction of images, but whose opposition was clearly contrary to popular sentiment (link to discussion).

But the key point to remember is that we must let the fathers be who they were, rather than trying to force them to be like us - or like we would wish them to be.

A study of Church history shows that there is not quite the massive gap that folks like to claim - it was not A.D. 33 then - poof - October 31, 1517. There were errors that gained a very firm hold early (asceticism, for example), others that gained a hold somewhat later (idolatry, for example), and still others that gain widespread traction practically at the brink of the Reformation (transubstantiation, for example).

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Louis,

You'll probably find my upcoming post related to the "twenty martyrs" interesting. Stay tuned!

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario,

I have a response planned to your comments. I have been holding off on it for a while as I have been working on some other things.

This comment is an opportunity for you to abandon your notion if Augustine endorsing prayers to (or worship of) the saints.

I doubt you'll take it, but I figure you at least deserve the opportunity, since someone might say you posted your blog comments in haste. Otherwise, I'll hold you to these comments when I reply.

Barring any retractions from your side, I think my readers will enjoy the response quite thoroughly.

-TurretinFan

ChaferDTS said...

"The term worship has many meanings"

Scripture no where makes the distinctions between Latria, Dulia and Hyperdulia as found in Roman Catholicism. (see Acts 10:25, 14:14, Rev 19:10 and Col. 2:18. )

Images made and used that are devised by men in a religious context are also condemned by Scripture. ( Acts 17:29 and 1 John 5:21 )

To see all those images in a religious context is no better than the use of the " golden calf " .

Viisaus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Turretinfan said...

V:

I liked your last comment ... not sure why you removed it.

-TurretinFan

Viisaus said...

Oh well, I just thought that maybe I could make a more detailed and comprehensive post on the issue later. I have a perfectionist streak - I something delete less-than-perfect posts. :)

ChaferDTS said...

"But the key point to remember is that we must let the fathers be who they were, rather than trying to force them to be like us - or like we would wish them to be."

The consistant problem takes place in Roman Catholicism which tries and turn the church fathers in to Roman Catholics doctrinally. I personally have seen the worst cases of anchronism coming right out of Roman Catholic apologist. I read the post here and seen the very same pattern. They fail to deal with one line of quotes and run off and selectively quote another as if that deals with the actual quote in question.

Turretinfan said...

V: Ah, ok - makes sense. - TurretinFan

Viisaus said...

"Scripture no where makes the distinctions between Latria, Dulia and Hyperdulia as found in Roman Catholicism."


One thing that concretely proves this is that Jerome, the Latin translator of the Vulgate Bible (that was so long THE official Roman version) consistently translated the term "PROSKUNEO" in Greek original for ADORATION.

Today, RCs and EOs often like to claim that "adoration" stands for the very highest sort of worship that is given to God alone - that it is unlike "proskynesis" or "dulia" worship that can be given to created beings. But we can clearly see from the Vulgate that in the days of Jerome, proskynesis and adoration were pretty much one and the same thing.

(And against Vigilantius, Jerome declared that nobody was worshipping the saints - "non colimus, non adoramus".)


Here's a demonstration - Christ's discussion with the Samaritan woman in John 4:20-24. First the Greek original, then Jerome's Latin translation:

"20. οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν ἐν τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ προσεκύνησαν: καὶ ὑμεῖς λέγετε ὅτι ἐν Ἰεροσολύμοις ἐστὶν ὁ τόπος ὅπου προσκυνεῖν δεῖ.

21. λέγει αὐτῇ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Πίστευέ μοι, γύναι, ὅτι ἔρχεται ὥρα ὅτε οὔτε ἐν τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ οὔτε ἐν Ἰεροσολύμοις προσκυνήσετε τῷ πατρί.

22. ὑμεῖς προσκυνεῖτε ὃ οὐκ οἴδατε, ἡμεῖς προσκυνοῦμεν ὃ οἴδαμεν, ὅτι ἡ σωτηρία ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ἐστίν: ἀλλὰ ἔρχεται ὥρα καὶ νῦν ἐστίν,

23. ὅτε οἱ ἀληθινοὶ προσκυνηταὶ προσκυνήσουσιν τῷ πατρὶ ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ, καὶ γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ τοιούτους ζητεῖ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας αὐτόν: πνεῦμα ὁ θεός,

24. καὶ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας αὐτὸν ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ δεῖ προσκυνεῖν."

http://www.septuagint.org/NT/John/4

"patres nostri in monte hoc adoraverunt et vos dicitis quia Hierosolymis est locus ubi adorare oportet

dicit ei Iesus mulier crede mihi quia veniet hora quando neque in monte hoc neque in Hierosolymis adorabitis Patrem

vos adoratis quod nescitis nos adoramus quod scimus quia salus ex Iudaeis est

sed venit hora et nunc est quando veri adoratores adorabunt Patrem in spiritu et veritate nam et Pater tales quaerit qui adorent eum

spiritus est Deus et eos qui adorant eum in spiritu et veritate oportet adorare"

http://www.latinvulgate.com/verse.aspx?t=1&b=4&c=4


Jerome clearly saw "proskynesis" and "adoration" as synonymous. And he declared that no-one did or should "adore" saints.

But in later times, RCs and EOs declared that not only saints but their images as well should be "proskuneod" - under the pain of anathema.

Viisaus said...

And while we are at it, here is both the Septuagint Greek as well Jerome's Vulgate translation of the prohibition against graven images in Exodus 20:5: ("Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them", KJV)


"5. οὐ προσκυνήσεις αὐτοῖς οὐδὲ μὴ λατρεύσῃς αὐτοῖς ἐγὼ"

http://www.septuagint.org/LXX/Exodus/20

"non adorabis ea et non coles ego"

http://www.latinvulgate.com/verse.aspx?t=0&b=2&c=20


Once again, the Hebrew term for "bowing down" to images that the Septuagint translates as "proskynesis", Jerome translates as "adorabis".

Whereas the "serving" part of the prohibition is translated in the Septuagint as "latreia" - the term which RC/EO apologists afterwards (ad hoc) claimed to stand for the highest, uniquely divine worship.

But Jerome translated it as "COLES" - a version of Latin word for worship that we also get our words "cult" or "cultus" from:

http://www.verbix.com/webverbix/go.php?D1=9&H1=102&T1=colo


And once again, I remind that in his quarrel against Vigilantius Jerome insisted that NEITHER "adoration" (proskynesis in LXX) or "coling" (latreia in LXX) should be given to created beings. From his letter to Riparius:

http://www.archive.org/details/vigilantiusandh00gillgoog

Vigilantius and his times, p. 376

"We however do not worship and adore, I do not say the relics of the Martyrs, but even the sun and the moon; we do not worship and adore the Angels, nor the Archangels, nor the Cherubim, nor the Seraphim, nor any name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, lest we serve the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever. But we honour the relics of the Martyrs, that we may adore Him Whose Martyrs they are. We honour the servants, that the honour of the servants may redound to the Lord, who says, "He that receiveth you receiveth Me."

Nos autem oon dico Martyrum reliquias, sed ne solem quidem et lunam, non Angelos, non Archangelos, non Cherubim, non Seraphim, et omne nomen quod nominatur et in praesenti seculo et in futuro, COLIMUS ET ADORAMUS; ne serviamus creaturs potius quam Creatori, qui est benedictus in sascula. Honoramus autem reliquias Martyrum, ut eum cujus sunt Martyres adoremus. Honoramus servos, ut honor servorum redundet ad Dominum, qui ait: Qui vos suscipit, me suscipit."


We can see that when challenged by Vigilantius, Jerome did not dare to affirm that anything higher than "honoring" (honoremus) should be given to saints.

Whereas the later Roman church decreed that that "coles/colimus" worship should be given to Mary and saints - as the massive "CULTUS" of Mary powerfully shows:

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6marial.htm

Viisaus said...

Just a little correction: in the above post, I accidentally took Jerome's translation of the Decalogue's image-ban from Deuteronomy 5 version, not from Exodus 20:5 which goes in Vulgate like this:

"non adorabis ea neque coles"

http://www.latinvulgate.com/verse.aspx?t=0&b=2&c=20

So it makes no difference in terms themselves.

Viisaus said...

And here is Christ's declaration to Satan in Matthew 4:10 ("Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.", KJV) in original Greek:

"10. τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ὕπαγε, Σατανᾶ: γέγραπται γάρ Κύριον τὸν θεόν σου προσκυνήσεις
11. καὶ αὐτῷ μόνῳ λατρεύσεις. "

http://www.septuagint.org/NT/Matthew/4

Now, the iconolatrous 2nd Nicene council in 787 AD referred to this verse, and argued sophistically and eisegetically that while ONLY God can be "served" (latreia), lesser beings can indeed be "worshipped" (proskynesis).


But we see that Jerome in his translation used "adorabis" for proskynesis-worship and "servies" for latreia-serving:

"tunc dicit ei Iesus vade Satanas scriptum est Dominum Deum tuum adorabis et illi soli servies"

http://www.latinvulgate.com/verse.aspx?t=1&b=1&c=4

Again, we can see that to Jerome adoration and proskynesis were identical, and UNLIKE the 2nd Nicene council, he did not see this Matthean verse as a licence to "proskuneo" created beings.

After all, he conceivably COULD have argued in his polemic against Vigilantius that we can adore/proskuneo saints as long as we just do not "serve" them - but he did not.

From which we can deduce that Jerome did not know anything of the miserable Matthew 4:10 subterfuge ("proskynesis of created beings OK, latreia bad") that icon-worshippers later cooked up against iconoclasts.

Lucian said...

We're not opposed to the saints in heaven praying for us.


But do you make recourse to their prayers when praying to God, or -as with the Chrysostom passage I offered- do your pastors make recourse to their prayers in their benedictions, when blessing their flock?

Turretinfan said...

"But do you make recourse to their prayers when praying to God, or -as with the Chrysostom passage I offered- do your pastors make recourse to their prayers in their benedictions, when blessing their flock?"

1) Why would make recourse to their prayers? Can you give us a good reason?

2) In what way does Chrysostom make recourse to their prayers in the passage you offered?

Lucian said...

I'm just asking you a simple and direct question: how many times did you hear your pastors saying something to the extent of Chrysostom in their blessings and benedictions?


may we be able to become partakers with the saints... through the prayers of the saints themselves, and through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ

Turretinfan said...

Practically never, Lucian. Even that kind of comment, which would probably be perfectly acceptable (I can't think of a reason right now to object to it), is very rarely found in Reformed churches, in my experience.

Is there any reason why it should be present?

-TurretinFan

Lucian said...

Why would we make recourse to their prayers? Can you give us a good reason?

Is there any reason why it should be present?



Well... it's there in Chrysostom, as you can clearly see, and since he's obviously on your side on this issue, why NOT immitate his example ? Hmmm? :-\

Turretinfan said...

Is there any better reason than that? (not to say that your reason is completely worthless)

Lucian said...

Is there any better reason than that?


Well... you were the one quoting Chrysostom like there's no tomorrow, telling to anyone and everyone how his views on this topic so perfectly align and coincide with those of your religious faith, so *either* you integrate such things into your religious life, *or* quit making him into something he probably was not... either way, be consistent.

Turretinfan said...

Lucian:

I'll take that as a "no." That is to say, it sounds like the only reason you have to offer is that one occasion Chrysostom did this.

That's not very persuasive to me.

Obviously you disagree, but it doesn't seem inconsistent for me to note Chrysostom's rejection of Roman practices (as a matter of historical theology) while myself not making Chrysostom my archetype for how to conduct the ministry.

After all, I'm sure you know that Chrysostom would rather I use Christ and the apostles as my archetype. So, in fact, I would be inconsistent to follow him here, but not there.

- TurretinFan

Lucian said...

So, in fact, I would be inconsistent to follow him here, but not there.

But "here" = "there", since it's the same subject in both cases.


one occasion Chrysostom did this.

He wrote dozens of sermons for the annual commemorations of martyrs, which he preached on their feast-days, during the divine service. But only this one is available at CCEL.

Turretinfan said...

Sadly, many of the sermons he preached on feast-days of the martyrs have been lost over time.

-TurretinFan

David Waltz said...

Hello ChaferDTS,

You posted:

>>Scripture no where makes the distinctions between Latria, Dulia and Hyperdulia as found in Roman Catholicism. (see Acts 10:25, 14:14, Rev 19:10 and Col. 2:18. )>>

Hmmm…I am not so sure…

“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” (Rev. 3:9)

“And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king.” (1 Chr. 29:20)


Grace and peace,

David

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Waltz:

Please explain how either of those passages "makes the distinctions between Latria, Dulia and Hyperdulia as found in Roman Catholicism."

I assume you'll acknowledge off the bat that "Hperdulia" is right out.

-TurretinFan

ChaferDTS said...

"Hmmm…I am not so sure… "

What of the verses that I had quoted regarding this ? Does that get ignored ? To remind you I had cited Acts 10:25; 14:14; Rev.19:10 and Col. 2:18 . Do you contend that Scripture contradicts itself with the passages you quoted in your post or do you reject the passages I had quoted /ignored them and just affirm the ones you quoted ? I feel as though the passages I quoted were intentionally by passed by you.

" “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” (Rev. 3:9) "

In context it is physical unbelieving Jews who are said that they would bow down and worship. And it will be done towards believers in the passage . These unbelieving Jews will see and confirm that the believers were the special objects of the love of Jesus Christ. These unbelieving Jews basically attacked believers in the preaching of the Gospel and their missionary work. They will see that Jesus loved the Christians and by their act confirm that they will see it.

" “And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king.” (1 Chr. 29:20)"

The specific object of worship is God Himself. God is the one whom King David said to the people to " bless the Lord your God " . They bowed before the Lord God and King David. It was the peoples inward submission to God in all things. King David was physically present as God's appointed King of Israel. And was leading in the prayer of commiment to God in it and the appointment of Solomon as the next King of Israel. The specifically blessing was directed at God's alone and not God and King David.

I neither of those passages do we find anything of the claims of Roman Catholicism for their distinctions between latria, dulia and hyperdulia. It is to be noted that in Roman Catholicism it uses the use of Statues as part of it's practice as visible representations of dead saints and of Mary and of angels. Much as the statues of pagan demi-gods were visible representations of them. This we dont find in Scripture at all. It can be rightly said Roman Catholicism at least in practice do idol worship as it contains all the essential elements of it. As I said before is this any better than what took place with the golden calf ?

David Waltz said...

Hello TF,

Sorry about the delay in my response, but I have very little ‘spare’ time for the internet during this extended 4th of July weekend; yesterday you posted:

>>Mr. Waltz:

Please explain how either of those passages "makes the distinctions between Latria, Dulia and Hyperdulia as found in Roman Catholicism."

I assume you'll acknowledge off the bat that "Hperdulia" is right out.”>>

Me: I merely wanted to bring to ‘light’ that certain terms used to describe “worship/veneration/service/reverence” in the Scriptures are used in more than one ‘sense’ (i.e. that “distinctions” exist in the Scriptures). For more on this, see my upcoming response to ChaferDTS.

BTW, while I have your ‘ear’, are you aware that some of the links in your Migne’s lists (PG and PL) no longer take you to a downloadable pdf version/s? My PL vol. 1 recently became corrupted and would no longer open in Abobe, so I tried both of your links, and neither yielded a pdf version for download. Was able to obtain a workable link at:

The Cyprian Project

The site also has a link to Migne’s PG:

HERE


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi ChaferDTS,

Thanks for responding. You wrote:

>>What of the verses that I had quoted regarding this ? Does that get ignored ? To remind you I had cited Acts 10:25; 14:14; Rev.19:10 and Col. 2:18 >>

Me: Of course not.

>>Do you contend that Scripture contradicts itself with the passages you quoted in your post or do you reject the passages I had quoted /ignored them and just affirm the ones you quoted ? I feel as though the passages I quoted were intentionally by passed by you.>>

Me: I saw no need to repeat what has already been referenced; I quoted Biblical passages that had not yet been brought into the mix. That you see this as problematic is somewhat baffling to me.

I shall not quibble over your commentary on the passages I cited, for I concur with most of what you wrote; what I would like to point out is that “distinctions” are made in the use of Scriptural terms used to describe worship/reverence/service/honor/et al., as your own comments demonstrate.

Λατρεία and λατρεύω are only used with reference to God alone (i.e no “distinctions”); however, related terms such as προσκυνεύω, δουλεία and δουλεύω are used in the Scriptures with “distinctions”. Augustine elaborates on this:

==For this is the worship which is due to the Divinity, or, to speak more accurately, to the Deity; and, to express this worship in a single word as there does not occur to me any Latin term sufficiently exact, I shall avail myself, whenever necessary, of a Greek word. Λατρεία, whenever it occurs in Scripture, is rendered by the word service. But that service which is due to men, and in reference to which the apostle writes that servants must be subject to their own masters, is usually designated by another word in Greek*, whereas the service which is paid to God alone by worship, is always, or almost always, called λατρεία in the usage of those who wrote from the divine oracles.== (City of God, x.1 – NPNF First Series, II.180.)

[*Augustine informs us that this other “word in Greek” is δουλεία – see his Quaestiones in Heptateuchum, Book II (Qu. Ex.), 94 – Migne’s PL 34.631.]


Grace and peace,

David

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Waltz:

OK

Sometimes people say they are "not sure" about an opposing view point as a way of challenging that viewpoint. I'm glad to see that wasn't the case here.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

As for the Cyprian Project, I think I even rely on their hosting for one volume of PG. The Google lists are probably due for a periodic update.

ChaferDTS said...

"Sometimes people say they are "not sure" about an opposing view point as a way of challenging that viewpoint. I'm glad to see that wasn't the case here. "

I am glad I was not the only one who thought that. About 99% of the time when that is directed at me it is usually a person who is challenging a position I take.