Monday, July 11, 2016

Sproul and MacArthur on Roman Catholicism, praying to Mary, Trent and justification by faith alone, and the Mass


16 comments:

Arvinger said...

Sproul's description of praying to Our Lady and the Saints is caricature of the Catholic doctrine (as often happens among Protestants) - contrary to what he says, we don't attribute to Our Lady or the Saints the same power of mediation as to Jesus Christ. We simply ask them to pray and intercede for us to God and ask Him for graces, the same way I would ask my fellow believer to pray for me, which St. Paul command explicitly (1 Timothy 2:1). If I can ask fellow believer who is alive to pray and intercede for me, there is absolutely no reason why I can't ask believers who are already in the presence of God to pray for me. St. Paul teaches the unity of the Body of Christ very clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, without making any distinctions between the living and the dead, to the contrary - he emphasizes how all members of the Mystical Body of Christ are united. The early Christians understood it very well, which is why prayers to the Saints and in union with the deceased Saints were practiced in the early Church. An example:

"Let us all pray together, governors and governed, women and men, old and young, slaves and free, taking blessed Meletius himself as shareholder in this prayer (for truly he has greater boldness now and a more fervent love towards you), that this love be increased in us and that, just as we are here near this coffer, that too we may all be considered worthy of being able in the same way to be near his eternal dwelling and to attain the blessings stored up [for us]." (St. John Chrysostom, Homily on St. Meletius, c. 386 AD, translation by W. Mayer). Notice that St. Meletius is called a shareholder in the prayers and his love for fellow believers is said to increase even though he is dead.

Ken said...

You have no way of distinguishing between latria and dulia, hyperdulia, etc. since prayers to Mary and the saints are also mixed with lots of praise and exalted language and prayers to God and Christ also are also all mixed in together. Roman Catholics do much more than just "ask Mary to pray for us", etc. but even that is wrong. There is so much flowery praise and exaltation to her; it is worship, even though officially the RCC denies it is worship/Latria.

No one should pray to anyone else in heaven other than God, in name of Jesus the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Prayers to dead saints is just wrong, no matter what John Chrysostom said on that matter, or any other early church father.

Prayer itself is an act of worship reserved only for God.

Yes, the true believers are alive in heaven, but we are not allowed to talk to them or pray to them, period.

Ken said...

And the statues and icons and pictures of the saints, Mary, etc. are ugly and look like idols; and made and still Muslims think you guys bow down to idols.

Even though the official documents say things like "we don't worship Mary", it still looks you do; and many pictures of Popes before giant statues of Mary looks like idolatry and is a bad witness to the rest of the world.

see here also:
http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2014/11/if-it-looks-like-duck.html

Arvinger said...

It is intereting how you do not bring up any Scriptural passages to support your assertions, most of it are your personal opinions which do not deal with my arguments. Praise and exaltation for Our Lady who brought Our Savior to this world and thus played an extremely important role in the plan of salvation is understandable, just like praise for our parents who gave us life and raised us is. We find the distinction between such a praise and worship due to God as early a in The Mardyrdom of Polycarp (2nd century): "Him we adore as the Son of God; but the martyrs, as the disciples and imitators of the Lord, we love according to their deserts, on account of their incomparable love for their King and Teacher, with whom may it be our lot to be partners and fellow-disciples." (The Martyrdom of Polycarp 17). Clear distinction is made between the adoration of God and love for the martyrs and willingnes to be "partners" and "fellow disciples" with them.

You claim that praying to dead Saints is wrong, without providing any argument why this is so, and easily brushing off the Church Fathers (not limited to St. John Chrysostom, see also Tertullian, St. Cyril of Jerussalem and St. Epiphanius of Salamis among others) and early Church history, which is another intance of the Protestant problem "where was the true Church for hundreds of years?". Did the Church of Christ fall into apostasy through praying to Saints and to Mary for hundreds of years? As I demonstrated from 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, there is no division between the living and the dead in the Body of Christ, therefore there is no reason why I can't ask my fellow believers who are in the presence of God for intercession, much like I ask my living fellow believers according to St. Paul's exhortation from 1 Timothy 2:1.

As to you pointing out that Muslims think we worship idols, then perhaps you should reject the doctrine of the Trinity, since many Muslims think it is polytheism and you worship three gods (Qur'an 5:73). It is irrelevant what Muslims' glaring ignorance of Christian theology causes them to think, other than in context of missionary activity and converting them.

I'm affraid the statements like "icons and pictures are ugly" (although looking at my favorite Marian painting of Our Lady of Good Counsel with Child Jesus by Pasquale Sarullo I find it hard to understand how anyone could consider it as ugly), or "it looks like you worship Mary" are your personal opinions rather than theological arguments, so I can't really interact with them.

Ken said...

There is lots of Scripture in other many links I have already written on. I gave you a link, which takes you to other links also.

"Him we adore as the Son of God; but the martyrs, as the disciples and imitators of the Lord, we love according to their deserts, on account of their incomparable love for their King and Teacher, with whom may it be our lot to be partners and fellow-disciples." (The Martyrdom of Polycarp 17)

We can and do love the heroes of the faith, martyrs and theologians of the past, etc. but we don't pray to them. The Polycarp passage does not say we pray to them. I love many of the great men and women (we love Mary, the true Mary of the Bible, not the false image you have made of her as sinless, IC (1854), BA(1950), PV(400s-500s onward), etc., but we don't pray to her; she is not queen of heave or spouse of the Spirit, etc.) of Christian history that the Roman Catholic Church claims as "theirs", but they are not "theirs". like Athanasius, Irenaeus, ( I like Tertullian too), Augustine, etc. but they are not infallible, they made mistakes, and sometimes got things wrong, and we are not to pray to them.

I think Revelation 22:8-9 and 19:10 are clear that we should only worship and pray to God alone.

This issue is elementary, since it is so clear in the OT that we are not to consult with the dead (though believers are alive with God in heaven). When Saul wanted to talk to Samuel ( a true believer, prophet, but was dead), the passages in 1 Samuel 28 and 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 are clear to me.

This is from a web-site that what I have cut and pasted here seems right to me, I am using this section for convenience for lack of time to type everything out:

Answer: Praying to the dead is strictly forbidden in the Bible. Deuteronomy 18:11 tells us that anyone who “consults with the dead” is “detestable to the Lord.” The story of Saul consulting a medium to bring up the spirit of the dead Samuel resulted in his death “because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance” (1 Samuel 28:1-25; 1 Chronicles 10:13-14). Clearly, God has declared that such things are not to be done.

Consider the characteristics of God. God is omnipresent—everywhere at once—and is capable of hearing every prayer in the world (Psalm 139:7-12). A human being, on the other hand, does not possess this attribute. Also, God is the only one with the power to answer prayer. In this regard, God is omnipotent—all powerful (Revelation 19:6). Certainly this is an attribute a human being—dead or alive—does not possess. Finally, God is omniscient—He knows everything (Psalm 147:4-5). Even before we pray, God knows our genuine needs and knows them better than we do. Not only does He know our needs, but He answers our prayers according to His perfect will.

From:
http://www.gotquestions.org/praying-to-the-dead.html

I have not read everything at that site, but of what I have read, they seem ok, and on that issue, they are correct.

The Muslims got the wrong idea about the Trinity (Surah 5:116) - that it was the Father, the Son, and the Mother, because of what they saw the Christians of those days doing. It was a bad witness. See the link and other links for details.

Arvinger said...

The passage from The Martyrdom of Polycarp says we are partners and fellow disciple with the deceased martyrs - it looks like the division between the living and the dead artifically built in Protestant theology was foreign to Smyrnean Christians, just like it is absent from 1 Corinthians 12, where St. Paul emphasizes unity of the Body of Christ and of all Christians, without making any distinction between the living and the dead.

"The angels, who are appointed to guard us, must be invoked for us; the martyrs, to whose intercession we have claim by the pledge of their bodies, must be invoked. They who have washed away their sins by their own blood, may pray for our sins. For they are martyrs of God, our high priests, spectator of our life and our acts. We need not blush to use them as intercessors." (St. Ambrose, Concerning Widows 9.55)

"If Apostles and martyrs, whilst still in the flesh, and still needing to care for themselves, can pray for others, how much more will they pray for others after they have won their crowns, their victories, their triumphs? Moses, one man, obtains God's pardon for six hundred thousand armed men, and Stephen prays for his persecutors. When they are with Christ will they be less powerful?" (St. Jerome, Against Vigilantius 6)

The distinction between latria and dulia was very well known already to St. Augustine.

I see no mention of prayer or asking fellow believers for intercession in Revelation 22:8-9 or Revelation 19:10. That worship is to God alone, I fully agree, and so does the Catholic Church.

If you don't see any difference between the use of witchcraft to bring back the dead to this world (1 Samuel 28, Saul sent for a women who had specific powers of sorcery - 1 Samuel 28:7 - which is a world away from praying to the Saints) and asking fellow believer who is in the presence of God to pray for me, I'm rather surprised. Not to mention that even direct contact with the dead in this world can happen with permission of God - Matthew 17:3 is an example.

I know the issue of Muslims and the Trinity, I read James White's book on the Qur'an. The point I was making is that you complain that our veneration of statues makes Muslims think we worship idols. The same way I can say that your belief in the Trinity makes Muslims think you are a polytheist and you worship three gods. Both are examples of Muslims' ignorance of Christian theology and thus this objection of "giving a bad witness" does not make sense.

Ken said...

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2014/11/if-it-looks-like-duck.html

see all the Scripture and other links at that article.

Ken said...

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-appearance-of-idolatry-and-treating.html

Ken said...

The same way I can say that your belief in the Trinity makes Muslims think you are a polytheist and you worship three gods.

Except we can show from Scripture that the doctrine of the Trinity is based on Scripture; whereas your view of over-exalting Mary and all the centuries of false practices and false doctrines and false dogmas are not even able to be inferred or implied in Scripture at all.

You cannot defend statues and praying to them and kissing them, and bowing to them, as in the pictures of the past Popes and the present Pope I gave you - you cannot defend that Biblically with a Muslim, whereas we can defend the doctrine of the Trinity with a Muslim with Scripture.

As much as Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome were great men on many things, on that issue, they were wrong. Jerome was right on the Apocrypha, but wrong on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary.

The 2 Samuel 28 passage still teaches that we should not pray to the dead; even though Saul was trying to use a witch to get to Samuel. with the other passages, it should be clear to any thinking person that the Roman Catholic Church is wrong on these clear issues.


Ken said...

1 Samuel 28

Arvinger said...

The problem is that you do not offer any further substantial arguments in these articles. You quote 1 Samuel 28 and 1 Chronicles 10, when I already pointed out, that the sin of Saul was seeking help of a medium/witch to bring back dead to earth, which is a world away from asking our fellow believers in Heaven to intercede for us.

In the older article you rightly quote the correct explanations and understanding of veneration of statues, only to dissmiss them as "rationalization" without any arguments (as I said, Revelation 22:8-9 and Revelation 19:10 do not mention asking fellow believer for intercession, I do not see any relevance of these texts to the debate). Same level of argument as claiming that "icons are ugly". Sorry, this is not a theological argument. You have offered no reply to 1 Corinthians 12 and no explanation where in this text do you see separation between the living and dead members of the Body of Christ, plus you easily brush off the Early Church testimony (just like you are forced to do with Baptismal Regeneration, universally believed in the Early Church, and Real Presence in the Eucharist).

1 Timothy 2:15 - Jesus is the only mediator, that does not mean that there can't be intercessors asking him for graces, like your fellow believer who prays for you. If praying to the Saints denies Jesus as the only mediator, so does your request to fellow believer to pray for you - there is no difference between the two, in both cases I'm asking another believer for intercession according to St. Paul's exhortation (1 Timothy 2:1).

Also, my point on Islam stands. If we give "bad witness" to Muslims because they can't grasp the difference between latria and dulia, so you give "bad witness" to them through teaching the doctrine of Trinity, since they don't grasp it either and think it is polytheism and that you believe in three gods. By your logic, you'd need to abandon the doctrine of Trinity in order to give better witness to the Muslims and avoid charge of polytheism.

Arvinger said...

"Except we can show from Scripture that the doctrine of the Trinity is based on Scripture; whereas your view of over-exalting Mary and all the centuries of false practices and false doctrines and false dogmas are not even able to be inferred or implied in Scripture at all.

You cannot defend statues and praying to them and kissing them, and bowing to them, as in the pictures of the past Popes and the present Pope I gave you - you cannot defend that Biblically with a Muslim, whereas we can defend the doctrine of the Trinity with a Muslim with Scripture."


That obviously presupposes the false and unbiblical doctrine of sola scriptura - Scripture is not the only infallible rule of faith. Plus, I can certainly demonstrate Our Lady's Immaculate Conception and Perpetual Virginity from Scripture, as well as the fact that she is the Ark of the New Covenant.

"Jerome was right on the Apocrypha, but wrong on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary."

St. Jerome was not alone by any means, Perpetual Virginity of Mary was taught also by St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. Epiphanius of Salamis and St. Athanasius, among others. Luke 1:34 proves it clearly, if Mary intended to know Joseph her astonishment makes no sense, since the Angel announces to her a future conception of the child - she should simply expect to have a child with Joseph, but she did not. As St. Augustine rightly points out, this reveals her vow of Perpetual Virginity. No Protestant that I'm aware of has yet been able to coherently explain why Mary is surprised by future conception of the child if she intended to know Joseph.

"The 1 Samuel 28 passage still teaches that we should not pray to the dead; even though Saul was trying to use a witch to get to Samuel. with the other passages, it should be clear to any thinking person that the Roman Catholic Church is wrong on these clear issues."

Could you show me where 1 Samuel 28 mentions the issue of prayer? Saul is not praying, he asks for advice and asks the women with power of sorcery to consult the spirit for him. An attempt to relate it to the request to fellow believers to pray for us in the presence of God is a total eisegesis.

Ken said...

Jesus is the only mediator, that does not mean that there can't be intercessors asking him for graces, like your fellow believer who prays for you.

You know that is not a good argument, since we are asking each other to pray for us on earth while we are alive and many exhortations in the Scriptures, "brothers, pray for us", etc.

But to ask the dead to pray for us is wrong. This has always been the Protestant position; which is the Biblical position.

Arvinger said...

You know that is not a good argument, since we are asking each other to pray for us on earth while we are alive and many exhortations in the Scriptures, "brothers, pray for us", etc.
And that does not take away from Jesus' role as the only mediator. Why would asking deceased believers do so? The only difference is that the Saints are already in the presence of God, otherwise we ask them for prayers just like we ask our fellow believers on earth.

But to ask the dead to pray for us is wrong. This has always been the Protestant position; which is the Biblical position.
Why? So far you quoted only the Old Testament passages which have nothing to do with the issue of prayer or intercession at all, much less with the Body of Christ. St. Paul clearly teaches the unity of all members of the Body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12, without any distinction between the living ind the dead. The Protestant position is contrary to the teaching of St. Paul, creating an artificial division between the living and the dead members of the Body of Christ, a division which is absent from St. Paul's teaching on the issue.

Ken said...

I don't have time right now to keep debating with you.

I think all the issues have been covered before and Turretinfan has many articles on these issues that are relevant to our discussion.

http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/search/label/Prayer

Algo said...

http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2016/05/veneration-of-images-affirmative.html

http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2010/12/veneration-of-images-debate-with.html