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  • Becoming a Catholic not a good idea?

    Not sure how this private debate thing works, so I'll post here to find out. Sent an email requesting it be approved, already. Not looking for a debate, just a thoughtful, respectful dialog. So here goes:

    I'm seriously considering becoming Catholic and would like advice as to why this is not a good idea.
    "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains (however improbable) must be the truth."
    —Spock

  • #2
    Originally posted by spockrates View Post
    Not sure how this private debate thing works, so I'll post here to find out. Sent an email requesting it be approved, already. Not looking for a debate, just a thoughtful, respectful dialog. So here goes:

    I'm seriously considering becoming Catholic and would like advice as to why this is not a good idea.
    Hi

    Can we continue from here:


    spockrates;2796477]Yes, I had many of the same suspicions of Catholics. However, these I found my suspicions to be unwarranted when I asked Catholics about them. They say that they do pray to saints, but they do not worship them as gods. They say they believe the saints receive their prayers and, in turn, pray to God on their behalf. They compare praying to a saint to asking a friend to pray for them. This includes Mary, they tell me. There is no worship, nor any expecting the saints to answer their prayers. There is, instead a hopeful expectation that the saints will hear their prayers and pass these requests on to God.
    This equates to getting second hand revelation about who God is. My question is valid. Why would it be nessesary to ask someone who is dead and cannot hear your prayer to pray on your behalf? We are given authority, through the Spirit in us. We have free access to God through His Spirit in us, we can pray to God directly. Would having 10 people pray, or perhaps 100 or maybe 1000 for you have a different sway with God? Why would we need someone to pass prayers on to God? Are their prayers more powerfull than our own, do they have a more powerfull Spirit than us?
    I maintain that such a thing only draws one away from revering God only, and it is borderline idolatry. Seeing some defend Mary on this forum, is clear idolatry, for I believe they would not even defend Christ with the same passion.

    For example, the RC's teach (and I see it in our discussion) that if someone is righteous enough they can be saved. Jesus and the cross, loses any significance by these statements, yet they would defend Marian doctrines to the death. I have to start wondering then where their loyalty lies.

    Paul said to the Corinthians:
    (1Co 2:1-5) And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

    Can you point out in scripture, where it is condoned to bring request of prayer to dead people?


    I'm reminded of Jesus' words:



    Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    (Matthew 19:26)


    So I'd reply, "Can God make someone aware of the prayers of millions and make someone able to answer them all? Yes, for all things are possible with Him. Does He do this for Mary, or anyone? I don't know, for certain. "
    You quote this scripture, yet doubt if it is possible for God to have revealed Jesus to people that were not as exposed to the gospel as we might be, or even to infants.

    As to God making someone (Mary) aware to the prayers of many, my question would be, why would He? God is more than capable to hear every prayer directly. Why does Mary or any other dead person need to hear prayers?


    They do say they venerate the saints, rather than worship them, but I'm sure there are some Catholics who do worship the saints, just as there are some Protestants who believe and do things they should not.
    You will have to be more speciffic here regarding the protestant beliefs. Bowing down and worshipping anyone but God shows that such a person is not a child of God, but still seperated from God, worshipping another.

    Yes, but God is not just the God of today, but the God of yesterday, today and forever. We have to consider the past, as well as the present, when discussing which actions are more closely in accordance with the character of God. Don't you agree? My thought is that saying few don't hear the gospel today does not answer the question about the many in the past who never heard it, or the precious few who do not hear it even today. Would the character of God allow for such to suffer an eternity in Hell and separation from Him simply because they never responded to the truth they never heard? That's why reason tells me that there must be another alternative other than Heaven or Hell after death, and I think there is some scriptural support for this idea.
    Can you show me this scriptural support? Especially if what you say below is absolute truth.
    "Agreed. It is only through Jesus one is saved."

    I think I understand what you are saying, but correct me if I'm wrong:

    1. Those who never hear the gospel receive Hell for their unbelief.
    Those who have not accepted Christ as Saviour through revelation (All things are possible...) will die seperated from God.

    2. God has the knowledge and power to know who will respond to the gospel and who will not.
    That is an absolute yes.

    3. God sees to it that everyone who will respond the the gospel hears the gospel.
    God will see to it that everyone who will respond to the gospel, has the oportunity to have Jesus Christ revealed to them.

    4. He does not make sure that those who will not respond to the gospel hear it.
    In a manner of speaking, yes.

    5. Those who do not hear the gospel would never have responded to it if they had heard it.
    Correct.


    Therefore,

    A. It is not unjust for God to condemn those to Hell who never heard the gospel.
    God is not unjust, we are.


    No one, but the miraculous experiences you mention are not the norm, and are extremely rare. For example, there has only been one burning bush of which I'm aware in all of human history. Such rare occurrences would never begin to reach all of the lost who would otherwise never hear the gospel. Don't you agree?
    See my posting of whole communities, where no righteousness would or could ever be found. It is clear that not all the lost since the cross, had the oportunity to hear the gospel but just like with Sodom and Gomorrah, God remains just.

    Will God show mercy to those for whom He should show mercy? Will He forgive those who do not know what they are doing? What does Jesus say?


    Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

    (Luke 23:34)
    Do you propose that this forgiveness was a blanket forgiveness? Then why would we need Christ for salvation. It would make more sense to me, that through the experience of seeing Christ crucified, and hearing His request to God, that they came to saving faith, in who Christ is, propably some time after the day of pentecost.

    Yes, no one is good enough to deserve Heaven, unless God makes her so. In the case of an infant, would He forgive her and make her so because she was incapable of knowing what she was doing was wrong? I think so. How about you?
    Is God capable of pardoning any one person if He chose to. Sure He is. Will there be justice if He is inconsistant?

    But there is a scriptural support for the idea that one who does not know what she has done is wrong should be forgiven. Jesus' words to the Pharasees and His words prayed from the cross support this, I believe. Infants, and perhaps some who are developmentally disabled, are unlike you and I in that they are likely not held responsible for their actions. Reason tells us this, and it's reflected in our laws, and even in the words of Christ. This is not the same with those who are not Christian simply because they never heard the gospel, however. It's reasonable to assume God still holds them accountable for their thoughts, words and deeds. I'm just wondering if it is just to never give them an opportunity to accept the gift of salvation from God. Purgatory seems a reasonable resolution to the moral dilemma.
    I do not agree. See above. This premise would make God a liar for then this scripture is false:

    (Act 4:12) And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."


    Most Catholic translations of John 3 use the words, "born from above," rather than born again. The notes in the margin of my Bible say born from above is an equally likely translation of His words. If you explain to a thoughtful Catholic how a born again believer is different from an unbeliever, he or she would likely agree with you that Catholics should be are born again, even though they don't use those words. You would find that the disagreement is not be over whether someone needs spiritual rebirth, but how someone receives such a second birth.
    Yes, but what about their doctrines that no salvation is possible apart from the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. Or that salvation is impossible without the pope.

    Would you not agree that a requirement of being part of Christ's church, is the new birth (being born again), and not the other way around?
    Last edited by JCiL; 04-17-12, 02:33 AM.
    (Rom 8:38 - 39) For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Comment


    • #3
      Becoming a Catholic not a good idea?

      Originally Posted by spockrates
      Not sure how this private debate thing works, so I'll post here to find out. Sent an email requesting it be approved, already. Not looking for a debate, just a thoughtful, respectful dialog. So here goes:

      I'm seriously considering becoming Catholic and would like advice as to why this is not a good idea.
      Hi

      Can we continue from here:

      spockrates;2796477]Yes, I had many of the same suspicions of Catholics. However, these I found my suspicions to be unwarranted when I asked Catholics about them. They say that they do pray to saints, but they do not worship them as gods. They say they believe the saints receive their prayers and, in turn, pray to God on their behalf. They compare praying to a saint to asking a friend to pray for them. This includes Mary, they tell me. There is no worship, nor any expecting the saints to answer their prayers. There is, instead a hopeful expectation that the saints will hear their prayers and pass these requests on to God.
      This equates to getting second hand revelation about who God is. My question is valid. Why would it be nessesary to ask someone who is dead and cannot hear your prayer to pray on your behalf? We are given authority, through the Spirit in us. We have free access to God through His Spirit in us, we can pray to God directly. Would having 10 people pray, or perhaps 100 or maybe 1000 for you have a different sway with God? Why would we need someone to pass prayers on to God? Are their prayers more powerfull than our own, do they have a more powerfull Spirit than us?
      I maintain that such a thing only draws one away from revering God only, and it is borderline idolatry. Seeing some defend Mary on this forum, is clear idolatry, for I believe they would not even defend Christ with the same passion.

      For example, the RC's teach (and I see it in our discussion) that if someone is righteous enough they can be saved. Jesus and the cross, loses any significance by these statements, yet they would defend Marian doctrines to the death. I have to start wondering then where their loyalty lies.

      Paul said to the Corinthians:
      (1Co 2:1-5) And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

      Can you point out in scripture, where it is condoned to bring request of prayer to dead people?

      I'm reminded of Jesus' words:

      Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

      (Matthew 19:26)


      So I'd reply, "Can God make someone aware of the prayers of millions and make someone able to answer them all? Yes, for all things are possible with Him. Does He do this for Mary, or anyone? I don't know, for certain. "
      You quote this scripture, yet doubt if it is possible for God to have revealed Jesus to people that were not as exposed to the gospel as we might be, or even to infants.

      As to God making someone (Mary) aware to the prayers of many, my question would be, why would He? God is more than capable to hear every prayer directly. Why does Mary or any other dead person need to hear prayers?

      They do say they venerate the saints, rather than worship them, but I'm sure there are some Catholics who do worship the saints, just as there are some Protestants who believe and do things they should not.
      You will have to be more speciffic here regarding the protestant beliefs. Bowing down and worshipping anyone but God shows that such a person is not a child of God, but still seperated from God, worshipping another.


      Yes, but God is not just the God of today, but the God of yesterday, today and forever. We have to consider the past, as well as the present, when discussing which actions are more closely in accordance with the character of God. Don't you agree? My thought is that saying few don't hear the gospel today does not answer the question about the many in the past who never heard it, or the precious few who do not hear it even today. Would the character of God allow for such to suffer an eternity in Hell and separation from Him simply because they never responded to the truth they never heard? That's why reason tells me that there must be another alternative other than Heaven or Hell after death, and I think there is some scriptural support for this idea.
      Can you show me this scriptural support? Especially if what you say below is absolute truth.

      "Agreed. It is only through Jesus one is saved."
      I think I understand what you are saying, but correct me if I'm wrong:

      1. Those who never hear the gospel receive Hell for their unbelief.
      Those who have not accepted Christ as Saviour through revelation (All things are possible...) will die seperated from God.

      2. God has the knowledge and power to know who will respond to the gospel and who will not.
      That is an absolute yes.

      3. God sees to it that everyone who will respond the the gospel hears the gospel.
      God will see to it that everyone who will respond to the gospel, has the oportunity to have Jesus Christ revealed to them.

      4. He does not make sure that those who will not respond to the gospel hear it.
      In a manner of speaking, yes.

      5. Those who do not hear the gospel would never have responded to it if they had heard it.
      Correct.

      Therefore,

      A. It is not unjust for God to condemn those to Hell who never heard the gospel.
      God is not unjust, we are.

      No one, but the miraculous experiences you mention are not the norm, and are extremely rare. For example, there has only been one burning bush of which I'm aware in all of human history. Such rare occurrences would never begin to reach all of the lost who would otherwise never hear the gospel. Don't you agree?
      See my posting of whole communities, where no righteousness would or could ever be found. It is clear that not all the lost since the cross, had the oportunity to hear the gospel but just like with Sodom and Gomorrah, God remains just.

      Will God show mercy to those for whom He should show mercy? Will He forgive those who do not know what they are doing? What does Jesus say?


      Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

      (Luke 23:34)
      Do you propose that this forgiveness was a blanket forgiveness? Then why would we need Christ for salvation. It would make more sense to me, that through the experience of seeing Christ crucified, and hearing His request to God, that they came to saving faith, in who Christ is, propably some time after the day of pentecost.

      Yes, no one is good enough to deserve Heaven, unless God makes her so. In the case of an infant, would He forgive her and make her so because she was incapable of knowing what she was doing was wrong? I think so. How about you?
      Is God capable of pardoning any one person if He chose to. Sure He is. Will there be justice if He is inconsistant?

      But there is a scriptural support for the idea that one who does not know what she has done is wrong should be forgiven. Jesus' words to the Pharasees and His words prayed from the cross support this, I believe. Infants, and perhaps some who are developmentally disabled, are unlike you and I in that they are likely not held responsible for their actions. Reason tells us this, and it's reflected in our laws, and even in the words of Christ. This is not the same with those who are not Christian simply because they never heard the gospel, however. It's reasonable to assume God still holds them accountable for their thoughts, words and deeds. I'm just wondering if it is just to never give them an opportunity to accept the gift of salvation from God. Purgatory seems a reasonable resolution to the moral dilemma.
      I do not agree. See above. This premise would make God a liar for then this scripture is false:

      (Act 4:12) And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."


      Most Catholic translations of John 3 use the words, "born from above," rather than born again. The notes in the margin of my Bible say born from above is an equally likely translation of His words. If you explain to a thoughtful Catholic how a born again believer is different from an unbeliever, he or she would likely agree with you that Catholics should be are born again, even though they don't use those words. You would find that the disagreement is not be over whether someone needs spiritual rebirth, but how someone receives such a second birth.
      Yes, but what about their doctrines that no salvation is possible apart from the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. Or that salvation is impossible without the pope.

      Would you not agree that a requirement of being part of Christ's church, is the new birth (being born again), and not the other way around?
      (Rom 8:38 - 39) For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JCiL View Post
        Hi

        Can we continue from here:
        Sure!

        I maintain that such a thing only draws one away from revering God only, and it is borderline idolatry. Seeing some defend Mary on this forum, is clear idolatry, for I believe they would not even defend Christ with the same passion.
        I think it would be helpful to define the word idolatry so that I understand what you mean when you say prayer to a saint is borderline idolatry. I'm not sure what you mean.

        For example, the RC's teach (and I see it in our discussion) that if someone is righteous enough they can be saved. Jesus and the cross, loses any significance by these statements, yet they would defend Marian doctrines to the death. I have to start wondering then where their loyalty lies.
        This is a different (but no-less significant) issue. From what I understand, Catholicism is not a crass system of works-righteousness. Faith is a necessary requirement, but not the only requirement. There is also the requirement of the sacraments and there is the requirement of sanctification. You see, for the Catholic sanctification is a means to the end of salvation. This is the opposite of what I believed to be true as an Evangelical: I believed salvation was a means to sanctification. Understanding this helped me to see how Catholics could read the same Bible I did, but come away with views contrary to those I had.

        Paul said to the Corinthians:
        (1Co 2:1-5) And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

        Can you point out in scripture, where it is condoned to bring request of prayer to dead people?
        I agree--my goal should always be to obtain the wisdom of God, for Christ is that wisdom, and more!

        But to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ [is] the power of God and the wisdom of God.

        (1 Corinthians 1:24)


        I suppose the Catholic would ask in response: Can you point out a scripture where it is condemned to bring request of prayer to a saint who is now in Heaven? I'd say that if no scripture exists to support either view, then one should not hold either view with certainty. To do so would be to make an inference from ignorance, which is illogical.



        The next best thing to an explicit statement that it's OK to pray to saints in Heaven is would be to find some example of praying to saints in Heaven, or at least an example of saints in Heaven being aware of what is transpiring on earth and praying for us, here. Don't you agree?

        You quote this scripture, yet doubt if it is possible for God to have revealed Jesus to people that were not as exposed to the gospel as we might be, or even to infants.
        Yes, I agree it is possible for God to do anything that does not contradict who He is. For example, the writer of Hebrews writes that "it is impossible for God to lie" (Hebrews 6:18). This is one reason why I have trouble accepting the idea of Hell for every non-believer who never heard the gospel, for I also believe it is impossible for God to be unmerciful. That being said, I agree it is possible for God to reveal the Gospel to one who has never heard the Gospel.

        Still, a possibility does not an actually necessarily make, and I don't yet see how it is actual that God reveals the Gospel to an unborn infant who has never heard a spoken word, and does not know the meaning of the simplest word, such as the word daddy, or mommy, much less the words:

        For it is by grace you are saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves. It is the gift of God. Not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

        (Ephesians 2:8-10)

        It's easy for you and I to quote this by memory, but how could an infant who does not know the meaning of even one of the words of this passage comprehend what it means? Indeed, I don't know for certain what it means! For your interpretation of the meaning of the word grace is apparently different from the Catholic interpretation, and I don't yet know what interpretation of the word grace is correct.

        However, if I'm wrong, and it is actually true that unborn infants do comprehend these words (even when I do not) then there should be some evidence of those who have, I think. Can you give me a personal testimony of one adult who says that she received the gospel while in her mother's womb, and then grew up always believing the gospel she knew before she was born? Such a person would never have to be told the gospel, for she'd know it from birth, and might even have parents who are atheists (never having heard the gospel) whom she evangelizes. I'm sure if such a person existed, there would be Christian books written about her. Indeed, if such a Catholic existed she would be venerated as a saint, for no such miracle has ever been documented in the pages of scripture, or elsewhere in the historical record.

        Please understand I'm not mocking the idea; I'm just saying that if God is doing this miracle for one infant, He'd have done it for countless others, and we'd see some evidence of this miracle by now. Don't you think the more defensible position is to say something like this? "No, God does not condemn infants to Hell. If they die prior to being able to comprehend the gospel, they receive Heaven--for it is not their fault they died before an age of accountability. Adults, however are a different matter. They, as Paul writes in Romans, have no excuse."
        Last edited by spockrates; 04-17-12, 09:52 AM.
        "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains (however improbable) must be the truth."
        —Spock

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JCiL View Post
          ... As to God making someone (Mary) aware to the prayers of many, my question would be, why would He? God is more than capable to hear every prayer directly. Why does Mary or any other dead person need to hear prayers?
          This is much the same as asking, "Why do Christians need to pray together?" Isn't it? You see, the Catholic understanding (if I'm understanding correctly) is that we should ask the saints we know are in Heaven to pray with us, just as we ask our friends and family and even strangers to with for us. Answer the question, "Why should I ask friends and family and even strangers to pray with me?" This will be the same answer why one should ask a saint to pray with her, they tell me.


          You will have to be more speciffic here regarding the protestant beliefs. Bowing down and worshipping anyone but God shows that such a person is not a child of God, but still seperated from God, worshipping another.
          An example: I know of Protestants who say there is no sin in having an abortion. They do not see it as the painful killing of an innocent human being, as other Protestants (and Catholics) do. They do not see it as murder.

          Regarding your point about worship, I suppose it will help me understand if you define what worship is. Then I'll know whether one asking a saint to pray for her is the same as worshiping that saint.

          Can you show me this scriptural support? Especially if what you say below is absolute truth.
          Are you asking for scriptural support for the idea that there is some other place (or state) of existence after death besides Heaven and Hell?
          "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains (however improbable) must be the truth."
          —Spock

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JCiL View Post
            ... Those who have not accepted Christ as Saviour through revelation (All things are possible...) will die seperated from God.

            That is an absolute yes.

            God will see to it that everyone who will respond to the gospel, has the oportunity to have Jesus Christ revealed to them.

            In a manner of speaking, yes.

            Correct.

            God is not unjust, we are.
            OK, is this a clearer understanding of the stated (and implied) premises and conclusion of your logical argument?

            1a. All things are possible with God.

            1b. God can cause even an infant to comprehend the gospel and accept Christ as her savior.

            1c. Those who have not accepted Christ as Saviour through revelation will die seperated from God.

            2. God has the knowledge and power to know who will respond to the gospel and who will not

            3a. God will see to it that everyone who will respond to the gospel, has the oportunity to have Jesus Christ revealed to them.

            4. God does not make sure that those who will not respond to the gospel hear it.

            5. Those who do not hear the gospel are those who would never have responded to it if they had heard it.

            6. God is not unjust, but we are sometimes unjust, and we misunderstand what justice truly is.

            Therefore,

            A. It is not unjust for God to condemn people to Hell who never had the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.


            I hope you don't mind my adding (1b), as it seems to be implied from the context of your post. We may modify it, or remove it, if you want. What I'm wondering is if these are the eight premises, (1a) through (6), which you believe are true, and which you believe support the conclusion (A). If so, I should consider whether they all are true, and whether they actually do support the conclusion and let you know what I think.

            Last edited by spockrates; 04-17-12, 10:50 AM.
            "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains (however improbable) must be the truth."
            —Spock

            Comment


            • #7
              I think it would be helpful to define the word idolatry so that I understand what you mean when you say prayer to a saint is borderline idolatry. I'm not sure what you mean.
              (Deu 32:21) They have made me jealous with what is no god; they have provoked me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are no people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

              I believe that the RCC is making God jealous with what is no god, but only dead idols. Bowing down to any statue, (be it Mary or Buddha) is idolatry. Placing any one or anything before God Almighty is idolatry.

              Again I have to ask, why? It makes no sense what so ever to place Mary or any saint on such a high pedestal. We have Christ our Lord and Saviour.

              God has given His Son and we have the Spirit. Why do we need Mary and the saints?
              I believe there is no good answer to that, and the RCC is and has blinded millions to Christ because of this Marian worship.

              This is a different (but no-less significant) issue. From what I understand, Catholicism is not a crass system of works-righteousness. Faith is a necessary requirement, but not the only requirement. There is also the requirement of the sacraments and there is the requirement of sanctification. You see, for the Catholic sanctification is a means to the end of salvation. This is the opposite of what I believed to be true as an Evangelical: I believed salvation was a means to sanctification. Understanding this helped me to see how Catholics could read the same Bible I did, but come away with views contrary to those I had.
              What do you believe God intended though?

              Should we follow some rituals to be saved?
              Is Christ's blood not enough to "sanctify" Why do you/they need to add to the Blood?
              Why is faith then nessesary at all?

              I agree--my goal should always be to obtain the wisdom of God, for Christ is that wisdom, and more!

              But to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ [is] the power of God and the wisdom of God.

              (1 Corinthians 1:24)

              I think you missed the point of me quoting that scripture. I was saying by that, that Paul preached Christ and Him crucified, and nothing else. Not with lofty speach and the wisdom of men.

              What does that mean? What apart from Christ is nessesary for salvation? He sertainly did not teach them to make graven images of Mary or himself and pray to these images.

              I suppose the Catholic would ask in response: Can you point out a scripture where it is condemned to bring request of prayer to a saint who is now in Heaven? I'd say that if no scripture exists to support either view, then one should not hold either view with certainty. To do so would be to make an inference from ignorance, which is illogical.

              Think about what you wrote here....
              Is it logical to say, that if something is not mentioned explicitly, either way in the Bible, that it is ok to do so. Is that not how cults justify their false teachings? The Bible is explicit about graven images, and bowing down to them, and worship. The Bible is explicit about God's jealousy and that we should not bow down, nor worship (pray) to any other.

              The next best thing to an explicit statement that it's OK to pray to saints in Heaven is would be to find some example of praying to saints in Heaven, or at least an example of saints in Heaven being aware of what is transpiring on earth and praying for us, here. Don't you agree?
              Do you have such a "next best thing"?

              Yes, I agree it is possible for God to do anything that does not contradict who He is. For example, the writer of Hebrews writes that "it is impossible for God to lie" (Hebrews 6:18). This is one reason why I have trouble accepting the idea of Hell for every non-believer who never heard the gospel, for I also believe it is impossible for God to be unmerciful. That being said, I agree it is possible for God to reveal the Gospel to one who has never heard the Gospel.

              Still, a possibility does not an actually necessarily make, and I don't yet see how it is actual that God reveals the Gospel to an unborn infant who has never heard a spoken word, and does not know the meaning of the simplest word, such as the word daddy, or mommy, much less the words:

              For it is by grace you are saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves. It is the gift of God. Not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

              (Ephesians 2:8-10)

              It's easy for you and I to quote this by memory, but how could an infant who does not know the meaning of even one of the words of this passage comprehend what it means? Indeed, I don't know for certain what it means! For your interpretation of the meaning of the word grace is apparently different from the Catholic interpretation, and I don't yet know what interpretation of the word grace is correct.

              However, if I'm wrong, and it is actually true that unborn infants do comprehend these words (even when I do not) then there should be some evidence of those who have, I think. Can you give me a personal testimony of one adult who says that she received the gospel while in her mother's womb, and then grew up always believing the gospel she knew before she was born? Such a person would never have to be told the gospel, for she'd know it from birth, and might even have parents who are atheists (never having heard the gospel) whom she evangelizes. I'm sure if such a person existed, there would be Christian books written about her. Indeed, if such a Catholic existed she would be venerated as a saint, for no such miracle has ever been documented in the pages of scripture, or elsewhere in the historical record.
              We are going round in sircles with this argument.

              God does not contradict Himself. God has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and compassion on whom He will have compassion. It is therefore not for us to say that God is unjust.
              He does not contradict Himself when He says that NO ONE comes to the Father apart from Christ.

              Please understand I'm not mocking the idea; I'm just saying that if God is doing this miracle for one infant, He'd have done it for countless others, and we'd see some evidence of this miracle by now. Don't you think the more defensible position is to say something like this? "No, God does not condemn infants to Hell. If they die prior to being able to comprehend the gospel, they receive Heaven--for it is not their fault they died before an age of accountability. Adults, however are a different matter. They, as Paul writes in Romans, have no excuse."
              I have no clear answer. I think the easy answer is what you suggest above, and the difficult answer is what Romans 9 teaches.

              But regarding Mary (and others) being able to hear our prayers, my thought is that you and I don't really know what it's like to live in Heaven, nor do we know how much like Christ we will become, there. I'm sure you agree that there we will share in His omnibenevolence, for we will love like He does. So I'm thinking it is also possible we will share in His omniscience--knowing things only God knows, like He does. Indeed, John writes:

              Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

              (1 John 3:2)

              And Paul similarly says:

              Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

              (1 Corinthians 13:12)

              I'd say that to be like Christ is to not merely love like Him, but to think like Him--to know Him as well as He knows us, which is completely. It's not too hard do see how having that kind of knowledge might make one able to hear the prayers of many (to read their minds, so to speak) and add one's prayers to their prayers.
              We will be spending our "time" in heaven worshipping God, having left the "dead" behind.
              (Rom 8:38 - 39) For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JCiL View Post
                ... See my posting of whole communities, where no righteousness would or could ever be found. It is clear that not all the lost since the cross, had the oportunity to hear the gospel but just like with Sodom and Gomorrah, God remains just.
                Well, I'd say that Lot and his family were not relatively unrighteous--so there was a relatively righteous minority in those ancient judged cities who were reminders of a different (more righteous) way of life. However, the argument that God does see to it that large numbers of unbelievers gather together seems to me a rational one. One might argue that communities made up largely of Buddhists and Muslims might be according to God's plan. I agree, though I'm not certain of this truth. Do you have a scripture that explicitly states this as God's plan--to segregate a majority of the unrighteous from the righteous on earth?


                Do you propose that this forgiveness was a blanket forgiveness?
                No.

                Then why would we need Christ for salvation. It would make more sense to me, that through the experience of seeing Christ crucified, and hearing His request to God, that they came to saving faith, in who Christ is, propably some time after the day of pentecost.
                Agreed.

                Is God capable of pardoning any one person if He chose to. Sure He is. Will there be justice if He is inconsistant?
                But this is not the Catholic view. The Catholic view is that the same plan of salvation is for everyone--all must hear and respond to the gospel. Those who do not have the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel this side of eternity will have the opportunity to respond on the other side of eternity, in Purgatory. According to this belief, I don't see how God is inconsistent.

                I do not agree. See above. This premise would make God a liar for then this scripture is false:

                (Act 4:12) And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
                Agreed. There is no other way to be saved but through Jesus Christ.



                Yes, but what about their doctrines that no salvation is possible apart from the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. Or that salvation is impossible without the pope.
                According to the Vatican II, there are those outside the Catholic Church (and who do not recognized the authority of the Pope) who are saved, and will likely have a chance to receive and respond to the full truth of the gospel in Purgatory.

                Would you not agree that a requirement of being part of Christ's church, is the new birth (being born again), and not the other way around?
                I don't know, for certain. According to the Catholic view, one is born again at the moment of baptism, and makes the decision to stay born again at Confirmation, and continues to remain born again throughout one's life. It's not a once-in-a-lifetime decision, but a life-long process. As I mentioned earlier, sanctification is see as a cause of salvation, rather than salvation being a cause of sanctification. Either Catholics or some Protestants have the cart sitting wrongly in front of the horse, it's true. I'm just not sure who!

                Last edited by spockrates; 04-17-12, 11:24 AM.
                "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains (however improbable) must be the truth."
                —Spock

                Comment


                • #9
                  spockrates;2817383]This is much the same as asking, "Why do Christians need to pray together?" Isn't it? You see, the Catholic understanding (if I'm understanding correctly) is that we should ask the saints we know are in Heaven to pray with us, just as we ask our friends and family and even strangers to with for us. Answer the question, "Why should I ask friends and family and even strangers to pray with me?" This will be the same answer why one should ask a saint to pray with her, they tell me
                  .

                  This is not the same at all. Jesus says that wherever 2 or more are gathered in His Name there He is also. Can you gather all the dead saints together.... no they are dead and buried. The Bible is explicit about praying on many occasions, and does not justify praying to the dead anywhere. Praying together is Biblical.

                  An example: I know of Protestants who say there is no sin in having an abortion. They do not see it as the painful killing of an innocent human being, as other Protestants (and Catholics) do. They do not see it as murder.
                  Again, the Bible is not explicit. Is it morally wrong..... of course it is and therefore we can rightly discern it as murder, and the Bible is explicit about murder. Any person condoning abortion is therefore wrong, and in sin.

                  Regarding your point about worship, I suppose it will help me understand if you define what worship is. Then I'll know whether one asking a saint to pray for her is the same as worshiping that saint.
                  Worship includes exultations, praise, and honor, thanksgiving, and requests etc.

                  Are you asking for scriptural support for the idea that there is some other place (or state) of existence after death besides Heaven and Hell?
                  Yes please
                  (Rom 8:38 - 39) For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JCiL View Post
                    (Deu 32:21) They have made me jealous with what is no god; they have provoked me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are no people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

                    I believe that the RCC is making God jealous with what is no god, but only dead idols. Bowing down to any statue, (be it Mary or Buddha) is idolatry. Placing any one or anything before God Almighty is idolatry.
                    Very good. Idolatry is worshiping someone or something as a god, which is not a god, or putting anything or anyone in a place of prominence above God. According to this definition, I do not believe Catholics are idolatrous. For I've never heard a Catholic tell me any saint is her god, nor that she places any saint before God. Their saints are respected, not worshiped, they tell me.

                    Again I have to ask, why? It makes no sense what so ever to place Mary or any saint on such a high pedestal. We have Christ our Lord and Saviour. God has given His Son and we have the Spirit. Why do we need Mary and the saints? I believe there is no good answer to that, and the RCC is and has blinded millions to Christ because of this Marian worship.
                    Here's an answer: Please tell me if it is good or not!



                    In this life God commands us to do things to prepare us for what we will do in Heaven. Praying for others is one of the things He commands us to do. Therefore, praying for others will be something we do in Heaven. Scripture appears to support this:

                    6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song:

                    “You are worthy to take the scroll
                    and to open its seals,
                    because you were slain,
                    and with your blood you purchased men for God
                    from every tribe and language and people and nation.
                    10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
                    and they will reign on the earth.”

                    11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they sang:

                    “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
                    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
                    and honor and glory and praise!”

                    13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:

                    “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
                    be praise and honor and glory and power,
                    for ever and ever!”

                    14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

                    (Revelation 5)

                    ... Think about what you wrote here:
                    Is it logical to say, that if something is not mentioned explicitly, either way in the Bible, that it is ok to do so. Is that not how cults justify their false teachings? The Bible is explicit about graven images, and bowing down to them, and worship. The Bible is explicit about God's jealousy and that we should not bow down, nor worship (pray) to any other.
                    I'm thinking that most, if not nearly all Catholics do not fit our current definition of idolatry. They don't, that is, if I'm understanding the definition correctly.

                    Do you have such a "next best thing"?
                    Yes, the quoted text from Revelation.

                    We are going round in sircles with this argument.

                    God does not contradict Himself. God has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and compassion on whom He will have compassion. It is therefore not for us to say that God is unjust.
                    He does not contradict Himself when He says that NO ONE comes to the Father apart from Christ.
                    True, God is not unjust, though our misunderstandings of Him might not be justified. He does not contradict Himself, but our misunderstandings of His actions might contradict His actual actions. One thing Socrates (and Jesus) taught me is to always be aware that I might be misunderstanding scripture, or God, or both. I sometimes don't understand others, or even myself, and people misunderstand me. Is it wise to be absolutely certain I understand the word of God and the God of the word?

                    Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

                    (1 Corinthians 13:12)

                    The message Paul speaks to me is that I should not fool myself into thinking I clearly understand who God is, and what God does. My understanding is not clear, but dim--like a mirror of polished silver. I should not presume to know Him so well. For I will not truly know Him till I see Him face to face. That's what Paul says to me. What does he say to you in this passage?

                    I have no clear answer. I think the easy answer is what you suggest above, and the difficult answer is what Romans 9 teaches.

                    We will be spending our "time" in heaven worshipping God, having left the "dead" behind.
                    If we spend all of our time worshiping, and none of our time praying for those left behind, then why does John say that the elders in Heaven carry the prayers of the saints on earth to God? (See the quoted text from Revelation.)
                    "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains (however improbable) must be the truth."
                    —Spock

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JCiL View Post
                      ... What do you believe God intended though?
                      Should we follow some rituals to be saved?
                      Is Christ's blood not enough to "sanctify" Why do you/they need to add to the Blood?
                      Why is faith then nessesary at all?

                      I think you missed the point of me quoting that scripture. I was saying by that, that Paul preached Christ and Him crucified, and nothing else. Not with lofty speach and the wisdom of men.

                      What does that mean? What apart from Christ is nessesary for salvation? He sertainly did not teach them to make graven images of Mary or himself and pray to these images.
                      ...
                      These are different questions, as they are related to salvation more than the practice of praying to saints. I think it will be easier to focus on them if I reply to them separately.



                      Regarding faith and why it is necessary. I consider faith to be synonymous with trust. So the question to me is, "Why is it necessary to trust Jesus?" The answer is that it is necessary to trust Him because only through Him might I be saved. So I ask myself, "What does one who trusts Jesus do?" The answer: He obeys what Jesus, and the Apostles He appointed to guide us, tell us to do. So the next question I ask: "What should I do to be saved?" This scripture comes to mind:

                      Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins."

                      (Acts 2:38)

                      The question asked Peter is the same I asked myself. The answer Peter gives: (1) repent and (2) be baptized. So I've begun to think that what I used to believe with certainty might not be so: I might not be saved by grace through faith alone. Repentance and baptism might also be required. If they are required, then so might other things. For example, Jesus says:

                      "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

                      (John 6:54)

                      So the flesh and blood of Christ that saves me might be the bread and wine Catholics tell me is the Eucharist, not merely His sacrificial death on the cross.

                      Can you now appreciate my situation? To me, the passages of the Bible regarding salvation are not crystal clear, but clear as mud! They are as dim as my understanding of God. So I'm not sure how to be saved. I see the Bible with Catholic eyes, and with Protestant eyes, and I'm not sure which see the truth more clearly and which still has mud in her eye! (So I have to poke fun at myself, for if I did not laugh, I'd have to cry.)
                      Last edited by spockrates; 04-17-12, 12:56 PM.
                      "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains (however improbable) must be the truth."
                      —Spock

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        JCiL:

                        I hope I don't sound like I'm debating and sure of what I know. I'm sure of the possibility that the Catholic faith might be correct regarding these questions. I'm in no way sure that Catholicism actually is correct regarding them. I'm essentially bouncing the reasons Catholics gave me off you to see if your answers are any better than mine were when I spoke with them.

                        Last edited by spockrates; 04-17-12, 02:37 PM.
                        "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains (however improbable) must be the truth."
                        —Spock

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JCiL View Post
                          .

                          This is not the same at all. Jesus says that wherever 2 or more are gathered in His Name there He is also. Can you gather all the dead saints together.... no they are dead and buried.
                          Yes, but unless you are a Jehovah's Witness or a 7th Day Adventist (and it's OK if you are) then you believe the souls of saints are in Heaven. If you do believe this, then the question is whether someone can gather with you or I in prayer from a distance. I believe there are examples of this. One can pray with another during a phone conversation, or in a computer chat room, or perhaps even in a discussion forum like this. I'm thinking that Jesus is together with them, even though they are not in close proximity. What do you think?

                          The Bible is explicit about praying on many occasions, and does not justify praying to the dead anywhere. Praying together is Biblical.
                          Yes, but it also does not explicitly prohibit praying to a saint who has died and is in Heaven. It might not be explicitly biblical to do so, but its not explicitly unbiblical, either. It's perhaps extra-biblical. It does seem to be implicitly biblical, however, unless I'm misunderstanding Revelation 5.



                          Again, the Bible is not explicit. Is it morally wrong..... of course it is and therefore we can rightly discern it as murder, and the Bible is explicit about murder. Any person condoning abortion is therefore wrong, and in sin.
                          Agreed.

                          Worship includes exultations, praise, and honor, thanksgiving, and requests etc.
                          But don't we exult, praise, honor, thank and make requests of people we know here on earth? If so, we'd be worshiping them. I'm thinking worship includes these things, but it must be something more than the sum of these things. Perhaps worship is exulting, praising, honoring and thanking someone above all others? In other words, the one worshiped is the one we value most? What do you think?

                          Yes please
                          I might have already mentioned this, but Catholics tell me that Peter was speaking of some place other than Heaven or Hell here:

                          18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.

                          (1 Peter 3)


                          What do you think is the prison where Jesus went to preach after His death?
                          Last edited by spockrates; 04-17-12, 02:10 PM.
                          "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains (however improbable) must be the truth."
                          —Spock

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            John:

                            I also want to say my father is Methodist. (I think you said you were, too.) He's a good man (like you), and I have great respect for his denomination.

                            "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains (however improbable) must be the truth."
                            —Spock

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you both for taking the time to participate. You've both given me food for thought. If you want to continue the discussion, please post another reply when you have time.

                              "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains (however improbable) must be the truth."
                              —Spock

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