Saturday, July 23, 2011

Facebook Apologetics: Veneration vs. Worship, Pt. 2

Here is where "Joseph" makes his entrance. I'm glad he did, because it gave me the opportunity to address some other important points in this debate: bowing down to a created thing, and imitating the lives of the saints. See also Part 1.

  • Sounds like a Jehovahs witness changing the meanings of words to suit their theology. That which you bow down before is that which you worship.

You need "veneration" and "worship" to mean the exact same thing in order to fit YOUR theology ;) The fact is, they don't. No one uses these words interchangeably. If you do, you are simply ignorant.

[note from the author: a slight correction should probably be made here. Sometimes the Catechism uses the word "worship" in a more general sense to include all acts of religiosity. Then it can be used to describe the honor we give to the saints. But, when it's necessary to be more precise with one's language, "worship" refers to our adoration of God, and "veneration" to our respect for the saints].

Furthermore, your statement, "that which you bow down before is that which you worship" betrays an ignorance of Scripture. Lot "bowed himself with his face to the earth" before the angels that visited him in Sodom (Gen 19:1). Joseph's brothers "bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground" when they came to him for food (Gen 42:6). Saul "bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance" before Samuel (1 Sam 28:14). Bathsheba "bowed and did obeisance" to King David (1 Kings 1:16), as did Nathan (vs. 23), Ornan (1 Chron 21:21), and even the entire assembly (1 Chron 29:20). David himself bowed down before the temple of the Lord (Psa 138:2). The sons of the prophets at Jericho "bowed to the ground" before Elisha (2 Kings 2:15). King Nebuchadnezzar "fell upon his face, and did homage" to Daniel, and even commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him! (Dan 2:46). Even Jesus Christ himself will make those of the synagogue of Satan to bow down before the church in Philadelphia (Rev 3:9).

Should all of these people be charged with idolatry? Of course not. Neither then should the Catholic.

  • The saints already have their reward they are with the father and need nothing more. Isnt it interesting that when Saint John the divine, as the catholics call him, bowed down before the angel, the angel responded please dont worship me I am thy fellow servant if Messiah Y'shua - WORSHP GOD

No one said the saints "need" our veneration. We give it to them because we respect and admire the great lives that they led and we desire to live like them. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," and we honor the saints primarily by striving to imitate their example.

Lest you say we should imitate no one but Christ, Paul in particular is emphatic in his desire that we be imitators of him and of other men of holiness:

"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ" (1 Cor 11:1). "Brethren, join in imitating me, and mark those who so live as you have an example in us" (Phil 3:17). "And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit" (1 Thes 1:6). "For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you" (2 Thes 3:7). "So that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Heb 6:12). "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith" (Heb 13:7).

- - - - - - - - - -

"Joseph" would go on to say:

  • How often must miriam have wept over the millions that exalted her to the godhead, I can see her weeping at her sons breasts and he says its okay mom hey are just geniles trying desparately to keep their pagan gods.

... but I simply ignored it because it's a red herring. Also, in case you're wondering why I didn't respond to the bit about John bowing down to the angel, I essentially address this in Parts 3 and 4 of this debate.

Pax Christi,

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