Monday, August 01, 2011

Facebook Apologetics: Veneration vs. Worship, Pt. 5

For Part 5 of this debate, I will be combining two short exchanges with "Joseph" and "Kenneth," since neither one is substantive enough in my mind to warrant its own blog post. For the other installments in this debate, see Parts One -- Two -- Three -- Four.

Now, the first comment comes from Joseph:

  • if you bow before a created statue it is idolatry...A. the statue was created B. the person the statue represents is a created being.... unless you are going to tell me before God was Mary was there giving birth to him, in which case I would declare you to NOT BE A BELIEVER, because to come to God you must first believe HE IS and that he sent jesus to save all who would believe ON HIM... note there is no scriptural evidence that Miriam was even saved!!! and if she was there was nobody to do the pagan sacrements on her since your pagan sacremens were not implemented until the 4th century at least.

Joseph, did you read a word I wrote? I've already proven that to bow before a created thing need not be equated with idol worship. Are you prepared to say that Lot, Joseph's brothers, Saul, Bathsheba, Nathan, Ornan, the entire assembly of Israel, King David, the sons of the prophets, and Nebuchadnezzar all participated in idol worship when they bowed down before created things? Would you charge Jesus Christ Himself with complicity in sin for making the members of one church bow down before another? Are you going to simply repeat your position over and over, or are you actually going to try to refute my arguments? And quit trying to change the subject to Mary. Your red herrings don't fool me. You're clearly grasping at straws here. Why don't you swallow your pride and admit you don't have an answer?

[After I posted that response, Kenneth made this comment:]

  • List what you worship or venerate when it is an object in receipt of either.

We worship the Lord and venerate the saints. Objects of the saints, such as statues or icons, do not themselves receive the veneration. They are simply visual aids that help us when we pray, just as Protestants are inclined to pray clutching a bible or a cross. An every day example of this sort of thing should explain what I mean.

Let's say you live on one side of the country, your family lives on the other. You never get to see them, but you do have a picture of them on your bedside table. You may kiss it or touch it before you go to bed, as a way to say goodnight to your family and to express you longing for them. Your sign of affection isn't for the picture, it's for your loved ones depicted in it.

Or, as another example, many people are wont to visit the grave of a deceased loved one. They may leave flowers there, or even spend a few moments in conversation with their loved one. The words and the flowers, they aren't for a piece of rock, they are for the one who now lives with Christ in Heaven.

So it is with our veneration of the saints.

Pax Christi,

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