George answered my comments
>PS: Although we cannot judge individuals, can we not say that even the most
> sincere, well-meaning and in some instances at least even genuine
> who pray fervently to the Virgin Mary are involved in a lie and an
> And would we not suppose that demons enforce that darkness? If so, why
> should evangelical deception and idolatry be any different?
GM: This is well beyond the science-religion area but needs comment.
is nothing intrinsically false or idolatrous about my asking you to pray for
Christians of all varieties often do this, requesting prayers for healing &c.
Why is it then false or idolatrous to pray, "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray
us sinners now and at the hour of our death?" If I Tim.2:5 strikes the
practice, it also strikes the first.
The problem there is not lying or idolatry but uncertainty. We have
assurance that departed saints hear our prayers (& I would add, some good
to believe that they don't hear anything) & no biblical invitation or
pray to them.
Such prayer is idolatrous if the idea behind it is that God really
to zap us but that the saints (& especially Mary) love us & will soften God
But that notion is not essential to the idea of praying to the saints.
Praying to saints is not part of my own tradition and I wouldn't feel
comfortable doing it (except in a very formal sense, as in the hymn "Ye
and Ye Holy Ones"). But I don't think it's proper to condemn all who do so,
especially if we don't know the attitudes and thoughts that accompany such
I see that I was not clear. My point involves what I took to be understood by
most of our list that in the Roman Catholic Church the Virgin Mary is not
just another saint. She has been exalted to the point that functionally she
is a veritable addition to the Trinity. It is this veritable god that is
being prayed to. Regardless of how unidolatrous the official RC statement of
doctrine about Mary may be, functionally she is an idol. People come to her
where by all rights they should be going to God. If I am correct, then we
have in these sincere prayers to Mary, prayers to an idol. If so, this is
idolatry; and in a biblical sense is a practice which is a lie.
It is to this over-exaltation of the Virgin Mary that I compare the
"conservative" over-exaltation of the Bible. And, I believe there is some
functional parallelism as well.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Aug 23 2001 - 03:16:37 EDT