Re: ASA Statement of faith

From: Peter Ruest (
Date: Mon Jun 23 2003 - 00:44:44 EDT

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    George Murphy wrote:
    > ... Certainly the idea of Mary as co-mediatrix is wrong even if carefully
    > formulated, even more so in much popular piety. (I recently heard a prominent lay Roman
    > Catholic in my area give a rationale for praying to the Blessed Virgin as, "If you get
    > in trouble with Dad, the best thing to do is go talk to Mom.") But simply the idea of
    > asking a departed saint to intercede with God for one, as I might ask you to pray for
    > me, doesn't _in itself_ introduce the problem of idolatry. One difficulty with the
    > practice is that it assumes that those who have died are able to hear such prayer. We
    > simply don't know that & there are serious reasons to doubt it, & "whatever is not of
    > faith is sin."
    > ... Prayer is - or should be - an expression of trust that the one to whom prayers
    > are directed wants us to pray and wants to help those who pray. There are explicit
    > invitations & commands in scripture to pray to God & none to pray for departed saints.
    > & petitionary prayer to departed saints, and even living people who are thought to be
    > especially holy," almost inevitably takes on a quality different from that of asking a
    > friend to pray for oneself because in the former case the person to whom the petition is
    > addressed is thought to be closer (& maybe more accessible) to God.
    > So I believe that the Reformers were right in rejecting the invocation of the
    > (departed) saints. Any positive features that this may have - e.g., supposedly
    > encouraging awareness of the unity of believers on earth & in heaven - is far outweighed
    > by the fact that it encourages people to put their trust in the wrong place.
    > But I would return to my original point: I don't think it's wise to exclude
    > Roman Catholics from ASA membership because of this issue, even though I believe
    > they're wrong. There are theological differences among "protestants" that are more
    > serious than that (e.g., concerning the sacraments) & there are no attempts to makes
    > distinctions on these grounds. Again, ASA is not a church.


    thank you for your detailed response, which goes even beyond answering
    my question!

    I agree with all you are saying here (including your last parenthesis -
    where I don't agree with you concerning the sacraments ;-).


    Dr. Peter Ruest, CH-3148 Lanzenhaeusern, Switzerland
    <> - Biochemistry - Creation and evolution
    "..the work which God created to evolve it" (Genesis 2:3)

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