From: Peter Ruest (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Jun 23 2003 - 00:44:44 EDT
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
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> - Biochemistry - Creation and evolution "..the work which God created to evolve it" (Genesis 2:3)
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