Received: 3rd March 2013===================================
There is No Salvation Outside the Church http://www.onetruecatholicfaith.com the One True Faith. Facts are utterly irrefutable. The Bible clearly approves of asking the Saints and Angels for their intercession. If you are inclined to bring forward 1 Timothy 2:5 - I say look closely at what 1 Timothy 2:5 really says: Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. Because Jesus was the God-Man, only he can be the Mediator, the one who is between. Between men and the Father, there is the Son. This doesn't undercut our belief that the Saints in heaven intercede for us because these saints, too, are men; they are members of mankind. Thus, we (men) ask them (men, too) to pray to the one Mediator (Jesus) in order to find favor with the Father.
Angels are supplicated and beseeched by men. They are entreated and implored by men for answers and for assistance in their temporal and spiritual needs. Judges 6:12-13 "The angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said: The Lord is with thee, O most valiant of men. And Gedeon said to him: I beseech thee, my lord, if the Lord be with us, why have these evils fallen upon us? Where are his miracles, which our fathers have told us of, saying: The Lord brought us Out of Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the bands of Madian."
Here we see that Gedeon beseeches the angel. That means that he requests something of the angel, he asked something of him. In the book of Osee, we see that Joseph made supplication to an angel. A supplication is a humble or earnest request, it's a prayer. Osee 12: 3-4 "In the womb he supplanted his brother: and by his strength he had success with an angel. And he prevailed over the angel, and was strengthened: he wept, and made supplication to him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spoke with us." I repeat, Joseph made supplication to the angel. So the bible teaches that angels not only deliver God's messages, mete out His Justice, or sent as an answer to prayers; but they are prayed to as well.1 Corinthians 4:16 "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ."
Christians believe in the Communion of Saints. The bible clearly teaches it. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ and Christ is Head: Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23-32; Col. 1:18,24. And 1 Cor. 12:12,27: Rom. 12:5; Col. 3:15; Eph. 4:4. St. Mat. 17:3; St. Mark 9:4; St. Luke 9:30 - Lord Jesus Christ converses with "deceased" Moses and Elias. They are more alive than the saints on earth. Thus we see that Moses who is a just man that was known to have died and also Elias who is a just and great prophet known to have ascended into heaven - are both communicating to the Lord Jesus Christ at His Transfiguration. This is proof of the Communion of Saints. St. Mat. 27:47 -49; St. Mark 15:35-36 - at Lord Jesus Christ's Passion, the people believe that Lord Jesus Christ calls on Elias for his intercession, and waits to see if Elias would come to save Him on the Cross. The bible directs us to invoke those in heaven and ask them to pray with us. King David invokes all the angles of heaven! Thus in Psalm 102:20-21 we pray, "Bless the Lord, O you His angels, you mighty ones who do His word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all His hosts, his ministers that do His will!" In the protestant apocrypha, this passage appears as Psalm 103:20-21!!!!!!Address this- you probably can't! Not only do those in heaven pray with us, they also pray for us. In the book of the Apocalypse 8:3-4, we read: "And another angel came, and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which is before the throne of God. And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel."
The Mother of God is not dead but alive. She ascended into heaven body and soul. God is the God of the living not the dead. The Christians living on earth and in heaven are one spiritual body (St. Mat. 22:32; St. Mark 12:27; St. Luke 20:38). Christians do not believe souls cease to exist when they die. We believe the just souls live on. Colosians 1:24 "[I] now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the Church." St. Paul is teaching that his sacrifices and his sufferings, in addition to his prayers can intercede with God so that God gives others graces to convert or to remain faithful. Romans 15:30 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the charity of the Holy Ghost, that you help me in your prayers for me to God." I guess that throws Protestant mythology out the window. We clearly see mediation within the one mediation of Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:11 "You helping withal in prayer for us: that for this gift obtained for us, by the means of many persons, thanks may be given by many in our behalf." St. Paul even says that the prayers of others bestow gifts upon him!
The Hebrew term for worship is 'Shakhah.' It is used within the Bible to refer to the Supreme Reverence given to God and also to the lesser reverence given to humans, Angels, and superiors! The term 'worship' has more than one meaning in English as well. It has multiple usages and is used broadly too. It can refer to civil reverence shown to superiors; it can refer to the condition of being worthy of honor -for example British subjects refer to their magistrates as "Your Worship" whereas in the United States they use the term "Your Honor," the term worship can also refer to the Supreme honor shown to God alone, it can mean veneration and reverence etc.
The term "worship" is used in the same way in the Bible that it is used in English - especially Old English. It could cover both the adoration given to God alone and the honor that is to be shown to certain human beings. In Hebrew, the term for worship is shakhah. It is appropriately used for humans in a large number of passages.
For example, in Genesis 37:7-9 Joseph relates two dreams that God gave him concerning how his family would honor him in coming years. Translated literally the passage states: "'[B]ehold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf arose and stood upright; and behold, your sheaves gathered round it, and worshiped [shakhah] my sheaf.' . . . Then he dreamed another dream, and told it to his brothers, and said, 'Behold, I have dreamed another dream; and behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were worshiping [shakhah] me.'"
In Genesis 49:2-27, Jacob pronounced a prophetic blessing on his sons, and concerning Judah he stated: "Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons shall worship [shakhah] you (49:8)." And in Exodus 18:7, Moses honored his father-in-law, Jethro: "Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and worshiped [shakhah] him and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare, and went into the tent." Yet none of these passages were discussing the worship of adoration, the kind of worship given to God. Or else you would have to say Jacob, Moses and all the Patriarchs in the Bible are idolators!
Christianity differentiates between different types of honor in order to make more clear which is due to God and which is not. Latria is given to God alone, Dulia to the Saints and Angels, and Hyperdulia to the Blessed Virgin Mother of God. Just to give you an example of how this is differentiated: an example of Dulia reverence. Josue 5:13-15 "And when Josue was in the field of the city of Jericho, he lifted up his eyes, and saw a man standing over against him: holding a drawn sword, and he went to him, and said: Art thou one of ours, or of our adversaries?And he answered: No: but I am prince of the host of the Lord, and now I am come. Josue fell on his face to the ground. And worshipping, add: What saith my lord to his servant?" We see that Josue was Worshipping: Not with divine honour, but with a religious veneration of an inferior kind, suitable to the dignity the Angelic person - Dulia. He venerated St. Michael the Arch-angel. Christians do this with the St. Michael prayer!!! Genesis 18:2-5 "And when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men standing near him: and as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground. And he said: Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant: But I will fetch a little water, and wash ye your feet, and rest ye under the tree. And I will set a morsel of bread, and strengthen ye your heart, afterwards you shall pass on: for therefore are you come aside to your servant. And they said: Do as thou hast spoken." This is an example of Latria (the honor given to God alone). The Saints and Angels are used as a conduit to God for He is more apt to listen to the requests of His righteous than of sinners. Christians can invoke the Angels and Saints and address to them the prayers meant for God. They will then take the prayer to Him- as we see in Genesis 18:2-5. For instance a Christian can invoke St. Michael and then say the Our Father prayer for him to address before God. 3 King 1: 16-19 (known as 1 kings 1:16-19 in Protestant apocrypha) "Bethsabee bowed herself, and worshipped the king. And the king said to her: What is thy will? She answered and said: My lord, thou didst swear to thy handmaid by the Lord thy God, saying: Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne. And behold now Adonias reigneth, and thou, my lord the king, knowest nothing of it." We see the glorious mother of King Solomon and Queen Bathsabee - bequeathing upon St. David a veneration known a Dulia. 3 Kings 1: 21-25 (known as 1 kings 1:21-25 in the Protestant apocrypha) "Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king sleepeth with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders. As she was yet speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet came. And they told the king, saying: Nathan the prophet is here. And when he was come in before the king, and had worshipped, bowing down to the ground, Nathan said: My lord O king, hast thou said: Let Adonias reign after me, and let him sit upon my throne?" We see the great Nathan the Prophet give Dulia veneration to St. King David.
Though bowing can be used as a posture in worship, not all bowing is Latria worship. In Japan, people show respect by bowing in greeting (the equivalent of the Western handshake). Similarly, a person can kneel before a king without worshipping him as a god. In the same way, a Chrisitian who may kneel in front of a statue while praying isn't worshipping the statue or even praying to it, any more than the Protestant who kneels with a "bible" in his hands when praying is worshipping the Bible or praying to it. The act of kneeling does not always mean that the person kneeling is performing an act of Latria worship. Christians kneel in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary to show her respect and honor and to pray for her intercession; they are not kneeling to Latria worship her.
God commands the Israelites to make two golden statues of angels as part of the lid of the Ark of the Covenant (Ex 25:17-19). That's an image of something from heaven. Then, in 1 Kings 6, God commands that graven images of flowers and palm trees be made, as well as 15-foot tall statues of cherubim. And in Numbers 21, God commands that a bronze serpent be made and uses it to heal the Israelites. It was preserved for 800 years and then destroyed when some began to worship it (2 Kgs 18:4) God allows the religious use of images and statues. When a Christian bows to a statue, he is not Latria worshiping it any more than King Solomon worshiped Bathsheba when he bowed to her in 1 Kings 2:19. In other words, the honor given to images does not detract from the honor that is due to God. After all, if one member of the body is honored, the others should share in its joy (1 Corinthians 12:26). If someone enters your house, he should expect to find a picture of your mother. So, when someone walks into a Catholic Church--the household of God--he should not be surprised to find a picture of the mother of God, along with the rest of the heavenly family!
In giving the Israelites a beautiful temple strewn with images (1 Kgs 6), God acknowledged the reason why he gave us our senses: to use them to worship him in spirit and truth.
Early in Church history the Catholic Church of the Old Testament was forbidden to make pictures of God because He had not revealed Himself to them in visible form. Had the Israelites made images of God, they might have been tempted to worship them, much as the pagans around them worshiped images. God later revealed himself under visible forms. One instance is found in Daniel 7:9-10: "As I looked, thrones were placed and one that was ancient of days took his seat; his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, its wheels were burning fire." The Holy Spirit revealed himself under two visible forms--that of a dove, at the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, John 1:32) and as tongues of fire, on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). Most notably, God the Son visibly revealed himself in the Incarnation: "[A]nd going into the house they [the magi] saw the child with Mary his mother" (Matthew 2:11). Since God has revealed himself in the above forms, he can now be depicted under these forms. Keep in mind that Protestants have pictures of Jesus in Bible story books, that they depict the Holy Spirit as a dove, and that they depict the Father as an old man sitting on a throne. They do all these without the least temptation to worship these images as God.
Relics in Scripture
Keep in mind what the Church says about relics. It doesn't say there is some magical power in them. There is nothing in the relic itself, whether a bone of the apostle Peter or water from Lourdes, that has any curative ability. The Church just says that relics may be the occasion of God's miracles, and in this the Church follows Scripture. The use of the bones of Elisha brought a dead man to life: "So Elisha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Elisha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood on his feet" (2 Kgs. 13:20-21). This is an unequivocal biblical example of a miracle being performed by God through contact with the relics of a saint! Similar are the cases of the woman cured of a hemorrhage by touching the hem of Christ's cloak (Matthew 9:20-22) and the sick who were healed when Peter's shadow passed over them (Acts 5:14-16). "And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them" (Acts 19:11-12). If these aren't examples of the use of relics, what are? In the case of Elisha, a Lazarus-like return from the dead was brought about through the prophet's bones. In the New Testament cases, physical things (the cloak, the shadow, handkerchiefs and aprons) were used to effect cures. There is a perfect congruity between present-day Catholic practice and ancient practice. If you reject all Catholic relics today as frauds, you should also reject these biblical accounts as frauds.
One of the most moving accounts of the veneration of relics is that of the very body of Christ itself. Rather than leaving his body on the cross, to be taken down and disposed of by the Romans (as was the customary practice), Joseph of Arimathea courageously interceded with Pilate for Christ's body (Mark 15:43, John 19:38). He donated his own, newly hewn tomb as Christ's resting place (Matthew 27:60). Nicodemus came and donated over a hundred pounds of spices to wrap inside Jesus' grave clothes (John 19:39), that amount of spices being used only for the most honored dead. And after he was buried, the women went to reverently visit the tomb (Matthew 28:1) and to further anoint Christ's body with spices even though it had already been sealed inside the tomb (Mark 16:1, Luke 24:1). These acts of reverence were more than just the usual courtesy shown to the remains of the dead; they were special respect shown to the body of a most holy man--in this case, the holiest man who has ever lived, for he was God Incarnate.
Relics in Early Christianity
The veneration of relics is seen explicitly as early as the account of Polycarp's martyrdom written by the Smyrnaeans in A.D. 156. In it, the Christians describe the events following his burning at the stake: "We took up his bones, which are more valuable than precious stones and finer than refined gold, and laid them in a suitable place, where the Lord will permit us to gather ourselves together, as we are able, in gladness and joy and to celebrate the birthday of his martyrdom."
In speaking of the veneration of relics in the early Church, the anti-Catholic historian Adolph Harnack writes, ". . . [N]o Church doctor of repute restricted it. All of them rather, even the Cappadocians, countenanced it. The numerous miracles which were wrought by bones and relics seemed to confirm their worship. The Church therefore would not give up the practice, although a violent attack was made upon it by a few cultured heathens and besides by the Manichaeans" (Harnack, History of Dogma, tr., IV, 313).
In the fourth century the great biblical scholar, Jerome, declared, "We do not worship, we do not adore, for fear that we should bow down to the creature rather than to the creator, but we venerate the relics of the martyrs in order the better to adore him whose martyrs they are" (Ad Riparium, i, P.L., XXII, 907). `
The veneration of Relics is biblical! The ancient Christian practice of venerating the relics of saints, especially martyrs is a case in point. A relic is an object, such as a piece of clothing or, more commonly, a piece of bone from a saint's body, which has spiritual value because it belonged to one of God's saints. The Bible records many accounts of the value of relics and even episodes of miraculous events connected with them. "People brought to [Jesus] all who were sick and begged him that they might only touch the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed" (Mt 14:35-36; cf. Mk 6:56; Lk 8:43-44). It was not uncommon for ordinary objects, like the tassel on the Lord's cloak, to have miraculous characteristics. Look also at Acts 5:15, where even Peter's shadow could cause miraculous healings.
Regarding the relics of saints, especially martyrs (about whom the Bible says, "Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his holy ones" [Ps 116:15]), look at 2 Kings 13:21: "Elisha died and was buried. At the time, bands of Moabites used to raid the land each year. Once some people were burying a man, when suddenly they spied such a raiding band. So they cast the dead man into the grave of Elisha and everyone went off. But when the man came in contact with the bones of Elisha, he came back to life and rose to his feet." Christianity does believe in the value of relics though, and for reasons based on Sacred Scripture etc.
No one prays to dead "saints," because those in heaven are more alive than we are. The Lord is God of the living, not of the dead. The fervent prayer of a righteous man is very powerful (Jas 5:16). Those in heaven are surely righteous, since nothing unclean can enter heaven (Apoc. 21:27). Those in heaven are part of the Mystical Body of Christ and have not been separated from us by death, but surround us as a great cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1). They stand before the throne of God and offer our prayers to him (Apoc. 5:8) and cheer us on as we run the good race. Intercession among members of the body of Christ is pleasing to God (1 Tm 2:1-4) and even commanded by him (Jn 15:17). Those in heaven have a perfected love, so how could they not intercede for us? Christ is the vine, and we are the branches; if we are connected to him, we are inseparably bound together as well. Can the eye say to the hand, "I need you not"? Neither are we to say we don't need the prayers of our brothers and sisters (alive here or in heaven), because salvation is a family affair. The faithful in Heaven and on earth are one Body. The Christian practice of asking saints and angels to pray on our behalf is 2000% Biblical. For the Bible directs us to invoke those in heaven and ask them to pray with us.
Jesus himself warned us not to offend small children, because their guardian angels have guaranteed intercessory access to the Father: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven" (St. Matt. 18:10).
Just because Jesus is the mediator does not mean that others do not mediate as part of the one mediation of Christ. Is it a sin to ask another person to pray for you? That is called mediation. If you answer yes you are a hypocrite. For when you ask a fellow man to pray for you, instead of going to Jesus (however way you may construe Him to be) directly, you are asking another person to act as a mediator with Jesus for you. According to your false religion, praying is sinful since it is mediating! Actually, the question about whether it is a sin to ask another person to pray for you is the issue. Because you are asking that person to mediate for you. He is interceding for you. He is mediating [under Christ's one mediation] between man (you) and God. You are therefore a hypocrite in believing it is okay to ask others to pray for you, because you deny others mediating/interceding in one breathe, and then accept it in others. You are a double-tongue. The double-tongued man is unstable in all his ways.
Secondly, Christianity teaches that the Saints offer up their prayers to God for men. I pray for my fellow man. That's intercession. As I said -- Jesus Christ is the one unique Mediator, and that there are others under Him within His one unique Mediatorship, who offer up their prayers for others. Jesus Christ is the only Reedemer and the one unique Mediator: he has subordinate mediators who mediate before Him, and then Him to the Father.
You must pray to the Angels, and Saints, and the Mother of God as the Bible clearly teaches - for your salvation. The Protestants are so sad for believing in false teachings. They go against the clear teaching of Scripture. Protestantism and not praying to Angels and Saints is one of the most unbiblical things there is. The Protestants are so sad.
The veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mother of God, the Angels and Saints and also of Relics comes down to use from the inspired Oral Gospel!! II Thessalonians 2:14: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle." See here that the unwritten traditions are no less to be received than their epistles. If you are honest you have to admit that there is an inspired Tradition handed down from generation to generation. Even if you do not believe that it is the Tradition of the Church at this time. You have to admit that the content of Divine Revelation is passed on orally. That it is equally as inspired as that which is written. Not all the truths of Divine Revelation are found in the Scriptures. Obviously only the One True church has this Revelation. It is the Apostolic Tradition of the Church!!!
The error in the sola scriptura argument however is contained in the premise: you wrongly assume that the 'words of the Lord' and 'God's word' (mentioned in Psalm 11: 6-7 and St. Mat. 24:35) are limited to a book: but God's promise in Psalm 12 and St. Matthew 24 does not mention a 'book.' It mentions God's 'words.' The Bible teaches that the spoken word is 'the word of God,' in addition to the written word. II Thessalonians 3:6 "And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received of us."
St. Mat. 24:35 "Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass." In 2 Thess. 2:14, the bible clearly teaches that one must accept both Scripture and Tradition; it even says that the Bible itself is a Tradition!!! The aforementioned/following verses also prove that the spoken word was the 'word of God' which must be preserved and handed down, and it was preserved and handed down for all generations in the teaching of the Church Christ established. 2 John 1:12 "Having more things to write unto you, I would not by paper and ink: for I hope that I shall be with you, and speak face to face: that your joy may be full." 2 Timothy 2:1-2 "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus: And the things which thou hast heard of me by many witnesses, the same commend to faithful men, who shall be fit to teach others also." Therefore, even though we no longer have the original New Testament writings ('THE AUTOGRAPHS'), but only manuscript copies which are not perfect in every detail as the originals were, God's words are still preserved, just as He promised in Psalm 11: 6-7 and St. Mat. 24:35, in the Apostolic Tradition, the teaching of His Church, and what we do know about the written word from the copies that have been passed down to us. With this realization, the entire argument of sola scriptura is crushed. There need not be any modern 'book' that is a perfect translation or representation of the original writings because God never promised that He would preserve His words in every generation in a 'book.' He promised to preserve 'words,' and He does so in the teaching of His one Church, the pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15), and in what we do know about the original writings. There are numerous other quotes which prove that the spoken word is also the 'word of God.' Colossians 1: 5-6 "For the hope that is laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard in the word of the truth of the gospel, Which is come unto you, as also it is in the whole world, and bringeth forth fruit and groweth, even as it doth in you, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth." St. John 17:20 "And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me." Jesus prays for those who will believe through the "word" of His apostles. But only a few of His Apostles worte words in the bible. Most of them did not. "Their word," through which people will believe, therefore be their preaching and the communication of oral tradition, no their writing. Luke 8:11-13 "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. And they by the way side are they that hear; then the devil cometh, and taketh the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now they upon the rock, are they who when they hear, receive the word with joy: and these have no roots; for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation, they fall away." Luke 4:44 - 5:1 "And he was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee. And it came to pass, that when the multitudes pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth." Luke 3:2 "Under the high priests Annas and Caiphas; the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert." This refers to the revelation given to St. John the Baptist. Acts 4:31 "And when they had prayed, the place was moved wherein they were assembled; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with confidence."
Protestants that believe the 'word of God' is only [found in] the Bible: are unable completely to respond to these verses which show it is oral as well and not limited to a 'book.' The Protestants are unable to believe/refute/accept these verses: for they hold to the unbiblical and unhistorical heresy of sola scriptura. They have no (honest) response because they fail to recognize that the 'words of God' are preserved in Tradition and the Church's teaching, in addition to Scripture. A careful and honest consideration of these facts not only demonstrates that so la scriptura is false, but that therefore Protestantism itself, which is inextricably bound to sola scriptura- is implausible, unreasonable, and false. God did not, and never would have, intended that the ONLY infallible source of revelation and rule of faith and practice would be a book or a collection of books. Romans 10: 17-19 "Faith then cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say: Have they not heard? Yes, verily, their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the whole world."
I have shown verses which unequivocally state the unwritten word is inspired. I have thoroughly demonstrated that there is a revelation passed on by word of mouth/orally and that it must be heeded (and not only Scripture)- that refutes sola scriptura.http://www.onetruecatholicfaith.com
TCE replies: 29th March 2013
thank you for taking the time to express your views.
The points you bring up are interesting but they are not a matter of immediate concern and, since we are still heavily involved in other work at the moment, we are unable to reply in detail for now.
However, in time we will address your points - both to your supplied e-mail address and on our web-pages (in case you fail to receive our direct replies for some unknown reason and so other seekers after Christian truth can compare your claims with our response).
This is one of many similar e-mails being sent out to those who have written to us, so we appreciate your patience.
Again, thank you for your time and effort.
In the Name of the Saviour, Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rome's false doctrine that prayers can be directed to Mary, dead saints and angels was invented about 600 AD!
TCE replies: 22nd December 2013
You write: There is No Salvation Outside the Church http://www.onetruecatholicfaith.com the One True Faith. Facts are utterly irrefutable.
TCE: Facts that are genuine facts are, indeed, irrefutable - as we have shown already when we thoroughly refuted this claim and many others - see our menu on this page.
What a pity you did not take the time to do some reading before you attempted a reply.
Does 'Tradition' - 'oral teachings' of the apostles - have a place?
You write: The Bible clearly approves of asking the Saints and Angels for their intercession. If you are inclined to bring forward 1 Timothy 2:5 - I say look closely at what 1 Timothy 2:5 really says: Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. Because Jesus was the God-Man, only he can be the Mediator, the one who is between. Between men and the Father, there is the Son. This doesn't undercut our belief that the Saints in heaven intercede for us because these saints, too, are men; they are members of mankind. Thus, we (men) ask them (men, too) to pray to the one Mediator (Jesus) in order to find favor with the Father.
TCE: All you have created is a fake comparison by playing with words that may fool the gullible Papal Roman Catholic - and others - but fails from the beginning! Note that this false doctrine - that prayers can be directed to Mary, dead saints and angels - was invented about 600 AD. If this was a true Biblical doctrine it would have been practiced by the 'Apostolic Church' because the Lord Jesus Christ promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us 'into all truth' (John 14:26; 16:7ff. etc.). And, obviously, the Holy Spirit would not have waited hundreds of years to reveal 'all truth' to the people of God. QED!!!
The Scripture reads:
1 Timothy 2:5 - For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus...'
All the men and women in history who pray to Jesus (who is fully God and fully man) have only Jesus - the one mediator - as mediator.
Trying to lever any other mediators between us and Jesus fails miserably! And there is not one Scripture that instructs us to 'ask[ing] the Saints and Angels [or Mary!] for their intercession'.
Incidentally, we have already demolished Papal Rome's 'argument' for 'Tradition' on these pages under these titles:
Passages in Scripture point to the importance of Tradition?
Mary is not 'mediatrix' between mankind and Christ!
and for the 'joint Mediator' position that your false church tries to lever into Scripture see this page under the heading:
Papal Rome, desperate to prove that angels are mediators, twist the Christophanies in the Old Testament!
in case you try to claim that the source of this claim is found there!
You write: Angels are supplicated and beseeched by men. They are entreated and implored by men for answers and for assistance in their temporal and spiritual needs. Judges 6:12-13 "The angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said: The Lord is with thee, O most valiant of men. And Gedeon said to him: I beseech thee, my lord, if the Lord be with us, why have these evils fallen upon us? Where are his miracles, which our fathers have told us of, saying: The Lord brought us Out of Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the bands of Madian." Here we see that Gedeon beseeches the angel. That means that he requests something of the angel, he asked something of him.
Without Biblical support, Papal Rome declares dead 'Saints' serve the faithful on earth as "models and intercessors"!
TCE: Unfortunately, when people read Judges 6:12-23 they forget to find out the true identity of 'the Angel of the Lord'. The verses read:
Judges 6:12-23 - And the angel (Hebrew: mal'âk, a deputy; a messenger; specifically, of God, i.e. an angel; also a prophet, priest or teacher; ambassador, angel, king, messenger) of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. And the LORD (Hebrew YHWH - the self-Existent or Eternal; 'Jeho-vah', Jewish national name of God: 'YHWH', the Lord) looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me. Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again. And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it. And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die'.
The word translated 'LORD' in this text is identifying YHWH (Almighty God) as the speaker.
If Gideon only saw an angel, why did he fear that he might die? An angel appeared first, as the text makes clear, as the representative of YHWH (Almighty God). Who is this "angel of the Lord"? The angel of the Lord first appears in Genesis 16:7 and then intermittently throughout the early Old Testament books. In other passages an individual manifesting himself in human form is frequently called "the Lord" (Genesis 12:7; Genesis 17:1; Genesis 18:1). If this angel actually were God, why is he called an angel? Since the root meaning of angel is "messenger" or "one who is sent," we must determine from context whether the word refers to the office of the sent one or to the nature of created angels as finite beings.
Initially, some contexts of the term "angel of the Lord" appear to refer to nothing more than any other angel (as in Judges 6:11). But as the narrative progresses, that angel soon transcends the angelic category and is described in terms suited only to a member of the godhead of the 'Triune' God. Thus, in Judges 6:14 the Lord YHWH speaks to Gideon, when previously only the angel of the Lord had been talking.
Many Old Testament passages repeat this truth. After being told that Hagar had been speaking with the angel of the Lord (four times in Genesis 16:7, 9-11), Genesis 16:13 informs us that Hagar "gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: 'You are the God who sees me.' " Jacob's testimony in Genesis 48:15-16 is even more striking. He identifies the God in whose presence his fathers Abraham and Isaac had lived as "the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm." This angel spoke to Jacob earlier in a dream and identified himself by saying, "I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me" (Genesis 31:11, 13). Likewise in Exodus 3:2-6 the phrase "the angel of the Lord" is used interchangeably with "the Lord." In fact the angel claims, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob" (Exodus 3:6).
Another passage that really proves this truth is Exodus 23:20-23. There God promises to send his angel ahead of the children of Israel as they go through the desert. The Israelites were warned that they must obey and not rebel against this angel. The reason is given - and stunningly clear: "Since my Name is in him." God would never share his memorial name with anyone else, for Isaiah 42:8 declares that He would never share His glory with another. Thus the name of God stands for Himself and when a person is said to have the name of God in 'him', that person is God!
If you read Genesis 18-19 you find the same, clear truth when 'three men' appear to Abraham:
Genesis 18:1-3 - And YHWH appeared unto him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood over against him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth, and said, My lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:
The text makes it clear that this is another Christophany for the conversations involve 'men' and YHWH proving that one of 'the men' is clearly the Lord Jesus Christ on earth and the judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah is then described in this way:
Genesis 19:24 - Then YHWH (YHWH) rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from YHWH (YHWH) out of heaven;
Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared on earth (YHWH) and 'rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from YHWH (YHWH) out of heaven'. Two of the three persons of the Triune God are mentioned in one verse!
This angel has divine qualities, prerogatives and authority. He has the power to give life (Genesis 16:10) and to see and know all (Genesis 16:13; Exodus 3:7). Only God can forgive sin, yet this angel did the same in Exodus 23:21. The angel performed miracles such as keeping a burning bush from being consumed (Exodus 3:2), smiting Egypt with plagues (Exodus 3:20), calling forth fire on the rock to consume the meal set for him (Judges 6:21) and ascending the flame of the altar (Judges 13:20). Finally, this angel commanded and received worship from Moses (Exodus 3:5) and Joshua (Joshua 5:14). Angels were not to receive worship and, when John attempted to worship an angel in Revelation. 19:10; Revelation. 22:8-9, he was corrected quickly and told not to do it.
It is clear from this abundance of evidence that the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament was a pre-incarnate form of our Lord Jesus Christ, who would later permanently take on flesh when He came as a babe in Bethlehem, as so beautifully described:
Philippians 2:5-9 - Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name;
You cannot receive a 'name which is above every name' if you are not fully God - a truth that the sad cult of Jehovah's Witnesses causes its brain-washed adherents to fail to grasp.
It is therefore a clear fact that the One who came after John had already been before - the Lord Jesus Christ appeared in the Old Testament as that angel of the Lord. His full deity was always observed and yet he presented the same 'mystery' of the 'Trinity' that would later be observed in "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30) and "my other witness is the Father, who sent me" (John 8:18) and the perfect summation of:
John 14:6-11 - Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by Me. If ye had known Me, ye would have known my Father also: from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I say unto you I speak not from Myself: but the Father abiding in Me doeth His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works' sake.
In the Old Testament it is that word 'sent' that ties together the angel, messenger or sent one into an Old Testament theology of Christophanies - appearances of God in human form. The same truth is found in Genesis 32:22-32; Exodus 24:9-11; Exodus 33:18-23.
While you write: In the book of Osee, we see that Joseph made supplication to an angel. A supplication is a humble or earnest request, it's a prayer. Osee 12: 3-4 "In the womb he supplanted his brother: and by his strength he had success with an angel. And he prevailed over the angel, and was strengthened: he wept, and made supplication to him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spoke with us." I repeat, Joseph made supplication to the angel. So the bible teaches that angels not only deliver God's messages, mete out His Justice, or sent as an answer to prayers; but they are prayed to as well.1 Corinthians 4:16 "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ."
TCE: Again, the facts show that the angel is the Lord Jesus Christ - as proven by the Hebrew in these verses:
Hosea 12:3-5 - In the womb he took his brother by the heel; and in his manhood he had power with God: yea, he had power over the angel (Hebrew: mal'âk), and prevailed; he wept, and made supplication (Hebrew: chânan, causatively to implore, i.e. move to favour by petition; beseech, entreat, appeal for mercy, ask for pity upon, pray, make supplication) unto him: he found him at Beth-el, and there he spake with us, even YHWH (Hebrew YHWH - the self-Existent or Eternal; 'Jeho-vah', Jewish national name of God: 'YHWH', the Lord) , the God ('elôhîym, specifically used in the plural, especially with the article, of the supreme God) of hosts (tsâbâ', an army organized for war); YHWH (Hebrew YHWH) is his memorial name.
So, again, the angel in the form of a man was a Christophany - the Lord Jesus Christ wrestled with him and allowed Jacob to recognise that he was in the Presence of the Lord 'YHWH' (YHWH - the 'I Am' of Exodus 3v14) and thus he 'made supplication' to the only Mediator between man and the God-head, 'the God of hosts' whose 'memorial name' is 'YHWH'!
Again, your attempt to prove that praying to 'angels' is acceptable is refuted.
Without Scriptural support Catholics can choose which 'Saint' to pray to based upon need, occupation, or country?!
You write: Christians believe in the Communion of Saints. The bible clearly teaches it. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ and Christ is Head: Ephesians. 1:22-23; 5:23-32; Colossians. 1:18,24. And 1 Corinthians 12:12,27: Romans 12:5; Colossians. 3:15; Ephesians. 4:4. St. Mat. 17:3; St. Mark 9:4; St. Luke 9:30 - Lord Jesus Christ converses with "deceased" Moses and Elias. They are more alive than the saints on earth. Thus we see that Moses who is a just man that was known to have died and also Elias who is a just and great prophet known to have ascended into heaven - are both communicating to the Lord Jesus Christ at His Transfiguration. This is proof of the Communion of Saints. St. Mat. 27:47 -49; St. Mark 15:35-36 - at Lord Jesus Christ's Passion, the people believe that Lord Jesus Christ calls on Elias for his intercession, and waits to see if Elias would come to save Him on the Cross.
TCE: you have quoted the unique appearance of Moses and Elijah, as we can read:
Matthew 17:1-3 - And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: and he was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun, and his garments became white as the light. And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking (Greek: syllaléo, to talk together, i.e. converse; commune, confer, talk with, speak among) with Him.
Moses and Elias appeared with Jesus for at least one important reason - and it is not to support the false doctrine of Papal Rome! Elijah came from heaven in the same body which he had upon earth because he had been translated without seeing death (2 Kings 2v11). The body of Moses was raised again for a similar reason - as a pledge of the resurrection and as proof that Christ came to judge the quick and the dead, for we shall not all die, but all shall be changed (as 1 Corinthians 15:51 informs us). Moses, who died without seeing the Promised Land was now raised to life and probably appeared to the disciples as he shall appear when raised from the dead in the last day - as did the person of Elijah, who never tasted death. Both their bodies exhibited the same appearance, to show that the bodies of glorified saints are the same, whether the person had been translated, or whether they had died a normal death. It was a long held and prevalent tradition among the Jews, that both Moses and Elijah should appear in the times of the Messiah, and it was to this very tradition that the disciples then referred:
Matthew 17:9-13 - And as they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen from the dead. And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come? And he answered and said, Elijah indeed cometh, and shall restore all things: but I say into you, that Elijah is come already, and they knew him not, but did unto him whatsoever they would. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them. Then understood the disciples that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
It is also important to note that the law in the person of Moses, the great Jewish legislator, and the prophets in the person of Elijah, the chief of the prophets, came now to do homage to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to reveal the rendering up and fulfilment of their authority into his hands, for He was the End of the law, and the Supreme subject of the predictions of the prophets. And a further truth is also revealed by Luke:
Luke 9:30-31 - And behold, there talked with him two men, who were Moses and Elijah; who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he was about to accomplish (Greek: pleróo - to make replete, to satisfy, execute an office, finish - a period or task, verify or coincide with a prediction, accomplish, complete, end, expire, fulfil, fully preach, perfect) at Jerusalem.
Jesus was about to accomplish (fulfil), all the rites, ceremonies, and sacrifices of the law, as well as the predictions of the prophets, and therefore this unique meeting was held and holds no resemblance to 'the Communion of Saints' which Papal Rome has, in an utterly un-Scriptural way, attempted to use to support her 'Catechism' which states:
'Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin' [Catechism of the Catholic Church - Paragraph 1475 - Note, subsequent references to the Catechism are simply in these square brackets]
Without a trace of Biblical support, Papal Rome has canonized, or given the title of saint, to many deceased heroes of the faith who, because of their 'excellent virtue and merit', are believed to be already in heaven. They are said to serve the faithful still on earth as "models and intercessors"  - again, without a trace of Scriptural support!
Thus Catholics believe they can ask the saints, even as they do Mary, to intercede with God on their behalf because of the 'communion of saints' [954-962, 1474-1475]. The Church describes this communion as a mystical relationship and co-operation between all Catholics, whether living on earth, suffering in purgatory, or enjoying the glories of heaven [954, 1689]. The prayers of the saints are said to be "...particularly effective, since they love God so intimately and can point to all the merit and sacrifices of their life on earth" (ref. Matthias Premm, Dogmatic Theology for the Laity (Rockford, IL: Tan Books, 1967, p313) . Thus Rome advises Catholics to approach God through the saints, for: "There are many things which God does not grant without a mediator and intercessor." (John A. McHugh, O.P., and Charles J. Callan, O.P., translators, The Roman Catechism: The Catechism of the Council of Trent, Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, 1982, p371-372, quoting Augustine).
Thigpen tries to justify the idolatry of Papal Rome!
St. John of God: heart patients
St. Blase: throat ailments
St. Lucy: eye diseases
St. Francis de Sales: hearing problems
St. Thomas Aquinas: students
St. Monica: mothers
St. Matthew: tax collectors
St. Joseph: carpenters
St. Nicholas of Myra: bridges
St. Valentine: greetings
St. Francis of Assisi: animals
St. Clare of Assisi: television (she was designated as the patron saint of television in 1958 by Pope Pius XII because, when she was too ill to attend mass, she was reportedly able to see and hear it on the wall in her room; she is also the patroness of eye disease, goldsmiths, and laundry!)
St. Anthony: lost items
St. Jude: hopeless causes
St. Boniface: Germany
St. Patrick: Ireland
Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mexico
The Immaculate Conception: Brazil
Where did this custom of looking to "patron saints" come from? They were merely 'Christianized' forms of old pagan gods for, in polytheism, everything had its own 'god' - the sea, war, hunting, merchants, agriculture, etc. After the same fashion Papal Rome developed their list of "patron saints" for seamen, soldiers, travellers, hunters, and in modern times, for fliers, divers, cyclists, artillerymen, plumbers, medicine etc. This kinship with the pagan cults explains why Mary worship developed so rapidly after Constantine made Christianity the official religion.
In contrast, as even many authorities for Papal Rome admit, the Bible refers to all true believers as saints by virtue of their position in Christ (Ephesians 1:1) and they are "sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling" (1 Corinthians 1:2). However, these same authorities then make claims for 'other saints' - as in this example from 'Our Sunday Visitor' (https://www.osv.com ):
'Nevertheless, the word "saints" appears in some scriptural passages to have a narrower sense. St. Matthew's Gospel refers to the "saints" who rose from the dead after Christ's resurrection (see 27:52-53) as faithful departed who were being taken by Christ to heaven.'
These verses do not give any indication that these 'saints' are so in any 'narrower sense' but they are only unusual in that they were chosen by God to follow the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ ('the first born of the dead') and 'entered into the holy city and appeared unto many'.
The same writer (Paul Thigpen, Ph.D., editor of TAN Books, an imprint of Saint Benedict Press, and a past editor of The Catholic Answer) continues:
'St. Paul speaks of the "saints" who will accompany Christ from heaven when He returns to earth at the end of the world (1 Thes 3:13, RSV). And St. John uses the same term to refer to the "saints" who are now in heaven praying to God (Rv 5:8; 8:3, RSV).'
TCE: again, the noticeable difference is that the verse to the Thessalonians specifies that 'our Lord Jesus [comes] with all his saints' - thus there is no difference between the saints in heaven and those now walking the earth, so Papal Rome's eisegesis comes to naught.
Both Revelation 5v8 ('And when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints') and Revelation 8v3 ('And another angel came and stood over the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should add it unto the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne') have the same Greek word for 'saint' - hagios. Again, there is no differentiation between any of the saints or the fact the prayers are delivered to our One Mediator - Jesus the Lamb!
'It's in this latter, narrower sense that the Catholic Church uses the term "saints" to refer to all those who have been perfected and are now face to face with God in heaven and have a share in His divine nature. When the Church celebrates the solemnity, or solemn feast, of All Saints' Day on Nov. 1, these are the saints being honored that day: all those human beings who have left this life and are now in heaven with God - the ones whose names we know, and the ones whose names we don't know.
In addition, there's one more sense in which we use the term "saint," in a way even narrower than the ways already described. The Catholic Church honors certain departed Christians with the formal title "saint." This title indicates the Church's confidence that the individual died in friendship with God and is now with Him in heaven.
Though the Church teaches that we can't know for sure who may be in hell, the Church also insists that, in some cases, we can know for sure that certain individuals are in heaven. We refer to them by name as "St. So-and-So."
So how does the Church gain the confidence that a particular person is in heaven? Various kinds of evidence are sought in the process called canonization, which leads to the formal recognition of a person's sainthood. This evidence includes reliable testimony to the person's extraordinary holiness in this life; indications that the person's life has drawn others closer to God; and carefully documented miracles occurring after the person's intercession has been asked for. Such miracles provide evidence that the person can offer effective assistance because he or she is now with God in heaven.
Why is it important for the Church to designate certain individuals as "saints"? In this case, "saint" is actually much more than just a title of honor. Because the Church is confident that these "holy ones" are now in heaven, Catholics are urged not only to imitate their holiness, but also to ask for their assistance.
Those who have been perfected and are now face to face with God in heaven - that is, the "saints" in the latter sense of that word - have a share, Scripture tells us, in His divine nature (see 2 Pt 1:4). This insight helps us understand the Church's teaching about what we call the Communion of Saints - that is, the fellowship, the sharing, of the saints.
TCE: we have high-lighted the errors poured upon error by Papal Rome. Because the Cult of Rome does not want believers to know that they are saved by grace and utterly confident of eternity in heaven - as are all true saints who are just humble believers - they try and build an elite and pretend that only that elite can know for certain that they will arrive safely in heaven and then build upon these false premises by claiming that we can 'ask for their assistance.'
We repeat - there is not one word in Scripture that proves we can or must use Mary or 'the saints' as intercessors to reach the Lord Jesus Christ or the Father - it is a complete invention of Papal Rome!
Does the Scripture quoted prove that only a 'special group' of Christians become holier than the rest? Read 2 Peter 1:1-10:
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and the Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that his divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue; whereby he hath granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises; that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in that world by lust. Yea, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply virtue; and in your virtue knowledge; and in your knowledge self-control; and in your self-control patience; and in your patience godliness; and in your godliness brotherly kindness; and in your brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful unto the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he that lacketh these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins. Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble ...
Many cults share this trait - they raise an elite group that is better than the rest, for example, Mormons have 'degrees of glory' and the better 'saints' finish in a higher heaven and Jehovah's Witnesses have their special group of 144,000 in heaven while the 'not so good' stay on earth! But Papal Rome has the largest hierarchy ever invented by Satan - from the pope down through the inflated egos of cardinals, 'special saints' to pray to, special scapulars to get the privileged out of 'purgatory' early, special doors opened for the 'lucky' few who can get there on the 'special day' etc. All utterly un-Scriptural - but since when has that ever deterred Papal Rome as it wheels and deals with Satan's cards?
The perfected saints, having a share in God's own nature, have a share in His perfect love. They love those of us still on earth as God loves us. They want to help us; they want to see us reach heaven as well. So they have the desire to assist us in any way they can.
TCE: apart from the obvious fact that these 'perfected saints' are not identified in Scripture, it is obviously impossible for them to love us 'as God loves us'! The Papal Rome claim that they can somehow identify which 'saints' were 'perfected' in 'purgatory' is blown apart just by examining 'Saint Augustine' and 'Saint Thomas Aquinas' who made it clear in their written work that they laid down the basis of the Inquisition and clearly approved of the brutal killing of those who their church declared to be heretics.
The perfected saints also have a share in God's perfect knowledge. They are able, through His grace, to know what's taking place on earth. God allows them to see and hear what He sees and hears, so they can hear the requests we may make of them.
The perfected saints have a share in God's perfect, supernatural power. They are able, through His grace, to act on our behalf, to intervene in earthly affairs, just as He does. They don't just pray for us; they can act on our behalf in other ways as well.
Scripture tells us, "The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful" (Jas 5:16). If that's true of righteous people still on earth, think how powerful and effective is the prayer of the saints in heaven, who have been perfected in righteousness!
TCE: James 5:16 reads:
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent [Greek: energéo, active, efficient, effectual (fervent), be mighty in, shew forth self, work effectually in]. prayer of a righteous man availeth [Greek: ischýo, exercise force (literally or figuratively), avail, might, prevail, be of strength, be whole, much work] much [Greek: polýs, much (in any respect), mostly, largely, abundant, many, much, plenteous].
So we can certainly agree how effective the prayer of a righteous man can be - but where does Scripture state:
'The perfected saints also have a share in God's perfect knowledge ... know what's taking place on earth. God allows them to see and hear what He sees and hears, so they can hear the requests we may make of them ... have a share in God's perfect, supernatural power ... are able, through His grace, to act on our behalf, to intervene in earthly affairs, just as He does. They don't just pray for us; they can act on our behalf in other ways as well ... think how powerful and effective is the prayer of the saints in heaven, who have been perfected in righteousness!'
Answer - nowhere! As usual, you rely on hopeful declarations while pretending they are facts but if you had any Scriptural support for your claims you would have supplied it here.
'By His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ has conquered death. Death does not have the power to separate those who are in Christ from one another; in Him, they maintain a deep communion, whether they are in heaven, on earth or in the purgatorial process on their way to heaven.
For this reason, we on earth can help those in purgatory through our prayers and sacrifices. And those in heaven can help us on earth through their prayers and other interventions. As members of one Body, the Body of Christ, we are able to share the spiritual goods that we have through mutual prayer and assistance.
Some may ask why God would be willing to share this power. Why would He want in the first place to grant intercessory roles to the saints, the angels and even those of us still on earth?
The answer is simple: It reflects His desire, as St. Paul says, that we "attain to … mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13), who is himself the great Intercessor. The intercession of the saints is simply one way in which Christ's body, with its members "joined and held together … builds itself up in love" (Ephesians 4:16). When we help one another, we display the love of God in which we share.
TCE: Again, Papal Roman Catholics are shown to strain Scripture, as in this case, by trying to use Ephesians to support supposed 'intercessory roles to the saints, the angels and even those of us still on earth' when the verses deal with the apostle Paul's examination of the church on two levels. He saw the body of Christ, made up of all true believers, growing gradually until it reaches spiritual maturity:
"the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."
But he also saw the local body of believers ministering to each other, growing together, and thereby experiencing spiritual unity. The Spiritually gifted leaders are to "equip the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the body of Christ" (literal translation). The saints do not call a pastor and pay him to do the work. They call him and follow his leadership as he, through the Word, equips them to the work God has called them to do:
2 Timothy 3:13-17 - But evil men and impostors shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But abide thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.
The members of the church grow by feeding on the Word and ministering to each other. The first evidence of spiritual growth is Christlikeness and the second evidence is stability. The maturing Christian is not tossed about by every religious novelty that comes along and he does not fall victim to false teachers, such as the popes, who are waiting to kidnap God's children and get them into their cult. The maturing believer recognizes false doctrine and stays clear of it but weak disciples who fail to grow in the Word of God fall prey to deceivers. Cults are not interested in winning lost souls to Christ but in signing up the 'the ignorant and unstable' (2 Peter 3v16) to their false doctrines, false Christ (2 Corinthians 11v4) and false Gospel (Galatians 1v6-9). They do not establish rescue missions in the slum areas of our cities, because they have no good news for the man on 'skid row' and, instead, they try to capture immature Christians who are ignorant of Scripture and therefore extremely vulnerable.
The third evidence of maturity is truth joined with love: "Speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians. 4:15). An old saying declares that truth without love is brutality, but love without truth is hypocrisy. Little children do not know how to blend truth and love. They think that if you love someone, you must shield him from the truth if knowing the truth will hurt him. It is a mark of maturity when we are able to share the truth with our fellow Christians, and do it in love: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful" (Prov. 27:6). One more evidence of maturity is co-operation (Ephesians. 4:16). We realize that, as members of the one body and a local body, we belong to each other, we affect each other, and we need each other. Each believer, no matter how insignificant he may appear, has a ministry to other believers. The body grows as the individual members grow, and they grow as they feed on the Word and minister to each other. Note once again the emphasis on love: "forbearing one another in love" (Ephesians. 4:2); "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians. 4:15); "the edifying of itself in love" (4:16). An isolated Christian cannot minister to others, nor can others minister to him, and it is impossible for the gifts to be ministered either way. So, then, spiritual unity is not something we manufacture. It is something we already have in Christ, and we must protect and maintain it. Truth unites, but lies divide while love unites, but selfishness divides. Therefore, "speaking the truth in love," let us equip one another and edify one another, that all of us may grow up to be more like Christ and be ready to inform those led astray by the popes - or any other false teacher!
It is a fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is the ONLY 'great Intercessor' and when He said:
John 14:12-16 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever ...
we can know that, just as He made clear, He 'will do it.' Not a 'communion of saints'!
Some Christians think we shouldn't ask the saints for help because God would somehow be displeased if we went to them for help rather than going directly to Him. But the truth is that all Christians ask other Christians on earth to pray for them and to help them in other ways. Yet when we do that, we don't worry about not going to God directly for help.
Why not? Because we understand the principle that it pleases God to have His children helping one another. That's why He commands us in Scripture to "pray for one another" (Jas 5:16).
TCE: Thigpen plays the old trick of all cults - mixing one context with another! Yes - while we are on earth we do ask other saints living on earth to help us and to pray for us. But nowhere are we instructed to seek the dead saints for either purpose. And trying to do so has resulted in many Papal Roman Catholics making contact with demons impersonating the dead saints - which we are clearly shown by the many 'doctrines of demons' (1 Timothy 4:1-3) that Rome has embraced:
1 Timothy 4:1-3 - But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by them that believe and know the truth.
Thus, her priests may not marry and, instead, embrace perverted unions, molest and rape innocent children, or enter into secret marriages.
Thigpen continues with his 'reasons' for 'Veneration of the Saints':
Showing honor is a natural human response to the goodness, even the greatness, of another human being. We honor the founders and other leaders of our country from throughout history. We name cities after them, write books about them, make statues of them to erect in public places. We paint pictures of them to display in schools and government buildings. We speak reverently and gratefully of them on patriotic holidays.
We do similar things for great scientists, great leaders of social movements, great artists and musicians. Why? Because it's a matter of justice to recognize their gifts and contributions to us. Justice means giving to each his due, and we recognize that we owe much to these great human beings, and we want to say so in different ways.
In all these ways, we are venerating these great men and women - we are giving them honor. And so we shouldn't be surprised that the Catholic Church venerates the great heroes of the Faith, who over the centuries have embodied in an extraordinary manner the way of life to which we're called as Christians. Now that these men and women have been perfected by God and are saints standing face to face with Him in heaven, we have even more reason to venerate them.
Some may object that if we venerate the saints God will be jealous, because we should give honor to Him alone. But He is a God of justice, so it is His will that honor be given where honor is due. Scripture tells us, "Pay … honor to whom honor is due" (Romans 13:7).
Are we somehow denying God the honor that is due Him when we honor His saints? By no means! They are His perfected handiwork, His masterpiece (see Ephesians 2:10). When we praise the craftsmanship, all the accolades go to the Craftsman.
Meanwhile, as the old saying goes, "Imitation is the sincerest form of praise." And so the Church urges us to imitate the saints, to follow their example of holiness. In the end, that's the best way to honor them.
TCE: Thigpen tries to by-pass Scripture by the usual cultic reasoning which is simple waffle! Scripture clearly states:
Deuteronomy 5:7-10 - Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I, YHWH, thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing loving-kindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
Visit Papal Rome's sites of worship around the world and you will find exactly these things that are forbidden: 'graven image[s] ... likenesses of heaven above [and] in the earth beneath ... [and] in the water under the earth - and you will see Papal Roman Catholics 'bow[ing] down unto them [and evidence that they] serve them!'
We have already dealt with the extensive evidence of idolatry in Papal Rome (see Search This Site on our Home Page or our Menu Pages) and shown how, for example, the Vatican is filled with Christianized heathenism (there are thousands of examples). Then there are the enormous number of images of Mary, the very papacy itself, the 'saints', purgatory, the mass, other images, the relics etc.
The Word of God warns: 'Learn not the way of the heathen' (Jeremiah 10:2) - but Rome has ignored this throughout her history and there is no greater evidence of this than the Vatican itself - such as the massive obelisk in the centre of St. Peter's Piazza - a pagan object from Egypt. The Vatican Library contains large paintings of various pagan gods and goddesses, such as Isis and Mercury and Minerva. The 'Cathedra Petri' or 'Chair of Peter' contains wood-carvings that represent the labours of Hercules. Near the main altar of St. Peter's is a bronze statue of Peter sitting in a chair. It is reported that this statue was originally the pagan god Jupiter that was taken from the Pantheon in Rome (when it was still a pagan temple) and moved into St. Peter's Basilica and renamed Peter! Jupiter was one of the chief gods of ancient Rome and he was called the "pater" (father) or Jove in Latin. There are extant statues of Jupiter which are similar to the one of Peter. One foot of the statue is made of silver and a constant stream of pilgrims pass by and superstitiously touch or kiss it. Thousands of similar examples could be given.
But what does New Testament Scripture say of idols made with hands?:
Acts 17:29-31 (NASB) - 29 "Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. 30 "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
Does this sound as if God is pleased with men 'think[ing] that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man'? Absolutely not!
And then we have the clear example of the apostle Paul making this form of idolatry absolutely clear:
Acts 19:23-29 (NASB) 23 About that time there occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way. 24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen; 25 these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, "Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business. 26 "You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all. 27 "Not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship will even be dethroned from her magnificence." 28 When they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" 29 The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia.
Paul made it clear 'in almost all of Asia' that these kind of idols were not gods and should not be purchased by Christians! What makes Papal Rome believe it can overturn Paul's teaching - because it is a cult?!
And what will be the fate of those who continue in these practices?:
Revelation 9:20-21 (NASB) - 20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; 21 and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.
Does Thigpen really believe that mankind who do not repent of their idolatry will find God will forgive this obvious, continuing sin?!
Returning to Thigpen's claims: 'Scripture tells us, "Pay … honor to whom honor is due" ' - but this is a poor translation and should be 'tribute to whom tribute' for the Greek: phóros means 'a load' (as borne), i.e. a tax (properly, an individual assessment on persons or property), tribute, and therefore means such taxes as were levied on persons and estates. Thigpen is misusing the phrase to try and obtain his desired result!
(Continued on page 359)