DO CATHOLICS WORSHIP THE SAINTS? 1. The word "worship" 2. Christian theology 3. “Honouring” Saints 4. "Directly to Jesus“
DO CATHOLICS WORSHIP THE SAINTS?1. The word "worship"Old English weorthscipe, = the condition of being worthy of honor, respect, or dignity.
To worship in the older, larger sense= to ascribe honor, worth, or excellence to someone, whether a sage, a magistrate, or God.
Examples: •British subjects – magistrates "Your Worship“ •Americans – "Your Honor"It means they are giving them the honor appropriate to their office, not the honor appropriate to God.
2. As the terminology of Christian theology developed LATRIA DULIA HYPER DULIA
a) The Greek term latria = honor that is due to God alone b) The term dulia = honor that is due to human beings,especially those who lived and died in God’s friendship —in other words, the saints.
c) A special term was coined to refer to thespecial honor given to the Virgin Mary -- hyperdulia ( hYper [more than]+ dulia = "beyond dulia" It is greater in degree,but still of the same kind.
All of these terms — latria, dulia, hyperduliaused to be lumped under the one English word "worship“.
3. “Honouring” Saints A Biblical practice - to honour people -- Honour given to public officials -- In marriage ceremony –wife would "love, honor, and obey" her husband.
“Honouring” Saints * We are explicitly commanded at numerous points in the Bibleto honor certain people.
Honor- one’s parents (Ex. 20:12).- one’s elders (Lev. 19:32).- religious leaders (Ex. 28:2).- others (Rom. 13:7)- all men (1 Pet. 2:17).If people should be honored in general, God’s special friendscertainly should be honored.
4. Imitation is the Biblical Form of Honor The most important form of honoring the saints, to which all the other forms are related, is the imitation of themin their relationship with God.
Hebrews 11: The Bible’s well-known "hall of fame" chapterIt concludes with the famousexhortation: "Therefore, sincewe are surrounded by so greata cloud of witnesses , let us alsolay aside every weight, and sinwhich clings so closely, and letus run with perseverance therace that is set before us" (12:1)
V. "DIRECTLY TO JESUS“ •"Why not pray directly to Jesus? •Why ask others on earth to pray for us?
A) PAUL ENCOURAGED INTERCESSION 1 Tim 2:1–4 First of all, then,I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
3 This is good, and it is pleasingin the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be savedand to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Paul asked others to pray for him (Rom. 15:30–32,Eph. 6:18–20, Col. 4:3, 1Thess. 5:25, 2 Thess. 3:1)• Assured them that he was praying for them as well •(2 Thess. 1:11).
B) Jesus himself required us to pray for others, and not only for those who asked us to do so (Matt. 5:44):“But I say to you, love yourenemies, and pray for those who persecute you…”
Jesus regularly supplied for one personbased on another person’s faith (e.g., Matt. 8:13, 15:28, 17:15–18, Mark 9:17–29 and Luke 8:49–55). Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go, and it will be done for you just as you have believed." And his servant was healed that very hour . (Mt8:13)
C) James declares: "The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.” (James 5:16-18)
Surely Christians in heaven - more righteous - made perfect to stand in God’s presence (Heb. 12:22-23), -- their prayers = more efficacious.
Of allintercessors we could enlist, Mary is surelyat the top of the list.
e) IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH The Bible directs us to invoke those in heaven and ask them to pray with us. (Ps. 103:20-21) (Ps. 148:1-2) (Rev. 8:3-4) (Rev. 5:8)
VI: ONE MEDIATOR?• Violates the sole mediatorship of Christ?: "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5). •Christ= unique mediator between God and man because he is the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15, 12:24) (Moses = mediator (Greek mesitas) of the Old Covenant (Gal. 3:19–20).
In the four verses immediately preceding 1 Timothy 2:5 Paul says : "First of all, then,I urge that supplications, prayers,intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kingsand all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life,godly and respectful in every way.
This is good, and pleasing to God our Savior,who desires all men to be savedand to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Jesus is indeed the one and unique mediator -- who makes all other mediation possible (egs.)
VII: Do the saints pray in heaven? Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four [and] twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours,which are the PRAYERS OF SAINTS.
Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer [it] with THE PRAYERS OF ALL SAINTS upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, [which came] with the PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS, ascendedup before God out of the angels hand.
ONE BODY, THE CHURCH •There is only one body, the Church. •The church is notone church in heaven as opposed to one church on earth. The one church is intimately connected with each other•Vine and the branches in John 15. And those in heaven are just men made perfect.
Dear Father, You have given the saints in Heaven eternal happiness and they now live in the fullness of Your glory. Because of theirholy love for You, they also care about me and my family, my friends, my church, and my neighbors. Thank You for the gift of their friendship and the witness of their holy lives.
I ask our patron saints and everysaint who has become especially dear to me to intercede for us. I ask them to help us journey safely on the narrow path that leads to Heaven. O Lord, give us their protection. Grant us their assistance in overcoming temptation and gaining the fullness of life with You. Amen