Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Protestantism as a Demonic Religion


Have you ever noticed how Protestantism demonizes (divides) between things which no sane, God-fearing person would ever dare to tear asunder? Like between God and His Saints, the Lord and His mother, Christ and His Cross, Scripture and Tradition, faith and good works, Baptism and regeneration, the Lord's body and Holy Communion, the universal and the sacerdotal Priesthood, or -as in the case of the Jehovah's Witnesses- between the Heavenly Father and His Only-Begotten Son. Truly, as our Savior Himself said: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." ( Matthew 12:25; Mark 3:24-25; Luke 11:17 ). -- Actually, how can any religious faith or belief-system that confesses the Holy Trinity believe in "Sola" anything ?

29 comments:

Wesley said...

Uhhm. . . . I'm not sure what to make of this post.

(1) "Diabolize" doesn't mean "to divide." It means to make devilish or diabolical.

(2) Do you believe Protestants actually divide or split up all the things you listed? If so, in what way do they do so? Some of them in your list I understand, but some of them I don't.

(3) Please tell me you don't include Jehovah's Witnesses with Protestants lol

(4) What do you mean in the very last sentence? I don't understand it.

NicholasMyra said...

Lol.

Lvka said...

Dia-ballein means to divide (literally, to throw through or to throw across), as opposed to sym-ballein, which means to unite (literally, to throw together). Etymologically, devil means divider: same with demon (dai-mon).

[Though I'd have to confess that devil primarily means slanderer or accuser (throwing offenses or blame or slanders or accusations), rather than divider -- so I should've rather used the latter term (demonic, to demonize) in my article, and not the former].

(2). Yes. (And others as well). -- Why? What did you have in mind?

(3). Of course I do. (Just like I also include Protestants with the rest of Christianity).

(4). Is the Father alone divine? Is only the Son divine? Is solely the Holy Spirit divine? -- The Trinitarian world-view doesn't fit the "sola" mind-frame very well, that's all I'm saying...

Ikonophile said...

I don't see why one shouldn't put Jehovah's Witnesses in with the Protestants. They believe in Sola Scriptura too, they just interpret the Bible in such a way as to come to the conclusion that there is no Trinity.

I would even say that because SS is the distinguishing characteristic of Protestants, I would include anyone who works from that same presupposition no matter where they end up (i.e. Trinity, no Trinity, or whatever else). Likewise, I'd put Oneness Pentecostals in the Protestant group too.

John

Wesley said...

(1) I understand the Greek derivation of the two parts of the word, but the English word doesn't mean that. Gotta be careful with illicit "etymologizing" lol

(2) I understand how one might say a Protestant divides a couple of the items in the list, but some of them I don't. Would you mind giving a quick explanation for how a Protestant divides each pair?

(3) The Jehovah's Witnesses is not a Christian group. They have nothing to do with the Reformation or any group that the Reformation produced. They do not practice sola Scriptura as far as I know. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is the Jehovah's Witnesses' supreme authority, not the Bible. And the very idea that all it takes to make some group Protestant is sola Scriptura is, in my opinion, a very naive understanding of Protestantism.

Moreover, their heretical doctrines do not come from their interpretation mainly, but from their purposeful mistranslation of the Bible. No one who practices sola Scriptura would deliberately seek to corrupt and change and distort the text of Scripture so that it is more conducive to their preconceived theology (and I am not here talking about different translation philosophies, but intentional corruptions that seek to overthrow and cover up the true translation and wording and meaning of the original).

(4) So you don't believe in soli Deo gloria or sola gratia?

Wesley said...

Actually, diaballein (as you pointed out: lit. "to throw across") in Greek doesn't mean "to divide"; it means "to slander." And devil doesn't mean "divider"; it means "slanderer" or "accuser."

Very bottom of the page:

http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_us1239913;jsessionid=FA70D591F1600DE445EF480D765D5DE8#m_en_us1239913

See also:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/devil

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/devil

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/devil

Lvka said...

1) Divider is a possible rendering of the Greek: not the primary one, as I said, but it is there, nonetheless. -- (Anyways, for the sake of clarity, I've changed it to "demon-").

2) Tell me which ones you don't understand, and I'll explain them then, ok?

3) The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is the Jehovah's Witnesses' supreme authority, not the Bible.

Calvin's Institues and the Westminster Confession of Faith are Calvinism's supreme authority, and not the Bible. -- (Let's not fool ourselves, shall we?)

I'm not lumping them together with Magisterial or traditional Protestantism, let alone with trinitarian Protestantism, and I'm aware that such non-trinitarian groups are -thank heavens!- a minority... but they ARE Protestant!

The ones that I would NOT group with Protestants because of their non-adherence to Sola Scriptura are the Mormons and the Liberals.. but that's it.

4) No, of course not. (You are aware that this is an Eastern-Orthodox blog, right?)

Ikonophile said...

Wesley,

I would beg to differ. If you ask a Jehovah's Witness where his doctrine comes from, he would undoubtedly point to the Scriptures as the source of his doctrine and he would seek to prove them from the Scriptures.

Actually, I do think that Protestants often twist or mistranslate the Scriptures in order to suite their preconceived theology. The NIV is a great example. In 2 Thessalonians 2:15 the NIV states:

"So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter."

The funny thing is, in order to arrive at such a translation (and thereby avoiding any implications of an authoritative oral tradition) the translators change a noun in the Greek to a verb in English and a verb in Greek to a noun in English. If we were to retranslate this NIV rendering back into Greek we would most certainly not get anything close to the original structure.

What makes this more funny (and sad) is that in the introduction to the NIV they talk much about "staying true" to the Greek and all that.

If you give me some time (later this evening) I would be happy to cite you my source and give a more detailed explanation of this passage in Greek and in the NIV's rendering. The book is by Clark Carlton, called The Way: What every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church. I currently have little time to retrieve the book that said information is in and post it here. After I return from work I'd be happy to do so, somewhere in the next ten or so hours from this posting.

I say all of this to say that Protestants are not unfamiliar with altering (deliberately) translations in order to suite their preconceived theological biases. It may be more subtle than the Jehovah's Witness but altering the text they are.

John

Ikonophile said...

The passage in question: 2 Thess. 2:15

"Therefore, bretheren, stand fast, and hold to the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or by our epistle" (KJV).

"So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter" (NIV).

Quoting Carlton:

"Admittedly there are some passages in the New Testament that are very difficult to translate. This, however, is not one of them. The syntax is straight forward and the vocabulary very simple. Furthermore, there is no significant textual variants for this verse that might support the NIV translation. Any second year Greek student could translate this verse correctly.

The NIV translators, however, have effected what amounts to literary slight of hand. One would be tempted to call it a rather nifty move were it not for the fact that they have tampered with the written Word of God. "Hold to the traditions which ye have been taught" (KJV). Traditions (paradoseis) is a noun in the objective case. It is derived from the verb "to hand over" (paradidomi). The phrase, "which ye have been taught (edidachthate), is a form of "to teach" (didasko). The NIV turns the verb into the noun -"hold to the teachings"- and turns the noun into the verb-"we passed on to you". If we were to translate the NIV translation back into Greek, instead of "paradoseis", we would have "didaskalias", and instead of "edidachthate" we would have "paredothate",=.

It is true that the NIV renders "paradosis" 'as teaching again in verse 6 of chapter 3 and also in 1 Cor. 11:2 without all of these grammatical gymnastics. However, the fact that the grammatical structure of this verse was manipulated - the translators obviously wanted to avoid the redundancy of saying "hold to the teachings that we taught to you - is proof that they put a lot of thought into this. Translating "paradosis" as teaching rather than tradition is the result of a deliberate choice.

There is a great irony in all of this. The Preface to the NIV states:

...the translators were united in their commitment to the authority and infallibility of the Bible as God's word in written form... The first concern of the translators has been the accuracy of the translation and its fidelity to the thought of the biblical writers.

Here, however, the translators deliberately manipulated the text in order to make it conform to the Protestant tradition. If the Scriptures really are self-interpreting and self-sufficient, why do Evangelicals feel the need to monkey with the text when they run across a verse that does not fit in their theology? Or, do the translators of the NIV understand St. Paul's doctrine of authority better than he did?

From: The Way, What Every Protestant Should Know About the Orthodox Church by Clark Carlton, pgs. 139-139

John

Wesley said...

Lvka,

(1) Sorry about being a bit pedantic with the meaning of that word. It really isn't the point; I understand what you intended by the word choice. Moving on! lol =]

(2) Yes, sorry. How about the first three: God and his saints, the Lord and his mother, and Christ and his cross. I'm not sure what you have in mind on those three. The others I think I get.

(3) Calvin's Institues and the Westminster Confession of Faith are Calvinism's supreme authority, and not the Bible. -- (Let's not fool ourselves, shall we?).

This isn't true lol It may have been true in your case; perhaps it is true for some, but don't assume it's true of the whole movement. We recognize there are multiple rules of faith, some of them even normative within certain traditions, but they are all subordinate to the supreme, ultimate rule of faith, namely, Scripture. Those other rules of faith have binding authority only within those traditions that ratify them and only insofar as they rightly represent the true meaning and teaching of Scripture.

Scripture rightly interpreted is the ultimate authority, and the authority of all other rules of faith is subordinate, being derived from their faithfully preserving and presenting the truth of Scripture rightly interpreted. These are the principles any ways. But of course, no one is ever fully immune from abuses.

"but they ARE Protestant!"

Only, perhaps, in a technical manner could they ever possibly be considered Protestant. But they know nothing of true Protestantism. The Reformation didn't create the Jehovah's Witnesses. If the Jehovah's Witnesses are Protestant, then the Arians were Catholic.

(4) I know you are EO, but I also thought you would be concerned about God being fully glorified. I mean no offense, but why wouldn't you want to ascribe all glory to God for your salvation and for all he does? And why do you not believe that salvation is by grace alone from first to last? You don't believe salvation is only by God's grace? What is the alternative?

Wesley said...

John,

If you ask a Jehovah's Witness where his doctrine comes from, he would undoubtedly point to the Scriptures as the source of his doctrine and he would seek to prove them from the Scriptures.

Wouldn't you? Of course you would go to Scripture for the source of your doctrine, but you wouldn't go to Scripture exclusively as your supreme, ultimate authority, and neither would they (I don't think). Just because you would point to one source doesn't mean you would only point to that one source.

Thanks for providing the information from that book. I have heard of that book before, and I intend on getting it someday.

"Actually, I do think that Protestants often twist or mistranslate the Scriptures in order to suite their preconceived theology. The NIV is a great example.

About this whole bit on the NIV purposely distorting the Scriptures to cover up some wording that might militate against Protestantism: I specifically said in a previous comment, "I am not here talking about different translation philosophies, but intentional corruptions that seek to overthrow and cover up the true translation and wording and meaning of the original." The NIV is not a formal equivalency, word-for-word translation of the original. It never pretended to be, but of course it sought to be as faithful as possible to the original meaning of each and every verse.

It is a dynamic equivalency, word-for-thought/thought-for-thought translation, which seeks to capture the thought being communicated by the author and render that meaning as clearly as possible in English. Admittedly, of course, they get it wrong some times, even really wrong some times, leading to distortions and misunderstandings, etc. That's one of the flaws and potential dangers with such a translation philosophy. But to accuse the 100+ member international, transdenominational committee of intentionally, deliberately seeking to corrupt the meaning of Scripture by purposefully mistranslating the text in order to cover up something or deceive unsuspecting people (or whatever) is highly conspiratorial, to say the least of uncharitable, without solid proof.

Now, of course, if you can prove they acted "criminally" with the translation of the original, I will be glad to retract my comments and gladly join you in utterly denouncing such impious and irreverent activity. I have no special, vested interest in protecting and/or vindicating the NIV, but given the nature of the translation philosophy that dominated the NIV translation process, it seems much more likely that they were trying to uncover (not cover up) what Paul had in mind when he used the word "tradition" in 2 Thess. 2:15, namely, the "teachings" he had passed on and handed down to them. Just because they didn't use the word tradition there doesn't mean they are afraid of that word or anti-tradition.

Wesley said...

John,

I typed out a full response to your comments, but I lost it while trying to post it. I really do not feel like retyping the whole thing over again. So I'll give you the short version:

Don't you think it's far more likely the NIV translation of that passage has more to do with the nature of the translation philosophy that dominated the NIV's translation process, rather than the 100+ member, international, transdenominational committee purposefully attempting to corrupt and distort and mistranslate the text in order to support Protestantism? Sounds like a conspiracy theory to me lol =]

Lvka said...

Translating "paradosis" as teaching rather than tradition is the result of a deliberate choice.

How do you know they weren't predestined to? :-)


We recognize there are multiple rules of faith, some of them even normative within certain traditions, but they are all subordinate to the supreme, ultimate rule of faith, namely, Scripture.

Precisely what the Jehovah's Witness would say about the views put forth by the Watch Tower magazine.


Now to answer some of your questions:

There is no other source of power except God Almighty; we do not generate our own strength. But, according to Christ's parable, the talents that He entrusts us with do not multiply by themselves: it is we that have to make conscious and personal use of them -- we might also burry them if we want to.

There's no pride in not-being-a-jerk (throwing away God's love and grace in the trash can), or in not-wanting-to-burn-in-hell-for-all-eternity, nor have I ever seen any patient take pride in the fact that he did after all sign the contract that is required in order for the doctor to operate on him. -- this idea is not just silly, or funny, it's absurd.

I don't believe in salvation by grace alone because the Scriptures don't teach it (unless it is understood in the manner above presented). -- But that's not the way in which the guys who coined and use that phrase actually understand it, and I see no point in redefining the meaning of a copy-righted and trade-marked expression.

But that's not what is meant by Soli Deo Gloria: this phrase is an euphemism that primarily refers to not-honoring-the-Saints, their icons, and their holy relics, 'cuz it would be idolatry to do so. (When God said "honor THY mother and THY father", He probably meant that we should NOT honor someone else's parents: like Christ's, for instance...) -- Anyway...

This is what I meant by the demonic or divisive spirit of Protestantism: sowing or seeing hatred and discord where none exists, nor should it, setting up or perceiving God and His holy ones, or Christ and His holy mother, as prideful or egotistic enemies. Now, enmity is not the fruit of the Holy Spirit: peace and love are it gifts. Satan, on the other hand, means enemy. He also fell because of pride. Go figure!

As for the Holy Cross: there's this idea that I've heard quite a few times being thrown around by Protestants: that the Orthodox use a simple cross, and the Catholics a crucifix, but they have removed the cross and kept instead only Jesus' cruciform or crucified body. Then there's also this reluctance from them to acknowledge or respect ALL meanings of the cross, by usually reducing it only to Jesus' physical suffering, while explicitely rejecting the importance of its material form, as well as the sign of the Cross. -- again, as I said: a very divisive, distorted, contorted, willingly-incomplete view of God, His character, and His holy things.

Ikonophile said...

Wesley,

If I understand these translational committees correctly, there is a group to translate, one to review the translations and possibly more for final editing. Basically, it isn't just one person translating a text and every one says "okay, no more need to look at it now that Joe has finished his translation.

A thought for thought philosophy in translation doesn't negate the ability to translate word for word when the particular passage's Greek grammar is clear and easy to follow. As Clark Carton noted, this is not a difficult passage nor are there significant textual variants to make one have to think hard on translating this passage.

It is also worth noting that whenever the Greek word "paradosis" is in the context of condemning tradition it's always translated "tradition" but when that very same word is used to uphold tradition and exhort others to adhere to it, the word used is "teaching". I do not see this as a conspiracy theory as you seem to think but rather as an attempt to filter the Scriptures through their own theological paradigm rather than filtering their own theological paradigm through the Scriptures. I don't think there was a lot of secret society stuff going on in these committees but it certainly appears as if they have an agenda (don't we all?) and chose to act upon that instead of just translating the Scriptures into English.

In response to "uncovering" what Paul meant, the Apostle could have chosen any word there, be it commandments, teaching, ordinances or some such equivalent to name a few. Supposedly, the words in Scripture are important and are what they are for a reason and Paul chose this particular word above all else in order to express a certain something to his audience. It seems then that the NIV and the Apostle Paul have to different agendas here. The former, to adhere to their own tradition of excluding any references to an authoritative tradition, and the latter to show that tradition that is written or spoken is of equal authority and to be obeyed with no reference to and end of obedience to the oral once the written had been completed.

Again, I don't think this is so much a conspiracy theory as much as it is running the Scriptures through a particular paradigm instead of vice versa.

Also, in reference to appealing to the Scriptures for doctrinal support, I would appeal to more than just the Scriptures to validate any particular doctrine, just as St. Basil used Tradition in order to vindicate the fact that the Holy Spirit is equal with God the Father and His Only-begotten Son.

John

Ikonophile said...

Note:

I don't think I finished by thought in the first paragraph, my apologies if it seems to just sit there and explain nothing.

My point in my first paragraph was to state that others had access to this verse in question and in review could have requested a revision or a change in translation. Someone looked at the Greek after this passage (possibly the entire book) was translated and gave this one a go-ahead. It does seem that they thought it was okay to monkey with the text as the original translators had done.

John

Wesley said...

Lvka,

There's no pride in not-being-a-jerk (throwing away God's love and grace in the trash can), or in not-wanting-to-burn-in-hell-for-all-eternity, nor have I ever seen any patient take pride in the fact that he did after all sign the contract that is required in order for the doctor to operate on him. -- this idea is not just silly, or funny, it's absurd.

And you don't believe the grace of God empowers this and enables this response from the sinner? The above sounds just like what an Arminian would say. An Arminian would say everything you say in the above quotation, and then he would add that ultimately all of our responding and cooperating is totally empowered, enabled and inspired by the free grace of God alone. Would you disagree?

I don't believe in salvation by grace alone because the Scriptures don't teach it.

So what's the alternative? Salvation by grace plus what?

About Soli Deo Gloria:

I don't think there is anything at all necessarily wrong with or idolatrous about honoring great Christians of the past, or with having icons and relics and holding them in high esteem and high value. I have no problems with any of that stuff.

I'm talking about giving unparalleled and incomparable veneration and religious devotion to God alone. All our highest, deepest, and most sacred and solemn praise, honor, reverence, thanks, and glory are to go exclusively to God, who alone is worthy. I think giving God alone the glory ultimately means, when you get right down to it, worshiping God alone, and performing sacred religious rites and rituals of worship, both in public and in private, towards God alone.

prideful or egotistic enemies

What? lol I just don't see it. I don't see how Protestants are dividing Jesus from Mary or Jesus from his cross. I really don't think they are.

Wesley said...

John,

Almost everything you're saying about the NIV and its treatment of 2 Thess. 2:15 is nothing more than an issue of translation philosophy. Did Carton ever mention that the NIV includes a footnote on the word "teachings" in 2 Thess. 2:15 that offers "traditions" as an alternate translation? So how are they trying to deceive us again?

The arguments you're presenting are against dynamic equivalence as a philosophy/methodology and in favor of a formal equivalency. If you don't like dynamic equivalency, that's fine; use a more literal version. But let's keep the issues straight and not confuse them. Don't say the NIV was deliberately trying to corrupt the meaning of Scripture just to support Protestantism when it offers "traditions" as a perfectly legitimate alternate translation and when the whole matter is easily explainable as an issue of translation philosophies in conflict.

That's about all I want to say on this issue. There are other Protestant translations out there that use the word "traditions," so the NIV folks wouldn't be fooling anybody anyways.

Wesley said...

John,

One further comment: I can't help but see a striking similarity between your indictment of the NIV and the exact same sort of accusations that we see from KJV Onlyists. They say the exact sort of thing about the NIV seeking to deny the deity of Jesus, or promote Roman Catholicism, or allow for homosexuality, etc., etc., etc.

Everything the KJVO folks are upset about can be identified as an issue either of textual variation or translation philosophy that is anything other than strict, absolute formal equivalency. I see your complaint categorically fitting right in with the KJVO guys since you move form a clear difference of opinion in translation to a suspicion and/or accusation of foul play. But such a move just isn't necessary in my opinion.

Anyways, thank you very much for your thoughtful and cordial interaction. I do appreciate it!

Grace to you and peace

Ikonophile said...

Wesley,

Actually, Carlton did note the footnote, followed by the fact that footnotes never appear in a concordance as well as the fact that teaching is not the literal translation of "paradosis". If someone where to use an NIV concordance to look up the word "tradition" they'd never know about that footnote.

The NIV is brought up for a few reasons, but most notably because it is one of the most popular. Here at my university, I'm actually shocked at how many Protestant Christians are still using that translation. I would have thought (even in my Protestant days) that people eventually grow out of that translation because their reading comprehension has increased beyond the eighth grade reading level.

Again, I don't think this is the sort of conspiracy theory stuff that you mentioned above. Of course they can find differing translations. But I do think that it is the Scriptures being sifted through a paradigm rather than vice versa.

I'll wrap up my comments as such:

"Paradosis" means that which is handed down (from generation to generation). It is not an unimportant word, theologically. By using either "tradition" (the meaning of the word paradosis) or teaching, one can either undermine or bolster a doctrine. And what a doctrine it is since it divides RC's from EO, EO from Prots. and Prots from RC's. It isn't just an argument against the philosophy/methodology of the NIV translation committee.

John

godescalc said...

In defence of translations with an eighth-grade reading level, my mother became a Christian because of reading the Good News Bible, which has a deliberately minimal vocabulary, and also has these awesome squiggly stick figures. I use a Catholic edition of the RSV these days, and also the NEB which I like just for the phrasing; don't know how accurate it is.

The "paradosis" thing is interesting - I can easily imagine a low-Protestant worldview engendering that kind of biased reading without any dishonesty, because *everyone knows* Paul couldn't possibly mean to set up human tradition as an authority like the EO & RCs do, he must be talking about passing down teachings, right?

Regarding the original point, I'm a little leery about using wordplay like this to criticise Protestantism, because if someone comes along saying "I come not to bring peace but the sword" and "I come to set a man against his father, and a man's enemies shall be of his own household", this kind of linguistic point-scoring would indict such a self-proclaimed divider as the Devil himself.

Lvka said...

Godescalc,


as I said in the post itself: sowing discord "between things which no sane, God-fearing person would ever dare to tear asunder".

Christ tore families apart in the sense that he that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me (Matthew 10:37). -- Think of the martyrdom of so many martyrs, when close friends and relatives tried everything that stood within their power to convince the martyr to renounce Christ and spare his life for their sake. -- BUT HOW does THIS apply to God's Saints!? (In the Protestant mind-set, it DOES: that's the problem...)

(As for "coming not to bring peace but the sword", this refers to the persecution of Christians by unbelievers).

godescalc said...

"-- BUT HOW does THIS apply to God's Saints!? (In the Protestant mind-set, it DOES: that's the problem...)"

It applies pretty easily and clearly. You don't need a Protestant mindset to believe that God is not only good but the source of all goodness, and that while one should love good things, one should love God more. How is this a problem?

The real problem is with the application - the diabolism is in the details, one might say. The principle that one should worship God alone, and this is more important than venerating His servants, is not controversial; the controversy is how and where they come into conflict. The Protestant sees every veneration of the servants of God as theft of God's glory; the Scriptures, however, describe both acceptable veneration (the Jews at the newly-consecrated Temple who "worshipped God and the king") and unacceptable veneration (St. John bowing to the angel, who told him "worship only God"), although without explaining exactly how you tell one from the other, which became the task of later theologians - cue discussions of "dulia" and "latria" &c.

godescalc said...

Plus, you know, "sane and God-fearing" is... I could almost say "relative", but certainly there's vigorous disagreements on what it means. Protestants and Muslims think iconodulia is the opposite of "sane and God-fearing"; the sort of familial discord that Christ promised also wouldn't strike a lot of people as a result of a "sane and God-fearing" mindset, for that matter. Using terms like that is assuming your own conclusion: if we assume that Orthodoxy is right, and that iconodulia is the proper attitude, then no sane or God-fearing person takes up iconoclasm. But assuming Orthodoxy to be right and then criticising Protestants for not being Orthodox is not apologetics but something else.

Lvka said...

No, GC, it's not by any means complicated, it's all actually quite simple, really: we can't obey something or someone that contradicts or opposes the Creator.

Christ never taught us that honoring our mother and father contravenes, infringes upon, rivals with, or robs away from the glory of God the Father (or at least from the time alloted to glorifying Him): the only thing He said was that we can't obey them when their advices go against God's commands and His divinely-revealed truth.

How do the Saints oppose God? Why would we be forbidden to honor them when at the same time we know we're supposed to honor our parents, our masters, our worldly rulers, etc.? -- Again, no reason. No logic. No sanity in judgment. And no biblical warrant either. (Probably because God Himself is in the possession of a Logos, and His Holy Spirit is not in the habbit of inspiring absurd and illogical things).

Wesley said...

Looks like godescalc stole my thunder haha =] You're welcome to it, man!

John and Lvka,

I enjoyed the discussion, gentlemen =]

Grace to you and peace,

Wesley

godescalc said...

Prior comment removed, on reflection.

Note that the angel in Revelations didn't oppose God, but St. John still did wrong in bowing before him. Note that the Virgin Mary didn't oppose God, but the Collyridians still did wrong to worship her. Note that the moon and sun and stars did not (to the best of my knowledge) oppose God at any point, but the ancient pagans (and paganly-inclined Jews) were not praised by the prophets for worshipping them. Therefore, to say "do not give honour to X in such manner" does not mean "X opposes God"; it is clear that the angel, the Virgin Mary, &c. can be on God's side but it's still possible to honour/worship them wrongly. The Protestants who smashed a weeping statue of Mary in Ireland may not have done right, but they clearly didn't think that the Virgin Mary was opposed to God - they just thought that the whole statue-veneration thing was wrong and opposed to God, just as St. John honoured/worshipped an angel in a way that was opposed to God (and which the angel objected to). (Cf. the Jack Chick tract in which the Virgin Mary weeps because of all the hellbound Catholics who worship her when she doesn't want to be worshipped, she'd rather they worship God alone and go to Heaven.)

Where Protestantism goes wrong is not in seeing that you can honour the servants of God wrongly (which has biblical warrant), but in not seeing that you can honour them rightly, or in being very suspect of all honour given them. (I suppose it's not totally true that Protestantism is opposed to honouring the Saints, actually; it's just opposed to making a big deal of it. It's in the 10 Commandments to honour thy father and mother, but who sings a him to fathers and mothers in Church?) In traditional language, Christianity recognises the distinction by talking of latria and dulia, but Protestantism suspects all ostentatious dulia of being latria.

Lvka said...

LOL! (How on earth does worshipping the creature instead of the Creator NOT oppose God? Of course it does!)

Now to the Prophet (may peace be upon him!) and the Angel: when someone says "Thank you!", what do you say? "Oh, no, don't mention it! Pleasure was all mine..."; or: "Yeah, baby, bow to me: Atta boy! -- Now: drop dead and give me fifty! C'mon, I wanna see you sweat: with more passion! Say it like you mean it!"

I mean, seriously, what did you expect the Holy, Christ-like Angel to do? -- Didn't our Lord and Savior Himself say concerning His person, to the close and intimate circle of His disciples at the Last Supper: "I am meek and lowly in heart"? How many times, when performing holy signs and miracles out of mercy for His fallen, unworthy creatures, didn't He say to those that He healed of various illnesses: "Go in peace, thy faith hath saved thee"? And at many other times He even told them to remain silent of the wonders that were done by Him through the power of the Holy Spirit! Or what can we say when He washed the feet of the Apostles, or when He rebuked the rich (and very diplomat) young man, saying: Why dost thou call me good? Don't you know that only God is good? Didn't the Apostle himself write of Him that although "being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross"? -- You honestly thought that God's Saints and His Holy Angels expect, await, want, or desire anyone's praise? :-) -- Didn't Saint Silouan the Athonite show himself to his disciple and told him that he's happy that his book on the Jesus prayer, and the one that his disciple wrote about his holy life, inspire so many people to follow Christ, but doesn't like it that they praise him so much? Or when Saint Nektarios of Aegina, the healer of cancer, appeared to the sick priest in church, venerating all the icons there except his own, and even lit two candles to them, but refused letting the priest kiss his hand, while at the same time kissing his...etc.

As for their theological content, those verses were not meant for either the Prophet Daniel or the Apostle John themselves, who had already proven their loyalty to the one God of Israel or His Son Jesus Christ by being thrown in the lion-den or imprisoned on the island of Patmos for not wanting to worship anyone or anything else besides the Maker and Creator of all things; but rather for the Jews & Christians of their times, who lived surrounded by an ocean of paganism and idolatry...

Pr Mark Henderson said...

Umm...if you're going to criticse other Christians with such provocative language, at least get their position right. Protestantism, or at least the Lutheran Church, with which I am most familir, does not 'divide' some of the doctrines you mention but ather 'distinguishes' between them. There's a big difference.

Come to think of it, the term 'Protestant' is redundant when referring to confessional positions, as there is no 'Protestant Church'. It would be more accurate to refer to 'Lutheran', 'Presbyterian', etc. There are some major doctrinal differecnes between them you know.

Lvka said...

Sadly, even Lutherans seem to have been infected by this type of mentality. -- But, then again, you're right: Anglicanism and Lutheranism are obviously the most exempted from subscribing to the sort of mind-set or attitude as presented or described in this post..

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