W O R S H I P
Posted by catholicfaithdefender on March 3, 2009
W O R S H I P
By Bro. G-one Paisones
Many of the Protestant denominations often criticized Catholic’ Faith regarding “worship” because Catholics worship not only God but also Mary (Mother of Jesus), and Saints. The protestant objections of the Catholic Doctrine regarding “Worship” are base on the Bible. Two of the most used verses and chapters of the Bible by the Protestant were Exodus 20:3 and Matthew 4:10.
Exodus 20:3 (KJV) “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
Matthew 4:10 (KJV) “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
Protestant Conclusion: Therefore Christians are expected to worship God and only God.
The Chapters and verses used by our brethren Protestant are correct; but not the wholeness of truth. Protestant attack on our Catholic Faith were base on the Bible; so we must answered them base also in the Bible plus Apostolic Tradition. But before we proceed in answering their attacks; we must define what “worship” is.
WOSHIP = Hebrew “Shachah” which means the act of bowing down in homage by an inferior. Worship also in the prayers by which this is expressed and itself is an ardent devotion.
In Catholic Theology there are types of Worship; namely the “Adoration” and the “Veneration”. Adoration or Latria is an act of worship due only to God as our creator and sovereign Lord of heaven and earth. Adoration is the highest form of worship offered only to God, and God alone. The verses sited above (Exodus 20:3 and Matthew 4:10) is the kind of worship that what we (Catholic) called Adoration – and it is for God alone.
Catholics believed and teaches to its faithful that the contents of Exodus 20:3 and Matthew 4:10 are true; and it is a lie when they say that Catholics’ ignored the message of the said chapters and verses of the Bible. Because we (Catholics) believed that “We worship and adore God and God alone by the type of worship called “adoration”.
Veneration = to revere the men of God or the things which relate to God as means of extolling God himself (Defense Catholic Truth by Bro. Socrates Fernandez, Page 70). In veneration we worship saints, angels, Mother Mary, etc. as only honoring them as the special friends and servants of God but we (Catholics) do not worship them (saints, angels, Mother Mary, etc.) as God.
The First Commandments does not forbid us to honor the saint in heaven provided we do not give them the honor that belongs to God alone. (My Catholic Faith, Page 188)
Worshiping of angels, men of God (Saints) by venerating them [not worshiping in type of worship that is for God alone – the adoration] are truly Biblical!
Worshiping (Venerating) men of God
Daniel 2:46-47 (KJV) “Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth [it is,] that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldst reveal this secret.
Luke 1:28 – the angel Gabriel venerates Mary by declaring to her “Hail, full of grace.” The heavenly angel honors the human Mary, for her perfection of grace exceeds that of the angels. (www.scripturecatholic.com)
Worshiping (Venerating) angel of God
Joshua 5:13-15 (KJV) “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, [Art] thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but [as] captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy. And Joshua did so.
Revelation 3:7-9 (KJV) “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
“[T]hat it is neither possible for us ever to forsake Christ, who suffered for the salvation of such as shall be saved throughout the whole world (the blameless one for sinners), nor to worship any other. For Him indeed, as being the Son of God, we adore; but the martyrs, as disciples and followers of the Lord, we worthily love on account of their extraordinary affection towards their own King and Master, of whom may we also be made companions and fellow disciples! The centurion then, seeing the strife excited by the Jews, placed the body in the midst of the fire, and consumed it. Accordingly, we afterwards took up his bones, as being more precious than the most exquisite jewels, and more purified than gold, and deposited them in a fitting place, whither, being gathered together, as opportunity is allowed us, with joy and rejoicing, the Lord shall grant us to celebrate the anniversary of his martyrdom, both in memory of those who have already finished their course, and for the exercising and preparation of those yet to walk in their steps.” Martyrdom of Polycarp 17,18 (A.D. 157). (www.scripturecatholic.com)
“Then we commemorate also those who have fallen asleep before us, first Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, that at their prayers and intercessions God would receive our petition. Then on behalf also of the Holy Fathers and Bishops who have fallen asleep before us, and in a word of all who in past years have fallen asleep among us, believing that it will be a very great benefit to the souls, for whom the supplication is put up, while that holy and most awful sacrifice is set forth.” Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 23:9 (A.D. 350). (www.scripturecatholic.com)
“But God forbid that any in this fair assembly should appear there suffering such things! but by the prayers of the holy fathers, correcting all our offences, and having shown forth the abundant fruit of virtue, may we depart hence with much confidence.” John Chrysostom, On Statues, Homily 6:19 (A.D. 387). (www.scripturecatholic.com)
“As to our paying honor to the memory of the martyrs, and the accusation of Faustus, that we worship them instead of idols, I should not care to answer such a charge, were it not for the sake of showing how Faustus, in his desire to cast reproach on us, has overstepped the Manichaean inventions, and has fallen heedlessly into a popular notion found in Pagan poetry, although he is so anxious to be distinguished from the Pagans. For in saying that we have turned the idols into martyrs, be speaks of our worshipping them with similar rites, and appeasing the shades of the departed with wine and food…It is true that Christians pay religious honor to the memory of the martyrs, both to excite us to imitate them and to obtain a share in their merits, and the assistance of their prayers. But we build altars not to any martyr, but to the God of martyrs, although it is to the memory of the martyrs. No one officiating at the altar in the saints’ burying-place ever says, We bring an offering to thee, O Peter! or O Paul! or O Cyprian! The offering is made to God, who gave the crown of martyrdom, while it is in memory of those thus crowned. The emotion is increased by the associations of the place, and. love is excited both towards those who are our examples, and towards Him by whose help we may follow such examples. We regard the martyrs with the same affectionate intimacy that we feel towards holy men of God in this life, when we know that their hearts are prepared to endure the same suffering for the truth of the gospel. There is more devotion in our feeling towards the martyrs, because we know that their conflict is over; and we can speak with greater confidence in praise of those already victors in heaven, than of those still combating here.” Augustine, Against Faustus, 20:21 (A.D. 400). (www.scripturecatholic.com)
Since many of our Protestant brethren uses New International Version of the Bible now a days; replacing the King James Version of the Bible. When I read the NIV Compact Dictionary of the Bible, I was amazed of what I found; I found that the said Bible Dictionary supported the Catholic Doctrine regarding “worship”. Here is the content of NIV Compact Dictionary of the Bible regarding “worship”:
NIV Compact Dictionary of the Bible (The Zondervan Corporation-OMF Literature Phil.), Page 631
WORSHIP = the honor, reverence, and homage paid to superior beings or powers, whether men, angels, or God. The English word means “worthship” and denotes the worthiness of the individual receiving the special honor.
When given to God, worship involves an acknowledgement of divine perfections. It may express itself in the form of direct address, as in adoration or thanksgiving, or in service to God; it may be private, or it may be public.
I hope that, because of the NIV Compact Dictionary of the Bible – the Pastors of Protestant sects may stop criticizing our Catholic Doctrine; that they might teaches to their flock that the Catholic Doctrine regarding “worship” is right; and may all the Pastors of Protestant sects might embrace the wholeness of truth just like others, so that all of us may be one (John 17:21).