Ok, I'll continue examining the issues that launched the protestant reformation. My second post listed the issues, and I have now taken a look at 4 of the 9 main points of initial debate. My goal here is not to promote the catholic position, but I want to try to understand the point of view of my brothers and sisters who hold strongly to a different position. I want to consider if the differences are big enough for me to continue to 'protest'. I don't want to continue the protest that was started 500 years ago, if I don't even fully understand the issues.
The first website I've found that clarifies their position some is this one:
It explains how the term latria in latin refers to worship that is rightly offered to God alone. The word dulia in latin, or veneration, refers to an honor due a created person - the type of honor given an athlete, musician, actor or student at an awards ceremony. This is the kind of devotion catholics feel is appropriate to give to Mary. Hmmm... I've never heard it explained that way before. If we have no issue honoring athletes, musicians etc, we should have no issue honoring all of our Bible 'heros' in the same way. Wikipedia has a similar explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veneration
I found another interesting article explaining Martin Luther's devotion to Mary. He defended the phrase "Mother of God", and defended the use of the "Hail Mary" prayer from the faithful. He also defended the idea of immaculate conception, that she was without sin, before it was official catholic doctrine, http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=788
Wow, that was new info. I guess protestants are able to overlook Martin Luther's different view on this issue, and don't question his faith. If one of the founders of the protestant reformation held to this doctrine, how can it be one of the key concerns of the movement??? I'm confused.
I'll postpone comments about prayers to Mary for a future post "intercession of and devotion to the saints" - which is next on that list of issues that started the reformation.
One further concern I've had with devotion to Mary - and the saints. Sometimes I've wondered if by putting so much focus on Mary people miss out on seeing God? But if you consider a sports team - the team is likely happy if it has a superstar that is world renown - a superstar like that brings more fans to the whole team. In the same way God may be OK when we honor the superstars of our cherished Bible stories. ??
I think there are bigger issues facing the church today that we should work together on - and not let differences like this be a reason to keep two Christ followers from loving and supporting each other.
Disclaimer: About This Blog
THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.