“as for your comment about the ‘mother church,’ I have to ask; where do you come up with this? I don’t intend to be mean, but that terminology is far from being biblical in any sense of the term.”
>> I get the term from the Traditions of Holy Mother Church. The one with apostolic succession all the way back to Christ. The one with a traceable lineage of priest, prophets and kings into the earliest years of the Church. You may have heard of Ignatius of Antioch? Catholic. Clement? Catholic. Origen? Catholic. Tertullian? Catholic (before falling into heresy). Etc etc etc
>> As Thomas posted above, we “hold fast to the traditions we have been taught…whether orally or written.” Where do you get this idea that “if it ain’t in the Bible, it ain’t true?” That is a belief propagated by Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, etc. and his followers of the last half-millennium. It never existed before 1517, and in fact, most people did not even ever have Bibles before the last one to two centuries because it wasn’t feasible. So how would those people have been guided in truth and deed before then? By Holy Mother Church.
“oh, and while we’re on that subject, for the record, there is only one Savior - and it’s not mary.”
>> Without Mary, there is no Savior. Did you ever think about that? Without her humble and obedient “yes,” our Lord isn’t born, the world not offered Redemption, sin not forgiven, the gates of heaven not opened. God chose her, “Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” (Lk 1:48). Do you call her Blessed, Mr. Ken? Or do you demean and downplay the holiness of the Mother of God (Lk 1:43), she who was and always is and has been “full of grace?”
“as for praying to mary, peter, paul, or any other dead saints: do you know how dangerous it is for you to be doing this?”
>> Not dangerous at all. #1, they are not dead. They are more alive than you or me as they are in heaven, fully sanctified and freed from the shackles of sin and the concupiscence of the flesh. John 5:24, 6:47, 3:15, etc… “you shall have eternal life.” Not death. They are not dead. It is no different than you asking me or your pastor to pray for you…except that it is infinitely more efficacious because those men and women have already reached their supreme goal and end and sit at the throne of God singing “Holy, Holy, Holy.” “For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much.” (James 5:16). Who is more righteous/just man than those in heaven? Who more unceasingly praying?
>> If you believe your own understanding of “one mediator,” why do you pray for others? You clearly do not believe that you can intercede/mediate for them, so why pray at all?
A great resource for you would be the Haydock 1859 resource for Biblical exegesis. Here is the explanation of 1 Timothy 2:5-6:
Ver. 5-6. One mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: who gave himself a redemption for all. Take all these words together, and we may easily understand in what sense the apostle calls our Saviour Christ, the one or only mediator; that is, he is the only mediator, who at the same time is our Redeemer; the only mediator who could mediate betwixt God, the person offended by sin, and men the offenders; the only mediator who reconciled God to mankind by his incarnation and death, by the infinite price of his blood, by his own merits, independently of the merits of any other. All Catholics allow that the dignity and office of mediator in this sense belongs only to our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made man to save us. The sense then of this place is, that as there is but one God, who created all, so there is but one mediator, who redeemed all. But yet the name of mediator is not so appropriated to Christ, but that in an inferior and different sense the Angels and saints in heaven, and even men on earth, who pray to God for the salvation of others, may be called mediators, intercessors, or advocates; and we may apply ourselves to them to pray, intercede, and mediate for us, without any injury to Christ, since we acknowledge that all their intercession and mediation is always grounded on the merits of Christ, our Redeemer. The same word for mediator, in the Greek as well as in the Latin, is given to Moses, God’s servant. (Galatians iii. 19.) See also Deuteronomy v. 5. The words of our Saviour himself, (Matthew xxiii.) taken according to the letter, contain an express prohibition of being called masters, or fathers; and this reason is given, because all men have one Father in heaven, and because Christians have one master, Christ. Yet no one can justly pretend from thence, that in a different sense, a man may not be called father or master, without any injury to God, or to Christ. (Witham)—- Christ is the one and only mediator of redemption; who gave himself, as the apostle writes, a redemption for all. He is also the only mediator, who stands in need of no other to recommend his petitions to the Father. But this is not against our seeking the prayers and intercessions, as well of the faithful upon earth, as of the saints and Angels in heaven, for obtaining mercy, grace, and salvation, through Jesus Christ. As St. Paul himself often desired the help of the prayers of the faithful, without any injury to the mediatorship of Jesus Christ. (Challoner)—- If there be other mediators among the Angels and saints, they are only so in subordination to the first[Christ], who by themselves have no right to mediation or favours, and who cannot demand them but through the merits of him[Christ] who is our only essential mediator. (Estius, Menochius, &c.) Consult Judges iii. 9; 2 Esdras ix. 17; Acts vii. 35.—- A redemption for all. Not only for the predestinated, not only for the just, not only for the faithful, but for all Gentiles and infidels: and therefore he says again, (chap. iv. 10.) that Christ is the Saviour of all men, and especially of the faithful. See St. Augustine and St. Chrysostom. (Witham)
>> “…Have you not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spoke to him, saying: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You therefore do greatly err.” (Mark 12:26-27)
He is the God of the LIVING, not the Dead.
Do you really think it would have been okay for me to ask St. Paul to pray for me before his final breath, but not after? If so, you clearly do not believe in life eternal.
There is also veneration of angels many places in the Bible. Jos 5:14, Dan 8:17, etc.
“as for bowing down to statues, this is the jealousy mention and the warning that comes with it.”
>> There is a book you should read called “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” by Mr. Karl Keating. There is a famous quote from Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen: (paraphrasing) “There are not 100 people in the United States who hate what is actually the Catholic Church. There are millions who hate what the falsely and mistakenly believe to be the Catholic Church.”
>> “The fact that someone kneels before a statue to pray does not mean that he is praying TO that statue, just as the fact that one kneels with a Bible in his hands does not mean that he is worshipping the Bible. Statues or paintings…are used to recall to the mind the person or thing depicted. Just as it is easier to remember one’s mother by looking at her photograph…” – Karl Keating
What about demonic possession? Do you go cast out demons if you are one of the countless “priests” of believers? Have you or your pastor ever cast out demons? I have talked to former Protestants who have been forced to come to Catholic priests (exorcists) to have demons cast out. This helped them realize that Beelzebub cannot cast out Beelzebub, and the holy and ordained men of God have a power to wield the Holy Name of Jesus Christ unlike you and me.
What about forgiving and retaining sins? Does your pastor do this? Do you do this? (Jn 20:23) No because this was exclusively offered to those ordained into his apostolic succession, Mr. Ken.
Speaking in terms of charity, I too would not view you as my enemy. But as I know you are aware, “he who is not with Christ is against Christ. He who rejects Christ, he is the antichrist.” You do not do this intentionally, but you do in fact do this without realizing it by rejecting the Church he established on the Rock who is St. Peter. Bear in mind, Mr. Ken, that our Lord’s prayer before his Passion was that we might be ONE. This was reiterated by St. Paul in his epistles several times, namely 1 Corinthians 1:10,13. And he asks us, “is Christ divided?” Look at what has happened since the Reformation. DIVISION! “By their fruits you shall know them.” Estimates of anywhere from 20,000 – 40,000 “denominations” around the world of so-called “Christians” only unified under one banner: their rejection of the Catholic Church and her infallible dogmas. I urge you. I beg you, do your reading, research and most importantly prayer. But do not continue just reading one sided arguments from false prophets and blind shepherds of the fundamentalist persuasion. Read something authentically Catholic. All the spread of Christendom across the world is due to the Catholic Church and the blood shed by all her martyrs over the ages. All the hospitals, orphanages, schools, etc. due to her unending charity and generosity.
I for one will indeed entrust you to our Lady, though I know at present you do not agree. But it is she who has been crowned by our Lord Himself as the Queen of Heaven and earth. It is she who the devil, the beast despises and seeks to calumniate and destroy for her divinely pious “yes.”
“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman, who brought forth the man child.” – Apocalypse (Revelation) 12:13
He is persecuting her now. He has convinced a billion or more Protestants that she does not matter…never has and never will. And it is a LIE.
Read about Our Lady of Fatima and the apparitions. Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady of Lourdes. The holy Shroud of Turin. The Eucharistic miracles and the miracles of the saints.
They are well documented and the farthest thing from fabricated.
God Bless you and keep you,