Thursday, May 26, 2016

Refutation of Dave Armstrong: Prayer to Saints: “New” [?] Biblical Argument

Once again we have a RC apologist who deletes what refutes him and does not even mention it. By the grace of God I spent some time refuting yet another attempt to provide support from Scripture for what is purely a tradition of men, but which Rome holds to be from God.

Moreover, the validity of such teaching is based upon the novel premise of the presumed ensured veracity of the Roman church, which is  yet another tradition of men. However,   seeing as RCs attempt (often in condescension to evangelicals) to provide some sort of Scriptural support for such traditions, thus we need to examine her claims in the light of Scripture. In this case  it is that of alleged support for a most basic Catholic practice which is utterly absent in Scripture, either in example or exhortation, that of  praying to created beings in Heaven.

The following, with a couple or so grammatical corrections,  was posted on May 25, 2016 on Armstrong's blog entry (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2016/05/prayer-to-saints-new-biblical-argument.html), and which I found silently deleted the next day.

I absolutely love discovering things like this. 

Which is not a new polemic but a refuted desperate attempt to finally find some Scriptural support for praying to created beings in Heaven which is as specious as all others.

This is the same sort of argument as the rich man’s prayer to Abraham in Luke 16 

Which is btwn beings in the same realm, as is always the case with such, not hearing mental prayers in Heaven addressed to them from those on earth, an ability only God is said and shown as possessing, as a Divine power and privilege.

Nor will angels and elders offering up prayers as a memorial to God before the final judgments provide testimony to prayer to created beings in Heaven, which is utterly absent in Scripture, even though prayer is a basic practice, and the Spirit records approx. 200 prayers to Heaven in Scripture. Which are all directly to God, except by pagans.

Matthew 27:46-50.The “bystanders” are presented as allies of Jesus, since one of them gave Him a drink, in the next verse (Matthew 27:48). 

Which conclusion is hardly warranted, as the bystanders are not said to be friend or foe, but are in the context of those who mocked the Lord, saying "Save thyself, and come down from the cross." (Mark 15:30)

Moreover, what one who offered the Lord to drink was vinegar (and which was also what the cruel soldiers offered Him, and which He would not drink after tasting it: Mt. 27:34; Lk. 23:36) and who also (likely in mocking) was one of those who called for Christ to come down off the cross. (Mk. 15;36)

The next verse (27:49) again shows that this was common belief at the time 

No, that simply does show that praying to Elijah was a common practice, or even one at all, and for which you have no evidence at all in Scripture, and here this is most likely part of the mocking of Christ which the context shows was going on, in contrast to the centurion, or they were superstitious.

It shows (in the most plausible interpretation, though not absolutely so) that the Jews of that time accepted such petitions as altogether proper and permissible. 

Which insults the Spirit of God, who nowhere records the Jews praying to anyone else in Heaven but God, leaving Caths to try to extrapolate it of mere personal exchanges while being in the same realm, not invisible angels or saints hearing multitudinous mental or oral prayers from earth in Heaven. As God alone does.

it’s not presented as if they are wrong, and in light of other related Scriptures it is more likely that they are correct in thinking that this was a permitted scenario. 

Actually, it is far from being presented as if they were right, which is what you need, and for which there is no precedent in Scripture. No "other related Scriptures" show any believers at all ever praying to someone in Heaven besides God, mentally or out loud, which is what you propose Jews held as a common belief at the time.

Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus 

Which again required the respective parties from both realms to be in the same realm, communicating face to face.

It’s not required. Once or a few times in Scripture is enough, just as the virgin birth and original sin are based on just a few passages. 

Wrong, as you simply have zero examples of any believers ever praying to anyone in Heaven but the Lord, or any teaching that they are to be addressed in prayer to Heaven ("our Mother, who art in Heaven") .

And which conspicuous absence is all the more inexplicable in light of prayer being a most basic common practice. Catholics basically infer the Spirit did not see even one mention of this as warranted, and so Catholicism must supply what He would not.

Scripture does have quite a bit about praying to angels 

Wrong: Scripture says absolutely nothing about those on earth praying to angels in Heaven, and with the Divine ability to hear all such supplications addressed to them, and instead your examples show both parties being in the same realm and engaging in personal, visible communications.

Since the dead saints are said to judge the angels (1 Cor 6:3) and be higher than they are in a sense, then a deductive argument can be made for praying to saints 

But since no one on earth ever prayed to angels in Heaven, nor are they shown as able to hear all prayer from Heaven, you are left with no argument, and having to explain why the Holy Spirit would utterly leave out this basic, purportedly helpful practice.

The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906 (“Elijah”) provides an extraordinary summary of Jewish beliefs regarding Elijah 

Which also fails to document praying to him, or to any created being, which was a later, post Biblical and unscriptural development.

The canon of Scripture is nowhere in the Bible at all, yet believed anyway based on tradition. 

Which is not analogous, as while we have zero testimony of any believer (versus pagans) praying to anyone in Heaven but the Lord, despite the abundance of examples of this basic practice, we do have clear testimony that common souls correctly discerned both men and writings of God as being so, and which thus leads to a canon.

Sola Scriptura (in its full epistemological / theological meaning) is never ever taught, 

Who knows how you would define this, but unlike prayer to created beings in Heaven, we abundantly see the written word of God becoming the supreme standard for obedience and testing and establishing Truth claims, and as providing what is necessary for salvation and growth in grace, in its formal and material aspects combined. More grace was given under the New Cov, and more will be revealed at the resurrection, thanks be to God.

Finally, you may absolutely love to discover such egregious extrapolation for support for traditions of men as this, but it simply reveals the manner of desperation some   Caths will sink to, while in reality the basis for the veracity of Cath teaching does not rest upon the weight of Scriptural warrant anyway, but the the novel and unScriptural premise of ensured perpetual magisterial infallibility.

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I will try to respond to comments within one or two days after I see a response, however, this has not been where I usually engage in dialogue.
Please try to be reasonable, willing to examine things prayerfully and objectively, and refrain from "rants" and profane language, especially regarding God and the Christan faith. The latter type are subject to removal on this Christian blog, but I do try to help people no matter who they are. May all know the grace of God in truth.