The Instigator
christisking
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
DATCMOTO
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

It is a good and holy act for Christians to honor Mary and ask her intercession #2

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
DATCMOTO
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/27/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,651 times Debate No: 18060
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

christisking

Pro

Greetings to DATCMOTO and to our audience. I hope that this debate is enlightening and enjoyable for us all.

In this debate, we will essentially be arguing over the differences between the ways that Catholics and Protestants view Mary (the mother of Jesus Christ) and the way we should act towards her. As the Pro, I will be arguing from the Catholic view point that it is a good thing for us to give honor to Mary and to ask her intercession (prayers) when we are in need. My opponent will be arguing to try and prove this resolution false. I would invite him to explain the Protestant view point in this issue if and only if he so desires. In this debate, since we are both Christians, the Bible will be considered the authoritative Word of God.

The burden of proof in this debate will be as follows: Pro (myself) will need to present one or more arguments (either from Scripture or reason) that it is good to ask Mary for her intercession. It will be Con's goal to either disprove 'all' of Pro's arguments as untrue, or present separate arguments which (when fully debated and considered) are more convincing to the voter than Pro's arguments.

Here are a short list of definitions to help make sure this debate stays on track:

- 'good and holy act' - an action which either gives the doer or some other person benefit or is pleasing to God.
- 'Christian' - a person who believes in Jesus Christ; adherent of Christianity. (Dictionary.com)
- 'honor' - to hold in respect or esteem (Dictionary.com)
- 'Mary' - The mother of Jesus Christ
- 'intercession' - prayers made by one person to God for the benefit of another

The first round is for acceptance and any only arguments or questions concerning the definitions.

In the fourth and fifth rounds only rebuttals are allowed. All new arguments in these two rounds should be ignored by the voters. I would discourage new arguments in round three but it will be permitted.

I think that is all, and I look forward to an interesting debate.
DATCMOTO

Con

I accept christisking's debate challenge and thank him for his succinct opening statement and concise definitions.

I agree with these definitions with one proviso: Namely that during the unfolding of this debate I propose to illustrate that Catholics go beyond simply 'honouring' Mary and stray into the unscriptural realm of worshipping her.

I feel fully justified in this semantic discrepancy as my opponent has himself stated that I am, in essence, defending 'my' Protestantism against 'his' Catholicism.

I invite my opponent to state his case.
Debate Round No. 1
christisking

Pro

I thank DATCMOTO for accepting this debate and I look forward to a stimulating exchange of arguments.

"I agree with these definitions with one proviso: Namely that during the unfolding of this debate I propose to illustrate that Catholics go beyond simply 'honouring' Mary and stray into the unscriptural realm of worshipping her."

If my opponent can manage to prove that Catholics (namely those who are following proper Catholic tradition and teachings) worship Mary, then I invite the voters to give DATCMOTO the win.

Now for my opening case; I will break this debate into two parts: 1) why we should honor Mary, and 2) why we should ask her intercession.

Honoring Mary

Contention 1: Example of Scripture

P1 (Premise 1)- We should follow the example of Christ
P2- We should follow the example of holy Scriptural characters
P3- Christ honored Mary by making her the Mother of God
P4- Elizabeth and the Angel Gabriel honored Mary
C1 (Conclusion 1)- We should follow the examples of Christ, Gabriel and Elizabeth and honor Mary


I think premises 1 and 2 should be easily accepted. For premise 3, there is really no more important position in God's plan of salvation than the position of bringing our savior into the world. This honor (just like the honor David was given when he was told the Messiah would be of his lineage) was given to Mary by Christ when he picked her specifically to be his mother. For Premise 4, you can reference Luke 1:28 and Luke 1:42 to see the way that the angel Gabriel and Mary's cousin Elizabeth address her with titles of blessing and honor. If Christ and these other Biblical characters gave honor to Mary, then it certainly seems right that we should also honor her.

Contention 2: Scriptural Prophesy

P1- In Luke 1:48 Mary says that 'all generations will call me blessed'.
P2- Christians should follow the commands and advice of Scripture
C1- Christians should call Mary blessed (i.e. honor her) 'for all generations'

I think this argument is pretty self-explanatory. Mary prophesies that she will be called blessed, so it must be an ok thing to honor her.


Asking Mary's Intercession

Contention 1: prayer is good

P1- Asking for others to pray for you is a good thing
P2- The holier a person is, the more help their prayers will be
P3- Mary was a holy follower of Christ
C1- it is a good thing to ask Mary to pray for us

I assume that any Christian would agree with my premise 1. For premise 2, if you could have had Judas Iscariot or St. Paul pray for you, which would you choose? A person's level of sanctity reflects the value of their prayer. For premise 3, the angel Gabriel calls Mary 'full of grace'. This title, at the very least, shows that Mary was not a serious sinner. However, this rare title seems to suggest that Mary was among the holier persons of the Bible. Thus, the conclusion should flow easily from these premises that asking for Mary's prayers (i.e. her intercession) would be a good thing.

Note: take notice that this argument can actually stand without Premise 2, it merely serves to bolster the argument. If my opponent only succeeds in disproving Premise 2, then the argument should still stand and the voter should vote Pro on this issue. As long as I can show that the prayers of a person like Mary are helpful, then this argument should stand.

Contention 2: Christ Listens to Mary

P1- In John 2 Christ changes water into wine at the request of his mother
C1- Christ will do things at the request of his mother which he may not have otherwise done
C2- Mary's prayers can help us

In the passage which this argument is based off of, Mary asks Christ to help a newly wed couple witha miracle. Christ's response (my hour has not yet come) seems to suggest that he had not initially intended to perform this miracle. However, without any other prompting than Mary's request, Christ performes the requested miracle. This shows the great respect Christ has for his mother and any of her requests. Should she suggest that He assist us today, this passage tells us that He would listen.




Concluding Comments: For me to win this round, I must show that at least one contention under each of the two headings of HONOR and INTERCESSION is correct. Unless my opponent proves both contentions under one of these sections to be wrong or proves that Catholics actually worship Mary, the voters should vote Pro.

I would urge the voters to do their best to view this debate objectively and to make their decision based on the arguments presented. Please do not base your decision on arguments you think could have been made, since this means that you are judging based on an argument which the debater did not have a chance to respond to and explain. With that being said, I look forward to DATCMOTO's response and an enjoyable debate.

DATCMOTO

Con

I propose, for the most part, to let Holy Scripture do the talking, as;

John 7:18
He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.


But before I begin a short word about the interpretation of Scripture: Jesus Himself stated (Matt 18:3, Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17) that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (a Kingdom where Truth reigns supreme) we MUST become 'as children'. So, as the discernment of Scripture is obviously a key element to obtaining entry into the Kingdom, I ask all viewers of this debate (and my worthy opponent) to approach Scripture in this very spirit.

My argument against the resolution will be divided into three sections:

1) Mary as Intercessor.

2) Women and Authority.

3) The virginity of Mary.

MARY AS INTERCESSOR.

First and foremost, to exult (to elevate, to go beyond honouring and on to worshipping) Mary to the status of Intercessor strikes at the very heart of the Christian faith.
The Bible clearly teachers that we have but ONE Intercessor; Jesus Christ, The Son of God:

Acts 4:12
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

Hebrews 3:1
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.

Hebrews 4:14
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens,[a] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

Hebrews 6:20
where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

Romans 10:13
for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."


WOMEN AND AUTHORITY.

In order for Mary to intercede on our behalf before God Almighty she would have to have spiritual Authority over us. This, once again, exults Mary above and beyond her true status (worship) and clearly violates Biblical teaching on women NOT having authority over men:

1 Timothy 2:12-14
I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.


This last verse refers to the Genesis account of creation which clearly illustrates that woman was made FROM man FOR man:

Genesis 2:18-23
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs[b] and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib[c] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,'
for she was taken out of man."


THE VIRGINITY OF MARY.

To falsely exult Mary by giving her the erroneous title 'The Virgin Mary' is, again, worshipping her and NOT merely honouring; to honour someone we must honour the facts of their life as they are presented. The Bible clearly teaches that after the miraculous Virgin Birth of Our Lord and Saviour, Mary went on to have children in the normal way:

Matthew 1:24-25
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her UNTIL (my emphasis) she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

John 7:3-5
Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." For even his OWN (my emphasis) brothers did not believe in him.

Mark 6:3
Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and THE (mine) brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't HIS (mine also) sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.

1 Corinthians 9:5
Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas?


Finally, I would very much like to submit for your perusement, the single most important Scriptures concerning our attitude toward Mary, the mother of Jesus:

Luke 11:27-28
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you."
He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."

Matthew 12:47-49
Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."
He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers.
Debate Round No. 2
christisking

Pro

I would like to thank DATCMOTO for his well-organized round 2 arguments.

"But before I begin a short word about the interpretation of Scripture: Jesus Himself stated (Matt 18:3, Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17) that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (a Kingdom where Truth reigns supreme) we MUST become 'as children'. So, as the discernment of Scripture is obviously a key element to obtaining entry into the Kingdom, I ask all viewers of this debate (and my worthy opponent) to approach Scripture in this very spirit."


"My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. "-Proverbs 3:21-23

I agree with my opponent that we must accept Scripture humbly as little children since it is the Word of God. However, I would remind the reader to 'put away childish things' (1 Corinthians 13:11) and use sound judgment and discernment when interpreting those bible verses which come into question.

For this round, I will first address my case (which went mainly unaddressed by my opponent) and then follow up by addressing his reasons that he thinks Catholics worship Mary.

As stated last round, there are two ways my opponent can win: 1) completely disprove one of my major points (Honoring Mary and Mary's Intercession) or 2) show that Catholics 'worship' Mary. My opponent did not argue any of my points, so I will assume the following to be true unless he addresses them in round 3:

Honoring Mary

Cont. 1: Example of Scripture - Since we can see that Biblical characters honored Mary, we should as well.

Cont. 2: Scriptural Prophesy - Since Mary prophesied that she would be honored, it is right that we should fulfill this prophesy.

Mary's Intercession

Cont. 1: prayer is good - Mary's prayers (like all prayers) can help us.

Cont. 2: If Christ listened to Mary in the Bible, then he will still listen to her today.


Conclusion: Since none of this was argued, the only way left for my opponent to win is if he can show that Catholics actually go beyond honoring and asking the intercession of Mary and in actuality worship her. This leads me to my opponent's case.


Before I begin to refute his points, I would like to point out that most of his arguments are unfortunately based on definitional misunderstandings. With this being the case, I will represent the accepted definition of intercession and also define worship.

Intercession - prayers made by one person to God for the benefit of another

Worship -
homagerendered to God which itis sinful (idolatry) to render to any createdbeing(Ex.34:14;Isa.2:8).Such worship was refused by Peter (Acts 10:25,26) and by an angel (Rev.22:8,9). http://dictionary.reference.com......
(Easton's1897BibleDictionary)


Mary as Intercessor

My opponent's main argument her was that to honor Mary with the title 'Intercessor' is to put her in the place Christ (God) rightfully has. However, we merely have a confusion of terms here. When my opponent says that Christ is our Intercessor, he means that it is through His sacrifice that we receive God's forgiving grace (as his bible verses say). When Catholics call Mary intercessor (as you can see by the above definition I presented in Round 1) we merely mean a person who prays to God for us. Thus, a proper understanding of Mary's title as 'intercessor' reveals that Catholics do not give her any sort of 'worship' that is due to Christ.

Woman and Authority

My opponent is arguing that since women should not have authority over men, we should not pretend that Mary has an authority of intercession. While his interpretation of the bible verse he uses is questionable, I will leave it be for now since there is a larger fallacy in this argument. One of my opponent's most important premises is that for Mary to help us, she must have some sort of authority over us. This is not the case. Mary helps us through intercession (i.e. prayer) just as any other person can help us through prayer. If a person needs authority over another to pray for them, then it would be wrong for any man to ask a woman to pray for them. Since I cannot possibly see Christ (or Paul) forbidding my mother or sister to pray for me, I see no problem with asking Mary to pray for me. Thus, we can see that Mary does not need any authority over us to intercede for us (of course assuming a proper definition of intercession).

Virginity of Mary

My opponent is arguing here that to call Mary a virgin proves that Catholics worship her since he believes that the bible teaches otherwise. While I do personally believe that Mary was a virgin and that my opponent has misinterpreted the bible verses he presented, to argue this would be to step outside the bounds of our resolution. The simpler issue with this argument is that for Catholics to call Mary a virgin does not mean that we worship her. If there were a modern girl who may or may not have had sex with her boyfriend, no one would say I was worshiping her if I decided to believe that she was still a virgin. Just so, Catholics have a different interpretation of Scripture (whether it is the correct interpretation or not is irrelevant to this argument) in which we believe that Mary was a virgin. Even if we are wrong (which I obviously don't believe) we still cannot be charged with worshipping her because of this.


Thus, we can see that neither of these three arguments show that Catholics worship Mary. My opponent had one final argument concerning the two following two bible verses which was rather vaguely made:

Luke 11:27-28
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you."
He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."

Here my opponent seems to think that Christ is specifically saying that Mary is not 'blessed'. However, that is not Christ's point. Christ is merely using this as a chance to make the point that genealogy is not nearly as important as obeying God's commands. We know that this is the case because Mary herself fulfills the requirements Christ here sets up to be considered 'blessed'. When she heard the word of God through Gabriel asking her be God's mother, she replied 'Let it be done according to your word' (i.e. she obeyed God's command).

Furthermore, if you look at other translations of this verse (http://bible.cc......) you will find some such as the New Living Translation read "But even more blessed..." This tells us that the original did not intend to contrast Christ's statement with that of this woman, but only some translations.



Matthew 12:47-49
Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."
He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers.

I assume my opponent is trying to show that Christ did not want us to honor Mary. However, once again Christ is merely using this statement as an opportunity to making a point. If Christ intended this to reflect badly on Mary, then it is phrased in a way which is akin to disowning her as his mother. This would be a deliberate violation of the 4th commandment and a sin. Since God cannot sin, we know this isn't the case. Christ is merely making the point that he wants to have an intimate relationship (such as the relationships within families) with all of us. He knows that Mary is his true mother and he loves her with the perfect love of a perfect son.



Thank you, and I look forward to DATCMOTO's next rebuttal.

DATCMOTO

Con

ROUND 2 Rebuttal.

"If my opponent can manage to prove that Catholics (namely those who are following proper Catholic tradition and teachings) worship Mary, then I invite the voters to give DATCMOTO the win."

Tradition is precisely the problem:

Mark 7:8
"You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions."

Mark 7:13
Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."


"Honoring Mary
Contention 1: Example of Scripture
P1 (Premise 1)- We should follow the example of Christ"

Nowhere is scripture do we observe Jesus or anyone else praying to anyone but the father or Jesus. *please note that my opponent has NOT provided scriptural evidence for his assertion.

"P2- We should follow the example of holy Scriptural characters"

Nowhere is the Bible do we observe any scriptural characters praying to anyone but Jesus or the Father. *please note that my opponent has NOT provided scriptural evidence for his assertion.

"P3- Christ honored Mary by making her the Mother of God"

He honoured her; He NEVER prayed to her.

"P4- Elizabeth and the Angel Gabriel honored Mary"

They honoured her; they NEVER prayed to her.

"C1 (Conclusion 1)- We should follow the examples of Christ, Gabriel and Elizabeth and honor Mary"

It is exactly BY following the examples of Christ, Gabriel and Elizabeth that we should NEVER come to the conclusion to pray to Mary, thus exulting her beyond her scriptural status and worshipping her. *please note that my opponent has NOT provided scriptural evidence for his assertion.

"Contention 2: Scriptural Prophesy
P1- In Luke 1:48 Mary says that 'all generations will call me blessed'."

Mary, like everyone else, is blessed by God and so calling her blessed honours God and not Mary.

"P2- Christians should follow the commands and advice of Scripture"

There is no command in scripture to pray to Mary. *please note that my opponent has NOT provided scriptural evidence for his assertion.

"C1- Christians should call Mary blessed (i.e. honor her) 'for all generations'"

Calling Mary blessed honours God, NOT Mary.

"Asking Mary's Intercession
Contention 1: prayer is good
P1- Asking for others to pray for you is a good thing"

Asking others to pray for us and praying to someone in heaven are completely different acts with no connection in scripture what so ever. *please note that my opponent has NOT provided scriptural evidence for his assertion.

"P2- The holier a person is, the more help their prayers will be"

This would only apply having established scriptural authority for the contention. (that praying to someone in heaven and asking others to pray for you are somehow connected)

"P3- Mary was a holy follower of Christ"

'Was' being the operative word.

"C1- it is a good thing to ask Mary to pray for us"

A theological 'house of cards' without a shred of scriptural foundation is MY conclusion.

" For premise 3, the angel Gabriel calls Mary 'full of grace'. This title, at the very least, shows that Mary was not a serious sinner. "

Mary was (your word; WAS) full of God's Grace NOT her own; it is ALL gift and ALL grace so to imbue Mary with Holiness and grace from her own being is clearly WORSHIP; worship that belongs to GOD.

"Contention 2: Christ Listens to Mary
P1- In John 2 Christ changes water into wine at the request of his mother"

John 2:1-5
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."
"Woman,[a] why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My hour has not yet come."
His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you.",


Within this passage is a teaching about authority NOT intercession: Jesus' mother is mentioned first because she was the invited guest at the wedding and Jesus and His disciples had 'also' been invited meaning they were Mary's guests. So Mary had authority over the servants and commanded them to obey her son, she took advantage of the one occasion she had authority because she was the principle guest.

"C1- Christ will do things at the request of his mother which he may not have otherwise done"

Even if this scripture were not already refuted, it would still be an enormous leap to go from here to praying to Mary.

"C2- Mary's prayers can help us"

A false conclusion without scriptural foundation.

SUMMARY.

My opponent has provided NO scriptural basis for praying to Mary and I have shown that all honour belongs to God.
Debate Round No. 3
christisking

Pro

Once again, I thank DATCMOTO for his arguments and will now proceed to refute them.

Since this is round 4, I urge the voters to ignore any completely new arguments brought up by either side, and only to accept new analysis on previously existing arguments.

Before I begin I would like to make a note that the voters should keep in mind concerning my opponent’s last round. Nowhere in this debate was it agreed that every single argument needs Scripture to support it. Rather, debating itself is based on using logic to connect a variety of points in original ways. Thus, just because a point does not have a Bible verse directly following it does not mean that it should be thrown out. Besides, that would be a pointless waste of space and energy.

My opponent began with arguments against Catholic tradition which have no bearing on this debate. While I believe that the bible verses mentioned by my opponent do not apply to Catholic tradition which was founded by God through Christ and the apostles, I will not spend time refuting this statement since it deviates from the question at hand.

Honoring Mary

Please keep in mind that I need one of these first two contentions to prove that we should ‘honor’ Mary, not that we should ‘pray to her’. That topic is under “Mary’s Intercession”.

Contention 1: Example of Scripture

P1- Example of Christ

All Christians agree that we should follow Christ’s example. My opponent’s argument is more fit P3.

P2- Example of Biblical characters

Once again, most Christians would accept that we should follow the example of holy Biblical characters. My opponent’s argument would fall under P4.

P3- Christ honored Mary

He honoured her; He NEVER prayed to her.”

My opponent has proved my point for me. He agrees that Christ ‘honored’ Mary which is all that this contention is meant to prove.

P4- Others honor Mary

Ditto to last argument.

C1- we should honor Mary

Since my opponent has agreed to all of my premises, this conclusion necessarily follows. This means I have fulfilled the part of my burden of proof related to ‘honoring Mary’.

“It is exactly BY following the examples of Christ, Gabriel and Elizabeth that we should NEVER come to the conclusion to pray to Mary, thus exulting her beyond her scriptural status and worshipping her.”

Of course these people would not have prayed to Mary since they could talk to her (please note that praying to Mary is a very different type of prayer than that which we offer to).

Contention 2: Scriptural Prophesy (please note that Contention 1 is enough to prove my point and that this contention is really extra and not necessary unless Contention 1 fails)

P1- Mary said ‘all generations will call me blessed’.

Mary said this in response to Elizabeth’s greeting ‘blessed are you among women’. This means that she is blessed in a way that is special.

P2- following Scripture

“There is no command in scripture to pray to Mary.”

Once again we are only seeing here that we should ‘honor’ Mary which is what this passage is certainly saying.

C1- We should call Mary ‘blessed’

"Calling Mary blessed honours God, NOT Mary."

I agree that this honors God since it was an act of God to make her Christ’s mother, but it also honors Mary since she was the one whose ‘yes’ to Gabriel allowed God to make her His mother. Any honor we give to any person (whether it be a parent, glorious war general, or capable political leader) is due to some God given talent. Thus honoring these people also honors God, but it is honor none the less.

Mary’s Intercession



Contention 1: prayer is good

P1- others prayers

“Asking others to pray for us and praying to someone in heaven are completely different acts with no connection in scripture what so ever.”

My opponent has agreed then that it is a good thing for us to ask people on earth for prayers. What he contests is that the people in heaven are different somehow. What he fails to show, however, is why. Mark 12:26-27 “‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[d]? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Those in heaven are just as alive as those on earth.

P2- holiness = better prayers

My opponent agreed to this.

P3- Mary was holy

'Was' being the operative word.”

As shown earlier, God is a God of the living and not of the dead. Mary is just as alive to him as you and I. Otherwise, my opponent has agreed that Mary was holy.

C1- Mary’s prayers are good

My opponent has agreed that the prayers of holy people (like Mary who he agreed was holy) are helpful. Since God has no reason to accept the prayers of sinners on earth but then refuse the prayers of a saint in heaven, it must be beneficial for us to ask Mary to pray for us (i.e. ask her intercession).

Contention 2: Christ listens to Mary (Once again please note that I only need to prove one of these two contentions)

P1- John 2

“Jesus' mother is mentioned first because she was the invited guest at the wedding and Jesus and His disciples had 'also' been invited meaning they were Mary's guests.”

Saying that Jesus and his disciples were ‘also’ invited in no way means that they were invited by Mary. Additionally, in the ancient world women were never given authority over men, so it would be assumed that Mary had no authority over Christ and his friends unless the Scripture specifically said so.

"Woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My hour has not yet come."

A translation closer to the Greek is “And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come.” (http://forums.catholic.com......) Christ is not showing resentment for Mary overstepping her authority, but rather he is pausing to show that he only does miracles for a purpose rather than desiring to show off at every chance he gets. He obviously hadn’t intended to perform the miracle at first, but we see that at Mary’s asking he readily complies.

C1- Christ listens to Mary

This conclusion stands if the first premise stands.

C2- Mary’s prayers can help

This is not too excessive of a leap from the previous conclusion. If Christ listens to Mary and Mary asks him to help us, then we conclude that Christ will help us. If Mary is holy, then she is also charitable. If we ask her to pray for us when in need (just as the couple at the wedding feast were in need), then her prayers to God on our behalf will indeed be beneficial to us.

Summary

I have shown almost beyond a doubt that we should honor Mary since my opponent’s arguments there never really matched up with what I was saying. I believe I have shown that we should ask Mary’s intercession because all Christians agree that the prayers of a holy person will help us and because Christ himself listened to Mary’s requests while on earth. Combined with last round where I refuted my opponent’s arguments concerning whether or not Catholics worship Mary, I believe that I have fully met my burden of proof set up in the first two rounds. Thus, I urge the voters to lean towards Pro at this point in the debate.

I look forward to DATCMOTO’s round 4 arguments.

DATCMOTO

Con

ROUND 3 Rebuttal.

"For this round, I will first address my case (which went mainly unaddressed by my opponent) and then follow up by addressing his reasons that he thinks Catholics worship Mary."

Please see Round 3 for Round 2 rebuttal.

"Intercession - prayers made by one person to God for the benefit of another"

The Biblical distinction between intercessory prayer and the Heavenly Person of Intercessor is that intercessory prayer is made between mortals here on earth and that The Intercessor is in Heaven making intercession between man and God. *Please note that my opponent has provided NO scriptural evidence for praying to Mary or any other Saint ONCE they have gone into Heaven.

"Worship -homagerendered to God which itis sinful (idolatry) to render to any createdbeing(Ex.34:14;Isa.2:8).Such worship was refused by Peter (Acts 10:25,26) and by an angel (Rev.22:8,9). http://dictionary.reference.com.........
(Easton's1897BibleDictionary)"

Calling Mary 'blessed by all generations' and 'full of grace' honours God as He alone makes a person blessed or full of grace. So to imbue Mary with Grace and blessings of her OWN is idolatrous and so sinful worship.

"Mary as Intercessor
My opponent's main argument her was that to honor Mary with the title 'Intercessor' is to put her in the place Christ (God) rightfully has. However, we merely have a confusion of terms here. When my opponent says that Christ is our Intercessor, he means that it is through His sacrifice that we receive God's forgiving grace (as his bible verses say). When Catholics call Mary intercessor (as you can see by the above definition I presented in Round 1) we merely mean a person who prays to God for us. Thus, a proper understanding of Mary's title as 'intercessor' reveals that Catholics do not give her any sort of 'worship' that is due to Christ."

My opponent simply fails to address the distinction between mortals on earth praying for one another and a Heavenly Intercessor betwixt man and God, which the Bible clearly teaches is Jesus Christ alone. *Please note that my opponent has provided NO scriptural evidence for praying to Mary or any other Saint ONCE they have gone into Heaven.

"Woman (sic) and Authority
My opponent is arguing that since women should not have authority over men, we should not pretend that Mary has an authority of intercession. While his interpretation of the bible verse he uses is questionable, I will leave it be for now since there is a larger fallacy in this argument. One of my opponent's most important premises is that for Mary to help us, she must have some sort of authority over us. This is not the case. Mary helps us through intercession (i.e. prayer) just as any other person can help us through prayer. If a person needs authority over another to pray for them, then it would be wrong for any man to ask a woman to pray for them. Since I cannot possibly see Christ (or Paul) forbidding my mother or sister to pray for me, I see no problem with asking Mary to pray for me. Thus, we can see that Mary does not need any authority over us to intercede for us (of course assuming a proper definition of intercession)."

My opponent simply fails to address the distinction between mortals on earth praying for one another and a Heavenly Intercessor betwixt man and God, which the Bible clearly teaches is Jesus Christ alone. *Please note that my opponent has avoided my scriptural evidence for women and Authority.

"Virginity of Mary
My opponent is arguing here that to call Mary a virgin proves that Catholics worship her since he believes that the bible teaches otherwise. While I do personally believe that Mary was a virgin and that my opponent has misinterpreted the bible verses he presented, to argue this would be to step outside the bounds of our resolution. The simpler issue with this argument is that for Catholics to call Mary a virgin does not mean that we worship her. If there were a modern girl who may or may not have had sex with her boyfriend, no one would say I was worshiping her if I decided to believe that she was still a virgin. Just so, Catholics have a different interpretation of Scripture (whether it is the correct interpretation or not is irrelevant to this argument) in which we believe that Mary was a virgin. Even if we are wrong (which I obviously don't believe) we still cannot be charged with worshipping her because of this. "

Here my opponent has avoided my argument by no longer talking about honouring but switching to worship; My (unaddressed) argument, is that by not honouring the facts of ANYONE'S life as they are simply presented we do not honour them and their truth: Hence, when we willfully ignore facts in order to exult someone THEN this is idolatrous worship. *Please note that my opponent has avoided addressing my scriptural evidence for Mary's lack of virginity.

"Thus, we can see that neither of these three arguments show that Catholics worship Mary. My opponent had one final argument concerning the two following two bible verses which was rather vaguely made:"

Luke 11:27-28
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you."
He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."


"Here my opponent seems to think that Christ is specifically saying that Mary is not 'blessed'. However, that is not Christ's point. Christ is merely using this as a chance to make the point that genealogy is not nearly as important as obeying God's commands. We know that this is the case because Mary herself fulfills the requirements Christ here sets up to be considered 'blessed'. When she heard the word of God through Gabriel asking her be God's mother, she replied 'Let it be done according to your word' (i.e. she obeyed God's command)."

I challenge all viewers of this debate to view the above scripture in it's simple, childlike and literal sense: That the woman is falsely exulting His Mother and Jesus is CORRECTING her.

Matthew 12:47-49
Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."
He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers.


"I assume my opponent is trying to show that Christ did not want us to honor Mary. However, once again Christ is merely using this statement as an opportunity to making a point. If Christ intended this to reflect badly on Mary, then it is phrased in a way which is akin to disowning her as his mother. This would be a deliberate violation of the 4th commandment and a sin. Since God cannot sin, we know this isn't the case. Christ is merely making the point that he wants to have an intimate relationship (such as the relationships within families) with all of us. He knows that Mary is his true mother and he loves her with the perfect love of a perfect son."

I challenge all viewers of this debate to view the above scripture in it's simple, childlike and literal sense: That Jesus is showing those around Him WHO is important to Him.

SUMMARY.

Apart from the last two, my opponent has singularly failed to address any of the scriptures I provided for my three arguments.

In his opening paragraph he stated; 'In this debate, since we are both Christians, the Bible will be considered the Word of God.'

Also, he has failed to provide scripture for his own assertions; primarily that the roles of 'earthly intercession between mortals' and that of 'Heavenly Intercessor' are interchangeable theologies.
Debate Round No. 4
christisking

Pro

As we move into this final round, I will first address what seems to be the most important argument in this debate and then proceed to the others.

“The Biblical distinction between intercessory prayer and the Heavenly Person of Intercessor is that intercessory prayer is made between mortals here on earth and that The Intercessor is in Heaven making intercession between man and God. *Please note that my opponent has provided NO scriptural evidence for praying to Mary or any other Saint ONCE they have gone into Heaven.”

Note: I agree that ‘the Heavenly Person of Intercessor’ is solely Christ since it is him alone who can achieve God’s forgiveness for us through his sacrifice. However, the heavenly saints can fit my oponent’s category of ‘intercessory prayer’.

Is a person robbed of their ability to pray to God on another’s behalf robbed of them when they enter heaven? The answer to this question will answer most of the important arguments made throughout this round. I have pointed out that the holier a person is the more powerful their prayer is (see Intercession C1 P3) and my opponent never contested this. Thus, if God likes to listen to holy people pray on earth, then why would He not listen to even holier people in heaven. After all, “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” (Luke 20:38)

My opponent’s sole argument against this has been that I did not bring up specific Scriptural passages proving my point. However, my opponent did agree in round 1 that we can use arguments “either from Scripture or reason”. Thus, this argument is a valid one even in the absence of specific Scriptural quotes, and an unaddressed argument must in all fairness be considered a true argument.

Though I believe I have sufficiently proved my point, I will show a couple bible verses which have sufficed to justify praying to the saints for many Christians over the past two millennia (including Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Basil, etc.) so that the viewers can be aware that there is indeed valid Scriptural grounds for accepting the intercession of the saints.
http://www.catholic.com...

"the twenty-four elders [the leaders of the people of God in heaven] fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (Rev. 5:8).

"[An] angel came and stood at the altar [in heaven] with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God" (Rev. 8:3–4). (Thus we see that the saints, i.e. those in heaven, do pray to God even in heaven)

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 18:10). (Here it is implied that if you stand before the face of God then that is enough to be able to ask his intercession. The saints stand before the face of God since they are in heaven, so they must be able to intercede for us)

With this main question now fully addressed, I will address the rest of the round, especially my opponent’s round 4 arguments.

Honoring Mary

Contention 1: Example of Scripture

P1- We should follow the example of Christ
P2- We should follow the example of holy Scriptural characters
P3- Christ honored Mary by making her the Mother of God
P4- Elizabeth and the Angel Gabriel honored Mary
C1- We should follow the examples of Christ, Gabriel and Elizabeth and honor Mary

My opponent has not made a consistent argument against this contention so it stands to prove my point.

Contention 2: Scriptural Prophesy

P1- In Luke 1:48 Mary says that 'all generations will call me blessed'.
P2- Christians should follow the commands and advice of Scripture
C1- Christians should call Mary blessed (i.e. honor her) 'for all generations'

“Calling Mary 'blessed by all generations' and 'full of grace' honours God as He alone makes a person blessed or full of grace. So to imbue Mary with Grace and blessings of her OWN is idolatrous and so sinful worship.”

I agree that calling Mary blessed does honor God. However it honors Mary as well. To honor one does not mean we cannot honor the other. Thus, we should fulfill Mary’s own prophesy and honor God by honoring her.

Asking Mary's Intercession

Contention 1: prayer is good

P1- Asking for others to pray for you is a good thing
P2- The holier a person is, the more help their prayers will be
P3- Mary was a holy follower of Christ
C1- it is a good thing to ask Mary to pray for us

Contention 2: Christ Listens to Mary

P1- In John 2 Christ changes water into wine at the request of his mother
C1- Christ will do things at the request of his mother which he may not have otherwise done
C2- Mary's prayers can help us

Both of these contentions will stand or fall on the argument I addressed earlier.

Now I will address the five other arguments which my opponent has introduced in this debate.

Christ is only Intercessor


“My opponent simply fails to address the distinction between mortals on earth praying for one another and a Heavenly Intercessor betwixt man and God, which the Bible clearly teaches is Jesus Christ alone.”

My opponent’s whole argument under this heading initially was that making Mary our ‘intercessor’ makes her take the place of Christ who is the ‘Intercessor’. As I said earlier, and my opponent did not refute, Mary’s intercession is completely different from the kind of supreme intercession we get from Christ. Thus, there is no problem here.

Women and Authority

“My opponent simply fails to address the distinction between mortals on earth praying for one another and a Heavenly Intercessor betwixt man and God, which the Bible clearly teaches is Jesus Christ alone. *Please note that my opponent has avoided my scriptural evidence for women and Authority.”

My opponent is still assuming that for Mary to intercede for us she needs some authority (which I have shown that she doesn’t). I don’t need Scripture here, because I am consistent with my opponent’s Scripture. Please note how my opponent continuously asks for Scripture where it is not needed.

Virginity of Mary

“Here my opponent has avoided my argument by no longer talking about honouring but switching to worship; My (unaddressed) argument, is that by not honouring the facts of ANYONE'S life as they are simply presented we do not honour them and their truth: Hence, when we willfully ignore facts in order to exult someone THEN this is idolatrous worship. *Please note that my opponent has avoided addressing my scriptural evidence for Mary's lack of virginity.”

Once again, Mary’s virginity is a topic which is outside the bounds of this particular debate. If the bible does indeed teach that Mary was not a virgin, then this means that Catholics are stupid not idolatrous. We honor Mary mainly for other reasons than her virginity, so this argument should be ignored.

Luke 11:27-28 & Matthew 12:47-49

Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 3:13-15)

The Christian is called to be knowledgeable, so please give these passages the proper consideration. Notice that my opponent has no rebuttal to my explanations of these bible verses. He merely urges you to ignore my points, and thus drops them himself.

In conclusion, we see that Mary does indeed deserve to be honored for the important part she played in salvation history, that she can help us to reach her Son through her prayers, and that Catholics would never worship a human being instead of God.

I thank DATCMOTO for this very enjoyable debate and look forward to to the results.

DATCMOTO

Con

ROUND 4 Rebuttal.

"Before I begin I would like to make a note that the voters should keep in mind concerning my opponent's last round. Nowhere in this debate was it agreed that every single argument needs Scripture to support it."

My opponent in ROUND 1: " Since we are both Christians, the Bible will be considered the Word of God." this clearly contradicts the above statement. I have provided MULTPLE scriptures NOT single ones.

"My opponent began with arguments against Catholic tradition which have no bearing on this debate. ."

If Christ states that 'your traditions nullify the word of God' and the word of God is our plumb line then it clearly does have a bearing on this debate.

"Honoring Mary
Please keep in mind that I need one of these first two contentions to prove that we should ‘honor' Mary, not that we should ‘pray to her'. That topic is under "Mary's Intercession"."

These topics cannot be separated: if we exult Mary to the same status as Christ we do NOT honour her, if we do not honour the facts of her life regarding virginity etc we do NOT honour her; we worship her.

"P3- Christ honored Mary
"He honoured her; He NEVER prayed to her."
My opponent has proved my point for me. He agrees that Christ ‘honored' Mary which is all that this contention is meant to prove."

Quite the contrary: that Christ honoured Mary is beyond dispute. We are arguing whether Catholics honour Mary. I have conclusively shown they do not

"P2- following Scripture
"There is no command in scripture to pray to Mary."
Once again we are only seeing here that we should ‘honor' Mary which is what this passage is certainly saying."

Praying to Mary Dishonours her as it is an unscriptural man made tradition that nullifies the Word of God.

"C1- We should call Mary ‘blessed'
"Calling Mary blessed honours God, NOT Mary."
I agree that this honors God since it was an act of God to make her Christ's mother, but it also honors Mary since she was the one whose ‘yes' to Gabriel allowed God to make her His mother. Any honor we give to any person (whether it be a parent, glorious war general, or capable political leader) is due to some God given talent. Thus honoring these people also honors God, but it is honor none the less."

To this John replied, "A person can receive only what is given them from heaven."

So, even Mary's 'yes' was a gift from God and so glorifies Him and Him alone. Catholics are simply transferring God and His Sons glory to Mary.

John 5:23
that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.


"Mary's Intercession
Contention 1: prayer is good
P1- others prayers
"Asking others to pray for us and praying to someone in heaven are completely different acts with no connection in scripture what so ever."
My opponent has agreed then that it is a good thing for us to ask people on earth for prayers. What he contests is that the people in heaven are different somehow. What he fails to show, however, is why. Mark 12:26-27 "‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'[d]? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living." Those in heaven are just as alive as those on earth."

I cannot argue 'from omission' -I cannot defend every doctrine that is not in the Bible and so could be true.

Mark 12:24-27
Jesus replied, "Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'[a]? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!"


The above verses refer to judgment day, the resurrection of the DEAD, as that day has not come they must still be dead. (to us, not to God)

"P2- holiness = better prayers
My opponent agreed to this.
P3- Mary was holy
"'Was' being the operative word."
As shown earlier, God is a God of the living and not of the dead. Mary is just as alive to him as you and I. Otherwise, my opponent has agreed that Mary was holy."

God invented time and exists outside of it so, yes, all are alive to Him as all times co-exist for Him. To us, however, who exist in time, Mary is dead.

"C1- Mary's prayers are good
My opponent has agreed that the prayers of holy people (like Mary who he agreed was holy) are helpful. Since God has no reason to accept the prayers of sinners on earth but then refuse the prayers of a saint in heaven, it must be beneficial for us to ask Mary to pray for us (i.e. ask her intercession)."

If Mary is in heaven then so are we and so we may as well pay to ourselves.

"P1- John 2
"Jesus' mother is mentioned first because she was the invited guest at the wedding and Jesus and His disciples had 'also' been invited meaning they were Mary's guests."
Saying that Jesus and his disciples were ‘also' invited in no way means that they were invited by Mary. Additionally, in the ancient world women were never given authority over men, so it would be assumed that Mary had no authority over Christ and his friends unless the Scripture specifically said so.
"Woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My hour has not yet come."
A translation closer to the Greek is "And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come." (http://forums.catholic.com.........) Christ is not showing resentment for Mary overstepping her authority, but rather he is pausing to show that he only does miracles for a purpose rather than desiring to show off at every chance he gets. He obviously hadn't intended to perform the miracle at first, but we see that at Mary's asking he readily complies"

Then why not simply sate that Jesus was invited? why put Mary first?

"Christ is not showing resentment for Mary overstepping her authority, but rather he is pausing to show that he only does miracles for a purpose rather than desiring to show off at every chance he gets."

This obviously false as the story ends with:

John 2:11
What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him


Please note what my opponent stated as referring as to the discernment of scripture; when he has failed to see this simplest of mistakes.

As the numerous Scriptures I have provided (and which have gone largely unaddressed) show, Mary did not remain a virgin after the birth of Jesus Christ.
Not to honour the basic facts of someone's (anyone's) life is to NOT honour them and their truth. We may willfully ignore the facts of someone's life for 2 reasons; Either to denigrate them or to exult them, which is case here.
By ignoring these facts, Catholics exult Mary to a Holier state than scripture allows and is so sinful Idolatry: Worship.
Earthly intercession (prayers) and the Biblical role of 'Heavenly Intercessor' are NOT interchangeable theologies and nowhere has my opponent provided any scriptural evidence to support his contention that they are.
God exists outside of His creation, which includes time, so all times appears to Him simultaneously. However, to us, who are in time, Mary is dead and has not yet been resurrected as, to us, Judgment day has not yet arrived.
If Mary is already in heaven then so are we, so praying to her does not make sense, theologically speaking.
Even if Mary had somehow 'jumped ahead of us' into Heaven it would not solve the problem of women and Spiritual Authority: As the scriptures I have provided (and which have gone largely unaddressed) show, women may not have authority over men.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by christisking 6 years ago
christisking
They are with the vote under the 'votes' tab.
Posted by DATCMOTO 6 years ago
DATCMOTO
So, where do we see the voters comments?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by PartamRuhem 6 years ago
PartamRuhem
christiskingDATCMOTOTied
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Con effectively used scripture, while Pro didn't think he should. Also, he all around refuted Pro's position while strengthening his own.
Vote Placed by feverish 6 years ago
feverish
christiskingDATCMOTOTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: DAT wins the scripture battle, and the central point that there is no scriptural basis for praying to anyone but God/Christ. Fun stuff!
Vote Placed by medic0506 6 years ago
medic0506
christiskingDATCMOTOTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con refuted pro's case, and gets the source vote for using scripture to support his case, this is very important. Pro did not support with scripture, and said that it wasn't necessary to do so.
Vote Placed by CD-Host 6 years ago
CD-Host
christiskingDATCMOTOTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro wins convincing on the intercession debate. Catholics, make a distinction between worship with and worship to conflating is simply misrepresenting the position. Con wins sources on the heavy use of scripture. Pro should have made heavier use of sources like , Fidentem piumque animum, Ineffabilis Deus etc...