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Old 04-04-2001, 09:24 AM   #1
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Post What are angels? Are they evidence for polytheism?

On another thread we got sidetracked about Christian polytheism and Layman made the following statement:

Originally posted by Layman:

Angels are created spiritual beings inferior to God. They are in no sense divine.
[/B]

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01476d.htm
Catholic Encyclopedia, Angels, Opening Paragraph:

(Latin angelus; Greek aggelos; from the Hebrew for "one going" or "one sent"; messenger). The word is used in Hebrew to denote indifferently either a divine or
human messenger. The Septuagint renders it by aggelos which also has both significations. The Latin version, however, distinguishes the divine or spirit-messenger from the human, rendering the original in the one case by angelus and in the other by legatus or more generally by nuntius. In a few passages the Latin version is misleading, the word angelus being used where nuntius would have better expressed the meaning, e.g. Isaiah 18:2; 33:3, 6.

They must in some sense be divine, eh? Or the Cath. Encyl. would hardly be referring to them this way. Further down, we read reference to angels in the writings of church fathers, and concluding:

"The Catholic cult of the angels is thus thoroughly scriptural."

Of course, Christianity is not polytheistic. So there can't be any cult of angels, Mary, saints, holy sites, demons, death and Satan (among the Christian Reich) etc.

Michael
 
Old 04-04-2001, 09:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
On another thread we got sidetracked about Christian polytheism and Layman made the following statement:

Originally posted by Layman:

Angels are created spiritual beings inferior to God. They are in no sense divine.


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01476d.htm
Catholic Encyclopedia, Angels, Opening Paragraph:

(Latin angelus; Greek aggelos; from the Hebrew for "one going" or "one sent"; messenger). The word is used in Hebrew to denote indifferently either a divine or
human messenger. The Septuagint renders it by aggelos which also has both significations. The Latin version, however, distinguishes the divine or spirit-messenger from the human, rendering the original in the one case by angelus and in the other by legatus or more generally by nuntius. In a few passages the Latin version is misleading, the word angelus being used where nuntius would have better expressed the meaning, e.g. Isaiah 18:2; 33:3, 6.

They must in some sense be divine, eh? Or the Cath. Encyl. would hardly be referring to them this way. Further down, we read reference to angels in the writings of church fathers, and concluding:

"The Catholic cult of the angels is thus thoroughly scriptural."

Of course, Christianity is not polytheistic. So there can't be any cult of angels, Mary, saints, holy sites, demons, death and Satan (among the Christian Reich) etc.

Michael[/B]</font>
Oh how the supposed mighty have fallen.

You and Rodahi are moderators of a forum devoted to Biblical Criticism, yet you suggest that Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are polytheistic. Indeed, Rodahi has asserted that Christians consider Satan himself, as well as the angels, to be SUPREME BEINGS! And to support these claims all they fall back on is special pleading. INVENTING their own special definitions for such terms as monotheism, divine, and, apparently, SUPREME BEINGS.

Which leads me to my first point. You forgot to mention that I was responding to Rodahi's assertion that Christianity believed that Angels and Satan were "supreme beings." They are not. As you noted, I said that angels were created spiritual beings inferior to God. In no sense are they divine.

As for my second point, your selective quoting from the Catholic Encyclopedia is hilarious. Nowhere in the article does it suggest that angels are divine beings in any way equal to God. Rather, they are created beings and explicitly affirmed in their role as "divine messengers." What does this mean? Does this mean that they are supreme beings? "Little" supreme beings running errands for the "BIG" supremem being?

No. What it means is clear from the article. "The angels of the Bible generally appear in the role of God's messengers to mankind. They are His instruments by whom He communicates His will to men...." They are divine messengers because they carry messages from the divine to humanity. Not because they are gods.

Of course, if "divine" is interpreted to mean "spirit," then angels would be "divine." However, your quote of me makes it clear that I was not using the term "divine" in such a broad sense (I'm unfamiliar with any Christian using it so broadly). I explicitly stated that angels were spiritual beings.

 
Old 04-04-2001, 10:02 AM   #3
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Originally posted by Layman:
You and Rodahi are moderators of a forum devoted to Biblical Criticism,

Rodahi, not me.

yet you suggest that Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are polytheistic.

What is this "yet" for? You mean, if we're moderators, we can't argue that Christianity is polytheistic? We have to only stick to Christian definitions of Christianity?

Indeed, Rodahi has asserted that Christians consider Satan himself, as well as the angels, to be SUPREME BEINGS! And to support these claims all they fall back on is special pleading. INVENTING their own special definitions for such terms as monotheism, divine, and, apparently, SUPREME BEINGS.

Let's see.....Christianity has a triune god, but is monotheistic....and you claim we're the ones inventing special definitions?

Which leads me to my first point. You forgot to mention that I was responding to Rodahi's assertion that Christianity believed that Angels and Satan were "supreme beings." They are not. As you noted, I said that angels were created spiritual beings inferior to God. In no sense are they divine.

So far, so good.

As for my second point, your selective quoting from the Catholic Encyclopedia is hilarious. Nowhere in the article does it suggest that angels are divine beings in any way equal to God. Rather, they are created beings and explicitly affirmed in their role as "divine messengers." What does this mean? Does this mean that they are supreme beings? "Little" supreme beings running errands for the "BIG" supremem being?

Who said that polytheism implies equality among the gods? If you attack strawmen, you can't blame me if you flail at the air. Polytheisms have all sorts of ranks and powers distributed among the gods. Not all the greek gods were the equal of Zeus. Not all spirits are gods. Not all with supernatural powers are worshipped in a positive way. Polytheisms can be highly articulated and complex, like Christian polytheism, for example.

No. What it means is clear from the article. "The angels of the Bible generally appear in the role of God's messengers to mankind. They are His instruments by whom He communicates His will to men...." They are divine messengers because they carry messages from the divine to humanity. Not because they are gods.

I never said they were "gods." If you read further, they also have certain powers. They ARE minor gods or spirits.

Of course, if "divine" is interpreted to mean "spirit," then angels would be "divine."

Oh, so there IS a sense....

However, your quote of me makes it clear that I was not using the term "divine" in such a broad sense (I'm unfamiliar with any Christian using it so broadly). I explicitly stated that angels were spiritual beings.


So you did. You also explicitly stated "in no sense...." but of course, you have just conceded, "well, yes there is a sense..."

I sympathize. Careful qualification of statements is often difficult.

Michael
 
Old 04-04-2001, 10:13 AM   #4
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"You also explicitly stated "in no sense...." but of course, you have just conceded, "well, yes there is a sense..."

Yes, if YOU define "divine" in a way that I explicitly rejected, you can come up with a definition that renders them divine "in some sense." Of course, I made it clear that I was not using the term in that sense, so all I have conceded is the point I was making in the first place. Your argument is nothing but special pleading.


 
Old 04-04-2001, 10:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Yes, if YOU define "divine" in a way that I explicitly rejected, you can come up with a definition that renders them divine "in some sense." Of course, I made it clear that I was not using the term in that sense, so all I have conceded is the point I was making in the first place. Your argument is nothing but special pleading.

</font>
I thought "in no sense..." means "in no sense...." but to you it means "whatever I damn well say it means, is that clear?"

Now I understand....when you use language, the definitions are clear. When I use language, it is special pleading.

When Muslims claim Christianity is polytheistic, is that special pleading too?

Michael
 
Old 04-04-2001, 10:31 AM   #6
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Layman:
Oh how the supposed mighty have fallen.

You and Rodahi are moderators of a forum devoted to Biblical Criticism, yet you suggest that Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are polytheistic.


I am the moderator for this forum.

If Christians worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, then they worship more than one god.

The Hebrews called Yahweh the "Most High." How can this mythical god have been called "Most High" if there were not lesser gods? I have no comment about Islam, so don't say I said something I did not day.

Layman: Indeed, Rodahi has asserted that Christians consider Satan himself, as well as the angels, to be SUPREME BEINGS!

I most certainly did no such thing. I asked you a couple of questions about your beliefs with respect to angels and Satan. Why did you not quote me, Layman?

Layman: And to support these claims all they fall back on is special pleading. INVENTING their own special definitions for such terms as monotheism, divine, and, apparently, SUPREME BEINGS.

Wrong again, Layman. I have no definition for the imaginary.

Layman: Which leads me to my first point. You forgot to mention that I was responding to Rodahi's assertion that Christianity believed that Angels and Satan were "supreme beings."

I asserted no such thing. I asked you a question. Do you not understand the difference between a question and an assertion?

Layman, in the future, quote me and then respond to my quotes.

rodahi




 
Old 04-04-2001, 10:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
I thought "in no sense..." means "in no sense...." but to you it means "whatever I damn well say it means, is that clear?"

Now I understand....when you use language, the definitions are clear. When I use language, it is special pleading.

When Muslims claim Christianity is polytheistic, is that special pleading too?

Michael
</font>
Actually, if you remember, I said that I understood the argument on the trinity. I just disagree with it. What I found absurd was your statements about belief in angels and satan rendering a belief polytheistic.
 
Old 04-04-2001, 10:44 AM   #8
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From Websters.com:

Main Entry: poly·the·ism
Function: noun
: belief in or worship of more than one god

Main Entry: mono·the·ism
Function: noun
: the doctrine or belief that there is but one God


I cannot believe this subject even makes it onto the boards, but wonders never cease. I used to wonder at how atheists could not even define what a Christian was, now they don't even know what a monotheist is.

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam believe in and worship one God. That this even needs to be said only shows how far intelligent discussion on these boards has slipped. The fact that the moderator of the board has gone so far as to claim Christians think that angels and Satan are supreme beings bodes ill for the future of discussions here as well.

Perhaps this is merely the silly season setting in, but I hope this is not a sign of things to come.

Nomad

[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited April 04, 2001).]
 
Old 04-04-2001, 10:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
[B]As you noted, I said that angels were created spiritual beings inferior to God. In no sense are they divine.[b]</font>
Just curious. Is there now an intermediary level between the human and the divine? If so, when did it come about, and by whom was it instituted? Is this new realm peculiar to Catholicism, or is it shared by other sects as well?

If another, distinctly non-temporal, yet less-than-divine realm has been fabricated, I need to add it to my list of things not to believe in. I like to keep on top of these things; it's a bloody full time job.

Thanks.
 
Old 04-04-2001, 10:52 AM   #10
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Let us recapture the original assertion:

Turton: "No, Christianity is polytheistic. It worships a triune god, Satan, and lesser powers such as angels and saints."

Since you and Turton seem to have abandoned the idea that Christians "worship" Satan (you have, haven't you?), I'll focus on the discussion regarding angels.

"Layman: And I know that some of my Protestant brothers give Catholics a hard time about the prayers to Saints and Angels, but few of them ever suggested that Catholics view the saints and angels as gods."

Despite the fact that I just said that Protestants and Catholics don't view saints and angels as gods, you persisted.

"Rodahi: Does that mean that you don't believe in angels as supreme beings?"

"Layman: No, I do not believe that angels are supreme beings."

Again, despite my explicit rejection of your argument. You persisted.

"Rodahi: What are angels, if they are not supreme beings? BTW, I have no belief in them, do you?"

"Layman: Angels are created spiritual beings inferior to God. They are in no sense divine."


You were clearly suggesting that Christians believed angels (and SATAN) to be supreme beings. In fact, you were down right incredulous that I would deny such a thing. And, BTW, the logical extension does cover Jews and Muslims, since both affirm belief in Angels.

What I want to know is WHERE you EVER heard that Christians, Jews, or Muslims considered angels (and SATAN) to be SUPREME BEINGS?
 
 

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