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KATA_LOUKAN
Aug 16th 2008, 09:47 PM
Hello all,

Quick question-

With regards to 1 Tim. 2:5-6, wouldn't asking a friend to pray for me be in effect creating another mediator?

Me -> friend -> Jesus -> God

I know that this equation must be wrong. How should Christians view this verse?

YoungLink
Aug 16th 2008, 09:59 PM
I think that someone being a mediator must be different as verse 1 says "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession be made for everyone".
I'd say that having someone else pray for you isn't the same as having to have someone in between you and God- they're more support really.

Sold Out
Aug 17th 2008, 03:44 AM
Hello all,

Quick question-

With regards to 1 Tim. 2:5-6, wouldn't asking a friend to pray for me be in effect creating another mediator?

Me -> friend -> Jesus -> God

I know that this equation must be wrong. How should Christians view this verse?

A friend praying for you is not the same. For them to be considered a mediator, you would have to actually pray TO them.

"Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:16

Teke
Aug 17th 2008, 04:38 PM
Hello all,

Quick question-

With regards to 1 Tim. 2:5-6, wouldn't asking a friend to pray for me be in effect creating another mediator?

Me -> friend -> Jesus -> God

I know that this equation must be wrong. How should Christians view this verse?

Doesn't scripture give us plenty examples of holy men, prophets and priests mediating for others in prayer?

Jam 5:16 Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Jesus is Mediator in 1 Tim. 2:5,6, as our High Priest in Heb. 3:1.

Bryan43
Aug 17th 2008, 05:23 PM
Doesn't scripture give us plenty examples of holy men, prophets and priests mediating for others in prayer?

Jam 5:16 Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Jesus is Mediator in 1 Tim. 2:5,6, as our High Priest in Heb. 3:1.


Doesn't scripture give us plenty examples of holy men, prophets and priests mediating for others in prayer?

I am not sure that would be called mediating. A group of people praying on ones behalf is a bunch of people asking God to do something.

remember. all prayers, no matter who prays them, go through Christ. Christ is the one who has to mediate the prays. and petition the father to answer them.

no one speaks directly through the father. Only Christ.

when a bunch of people pray for someone, they are basically asking Christ to mediate for them.

does this make sense?

Oma
Aug 17th 2008, 06:18 PM
A friend praying for you is not the same. For them to be considered a mediator, you would have to actually pray TO them.

"Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:16

I agree; furthermore we ask only our living friends who can sympathise with us to pray with us, but RCs pray to dead saints who can't hear us.

Teke
Aug 17th 2008, 09:36 PM
I am not sure that would be called mediating. A group of people praying on ones behalf is a bunch of people asking God to do something.

remember. all prayers, no matter who prays them, go through Christ. Christ is the one who has to mediate the prays. and petition the father to answer them.

no one speaks directly through the father. Only Christ.

when a bunch of people pray for someone, they are basically asking Christ to mediate for them.

does this make sense?

True. Then I suppose people who pray would be helping to lead others to the mediator. Regular priests aren't mediators, but those who lead others to the Mediator.

However, I don't believe we are to split Father, Son and Holy Spirit up. In the OT God says to ask Him and He will hear. God is one.

My point is that we can't say that if a person prays the Father, He doesn't hear that person just because the Father hasn't revealed the Son to that person yet.

God hears all prayers in heaven and earth as they are joined in Christ.:)

KATA_LOUKAN
Aug 17th 2008, 11:52 PM
A friend praying for you is not the same. For them to be considered a mediator, you would have to actually pray TO them.

This makes sense. Thanks for the help!

TrustGzus
Aug 18th 2008, 02:15 PM
Greetings Kata Loukan,

Read the entire paragraph . . .
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and human beings, Christ Jesus, himself human, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. 2005 (1 Ti 2:1-7). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.


First of all, if what you are proposing is true, then Paul contradicts himself within the one paragraph. Why? Because in verse 1-2 Paul tells us to pray for everyone - for kings and those in authority, i.e. be a mediator as you defined it.

Secondly, if you read 3-7, it's pretty clear that when speaking of Jesus being a mediator, he is claiming that this is in the context of a mediator between us and God's wrath.

Notice the word for at the beginning of verse 5. This connects it to the previous thought. God wants all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one mediator between God and human beings, Jesus.

Then Paul expands on that . . . Jesus gave himself as a ransom. People were eyewitnesses to that. And it is for that purpose that Paul has been commissioned as a herald of the message.

Grace & peace to you,

Joe

TrustGzus
Aug 18th 2008, 02:20 PM
I might add that the title of the thread is responding to a Catholic claim. The Roman Catholics encourage something we don't find Paul or anyone doing, i.e. praying to the dead and asking them to pray for us. Prayer in the Bible is directed to God. Roman Catholics pray for the dead and pray to the dead. There are no passages teaching or encouraging us to pray to the dead or for the dead.

Roman Catholics will often tell us that praying to the dead is like us asking friends to pray for us. However, that's not what it is like. That's just an attempt on their part to justify a practice that has no biblical basis. Having living people pray for us is all over the Bible and as I demonstrated, even in the passage you brought up Paul encourages living people to pray for other living people.

Grace & Peace to you,

Joe

Teke
Aug 18th 2008, 06:52 PM
Thing is, first you have to convince the catholic that they are dead and Jesus didn't really mean what He said in John 3:15, 6:54, 11:26 etc. And that worship, which includes prayers, only happens on earth and not in heaven.

TrustGzus
Aug 18th 2008, 07:32 PM
The problem I see, Teke, is that I agree with everything you said depending on the meaning poured into the words. If a Roman Catholic wants to use any of that to teach their view that we should pray to deceased human beings, that would be quite a stretch from those passages or from the claim that worship happens in Heaven.

All of those verses in John speak of followers of Jesus having eternal life. However, it is completely obvious that he did not mean that our bodies do not die. Surely, we all physically die. Even Jesus physically died and didn't have eternal life in a physical sense at the time he spoke those words. None of those verses are in passages that encourage praying/communicating to the physically deceased.

As for worship and prayers happening in Heaven, surely the Bible teaches that. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. Then there is the book of Revelation. But again, that's prayer directed to God. That's a long way from the Roman Catholic belief of praying to physically deceased human beings. The burden of proof that we should pray/communicate with the physically deceased rests on them. It's not upon the non-Roman Catholics to prove that we should not do that.

seamus414
Aug 18th 2008, 08:36 PM
This makes sense. Thanks for the help!

You pray to the living to request their intercession just as you would pray to the dead to request their intercession.

seamus414
Aug 18th 2008, 08:47 PM
The problem I see, Teke, is that I agree with everything you said depending on the meaning poured into the words. If a Roman Catholic wants to use any of that to teach their view that we should pray to deceased human beings, that would be quite a stretch from those passages or from the claim that worship happens in Heaven.

All of those verses in John speak of followers of Jesus having eternal life. However, it is completely obvious that he did not mean that our bodies do not die. Surely, we all physically die. Even Jesus physically died and didn't have eternal life in a physical sense at the time he spoke those words. None of those verses are in passages that encourage praying/communicating to the physically deceased.

As for worship and prayers happening in Heaven, surely the Bible teaches that. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. Then there is the book of Revelation. But again, that's prayer directed to God. That's a long way from the Roman Catholic belief of praying to physically deceased human beings. The burden of proof that we should pray/communicate with the physically deceased rests on them. It's not upon the non-Roman Catholics to prove that we should not do that.


The issue of "burden of proof" is an interesting one. Why would the RC have the burden?

Praying to dead believers has been practiced by Christians since the dawn of Christianity. The FIRST time it was questioned in any real way was in the 16th Century. Why would those whose practice is consistent with unbroken Christian practice for its first 15 centuries be under the burden, as opposed to those with the new and innovative teaching being presented (i.e.: discouraging the practice) in the 16th Century?

Also, I note that while the argument is being made that the Bible allegedly does not encourage the practice, I also see no arguments being made that the Bible actually discourages the practice. Therefore, this issue lies in that area where the Bible is silent on the matter. It neither commands/encourages or prohibits/discourages. Therefore, this matter ought to be left up to the individual and his/her personal conscience as opposed to creating some sort of dogmatic teaching one way or the other and judging those who are the opposite of your view.

Teke
Aug 18th 2008, 11:56 PM
You pray to the living to request their intercession just as you would pray to the dead to request their intercession.

No one "pray"s to the living, whether they be in heaven or on earth to request prayer. A request is a request.

This subject is basically a moot point between groups, as both use different canons of scripture. Catholics use the canon of scripture which includes this concept (Maccabees to be specific) , Protestants don't. Which is why there is no point in either trying to convince the other of their belief with their canon of scripture.

So even with "scripture" it is not going to be settled. But as you've pointed out, some follow the old beliefs, others the new. It's an individual choice in the end.

It wasn't my intention to debate the point in this thread. Just point out what the catholic believes according to scriptures that Protestants use.

Personally I don't see the finality of bodily death, but a beginning. 1 Cor. 15

Bryan43
Aug 19th 2008, 12:36 AM
Maccabees to be specific


And who states maccabees is scripture.

maccabees talks about making repentance for the dead. where in mosaic law is this introduced? Where did they get the knowledge that dead people need to have forgiveness??

This was a pegan belief and pegan ritual. since it is not spoken of by God or any instruction in doing this. this must be questioned as not being from God. but an adding of a pegan ritual to Gods laws. Which is why many deny maccabees to be cannon of scripture.

yes it is a historical record. but cannon of scripture? Inspired by god??

I doubt it

ravenlorre
Aug 19th 2008, 01:19 AM
There are no passages teaching or encouraging us to pray to the dead or for the dead.

Umm... the transfiguration is clearly demonstrative of Jesus and saints communicating with the living who have passed from a mortal existence (Matthew 17:3,4; Mark 9:4; Luke 9:30 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2017:3,4;%20Mark%209:4;%20Luke%209 :30)).

Roman Catholics will often tell us that praying to the dead is like us asking friends to pray for us. However, that's not what it is like. That's just an attempt on their part to justify a practice that has no biblical basis.

See above

Having living people pray for us is all over the Bible and as I demonstrated, even in the passage you brought up Paul encourages living people to pray for other living people.

Romans 8:39 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=8&verse=39&version=31&context=verse)
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

9:14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

Nothing separates us from the love of Christ - not even death! Therefore - all Christians - dead or alive are still members of the Body of Christ.

KATA_LOUKAN
Aug 19th 2008, 02:05 AM
I might add that the title of the thread is responding to a Catholic claim.

The Catholics claim that asking a living person to pray for you is like asking a dead person to pray for you. They argue that these are mediators and to acknowledge that Mary is a mediator in no way invalidates this verse.

Although what does the word "mediator" mean?

It is pretty clearly a party who acts on behalf of two parties who are at odds with one another (God and Man). Because of this, Jesus acts as a person who can solve the dispute between us.

seamus414
Aug 19th 2008, 03:19 AM
The Catholics claim that asking a living person to pray for you is like asking a dead person to pray for you. They argue that these are mediators and to acknowledge that Mary is a mediator in no way invalidates this verse.

Although what does the word "mediator" mean?

It is pretty clearly a party who acts on behalf of two parties who are at odds with one another (God and Man). Because of this, Jesus acts as a person who can solve the dispute between us.


Good question. Anyone who does something on behalf of someone else is a mediator. Therefore, a living person praying for a living person mediates for that person. However, this does not diminish the One Mediator as he mediates to God on our behalf for sins which no saint, living or dead, can do and no one (not even the Romanists) believe they can do. Mediation through prayer for one another is not the same sort of atoning mediation Christ performs. So, to compare the two is in error.

seamus414
Aug 19th 2008, 03:22 AM
And who states maccabees is scripture.

maccabees talks about making repentance for the dead. where in mosaic law is this introduced? Where did they get the knowledge that dead people need to have forgiveness??

This was a pegan belief and pegan ritual. since it is not spoken of by God or any instruction in doing this. this must be questioned as not being from God. but an adding of a pegan ritual to Gods laws. Which is why many deny maccabees to be cannon of scripture.

yes it is a historical record. but cannon of scripture? Inspired by god??

I doubt it



Maccabees was always in the Christian canon until someone decided to take it out after 1500 years of unbroken practice. HOwever, there is only one verse in Maccabees relating to prayers for the dead. The teaching does not rely on that verse as has been seen by other posts here.

Athanasius
Aug 19th 2008, 04:05 AM
There are no passages teaching or encouraging us to pray to the dead or for the dead.

Umm... the transfiguration is clearly demonstrative of Jesus and saints communicating with the living who have passed from a mortal existence (Matthew 17:3,4; Mark 9:4; Luke 9:30 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2017:3,4;%20Mark%209:4;%20Luke%209 :30)).
Nothing here suggests prayer.



Roman Catholics will often tell us that praying to the dead is like us asking friends to pray for us. However, that's not what it is like. That's just an attempt on their part to justify a practice that has no biblical basis.

See above

See above.



Having living people pray for us is all over the Bible and as I demonstrated, even in the passage you brought up Paul encourages living people to pray for other living people.

Romans 8:39 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=8&verse=39&version=31&context=verse)
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

9:14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."

Nothing separates us from the love of Christ - not even death! Therefore - all Christians - dead or alive are still members of the Body of Christ.


Non-sequitur.

ravenlorre
Aug 19th 2008, 04:17 AM
[quote=Xel'Naga;1754808]Nothing here suggests prayer.

How so? Because the word 'prayer' is not used? Prayer is simply communication; which obviously occurred between Jesus, the disciples and two of the patriarchs.

blessings

Athanasius
Aug 19th 2008, 04:21 AM
How so? Because the word 'prayer' is not used? Prayer is simply communication; which obviously occurred between Jesus, the disciples and two of the patriarchs.

blessings

Too many people simplify prayer to just 'talking' - it isn't. 'Talking to God' and 'praying to God' are two completely different things.

SIG
Aug 19th 2008, 04:28 AM
One Christian praying on behalf of another is not mediating, but interceding.

In effect, that person is praying with you--though not necessarily present with you.

As for prayers to the dead--we pray only to the (eternally) living; that is, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

ravenlorre
Aug 19th 2008, 04:39 AM
One Christian praying on behalf of another is not mediating, but interceding.

In effect, that person is praying with you--though not necessarily present with you.

Yep - so how does physical death divide us from our brothers and sisters in Christ?

As for prayers to the dead--we pray only to the (eternally) living; that is, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 22:32 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=47&chapter=22&verse=32&version=31&context=verse)
'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."

Mark 12:27 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=48&chapter=12&verse=27&version=31&context=verse)
He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!"

Luke 20:38 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=49&chapter=20&verse=38&version=31&context=verse)
He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."

blessings

ravenlorre
Aug 19th 2008, 04:42 AM
Too many people simplify prayer to just 'talking' - it isn't. 'Talking to God' and 'praying to God' are two completely different things.

Verse?

I agree with you that there is a difference between prayer and worship; the Bible is clear that worship is reserved for God alone.

blessings

Athanasius
Aug 19th 2008, 04:43 AM
Verse?

I agree with you that there is a difference between prayer and worship; the Bible is clear that worship is reserved for God alone.

blessings


Verse... For what? For my claim that 'talking to God' and 'praying to God' are different? Why don't you first provide verses "suggesting" that prayer is simply talking and we'll go from there.

By the way, I've not said anything about prayer and its relationship to worship. Please stay away from sophism, I don't appreciate it (nor will it be effective ;)).

The Parson
Aug 19th 2008, 04:50 AM
Everybody. This thread is getting a bit towards unorthodox apologetics. Moving the thread to Controversial Issues.

ravenlorre
Aug 19th 2008, 04:52 AM
I have been asked to stop this conversation and I will respect the moderators wishes/demands.

Thanks for talking with me.

blessings

seamus414
Aug 19th 2008, 11:54 AM
Too many people simplify prayer to just 'talking' - it isn't. 'Talking to God' and 'praying to God' are two completely different things.


What is your BIblical support for this distinction?

When you "talk to God" are you not praying?

HisLeast
Aug 19th 2008, 12:15 PM
Yep - so how does physical death divide us from our brothers and sisters in Christ?

Pretty thoroughly I'd say.
One thing I find interesting is that the only entities people supplicate to throughout all of scripture are (1) God (2) idols. Well... there was Saul too, who had the which of Endor summon Samuel to advise beyond the grave. That didn't work out too well did it?

If thats not enough you can regard the story of Lazarus and the rich man.

If thats not enough you can look for precedent among the old and new testaments. As yet I have found no examples such as Moses praying/supplicating to Abraham, Joshua or David praying/supplicating to Moses, Solomon praying/supplicating to David, or Jesus or his disciples praying to any of the OT saints. Just doesn't happen.

seamus414
Aug 19th 2008, 12:23 PM
HisLeast
One thing I find interesting is that the only entities people supplicate to throughout all of scripture are (1) God (2) idols.

The lack of an example does not mean that a third option is ruled out. It merely means the third option was never written down in time to be included.

Well... there was Saul too, who had the which of Endor summon Samuel to advise beyond the grave. That didn't work out too well did it?

No one here is suggesting divination, so this passage is irrelevant.

If thats not enough you can regard the story of Lazarus and the rich man.

This passage is not supportive of your position as it shows the dead praying for the living.

If thats not enough you can look for precedent among the old and new testaments. As yet I have found no examples such as Moses praying/supplicating to Abraham, Joshua or David praying/supplicating to Moses, Solomon praying/supplicating to David, or Jesus or his disciples praying to any of the OT saints. Just doesn't happen.

Again, just because it was not written down does not mean it is prohibited. Also, the terms of the Old Covenant were different than the New so I doubt you'd find examples of it there.

HisLeast
Aug 19th 2008, 01:13 PM
The lack of an example does not mean that a third option is ruled out. It merely means the third option was never written down in time to be included.With something as important as prayer and supplication, I think there would either be a stated allowance or a firm precedent. I can believe 88 different flavors of crazy if I start plugging in holes of "doesn't say I can't" with things that make me feel nice. Lets not forget Jesus showed us how and who to pray to, specifically, no mention of "you can also pray to your dead friends".


No one here is suggesting divination, so this passage is irrelevant.Divination. Prayer to the dead saints. Tom-ae-to, Tom-ah-to. This is as clear a prohibition to praying/supplication to the dead as you can get.


If thats not enough you can regard the story of Lazarus and the rich man.
(1)This passage is not supportive of your position as it (2)shows the dead praying for the living.(1) Yes it is, and (2) no it doesn't.


Again, just because it was not written down does not mean it is prohibited. Also, the terms of the Old Covenant were different than the New so I doubt you'd find examples of it there.Not only not written down... but clearly outlawed, and with precedent. And again, I can believe 88 different flavors of crazy if I start plugging in holes of "doesn't say I can't" with things that make me feel nice.

seamus414
Aug 19th 2008, 01:29 PM
With something as important as prayer and supplication, I think there would either be a stated allowance or a firm precedent. I can believe 88 different flavors of crazy if I start plugging in holes of "doesn't say I can't" with things that make me feel nice. Lets not forget Jesus showed us how and who to pray to, specifically, no mention of "you can also pray to your dead friends".

Divination. Prayer to the dead saints. Tom-ae-to, Tom-ah-to. This is as clear a prohibition to praying/supplication to the dead as you can get.

(1) Yes it is, and (2) no it doesn't.

Not only not written down... but clearly outlawed, and with precedent. And again, I can believe 88 different flavors of crazy if I start plugging in holes of "doesn't say I can't" with things that make me feel nice.


The Parable of Lazurus has a dead man praying to God for the benefit of someone who is alive. That cannot be denied.

As to the rest of it, you're right, someone can believe in a lot and most of it may be sort of crazy. As far as I am concerned, if something does not conflict with Scripture and does not hurt one's spiritual life, then a belief in XYZ is fine *for that person* - certainly not a dogmatic statement - but for that person, why not?

I think the the prayerful intercession of deceased believers is a little different in that it is not something that someone made up suddenly and tried to shoe horn into Christian teaching. The practice was present amongst the earliest of Christians and has existed ever since.

In my mind, the question ought to be, why and on what authority, after 1500 years of unbroken Christian practice, is something now considered essentially anathema?

In my opinion, I think the Bible is essentially silent on the matter, therefore, the matter ought to be left up to the individual conscience.

HisLeast
Aug 19th 2008, 01:39 PM
The Parable of Lazurus has a dead man praying to God for the benefit of someone who is alive. That cannot be denied.
After a closer second look, I can concede this. However, nobody in the land of the living were aware of it. There were no prayers from his family coming over the barrier. We don't even know if he could "see" his family from the other side.


As to the rest of it, you're right, someone can believe in a lot and most of it may be sort of crazy. As far as I am concerned, if something does not conflict with Scripture and does not hurt one's spiritual life, then a belief in XYZ is fine *for that person* - certainly not a dogmatic statement - but for that person, why not?
I guess where we differ is that I see it as conflicting with scripture. (the supplication to dead brethren)


I think the the prayerful intercession of deceased believers is a little different in that it is not something that someone made up suddenly and tried to shoe horn into Christian teaching. The practice was present amongst the earliest of Christians and has existed ever since.
It could very well be that where ever the dead are, they pray for us. Its outside my ability to observe. What seems clear to me is that the physically living and the dead are separated and unable to reach one another. Those who try (Saul) are playing with fire.


In my mind, the question ought to be, why and on what authority, after 1500 years of unbroken Christian practice, is something now considered essentially anathema?
Old doesn't necessarily mean valuable. You should read one of my ex-girlfriend's (one of the US top experts in medieval literature) papers on what church doctrine was regarding the bodies of the saints. The idea was that saints don't decompose. How could they? They're saints after all! Of course, if you got curious and took a peak, that act of faithlessness would cause the body to decompose before you witnessed it. Clearly we know better now, but thats a belief the early church held.


In my opinion, I think the Bible is essentially silent on the matter, therefore, the matter ought to be left up to the individual conscience.
And I guess thats where we disagree. I see Jesus' clear instruction on prayer + precedent of Saul + the rich man's dilemma + lack of positive command or precedent as very telling.

seamus414
Aug 19th 2008, 01:50 PM
HisLeast
I guess where we differ is that I see it as conflicting with scripture. (the supplication to dead brethren)

Are you referring to Saul/Samuel/Endor? I will look into that passage to see how it relates to prayers to the saints.

It could very well be that where ever the dead are, they pray for us.

I think the book of Revelation indicates that the dead do in fact pray for us. I think the issue becomes whether we can ask them to pray for certain things specifically.

Old doesn't necessarily mean valuable. You should read one of my ex-girlfriend's (one of the US top experts in medieval literature) papers on what church doctrine was regarding the bodies of the saints. The idea was that saints don't decompose. How could they? They're saints after all! Of course, if you got curious and took a peak, that act of faithlessness would cause the body to decompose before you witnessed it. Clearly we know better now, but thats a belief the early church held.

Actually, many Christians still believe that God can hold a person's body incorruptable. Although the idea of looking into a casket would cause corruption is merely superstition.

Check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Incorruptibles

This is a list of the bodys so far found to be incorruptable. The standards are pretty high for incorruptability to be found (i.e.: no embalming, no stiffness, no caskets which are air tight to prevent decay). Many of these folks are laying in physical rest in a glass casket for all to see.

And I guess thats where we disagree. I see Jesus' clear instruction on prayer + precedent of Saul + the rich man's dilemma + lack of positive command or precedent as very telling.

I think we disagree on how much influence we should allow unbroken practice to have. You (apparenly) allow it no influence and the practice should be proscribed. I allow it to have enough influence that I think we should allow the matter up to the individual conscience. Romanists think it has so much influence that the practice should be dogmatized.

Theophilus
Aug 19th 2008, 02:00 PM
Hold on...the rich man was speaking to Father Abraham...not praying to God the Father. We may bandy semantics around whether talking to God and praying to God are one in the same...but here, God is not being addressed: Abraham is. :)

Athanasius
Aug 19th 2008, 02:13 PM
What is your BIblical support for this distinction?

When you "talk to God" are you not praying?

The question isn't: 'what's the Biblical support that praying isn't simply talking'. The question is: 'what's the Biblical support that prayer is simply talking' (Where in the Bible is the answer of 'Just talk to God' given where the question 'How must I pray' is asked?). Since this was the first [positive] claim made, I wish to see it's scriptural support. After I see it's support, I'll answer in defense of my [negative].

Must I talk to pray to God? Absolutely. But is all talking to God praying to God? I would not say so. I praise God with my lips, but is praise simply talking? No. I worship God with my lips, but is all worship simply talking? No. In the same way, I pray to God with my lips, but prayer is not simply talking.

Though this is superfluous. The simplification of prayer to talking is pure sophism. The real issue is this: is there any biblical support for praying for the dead? No. See, I can defend my position (after you explain yours) in claiming that prayer isn't simply talking. But you cannot defend your position that we must pray for the dead.

seamus414
Aug 19th 2008, 02:17 PM
The question isn't: 'what's the Biblical support that praying isn't simply talking'. The question is: 'what's the Biblical support that prayer is simply talking' (Where in the Bible is the answer of 'Just talk to God' given where the question 'How must I pray' is asked?). Since this was the first [positive] claim made, I wish to see it's scriptural support. After I see it's support, I'll answer in defense of my [negative].

Must I talk to pray to God? Absolutely. But is all talking to God praying to God? I would not say so. I praise God with my lips, but is praise simply talking? No. I worship God with my lips, but is all worship simply talking? No. In the same way, I pray to God with my lips, but prayer is not simply talking.

Though this is superfluous. The simplification of prayer to talking is pure sophism. The real issue is this: is there any biblical support for praying for the dead? No. See, I can defend my position (after you explain yours) in claiming that prayer isn't simply talking. But you cannot defend your position that we must pray for the dead.


I think raising an issue over the term "talking" is merely a semantical argument that is not worth much as I am sure those who say they "talk to God" are not using the term "talk" as a term of art nor are they using the phrase without respect/reverance.

Relative to prayers for the dead, I never said that "we must prat for the dead."

Athanasius
Aug 19th 2008, 02:27 PM
Relative to prayers for the dead, I never said that "we must pray for the dead."

Oh, that I completely understand. What I'm saying, however, is that any praying for the dead is inappropriate.

seamus414
Aug 19th 2008, 03:25 PM
Oh, that I completely understand. What I'm saying, however, is that any praying for the dead is inappropriate.

I think the issue comes down to whether one believes, as Teke mentioned above, whether Christians, who achieve eternal life are, in fact, not dead (Mark 12:27).

TrustGzus
Aug 19th 2008, 03:32 PM
Greetings Jim,
The issue of "burden of proof" is an interesting one. Why would the RC have the burden?Roman Catholicism makes the claim. The one who makes an affirmative claim should prove it. For example, I claim the Bible is something special. I claim it is the Word of God. A non-Christian has every right to expect me to back that up. I shouldn't use an argument against them saying prove it's not the Word of God. Same thing here. Roman Catholics make the affirmative claim. They need to provide the reasoning.
Praying to dead believers has been practiced by Christians since the dawn of Christianity. The FIRST time it was questioned in any real way was in the 16th Century. Why would those whose practice is consistent with unbroken Christian practice for its first 15 centuries be under the burden, as opposed to those with the new and innovative teaching being presented (i.e.: discouraging the practice) in the 16th Century?My response is that in every letter in the New Testament, the writers correct the churches that have gone off course. Look at the book of Revelation and we see by then that some churches were very much off course.

I don't know if the church has taught this from the dawn of Christianity (post the time of the writing of the Bible). But even if it has, that doesn't mean it is correct.

Without Scripture to back this up, the appeal to the ancientness of a belief is potentially committing one or two logical fallacies. One is the logical fallacy of Argumentum ab Annis (argument because of age). On the one hand, just because a teaching is old doesn't make it correct. On the other hand, just because a teaching is new doesn't automatically make it improved. The other could be Consensus Gentium. Even if most people have believed this throughout time (again, I cannot affirm or deny that) doesn't make it true. Scripture is the final authority.

So, I gladly hand my Bible to any who claim we should pray to the dead and say show me where.
Also, I note that while the argument is being made that the Bible allegedly does not encourage the practice, I also see no arguments being made that the Bible actually discourages the practice. Therefore, this issue lies in that area where the Bible is silent on the matter. It neither commands/encourages or prohibits/discourages. Therefore, this matter ought to be left up to the individual and his/her personal conscience as opposed to creating some sort of dogmatic teaching one way or the other and judging those who are the opposite of your view.I would say contrary to your last sentence that I am not judging people ("judging those"). I am judging a teaching. This we are commanded to do. Simply because the Bible doesn't discourage something doesn't mean I should be encouraged to do it. It doesn't say we cannot bark like a dog in the spirit or roar like a lion in the spirit. Should I accept those as valid due to the fact that in regard to the Bible those are silent issues? I think we should be careful how we use the Bible is silent argument. The Bible has much to say about prayer. Every time it is always directed toward God. When something is always directed to God in Scripture, I think directing it towards deceased humans is not wise.

Teke added that we will never settle this issue with Scripture because Roman Catholics have a different canon. I disagree with her. The main passage I know of that Roman Catholics use is 2 Maccabbess 12:42-46. But this only supports prayers for the dead, not to the dead.

38 Judas rallied his army and went to the city of Adullam. As the week was ending, they purified themselves according to custom and kept the sabbath there.

39 On the following day, since the task had now become urgent, Judas and his men went to gather up the bodies of the slain and bury them with their kinsmen in their ancestral tombs.

40 But under the tunic of each of the dead they found amulets sacred to the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear. So it was clear to all that this was why these men had been slain.

41 They all therefore praised the ways of the Lord, the just judge who brings to light the things that are hidden.

42 Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out. The noble Judas warned the soldiers to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen.

43 He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view;

44 for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death.

45 But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought.

46 Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.

Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Board of Trustees, Catholic Church. National Conference of Catholic Bishops, & United States Catholic Conference. Administrative Board. (1996, c1986). The New American Bible : Translated from the original languages with critical use of all the ancient sources and the revised New Testament (2 Mac 12:38). Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.


So I am not even aware of where the Roman Catholic canon supports praying to the dead. I know of a couple New Testament single verses that they try to use to support the practice. Those are great stretches on their part.

Grace & peace to you, my friend.

Joe

redeemedbyhim
Aug 19th 2008, 03:34 PM
If it is possible to pray to the dead, can someone give me a scripture that says when we're dead, gone to heaven, that we can now hear and see what is being said and or done by the living on the earth?

seamus414
Aug 19th 2008, 03:49 PM
TrustGzus
So, I gladly hand my Bible to any who claim we should pray to the dead and say show me where.

I snipped the rest of your posts because you make good points. I kept the above because it is the root of the issue. This subject may require another thread, but I will at least make my point here for the time being.

Relative to the above, 2 points:

First point:
As I said in another post, the issue is authority. For you, apparently, the authority of 1500+ years of unbroken Christian practice does not have any weight for you. For Romanists, it is extremely weighty. For me, it holds some but not definitive weight. The weight one gives this source of authorty decides the issue.

Second point:
I, like you, believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. However, we differ in how much weight we give various alternative sources of authority (assuming any weight is given at all). I simply do not understand how Christian practice can be given so little authoritative wright. Here is why: (1) for 400 years, no unified and agreed upon NT existed, therefore Christians had to rely on alternative sources of authortity at times because the NT did not exist; (2) Christians who reject the authority of historic Christian practice appear to accept it (generally without acknowledging their acceptance) when they accept the canon of Scripture. The canon of Scripture was selected by the Body of Believers through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we have two sources of extra-biblical authority (i.e.: Body of Believers and the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit) interacting in the discernment of the third, the Bible. Without the practice of the Body of Believers and the decisions it made, we would not have the BIble. THE POINT: If you trust the decision of the Body of Believers to create the canon of Scripture, I simply do not see how you cannot trust it to make other decisions.

Teke
Aug 19th 2008, 03:57 PM
Are you referring to Saul/Samuel/Endor? I will look into that passage to see how it relates to prayers to the saints.


It doesn't really. Saul was incorrect in his approach. He could have merely asked Samuel himself. Saul went against his own command to not have others speak for yourself with those who had went to be with the Lord. As has been said in this thread, there is only one Mediator.

__________________________

As for what is part of the canon of scripture, such as Maccabees and other writings such as book of Enoch which also includes Noah's father crying out to his father Enoch for help in his time of confusion at Noah's miraculous birth, isn't that left up to the individual church to decide what is canon to them. IOW just because some don't understand, doesn't mean no one understands, or should understand.
ie. my church includes Maccabees, but not Enoch, however other churches in the east do include the book of Enoch as part of their canon. Who am I to judge.

____________________________

"the rich man was speaking to Father Abraham" Good point Theo. :)

____________________________

Just to comment on this His Least. "Old doesn't necessarily mean valuable. You should read one of my ex-girlfriend's (one of the US top experts in medieval literature) papers on what church doctrine was regarding the bodies of the saints. The idea was that saints don't decompose. How could they? They're saints after all! Of course, if you got curious and took a peak, that act of faithlessness would cause the body to decompose before you witnessed it. Clearly we know better now, but thats a belief the early church held."

There are different aspects to this. But the main teaching of the church was always to see the body as a holy relic. Which is why they taught not to burn the body if possible. It's basically a tradition from Israel OT that the church carried on. ie. patriarchs like Joseph for example, who's body was taken with the Israelites from Egypt. Ex. 13:19 Heb. 11:22

TrustGzus
Aug 19th 2008, 04:01 PM
TrustGzus
So, I gladly hand my Bible to any who claim we should pray to the dead and say show me where.

I snipped the rest of your posts because you make good points. I kept the above because it is the root of the issue. This subject may require another thread, but I will at least make my point here for the time being.
Hey Jim,

You're right that this should be another thread. Why don't you take your reply, cut-and-paste it into a new thread with an appropriate title and let's talk about there. PM me with the title and we'll chat in there.

Sound good to you?

Joe

Teke
Aug 19th 2008, 05:18 PM
TrustGzus
So, I gladly hand my Bible to any who claim we should pray to the dead and say show me where.

I snipped the rest of your posts because you make good points. I kept the above because it is the root of the issue. This subject may require another thread, but I will at least make my point here for the time being.

Relative to the above, 2 points:

First point:
As I said in another post, the issue is authority. For you, apparently, the authority of 1500+ years of unbroken Christian practice does not have any weight for you. For Romanists, it is extremely weighty. For me, it holds some but not definitive weight. The weight one gives this source of authorty decides the issue.

Second point:
I, like you, believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. However, we differ in how much weight we give various alternative sources of authority (assuming any weight is given at all). I simply do not understand how Christian practice can be given so little authoritative wright. Here is why: (1) for 400 years, no unified and agreed upon NT existed, therefore Christians had to rely on alternative sources of authortity at times because the NT did not exist; (2) Christians who reject the authority of historic Christian practice appear to accept it (generally without acknowledging their acceptance) when they accept the canon of Scripture. The canon of Scripture was selected by the Body of Believers through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we have two sources of extra-biblical authority (i.e.: Body of Believers and the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit) interacting in the discernment of the third, the Bible. Without the practice of the Body of Believers and the decisions it made, we would not have the BIble. THE POINT: If you trust the decision of the Body of Believers to create the canon of Scripture, I simply do not see how you cannot trust it to make other decisions.


I am in agreement with you on this. It is mind boggling. There are so many arguments that can be made with a wooden translation. For instance, notice how many times the English translates "I pray ye", and this in relation to living persons.

In that wooden literal sense, living persons are praying to other living persons.

It is all in how one sees it and what they are able to accept. Degrees of grace and faith are involved.

HisLeast
Aug 19th 2008, 05:35 PM
Just to comment on this His Least. "Old doesn't necessarily mean valuable. You should read one of my ex-girlfriend's (one of the US top experts in medieval literature) papers on what church doctrine was regarding the bodies of the saints. The idea was that saints don't decompose. How could they? They're saints after all! Of course, if you got curious and took a peak, that act of faithlessness would cause the body to decompose before you witnessed it. Clearly we know better now, but thats a belief the early church held."

There are different aspects to this. But the main teaching of the church was always to see the body as a holy relic. Which is why they taught not to burn the body if possible. It's basically a tradition from Israel OT that the church carried on. ie. patriarchs like Joseph for example, who's body was taken with the Israelites from Egypt. Ex. 13:19 Heb. 11:22

Never the less, "accepted thought" was that the body of the saint was miraculously preserved (read: no decomposition, not some). Accepted thought was also that testing the rule resulted in the body decomposing, resulting in a non-testable dogma. Its what people thought. People way before us. But its patently ridiculous. Therefore: older doesn't equal valuable.

seamus414
Aug 19th 2008, 06:00 PM
Never the less, "accepted thought" was that the body of the saint was miraculously preserved (read: no decomposition, not some). Accepted thought was also that testing the rule resulted in the body decomposing, resulting in a non-testable dogma. Its what people thought. People way before us. But its patently ridiculous. Therefore: older doesn't equal valuable.


Let's clarify something here. There is a difference between official teaching and superstition. An incorruptable body is something is still taught to be possible and still has recorded instances of occuring (see the link I posted above). The idea that decomposition would begin if someone looked is a superstition and never taught. Indeed, Christians have been exuming bodies to check for corrpution for centuries with church sanction!

In your critique you seem to miss an important point: Christians have engaged in the practice since the begining. WHere was the opposition to this practice in the 1, 2, 3,4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, etc centuries? Those closest to the APostles would know if something was acceptable or not and they support the practice. It is just not an issue of age, it is an issue of unbroken accepted practice since the begining without contest until the 1500s.

KATA_LOUKAN
Aug 19th 2008, 06:44 PM
Good question. Anyone who does something on behalf of someone else is a mediator. Therefore, a living person praying for a living person mediates for that person. However, this does not diminish the One Mediator as he mediates to God on our behalf for sins which no saint, living or dead, can do and no one (not even the Romanists) believe they can do. Mediation through prayer for one another is not the same sort of atoning mediation Christ performs. So, to compare the two is in error.

Christ is the only mediator.

When anyone (dead or alive, but the issue of the dead praying for us is not what I am talking about now) prays for us, that is intercession.

Being a MEDIATOR means resolving a dispute between two people. Intercessory prayer does not resolve a dispute with God and the offending party. Hence the intro to the verse. Nobody can ask God to take away my sins except Jesus himself. He is mediating the conflict between fallen nature and God's perfection.

But, the Catholics bring up a good point. If the dead are alive (as noted in the Bible), then what is wrong with asking an alive person to pray for you?

Teke
Aug 19th 2008, 06:51 PM
Never the less, "accepted thought" was that the body of the saint was miraculously preserved (read: no decomposition, not some). Accepted thought was also that testing the rule resulted in the body decomposing, resulting in a non-testable dogma. Its what people thought. People way before us. But its patently ridiculous. Therefore: older doesn't equal valuable.

I've never heard of such. Maybe I'm not understanding what you mean by "testing the rule". The bodies are displayed at certain times. Wouldn't that be a test.

Admittedly I'm no authority on the matter. But assuredly it isn't about "no decomposition", but the lingering of the life giving font of the Holy Spirit in the saint from what I understand.

As for older equaling valuable, that would also have to equate to disregard for elder input. Elders may say things to young people that they don't understand right away, but do eventually. So I wouldn't negate their value. That'd be like not honoring father and mother. In a Christians case that would be God the Father and the church our mother.

TrustGzus
Aug 19th 2008, 07:36 PM
But, the Catholics bring up a good point. If the dead are alive (as noted in the Bible), then what is wrong with asking an alive person to pray for you?
Hey Kata Loukan,

This isn't solely a Roman Catholic position, i.e. asking another living person to pray for you.

Two points:

1) That's not what mediator is about in 1 Timothy 2:5. As I pointed out earlier, look at the verses surrounding verse 5. This verse is not about Jesus praying for us. So it doesn't speak to this issue. Mediator in that text is about Jesus saving us. In fact, verse 5 isn't even a complete sentence. The sentence is finished in verse 6 . . . who gave himself a ransom for all. The mediating speaks of him being a payment for our sins. This has nothing to do with prayer.

2) All Christians, Roman Catholic and others, believe it's right to ask other living believers (i.e. those that are not physically deceased) to pray for us.

Plenty of examples such as


Romans 15:31
Ephesians 6:19
Ephesians 6:20
Colossians 4:3
Colossians 4:4
1 Thessalonians 5:25

And others but we don't need an exhaustive list.

Grace & peace,

Joe

seamus414
Aug 19th 2008, 07:41 PM
Hey Kata Loukan,

This isn't solely a Roman Catholic position, i.e. asking another living person to pray for you.

Two points:

1) That's not what mediator is about in 1 Timothy 2:5. As I pointed out earlier, look at the verses surrounding verse 5. This verse is not about Jesus praying for us. So it doesn't speak to this issue. Mediator in that text is about Jesus saving us. In fact, verse 5 isn't even a complete sentence. The sentence is finished in verse 6 . . . who gave himself a ransom for all. The mediating speaks of him being a payment for our sins. This has nothing to do with prayer.

2) All Christians, Roman Catholic and others, believe it's right to ask other living believers (i.e. those that are not physically deceased) to pray for us.

Plenty of examples such as


Romans 15:31
Ephesians 6:19
Ephesians 6:20
Colossians 4:3
Colossians 4:4
1 Thessalonians 5:25

And others but we don't need an exhaustive list.

Grace & peace,

Joe


Considering the above, the issue at hand is not:
(1) should we pray for one another? (yes!);
(2) is someone who prays for another a mediator as described in 1 Tim 2:5 (no!);

The issue at hand is: is a believer who physically passes from this Earth to the next life dead?

TrustGzus
Aug 19th 2008, 07:50 PM
I am in agreement with you on this. It is mind boggling. There are so many arguments that can be made with a wooden translation. For instance, notice how many times the English translates "I pray ye", and this in relation to living persons.

In that wooden literal sense, living persons are praying to other living persons.

It is all in how one sees it and what they are able to accept. Degrees of grace and faith are involved.Hey Teke,

I have no problem with the word pray being used in that way towards other living persons. It fits the definition in an English dictionary such as Websters.

However, let's not equivocate on the term. In Greek, there are different terms. The words προσεύχομαι and ἐρωτάω are used differently yet both are translated pray in old versions like the KJV. In the KJV we have Jesus praying to Peter if we want to use the word pray that generically. I'm not aware of one place that προσεύχομαι is used towards humans, dead or alive.

I understand being concerned of wooden positions. I wouldn't want to make that mistake. However, let's also beware of generalizations and equivocations.

I would like to point out the agreement though that we all see it as biblical to ask other physically living believers to pray for each other. I'm assuming we are in agreement that the mediating of 1 Timothy 2:5 based on context is not about praying. The only possible disagreement is on praying to physically deceased saints. From a Scriptural standpoint, this is not taught no matter which canon we use that I'm aware of including the Roman Catholic canon.

Grace & peace to you,

Joe

TrustGzus
Aug 19th 2008, 07:52 PM
Considering the above, the issue at hand is not:
(1) should we pray for one another? (yes!);
(2) is someone who prays for another a mediator as described in 1 Tim 2:5 (no!);

The issue at hand is: is a believer who physically passes from this Earth to the next life dead?Jim, I agree with points 1 & 2 completely. And I agree that the question left in this thread is the one you point out. I assume that is the claim that was being made by the Roman Catholic that prompted this thread by Kata Loukan. That was an assumption I made as I'm reasonably familiar with RCism (I grew up in a RC family and went to an RC school for eight years). I don't know where Kata Loukan ever actually laid out the claim. Though it has created an interesting discussion.

TrustGzus
Aug 19th 2008, 08:13 PM
Hello all,

Quick question-

With regards to 1 Tim. 2:5-6, wouldn't asking a friend to pray for me be in effect creating another mediator?

Me -> friend -> Jesus -> God

I know that this equation must be wrong. How should Christians view this verse?Hey Kata Loukan,

Through the pages that have quickly grown, do you see the answer to this? Yes, Christians can, and should, ask people to pray for them. This verse, however, is not the basis for that. This verse teaches that Jesus was mediator between us and the Father for our sins.

The teaching that we can pray to the physically deceased is a disputed teaching.

Joe

KATA_LOUKAN
Aug 19th 2008, 08:45 PM
1) That's not what mediator is about in 1 Timothy 2:5. As I pointed out earlier, look at the verses surrounding verse 5. This verse is not about Jesus praying for us. So it doesn't speak to this issue. Mediator in that text is about Jesus saving us. In fact, verse 5 isn't even a complete sentence. The sentence is finished in verse 6 . . . who gave himself a ransom for all. The mediating speaks of him being a payment for our sins. This has nothing to do with prayer.


Understood. The mediator is one who solves the dispute, not the one who is praying. (See the post)


2) All Christians, Roman Catholic and others, believe it's right to ask other living believers (i.e. those that are not physically deceased) to pray for us.

Plenty of examples such as


Romans 15:31
Ephesians 6:19
Ephesians 6:20
Colossians 4:3
Colossians 4:4
1 Thessalonians 5:25



Thanks. My question was about the role of a mediator. As I noted, having someone pray for you is not invoking a mediator.


Hey Kata Loukan,

Through the pages that have quickly grown, do you see the answer to this? Yes, Christians can, and should, ask people to pray for them. This verse, however, is not the basis for that. This verse teaches that Jesus was mediator between us and the Father for our sins.

The teaching that we can pray to the physically deceased is a disputed teaching.

Joe

Yes, my question was about the role of a mediator, although it was answered and I posted what I thought to be the correct answer. This thread has digressed a little into the Catholic teaching about dead people hearing our prayers, and I am curious to know why we as Protestants do not believe in this.

seamus414
Aug 19th 2008, 09:43 PM
Understood. The mediator is one who solves the dispute, not the one who is praying. (See the post)



Thanks. My question was about the role of a mediator. As I noted, having someone pray for you is not invoking a mediator.



Yes, my question was about the role of a mediator, although it was answered and I posted what I thought to be the correct answer. This thread has digressed a little into the Catholic teaching about dead people hearing our prayers, and I am curious to know why we as Protestants do not believe in this.


In my opnion, they do not believe this for two related reasons: (1) it is not expressly stated in Scripture that it is a permissable form of Christian spirituality and, (2) Protestants reject the authority of unbroken and universal Christian practice.

redeemedbyhim
Aug 19th 2008, 10:03 PM
How can someone who has passed away, gone on to be with the Lord able to hear someone's prayers?
Are we then endowed with special powers as is God? By that I mean, are we able to then hear the cries of His children on earth and not only that, are we so endowed that we are able to hear many at the same time?
Where in Scripture does it tell us this can be so?

TrustGzus
Aug 19th 2008, 10:28 PM
This thread has digressed a little into the Catholic teaching about dead people hearing our prayers, and I am curious to know why we as Protestants do not believe in this.The digression was probably my fault. I figured that praying to the dead was where your Roman Catholic friend was going as asking other people to pray for us isn't controversial and all Christians do that. Sorry for the digression - though it is an interesting conversation.

KATA_LOUKAN
Aug 20th 2008, 04:51 PM
How can someone who has passed away, gone on to be with the Lord able to hear someone's prayers?

I guess that all people who have died, have been resurrected in Christ and are now living.


Are we then endowed with special powers as is God? By that I mean, are we able to then hear the cries of His children on earth and not only that, are we so endowed that we are able to hear many at the same time?
Where in Scripture does it tell us this can be so?

Well, logically, their argument seems to make sense. I will study this topic a little more and see what I can come up with. I don't see this teaching explicitly as saying that they have magical powers, seeing as we can pray for those who are far away, and although we share some of God's powers, we are not God.


In my opnion, they do not believe this for two related reasons: (1) it is not expressly stated in Scripture that it is a permissable form of Christian spirituality and, (2) Protestants reject the authority of unbroken and universal Christian practice.

True, and we believe that unbroken practice can be wrong (but thats not for this thread).

Some Protestants probably have no problem with asking the dead to pray for us (although whether this is necromancy seems uncertain) although the practice has frequently digressed into praying TO someone (as the case with Mary, the mother of Jesus).

As I saw one time during St. Patrick's day mass, someone had a banner that read:

"All Praise to St. Patrick!"

This is blatant worship, although it was my Catholic friend who quickly pointed out that this was idolatry. Those Protestants who do believe in do so with extreme caution.

This is actually surprisingly a Protestant practice.

redeemedbyhim
Aug 20th 2008, 11:53 PM
I guess that all people who have died, have been resurrected in Christ and are now living.

Right, I understand that, however, where does it say and who says that those who have gone on to be with the Lord can now "hear" what is being said on earth? And if they can hear, can they see? (maybe that's beyond the scope of the topic?)



Well, logically, their argument seems to make sense. I will study this topic a little more and see what I can come up with. I don't see this teaching explicitly as saying that they have magical powers, seeing as we can pray for those who are far away, and although we share some of God's powers, we are not God.

I didn't mean to suggest that those who have gone on to be with the Lord have "magical powers", but rather the powers that God has to be able to hear our prayers and multiple millions at the same time. Those aren't "magical", they are powers that belong to God as far as I've ever learned.

Thank you for addressing my questions and I look forward to hearing what you learn via your studies on this topic.