Pillar of Truth

Thank you for visiting my blog today. This is a place where I will examine my thoughts on Christ, His Church, my Faith, and how to live for Him. God Bless.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Saints Alive!

This was a response I gave to a lady who had a problem with Catholics "praying" to saints. The quotes are from the King James Version as that is the only version she would use.

Okay, you don’t understand or see any scriptural support for "praying" to "dead" saints? First understand this: after we (Christians) die, we don’t just rot in the ground. We are given everlasting life, are we not? Mark 12:26-27, "And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living…" So, death does not really separate us. We are all a part of the family of God. Just like we ask our friends and family to pray for us, we ask them to pray for us, and why not? They are right there with God. James 5:16 "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." The ones in heaven are so much more righteous than we are – they no longer have the burden of sins on them, like we do. We know that the saints in Heaven hear us, Rev. 5:8 "And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints." We (Catholics) can and do ask others to pray for us, and if you believe in your heart that your grandma or other relatives and friends are in heaven, then you can ask them to pray for you, too. A person doesn’t have to be declared a saint by the Church for them to be one.

In Luke 15:7 it says: "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."

Romans 8:38-39 says:" For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Eph 6:18 says:"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"

Taken together with all of the other verses that have been quoted, we can draw on logic to see that the saints in heaven are more likely to be praying for us than not praying for us.

First of all, every saved Christian whether they be living or deceased is alive in Christ and are forever members of the body of Christ. Eph 5:25-27 says "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
This Church, the body of Christ, clearly refers to every saved Christian that has and will ever live. This connection is made again in Col 2:19 where reference is made to "holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God."

So death does not separate from Jesus. We are part of his body now and will be so after we die. The saints and angels in heaven apparently rejoice whenever a sinner repents. They apparently have a desire to see this happen. They must be anticipating and must be aware when a sinner repents in order to have joy in response to the event. We, as Christians on earth, are to pray at all times in the Spirit. In heaven the "and to the spirits of just men made perfect," [Hebrew 12:23] are fully in the Spirit and in Jesus. Not only that, but scripture tells us that we will be like angels [Matt 22:30]. Moreover, we have guardian angels that are interested in our welfare [Matt 18:10].If we can entertain angels and be unaware [Heb 13:2], and if angels rejoice when we repent, and if men are like angels in heaven, then it is reasonable to believe that the saints are praying for us. Moreover it is difficult to imagine that they aren't praying for us. After all, they carry our prayers to the altar in golden bowls just as the angel then takes the prayers of the saints and offers them "upon the altar" to God in Rev 8:3-4.

The connections between heavenly saints and angels is simply too strong to ignore. Angels are messengers. Heavenly saints surely share some of this activity as evidenced in Revelation, and they clearly rejoice when a sinner repents. Moreover, 1 Cor 12:24-26 hammers home the meaning of unity in the body in a way that has a real bearing on your question. It says, "For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." Believe me, the saints in heaven are all pulling for us and cheering us on as we run the race. This is just another beautiful part of what it means to be a member of the body of Christ where not even death will separate us, and where we all care for one another. We love and pray for our brothers in this life and beyond and they pray for us. We are one body.

From scripturecatholic.com:
Heb. 12:1 - we are surrounded by a great glory cloud (shekinah) of witnesses, our family in heaven. We are not separated. The "cloud of witnesses" (nephos marturon) refers to a great amphitheatre with the arena for the runners (us on earth), and many tiers of seats occupied by the saints (in heaven) rising up like a cloud. The "martures" are not mere spectators ("theatai"), but testifiers (witnesses) who testify from their own experience to God’s promises and cheer us on in our race to heaven. They are no less than our family in heaven.


Blogger Chrissy said...

Well said! It's not that hard to understand. You ask your living friends to pray for you, why not loved ones who have passed on?

September 01, 2006 5:17 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Excellent post! Yes, it is very clear. I once also heard the relationship between heaven and earth being a "permeable membrane" rather than an iron wall, and you have demonstrated this very well. Good thinking using the KJV.

September 02, 2006 11:45 AM  
Blogger Maggii said...

Hi amelia, thanks for your support on my blog!

Yes Chrissy..this is how I have explained why we ask Mary to intercede...I'm often asked "well why do you ask Mary and Saints to intercede..why can't you just go straight to Jesus"..and then they use the scripture of Jesus saying "no one comes to the Father execpt thru me" ,for why we should only ask Jesus to intercede... my response is "why do you ask other people you know ( friends , family) to pray for you?" it's no didfferent than what us Catholic do when we are asking Mary or the Saints to pray for us..

I also remind them that just because I am asking Mary to pray for me doesn't mean I haven't also directly prayed to Jesus as well..

also asking Mary to intercede does not go against Jesus's directive that no one comes to the Father except thru him ...because even while I am asking Mary to intercede ...we are still going to Jesus...since we are asking her to intercede with her son...

September 05, 2006 11:10 AM  
Blogger miss*R said...

Hi Amelia - thanks again for visiting.(I will understand if this comment doesn't get posted, but it is the only way I know how to contact you and you can delete it when you have received it)
Just want to clarify - I had a previous blog called daily parcels and I would post about asking the saints to help us - I am a converted Catholic - love the saints with a passion - and I was near persecuted for it. by those fundamentalist christians that you speak about. hounded, hateful emails - then I opened up an prayer blog - asking the angels to take our prayers to God(whoever we perceive Him to be) it was non demoninational so that all would be welcome. I was just about tar and feathered. emails from so called christians telling me I was going straight to hell, hateful words from 'christians'. friends in blogging emailed and told not to associate with me or 'else'. so I had to change my whole identity just to get away and start over. Now it seems 'they' have found me. and it has started again. thankfully I am stronger now and can ignore it but it was the 'stealing' of my email address that got me so angry. Makes me laugh that they think it is ok to do this all in the name of their 'Lord' - Those people from the bible belt of your country, the fundamental christians - they scare me. It is like they have been told to go and convert the masses through blogging - it seems that they are infiltrating blogs all over and it drives me nuts.
I didn't think at all that you were defending whoever did it and I appreciate you visiting my blog
blessings, Robyn

September 07, 2006 4:39 PM  
Blogger Amelia said...

Blogger is being a pill!

That sure does sound like some of what I've dealt with before. I can see why it scares you. When JP2 died, one of the fundamentalist churches in our area put on their billboard (or whatever you call those things they put their announcements on at the street) that JP2 was burning in ...well you know where (I can't bring myself to type that word and JP2's name in the same sentence)!

It's so unfortunate that you had to be their target. And I can see why you would be so angry.

These people give Christians a bad name, like Jack Chick. How anyone is brought to Christ by people like him is beyond me!

I don't think there is anything in what you wrote that would lead me to delete it, unless you would just want me to. Let me know!


September 08, 2006 1:28 PM  

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