ADAM: praying to the dead (saint or not) is forbidden in scripture.
BFHU: Where does scripture actually say that “praying to the dead is forbidden“? Asking a dead person for direction is DIVINATION! This is what is condemned in the Deut. 18 passage. Divination is NOT in any way comparable to the request for intercessory prayer for those who are ALIVE in CHRIST.
ADAM: Stop twisting James 5:16 to make your point. That passage based on its context is clearly speaking of praying for each other (we being alive) and not praying to a dead person to pray for something.
BFHU: I have not twisted James 5:16
16Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
The members of the Body of Christ, whether in Heaven or on Earth do pray for one another. The Saints in Heaven are righteous. So, their prayers are effective and accomplish much. My interpretation is different than yours . That is all. We, unlike Protestants do not view those who have died in the flesh to be dead and gone but Souls ALIVE IN CHRIST.
ADAM: Praying to (not for) someone is worshiping them! Your actions are ascribing power to that person which they do not posses and that only God possesses. The Bible forbids not only prayer for the dead but also to the dead (regardless if they were saints or not)
BFHU: Praying to someone is NOT worshiping them. We DO NOT ascribe personal power to the Saints but it is rather the power of God and the will of God that determines the answer to our request for intercessory prayer. I
t only seems like we are doing this b/c you have only been taught to pray to the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in your mind and in your experience all of your prayer is directed to deity. But we speak to our fellow Christians in Heaven through prayer and we know the difference between asking them for intercessory prayer and worship of deity. It is extremely uncharitable for Protestants to jump to the conclusion that a Catholic praying in front of a picture or statue of Mary is worshiping her. It only appears so to them b/c they have never experienced the difference between prayer and worship. To them it is all one and the same.
Where does the Bible forbid prayers for the dead? In the Greek Old Testament, from which Jesus quoted and the Apostles received from the Jewish people, there is a commendation of prayers for the dead in:
II Maccabees 12: 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;
44for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death.
45But 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.
ADAM: Speaking of worshipping Mary, what about worshipping the Pope? How many Catholics worship the pope and he allows it. He’s referred to by many different names: His Holiness, Holy See, Prince Of Peace, etc, and people bow down to him with his
BFHU: We do not worship the pope. We honor him. Bowing down is not exclusively a sign of worship. It can be. But it depends upon what is in the heart. Did President Obama worship the Arab king last month when he bowed to him? Does bowing or kneeling before the Queen of England make all who do the worshipers of the Queen? They even used to address dignitaries as “Your worship” but it was merely a sign of deep respect not actual WORSHIP as in that reserved for GOD.
ADAM: When the pagans tried to worship Paul the Apostle in Acts, he quickly rebuked them and told them that he was a mere man like they were. Yet I don’t see the pope showing any disapproval when they worship him.
Paul was right to forbid them to worship him. But the pope KNOWS we do not worship him but are merely showing deep respect for the representative of Jesus Christ on Earth in time.
Please believe me when I say I am not making any of this up. I used to view the Catholic Church exactly like you do. We and many, many Protestants are taught things about the Catholic Church that are unfounded lies, half-truths, and assumptions based on nothing but opinion. These have been passed down from one generation to the next for 500 years. Some are almost exact quotes of Martin Luther’s caulmny.
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