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Patron saints

Discussion in 'Mariology & Hagiography' started by GreekOrthodox, May 8, 2012.

  1. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    This is a carry over from one of the Praying to Saints threads:

    Originally Posted by GreekOrthodox
    Yeah we do have patron saints in those regards such as the saints name for a church (St. Gregory the Theologian or event like Annunciation. My own patron is St. John Chrysostom. I'm more interested in how the patron saint of X (firefighting, lost causes, or my own favorite, St. Isadore, patron saint of the Internet, Isidore of Seville - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) came about. As a former Lutheran, that was one of my own objections to prayers to the saints.


    Can you explain why the idea of patrons for certain causes was a specific problem for you (assuming you accepted the idea of prayers to the saints in general)?

    I don't think there's any sort of official church method involved in assigning saints to specific causes -- I think it's more a matter of the piety of the faithful who begin those traditions.

    But are you sure the Orthodox don't have patron saints for specific causes? Because I just googled and found:

    A patron saint is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, or person. Since the time of the early Christians up to the present, a vast number of patron saints have been recorded.

    Patron saint - OrthodoxWiki

    Perhaps it is common in some parts of Orthodoxy and not in others?
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  2. Ave Maria

    Ave Maria Ave Maria Gratia Plena

    United States
    My patron saint is Saint Anthony of Padua. There are several reasons for this. For one, he is the Evangelical Doctor of the Church. For another, his patronage coincides with several of my interests. For example, he is patron saint: against sterility and barrenness, against starvation, of domestic animals, of faith in the Blessed Sacrament, of oppressed people, of seekers of lost articles, and of poor people. These are all things that I am interested in. He is also patron saint of many other things. You can read more about him here:

    Saint Anthony of Padua » Saints.SQPN.com

    Saint Dymphna is another of my favorite saints as is Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Padre Pio, Saint Peter, and Saint Benedict.
  3. Zeek

    Zeek Follower of Messiah, Israel advocate and Zionist

    It seems to me at first glance that for 'patron saints' read 'pagan gods' dressed up in Christian terminology. Please enlighten me on the genesis of this practice which is entirely alien to my biblical perspective, in case I am missing out on something and find myself merely speaking from a position of ignorance. Thanks.
  4. judechild

    judechild Catholic Socratic

    No one has ever claimed that the Saints are gods - if they are not divine then they are not gods by definition. Patron Saints comes from the understanding that, first, when a person who is a part of the body of Christ - the Church - dies, they are not separated from the body of Christ ("God has destined us for acquiring salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us, that all of us, whether awake or asleep, together might live with Him" - 1 Thess. 5:9-10); second, when a person dies they do not lose their individualization. That is to say, they don't become part of some strange group-mind while they themselves dissolve into nothing (hence, "at Jesus' name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth.")

    The member of the Church who has died and has not lost individualization still has a responsibility for the good of the whole, and so St. Paul's command to make intercessory prayer still applies to them - and more so, because "the prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Since the member of the Church who has died and has not lost individualization still makes intercession for the Church, we sometimes involk the prayers of a particular saint because of some similar situation that they were known for in life. The patron saint, though, can do nothing on his or her own - their role is only as intercessor.
  5. Zeek

    Zeek Follower of Messiah, Israel advocate and Zionist

    Hi Jude,

    My oblique reply was more along the lines that pagans had and still have various gods and entities that they pray to or entreat on their behalf because they are thought to have special gifting in specific areas...eg. a god of the harvest, a god of luck, a god of rain, a god of travellers etc, and the similarity seemed obvious, just that this latest batch of special agents to call upon are called 'patron saints' (no offence meant).

    IMO...Appealing to any of the host of heaven, whether Angels, Creatures, Elders or departed individuals...goes outside our remit as Believers, and is perilously close to imitating pagan rituals and forms of intercession.

    That seems more like religious assumption than biblical revelation.

    That is a very circuitous route you are travelling my friend, and seems to take rather convoluted liberties with the teachings and practices found in Scripture...I have never seen it once in any Bible, nor do I get a witness in my spirit that this is G-ds truth.

    When biblical tradition or practices don't make a whole lot of sense I generally believe it is a warning flag that marks the hand of man messing with spiritual truth...and sometimes the hand of the enemy sowing dischord and confusion.

    Kind regards. Zazal
  6. judechild

    judechild Catholic Socratic


    The pagan gods and patron saints are not similar, for the reaons I've already outlined but you chose not to engage. The classical gods are personified images of nature and human forces (Apollo is not just the "sun god," he is the sun itself; Aphrodite is the force of sexual attraction). The Saints are not personified nature images; they are human persons who are still members of the Church and who intercede for the Church.

    What is an opinion does not matter - only what a fact is. Are you saying that it is a fact that "appealing to any of the host of heaven... is perilously close to imitating pagan rituals and forms of intercession" or are you really only saying it is your opinion?

    Further, "intercession" is not the classical gods modus operandi. They did pretty much what they wanted, and if you could smooze up to them they might stack the deck somewhat for you, but they did it themselves - without a different source. The saints can't do anything themselves; they interceed before GOd, the same way as any earthly intercessor.

    In the first place, cutting revelation short to only Scripture and ignoring Sacred Tradition, is not my MO, and you know that.

    Secondly, which aspect do you find "an assumption": That when a person dies they are not separated from the Body of Christ, or that when they die they don't lose their individualization?

    It's a good thing, then, that I don't recognize your spirit as a source of Revelation - otherwise things could get dicy. What you've written here is what we philosophers like to call a "smoke screen." That is to say, you haven't responded to anything I've written, except to say that you don't feel like it's true and so you won't engage it. Go back to the two "assumptions" and tell me which of them you don't find in Revelation, then you can talk about "convoluted liberties."

    Ah Eros is alive, isn't she (how appropriate that the goddess of lust should also be the goddess of discord)? In any case, you're changing the debate slightly. You didn't ask anyone to show you that saintly patronage is biblical - you only asked someone to show that it's not pagan. That is to say, the last two sections of your response aren't even relevant (because it doesn't matter whether you think that saintly patronage is good, bad, indifferent, or whether you think that it's the "hand of the enemy sowing discord and confusion; all that matters at the moment is whether it is pagan). And it is clearly not pagan, because the classical gods and the saintly intercessors are different in substance (CG: divine, SI: non-divine), in operation (CG: power, SI: intercessor) and in final end (CG: point to themselves as their own end, SI: point to God as the source of all Grace).
  7. Zeek

    Zeek Follower of Messiah, Israel advocate and Zionist

    You assume that I am referencing the classical gods...I am not, there are many religions that seek the help of the dearly departed or try to find their spirit-guide. I find the similarities disquieting in regards to the Catholic emphasis of the function afforded to departed saints, and have many times heard how a Catholic Believer claims to have a number of favourite saints that aid them in various areas of their life.

    What I am saying is that having anything to do with seeking help from spiritual beings is strongly discouraged/forbidden in the Bible..and that by implication/association that would include those that have gone before us to be with the L-rd.

    I don't think we are privvy to what departed Believers are doing now, apart from being with the L-rd and awaiting the resurrection of their bodies...it may well be that all Believers/Saints that have gone before us intercede on our behalf, but we should leave it at that and rejoice that death doesn't separate us from the brethren...and not try to connect.

    I have no axe to grind against tradition...we are encouraged to hold-fast what is true. Some traditions are acceptable, helpful and encouraging, while some are not acceptable, unhelpful and mis-leading.

    What I find an 'assumption' is when certain things are ascribed to the way the departed behave and interact...as if we really know...or should try and get to know.

    I have always found it a useful indicator that is our G-d given gift and is best used in conjunction with a number of other direction finders, not least of which is Scripture.

    Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD,
    Searching all the innermost parts of his being.

    I am saying that the whole idea of the departed saints effectively functioning on our behalf is an assumption with not enough clear support, and that it is an assumption that we have the right and the authority to seek to petition them for any sort of help.

    I accept it is not pagan, but I think the practices involved vary in many aspects depending on location, and I have frequented places like what was once Yugoslavia, and Italy, Greece and Israel that give cause for an understandable connection being made...even if the actual substance is different.

    I also think that it is a natural genesis in the debate to explore the biblical ramifications, more so now that I have hopefully better addressed the central theme so far, although my expectations are that certain texts will be used to try and prove that departed Believers play a major role in the Heavenly realm and that the traditions of part of the Body of Messiah are foremost in expressing the justification for this practice...but I am happy to be proved wrong and pleasantly surprised should you desire to continue.

    Cheers. Zazal
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  8. judechild

    judechild Catholic Socratic

    Since here and later you say that you believe that this is not pagan, what's the point? The Catholic Church is vehemently opposed to seeking "spirit guides" or any kind of necromancy. Ancestor worship is also foreign to the concept of saintly intercession.

    And it does not suit you well to deny that you had been speaking at least in part of the Classical gods, since you said "various gods and entities that they pray to or entreat on their behalf because they are thought to have special gifting in specific areas...eg. a god of the harvest, a god of luck, a god of rain, a god of travellers etc, and the similarity seemed obvious."

    You're looking at necromancy, which is forbidden - as is all divination. Except, there was one kind of divination that was allowed in ancient Israel, wasn't there? The unim and thumim; except that when Israel used these, it was following God, whereas with other forms it was following superstition.

    As for "seeking help from spiritual beings," this is senseless because you and I are spiritual beings. St. Paul, though, tells us to pray for one another. You'll have to re-formulate this.

    Well, what do you think a Catholic does - draw a circle and chant in Slovak? If death doesn't detach the person from the Church which is the Body of Christ, and God is God of the living, then to ask intercession from the saints is to ask from someone alive.

    That is not what you were responding to. I said: "Patron Saints comes from the understanding that, first, when a person who is a part of the body of Christ - the Church - dies, they are not separated from the body of Christ ("God has destined us for acquiring salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us, that all of us, whether awake or asleep, together might live with Him" - 1 Thess. 5:9-10); second, when a person dies they do not lose their individualization." And you responded directly to that paragraph with "That seems more like religious assumption than biblical revelation." Itaque, I'd like to know which of those two principles you find to be "religious assumption."

    Of course, the same book says "The fool takes no delight in understanding, only in displaying what he thinks." It is not quite so cut-and-dry to follow ones' feelings in the matter.

    You'll have to tell me which of the two principles above you find to be an assumption, first, then we can talk about assumptions in general.

    You said "It seems to me at first glance that for 'patron saints' read 'pagan gods' dressed up in Christian terminology." This means that you were saying that it was pagan, and now you are saying that you accept that it is not.

    If the actual substance is different then the game's up. Rabbi Heschel can give you "understandable connections" between Jesus and Orpheus, but the substance of the two is sufficiently different. As for cultural devotion, it seems strange that you'd point those out as cultural bias, but not realize that your own aversion to them is itself culturally biased. It's much easier in the West to be an only-child.

    Likewise, but we'll need to get the groundwork finished first.
    Last edited: May 24, 2012
  9. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Sorry I never got back to everyone on this... Since I'm EO, Im certainly not opposed to asking the saints for their prayers. My own patron is St. John Chrysostom. My own concern is the notion that you pray to St X for this particular issue. I get a chuckle that there is a patron saint of the internet: St. Isidore of Seville: Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church of Picayune, MS - Devotion - Patron Saints - St. Isidore of Seville

    How do we as Christians avoid Zazal's accusation that the patron saints simple took over the roles of the pagan gods?
  10. judechild

    judechild Catholic Socratic

    I've tried in my previous posts, saying that they are not the same in substance, end, or in operation. So far, there hasn't been a challenge.
  11. Zeek

    Zeek Follower of Messiah, Israel advocate and Zionist

    More of an observation and point of reference than an accusation.

    I believe John Chrysostom was a bit of an anti-Semite on the QT.

    I prefer to go directly to Jesus and cut out the middle-men. :)
  12. Zeek

    Zeek Follower of Messiah, Israel advocate and Zionist

    True, I could have worded it better, I meant all pagan gods, but not exclusively classical pagan gods.

    I wasn't really implying necromancy, and in my reasoning was encompassing a far wider sphere of possible influences..the point being that the actual practice of petitioning departed Believers with prayer requests gives what the Bible calls the appearance of evil, and it is true that many equate this with necromancy or some form of spiritism.
    I suspect you know well enough what I mean by 'spiritual beings', but I will attempt to be more careful with my words and the form of my thoughts, as quibbling over semantics can get to be tiresome.

    I mean seeking help from brethren that 'sleep in the L-rd' and as an aside, the very terminology used implies that they are no longer in active service regarding playing any sort of part in the affairs of man.

    For the sake of the argument, lets say they are indeed alive and with the L-rd (which I believe)..that does not mean we can attempt to petition them or ask them to intercede on our behalf...rather there are a number of Scriptures that
    preclude such a practice, and specify that our prayers and petitions should only be directed to G-d....and our assurance is that He hears when we pray according to His will.
    I don't believe this assurance extends to us when we go beyond what is acceptable.

    Fine...we have now covered the first part, I am happy to believe those that have died in Messiah are with Him, and in that sense our separation is merely physical.

    Now lets also say I agree that an individual remains a unique individual, whether alive on the earth, or in the presence of Jesus in Heaven...that still doesn't mean they are accessible to us on a personal basis.

    Touche...Nothing to add.

    Clarified now I believe.

    No what it means is that I was starting a debate with you by introducing what it seemed like to me regarding the similarities, and by implication to others...but that now because of your explanations I accept your answer...it was a bit rhetorical because I wasn't trying to issue the age-worn accusation that you must be so familiar with...rather explore what you had to say about it...I never believed for a moment that you endorsed pagan practices in regard to adopting pagan gods with changed names...although I believe there is some substance to this claim historically if one does a study of the transition of gods from Babylonian times or earlier, through to Greek, Roman and then Catholi

    Hopefully I have provided a firmer foundation now.

    Regards Zazal
  13. judechild

    judechild Catholic Socratic


    People "asleep in the Lord" are not depicted as static. In the first place, there is the passage which calls them aleep, but alive "so that all of us, whether awake or asleep, together might live with Him." Further, the souls of the faithful departed in the Book of Revelation ontinue their prayers to God, they just do it in Heaven: "I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God... And they cried with a loud voice.:

    You will not find such a passage that "preclude such a practice [of asking a person for intercession], and specify that our prayers and petitions should only be directed to God." In the first place, that is inconsistent with the practice of Christians, who ask each other for intercession all the time - that alone eats at the foundation of "our... petitions should only be directed to God." St. James commands intercessory prayer between Christians, and since we've gone ahead to "assume" that the departed faithful are alive with God they have merely changed their form of living. If they are still alive and part of the Church, then they are still responsible for intercession in the Church.

    I can't say I understand what you're saying here. I suppose it would be good at this point to ask: do you believe that death separates a person from the Body of Christ?

    Ita vero, but we're getting closer. Since we've made progress so far in that we agree that the person who dies is still alive in Christ (1 Thess. 5:9-10), and are still individualized (Rev. 6:11), we now get to turn our attention to the Body of Christ itself, hence my latest question.

    That's certainly refreshing. I appreciate your approach to debate.

    Well, I can certainly say that there is no necessary connection between Babylonian gods and Classical gods - except that they are both pagan, and so personified images of nature and human forces; the corollation in this regard does not equal causation, it just makes sense that if you don't worship the Creator, then you will worship whatever is most powerful (e.g. the Sun).

    As for the connection between the Saints and the classical gods (I know you're not saying there is a connection, I'm only extrapolating), the assertion changes with the asserter. The Evangelical Anti-Catholic will swear that the Saints are re-named Olympians, while the Christian Feminist will insist that they are an extention of the Roman patriarchal "patron system." The "connections" often reveal the objector's bias more than anything.

  14. CaliforniaJosiah

    CaliforniaJosiah Well-Known Member Supporter


    My patron saint is my grandfather.

  15. Zeek

    Zeek Follower of Messiah, Israel advocate and Zionist

    Hi bro...spread a bit thin lately so have to trim my time, hence late reply.

    I think you are jumping the gun a little in regards to the functions of the dearly departed when absent from this present world, and using a few Scriptures that make brief mention of some things that are not easily understood, and that certainly don't substantiate us petitioning them.

    Again you are correct that we are encouraged to uphold one another in prayer, I worded what I was trying to say very poorly.

    Yes we should pray for one another as we petition the L-rd on each others behalf, ...but there are no biblical examples that imply or encourage us to petition any who have died and gone to be with the L-rd. From my perspective to do so goes beyond the bounds of what is reasonable, or expected and was never taught as Apostolic doctrine.

    Now there are some extra-biblical doctrines or traditions that are neither good nor bad....some may even be beneficial, but I can't see how we can encourage one another to enlist the help of departed Believers on such a flimsy premise, and to do so with faith, a person would have to believe:
    1. This was right before G-d, revealed through Scripture.
    2. Practiced and taught by the Apostles.
    3. That the departed were able to hear and respond
    4. That the one being petitioned was indeed saved and was with the L-rd.

    What I am saying is in reference to this Scripture:

    1John 5:13These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

    We are able to approach the L-rd and make our petitions known, and part of the work of the Holy Spirit is in giving us assurance/confidence that when we pray according to His will, He hears us.

    If we go beyond this and petition those that have gone before us, I don't believe the Holy Spirit encourages it or witnesses to our spirit that our prayers are being heard, and the confidence or assurance is replaced by a sort of theological assumption derived from tradition and poor teaching.

    Neither Scripture quoted here implies these saints have any sort of participation with those of us still on this present earth...in one we understand that whether dead or alive we are both with the L-rd so to speak, and in the other we are merely given a glimpse of the martyrs in Jesus, clothed in white and longing for G-ds justice to avenge their deaths.

    Thanks...I don't think debate is very meaningful if we can't get together first and foremost because we love Jesus, and actually try and listen to what each other is saying and consider all the implications from a biblical perspective.

  16. judechild

    judechild Catholic Socratic

    I have not jumped the gun to anything. I responded to your assertion that those who have passed on are in-active. That is false, for the reasons I gave. You did not respond to them.

    You admitted that the Saints are "indeed alive and with the Lord," which is supported by 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 and Revelation 6:11; the passage from Revelation, and the Parable of Christ of the rich man and Lazarus support our continued individualization. The part of my post that you were responding to in this place only stated that; and you have said earlier that you agree with both. Have you changed your mind?

    It is a bold assertion for you to say that something "was never taught as Apostolic doctrine" when in the section immediately before this you say that the passages I've cited are "not easily understood."

    In the first place, you know that the body of doctrine is not limited only to the Scriptures - at least initially, before they were written. There is, for instance, no clear instruction on what a marriage or a marriage ceremony must have, but the constant practice of the Church is a living picture of the Apostolic teaching on marriage.

    Secondly, you evaded the questions in the previous section; we will get no where like that.

    So far you have not challenged the "flimsy" premises - all you've done is said that they are flimsy (and they are also very incomplete, as of yet - I have roughly ten more to go). Are you going to say that we lose individualization after death, or that we are not alive with Christ after our deaths? The reason I ask is because those are the only points I've admitted so far; I intend to go further, but you'll need to come this far with me first.

    Number 1 is of course based on the "flimsy" premise that all that is revealed by God is revealed through Scripture, but we'll pass on that right now. The other three I agree with, and we may be able to prove them, but you'll have to admit these three principles first:

    1 - The souls of those Christians who are "asleep," are still alive with Him.
    2 - The same Christians have not lost their individualization in Heaven.
    3 - The same Christians are not separated from the Body of Christ by death.

    You agreed with the first two once; do you still?

    That is another evasion. I asked if you believe that a Christian who dies is separated from the Body of Christ. This is the third principle that I need a response from you on.

    The passage from 1 John does not negate other passages such as James 1:7-9, which says: "But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. / For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, / since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways." We often do not pray as we ought, but "the prayer of a righteous man avails much."

    None of which I deny, but you're evading the whole discussion and need to get back on track.

    So far, you've haven't even said what you believe the theological assumption is. You negated it in a previous post, but now it's back for some reason.

    In the beginning of your post you said that the things in these same passages are "not easily understood" but seem to have changed your mind. As for the martyrs in Christ, yes, that's just the point. They are in Heaven as individuals. I haven't begun yet to argue that they participate with us still on earth; we're getting to that point slowly.

    And I can tell you that there is none. The Babylonian deities are completely autonomous from the Classical gods. Their respective cults grew up as contemporaries and while you can see the annexation of several Doric and Ionian deities into the Greek Pantheon, the Babylonian gods are far removed from the Greek ones and there is no evidence of annexation. The Romans, of course, annexed the Greek stories and images and applied them to their own gods, but the pagan system remained distinctly Roman, rather than Hellanistic. Finally, you've admitted that the "actual substance" of the Catholic Saints differ from the classical gods. I described it like this: "Saintly Intercessors and the Classical gods differ in substance (CG: divine, SI: non-divine), in operation (CG: power, SI: intercessor) and in final end (CG: point to themselves as their own end, SI: point to God as the source of all Grace); you haven't yet challenged that description.

    Certainly. You could begin with the historical fact that the Emporer Julian, who ruled from 361-363, is called "the Apostate." After the reign of Constantine I (ending in 337), Christianity gained prominence throughout the Empire. This was opposed by Julian, who asserted that Rome had turned its back on the gods. Not many will deny that the intercession of the Saints had been sought in organized form at least before the latter half of the fourth century. Hence, if the Saints were only re-organized Classical gods, Julian's "Apostacy" would be irrelevant.
  17. Zeek

    Zeek Follower of Messiah, Israel advocate and Zionist

    In deference to what you have just stated, I went back over every single post to see where I ever said those that had passed before us were inactive...I never said any such thing!

    I could not see where I did not respond...if you point me too it, I will do so now. I never dodge any question, but sometimes things get overlooked, or because of time restraints I might deem it unnecessary to respond directly to some things, which might be covered in part by other responses.

    No, I agree with what Scripture says obviously...or as Paul put it:

    Phil 1:21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.

    If Paul is with Messiah I presume he has finished his labours and entered G-ds rest...but he indicates that his fruitful labour only comes about if he remains in the flesh, which is worth noting.
    Sometimes in answering I am restricted by time....I will endeavour to be more specific and give better examples.

    I was trying to be a bit flexible when I stated there were things not easily understood...I meant that in regard to those few passages mentioning the Heavenly Host it is presumptious to conclude that because they have a function in Heaven we are now at liberty to petition them...this includes departed Believers.

    Jesus taught us to pray to 'Our Father in Heaven'.
    Jesus taught us to pray to our Father, privately.
    Jesus was always praying to His Father.
    Paul prayed to the L-rd.
    Every Apostle prayed to the L-rd.
    We are exhorted to imitate the L-rd, and even to imitate Paul (1Cor 4:16).
    Never does this include praying to the departed, and James 5 does not give us licence to do so either.

    The question must be asked....then by whose authority are we now able to depart from the Apostles teaching and from sound doctrine?

    If you actually read my responses you will see that I am well aware of extra-biblical, traditions and practices, and do not have an axe to grind against them...unless they take us away from what is clearly demonstrated in word or in deed.
    Jesus Himself celebrated Hanukka (festival of lights).

    Please do not presume to lecture me...I DO NOT EVADE QUESTIONS.....overlook maybe, but please please understand I do not evade anything....if you will just patiently repeat the question I will endeavour to reply.

    What more substantiation do you require to demonstrate that the Scriptures you have provided thus far provide scant evidence to support your theological practices...the Scriptures speak for themselves, all I see is that you read far more into them than they provide....we can discuss each verse in context if you so desire.

    No I am not saying we lose individualization after death, that would be ridiculous...my main point throughout the whole discussion is that we are not privvy to what happens after death...just given a quick peep around the curtain.

    Yes...why on earth do you think I have changed my mind?


    I believe a Believer who dies is with the L-rd...I believe we who are alive in the flesh know the L-rd, He dwells amongst us through the Spirit. So we are never separated, even by death, from the Body of Messiah.

    Not sure of the revelance of this?

    Oh boy, give me a break....are you a school teacher?

    I would have thought it was blindingly obvious without the need to be spelled out...the theological assunption is that we are at liberty to pray to Mary, pray to Angels pray to departed Believers....take your pick.</I>

    All I can say is that your perception about what I have written is limited, unless you are being deliberately obtuse.
    Although I have described what is happening concerning the Martyrs in Heaven, I for one do not fully understand what is taking place....hence saying 'not easily understood'...now I hope that is easily understood.

    I though we were past all this.....what exactly is the point you are making?

    Fair enough point I suppose...but I wanted to move on past this vaguest of ideas that some believe many of the Catholic Saints and devotions to them are merely a religious alternative to the pagan gods. You say they aren't, I am prepared to accept that without further debate as it is not the crux of the argument.

  18. HisKid1973

    HisKid1973 Thank You Jesus For Interceding For Me

    How does contacting someone out of our realm work ? I know the attributes of
    the Father/Son/Holy Spirit but do they apply to the dead in Christ. Do you pray
    say " Holy Spirit can you take this prayer request to my Uncle John" ? or do you
    just talk to Uncle John like your talking to Jesus. I know prayers ascend to the
    throne. Do they need to "pray" as we know it in heaven. You would think they could deliver requests in person. They mention " prayers of the saints in heaven". Are they just from the saints on earth ?
  19. narnia59

    narnia59 Regular Member

    Red above -- not in those words, but in that understanding -- yes. For example, I have a friend who often tells God to tell her mother than she loves her. I often tell my mother that I love her. (Both our mothers are deceased). From my perspective there is no difference in the two because I understand that the reason that my mother can "hear" me is because she is 'in Christ' -- which means we are joined together in Christ by the Holy Spirit. My friend may use more explicit language she is more comfortable with (she's not Catholic) but the intent, understanding of how it is possible, and the result are all the same.

    I would think that 'delivering prayers in person' as you say is still praying. They are simply more aware of the presence of God than we are, but our prayers are delivered just as much 'in person' as theirs I think.
  20. Zeek

    Zeek Follower of Messiah, Israel advocate and Zionist

    I tried to edit this, but it would not allow me as the post was too long anyway...this time I jumped the gun a little and I need to explain.

    I said there were inactive in the sense that they no longer interacted with us directly on earth...and were said to sleep. I presume everyone in their pre-resurrection state is with the L-rd, rooting for us and looking on perhaps...if such is possible, and longing for Messiah to return, and for them to be reclothed in immortal bodies.

    But there is a vast difference between knowing they are with the L-rd and believing we have the right to seek, to commune, petition and pray to them...if it strays from the Apostles doctrine, then even if an Angel declares it to be true, we are to disregard it, and I believe it wanders off into a spiritual no-mans land.