Taliesin2

Prayer, Praying and the Saints in Heaven...

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NOTE: If this is in the wrong forum, I apologize and ask the admin to move it. Thank you.

 

I apologize if this comes across wrong, but here goes... The Catholic faith is the Christian religion most widely known (according to my knowledge) to pray to the Saints in Heaven. I do not know if others, such as Baptists or Lutherans, do as well. The reason I say this is because of healing. Do members of the Lutheran faith pray to Saint Raphael for healing? Do they even acknowledge his existence? Or the other Saints? Or does the Lutheran faith merely promote simply praying to God & Jesus or The Father, The Son & The Holy Spirit for all their woes & ailments?

 

I am asking this as a ordained ULC Minister. As I do my duty as such I may be called upon to help others and pray with them. I am asking because I do not want to unintentionally insult them or their faith. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

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As a matter of doctrine, Baptists do not believe in praying to, or through, Saints. This is also going to be an emotional landmine with many of them, as they have been taught that doing so goes against the commandment against idolatry. Offering to pray to a saint for them would be viewed by those people the same as offering to slaughter a goat to the Devil for them.

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This is why I am asking. Simply put, I do not want to offend anybody. And your answer has helped to educate me. Thank you, meredog.

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45 minutes ago, Taliesin2 said:

Thank you, meredog.

You're welcome. You got me curious about the Lutheran position. A quick search makes it look like praying to saints is prohibited by church doctrine, but that the church actively encourages invoking saints within prayers. An artful distinction...

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mererdog is correct, I know of no Protestant's who pray to or through saints, they would find that blatantly offensive. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus instructed us to pray through his name only (John 14:14 & 16:23). Mormons pray directly to the Father.

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12 hours ago, Dan56 said:

mererdog is correct, I know of no Protestant's who pray to or through saints, they would find that blatantly offensive. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus instructed us to pray through his name only (John 14:14 & 16:23). Mormons pray directly to the Father.

 

This is something of a curiosity to me, being that I am not Christian of any stripe.  Given the statement of 1Tim 2:5, what is the function of the interposition of clergy (priests, especially) between God and Man?  It seems to me that, according to the scriptures given above, there should be no go-between from the penitent to the Divine.  Yet (again, from the outside) it appears that the Christian clerics fill the role of interpreting God to Man.

 

Am I missing something?

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11 hours ago, Geordon said:

 

This is something of a curiosity to me, being that I am not Christian of any stripe.  Given the statement of 1Tim 2:5, what is the function of the interposition of clergy (priests, especially) between God and Man?  It seems to me that, according to the scriptures given above, there should be no go-between from the penitent to the Divine.  Yet (again, from the outside) it appears that the Christian clerics fill the role of interpreting God to Man.

 

Am I missing something?

 

In the old testament, the priest offered intercessory prayer for the congregation, but with Christ crucifixion, the veil in the temple was ripped in half, no longer separating John Q Public from the inner sanctuary, giving every individual believer direct access to God through Christ. Catholicism still uses priest, who grant forgiveness to the penitent, but most Christians believe there is one intermediary for prayer, and that is Christ. No go-between is necessary to interpose or intervene, but preaching, teaching, and interpreting scripture are all part of carrying the gospel message forward. "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25)

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12 hours ago, mererdog said:

I think you missed the Protestant Revolution. 😁 Those issues of clergy status are central to why there are so many denominations today. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninety-five_Theses

 

I vaguely remember that from one of my high school history classes.  Seeing as I graduated from high school almost 30 years ago, you can understand why that slipped my mind :lol:.  Of course, now I have to go read the whole text of the Theses, since I am a history nerd.   Thanks!

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11 hours ago, Dan56 said:

...most Christians believe there is one intermediary for prayer, and that is Christ. No go-between is necessary to interpose or intervene, but preaching, teaching, and interpreting scripture are all part of carrying the gospel message forward.

 

Ok, that much of the priest's role makes sense, similar to a subject matter expert lecturing about their field of expertise in an educational setting.

 

Now, on another topic, given:

11 hours ago, Dan56 said:

No go-between is necessary to interpose or intervene,

 

why do so many Christians insist on praying for someone who does not either passively or actively request it?  Especially when the Christian encounters a non-Christian and insists on praying that God will turn their hearts to the True Faith™?  If God is infallible, God created Man, God gave him free will, AND is an all-forgiving deity, why is it assumed that those who are not of the Christian faith are going to burn in Christian Hell for exercising that free will?

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4 hours ago, Geordon said:

why is it assumed that those who are not of the Christian faith are going to burn in Christian Hell for exercising that free will?

As the song goes, "Because the Bible tells me so." I mean, technically, its a matter of interpretation, but it comes from reading the book.

It is sort of the built-in paradox of Abrahamic religion. How do you have individual justice and accountability in a universe with an all-powerful ruler? Every Christian has to reconcile that, somehow. I've never heard an explanation that satisfied me, but I've heard quite a few that satisfied others.

Edited by mererdog

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On 5/26/2018 at 1:34 AM, Geordon said:

why do so many Christians insist on praying for someone who does not either passively or actively request it?  Especially when the Christian encounters a non-Christian and insists on praying that God will turn their hearts to the True Faith™?  If God is infallible, God created Man, God gave him free will, AND is an all-forgiving deity, why is it assumed that those who are not of the Christian faith are going to burn in Christian Hell for exercising that free will?

 

No one is born a Christian, those who became Christians had their hearts turned towards the faith, so they simply pray for others who are what they once were. Nothing wrong with praying for the lost.

 

Christ is salvation, redemption is not possible for those who reject him. Accepting or rejecting Christ is exercising free will, one choice leads to eternal life and the other to eternal damnation. God is not all-forgiving towards non-believers, they are judged by the law, and the curse of the law applies as the wages of sin is death.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Dan56 said:

Nothing wrong with praying for the lost.

I refer you back to my first post in this thread. If no one knows you are praying, you are probably correct. But if you tell people you are praying, or you pray in front of them, you can easily cause problems if they do not pray the way you do. You may end up starting a fight, or simply alienating the other person, ensuring they will never accept the salvation you want for them. People can be more than a little touchy about this stuff. Most people don't seem to care that much about it, but the ones who do...

Edited by mererdog

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17 hours ago, mererdog said:

I refer you back to my first post in this thread. If no one knows you are praying, you are probably correct. But if you tell people you are praying, or you pray in front of them, you can easily cause problems if they do not pray the way you do. You may end up starting a fight, or simply alienating the other person, ensuring they will never accept the salvation you want for them. People can be more than a little touchy about this stuff. Most people don't seem to care that much about it, but the ones who do...

 

Agreed..... I'd never pray for an unbeliever in front of them, that's too pushy and that kind of in-your-face approach would be more confrontational than helpful.

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On 5/27/2018 at 2:40 AM, Dan56 said:

 

No one is born a Christian, those who became Christians had their hearts turned towards the faith, so they simply pray for others who are what they once were. Nothing wrong with praying for the lost.

 

 

Alright, then help me understand infant baptism.  Baptism after one is old enough to understand the significance, I can understand and encourage, with a few caveats, but that comes down to free will and freely accepting the responsibilities of being part of that religious community.

 

So, who decides who the "lost" are?  That smacks of coercion:  "Dear Jesus, please show your love and violate this person's free will to not believe by making them believe in your love."  Doing this is nothing more than a form of religious bullying.

 

If you disagree, consider this:  How would you feel if a Buddhist said that they would pray for you to open your eyes and see the truth that Buddha taught?  Or, even more to the point, if a member of The Satanic Church were to tell you that they would pray to Satan that you would throw off the shackles of control that you are bound with and seek personal freedom?

 

I'd put better than even money that you would not look kindly on these sorts of acts.

 

On 5/27/2018 at 2:40 AM, Dan56 said:

Christ is salvation, redemption is not possible for those who reject him.

 

And what happens to people who have never encountered your teachings of Jesus?  Do they also burn in Hell?  I just don't know enough about Christianity to know the doctrine.

 

On 5/27/2018 at 2:40 AM, Dan56 said:

God is not all-forgiving towards non-believers, they are judged by the law, and the curse of the law applies as the wages of sin is death

 

There is a difference between disbelievers, non-believers, and unbelievers.  Whose law are they judged by?  What makes that law applicable to them?  

 

What do you mean by "the curse of the law applies as the wages of sin is death"?    As a side note, have you read Archbishop Kirby's writings by any chance?  You might not be so accepting of the Founder's beliefs as far as that goes.

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15 hours ago, Geordon said:

 

Alright, then help me understand infant baptism.  Baptism after one is old enough to understand the significance, I can understand and encourage, with a few caveats, but that comes down to free will and freely accepting the responsibilities of being part of that religious community.

 

So, who decides who the "lost" are?  That smacks of coercion:  "Dear Jesus, please show your love and violate this person's free will to not believe by making them believe in your love."  Doing this is nothing more than a form of religious bullying.

 

If you disagree, consider this:  How would you feel if a Buddhist said that they would pray for you to open your eyes and see the truth that Buddha taught?  Or, even more to the point, if a member of The Satanic Church were to tell you that they would pray to Satan that you would throw off the shackles of control that you are bound with and seek personal freedom?

 

I'd put better than even money that you would not look kindly on these sorts of acts.

 

 

And what happens to people who have never encountered your teachings of Jesus?  Do they also burn in Hell?  I just don't know enough about Christianity to know the doctrine.

 

 

There is a difference between disbelievers, non-believers, and unbelievers.  Whose law are they judged by?  What makes that law applicable to them?  

 

What do you mean by "the curse of the law applies as the wages of sin is death"?    As a side note, have you read Archbishop Kirby's writings by any chance?  You might not be so accepting of the Founder's beliefs as far as that goes.

 

I personally don't believe in infant baptism, that's mostly a Catholic thing.

 

The lost are anyone outside of Christ, nothing coercive about it, a person either believes and accepts him, or disbelieves and rejects him. As I stated, no one is born believing, they simply come around to it. Its ultimately free will because its their choice, no one can bully a person into believing.

 

I wouldn't care if a Buddhist  or any other religious person said they would pray for me. I'd tell them not to bother and that its a waste of time because it wouldn't do any good, but I could care less if they insisted and went ahead and prayed for me anyhow.

 

The bible is clear that everyone will have an opportunity to accept Christ, I believe the millennium is a thousand year period set aside after Christ's first coming specifically for teaching all those who never had a chance to hear the Gospel while in the flesh (Revelation 20). God is righteous, and won't unjustly condemn anyone who is ignorant of the Truth.

 

Everyone is judged by the law (God's commandments). The curse of the law is the penalty for breaking the law (death). Christians believe Christ bore our transgressions on the cross (Isaiah 53), thereby removing the curse of the law for all who believe. Nonbelievers who reject his sacrifice will be judged by their works (deeds) and condemned for being guilty of sin, because they have no Savior. 

 

No, I haven't read any Archbiships writings 

Edited by Dan56

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13 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

I personally don't believe in infant baptism, that's mostly a Catholic thing.

 

I wonder about that, since my mother had me baptized Lutheran in my infancy, and there are so many Christians who have their infants Christened or Baptized soon after birth.

 

17 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

The lost are anyone outside of Christ, nothing coercive about

 

Who says that the people outside of Christ are lost?  What gives them the moral authority to determine that those of a different path are incorrect and fault?  If the answer is anything along the lines of "Well, Christian rules give Christians the moral authority to say that anyone not of our people is wrong" that is, by definition, coercion: "persuading someone to do something by using force or threats."

 

50 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

I wouldn't care if a Buddhist  or any other religious person said they would pray for me. I'd tell them not to bother and that its a waste of time because it wouldn't do any good, but I could care less if they insisted and went ahead and prayed for me anyhow.

 

So, basically, you'd do the same thing that most atheists do... How do you react when you get screamed at by the "prayor" because you're going to their version of Hell? How about when they come and desecrate your holy spaces?

It happens to Atheists and non-Christians  ALL THE TIME.  In the US, that's called a "hate crime"

 

54 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

The bible is clear...

 

Which translation?  Which interpretation?  Which books?  What about the books that a group of men decided were not acceptable for inclusion?  The Holy Bible (all translations) is based off of a series of texts that were written by people and then basically voted on to either include or exclude various portions.  Gospel of Thomas?  Gospel of Mary?  The Apocrypha?  And, again, who decides what is The Truth© that applies to all humanity?

 

52 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

God is righteous, and won't unjustly condemn anyone who is ignorant of the Truth.

 

Who determines what the Truth is?  What about when man invariably gets the Message wrong and perverts the Truth to their own benefit?  And how do you know that the Truth of other people is not also part of your god's Truth, just phrased differently?

 

Now, for some questions from a place of ignorance, since your book is not my book:

 

58 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

Everyone is judged by the law (God's commandments). The curse of the law is the penalty for breaking the law (death). Christians believe Christ bore our transgressions on the cross (Isaiah 53), thereby removing the curse of the law for all who believe. Nonbelievers who reject his sacrifice will be judged by their works (deeds) and condemned for being guilty of sin, because they have no Savior. 

 

By what moral authority do Christians get to judge the Jews, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Aborigines, etc?  All of these were in existence long before your Jesus died on the cross, so what was up with their entry to your heaven before Jesus? What about people whose faith is orthogonal to your own?

 

 By what moral authority do you* force the application of your laws upon people who do not live in your community?  Doing so is, by definition, coercive.

 

If the Crucification removed the curse for breaking the law from believers, how is it morally defensible that someone who perpetrates crimes after they were originally forgiven?  For example, how is it justifiable for a Christian to beat his wife and kids, cheat on his taxes (Render unto Cesar...), abuse people under his control, etc then to go to Church, ask forgiveness on Sunday, then commit the same crimes the next week and repeat the cycle?  Where is the accountability in this world?

 

Nonbelievers and disbelievers are two entirely different categories.  How do you rationalize and justify the sentence to Hell for people who have never heard of the sacrifice of your savior?

 

Plenty of Christians commit sin on a daily basis, in small and large ways.  Plenty of nonChristians do good works day in and day out, and live a life for the benefit and uplift of others.  According to what I understand, the Christian sinners get a free pass, while the nonChristians get tossed into the proverbial lake of fire.  How do you rationalize and justify this?

 

Moreover, how do you rationalize any Protestants going to heaven, since they broke away from The Church at one point or another?  Before the Protestant Reformation there was ONLY one Church.

 

1 hour ago, Dan56 said:

No, I haven't read any Archbiships writings 

 

I would be willing to foot the cost to buy you a copy of Universal Life In The 21st Century with the caveat that you would read the whole thing and be willing to discuss your thoughts, feelings, and impressions afterwards.  I am honestly curious what you would think of Kriby Helmsley's words and the ULC as a whole after reading it.

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10 hours ago, Geordon said:

Who says that the people outside of Christ are lost?  What gives them the moral authority to determine that those of a different path are incorrect and fault?  If the answer is anything along the lines of "Well, Christian rules give Christians the moral authority to say that anyone not of our people is wrong" that is, by definition, coercion: "persuading someone to do something by using force or threats."

 

Jesus said it, and Christians believe he had the moral authority. "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). If someone is persuaded to believe that something is true, its not coercion. No force is used, and for those who decide its not true, damnation means absolutely nothing and is no threat.

 

10 hours ago, Geordon said:

So, basically, you'd do the same thing that most atheists do... How do you react when you get screamed at by the "prayor" because you're going to their version of Hell? How about when they come and desecrate your holy spaces?

It happens to Atheists and non-Christians  ALL THE TIME.  In the US, that's called a "hate crime"

 

I've never been screamed at, but even so, I could care less about their version of hell because I don't believe they're correct.. Imo, its no hate crime to verbally express what you believe.. Its a hate crime to prevent freedom of speech in order to suppress religious liberty and opinion.   

 

10 hours ago, Geordon said:

Which translation?  Which interpretation?  Which books?  What about the books that a group of men decided were not acceptable for inclusion?  The Holy Bible (all translations) is based off of a series of texts that were written by people and then basically voted on to either include or exclude various portions.  Gospel of Thomas?  Gospel of Mary?  The Apocrypha?  And, again, who decides what is The Truth© that applies to all humanity?

 

 Most of Gnostic gospels were written long after the fact by unknown authors. They aren't in the official canon because they could not be authenticated, and most of them blatantly contradict the synoptic gospels which were written by apostles.

 

10 hours ago, Geordon said:

Who determines what the Truth is?  What about when man invariably gets the Message wrong and perverts the Truth to their own benefit?  And how do you know that the Truth of other people is not also part of your god's Truth, just phrased differently?

 

To believers, Christ determined what the Truth is; "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me " (John 14:6)

 

10 hours ago, Geordon said:

By what moral authority do Christians get to judge the Jews, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Aborigines, etc?  All of these were in existence long before your Jesus died on the cross, so what was up with their entry to your heaven before Jesus? What about people whose faith is orthogonal to your own?

 

Christians aren't suppose to judge others in a condemning fashion. We use discernment to determine right from wrong, but condemnation is God's domain.

 

10 hours ago, Geordon said:

By what moral authority do you* force the application of your laws upon people who do not live in your community?  Doing so is, by definition, coercive.

 

The laws are there for all who choose to observe them, again, this is not coercive. Everyone, including Christians are free to sin or obey the commandments. A quick look at the world demonstrates that my God's laws aren't being forced on anyone.

 

10 hours ago, Geordon said:

If the Crucification removed the curse for breaking the law from believers, how is it morally defensible that someone who perpetrates crimes after they were originally forgiven?  For example, how is it justifiable for a Christian to beat his wife and kids, cheat on his taxes (Render unto Cesar...), abuse people under his control, etc then to go to Church, ask forgiveness on Sunday, then commit the same crimes the next week and repeat the cycle?  Where is the accountability in this world?

 

Christians believe that when you repent, your forgiven, even if you fall back and repeat the sin. But God is not mocked, the hypocrite who willfully sins and is unrepentant, is not forgiven until they repent. "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins"  (Hebrews 10:26)

 

10 hours ago, Geordon said:

Nonbelievers and disbelievers are two entirely different categories.  How do you rationalize and justify the sentence to Hell for people who have never heard of the sacrifice of your savior?

 

I previously mentioned that I don't believe hell will be occupied by innocent people who've never heard the gospel, all will have a chance to accept Christ, including those who didn't hear of him during their life on earth.  

 

10 hours ago, Geordon said:

Plenty of Christians commit sin on a daily basis, in small and large ways.  Plenty of nonChristians do good works day in and day out, and live a life for the benefit and uplift of others.  According to what I understand, the Christian sinners get a free pass, while the nonChristians get tossed into the proverbial lake of fire.  How do you rationalize and justify this?

 

There's no free pass, Christ paid the price for all who receive it and accept him into their lives. All have sinned, we are all guilty and worthy of death, so it doesn't matter how 'good' a person is, without a Savior, the Lake of Fire awaits us all.

 

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