Prayers TO and FOR the dead

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by BobRyan, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    This topic popped up on the OSAS thread here - so I am adding it as it's own thread.

    BobRyan said:

    #1. You are right that I would not accept Maccabees as an inspired book. But that does not mean I don't read it.

    #2. However - I wouldn't mind seeing a quote that SHOWS anyone praying FOR the dead with the view that WHILE DEAD they are being benefitted. I doubt that such an idea is in the entire apocrypha let alone the books of Maccabees.

    #3. The RCC has BOTH the problem of praying TO the dead and the problem of praying FOR the dead - (praying for the dead to receive benefit of that prayer WHILE dead).

    There is no mention of Purgatory, nor a place for the dead such that prayer IMPROVES the place where the dead are - or improves the existence/experience of the dead in any way, in all of scripture or even the apocrypha.

    The point remains.

    </font>[/QUOTE]In Christ,

    Bob
     
  2. Deacon's Son

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    Hi Bob,

    I've been away from the board for a LONG time but I'd like to respond to your post, number by number.

    1 - The inspirational status of the Maccabean books (as well as the other deuterocanonical books) is, of course, a topic for another thread. I will say that it is a shame that the Reformers decided to side w/a Jewish decision made well after the time of Christ on which books of the OT were inspired, totally ignoring even the NT's use of the Septuagint (Greek version of the OT which included the deterocanonical (or "apocryphal") books). One such example is Matthew's reference to Isaiah 7:14 (found in Mt 1:23). Matthew references the prophesy as for a "virgin" who would bear a son. Of course, in the Hebrew OT, the word "alma" (young, unmarried girl) is used, NOT "bethulah" (virgin). Matthew referenced not the Hebrew but the Greek version of the OT which, in Isaiah 7:14, uses the Greek word "parthenos" (which means virgin).

    2 - The quote that "SHOWS [someone] praying FOR the dead with the view that WHILE DEAD they are being benefitted" is found in the above-mentioned 2 Mac 12:43-45 where prayer is referred to as "atonement ... made for the dead so that they might be released from their sin."

    3 - You say that Catholics pray "TO the dead," but I'll remind you of Christ's words that: "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God...have you not read what God said to you,`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." Those in Heaven are alive in Christ (much more alive than you or I).

    "Christ refers to the sinner who 'will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come' (Matt. 12:32), suggesting that one can be freed after death of the consequences of one’s sins. Similarly, Paul tells us that, when we are judged, each man’s work will be tried. And what happens if a righteous man’s work fails the test? 'He will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire' (1 Cor 3:15). Now this loss, this penalty, can’t refer to consignment to hell, since no one is saved there; and heaven can’t be meant, since there is no suffering ("fire") there. The Catholic doctrine of purgatory alone explains this passage." (This last paragraph was taken from http://www.catholic.com/library/Purgatory.asp.)

    God bless.

    In officio Christi,
    Deacon's Son
     
  3. music4Him

    music4Him
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    __________________________________________________
    2 - The quote that "SHOWS [someone] praying FOR the dead with the view that WHILE DEAD they are being benefitted" is found in the above-mentioned 2 Mac 12:43-45 where prayer is referred to as "atonement ... made for the dead so that they might be released from their sin."
    __________________________________________________

    Dead is dead.... the vessel laying in the coffin or in the crypt can't speak anymore thus cannot ask for them selfs to be forgiven......they should have taken care of bizness while they were living and asked Jesus to be their Savior and to save them and relese them from their sin or to cover their sin with His blood.

    __________________________________________________
    3 - You say that Catholics pray "TO the dead," but I'll remind you of Christ's words that: "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God...have you not read what God said to you,`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." Those in Heaven are alive in Christ (much more alive than you or I).
    __________________________________________________

    Those in heaven are alive in Christ "if" they have realized that they are a sinner and recived Christ as their Savior.

    BTW, I clicked on the link and it says "page cannot be found".

    Music4Him [​IMG]
     
  4. dianetavegia

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    Please note that Deacon's Son is a Catholic, hence his beliefs.
     
  5. Matt Black

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    You may or may not be aware that we're having a discussion on the status of the Apocrypha here . But you have to be a Baptist to post there

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  6. music4Him

    music4Him
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    BTW, Since I'm a 1/3rd Baptist (Bapti....costle...sabbathholy) am I welcome to post in the Baptist only Fourms? :D (I asked on another forum were denomination was brought up but I was denied an answer.) :(

    Thank you, [​IMG]
    Music4Him
     
  7. Deacon's Son

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    music4Him: Sorry about the bad link. My primary purpose was to give credit for the last paragraph to whom it is due. Plagiarism is a dirty word! ;)

    Matt Black: Thanks for the head's up on the discussion RE: the "Apocrypha" is great. Unfortunately, it's taking place in a forum where I can't participate but thanks for the info anyway.

    God Bless.

    In officio Chrisi,
    Deacon's Son
     
  8. Matt Black

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    Please have a read anyway!

    M4H - you'll have to ask a mod - possibly PM one. I hope the answer's 'yes'

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  9. dianetavegia

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    Other denominations may read but not respond in a Baptist Only forum. Only Baptists may post there or their replies are removed.

    Webmaster's ruling is 'Membership in a Baptist Church'.

    Diane
     
  10. tamborine lady

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    [​IMG]

    Getting back to the original subject. Prayers to and for the dead!!

    Praying TO the dead is of no benifit, because JESUS said to pray to the Father in His name!

    Praying FOR the dead is of no value, because as Music says, you must accept the Lord while you are alive.

    As for the book of Maccabees, since it is in the Aprocrypha, I don't consider it scripture.

    There is nowhere in the books of the protestant bible that says we can pray people into heaven.


    But then thats just me.

    Peace,

    Tam
     
  11. Deacon's Son

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    Hi Tam,

    Thanks for getting this thread back on track! :)

    Indeed, Jesus did say to pray to the Father in His name (and we are certainly thankful for that). But Jesus did not preclude forms of communication with other heavenly beings, a very biblical act as the Psalmist makes clear when he implores even the residents of heaven to "Bless the Lord":

    "Prayer" is distinct from "worship" or "adoration." To pray is simply to make a request (this is the definition of the word, you can look it up). I can pray you respond to this post. In doing so, I am merely making a request of you, NOT worshipping you (like the Psalmist above who beseeched the angels and "all creatures everywhere in God's domain" to bless the Lord). In the same way, praying to those Christians who have passed on before us is merely asking them for the intercession - not unlike my asking for your intercessory prayers.

    The thinking is that since the Church is the Body of Christ, it is indivisible, even by death (and, like I have already said, those in Heaven are not dead, they are really far more alive than you or I). The Church is united throughout time and space.

    As for praying FOR the dead, St. Paul himself included just such a prayer in his second letter to Timothy when he included the following prayer for his deceased friend, Onesiphorus: "The Lord grant unto him to find mercy of the Lord in that day."

    The Church has always taught that we are only saved by the grace of God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Praying for the "dead" does nothing to change this. Those who are damned are beyond our help and our prayers. But since "nothing unclean" can enter into Heaven (see Rev. 21:27, Heaven and the New Jerusalem are of the same essence - perfect and eternal union with God), those who die with sins for which they have not repented staining their souls can not be admitted. They must first be purified by (and ONLY by) the shed blood of Jesus. The Church has always held that this process, this ante-room to Heaven through which most of us must pass, this thing that we call "Purgatory," is only a purification (effected only through Christ's once-for-all sacrifice on Calvary) that most souls must undergo before entering into Heaven. Our prayers for these Christians are only that the process be as painless as possible. Their eternal destination depended on their own decisions before they died and there is nothing we can do to change that.

    Is it unbiblical to believe that the final purification necessary to enter Heaven may be painful for those who must undergo it? Scripture teaches us that "the Lord disciplines those He loves ... that we may share in His holiness" (Heb 12:6a, 10b) and that "we share in [Jesus'] sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory" (Rom 8:17). And Paul also makes it clear that the perfection God is bringing forth in us will last at least until Christ's return: "I am confident ... that the One Who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the Day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6). Note that Paul didn't write: "until the day that you die," implying that this continual perfection of the soul may last even after death, until Christ's Second Coming.

    Should we pray for something that affects the dead? Every time we pray "Maranatha" (Come, Lord), we are praying for the final judgement and the general resurrection for which even the dead in Christ yearn (as is shown in 2 Cor 5:4 and Rev 6:10). So even this prayer is a prayer for the benefit for those Christians who have died, yet none of us would recoil from praying it. So there is nothing unbiblical about praying for something that is going to happen anyway.

    Hope this is helpful in helping you to understand this topic.

    God bless.

    In officio Christi,
    Deacon's Son
     
  12. BobRyan

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    Hi DeaconS - here is a brief reply

    You can not make the case for first century saints accepting the apocrypha as "inspired" by arguing that as they wrote their Greek NT letters they quoted from the Greek Septuagint's version of Isaiah.

    There is a big gap between that fact - and accept Maccabbees as "inspired".

    This is not correct. In 2 Mac 12 the text explicitly says that the prayer is "pointless" WITHOUT the resurrection. But in RC mythology IMMEDIATE bennefit is gained WHILE DEAD -- without having to 'wait' for resurrection to be benefitted by the prayer.

    It is the NON-RC view that you can't be benefitted while dead - which IS the point that 2Mac 12 is making.

    EVEN WORSE for the RC argument here - is that dying in a state of mortal sin (in this case rank idolatry) would not qualify you to BE in purgatory so you could be benefitted.

    The result? The result is that EVEN if you found some text that DID support your views, the RCC insists that those in 2Mac 12 CAN NOT be benefitted by prayer or purgatory because they died in mortal sin!!

    Your argument dies twice.

    He was not speaking to me. You have to "show your work" you can't simply "pronounce success".

    This is actually a huge problem for the RC POV.

    Christ's argument above in Matt 21 is that When God spoke to Moses - Abraham was long dead. But most devastating to your argument - He said "BUT REGARDING THE RESURRECTION have you not heard..." -- His argument was intended to PROVE the resurrection of the dead to a hostile group (Sadducees).

    His method was to place them in a box - that ONLY the resurrection would solve. (This is the SAME tactic that all debates use when arguing with a hostile opponent. You must force them to conclude for your POV by leaving them with a puzzle that ONLY has your POV as a solution.)

    "Obviously"

    The Sadduccees did not think Abraham was "in heaven" and they did not think he was going to be resurrected AND they were not simply going to "take Christ's Word for it".

    "Obviously"

    The ONLY way for Christ's argument to solve for the resurrection - is to have that as the ONLY SOLUTION! In fact having Abraham in heaven PRIOR to resurrection would completely gut the argument FOR the resurrection as the ONLY way that the statement made to Moses could be TRUE!

    "obviously"

    This is such a devastating problem for your view - I am always delighted whenever someone brings it up!!

    (Or were you doing this as a favor to me??)

    The Sadducees had no OTHER solution for the statement made to Moses OTHER than the resurrection and Christ makes it clear that his argument would prove "The resurrection"

    Again you can not simply "declare success" you have to show your work.

    In 1Thess 4 Paul refers to the saints who have died as "THE DEAD in Christ".

    In John 11 Christ said "Lazarus IS DEAD".

    Even worse for your argument here - EVEN 2MACC12 calls those being prayed for "THE DEAD"!! Your own choice of "a text" continues to argue "against" your POV!!


    The text does not say "You MAY not be forgiven in this life YET you WILL be forgiven in the age to come" -- but you obviously "needed" it to say that.

    The problem for your argument then - is that you are confined to arguing "out of the void of what the text does not say" -- as if it did!

    That is not going to go very far in a discussion with someone that does not already agree with your POV -

    "obviously"

    #1. 1Cor 3 saying nothing about "after a man dies he will be subjected to judgment and suffer loss but not to the point of losing salvation".

    See?

    There is no mention at all of the one who is building having to die first before his work is burned up.

    And the BUILDING that is going on in 1Cor 3 is the TEACHING (explicitly stated IN the text of 1Cor3). The point made IN the text is that some teaching is built on the ONE FOUNDATION the ONE "PETRA" Jesus Christ while other teaching is not and is not of value.

    The WORK that is burned - is the teaching and the people who listen to it. The idea is that bad doctrine will eventually be cast out because it is not built on what 1Cor 3 calls the "ONE PETRA" Jesus Christ.

    No mention at all of purgatory in 1Cor 3, or of a PERSON being burned or of anyone "dying first".

    None of the key features of purgatory are actually In the text!

    Even worse - it argues for the "ONE PETRA" as Jesus Christ "alone".

    Amazing!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. Deacon's Son

    Deacon's Son
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    Hi Bob,
    Thanks for the great response! I appreciate your not taking it “easy” on me for sloppy hermeneutics will get us nowhere. ;) Here is a not-so-brief reply. ;)

    First of all, I agree with your statement that “[y]ou can not make the case for first century saints accepting the apocrypha as ‘inspired’” only by referencing one instance of the usage of the Septuagint instead of the Hebrew OT. However, you must admit that this particular passage is a biggie. I mean, if the Christ was to be born of “a young woman” as is stated in the OT that you defend, then 1) why would Matthew have gone to the trouble of quoting the Septuagint version of this prophecy (which prophesied the birth of the Messiah to specifically to a “virgin”) when he believed this translation not to be inspired. If the Septuagint is not inspired, why would it EVER be quoted from in the NT (ESPECIALLY when the Septuagint passage cited by the NT author renders one of the very prophesies concerning the advent of the Christ in a factually different matter).

    If the Hebrew version of the OT is the only inspired version of the OT (as the Jewish leaders are reputed to have held in opposition to the growing Church at the Council of Jamnia c. 90 A.D.), then, as you maintain, the Septuagint version of the OT is not inspired. So when there is a difference between the two versions, the Hebrew version should be followed, right? (I mean, why ere on the side of non-inspiration?) Well, my question is, why didn’t somebody tell Matthew that?

    Now, according to you, Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be born of a young woman. He used the word alma (young, unmarried woman) NOT bethula (virgin). According to Matthew, Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. Either Matthew was lying (which we know was not the case) or he was using the Septuagint (which included the Apocryphal books that we’ve been discussing). I’d say that this is a pretty important thing for Matthew to get right. You say that this Spirit-inspired Matthean reference to the Septuagint is a “big gap” from claiming inspiration for other books included in that canon but I disagree. I say that there exists much more NT Scriptural evidence for the inspiration of the Septuagint that there is against it.

    The Matthean reference to this particular prophesy, though extremely important, is, by far, not the only clear example of the NT authors (and even the recorded words of Christ Himself) utilizing the Septuagint instead of the Hebrew OT. Speaking of Christ quoting from the Septuagint, if this doesn’t give the version inspired status, I don’t know what would. There are certainly many more examples of NT references and quotations from the Septuagint but this isn’t the place to post an exhaustive list. If one wants to find out about them, all they have to do is a little leg work on their own. ;)

    OK. Back to the Maccabean reference in my other post. First, I must say that it is really useless to argue about this Scriptural justification for praying and making expiations on behalf of the dead because while I hold this book as inspired Scripture, you do not. So I realize that this passage (which, by the way, is NOT a cut and dry “proof text” for the doctrine of Purgatory), understandably, holds no rhetorical weight for my argument in your eyes. But I would like to answer your critique of my earlier reference to this “apocryphal book.” First, scholars agree that the author was most likely arguing for the belief in a resurrection of the dead. The details of the soldiers’ “supplication” and their prayers that the sin of their slain fellow-soldiers “might be fully blotted out” were only secondary for the author (see 2 Mac 12:42) was accepted theology for the time and was not under debate while the belief in a resurrection was a disputed belief for many Jews at the time.

    You asked for a biblical quote (even from within the Apocrypha) that “SHOWS [someone] praying FOR the dead with the view that WHILE DEAD they are being benefited.” I referenced the above Maccabean story but, as you pointed out in your last post, you don’t accept it because the benefit gained for the dead by the prayers of the soldiers in the story would not be realized until the resurrection, NOT while they are dead. I must respectfully disagree with you. The text makes clear that in taking up a collection to provide for an expiatory sacrifice in Jerusalem on behalf of the dead soldiers, that “[Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from their sin” (2 Mac 12:46). These actions (of praying for the dead and of offering sacrifices on their behalf) is described by the author as “excellent and noble” (2 Mac 12:43).

    quote:

    Bob, you said:

    EVEN WORSE for the RC argument here - is that dying in a state of mortal sin (in this case rank idolatry) would not qualify you to BE in purgatory so you could be benefitted.

    The result? The result is that EVEN if you found some text that DID support your views, the RCC insists that those in 2Mac 12 CAN NOT be benefitted by prayer or purgatory because they died in mortal sin!!


    The slain soldiers in the story were found to be wearing “amulets sacred to the idols of Jamnia, which the law forbids the Jews to wear” (2 Mac 12:40). So what did their friends decide? That the dead soldiers were damned idol-worshippers, that they were beyond God’s mercy and for whom praying for inclusion in the resurrection was pointless? Or did they decide that the slain soldiers were otherwise good Jews (indeed martyrs for the faith) who happened to be killed while in a state of sin (superstitiously wearing an amulet), sin minor enough to hope that prayers and sacrifice might “fully … [blot] out” (cf. 2 Mac 12:42). The latter was their view. Was the soldiers’ wearing pagan amulets sinful superstition? Yes. Was it “rank idolatry” (a mortal sin)? Hardly. Also, the text says that wearing the amulets was “why they had been slain” (2 Mac 12:40, referring to Dt 7:25). The idea of their making expiation for their own sin (becoming perfected through suffering even in this life) is another very Pauline and very Catholic one.

    We must also remember that for these pious Jews, heaven was not yet open because Christ had not yet come (remember, this story takes place around 170 B.C.). The benefit they gained was immediate but its effects could not be realized until the resurrection. The prayers on their behalf (somehow) immediately improved the situation of the dead soldiers, moving them (and I’m sorry if this sounds cheesy) from the “resurrection to death” list to the “resurrection to life” list. This benefit was immediate but its effect would not be actualized until the resurrection.
    Of course, this brings up another interesting question: Where were these dead (and all of the righteous dead before Christ)? Heaven was not yet open to them but they would not be confined to hell, from which there is no return. Perhaps somewhere waiting the final purification needed to enter Heaven, purgatorial purification available only through the shed blood of Christ? Food for thought. (Remember – 1 Pt 3:19 says that after His death on the cross that Christ “went to preach to the spirits in prison.” Who were these spirits? They weren’t damned spirits because nothing could help them. They weren’t in Heaven because it was not opened to anyone until after the Resurrection. They were spirits of the just, bound for Heaven, who had died before Heaven was opened to them and who were waiting, in some other place, for the doors of Heaven to be opened to them. At the very least, this passage proves there was, at one time, a third state (besides Heaven or hell) for the souls of the righteous.

    You responded harshly when I used Christ’s teaching the Pharisees about the resurrection to emphasize that the dead in Heaven are not dead but alive. You are exactly right (and, by the way, touché) that this was a poor choice for me to emphasize the life we have in Christ. It was terrible context and has NOTHING to do with our discussion at hand (although, I must admit, I did not understand how these teachings of our Lord are “actually a huge problem for the RC POV.” Maybe your point was just over my head. But as for my rhetorical point that “the dead in Heaven are much more alive than you and I,” I didn’t see this as not “showing my work.” I assumed that we agreed on this (we are, after all, both Christians). If you need “proof texts” to prove that Heaven = everlasting life than we may have more to discuss than the efficacy of praying for and to the dead. ;) Yes, they saints in Heaven are the “dead in Christ” (the references to Lazarus and the Maccabean soldiers take place before the Resurrection of Christ and, therefore, before the opening of Heaven), but … wait a second. Are you a proponent of “soul sleep?” If so, then we are starting from two different suppositions. If not, than you will agree that the “dead in Christ” are very much alive. If you really want “proof texts” (such a miserable term!) for this assumption, then I’ll humor you in another post.

    quote:

    Bob, you said:

    The text does not say "You MAY not be forgiven in this life YET you WILL be forgiven in the age to come" -- but you obviously "needed" it to say that.

    The text (Mt 12:32) says: “And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whosoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

    If the text had ended at “…will not be forgiven,” then I could see your point. But Jesus (not I) felt the need to distinguish between forgiveness in “this age” and “the age to come.” I don’t “need” the Scripture to say anything other than what it plainly does. Christ made the distinguishment between forgiveness in this age and the age to come. Why did He do so? I don’t know, but it is not at all unreasonable to interpret this teaching to mean that it is possible to be forgiven for unrepented-of sins in “the age to come” (the afterlife).
    Such an interpretation correlates to Jesus’ warning to “settle with your opponent while on the way to court with him” or, otherwise be handed “over to the judge” and “thrown into prison.” (Mt 5:25). “Amen,” Jesus says, “you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.” (Mt 5:26). It is not unreasonable to believe that this parable is a warning to repent and make expiations for your sins against others before you die and are judged, or else you will not be ushered into Heaven but sent to a place from which you will not be released “until you have paid the last penny” of your spiritual debt. Could “prison” refer to hell where those who have never trusted in Christ to pay for their “debt” can never pay back their debt and will never be released? Certainly this is a sensible interpretation. But it is every bit as sensible to believe that Christ could have been talking about those who are ultimately bound for Heaven when they die but, because of “unsettled debts,” are not perfect at death and must spend time “in prison” paying off their spiritual debts (through the merits of Christ Jesus), from which, after (with Christ’s assistance) “paying the last penny,” they may enter Heaven.

    This post is probably WAY too long as it is so I’ll leave it here. Great discussion!

    God bless.

    In officio Christi,
    Deacon’s Son
     
  14. Armando

    Armando
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    I found a couple of texts where angels (in this case) intercede on our behalf. Don't know if this apply to this thread.

    Job 33,23 If there shall be an angel speaking for him, one among thousands, to declare man's uprightness, He shall have mercy on him, and shall say: Deliver him, that he may not go down to corruption: I have found wherein I may be merciful to him.

    Heb 1,14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

    Thanks
    Armando
     
  15. Deacon's Son

    Deacon's Son
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    Thanks Armando.

    I'd like to add to your post some basic Scriptural texts that at the very least can be reasonably interpreted to mean that the departed saints intercede for us in Heaven (going, once again, back to one of the primary points of this thread):

    "As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also is Christ .... But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body .... But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share in its joy."(1 Cor 12:12, 20, 24f-26). Since the Body of Christ is the Church, it is easy to see that all members of His Church (past and present) are united in a communion which even death cannot destroy.

    And I would also add St. John's vision of Heaven where, in the midst of the Lamb, the twenty-four elders held "gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones." (Rev 5:8). Here it is not unreasonable to understand the twenty-four elders as representing the glorified saints of all ages. The text clearly presents these elders as presenting the prayers of the holy ones still on earth to God. Still today in the Catholic Church, incense is used as a sign of reverence and, per the Scriptural example just given, to symbolize prayers "rising up to Heaven."

    I want to add one other personal gloss. Anyone who knows very much about the tragic differences that seperate Protestants and Catholics knows that while we agree on the unique inerrancy and Divine inspiration of Holy Scripture, we do not agree on the idea that the Holy Bible is to be the Church's ONLY source of divine revelation. Of course most of you know that the Catholic Church (along with her sister Eastern churches) recognize that Christ instituted the Church and gave it special powers (Mt 16:18-19) long before there was an official biblical canon. For this reason, Catholics recognize the unique power of the Church to interpret the Scriptures in the light of Apostolic Tradition.

    I am fully aware of the fact that Baptists do not adhere to this belief. My only attempt in these posts is not to "preach" that the interpretation I present is the ONLY logical one, but instead to point out that the Catholic interpretation is feasible. My goal is not to prove that "I'm right and you're wrong", it is only to help y'all to see that the Catholic teachings about these things are every bit as Scripturally tenable as the opposing interpretations. In this time of very real faith-based conflict in which the world is presently engulfed, all Christians should be drawn together in defense of our common faith in Christ. My goal in posting is NOT to drive wedges but to draw all of us together in the realization that, at the very least, our differering interpretations are logical ones.

    God bless.

    In officio Christi,
    Deacon's Son
     
  16. DHK

    DHK
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    But they are not Scriptural. They are as anti-Scriptural as any cult, like the J.W.'s or Mormons, or any other cult or false religion. It is a very anti-Biblical religion outside the realm of true Christianity.
    Try as you may you won't find any. Neither did Armando. If you rightly divide the word of truth as we are commanded to do, you won't find a single verse that even suggests to intercede for anyone in Heaven. In fact the Old Testament commands that we should put necromancers to death. Is this what you suggest we do with all Roman Catholics??
    To suggest this passage you would have any Bible expositor laughing on the floor. Surely you jest. 1Cor.12 is a simple illustration that Paul uses to describe the different functions that each member of a local church has toward each other and the church he or she belongs to. It is obvious from the verse that you referred to that mentions suffering--"when one member suffers then all the members suffer with him"--that this can only be applicable in a local church where all the members are familiar with each other. In Paul's day the members of the church at Corinth were not familiar with members (and their various affirmities and sufferings) in the churches at Rome, Galatia, Colossus, Ephesus, Crete, etc. They did not have a telephone, internet, etc. But in a local church they knew almost immediately when one of their own suffered, and they suffered with them. When one of your friends dies, do others in your church know about it? They do in our church (if one of my friends were to die). We suffer together. We rejoice together.
    Revelation 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.

    Notice that prayers are not offered but incense is. Incense is representative of prayers. What is in heaven is a heavenly Temple something like there was in the Old Testament. The incense represents prayer. Prayer is not being offered. Incense is.
    The incense in the Catholic Church has nothing to do with the scene in the Book of Revelation. Most Catholics are totally ignorant of the Book of Revelation, and even more the Bible itself. I know, I was one for 20 years. We didn't study the Bible; we studied the catechism.

    That is correct, and that is where the Catholic Church falls into grievous error, if not heresy. The Mormons have their Book of Mormon, and the Catholics have their Oral Tradition, both sources of extra revelation, both marks of a cult. God gave us one source and only one source of revelation--the Bible.
    NO! Most of us do not know that. We realize it as Catholic fiction. The Catholic Church did not exist until the fourth century, and had nothing to do with the canon of the New Testament. The New Testament was written and transmitted to the early church by the Apostles. They knew which books were inspired (since they wrote them), and passed that knowledge on to the early churches. Just because there were false teachers in the first and second centuries who tried to introduce other books, and corrupt the pure canon, does not mean that the early church did not know which books were inspired and which were not. 2Peter3 speaks of Paul's epistles being Scripture, and he speaks of the Apostles writings in general being Scripture.

    The apostate men of the Catholic Church have no power to interpret the Scriptures for anyone. The Bible is of no private interpretation (2Pet.1:20-22). Furthermore the Bible is never interpreted in the light of any other authority (such as Apostolic Authority). That is absurd. The Bible itself is its own authority. It is our standard. It is God's Word, God's revelation to mankind. We have no other authority than the Word of God. We don't need others to interpret it for us. God sent down his word to mankind that he might have a guidebook to follow. We follow the guidebook, not the men who think they know what the guidebook says. Shall we ask the Buddhists their opinion of what the guidebook says as well??
    It isn't feasible at all. It is fraught with inconsistencies, contraditions, unbiblical doctrines, heresies, and even the markings of a cult.
    There is no "common faith" between true Christianity and Roman Catholicism."
    Catholic interpretations of the Bible have never been logical. You cannot logically prove from the Bible such doctrines as purgatory, the sacrifice of the mass, transubstantiation, the assumption of Mary, the immaculate conception of Mary, the eternal virginity of Mary, indulgences, confession of sins to a priest, penance (from a priest), etc. Those are good just for starters. There are many more. In no way are your interpretations logical; no way. They are at the very least heretical.
    DHK
     
  17. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    This "Other Christian Denominations" area of the board would be very different indeed if that statement were true.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. BobRyan

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    #1. Matthew was already writing in Greek and a Greek-reading audience (one that is more comfortable with Greek than Hebrew or Aramaic) would be reading the Greek scriptures to "test" Matthew's words. (As we see them doing in Acts 17:11 to test Paul).

    (Notice how Paul build's his case for the Gospel in Gal 3 - by appealing to "proofs" from scripture)

    #2. The Hebrew word used in Isaiah is broad enough to include EITHER the idea of a virgin or simply a young woman. The Greek word is "more specific" and selects one of the possible meanings available in the Hebrew term.

    #3. Matthew quotes the JEWISH document - "the Septuagint". A document that was NOT created by Jews to "make Christianity look good"!. This means that the Hebrew scholars among the JEWS recognized the specific meaning!

    "Translations" are not "inspired" as in KJV vs Vulgate vs NASB etc. The Bible AUTHORS are in spired and so "all scripture is given by inspiration from God".

    Translators are simply -- translating.

    Isaiah is inspired NOT because some unknown Jews translated it from Hebrew to Greek - but it is inspired AS given to Isaiah and written in Hebrew. IT is then TRANSLATED for non-Hebrew readers!

    That does NOT mean that any document translated from Hebrew to Greek MUST ALSO BE INSPIRED by virtue of "translation"!

    See?

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  19. BobRyan

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    I agree with you view here that I would not accept an unninspired writer saying "hey believe in purgatory because I say so" and I do not consider the book of Maccabees to be inspired.

    However you claim that this book does make the case for purgatory - and so even on a literary basis - I am willing to debate the point.

    #1.The "Document" does NOT argue for ANY change in the state of the dead or the quality of "dead life" as a result of sacrifices.

    #2. The text clearly shows the dead to be CALLED "the DEAD" and to have died IN idolatry -- even attributing their death and the sacrifices to that huge problem.

    #3. Dying in open rebellion - (idolatry is a mortal sin) is considered EVEN the RCC to prevent you from going to purgatory.

    #4. The text clearly says that NO BENEFIT is achieved in that sacrifice apart from the resurrection of the dead!

    #5. And of course no mention at all is made about "purgatory" or fires tormenting the dead -- etc.

    So "the document" lacks every key salient point "needed" to defend the myth -- purgatory.

    Agreed - that can easily be substantiated by the wording that is actually in the text.

    And by stating that this has no value - apart from the resurrection - the entire basis for going into the "benefits WHILE DEAD" of "THE DEAD" when they are prayed for -- is negated!


    That is true.

    Well - the RCC says that no such thing could have happened since they died in Mortal sin.

    The text says that no such thing (change or benefit) was available while dead - ONLY in resurrection could they "recieve benefit" - the whole thing is useless apart from the BENEFIT of the resurrection.

    But in the concept of purgatory -- IMMEDIATE benefit is gained by going FROM Purgatory TO HEAVEN!.

    In the concept of purgatory -- if you are not raised for a million years - that is simply a million years in HEAVEN and not purgatory. And even WHEN you are raised - the "benefit" is STILL -- HEAVEN!

    Washing that all away with the idea that "apart from the resurrection there IS NO benefit" is EXACTLY what someone in position would be arguing!

    Well - it is doubtful that the "friends" were Roman Catholic - or had ever heard a proclamation from the Pope on that topic - wouldn't you agree! So arguing that they were applying the Pope's views based on local information and knew of some escape clause for this kind of idolatry -- is not a compelling argument.

    The idolatry factor prevents EVEN the RCC from arguing that those who are called "THE DEAD" in 2Macc 12 are in fact IN purgatory and are to be benefitted by the animal sacrifices IN purgatory!

    This is the easy part.

    In the text - the author says that God's mercy to "THE DEAD" could only be realized IN the resurrection so the idea is that AFTER resurrection God might consider the burnt offerings to BENEFIT "THE DEAD".

    According to the RCC - if you wait until AFTER the resurrection for this BENEFIT - you have lost the ENTIRE BENEFIT of escaping purgatory since you can't STILL be in purgatory AFTER you are resurrected!

    There is NO basis for ANY OT observance of polytheism - where "supertitious wearing of amulet - images to false gods") is anything OTHER than polytheism. Simply making up a story that this might be some exception is not justified by the text - in the least.

    Jacob's wives ALSO had in their possession - some of the household gods! The fact that jews would be praying for an interested in relatives and friends guilty of the same -- is not an argument that they were NOT really engaging in polytheistic idolatry.

    You are simply "speculating" with nothing that justify it but your "need" to get around the obvious fact that idolatry disqualifies them in CURRENT RC thought -- and the to pretend that they knew current RC doctrine - centuries before Christ!

    Show ANY case in all of the OT where choosing images of false gods is NOT considered BY GOD to be idolatry!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  20. BobRyan

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    This is the kind of double-speak that is worthy of a used car salesman "IMMEDIATE BENEFIT NOT realized".

    I suggest you rethink that and frame it in the form of a compelling argument.

    If it merely changes their "list status" in God's mind - (i.e. what He is GOING TO DO some day in the future AT their resurrection) then your problems are huge!!

    #1. There are only TWO lists - the resurrection of the righteous -- and the resurrection of the damned. YOU are now arguing that they ARE guilty of mortal sin AND are bouned for the resurrection of the damned - and need to be changed to the "other list".

    That is EXACTLY the case that the RCC argues as NOT qualifying for purgatory! You have negated your entire argument!

    #2. IF the benefit is only experienced/realized in WHICH resurrection they qualify for - then their condition WHILE dead is UNCHANGED. That is they themselves experience NO change UNTIL they experience the resurrection CHANGE.

    Again! You argue against their life -- quality of dead-life CHANGING BEFORE the resurrection - by saying that the only CHANGE is which LIST they are on and which resurrection they will come to.

    Here is a huge speculative realm for your views. But it is also false. Elijah and Enoch were both taken to heaven in the OT.

    REAL heaven - really taken.

    Forgiveness in the OT was "real".

    The new birth change experienced by the giants of faith in Heb 11 - was "real" - because the only OTHER state is "total depravity".


    Actually it says "NOW IN PRISON" and in answer as to WHO they were - and WHEN this happened -- the text is clear -- they were "THOSE who were disobedient before the flood WHILE the ark was being built".

    There is nothing in here about forgiveness not being real or those taken to heaven (like Enoch and Elijah) not "really" being taken to heaven.

    As interesting as that myth is - it does not solve your problem.

    Purgatory is a place of fire, torment and purging that would have to STOP (as the presumed benefit) so EVEN if the person simply goes to "limbo" the fact of STOPPING their torment is an immediate benefit even in your somewhat speculative ideas regarding heaven in the OT.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     

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