A Post on Dead People
Dead People (from a forum post that I put up...)

Anyhow, the question would then be something like "What does/can a dead person do?" You see what I'm saying? This may, at least for me, also involve discussing about angels. I always say a prayer to my guardian angel and I don't feel like it's worship. Maybe I could somehow take something out of that when talking about praying to Mary. For one thing, it seems pretty much the same to me. (except that you know an angel is more powerful than Mary)... which then leads back to the question I just asked about what a dead person can.


A dead persons status in heaven ..... First off, we don't think they get cut off from the rest of the body of Christ. They are more alive than we are (at least I hope so!). We venerate them (particularly Mary) because of their proximity to God - this is not worship or adoration, which is reserved for God only. St. Paul urges us to "imitate" him (1 Cor 4:16, Phil 3:17), as he, in turn, imitates Christ (1 Cor 11:1, 1 Thess 1:6), and we are told to honor the "heroes" of the faith (Heb 6:12, 11:1-40, Jas 5:10-11). None of this detracts from the Infinite Glory and Majesty of God in the least.


Dead Christians are unquestionably more alive and holy than we are, since they are with God (Rev 21:27), and they are aware of earthly events (Heb 12:1, 1 Cor 13:9-12). Some have even come back to earth. For example: Samuel (1 Sam 28:12-15), Moses and Elijah (Mt 17:1-3), and "many saints" (Mt 27:52-3). In all these instances, much communication, and even dialogue, takes place. How, then, could such discourse be considered unlawful and idolatrous? Obviously, God allowed these occurrences, so therefore He must have condoned them. Such "traffic" between heaven and earth lessens the artificial dichotomy which Protestants create by the unspoken, uncritical assumption that those in the "other world" have nothing to do with us in this world. This is neither biblical nor reasonable, and goes against the Bible's view of the one Body of Christ, which is not sundered by death or anything else (see, e.g., Rom 8:38-39).

In the story Jesus tells about the Rich man in the flames. He calls out to Abraham (who is holding Lazarus in his bosom) for help. To me, that's a fairly clear example of a request for intercessory prayer/help from a saint. He sure isn't going 'straight to God', Jesus doesn't condemn the man for asking Abraham for help.

In Revelation 6:9-10, "the souls of them that were slain" pray for those on earth, using what is known as an "imprecatory prayer," as in Psalms 35:1, 59:1-17, 139:19, and Jer 12:20 against the wicked and on behalf of the righteous. In Revelation 5:8-9, the "24 elders," usually interpreted as representing the Church (perhaps the 12 tribes and 12 apostles), act as intercessory intermediaries, presenting the "prayers of saints." This is just common sense, provided one will allow the possibility of its occurrence. Saints in heaven are not just sitting on clouds playing harps, as our cultural mishmash religion would have it. No, they are vitally active in prayer on our behalf.

Also, Hunt says that to have Mary shrines all over the globe would mean that she would have to be everywhere where people pray to her and that would mean that she is a god or at least that we have treated her as a god. However, if you ask me, I just think she is dead and up there and looking down and seeing (and hearing) everyone. Which reminds me of Satan. If Satan can hear and see everybody on this globe (yet he's not a god; some kind of spirit maybe but not a god - whatever, if any, the difference), could a dead person who went up to heaven capable of such or perhaps not fully as much?

Bingo .... you see the fallacy to the argument. Satan is a fallen archangel. St. Michael is one of the good archangels.


I may have asked this question before in CEF but the post is no longer up there and I don't remember the answer and I never copied it onto disk so I'll have to ask again...
Could also benefit others too...
What happens when a person dies? In 1 Thes 4:13-17, it talks about hope for those who have "fallen asleep". (it was brought up to me by someone who questioned the Catholic practice of praying to Mary.) So, does a person's soul just go to rest and then wake up when Christ comes again? Or are they in heaven alive and well?
For the former, it reminds me of Lazarus who was raised from the dead. Jesus was saying that Lazarus was only sleeping but the disciples thought Lazarus was dead and so mistaken Jesus.
For the latter, it reminds me of what Revelation says about the elders offering up prayers of the people or something like that. Also, would the dead in heaven be worshipping heaven all day long non-stop, or would they actually know what's going on down there on earth and have something to pray for? Or could they not know anything that's going on down there but just know that it's not yet the end of the world and so the people still alive down on earth are still needed of prayers offered for them and so the elders and the angels in heaven just pray yet not be able to pick up messages that some people on earth are trying to send to them?


SCRAP THAT - I found a copy of the cef post in my disk. Never mind; thanks for reading though!


Please post what you found from CEF. i would be interested in seeing that.


Sorry, I got it wrong. It turned out to be just the post I had on the apologetics board when dealing with Dave Hunt's garbage. (but you can't find it now 'cuz it got deleted)
{they must have been quite upset with me...}
--------------------anyway, here it is---------------------
Editor's note: see the stuff above...


Thanks for printing that. I had never thought of the fact that no one (at least, no one I know) disputes the active interference of Satan in the world's affairs.


You can also add to the 'yes, Mary (or any other saint) can tell what is going on even if a thousand people are talking to her all at once' argument the idea that Heaven, by definition, must be outside of our concept of linear time and space. People in Heaven - the full presence of God, who, of course, is eternal and CREATED time and space :) - are not necessarily bound by the sme limitations as us. They have literally an eternity to deal with all the requests for help. :)
This argument can also be used to bolster the Catholic concept of the Mass as a 're-presentation' of Calvary - the one sacrifice of Calvary made present for us now in an unbloddy manner - instead of some Protestant idea that since the Mass is happening NOW and Calvary was THEN, then it cannot be the same sacrifice and we are attempting to have Christ 'die anew' (And thus violate the 'once for all' clause of the Crucifixion). But God is OUTSIDE of time, and not bound by it. He can connect NOW to THEN if He wants. :)
'Eternal' and 'infinite' are by definition outside of our concept of space and time.
Rebecca


Well said, Rebecca.


Go back to the Mary (& Saints) Apologetics Page.