Communicating with the dead


#1

I have a friend (Salvation Army) who is close to becoming a Catholic. She believes in the most of the Church teaching and has been through RCIA, but she is stuck on Mary and the Saints. There seem to be two, related, issues.

One is “The Bible says we shouldn’t communicate with the dead”, for example Deut 18:10-11

“Let there not be found among you …. nor one who consults ghosts and spirits, or seeks oracles from the dead.”

Then there is “How do we know those who die are not asleep until the resurrection?”. For this take for example Psalm 22:30 “All who sleep in the earth will bow low before the Lord”. And 1 Samuel 29:15, when Samuel says, “Why do you disturb me by conjuring me up”

Can you give me some good arguments against these and for the Catholic position of the communion of saints, alive in heaven; and asking Mary & the saints for intercession.

Preferably I would like good scripture backup for arguments. Thanks


#2

The answer lies in the meaning of what it means to be “The Body of Christ”.

Is this a symbolic statement, or does it really mean a spiritual reality?
If we are members of One Body, then that means we share in Christ’s life. See what 2Pet 1:4 says about sharing in Christ’s divinity. What does it mean to take his flesh and blood. Is there not a real spiritual unity with our soul to Christ’s body blood soul and divinity in the Eucharist? Are we not really becoming One with Christ in the Eucharist. Not a symbolic unity, but a real unity (as we affirm the real presence).

If we share in Christ’s divinity, and we are mystically members of His One body, then really, how can we be asleep, and how can we be dead?

And if we are part of Christ’s body, that means we are parts of Christ. That means that we share in his role as Priest, Prophet, and King. And as Priest, he is the one singular mediator between God and man. And as we share that, we also share in that mediatorship with Christ.
The saints can aid us with their prayer precisely because they are deeply united to Christ in heaven. For we are one body as it says in Ephesians 4:4-6.

To answer about soul sleep: Is Christ dead, or is Christ among the living? To be in Christ and share in His body means we are alive, so we are not trying to get oracles from the dead. We are communing with the source of all life, Christ.

The answer lies in delving deeper into the mystery of what it means to be part of the Body of Christ and what that means in terms of the life of the One God in three persons, a community [com (with) unity (one)].

It’s more of a statement to reflect on rather than a canned answer.


#3

Necromancy is cleary forbidden, look up the scriptures for yourself:

General scriptures concerning (Deuteronomy 18:11;26:14; Isaiah 8:19;29:4)

INSTANCE OF » The witch of En-dor (1 Samuel 28:7-19)

Consulting of, forbidden (Leviticus 19:31;20:6,27; Deuteronomy 18:10,11)

Vain (Isaiah 8:19;19:3)

Those who consulted, to be cut off (Leviticus 20:6,27)

INSTANCES OF THOSE WHO CONSULTED » Saul (1 Samuel 28:3-25; 1 Chronicles 10:13)

I am assuming that you are speaking with a Jehovah’s Witness or SDA.

The New World Translation is almost word for word Greber’s New Testament.

Greber Supports New World Translation: Watchtower Cites Occult Spiritist
watchman.org/jw/greber.htm

On the Care of the Dead newadvent.org/fathers/1316.htm

Acts 15:20
Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

Acts 15:29
You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.

Acts 21:25
As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality."


#4

[quote=steve99] I have a friend (Salvation Army) who is close to becoming a Catholic. She believes in the most of the Church teaching and has been through RCIA, but she is stuck on Mary and the Saints. There seem to be two, related, issues.

One is “The Bible says we shouldn’t communicate with the dead”, for example Deut 18:10-11

“Let there not be found among you …. nor one who consults ghosts and spirits, or seeks oracles from the dead.”

Then there is “How do we know those who die are not asleep until the resurrection?”. For this take for example Psalm 22:30 “All who sleep in the earth will bow low before the Lord”. And 1 Samuel 29:15, when Samuel says, “Why do you disturb me by conjuring me up”

Can you give me some good arguments against these and for the Catholic position of the communion of saints, alive in heaven; and asking Mary & the saints for intercession.

Preferably I would like good scripture backup for arguments. Thanks
[/quote]

Either their interpretation of Scripture is incorrect or Jesus was sinning when:

[quote=drbo.org] Mt 17, 1 And after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: 2 And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow. 3 And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him.
[/quote]

Of course, Jesus was not sinning, those souls united with God are not “dead” they are more alive than you and I. Reading Scripture if there is one recurring theme (both OT & NT) it is intercession. God uses man, angels, inanimate objects for intercession. He didn’t change rules with the incarnation, He still uses us, and His saints in heaven. Jesus is “the” mediator as in the Most High mediator, but He still uses you and I, and the saints in heaven to do His work. The problem with your friends thinking is that those who leave this world in the unity of Jesus the Christ are dead, they most certainly are not.


#5

Praying along with saints is not consulting the dead.

Why do you think it is. Totally different things, and total mis-application of the Old-Testament passages.

Going to a fortune teller is not the same as praying a rosary.

The fundamental misunderstanding of some is staggering!


#6

[quote=Dan-Man916]Praying along with saints is not consulting the dead. Why do you think it is. Totally different things, and total mis-application of the Old-Testament passages. Going to a fortune teller is not the same as praying a rosary. The fundamental misunderstanding of some is staggering!
[/quote]

Right, praying, asking the Saints and Mary to intercede for us before the throne of God, is not the same as conjuring or trying to consult the dead through a seance/medium.
In the Old Testament books of Kings, the mother of each of the Kings of Israel and Judah is listed along with the King. That is because the Queen Mother and not one of the King’s wives ruled along with the King. Jesus is the King of Kings and following the Jewish tradition Mary reigns as the Queen of Heaven. She is not worshipped because she is not God, but she is venerated or honored because of her relationship to Jesus. It is difficult for an outside observer to see any difference between veneration and worship as it is interior and in the mind of the person praying.


#7

one thing ive been asked by my girlfriend and have had difficulty explaining, is why do we bother praying to saints, seeing how our prayers have to go through God to be heard by them, why do we not just pray to God himself?

i konw the basics of what we beleive and why we beleive it, but im definitely not a trianed apologist yet… i have read the tracts on the main page]


#8

[quote=jax8686] why do we not just pray to God himself?

[/quote]

Read what I said about the Body of Christ. Saying, just pray to God himelf doesn’t recognize the real unity that those in Heaven have with God.


closed #9

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