How can I defend that the Communion of Saints is not communicating with the dead?

My father is Assemblies of God. He says that asking St. Therese to pray for me is communicating with the dead which is forbidden in the Bible. I said that I wasn’t asking her to talk back so it wasn’t communication. He says it is one-way communication from me to her which is communicating with the dead which is a sin. How can I defend my position that it’s not wrong to do so? Thank you!

The bible speaks of necromancy, and that is something very specific.

“Communicating” is a very generic term and not an accurate translation of what the bible is speaking of (see article above).

Necromancy and prayer are both forms of communication with different methods and different purposes. Necromancy is forbidden. Prayer is not.

I would be thinking past to the particular judgement and the final judgement for a deeper conversation imho.

Here is a pretty good article on this site.

Jesus spoke to Elijah and Moses in the Transfiguration (cf Matthew 17:1–9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28–36). Is your father saying that Jesus “communicated with the dead”? In other words, he’s saying that Jesus sinned? :eek:

Also, you might consider pointing him to Mark 12:27 (Jesus says that God "is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled.) We do not communicate with dead people; we ask prayers of the living saints in heaven. :wink:

^ This

Jesus states, quite clearly, that those in heaven are not dead, but alive with God. I don’t think the point can be made any clearer than that.

Christ is risen. We have life in Christ. The whole point of Christianity is that Christ has defeated death. Death is not the last word. Those who have died in Christ live more fully than we do.
Why would we not communicate with the living? It makes no sense. All who live in Christ are unified. They are present to us. We should talk, eh?

We can add another one…
Don’t have the location in front of me…but Jesus said (paraphrased) If anyone believes in Him, "Even though he die, yet shall he live and he that lives and believes will never die…
Ask If he believes what Jesus says in Scripture.

Since the saints believe in Jesus…according to Jesus…they never died…:shrug:
Therefore we are not praying to the dead.

Case closed


This blog article of mine may help. The Intercession & Communion of Saints

CA also has some very good material that will be handy.

*]Friends In High Places - The Communion Of Saints In The Life Of The Christian
*]The Intercession of the Saints radio program
*]What is the biblical reason Catholics pray to saints for intercession?
*]The Intercession of the Saints tract
*]Any Friend of God is a Friend of Mine
*]Six Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family and Friends

In additional to all the good answers so far, I would just add, from conception we are body & soul. The body is mortal it dies. But from our conception, our soul, created by God, is immortal. Which means we are immortal in spirit, with memory intellect and will fully functional forever no matter where the soul is after judgement. The soul doesn’t sleep, it doesn’t die, nor does it go into a coma at the death of the body waiting till the 2nd comming which might be tommorrow or a billion years from now. A person who dies in the flesh, is immediately judged by Jesus. Their soul either goes immediately in spirit to hell, or to purgatory if in need of purification before heaven, or to heaven directly. No waiting around, fully alive in spirit, fully aware of what’s happening, because we have memory intellect and will forever. As Jesus said, the flesh is of no avail, it’s the spirit that gives life.

At the end of the world, which could be billions of years from now, will be the resurrection of all the bodies who have ever lived and died, and are then reunited with their souls again. At that point souls who are already in heaven are now in heaven body and soul. Those in hell are now in hell body and soul. Purgatory ceases to exist since there are no longer any more people to judge. Those in purgatory then, will be body and soul again and enter heaven.

1. Jesus teaches from the Old Testament

“Have you not read in the book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, ‘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. You are badly mistaken!” (Mark 12:26-27)

In this teaching, Jesus tells us plainly that the Father is the God of the living.

2. Speaking with the “Dead” - Jesus teaches by parable

"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”(Luke 16:19-31)

In this parable, Jesus has two of the “dead” characters in his story talking with one another, and one of the “dead” men intercedes on behalf of his living relatives.

3. Speaking with the “Dead” - Jesus teaches by personal example

“After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.” (Matthew 17:1-3)

At the transfiguration, Jesus was talking with two “dead” people, Moses and Elijah. They’re actually alive, though.

4. Speaking to the dead – Peter teaches by example

“Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive.” (Acts 9:40-41)

5. Those in Heaven Hear Our Prayers - John teaches through prophetic revelation

“He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Revelation 5:7-8)

The 24 elders in heaven are men, and notice that they each have a golden bowl full of the prayers of the saints. That’s us since we’re all saints! So, how did they get hold of our prayers in order to offer them to God?

“Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne.” (Revelation 8:3)

Here, an angel also offers our prayers along with incense.

Thank you everyone who took time to post. :heart: You provided me with much needed biblical examples. He’ll be more willing to accept it if it comes from the Bible. Thanks again!

i certainly would not apply this information to try to convince an assembly of God – person–

Assembly of God – persons are taught to hear from the Holy Spirit–

do you know any catholic’s who can convince you that they can hear from the “spiritual realm”??

i can tell you that i don’t ? – when catholic’s pray – it seems to be saying a hail mary or an our father–or a whole bunch – contained in the rosery-

if as a catholic you have results or prayer-- then a testimony – should be OK

Who is dead?

Not sure why you would think that the information given would not be useful in a discussion with an AoG adherent. Especially since the OP states the this AoG Father references the bible in his argument.

Assembly of God – persons are taught to hear from the Holy Spirit–

As are Catholics.

do you know any catholic’s who can convince you that they can hear from the “spiritual realm”??

Sure…I am Catholic and I have heard from the Spiritual realm. Do you believe me?

i can tell you that i don’t ? – when catholic’s pray – it seems to be saying a hail mary or an our father–or a whole bunch – contained in the rosery-

Be careful about what things “seem” to be. “Seems to be” might be misleading.

Catholic prayer can be very deep and very fruitful.
The Our Father was taught to us by the Lord.
The entire first part of the Hail Mary is straight from the NT and the second half is simply asking a fellow Christian to pray for us.
The rosary, while (to the uninitiated) can seem like pointless repetition is, in reality and used right, a deeply contemplative prayer and meditation on the life, death and ministry of Christ.

Too many seem to have a misconception about Catholics and prayer.

if as a catholic you have results or prayer-- then a testimony – should be OK

I’d say that is just exactly what the OP is hoping to present. :thumbsup:


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