Is there a Baptist that can answer this question please?

I have a close friend who I love dearly. She is a Baptist.
We were talking on the phone tonight and she commented that she wished Jesus would return. We remarked about the state of our country and our world today. Neither of us have parents any longer, but she is married. I told her how I wished my parents were still alive so I could talk to them about all the bad things happening in the world.
She said she felt bad because her parents couldn’t pray for her anymore.
So do Baptists believe the departed cannot pray for the living?

I grew up Baptist. We were taught that those who die in Christ are in heaven with Christ and no longer involved with the people and happenings of this earth. When we are with Christ, there is no longer any reason to be with the people and things of this earth. Heaven is a place of joy and sinlessness, and no more sorrow. To be involved with the miseries of this earth and the sorrows of their loved ones would be sad, and that’s not what heaven is about.

Yet many Baptists will say that “Grandma is looking down on me from above and watching out for me.” So I think there is a disconnect between what is taught and what is actually practiced. However, most Baptists will say that even if “Grandma is looking down at her grandchildren,” she has no influence over them. That’s all up to God, not the people in heaven.

Baptists also believe that calling upon those who have died and asking them to pray for us is breaking the commandments in the Old Testament to not attempt to communicate with the dead.

This is a tough issue for many Protestants (not all), and one reason why many Protestants believe that the Catholic Church is in error and even advocating sin. Don’t take it lightly. It’s hard to change the thinking of a lifetime and many generations before.

Former Baptist here.
No, they do not.
But you could ‘plant a seed’ by telling her what you believe. Family bonds are pretty powerful. :wink:

Yes they are!
At the end of the obituaries in every newspaper there are memorials to loved ones that have died, Almost always addressed directly to the person who has died. Such as, “Johnny you’ve been gone 10 years ago today and we still love you and miss you as much as the day you left us.” Do they believe ‘Johnny’ can read the newspaper?? I believe everyone, no matter what faith, or lack of, have an indwelling desire to continue to have a connection to our deceased loved ones. The Catholic Church calls it the Communion of Saints. (Everyone in Heaven is a Saint!) We don’t have to pay to put it in a paper, we can speak directly to that loved one in prayer, just as I can pray with you on earth. God Bless, Memaw

Years ago when I was Baptist there was an older church filled with many older members who were dying off. When they died they were ‘removed’ from the church membership rolls. When I asked why I was told 'since they’re dead they’re not members of the church anymore.
Mull that one over for a while.

I am thankful to be a Catholic.
Welcome Home and God Bless, Memaw

I wanted to tell her that we believe in the Communion of Saints and that I am sure her mother and father are both still praying for her, but it was late and I didn’t want to get started in a theological discussion. However, I had thought of sending her an e-mail today in a kind way, but I don’t want to offend her or get in an argument. Any advice?

Thank you for your reply. Which commandments in the Old Testament say that?

It’s true. You would be hard-pressed to find any fundamental Christians who feel the dead can pray for you. As the other poster points out we hear that so and so is finally happy, dancing on feet that wouldn’t work before, raising their voices with the heavenly choir, etc.

Unless my fellow LCMS posters disagree, I believe that our Confessions state that those who have passed on cannot pray for us either. I, personally, would hope that they cannot see down on Earth and see how some of our lives are panning out…I think they would be very saddened.

That is sad. I liked a phrase that we took to heart in a church I belonged to. We always referred to each other as our “Forever Family.”

How do we know whether or not they have made it to a place that they can actually pray to

What do Catholics believe happen to those who will not be recognized by God?


We don’t know for sure except those who have been Canonized. That is infallible. But we are always to have hope!! If someone would be in Hell, they cannot and would not pray for anyone anyway. Only God knows. Not sure what you mean by “those who will not be recognized by God.” Everyone is known and recognized by God. If one goes to Hell, it is because of their own choice. God Bless. Memaw

Well, i am not a baptist, but Protestants do not believe that the departed can pray for the living, nor can the living pray for the departed. Purgatory does not exist for Protestants.

I know this because, although my dad is a Roman Catholic, my mother is a Protestant (charismatic/Pentecostal)

Let me put it to you this way.
When I was a Baptist I would hear things like grandma or grandpa are probably didn’t make it Heaven because they were Catholic/Orthodox/or ______ liberal Protestant denomination that doesn’t agree with us.
Try telling a child that their grandparent is burning in Hell because “they never said the sinner’s prayer”. I actually would hear those very words.
Catholics have the promise of Purgatory.
Catholics believe in God’s mercy. That those souls in Purgatory covet our prayers. The greatest act of love you can show to a loved one who has passed on is to pray for them or request Mary to pray for them.
As for your second question, do you mean atheists? My old boss was an atheist and he died just a few years ago. I suppose the best I can do is to trust the mercy of God.
God’s love is wide. If I can quote a Protestant preacher “God doesn’t love us because of who we are, He loves us because of who He is.” :thumbsup:


Would it be okay to tell her what Catholics believe or should I just let it go?

Hi 7 Sorrows,

If you do, I would only recommend that you do it in a casual non-judgmental way and not in a “You’re wrong and here’s why” argumentative manner. It sounds like you are the kind of person who would do it in a nice way, so if I were you, I would ask God for guidance on the situation and to help with the words to use when the right time comes.

Like others said, chances are you’re not going to change your protestant friend’s point of view and she isn’t going to change yours, so it’s best to tread lightly and allow God to work down the road through the friendship you’ve established with her.

Just my two cents for whatever it’s worth.

Thank you Tommy for your advice. No I wouldn’t say it in a way to provoke an argument. She has been my friend for 39 years. She has been a life long Christian where I lapsed for many years. I have always admired her for her faith, but I find it sad that she feels her parents can’t pray for her because they are passed. What are the 3 churches Catholics believe in again - the Church Suffering, the Church Militant and I forgot the 3rd Church. I am a convert so I guess I don’t know how to explain it well.

Hi 7 Sorrows,
You sound like a very nice person who cares about friendships. You might want to pray for her first and then seek guidance from the Lord as to the timing of mentioning something to her about it. Let the Holy Spirit guide you.

I believe the third church you were seeking is the ‘Church Triumphant’ that consists of those believers already in heaven,

I have fibromyalgia and there are days where I’m kind of cognitively deficient. I will struggle with a concept trying to find words to explain what I’m really trying to say. That said, I think what I meant by God not recognizing someone was that those of us who love and accept Jeus’ sacrifice and death are recognized by God because He is seeing us thru that sacrifice…we will not be separated from Him as those who go to Hell.

Anyway, I appreciate your explanation! Thank you!

God bless!


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