He says: Regarding praying for the dead, i am not famiiar with Maccabees and it is not inspired text so I will respond from scripture. I recognize that you may have a different view of Maccabees and the apocraphal books, but since some of the aprocraphal books claim to not be inspired, I recognize that they cant be inspired. Additionally, if Maccabees suggests a teaching that is completely in opposition to scripture, then i would certainly not trust Maccabees. For example, if Maccabees teaches that praying for the dead can release their souls somehow, that violates the consistent scriptural teachings that say that the punishment of judgement is forever and ever, see John 5:28-29. Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth,those who did the good deeds to a resurrrection of life, those who committed evil deeds to a resurrection of judgement.” Also, Revelation 20:10-15 clearly teaches that hell is forever and ever and that thosewhose names are not written in the book of life will suffer the “second death” which is eternal destruction away from God in hell. Herews 9:27 says, “and in as much as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgement”. There is consistent teaching throughout the scriptures that after death, we spend eternity with God or without God. There is no reason to pray for the dead; their fate is sealed. While we have breath in us,we must live for God and follow what he says in his word. We are not to subject ourselves to any man or religion, but only to follow Gods Holy Word. There is no reference to praying for the dead or any hope offered of changing their fates. Consider this, If God could save us by torturing us in hell-like place called Purgatory, then he certainly would have chose that option, rather than having Jesus pay that price on the cross. The whole point of the cross is that only in Christ can we find redemption , and forgiveness. We cant pay for our sins, that is why Jesus paid it on the cross. In fact that is why Paul in Galatians 3:21-22 when he says “for if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law” But the scriptures has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe". There is no law that we could keep perfectly, thus deserving eternal life. Similarily, there is no punishment we can suffer to make up for sin. Only Jesus’ blood can take away our sins . To believe in purgatory is to reject the sacrifice of Jesus as the only payment for our sins. The doctrine of Purgatory violates the entire plan of redemption through Christ. And take into consideration that there is no teaching in scripture about any such place, if that place existed, why doesnt God tell us so plainly in scripture? Instead some Catholic scholars have strung together a few scripture references that are not in context and created this doctrine of Purgatory. While I am not going to judge their motives, it is easy to see how such a false doctrine benefits the Catholic Church.
You could ask the pastor what he means by “inspired” and ask where the author of 2 Maccabbees unequivocally makes the claim that this pastor is making. Then examine whether his definition of inspiration is incompatible with the passage in 2 Maccabbees that supposedly denies inspiration.
Moreoever, show him that, even apart from the question of its inspiration, 2 Maccabees provides historical data about a practice that continues among a number of Jews to the present day (Cf. The Kaddish Foundation).