We don’t have the american evangelical traditions. We might have new evangelical traditions emerging in the last decade or two, that approach the American style, its a new era. Most tiny country places have an Anglican or Uniting church that operates dating from almost Federation. They are lovely and much like an English tv James Harriot era.
Being a British colony till federation meant little here given most of the colony was convicts and a good smattering of European Catholic immigrants. They were pretty rebellious against the ruling powers, which is how we got Eureka Stockade.
Thats what I meant. The gospel music, all that type of thing. The preaching , the tv pastor celebrities, etc. We are a staid conservative religious community, even in our Anglican and Uniting churches.
I have been to both, and been to USA and seen the difference. Even Catholic Mass in USA is much more energetic. I attended a wonderful Spanish Catholic Mass in Arlington with a few people who then profusely apologised to me for thinking I would find it all offensive or a bit too much, compared to what they attend when in Australia. I loved it!
They’re in the Pentecostal category. They are a member church of the Australian Christian Churches, which until a few years ago was called the Assemblies of God in Australia. Despite the name change, they are still part of the worldwide Assemblies of God fellowship, which is Pentecostal.
Yeah, understood. It seems people use “evangelical” as a synonym of contemporary quite a bit. But evangelicalism is not the same as “loud, enthusiastic” or contemporary. You can be a “staid, quiet and conservative” Presbyterian or Methodist or Anglican and still be evangelical.
The first problem is the narrowly tailored definition of communication with the dead provided in the link (and other apologetic articles). Communication for any purpose with the dead (not just communication done to gather information) is clearly condemned in the relevant passages. Further, any reasonable reading of the relevant passages shows that any form of communication with the dead (e.g. not just the classic seance, etc.) is forbidden.
Further, I never found the fact that a certain action (such as necromancy) is officially condemned persuasive as to the question of whether that practice is still permitted/tolerated in an organization (or even endorsed if accomplished in a more acceptable way). For instance, in a non-Roman Catholic Church (such as the one I belong to)–we condemn all kinds of things that we still do (for instance, sin).
Was Samuel dead? Was Abraham, Isaac or Jacob dead? According to Christ they were very much alive (although prior to Christ’s passion, resurrection and ascension). Christ’s comment on the living status of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is often cited by Roman Catholic apologists as grounds for praying to the dead.
I’m sure you would agree that no one has communicated with you/asked you to pray by spiritual/non-physical means. Secondly, it seems that very few prayers to saints are lacking in lengthy statements of praise, trust, etc. I’m certain that when others ask you to pray for them, they don’t spend a lengthy portion of that request offering praises to you, and stating how they entrust their souls, etc. into your hands.
Finally, the absence of any explicit example/model of prayer or request to the spirit of a deceased individual in the New Testament and Old Testament Scriptures (while there are countless prayers offered to God alone) is an elephant in the room that can’t be waived away.
All this said, I acknowledge that those believers in Christ (such as myself) who reject the practice of praying to the saints still have plenty of the spirit of necromancy/witchcraft and the spirit of idolatry in our lives and churches via our frequent rebellions against Christ and His Word. As Scripture states: 1 Sam. 15:23 “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…”
Further, despite my fundamental disagreement on this matter (and some other issues), I do think very highly of many things that my RC brethren have been faithful in–and I know a number of RC brothers and sisters who no doubt put my walk of faith to shame.
p.s. I would add that the prayers to the saints is likewise lacking in the Deuterocanonical texts. The prayers for the dead as offered in 2 Maccabees is a separate question that I’m not addressing here. Further, I have no doubt that the saints in heaven are praying for the Church on earth–but that is a separate question from whether we can communicate with/make requests to the spirits of departed brothers and sisters. I will have to excuse myself from this thread for the next couple of weeks (because of tight schedule). I hope everyone has a blessed Advent Season.
As you know, Jesus told a parable about speaking to the dead. It is called “The Rich Man and Lazarus”. In the parable, the rich man cries out to Lazarus after death just as Lazarus had cried out to the rich man while both were alive.
Please remember that much of the wisdom and content of the Scriptures is not lying on the surface but must be accessed like hidden treasures through meditation and contemplation.
if you seek it [Wisdom] like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Pr 2:4–5). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Ever read the episode of the transfiguration of Jesus? Who was present?
God the Father.
Quite a conversation took place. Peter even wanted to st up 3 tents (tabernacles) 1 for Jesus, 1 for Moses, and 1 for Elijah.
Those 2 OT fellows, that represented the law and the prophets, were there plane as day, and visible for all to see.
Point being, they weren’t dead, as we understand dead. Their souls were alive and fully aware.
then (Rev 5:8) and the 24 elders in heaven offering the prayers to God of the saints.
Hello Steve-b, I’m able to squeeze in one last post. I am aware of this being used as evidence. However, I do not find this to be a strong example to rest the case of praying to saints. Christ alone communicated with His creations — Elijah and Moses — and it was in the context of a unique vision. The transfiguration is hardly representative of typical communication with the spirits of the saints via the act of prayer.
As to Elijah and Moses being alive—I have no dispute, the same was true of Samuel.
As for the Elders in Revelations—there is no indication that they are offering prayers that had been offered to themselves. Nor is there any evidence that the prayers of saints referred to were the prayers of deceased saints who were praying in response to requests they received from Christians on earth. While the prayers of departed saints may be included in the prayers referenced in this passage, the Scripture here and elsewhere uses “saints” (or, holy/sanctified ones) in a broader sense that includes all believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, this passage is also very weak grounds for claiming any Scriptural example of or reference to prayers to saints.
We’ll have to agree to disagree. Have a great Christmas and thanks for the discussion.
If they(the elders) had no connection to the prayers they were offering, why are they even handling these prayers? And think about prayers. They are mental or vocal requests by all the people praying. If they are going straight to God why are the elders even involved?
I’m not a Christian so I don’t really have a dog in this discussion but may I ask…
The Catholic Church uses Tradition as well as scripture (and the Magesterium). When is the earliest mention of praying to the Saints?
I’ve always found it a beautiful tradition (small t) and don’t understand the Protestant objection other than a differing interpretation of scripture. It seems that if the Protestants wanted to continue it they would have accepted the scriptural references that the Catholics use so,for what reason did they want it stopped?
I’ve heard so many Catholics talk about how they have been inspired by or had their faith strengthened due to Saints that unless Protestants had a strong reason for rejecting it would have instead been encouraging it. Can anyone help me understand better? If this not appropriate for here, please ignore…