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Yes, but the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, not Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is indwelt in all believers, correct? That would include those who have passed on.

 

If the Holy Spirit in us makes intercession on our behalf, why would we require the prayers of a saint who has long since passed away? Jesus never suggested such a thing.

 

 

Jesus also never says to pray to him, through him, yes or in his name, but never to him. No one complains about that.

 

True, but praying to someone who claimed deity is different than praying to a dead human, whatever the state of their eternal existence.

 

καὶ ὅτε ἔλαβεν τὸ βιβλίον τὰ τέσσαρα ζῷα καὶ οἱ εἴκοσι τέσσαρες πρεσβύτεροι ἔπεσαν ἐνώπιον τοῦ ἀρνίου ἔχοντες ἕκαστος κιθάραν καὶ φιάλας χρυσᾶς γεμούσας θυμιαμάτων, αἵ εἰσιν αἱ προσευχαὶ τῶν ἁγίων, And another messenger did come, and he stood at the altar, having a golden censer, and there was given to him much perfume, that of all prayers of all the saints to intercede upon the golden altar that is before the throne.

 

First, I believe in context, this messenger would be an angelic being, not a dead believer. Second, even IF this is literal, this "saint" is not authoring a prayer on behalf on someone on earth, but rather presenting the prayers of living believers to God. I believe this is largely figurative.

 

Why? What's the difference if, for example, I were to ask my brother to pray for me, and I were to pray and ask St. Catherine of Siena to pray for me, because I am undergoing some of the same struggles she did in life?

 

Also Revelation 8: 3-4

 

Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a gold censer. He was given a great quantity of incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the saints, on the gold altar that was before the throne. The smoke of the incense along with the prayers of the saints went up before God from the hand of the angel.

 

There is no evidence that the saints in heaven AUTHOR prayers on behalf of believers. Instead, this passage again refers to an angel, a created, non-human being, bringing the prayers of the saints on earth before God. There is no request to a dead believer to intercede for me in front of God. There is no Biblical evidence of prayers being offered TO the saints. These prayers were offered to God.

 

 

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If the Holy Spirit in us makes intercession on our behalf, why would we require the prayers of a saint who has long since passed away? Jesus never suggested such a thing.

 

If the Holy Spirit offers prayer on our behalf, why would other believers praying for us be necessary? It cuts both ways.

 

True, but praying to someone who claimed deity is different than praying to a dead human, whatever the state of their eternal existence.

 

It seems like you think that EO, for example, are like Malcolm Reynolds. "Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket." That's not what goes on. Why would it matter if they're alive or dead if G-d hears their prayers either way?

 

In the Gospels, in Luke, they're's a parable man in the grave begs Abraham for some water. This is told by Jesus. There's nothing to suggest that the dead can't pray for the living as well.

 

First, I believe in context, this messenger would be an angelic being, not a dead believer.

 

Agreed.

 

Second, even IF this is literal, this "saint" is not authoring a prayer on behalf on someone on earth, but rather presenting the prayers of living believers to God. I believe this is largely figurative.

 

But you're suggesting that they can't, which is stated nowhere in scripture. Further, they are still offering prayers to G-d -- why would this offering be necessary, if they reached G-d directly through Jesus or G-d himself?

 

There is no evidence that the saints in heaven AUTHOR prayers on behalf of believers.

 

Incorrect!

 

Luke 16: 27-28 -- “He answered, ‘Then I pray to you, father [of Abraham], send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

 

If Jesus says the dead can pray something Abraham, for those living, how can a believer say that the dead can't pray to G-d for the living?

 

 

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If the Holy Spirit offers prayer on our behalf, why would other believers praying for us be necessary? It cuts both ways.

 

Because James tells us there is power in prayer, but I can still find nothing that leads me to believe the dead offer their own prayers on my behalf.

 

 

It seems like you think that EO, for example, are like Malcolm Reynolds. "Dear Buddha, please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket." That's not what goes on. Why would it matter if they're alive or dead if G-d hears their prayers either way? In the Gospels, in Luke, they're's a parable man in the grave begs Abraham for some water. This is told by Jesus. There's nothing to suggest that the dead can't pray for the living as well.

 

And there's nothing to suggest I should petition the dead to make those prayers rather than simply praying to God Himself.

 

But you're suggesting that they can't, which is stated nowhere in scripture. Further, they are still offering prayers to G-d -- why would this offering be necessary, if they reached G-d directly through Jesus or G-d himself?

 

I believe the book of Revelation is largely figurative. I would hesitate to state that there are, in fact, literal angelic beings bringing bowls full of prayers to God.

 

Incorrect! Luke 16: 27-28 -- “He answered, ‘Then I pray to you, father [of Abraham], send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ If Jesus says the dead can pray something Abraham, for those living, how can a believer say that the dead can't pray to G-d for the living?

 

Pray - to make earnest petition to (a person). I believe that is the sense of the word used here. You can correct me on my understanding of the language if I'm wrong. I feel an earnest petition to one who is also dead is quite different than offering up an individually authored prayer on behalf of those living. Even in Revelation, the angels are offering the prayers of the people, not their own prayers. I see nothing to suggest that I should ever offer up a petition to a dead believer in order that he might pray for me, rather than simply coming before the Father myself.

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And there's nothing to suggest I should petition the dead to make those prayers rather than simply praying to God Himself.

 

Believe it or not, some people have too much guilt to do that. They can try, but the words, the feelings get stopped up, and they CAN'T.

 

Pray - to make earnest petition to (a person). I believe that is the sense of the word used here.

 

Nope. The Greek word doesn't work. It's a completely different root. And this is why reading your scriptures in the original language is VITAL.

 

Even in Revelation, the angels are offering the prayers of the people, not their own prayers.

 

But in the Old Testament, they offer up their own.

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Believe it or not, some people have too much guilt to do that. They can try, but the words, the feelings get stopped up, and they CAN'T.

As such, the spirit makes intercession. Not the saints.

 

Nope. The Greek word doesn't work. It's a completely different root. And this is why reading your scriptures in the original language is VITAL.

 

Trust me, I plan on it. Still in high school wink.gif

 

So the prayer of the rich man directed at Abraham is the equivalent of a prayer offered to God then?

 

 

But in the Old Testament, they offer up their own.

 

Where?

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As such, the spirit makes intercession. Not the saints.

 

So what if someone is just as cowed by the spirit? I can think of fifteen people I know who believe wholeheartedly in Jesus but cannot handle even thinking a prayer because of the guilt they feel.

 

So the prayer of the rich man directed at Abraham is the equivalent of a prayer offered to God then?

 

It's an intercessory prayer -- he's praying to Abraham to pray to G-d. It's in the conjugation of the Greek, It's a periphrasis construction in future tense, while Abraham responds in middle voice.

 

 

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So what if someone is just as cowed by the spirit? I can think of fifteen people I know who believe wholeheartedly in Jesus but cannot handle even thinking a prayer because of the guilt they feel.

The verse says when we do not know how to pray as we ought, the spirit intercedes. How I feel about the spirit at the moment wouldn't matter, assuming I am a regenerated believer.

 

 

It's an intercessory prayer -- he's praying to Abraham to pray to G-d. It's in the conjugation of the Greek, It's a periphrasis construction in future tense, while Abraham responds in middle voice.

 

Still not seeing any indication that this means I should ever pray TO a dead person instead of to the Father, for the purposes of them interceding for me. This is an example of someone who has no fellowship with God asking someone who has fellowship with Him to petition the Father.

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I'm not well-versed on the doctrines of Anglicanism. I will say that among protestants, especially in the Reformed theological tradition I closely identify with, the theological divisions between our beliefs and the beliefs of the Catholic church were drastic enough to warrant separation during the Reformation, and if anything have become more drastic now. I understand wanting to be more amicable towards each other, but it's rather hard to come to a mutual understanding with a church that has declared me anathema for my beliefs, and I imagine it's rather hard for Catholics to have fellowship with protestants when they know that most protestants think poorly of doctrines of works, praying to saints, papal authority, doctrine from tradition, etc.

 

 

Would you care to lay out some of the base doctrines of Anglicanism? I'd be interested to hear smile.gif

laugh.gif That's always a little tricky. Anglicanism contains within it a suprisingly broad range of 'traditions', and doctrinal differences. Some branches of the Anglican tradition are known to be extremely 'evangelical', while some are far more 'Roman' (often referred to as Anglo-Catholic). Perhaps the most extrem 'ends' of the Anglican communion can be represented by the Diocese of Sydney at one (Calvinist) end, and the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham (often called 'more Roman than Rome') at the other.

 

One feature at least aknowledged by all churches in the Anglican Communion is the 39 Articles of Faith, although those are not considered to be doctrinally binding. About the only other common factor is the use of the Book of Common Prayer (although this, in itself, has been revised a few times, and done so seperately by individual Anglican Churches in their own languages).

 

Due to the use of the Book of Common Prayer as the basis for all (or most) Anglican liturgy, the vast majority of Anglican will affirm their faith using both the Nicene and Apostolic creeds at some point in their church lives. So those, perhaps, can be considered the basic faith binding all Anglicans.

 

For myself the particular 'brand' of Anglicanism I have grown up with, and remain a part of, leans towards the Anglo-Catholic side of the fence.

 

Edited to add: All Anglican Churches technically recognise the spiritual leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury (often called 'first among equals'), although there may be some debate about just how much they recognise that at the moment. Due to various issues (largely surrounding the ordination of women and recognition of homosexuality) the Anglican Communion is undergoing somewhat of a crisis at the moment. How long the various Anglican Churches remain in Communion with each other may be debateable.

Edited by TikindiDragon

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laugh.gif That's always a little tricky. Anglicanism contains within it a suprisingly broad range of 'traditions', and doctrinal differences. Some branches of the Anglican tradition are known to be extremely 'evangelical', while some are far more 'Roman' (often referred to as Anglo-Catholic). Perhaps the most extrem 'ends' of the Anglican communion can be represented by the Diocese of Sydney at one (Calvinist) end, and the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham (often called 'more Roman than Rome') at the other.

 

One feature at least aknowledged by all churches in the Anglican Communion is the 39 Articles of Faith, although those are not considered to be doctrinally binding. About the only other common factor is the use of the Book of Common Prayer (although this, in itself, has been revised a few times, and done so seperately by individual Anglican Churches in their own languages).

 

Due to the use of the Book of Common Prayer as the basis for all (or most) Anglican liturgy, the vast majority of Anglican will affirm their faith using both the Nicene and Apostolic creeds at some point in their church lives. So those, perhaps, can be considered the basic faith binding all Anglicans.

 

For myself the particular 'brand' of Anglicanism I have grown up with, and remain a part of, leans towards the Anglo-Catholic side of the fence.

 

Edited to add: All Anglican Churches technically recognise the spiritual leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury (often called 'first among equals'), although there may be some debate about just how much they recognise that at the moment. Due to various issues (largely surrounding the ordination of women and recognition of homosexuality) the Anglican Communion is undergoing somewhat of a crisis at the moment. How long the various Anglican Churches remain in Communion with each other may be debateable.

That's very interesting! I will be reading through the 39 Articles when I have a chance, although at a first glance, it seems fairly Calvinistic in regards to the will of man xd.png I suppose since it's not doctrinally binding, that's not a universally held opinion?

 

Thank you for taking the time to respond smile.gif I'm interested in looking into the church more. It's always nice to understand those one claims to disagree with on something wink.gif

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That's very interesting! I will be reading through the 39 Articles when I have a chance, although at a first glance, it seems fairly Calvinistic in regards to the will of man xd.png I suppose since it's not doctrinally binding, that's not a universally held opinion?

 

Thank you for taking the time to respond smile.gif I'm interested in looking into the church more. It's always nice to understand those one claims to disagree with on something wink.gif

No worries. Anglicanism covers quite a broad spectrum, as you may have guessed, so it's often possible for Anglicans at each end of the spectrum to have more in common with Calvinists and Romans respectively than they do with each other.

 

Because of the wording of the 39 Articles of Faith there's quite a lot of 'wriggle room' in them - hence some taking a more overtly Calvinistic view, and some taking a more overtly Roman view. That said any Calvinist is likely to find they have more in common with even the most Anglo-Catholic of Anglicans than they do with most Romans. Although it must be noted that I have never yet encountered the Anglican that will argue that God pre-ordains who is and isn't to be saved. To every Anglican I have ever spoken to faith is a matter of free will, and a personal choice we all make. (although, I confess, I have only spoken to Anglican of various traditions within the Church of England and the Episcopal Church of America).

 

To a certain extent Anglicanism is based more on sharing certain liturgical traditions than it necesarily is on specific doctrine.

 

Perhaps the best thing about the Anglican Church is the way it allows a lot of personal freedom in one's interpretation of the Bible and doctrine, while still allowing all to come together as one worshipping whole.

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Hi everyone! I haven't really been following the conversation, but I figure I'd throw my own view into the mix. I think it is evident that, throughout the world's religions, there are certain rules that are ALWAYS taught. Many variations of the golden rule can be found in nearly every religion, and most (if not all) religions frown upon murder, adultery, and nearly all things that hurt others. That is why I believe in the Christian concept of natural moral law. This states that all people are born with a basic sense of right from wrong. However, as one grows and changes, these basic morals also grow and change into more complicated views that differ from person to person based on their experiences.

 

Now that is a pretty secular view of morality, but I also personally believe that all gods exist, or have existed, at some point. (I am in a catholic family, but I consider myself to be an "in the broom closet" Wiccan rolleyes.gif .) I definitely don't understand the ways of these gods, but I think that human influence is more powerful than most people think. These gods change from age to age, just as human perception of them changes (a good example would be the conversion of the Greek gods into their Roman counterparts.) Based on this, one can see that gods are beings that are fueled and changed (even created?) by human belief in them. We all hold amazing power, and our belief and hope is one of the most powerful forces on this Earth. That being said, I think that people, after they die, will go to the paradise (or hell) that they believe in. If a Catholic was a bad person and believed that he will go to hell, then his essence will be taken where most of his creative energy has gone. This all has to do with gods (lowercase g), but who am I too say that there is no God? If there is, then he/she/it is to amazingly complex for us to even try to understand, so we must satisfy ourselves by worshiping deities that are similar to ourselves. This allows to comprehend a small part of the Great Divine.

 

To conclude, I would like to point out that everyone's beliefs are valid in some way. This belief is simply what works for me, and I am happy to share my views to help others in any way that I can. laugh.gif

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Hope this doesn't offend anyone, but I have a question regarding Christianity and Christmas: If Jesus was/is the son of God, why is Joseph in the nativity scene? And if Mary was Jesus' mother, why is she called "The Virgin Mary"? And also, what is a rosary?

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Hope this doesn't offend anyone, but I have a question regarding Christianity and Christmas: If Jesus was/is the son of God, why is Joseph in the nativity scene? And if Mary was Jesus' mother, why is she called "The Virgin Mary"? And also, what is a rosary?

I'm not an expert, but I think I know this:

 

Joseph was there because he was Mary's husband.

 

Mary is called that because she was a virgin, as Jesus was concieved through a miracle.

 

A rosary, to my understanding, is a beaded necklace where you say a prayer for each bead, and different beads have different prayers.

 

These migt be wrong, since I haven't had CCD in years xd.png

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Joseph was there because he was Mary's husband.

 

Mary is called that because she was a virgin, as Jesus was concieved through a miracle.

This doesn't make sense to me. unsure.gif If Mary and Joseph were married, why was Mary still a virgin?

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This doesn't make sense to me. unsure.gif If Mary and Joseph were married, why was Mary still a virgin?

Because they never had sex, I think.

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This doesn't make sense to me. unsure.gif If Mary and Joseph were married, why was Mary still a virgin?

I am pretty sure it was something like Mary conceiving without having sex and she married Joseph so they could raise the kid together.

 

The whole virgin Mary thing comes from her conceiving through a miracle.

 

Er

 

correct me if i'm wrong tho.

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This doesn't make sense to me.  unsure.gif  If Mary and Joseph were married, why was Mary still a virgin?

From what I understand, Mary and Joseph were betrothed - something a little more binding than today's being engaged - but not yet married, so they were not living together yet when the angel came to Mary to tell her she would bear the child of God.

 

Joseph was going to quietly put Mary aside rather than marry her when he found out, but he got a message from God convincing him not to, so they went ahead with the wedding. However, since Mary was pregnant, they did not consummate the marriage (i.e., have sex) until after Jesus was born.

 

I do not know how far along Mary was in the pregnancy when they got married. I kind of wonder if it was late in her pregnancy, since they waited until she was getting nearer to delivery before they made the trip to Bethlehem for the census.

Edited by Awdz Bodkins

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I was just talking to my neighbor, Rhonda, about God the other day. She and her husband are big time Christians, and they're missionaries, too. I don't mind listening to Rhonda at all, and I don't get offended by a single thing she says. I'm the same way with other religions and faiths. I don't mind listening to anyone's view, even if they're speaking as though every single word is a fact, they're view is the right one, the only one, and they provide a thousand reasons why. Then I also listen to the views of the scientific community as well, and they, too, have valid, reasonable points, and in some cases, downright fact, to back up their arguments against a higher power. The reason that none of this bothers me is that no matter what anyone has to say, I just don't know who's right. Nobody does. Including the ones doing the arguing about it. lol

 

I'll be honest and say that I want there to be a higher power. I want, I need, God to exist. That being said, I really don't know if he does. All I do know is that when I think of there being a higher power I feel more at peace. When I think of a higher power not existing, I feel a sense of absolute dread. I have no idea at all why I feel that way, or any explaination for these feelings, no reasons for them. It just is. I'm not religious, I've been inside a church maybe twice. I didn't grow up reading the bible, or having it read to me.

 

I look at it this way. I don't trust people much. But you're supposed to be able to trust God. For some reason I just think that if I'm meant to know God then something will happen to show me beyond any doubt that he's there. And if that ever happens, I'll be happy to scream about him from every rooftop. If I never know for sure, then so be it. *shrug*

 

I will say that if God doesn't exist, then half the planet has been the butt of the biggest, longest running joke ever, made up by the greatest genius of all time.

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I do not know how far along Mary was in the pregnancy when they got married. I kind of wonder if it was late in her pregnancy, since they waited until she was getting nearer to delivery before they made the trip to Bethlehem for the census.

I always figured the decree for all men to report to the lands of their births for the census happened to come when Mary was pretty far along. It's not as though the Roman emperor of the day was going to make exceptions for men with pregnant wives... everyone had to make the trip.

 

In fact, I always thought it was possible that they got held up in Bethlehem for a month or more before Mary gave birth.

"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born." (Luke 2:6, emphasis mine)

 

I mean, can you imagine trying to confirm everyone's birth records and such back then, when everything was hand-written on scrolls or loose sheets of papyrus? And the confusion made all the worse, because of all the people who'd moved out of town after growing up coming back because the Roman emperor said they had to.

 

Because if Mary had truly been within a couple weeks of when she expected to deliver, I would have figured Joseph would have left her in Nazareth with relatives specifically to prevent the chance of her giving birth on the road somewhere.

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From what I understand, Mary and Joseph were betrothed - something a little more binding than today's being engaged - but not yet married, so they were not living together yet when the angel came to Mary to tell her she would bear the child of God.

 

Joseph was going to quietly put Mary aside rather than marry her when he found out, but he got a message from God convincing him not to, so they went ahead with the wedding. However, since Mary was pregnant, they did not consummate the marriage (i.e., have sex) until after Jesus was born.

 

I do not know how far along Mary was in the pregnancy when they got married. I kind of wonder if it was late in her pregnancy, since they waited until she was getting nearer to delivery before they made the trip to Bethlehem for the census.

Ah, they being betrothed at the time makes more sense. Thank you for your explanation. smile.gif

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I would have figured Joseph would have left her in Nazareth with relatives specifically to prevent the chance of her giving birth on the road somewhere.

 

She would have had to go with him or with her father, either way.

 

Ah, they being betrothed at the time makes more sense. Thank you for your explanation

 

It was more of a precontract than how people think of betrothal.

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With the search function down, I missed posting this earlier...

 

For all who celebrate them:

Happy winter solstice!

Happy Hannukkah!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Kwanzaa!

 

and hope any others have had a wonderful holiday season as well!

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With the search function down, I missed posting this earlier...

 

For all who celebrate them:

Happy winter solstice!

Happy Hannukkah!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Kwanzaa!

 

and hope any others have had a wonderful holiday season as well!

And Good Yule to you too. biggrin.gif

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