Mary and the Apostles are Dead! Only Jesus can Mediate for Us! Really?

by Steve Ray on October 8, 2019

 Confusion of Many Protestants

Too often well-meaning Protestants get confused and accuse of things that are outright nonsense if not lies. It is usually because they never take the time to really understand what the Catholic Church actually teaches and practices.

Below is a good example of a kind and well-meaning Protestant pastor who wrote to me earlier today. He is obviously a good man and thinks he understands but his use of the same-old, same-old, worn out and misrepresentative arguments show that he has not done his homework and is parroting things some other parrot taught him.

Let’s look at what he says. First, his letter was posted in my Combox under a blog post “Do Catholics Worship Mary?” in which I give a long explanation. I think our good pastor failed to read the whole article or he wouldn’t have written what he did.

He starts by saying, “I believe the confusion comes because the Church chose to remain theologically in the Old Testament – using priests – when Jesus has become our High Priest.  I am a pastor, and I pray for my people, but I am NOT their ‘priestly mediator’ – Jesus is!  

Though I could write a book on this topic alone, and it has been done by others, it is sad to see people still have such a basic misunderstanding of the priesthood of Jesus and the priesthood of believers.

My answer can be as simple as this: We are all priests! We are priests but it does not keep us in the Old Testament, nor does it mean we are trying to undermine the priesthood of Jesus.

St. Peter tells us, “1 Peter 2:5, 9  “And like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. … But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” See also Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:6.

Not only are we priests, but we also offer sacrifices. My, that sounds awful Old Testament doesn’t it? Yet it is the reality of the New Covenant.

Levites minister with the High Priest

In the Old Testament there was a 1) High Priest (Aaron and his sons), 2) a ministerial priesthood (Levites) and 3) the general priesthood of all the people (Ex 19:6).

The Church is the new Israel. Should we expect it to have a different structure? Of course not. In the Church we still have three levels of priesthood: 1) Jesus is our new High Priest, 2) the ordained priesthood, called by the early Christians “Levites” and 3) the general priesthood of all believers like in the Old Testament. This is exactly what the Catholic Church has and exactly what the Protestant churches have abandoned.

No priest today thinks he has replaced Jesus Christ. They work with him just like the Levites worked with and for Aaron. The Catholic Church is biblical and certainly not stuck in the Old Testament. In fact, we could say the Protestant churches have gone the way of Korah. As we read in Jude 8,

Woe to them! For they walk in the way of Cain, and abandon themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error, and perish in Korah’s rebellion.” Jude 11.

What was Korah’s rebellion? None ordained, non-Levitical priests claimed that they too were holy and could offer the sacrifices relegated to the priesthood. When they protested and said they could do what the priests do the earth opened up and swallowed them. Jude is not writing to Jews but to Christians and warns them not to claim what is not allowed to them. The priesthood is the priesthood.

We are all priestly mediators! Every time we pray for someone we are in the middle between them and God. If this pastor says he is praying for his people then he is putting himself in the middle between them and God and acting as a mediator, an intercessor.

I remember my father saying “We have only one meditator between God and man, and it is the man Christ Jesus!” I responded, “Don’t EVER ask me to pray for you again.” Why? Because it puts me in the middle and makes me a mediator.

Mediator between heaven and earth

Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant which only he could establish, but he then asks us to share in his mediatorship by praying for others and acting on their behalf. And he asks the ordained priests to share in his priesthood, working as the Levites to serve him in the sacramental duties of the Church.

The pastor then writes, “The Bible is clear that we MUST NOT try to communicate with the dead – and Mary and the apostles are dead!  Lev 19:31 “‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.  Lev 20:6  “‘I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.

He is assuming here, and quite wrongly, that the Catholic and age-old teaching of the “Communion of the Saints” is equal to occultism. It is certainly not. In one of our oldest creeds, recited by most Protestants too, we hear, “We believe in the Communion of Saints…”

What is this? It is the fact that saints are not dead but alive and with Our Lord in heaven. We are all still one family and in communion with one another. Death does not divide the body of Christ. The body of Christ is one whole including those on earth and those who are with the Lord in heaven.

We ask one another on earth to pray for us (making them mediators) and knowing that the saints are alive in heaven, we also ask them to pray for us.

 Now our pastor friend makes a bold statement, “Mary and the apostles are dead.” Really? Has he read the New Testament lately? He sounds more like a Sadducee than a Christian. The Sadducees denied life after death. They said that the dead were dead.

But Jesus refutes the Sadducees and our Protestant pastor when he said, “But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him.” Luke 20:37–38

When someone asks, “Where does the Bible say we should pray to dead saints?” The Catholic should answer, “Where does the Bible say saints are dead?”

If we want to see Mary alive in heaven all we have to do is read Revelation 12:1.

In the Old Testament the Israelites were chastised for following spiritist and mediums and abandoning God. Saul certainly did this when he refused to wait for God and decided to go to a witch instead of God. We Catholics also condemn occultism and divination. The pastor should know this. It is clearly stated in our Catechism,

CCC 2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

CCC 2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others—even if this were for the sake of restoring their health—are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.

We do not consider asking the saints who are alive in heaven to pray for us a violation of Old Testament or New Testament law. The confusion lies with the pastor who accuses Catholics without knowing of what he speaks.

One needs only look at the Transfiguration to understand a bit more about the spiritual world and its interconnection to believers on earth. Jesus is talking to whom on the mountain? A dead guy? Moses had died and been buried over a thousand years earlier yet he is very much alive and talking to Jesus.

And notice, Moses is aware of what is going on on the earth because he came to talk to Jesus about what is soon to take place in Jerusalem (Lk 9:31). They were discussing the real world. They were dead, but not dead. They were very much alive. They did not appear as spirits or ghosts. Luke specifically said “the two men.”

There was more that the pastor wrote but only to repeat what we’ve already responded to. I suggest he study the Catholic teaching and the teaching of the very first Christians and come back to the fullness of the Faith. And if he wants to quote the Bible he ought to study his Bible a little more carefully too.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Govern December 8, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Amazing commentary and apologetics!

Henry December 9, 2014 at 5:26 AM

I’m so convienced that the Catholics don’t do any harm in asking Mother Mary (the greatest of all Saints) and the Saints to pray for us. THANKYOU BROTHER STEVE

De Maria December 9, 2014 at 7:47 AM

Amen! Great response, Steve.

I wonder what the good Pastor would say to this verse?

2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

A, St. Paul says that God is reconciling the world to Himself through Christ.

B, St. Paul says that God is speaking to the world, through the Church – as though God did beseech you by us:

C, he says that the Church is praying for the world to God IN PLACE OF CHRIST – we pray you in Christ’s stead

Insinuating, that reconciliation with the Church is reconciliation with God – that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself; be ye reconciled to God.

In other words, he is saying, be reconciled to God, through us. Us, being the Church, the Apostles and Disciples who represent the Church.

Maria de Miranda December 10, 2014 at 6:05 AM

“So, our real job as ministers of reconciliation is to announce the glad tidings of good things (Romans 10:1), an accomplished fact, that SIN has already been dealt with through the person of Christ. We should be saying, “Now we beseech you, be ye reconciled to God. Change your mind and believe the Gospel so that you may partake of that which has already been done on your behalf.”

This is what makes Christianity so unique. God didn’t send Jesus to give us some divine revelation of what we had to do to get right with God.

Maria de Miranda December 10, 2014 at 6:07 AM

SORRY ERROR IN MY PREVIOUS POST:
“So, our real job as ministers of reconciliation is to proclaim the Gospel – the glad tidings of good things (Romans 10:15), an accomplished fact, that SIN has already been dealt with through the person of Christ. We should be saying, “Now we beseech you, be ye reconciled to God. Change your mind and believe the Gospel so that you may partake of that which has already been done on your behalf.”

This is what makes Christianity so unique. God didn’t send Jesus to give us some divine revelation of what we had to do to get right with God.

De Maria December 10, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Maria de Miranda December 10, 2014 at 6:07 AM
SORRY ERROR IN MY PREVIOUS POST:
“So, our real job as ministers of reconciliation is to proclaim the Gospel – the glad tidings of good things (Romans 10:15), an accomplished fact, that SIN has already been dealt with through the person of Christ. We should be saying, “Now we beseech you, be ye reconciled to God. Change your mind and believe the Gospel so that you may partake of that which has already been done on your behalf.”

True. But, when you beseech man as though God did beseech man, you remain squarely in the middle. You are another mediator. And when you pray for men in Christ’s stead, you remain squarely in the middle between God and man and continue in your role of mediator.

That is the point of this thread. Jesus Christ is mediator. We are the Body of Christ, therefore we mediate. And the Scriptures depicts the Church as beseeching us in God’s place and praying for us in Christ’s place. Thus the Scriptures tell us that we, the Church, the body of Christ, mediate with and through Christ.

This is what makes Christianity so unique.

That which makes Christianity unique and superior to any other religion is the Eucharist. By which we participate in the LIFE OF CHRIST.

2023 Sanctifying grace is the gratuitous gift of his life that God makes to us; it is infused by the Holy Spirit into the soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it.

2024 Sanctifying grace makes us “pleasing to God.” Charisms, special graces of the Holy Spirit, are oriented to sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. God also acts through many actual graces, to be distinguished from habitual grace which is permanent in us.

We receive sanctifying grace through the Sacraments. But the Eucharist is the Sacrament which is the fruit of the Tree of Life. Do you remember what Scripture says about the fruit of the Tree of Life?

Genesis 3:22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

This is what happens when eat of the Eucharist, we participate in the life of God and given the gift of eternal life.

John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

When we partake of the Sacraments, we walk upon Mt. Sion, with the Saints. Which brings us back to the Communion of Saints. It is because we walk amongst them (Heb 12:22-24) who are alive in Christ (John 11:25) that we can speak to them and request their intercession as easily, nay, more easily than we can ask our neighbor, because they are truly just who have been made perfect in His blood.

God didn’t send Jesus to give us some divine revelation of what we had to do to get right with God.

Yes, God did that as well.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Peter Taylot December 11, 2014 at 1:21 AM

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah45:22).

STEVE RAY HERE: What does your comment have to do with this discussion? You just pull a verse out of context from the Old Testament and think you have said something wise?

Bill912 December 11, 2014 at 6:58 AM

Did anyone here say otherwise? Did you even read Steve’s post, or any of the comments? If so, how about interacting with them?

De Maria December 12, 2014 at 7:21 AM

Peter Taylot December 11, 2014 at 1:21 AM
“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah45:22).

It is because we look unto to God to be saved, that we listen to the Church. Scripture tells us that God speaks through His Church. How do you read these verses?

Ephesians 3:10To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Bonnie January 24, 2015 at 9:22 PM

My article Do Catholics Worship Mary at https://www.catholicconvert.com/documents/MaryAndWorship.pdf

Hello Stephen
A friend of mine posted this article from this site on face book. I’ve read it through and attempted to access the blog that you posted where “Do Catholics Worship Mary”….however I couldn’t do it….but I have read through this particle article and there are a few things that I would like to address.

It begins here:
He starts by saying, “I believe the confusion comes because the Church chose to remain theologically in the Old Testament – using priests – when Jesus has become our High Priest. I am a pastor, and I pray for my people, but I am NOT their ‘priestly mediator’ – Jesus is!

You go on to explain the ‘priesthood’ – and come to this:

“Levites minister with the High Priest

In the Old Testament there was a 1) High Priest (Aaron and his sons), 2) a ministerial priesthood (Levites) and 3) the general priesthood of all the people (Ex 19:6).
The Church is the new Israel. Should we expect it to have a different structure? Of course not. In the Church we still have three levels of priesthood: 1) Jesus is our new High Priest, 2) the ordained priesthood, called by the early Christians “Levites” and 3) the general priesthood of all believers like in the Old Testament. This is exactly what the Catholic Church has and exactly what the Protestant churches have abandoned.”

To which I now respond:

You are ignoring the fact that the ‘early Christians’ never had or ever referred to their leaders as ‘ordained priests’ – there were elders and bishops, teachers – Peter himself referred to himself as an elder and they weren’t considered ‘ministerial priests’ such as the Levites were in offering sacrifices to God. Hebrews 7 – onwards clarifies this beautifully, and it also explains why true believers have abandoned the OT ‘structure’. The sacrifices that we as born again, believing, obedient Christians are to offer, are directly from each of us to HIM ….no ‘ordained priests’ are necessary to offer up these sacrifices….Romans 12:1 – 1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.
………..
Next:
“No priest today thinks he has replaced Jesus Christ. They work with him just like the Levites worked with and for Aaron. The Catholic Church is biblical and certainly not stuck in the Old Testament. ”

Response:
And yet you’ve just stated that “They work with him just like the Levites worked with and for Aaron”. The Catholic Church IS indeed stuck in the Old Testament….your own words testify to this.
………………………….
You:
In fact, we could say the Protestant churches have gone the way of Korah. As we read in Jude 8,
“Woe to them! For they walk in the way of Cain, and abandon themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error, and perish in Korah’s rebellion.” Jude 11.
What was Korah’s rebellion? None ordained, non-Levitical priests claimed that they too were holy and could offer the sacrifices relegated to the priesthood. When they protested and said they could do what the priests do the earth opened up and swallowed them. Jude is not writing to Jews but to Christians and warns them not to claim what is not allowed to them. The priesthood is the priesthood.”

Response:
Jude was not referring to any ‘priesthood’…he was referring to all Christians that would rebel against the authority of God….and describes in detail some of the faults of those members, (which all churches even in this day and age, including the Catholic church have members among them who fall into that category).

……………………
You:
“I remember my father saying “We have only one meditator between God and man, and it is the man Christ Jesus!” I responded, “Don’t EVER ask me to pray for you again.” Why? Because it puts me in the middle and makes me a mediator.”

Response:

But it doesn’t make you the one Mediator does it.
You are comparing apples (your position as mediator in prayer) and oranges (the only Mediator between God and Man )

Ironically – 1 Tim.2 begins with a clear distinction of the roles and about praying and making intercession:

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.
…………..
You:
” Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant which only he could establish, but he then asks us to share in his mediatorship by praying for others and acting on their behalf. And he asks the ordained priests to share in his priesthood, working as the Levites to serve him in the sacramental duties of the Church.”

Question:

Where does He ask the ‘ordained priest’ to share in His priesthood……working as the Levites to serve Him in the sacramental duties of the Catholic church?????
……………………
You:
“We ask one another on earth to pray for us (making them mediators) and knowing that the saints are alive in heaven, we also ask them to pray for us.”

By what precedence…there is no Apostolic teaching on this…..no teaching on this from Christ Jesus Himself.
………………………..
You:
When someone asks, “Where does the Bible say we should pray to dead saints?” The Catholic should answer, “Where does the Bible say saints are dead?”

Response:
1 Thess 4………And the dead in Christ will rise first…….is the Apostle Paul wrong…..no…is he referring to dead saints…yes. Now where does the bible say we should pray to saints – dead or alive?

……………………
You
One needs only look at the Transfiguration to understand a bit more about the spiritual world and its interconnection to believers on earth. Jesus is talking to whom on the mountain? A dead guy? Moses had died and been buried over a thousand years earlier yet he is very much alive and talking to Jesus.
And notice, Moses is aware of what is going on on the earth because he came to talk to Jesus about what is soon to take place in Jerusalem (Lk 9:31). They were discussing the real world. They were dead, but not dead. They were very much alive. They did not appear as spirits or ghosts. Luke specifically said “the two men.”

Response:
How does the Transfiguration have anything to do with praying to dead/but not dead/ or not dead but alive in Jesus (however you wish to say it)…how does it have anything to do with praying ….Jesus was not ‘praying’ to Moses…they were actually discussing the real world as you put it….and the fact that Moses was aware of what was going on earth….does not translate into therefore we can pray and they will answer our prayers…..it simply means that what Jesus stated is true….that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living…..and what Paul stated is true…..the DEAD in Christ will rise…..nothing about being able to pray to them or that we should, or that they can hear us or that they can/ will answer.
………………
You:
There was more that the pastor wrote but only to repeat what we’ve already responded to. I suggest he study the Catholic teaching and the teaching of the very first Christians and come back to the fullness of the Faith. And if he wants to quote the Bible he ought to study his Bible a little more carefully too.

Response:

Good advice that we should all heed – including yourself of course, with regards to studying the bible….for as you study your bible, you will see that the ‘very first Christians’ had no ‘ordained priests’ and that the ‘very first Christians’ never prayed to ‘saints’ but were always directed by the Apostles to make their requests known to God…with the confidence that the one Mediator, by His bloody and once for all sacrifice has opened the way for all true and faithful believers to approach His throne of grace directly, whether praying for others or for themselves.

…………………………

kram January 26, 2015 at 10:07 PM

STEVE RAY HERE. I MODERATE THE COMMENTS BUT HAVE ALLOWED THIS ONE TO DEMONSTRATE HOW CONFUSED AND TWISTED SOME TRADITIONS ARE. THIS ONE SHOWS HOW SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE PARROTS WHO SAY WHAT THEY’VE BEEN TAUGHT WITHOUT EVER REALLY LEARNING BEFORE THEY SPEAK.

This is what is missing in your argument though, consider these verses;
John 14;6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 15:16
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that [whatever you ask in my name] the Father will give you.

First, all prayers of believers are addressed to God through Christ Jesus. No one can go to the Father except through Jesus. So no, saint can go directly to God if not in the name of Jesus.
Second, can the dead pray for the saints, in the name of Jesus? Situation: If there are more than a thousand living people pray to one dead saint simultaneously (same time but different location), and believe that this dead saint can hear and pray and sort out their prayer requests, that dead saint must be possessing the attribute of God being omnipresent (they hear them from different locations so they can be everywhere hearn and omniscient (being able to hear and sort thousand different prayer requests). We are treating that saint, unknowingly like God, so thus, become idolatry. A dead saint, is no omnipresent and omniscient, granting if he can hear prayers from living people.

No dead saint, absent in the body, was cited even in the bible able to connect with living people, present in the body, to hear the prayers to pray for them, much more if there are more than a thousand asking for a saint to pray for their varying prayer requests.

Rel October 8, 2019 at 10:00 AM

Taken from catholicapologetics.org

A Biblical Portrait of Saint

The word in the Bible for “saint” or “saints” is the word (hagios) also translated “sanctified” or “holy ones.” The root word hazo, means “to venerate.” Hagios means to be separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God.

Hagios is used of God (Lk 1:49; Acts 3:14; Mt 1:18, etc.). It is a word used of men and things (1 Tim 1:9; 1 Pet 2:5,9, etc.)

When Paul uses the word “saint” in the singular, he refers to a state into which God calls men with His grace.

Phil 4:21
Give my greetings to every holy one (hagion) in Christ Jesus.
In its plural form, Paul uses the word to refer to all believers. For Paul, the word is not applied only to persons of exceptional holiness, nor to those having died characterized by an exceptional life of saintliness.

Eph 2:19
So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones (hagios) and members of the household of God,
Rom 12:13
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality.
Rom 16:15
Greet Philologus, … and all the holy ones who are with them.
1 Cor 16:1
Now in regard to the collection for the holy ones, you also should do as I ordered the churches of Galatia.
1 Cor 16:15
I urge you, brothers–you know that the household of Stephanas is the firstfruits of Achaia and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the holy ones–
It is Paul who calls all his fellow believers “saints,” and not just the notably holy ones. Paul also uses the term for both those who are living and for those who are dead.

2 Thess 1:9-10
These (who do not acknowledge God nor heed the good news) will pay the penalty of eternal ruin, separated from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power, when he comes to be glorified among his holy ones (hagiois) and to be marveled at on that day among all who have believed, for our testimony to you was believed.
Jude 14-15
Enoch, of the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied also about them when he said, “Behold, the Lord has come with his countless holy ones (hagiais) to execute judgment on all and to convict everyone for all the godless deeds that they committed …”
This practice of Paul corresponds to one of the earliest creedal statements of Christian faith: The Apostles Creed: “I believe in the communion of saints.” Communion of saints refers to the bond of unity among all believers, both living and dead, who are or have been committed followers of Jesus Christ. In the eyes of God, in eternity, the distinction between His People who are “living” or who are “dead” is not at all important.

Mk 9:4
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.
Mk 12:26-27
“As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, (the) God of Isaac, and (the) God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled.”
Lk 23:43
He replied to him (the crucified thief) “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Rom 12:5
… so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another.
On the Church, No. 49, Vatican II
At the present time some of (Jesus’) disciples are pilgrims on earth. Others have died and are being purified, while still others are in glory beholding “clearly God himself, three in one, as He is.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 1474
The life of each of God’s children is joined in Christ and through Christ in a wonderful way to the life of all the other Christian brethren in the supernatural unity of the Mystical Body of Christ, as in a single mystical person.

De Maria November 10, 2019 at 11:50 PM

Bonnie January 24, 2015 at 9:22 PM

Hi, sorry to be so late to respond. I was passing the time reading old articles and hadn’t seen your comment.

Hello Stephen
A friend of mine posted this article from this site on face book. I’ve read it through ….and …. I now respond:

You are ignoring the fact that the ‘early Christians’ never had or ever referred to their leaders as ‘ordained priests’

That’s not true. You’re referring to the idea that the priesthood is not mentioned in the New Testament.

That’s patently false. The priesthood is mentioned in the New Testament. But the word used is “presbytery”.

1 Timothy 4:14Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

priest (n.)
Old English preost, which probably was shortened from the older Germanic form represented by Old Saxon and Old High German prestar, Old Frisian prestere, all from Vulgar Latin *prester “priest,” from Late Latin presbyter “presbyter, elder,” from Greek presbyteros “elder (of two), old, venerable,” comparative of presbys “old” (see presby-).

– there were elders and bishops, teachers – Peter himself referred to himself as an elder and they weren’t considered ‘ministerial priests’ such as the Levites were in offering sacrifices to God.

In Romans 15:16, St. Paul calls himself the priest of Jesus Christ. Thus proving that the presbytery to which he refers in 1 Tim, is the priesthood.

Hebrews 7 – onwards clarifies this beautifully, and it also explains why true believers have abandoned the OT ‘structure’. The sacrifices that we as born again, believing, obedient Christians are to offer, are directly from each of us to HIM

What sacrifices do you offer? I thought you believed in salvation by faith alone? Do you now add works to your salvation?

Please list the sacrifices which you offer.

….no ‘ordained priests’ are necessary to offer up these sacrifices….

Possibly. But it’s not a question of necessity. It’s a question of obedience. Jesus Christ established His presbytery when He founded His Apostolic group. They continue laying hands on and ordaining this priesthood in obedience to Christ. He is, after all, the Bishop of our faith and our model.

Romans 12:1 – 1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.
………..

So, my question remains. Have you now changed the idea of salvation by faith alone to salvation by faith and sacrifices?

Next:
“No priest today thinks he has replaced Jesus Christ. They work with him just like the Levites worked with and for Aaron. The Catholic Church is biblical and certainly not stuck in the Old Testament. ”

Response:
And yet you’ve just stated that “They work with him just like the Levites worked with and for Aaron”. The Catholic Church IS indeed stuck in the Old Testament….your own words testify to this.
………………………….

I don’t get why you claim he contradicted himself. You’re the one that says the Christian faith isn’t supposed to look like the OT faith. He says, it is supposed to be so. And so does Scripture. Let me show you:

Hebrews 10:1For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

The OT was a shadow of the New. The New Testament Priesthood cast a shadow which Moses imitated.

Response:
Jude was not referring to any ‘priesthood’…he was referring to all Christians that would rebel against the authority of God….and describes in detail some of the faults of those members, (which all churches even in this day and age, including the Catholic church have members among them who fall into that category).

Well, true. But you missed the point. Steve is saying that Protestants are disobeying Christ. And that’s on many points, INCLUDING the abandonment of the Priesthood which Jesus Christ established.

Response:
But it doesn’t make you the one Mediator does it.

No. That’s Steve’s point. That’s the Catholic Doctrine. We mediate because Christ mediates and we are His Body.

You are comparing apples (your position as mediator in prayer) and oranges (the only Mediator between God and Man )

No. 1. You are misrepresenting the Catholic Teaching. We don’t claim to replace Christ’s Mediation.
2. You are also misrepresenting the meaning of “mediator in prayer”. If you are praying to God, you are mediating between God and man.
3. And finally, requesting that another person pray for you to God is a form of prayer to your fellow man. Yeah, if you ask someone to do anything for you, you are praying to that person. That is the ancient meaning of the term. You pray to saints and deny that you pray to saints.

Genesis 12:13Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.

Ironically – 1 Tim.2 begins with a clear distinction of the roles and about praying and making intercession:

Lol. But it doesn’t help you, since all those are forms of “mediation”. And St. Paul is instructing all of us to perform those duties. Read it.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.

Where does He ask the ‘ordained priest’ to share in His priesthood……working as the Levites to serve Him in the sacramental duties of the Catholic church?????

You mean, “where in Scripture?” You follow the false doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Show me where Scripture teaches this doctrine? It doesn’t.

The Teaching comes from the fact that Jesus Christ established the Priesthood. The very act of doing so made them partakers of His ministry.

By what precedence…there is no Apostolic teaching on this…..no teaching on this from Christ Jesus Himself.

James 5:16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

Elijah is here mentioned by St. James as a prime example of a man to whom prayers of mediation should be directed. This is recognition of the fact that Elijah is one of those who have been perfected amongst whom we walk today, if you are baptized:

Hebrews 12:22But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Response:
1 Thess 4………And the dead in Christ will rise first…….is the Apostle Paul wrong…..no…is he referring to dead saints…yes.

Hm….You don’t believe that we walk amongst those saints? See Heb 12:22-23
You don’t believe that these dead saints live in Christ?

John 11:26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Now where does the bible say we should pray to saints – dead or alive?

See James 5:16-17 above. See also

Matthew 10:41He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.

And of course, if you consider yourself a saint, then see 1 Tim 2:1
……………………

Response:
How does the Transfiguration have anything to do with praying to dead/but not dead/ or not dead but alive in Jesus (however you wish to say it)…how does it have anything to do with praying ….Jesus was not ‘praying’ to Moses….

Very simple. It proves that the dead in Christ are alive and can hear what we say. Combined with Heb 12:22-23, it proves that they are a cloud of witnesses amongst whom we walk and live.

Response:

Good advice that we should all heed – including yourself of course, with regards to studying the bible….for as you study your bible, you will see that the ‘very first Christians’ had no ‘ordained priests’ ….

As a good Catholic, when Steve said “study the bible”, he didn’t mean “study the bible alone”. We study the bible keeping well in mind that there is a larger context of Sacred Tradition from which the New Testament was born and upon which it was founded. This Sacred Tradition was Taught directly by Jesus Christ.

De Maria November 11, 2019 at 12:06 AM

kram January 26, 2015 at 10:07 PM
This is what is missing in your argument though, consider these verses;
John 14;6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 15:16
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that [whatever you ask in my name] the Father will give you.

First, all prayers of believers are addressed to God through Christ Jesus.

Then why do you ask others to pray for you and why do you pray for others?

No one can go to the Father except through Jesus. So no, saint can go directly to God if not in the name of Jesus.

True, but besides the point. No one said that Christ isn’t necessary. I can pray for you in Christ’s name. Did you never read in Scripture:

2 Corinthians 5:20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Second, can the dead pray for the saints, in the name of Jesus? Situation: If there are more than a thousand living people pray to one dead saint simultaneously (same time but different location), and believe that this dead saint can hear and pray and sort out their prayer requests, that dead saint must be possessing the attribute of God being omnipresent (they hear them from different locations so they can be everywhere hearn and omniscient (being able to hear and sort thousand different prayer requests). We are treating that saint, unknowingly like God, so thus, become idolatry. A dead saint, is no omnipresent and omniscient, granting if he can hear prayers from living people.

You assume that a saint in heaven has the same restrictions as a saint on earth. But, in heaven, saints are like the angels:

Luke 15:10Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

As this verse shows, the saints are aware of everything that happens on earth.

Matt 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Those in heaven are like the angels. Therefore, they can also see everything going on, on earth.

No dead saint, absent in the body, was cited even in the bible able to connect with living people, present in the body, to hear the prayers to pray for them, much more if there are more than a thousand asking for a saint to pray for their varying prayer requests.

1. Moses and Elijah talking to Christ. Matt 17:3
2. Scripture says that the dead saints are “a cloud of witnesses” amongst whom we walk. See Heb 12.
3. And, although it is not in your bible, it is in ours.

2 Macc 15:11 When he had armed each of them, not so much with the security of shield and spear as with the encouragement of noble words, he cheered them all by relating a dream, a kind of waking vision, worthy of belief. 12 What he saw was this: Onias, the former high priest,* a noble and good man, modest in bearing, gentle in manner, distinguished in speech, and trained from childhood in all that belongs to excellence, was praying with outstretched arms for the whole Jewish community. 13
Then in the same way another man appeared, distinguished by his white hair and dignity, and with an air of wondrous and majestic authority. 14 Onias then said of him, “This is a man* who loves his fellow Jews and fervently prays for the people and the holy city—the prophet of God, Jeremiah.”
15 Stretching out his right hand, Jeremiah presented a gold sword to Judas. As he gave it to him he said,
16 “Accept this holy sword as a gift from God; with it you shall shatter your adversaries.”

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