Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Criticisms of Saint Intercession: We Should Have No Mediator Except Christ

Criticisms of Saint Intercession:
We should have no mediator except Christ 

This claim stems from the same misunderstanding of the term “praying to Saints” that I explore in another video. In short, the verb “to pray” has only recently in the history of the English language come to mean “ask God for something.” And in that sense, we don’t “pray” to saints at all. Let me again state for the record.  Saint Intercession is one human asking another human to pray for them. Granted, it is a living human asking a dead human to pray. But I describe in another video that the Bible itself presents us with examples of people on earth directly addressing those in heaven. 

It is certainly true that the Bible describes Jesus as the only Mediator between Man and God: 

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all. (1 Timothy 2:5-6) 

If one human asking another human to pray is a rejection of Jesus’ role as our sole Mediator, let’s call out those who are guilty of this error. 

St. Paul himself, in 1 Timothy 2:1. 

That’s right, just four verses before he declared that there is only one mediator between God and men, Jesus Christ, St. Paul, a human, asked other humans to pray: 

First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone. (1 Timothy 2:1) 

The fact that St. Paul himself, a human, asked other humans to pray just four verses before the statement that Jesus is the only Mediator between God and Man should convince everyone that merely asking another human to pray has nothing at all to do with Jesus as Mediator. 

That wasn’t the only time St. Paul asked people to pray for himself and others, which, some would say, was a rejection of the  concept of Jesus as Sole Mediator which he himself asserted in 1 Tim 2:5-6: 

Brethren, pray for us. (1 Thess 5:25) 

Be steadfast in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving; and pray for us also. 
(Col 4:2-3) 

Again, my point is that St. Paul himself abundantly asks people to pray for other people. One human asking another human to pray for them is not a rejection of the concept that Jesus is the Sole Mediator between God and Man. A human asking a deceased human for prayer is no more a violation of this than the next candidate guilty as charged. 

Moses. When the people of Israel sinned, and God sent snakes among them, they came to Moses and declared: 

We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take away the snakes. (Numbers 21:7) 

And Moses prayed for them. And then God declared: 

Make a snake and put it on a pole. If anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will live. (Numbers 21:8) 

Notice that Moses does not reply to their request for prayer that he should not be a mediator between them and God. And notice that God hears Moses’ prayer and grants the people grace within their punishment. God does not tell Moses that he will not hear his prayer because the people should have only prayed directly to him. 

In other words, God does not at all reject the idea that one human should be the prayer intermediary for other humans. Whether the deceased can hear us is a separate matter I discus in another video. But that the fact that someone is deceased does not somehow make asking them to pray for us a denial that Jesus is the Mediator between God and man for our salvation.

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