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Praying to Saints is Unbiblical

The bizarre Catholic practice of honouring saints has aided that religion to have such tremendous clout over the world because it offers divine beings to its audience which they can identify with. The lack of saints to be adored in Protestantism has led to that faith not being as successful as Catholicism. Saint worship appeals to the polytheist in people. They want more than one God but don’t want to admit it.
Everything about saint-worship smacks of ignorance and superstition. Saint worship is blasphemous if you believe in God.
The New Testament left the religious world in a state of shock with its doctrine that the Holy Spirit prays in us and if we can't pray he does it for us and through him we pray to God as Abba - Daddy. That intimacy makes no sense if you can pray to the saints. It makes less sense if you should pray to the saints.
The Catholic Church engages in sophistry to get around the Bible command that we must worship one God and worship him 100%. The Church calls this worship Latria. It says Latria does not exclude dulia - the worship of the angels and saints as friends of God. Dulia however comes from the New Testament word douleia which refers to slavish bondage. The rationalisations used to get around the biblical injunction to love and worship God alone are bizarre. It is like God commands you to adore him only and the Church invents a lesser form of adoration for the saints and says that is permitted and does not contradict God's command. 

The Roman Catholic Church claims to find her doctrine that saints should be prayed to among the doctrines of the Bible. Protestants, following the Reformation, reject this claim.
We are going to prove that the Catholic Church is wrong.

Tobit 12:12 says that the angel Raphael says that he read and presented the prayer of Tobit and Sarah to God. But the angel knew God already knew so this is just symbolism and means that the angel was not trying to influence God.
Perhaps the angels and the saints are going to pray to God for the people. But that does not mean the saints should be prayed to or hear our prayers.
The Second Book of Maccabees, 15:11-16, says that a dream of the deceased Onias and deceased Jeremiah praying for the people is worthy of belief. Jeremiah was seen to give Judas a sword. Jeremiah gave no sword and that is the key to understanding the passage. The sword symbolised victory so the vision was symbolic. It does not even require that Onias and Jeremiah be alive anywhere, on earth or in Heaven. Perhaps, the dream presented them as if they were still alive on earth. The book calls it a kind of vision which underlines the symbolism.
There is a good reason to hold that these books do not belong in the Bible at all. But even if they do they still cannot defend saint-worship. These verses are often abused by that paragon of integrity, the Roman Church.
Another spurious work, Sirach, says that we must praise the saints (44:1). You can praise your father without praying to him.
The Bible calls on the angels to praise the Lord. But it also calls on the sun and moon to do it. When it does that so it is not literal invocation of the angels. The calling on creation is simply wishing that all of it will honour God. It is poetic hypothetical language. Calling the angels to praise God is not asking them to do so or looking for intercession for they are praising anyway. If you can ask them to praise that does not mean you can ask them to intercede or to pray for you or praise for you.
Daniel 8:17 does not say that Daniel bowed before an angel in worship for it does not say that he threw himself on the ground in worship. The verse says he was scared.
Joshua 5:14, Joshua prostrates himself before an angel. Some of the angels in the Bible were just like appearances of God who can be his own messenger just like the Holy Spirit is and such angels can certainly be worshipped. Notice that the verse does not say who Joshua worshipped. It could have been God and not the being who stood before him.
And the mere fact that some people chatted with angels who appeared to them in the Bible does not prove that saint worship right for they don’t appear to us.
But what about guardian angels? This idea was inspired by Jesus saying that the angels of children look on God in Heaven. But these angels might not pay any attention to our prayers because they get their orders from God.
The doctrine that the saints in Heaven and on earth and in Purgatory are in communion and make one Body in Jesus Christ does not prove that we should pray to the saints. The Catholics argue that if you don’t pray to the saints then you don’t believe in the doctrine of the communion of saints or that people should pray for one another. Does the communion of saints which comprises the Church on earth as well as the Church of the Saints in Heaven mean that I can pray to somebody in Australia? They can’t hear me. And the Church agrees with praying for people who are outside the communion of saints. The principle idea with the communion of saints is that all are united in their love for God. So praying for another person is not necessarily being in communion with them.  If I never pray to St Rita then with this logic I should for I am in communion with her. The communion doctrine is nonsense. Two Catholics that hate each other could hardly be said to be in communion despite their piety.
Should I pray to some Catholic, who could “hear” my prayer though the action of the Spirit which might just be a feeling that somebody needs his prayer, wandering in Siberia just because the Bible tells me that Christians are the only body of Christ? But the Bible says that the body has different parts with different roles so we might have to do the praising and praying while the saints in heaven do nothing but praise.
If it is true that the communion of saints means that the saints in heaven help the Church on earth by prayers then why are there patron saints? Why do you have St Patrick taking a special interest in Ireland? Are we to believe that a person who invokes St Patrick and who isn’t Irish will not get as much protection and prayer as one who is Irish? If we are then patron saints aren’t that well united with anyone who does not fall into their patronage. If we are not then there are no such things as patron saints.
The Bible praises the virtues of the saints. That is not worship. You can pay homage to the president by praising him when he is not there.
The saints doing miracles by their prayers (Acts 9:40; 28:8) does not prove that we must pray to them now. Those saints were alive then!
The rich man prayed to Abraham (Luke 16) but this does not prove that saints should be prayed to. The rich man was in Hell so we don’t have to follow his example. Likewise, you could talk to a saint in a vision but that is not what Catholics praying to saints do at all.
We can petition others when they are alive but that does not mean we can talk to them when they die for it may be wrong to and not possible for them to hear you. Reason says that saints would pray for all but we can’t infer from this that they should be prayed to.
The Bible says that the angel of the Lord told John the Revelator to worship God only when he worshipped him (Revelation 22:8,9). Rome says that “John accidentally adored the angel in a way that is only fitting for God and should have rendered inferior worship to the angel. The text does not refute the kind of worship we offer the saints and angels for it is an inferior kind. We believe that an angel should not be worshipped as if it were God.”

It is hardly likely that an apostle of God who had just received a staunchly anti-idolatry revelation would knowingly adore an angel as God. You cannot worship unless you are thinking of what you are doing. You have to know what you are doing. To worship by mistake is not to worship at all because it is not what you really intend. John meant to give the angel inferior worship but the angel said it was idolatrous and forbidden”. Otherwise it would have been enough just for the angel to say, “You know not to be doing that” instead of explaining to John why he couldn’t do it as if he didn’t know. The angel told him not to do that but to adore God alone. Had it been a mistake there would have been no need for the angel to do that because John didn’t need an explanation as to why it was wrong. It was not a mistake. Perhaps John thought that the angel was an apparition of God and was set straight. But why would he think that? He couldn’t have thought it for the angel had been standing before him a long while before he worshipped him that time and also the angel had told him he was an angel.
In Revelation, an angel is stated to present the prayers of the faithful to God by laying them on his altar (8:3,4) and other heavenly beings offered incense that stands for the prayers of the world (5:8). Rome says that the prayers must have been made through the angel – that his intercession was invoked. But Revelation is a confusing and totally symbolic book so we dare not rely on Rome’s interpretation. The verse is symbolic for an angel can’t literally present the prayers to an Almighty and all-knowing God as if they were objects or messages that need to be relayed to him for his attention. The angel could be an appearance of God as it often was in the Old Testament (Genesis 32; Hosea 12:5). Offering the prayers of others to God can only mean the mere wanting them to be answered and go to God and the saints must certainly do that if they exist. Saints wishing that our requests be granted is a far cry from them hearing our prayers and interceding for us. This wish will be at the back of their minds for their job is to praise. Jesus does the praying for us according to the New Testament which reopens all the same problems that praying to saints opens up and shows that the apostles far from being divinely inspired preached their own illogical ideas.

The Revelation says that the saints are Kings and Priests to God, which might imply you can treat them as Gods and pray to them. But the fact is, they take all their direction from God and will what he wills so they are not Gods at all. They are servants but are treated like kings. You can be a king without having power. They are kings in the sense that they get their own way which is God’s way and they feel like kings for righteousness is perfect freedom and they are honoured by God. They are priests too but only because they offer love as a sacrifice to God so they are not kings for if they were kings like independent divine rulers they wouldn’t have to be subservient to God. The Catholic doctrine that Mary is Queen of Heaven is blasphemous because all females in Heaven are queens and all males are kings. God says the saints rule with him in Heaven but that is in the same way as a government will rule with the king except that in Heaven the saints are totally submitted to the will of God and are making him supreme and the first in their lives and thoughts and feelings so they are totally one in love and unity and friendship. They are so close to God that they feel like kings and they feel so free and they know what right and teach it which is the main job of a king.
Praying to saints is heresy according to the Bible though the Catholic Church encourages this worship though regarding it as giving lesser worship for full adoration belongs to God alone.
When the Devil told Jesus he could have all the kingdoms of the world if he would just worship him his meaning was that Jesus must worship him as owner of the kingdoms of the world and not as God. Satan would have offered Jesus the universe had he wanted the worship due to God. So Satan was looking for the inferior worship that Catholicism offers to the saints. Jesus quoted the Bible saying it said God alone is to be worshipped. Jesus said that this worship was forbidden because the Bible said so. He did not say it would be wrong for the Devil was evil – you can give legitimate inferior worship to an evil being. His point was that God alone is to be adored and there is to be nothing that gets any worship but him Jesus said that only God was to be adored indicating that Satan wanted him to continue praying to God and adoring God but to give him some worship too. That was the reason for the only.
Ecclesiasticus 35 denies that you need a saint to speak for you to God. If you are in trouble God will act. It specifies how the orphan's supplication and the widows plea will be death with fast and sure by God. It is your need that gets a response from God not your saintlinless.
Praying to a saint is supposed to be another way of praying to God. But its indirect.

It implies a rejection of God.
Jesus told a Samaritan woman who believed in God that God is spirit and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.  What does worship God in truth mean? He explained that the Jews have the true worship of God. Her religion did not.  Why? Was it because it was approaching God as understood by the Samaritan religion? If so, then God wants to be approached as he is and not to be worshipped through the lens of any religion. He wants to be worshipped directly. He does not want to be honoured through the saints.
Praying to him through saints is not focusing on spiritual union with him. To worship God in truth and spirit means that you do it without saints and images – you act like a spirit yourself in your worship of the divine spirit.
Hebrews 4 says that as God did nothing but rest on the seventh day so those who enter the salvation of God will do nothing but rest. This forbids saint-worship for the saints just lie and bask in the glory of God. They will not plead for us in Heaven.
The Bible and Jesus say that we are to love God with all our strength and therefore others only for his sake (Matthew 22:37) so strictly speaking there is no such thing as inferior worship in the biblical Christian religion. Honouring the kind is just honouring God when it is only done for God. To really mean to give inferior worship is to be an idolater. The command bans it. The command was first given in the Law of Moses. The first commandment forbids others Gods and the second forbids bowing down before anything in Heaven or on earth and bans idols. This forbids giving any honour or worship to images of God or the saints. It forbids honouring the saints for bowing before them is as bad as doing it before statues. Worship is always sincere or it is not worship. God will push such worship away like an abomination. Sincerity is not enough for him. The Church says that praying to saints is not against the first commandment for the worship they get is entirely different and inferior to that given to God. But the Jews who turned to pagan gods often would have thought the same thing that the gods were inferior to Yahweh and were praying to Yahweh for them. Yet the law is clear that no such gods are to be entertained.
It is silly to pray to saints for then it would be the same thing to pray directly. God forbade silliness when he asked to be loved with our entire mind.
If God has arbitrarily decided that he will not answer certain prayers unless they are made to a saint then the Bible which praises his unlimited generosity is wrong. He is just like a man who won’t let people who wear purple into his house.
God has no right to do this when he promised to answer all prayers maybe not in the way we expected but he will always do what is best (Luke 11; Unanswered Prayer, page 2).
Haven’t we all prayed at least once in our lives for us to have our lives filled with grace and temporal blessings? When we have prayed that way he has to answer that prayer all our lives so there is nothing that is conditional upon the invocation of any angel or saint. It is prayer’s quality not quantity that counts (Matthew 6:7, 8). This theory accuses the Lord of putting arbitrary notions before human needs and of breaking his promises.
If we want the saints to influence God for us when we must pray only to the being whose prayers are the most powerful. The Bible says this is Jesus (1 John 2:1). It would be a sin to turn anyone lesser such as Mary, who is considered to be the only non-divine being who has the most influence with God, and even worse to pray to anybody else. Imperfection is a sin and God only tolerates perfection (Matthew 5:48).
Praying to saints is against the Bible which speaks of a perfectly good and all-powerful God. In the Law of Moses, God ordered that anybody who worshipped another God was to be dragged out and stoned to death.
The New Testament says that those who commit the sin of idolatry, adoring other gods, close the gate of Heaven against themselves. If you believe that this should not be done to Catholics or to anybody else who prays to saints then you still have to believe that the saint-worship is one of the things that should be detested above every other sin or evil for it strikes at the main thing, God. It would be sinful to ignore this sin or evil to fight others for to pass over it is to encourage it.

Irenaeus said we do not pray to angels and since he never stated any conditions in which saint worship was right it follows that he forbade dulia. Origen commanded prayer to God alone. These considerations prove that the orthodox in the early Church never prayed to saints (page 43, Traditional Doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church Examined).

1 TIMOTHY 2:5,6
The First Epistle to Timothy tells us to pray for others for God wishes all people to be saved and to know the truth for “there [is only] one God, and [only] one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself as a ransom for all”.
Protestants say that this excludes and forbids praying to saints.
Catholics say it does not for “the context is about people praying for one another. When intercession is allowed then the verses cannot disprove the notion of saints doing it for us”. But the Bible advises prayer not to change God or to ask God to make some change for it defines all prayer as a manifestation of one law: “Thy will be done”. Biblical prayer is for pleasing God and nothing else not even intercession in the sense of trying to influence God to do something for another person or in any real sense.
When one does not know Bible teaching one can easily assume that the Catholics are talking sense and are right.
The Bible says that when we pray, our prayer has to be inspired by the Spirit of God to be real prayer (Romans 8:26, 27). The Spirit of God prays in us and the words we say are just inspired by him. God would not influence himself so since prayer is the Spirit's work prayer is not meant to influence God but is the person opening up to God. The Bible says that Jesus is the only mediator of intercession. Anybody who prays without the Spirit’s prompting is not really praying at all but just trying to insult and fool God. So, if I pray for my flu to be healed soon and the prayer is answered then it is not because I prayed but because the Holy Spirit prayed for me. My prayers just coincided with his or its but the petitions of the Spirit brought the answer. The Bible says we are all sinners and that for that reason our prayers are fruitless in themselves (James 3:9-12) so we are dependent on the Holy Spirit and the sinless Jesus to pray for us. James 3:12 says that we all make mistakes but these mistakes are sins for he says that they will be treated as worthy of divine judgement. Yet the Bible commands us to pray but it is better than nothing even coming from sinners.
The Bible at Romans 8:26 states that we are too weak to know how to pray as we ought so the Holy Spirit intercedes for us to make up for that. Praying to the saints undermines that idea totally. Its trying to ignore the Spirit so as to get lesser beings to do the interceding. If you believe the Spirit patches up what you do wrong in prayer, you will not invoke a saint. If you pray to a saint, then is the Holy Spirit fixing the faults so that the prayer will reach the saint perfected and persuasive? So the Holy Spirit then virtually prays to saints too! The Holy Spirit is not going to pray to the saints for us to pray to him for us so this refutes saint worship.
So, the Timothy verses are really instructing us to pray to God but not to intercede with him. The Catholic argument is wrong. Christians do not pray to change God or to tell him what to do for he knows but to humble themselves before him. That is what it is all about. Therefore intercession is immoral. Jesus does all the interceding necessary because though the Catholic Church denies this (Question 1320, Radio Replies 3) no prayer can be answered according to the Bible unless it is made through Jesus - ie given to Jesus to give it to God for you with his own input - and God is asked to listen to Jesus praying for us (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Jesus prayed that God would look after Jesus' followers and that God's will be done. It is quality of prayer not quantity that counts. Therefore if he was as perfect as Christians say, he made intercession for all and no other intercession is necessary. Praying to the saints would be denying his perfection.
Catholics would then argue that there are two kinds of mediation. The mediation of redemption is Jesus suffering on the cross to make up for our sins while the mediation of intercession is somebody praying to God to influence him for us.
They are saying the verses do not refute saintly intercession for they are not concerned with that kind of mediation.
They think that the verses are stating that there is only one mediator of redemption. Jesus redeemed us from the guilt and much of the punishment due to sin. The saints who take on some of the punishment for our sins are allegedly not redeemers because it is Jesus working in them that enables them to merit blessings. But to choose infinite or X good is to do something of infinite merit or of X value. Yet Rome says we cannot deserve grace which is ridiculous if we choose it freely. They must be redeemers. All the saints offered their deaths to God to save the world and to make atonement like Jesus so nobody can argue the verses only mean that Jesus was the only mediator who died for us. That would be stupid.
By the way, there are two kinds of mediators of redemption, those who take away the sin by atoning for it in doing good in its place and cancelling the guilt and those who did just take on the punishment for sin.
The Bible says that Jesus saved us from sin by enabling God to pardon us and that he saved us from divine retribution so Jesus is the mediator of redemption both ways.
The verses present Jesus as the sole human mediator of intercession because they are not saying he is our mediator because he saved us by atoning for sin but because he offered himself and the only way he could offer himself was by prayer. The words “gave himself” are grammatically what the mediator statement is about. The prayer was what saved us and made the death able to save. The verses ARE saying that Jesus alone intercedes for us.

Saint-worship and dependence on anything other than Jesus and God alone is condemned.
Be wary of bad refutations of Catholicism from the Bible.

“Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for him before he ascended into the sky which proves that once he was in Heaven he could do no favours.” The Bible does not say that Elijah went to the heaven of God then. If he did not gain the power to answer prayers after he went up then this does not prove that the saints with God are unable to hear and answer prayers. Perhaps the prophet made a mistake and merely thought he could no longer be of service to his friend after he was taken from him. Perhaps the prophet did not have praying for him in mind at all for he had done it often enough before.
“Paul declared that David had served God’s purpose in his own generation so he cannot help us with his prayers now.” Does a Catholic saying that a priest lived his vocation well mean that he or she believes that he cannot be prayed to now?
In Jeremiah 15:1 God says that even if Moses and Samuel stood before him to intercede he would not bless the people of Judah. God may mean that if they opposed his will and prayed for him to change he wouldn’t. He is not saying that they do not pray and cannot hear prayers or that they can either.
If those verses that say the dead know nothing and do not get involved in life under the sun really proved that the dead are non-existent and that their souls did not survive (which they do not) they still wouldn’t oppose saint-worship. The Bible says that the dead will rise but it never says that dead will be out of existence until then. God could immediately re-create those who have gone out of existence at death.
The Catholic practice of praying to saints is not Christian. It is idolatry – the sin that is most savagely condemned in the Bible. The Bible says these things are seriously wrong and God finds them very offensive. It condemns idolatry as the worst sin. It even ridicules those who commit it so it forbids respecting Catholic idolatry.
ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME, Michael de Semlyen, Dorchester House Publications, Bucks, 1993
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS CATHOLICS ARE ASKING Tony Coffey, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 2006
BORN FUNDAMENTALIST, BORN-AGAIN CATHOLIC, David B Currie, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1996
COUNTERFEIT MIRACLES Benjamin B Warfield, Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1995
FROM FASTING SAINTS TO ANOREXIC GIRLS, Walter Vandereycken and Ron van Deth, Athlone Press, London, 1996
MAKING SAINTS, Kenneth K Woodward, Chatto & Windus, London, 1991
OBJECTIONS TO ROMAN CATHOLICISM, Ed by Michael de la Bedoyere, Constable, London, 1964
PURGATORY, Rev W E Kenny BD, Church of Ireland Printing, Co Dublin, 1939
THE BANNER OF THE TRUTH IN IRELAND, Winter 1997, Irish Church Missions, Dublin
THE GREAT MEANS OF SALVATION AND PERFECTION, St Alphonsus De Ligouri, Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, 1988
THE LEGENDS OF THE SAINTS, by Hippolyde Delehaye, Four Courts Press, Dublin, 1998
THE MISSIONARY POSITION, Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, Christopher Hitchens, Verso, London, 1995
THE VIRGIN, Geoffrey Ashe, Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd. London, 1976
VICARS OF CHRIST, Peter de Rosa, Corgi, London, 1995

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