A saint is a holy person, sanctified. The Communion of Saints is the belief that the faithful in heaven and on earth are united in the Holy Body of Christ, the Church. The Bishops from earliest times required Christians to show the saints the special honor of veneration, not worship. The church taught that saints have the power to perform miracles after their death as well as during their life on earth. In Heaven, by virtue of their privileged position, they can win divine aid for mortal petitioners by interceding with God.

Augustine performed the double function of both curbing and stimulating the veneration of the saints. Intercede for me - Pray to Jesus for me. The Christian saints became the successors of local deities. Paganism died only to live again within the church. The saints were the heroes of the middle ages, as the epic warriors had been the heroes of classical Greece. They included the twelve apostles and the early martyrs, as well as a host of later figures. The saints became established by tradition, though it was not until after the Middle Ages that the popes began to identify them formally as saints (through canonization).

Mediaeval Christians addressed a large share of their devotions to the saints that was well deserved but much degenerated into abuse and idolotry. Saints were thought to persist through relics. Hardly any act was undertaken without first invoking the saints. Publicly honoring martyrs and confessors is not the same thing as invoking them, that is, addressing prayers to them. However, the early Christians not only invoked the martyrs but their relatives who had died in the Lord. In prayers such as the Litany of the Saints, the invocations to the Divine Persons is "have mercy on us" and that to Mary and the saints is "pray for us." If the saints are truly translated into heaven in a "twinkling of an eye" and are in fact part of our collective, then certainly they can hear and intercede for us and have much more power than others give them credit for. And they are not limited to any canon, each and every Christian has the opportunity to choose holiness and sanctify themselves.

We are not to pray to saints, we are all agreed on this but then that is just semantics, many entreaties in the Bible to people are considered as "I pray thee" and it the same as beseech. I believe in the communion of saints and I do believe that they can intervene on our behalf, they are as the angels. I have not always understood it, even when I would recite the creed in my church. The creed is something that i have not seen lately in the churches at all, many sites I see with statements of faith do not even mention it.

Anyway, i remember something in the Bible where in King James English one would "beseech" another which simply means I pray to you this or that. Of course the Lord was always beseeched but so was Moses and kings. Even God would pray to us in the form of the prophetic, In Malachi 1:9 "And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts." The apostles were beseeched, Jesus was beseeched, Paul beseeched us, it is an urgent request, to implore or inotherwords "I pray thee." Look up "pray thee" in your concordance and see that there are hundreds of instances when there were pray thee references not only to God but to any one who was earnestly beseeched, both in the Old and New Testaments. The question here now is not just praying to saints or the semantics involved but whether we believe in the communion of saints and if we are able to recite the Athenasian creed truthfully or not. We must come together on this. Heaven is waiting for unity not only with our saints here on earth but also the saints who are in heaven.

Pual wrote in I Corinthians 1:10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." If we are to do this, we must agree. Paul also wrote: Romans 16:17, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."

Now I do not call the communication that I have with saints in heaven praying but I may in all fairness beseech them. To me it is the same thing but whatever we call it, it is not worship.

I remember when I first started believing that saints in heaven could actually produce miracles here on earth and we could in fact communicate with them. I had been studying the life of Constantine and lamented the death of Crispus, his son. I felt that he was in fact sanctified and if he had lived would have produced a much different Roman system in the church. I do not believe that a saint has to be canonized by the church to be a saint in heaven, so I asked Crispus, whom I believed to be canonized by God if he would give me a sign that he could hear me. The next day in my regular book hunting for material, a copy of ancient document was on the bargain discard shelf that consisted of a play written just before the time of Constantine that told of the Emperor being deceived by his jealous wife concerning his son and the lies prompted the Emperor to kill his son. Constantine must have been familiar with the play and may have contributed with the true enactments. Crispus wanted me to see it, he wanted me to understand. I know it means nothing to anyone else but it was a subjective revelation glory and had a profound effect on my faith that we do in fact have a valid communion with the saints. Since then, confirmation after confirmation has blown away anything taught contrary by those who do not believe it.

Those in the Roman church that pray to saints as worship do it go against their own teaching and is a foul spirit but you cannot deny the truth of the church simply because of the errors of her children. I do not pray to the saints. I pray to the Father directly. I need no one to teach me and I need no other mediator than Jesus. This is true and a privilege given to the saints but doesn't that sound a little arrogant? Am I so spiritual and so enlightened and so much more mature than those around me because I am able to pray for myself? Are you so exalted to think that those that might want added prayer power or need help with their prayers or are weak in the faith as to ask others to intercede for them that you must correct them by considering them heretics or not Christian at all? What is it that compels people to put others down instead of lifting them up? It is just that puritan holier than thou pride raring its head again. It is not a shame to be ignorant or poor in spirit. It is a shame to see truth and reject it from pride or selfishness.

To think that a petition for a saint to intercede for us is idolatry is foolishness. Those of you with an intercessory gift know how important it is for us to ask prayers for each other. We know that we will be as the angels which are in heaven and we also know that angels intercede for us and watch over us and in Revelation 8 we see that angels offers our prayers upon the altar. James writes that "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much," how much more then, the glorified saints abiding in His presence.

Saints in heaven are as the angels but they are not lords but rather servants of God as we are. I may ask a saint here on earth for help. I may ask for a saint to pray for me and give me some guidance and even to ask that he/she perform favors for me. It would be the most stupid and obvious error of falseness that I could think of that I could at any time actually bow down to any saint here on earth. How much worse would it be to actually bend the knee in front of a statue. The same goes for any one in heaven.

God alone is to be worshipped, Jesus is Lord and the Holy Spirit is the only One that gives me the power. These three in One. Saints and guardian angels and the entire hosts of heaven can point me to the right direction but only God gets the glory for just as we are nothing without him, so are they. If a saint can help me find something, it is only through the power of our Father in Heaven that that help comes from. I can give all due reverance and honor to saints and to their position in Christ but to bow down to them and pray to them is idolotry pure and simple. I have tried to go as far as I can with this according to the communion of saints. But this is not a fine line to cross, it is a vast gulf to fall into. Churches are told to repent for the time is near, Jesus comes quickly. If there is any false doctrine that has plagued the Roman Catholic Church and is listed among the high places that must be torn down, it is idolotry. This is not business as usual, it is coming to one accord to the truth, we MUST put away false doctrine if we are to agree. This is not about loving each other in spite of our differences, it is for the love of truth and putting away our pride so wa can love each other in truth. We are not the denominations, we are the remnant, if in fact we can say that in truth and separate and called to restore all things.

The truth shall only set us free if we embrace it and we had better decide if we believe in the afterlife or not and if the afterlife is eternal or withheld in our own time. It is not really all that complicated. Departed saints are alive. They have been "quickened" as promised. They have passed from death to life and are now in the presence of the same Lord who conquered death for us and left us with these promises. Do you believe?

At the other extreme, look how insidious the "all Christians are saints" doctrine manifested itself. These pious souls in history insisted that membership be confined to persons who could prove that they had been singled out by God for salvation. It was possible to tell who was a saint, they thought, even in this world, and while everyone is expected to attend church, only the saints should be admitted to membership. As every candidate for membership appeared through confirmation or walking down the isle, they satisfied themselves of his sainthood and their own sanctimonious pretenses. They were required to continually pass judgment of the most dreadful kind on their fellow men. They must search not only their own souls for signs of grace, but the souls of their neighbors. If a Christian was not as white-washed as they and did not act like a saint, that person was not really a Christian. The experience could not fail to induce that intellectual arrogance which is the breeder of separatism and certainly encouraged the development of the Puritan and denominational schisms. The sanctimonious separist impulse would soon be threatening to split that congregation away from the rest.

We may regard salvation as a present possession or we may think of it as future only and picture it under the aspect of a reward bestowed upon those who live righteously. In either case, we need to endure faithfully until the end and be at one with our conviction that the Christian life is distinguished from the life of the unbeliever by its heavenly character. We need to have the resolve that the law which governs sanctification and the standard which measures it are from God and not from man. The communion of saints signifies that all sanctified Christians everywhere have fellowship with God, with each other on earth, and with the saints at rest.
[07, 66, 78, 120, 12, 377, 101, the communion of saints was an ongoing item of the latter rain discussion list]

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