My mom, my pastor, my friend - are all able to be talked to by me, right now, on the earth, and they can even talk back to me.
I don’t talk to people who’s bodies are not animated at the present time (ie they are no longer inhabiting their mortal coil, and have not yet been reunited with it). They may be alive with Christ in Heaven, but we have no direct contact with them. As we have Christ as our one true mediator, there really is no need to. We go to Him directly in prayer because He tells us to. We ask other living Christians on the earth with us right now to pray for us if we want to, because we see examples of this and we see where there is instruction to do so (ex. elders of the church visiting the sick and praying for them). What we do not see are examples of anyone teaching or promoting the idea of praying to dead Christians (absent from the body, present with the Lord), so that they in turn can take our prayers to God for us. There is nothing biblical about this. Paul never taught it.
The fact that the Church Universal is comprised of those Christians on the earth, and those that are physically dead but alive in Heaven with Christ, that does not mean we can communicate with them, nuch less ask them to intercede for us. First there is no Scripture to back this up. Second, though we may be part of the Church Universal, and bound together through Christ, that doesn’t even mean we can with a prayer communicate to other living people if we don’t have the means to do so. We don’t even know everyone or earth or in heaven and we have no means to communicate with the dead, or many of the body of Christ on the earth. HAve you tried to get in touch with your brothers and sisters in China by name to aks them to pray for you? The ones who don’t have phone service or mail service?
What will convince me your point has Scriptual basis is to give me examples from the bible where Jesus or the Apostles teach that you can ask Christians who are no longer physically alive (but in heaven) to interceded on your behalf to God. Or to provide me examples of where Jesus or the apostles state that it is your choice to either to pray to God directly for what you need, or that you can also pray to a dead Christian and he or she will then take your prayer to God for you.
And please do not give me the examples of living people asking other living people to pray for them. It is not the same and you know it. If you believe it is the same, and you believe the dead can do things for you, then you must also believe that your dead Christian father can still pay your mortgage bill for you, and your dead Christian grandma can still bake cookies for you. You must believe that the next phone call you get could be from your dead friend. But they cannot, of course not, they are dead. They cannot do anything in the temporal/physical world, nor can they do anything FOR anyone anymore in the temporal/physical world. They could do many things for you when they were here and alive in the body, including giving you a phone call, baking cookies for you, or helping with the lawn work - even, if you asked them or wrote to them, to pray for you. This only works if they are actually here with you. Not if they are dead and no longer in the body.
Christ can be our mediator and we can pray to Him because He is ALIVE. He died, and was risen to life immortal. We do not pray to a dead person when we pray to Christ! Christ is Risen! Amen.
In other words, you ask for intercessory prayer because you see it being done in the Scriptures, but it nevertheless contradicts your theology.
Christ can be our mediator and we can pray to Him because He is ALIVE. He died, and was risen to life immortal. We do not pray to a dead person when we pray to Christ!
Again, the bottom line is that you don't really believe that the dead in Christ are as alive as he is, even though he says they are.
"What we do not see are examples of anyone teaching or promoting the idea of praying to dead Christians (absent from the body, present with the Lord), so that they in turn can take our prayers to God for us. There is nothing biblical about this. Paul never taught it."
But John did:
And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God's people.
Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God's people, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God's people, went up before God from the angel's hand.
Clearly the citizens of heaven are offering the prayers of all God's people to God.
Surely you believe you are in a state of spiritual interconnection with people you cannot see. Do you stop praying for and with people if you don't have their phone number or their e-mail address? Isn't a fellow-Christian in heaven as close to you, or closer, than one in Passaic NJ?
It seems you believe in a boxed-up, compartmentalized Church, part-dead, part-living, out-of-touch and altogether incommunicado. But Christ teaches us we are all part of His body, utterly beyond the limitations of time and space, and utterly alive.
When you see us all as united in the living Christ, it's really quite beautiful.