There are people who believe that the saints who have gone before us are dead, and of course there is precedence for this understanding in the Bible. Some people in Biblical times believed that the saints who went before us were truly dead and did not live on. They did not believe in the resurrection. However, this was not the understanding of... Jesus and the Apostles; this was the understanding of the Sadducees who opposed Jesus, “Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward” (Lk 20:27).
Jesus never claimed that those who have died are “dead saints.” Jesus understood well that when someone dies, they will live on and will never die. "Jesus told her,
- "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this" (Jn 11:23-26)?
There are also people who believe that there is only “one intercessor Jesus,” and because of this, further claim that the intercession of Mary and the saints is not Biblical. Actually, it is their tradition that tells them that intercession of the saints is not Biblical, not the Bible. The Bible does not say we have one INTERCESSOR; it says that we have one MEDIATOR, Christ Jesus; “For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times” (1 Tim 2:5-6). These people have confused mediator with intercessor.
This low regard for Mary and the saints is really not found in Scripture or the history of the Church and this is freely admitted by some Protestants. For example Timothy George writing in, “Christianity Today,” admits this. “Must nearly everything we say about Mary be couched in the language of dissent and disbelief? The fact is, evangelicals often say less about Mary than the New Testament does. She is seldom mentioned in our sermons or worship services, except for her honorary appearance in the annual Christmas pageant” (The Blessed Evangelical Mary; Why we shouldn’t ignore her any longer; 12/1/2003 Christianity Today).
Rev. Charles Dickson, A Lutheran minister and author wrote a book on Mary, “Why All The Fuss About Mary.” He had this to say about her; “Having been raised in a traditional Protestant atmosphere. I was led to believe that Catholics placed far too great an emphasis on the Virgin Mary in their faith and practice and that such an em¬phasis deflected from the centrality of Christ. But in some 30 years of ministry in a Protestant tradition I have learned that just the opposite is true. By upholding the importance of the Blessed Virgin, Catholics do not minimize the impor¬tance of Christ, but actually emphasize and underline His mission.”
The detractors of Mary seem not to realize that the Protestant Reformers held Mary in extremely high regard. The anti-Marian elements in the Protestant experiment seems to have come much later. For example Martin Luther said of Mary “[She is the] highest woman and the noblest gem in Christianity after Christ . . . She is nobility, wisdom, and holiness personified. We can never honor her enough. Still honor and praise must be given to her in such a way as to injure neither Christ nor the Scriptures. (Sermon, Christmas, 1531; www.BiblicalCatholic.org).
I have run into many people on Facebook who have related some anti-Marian sentiment. They seem to have the best intentions; however, I doubt that they even realize that they’re taking the Bible out of context. Here is one of those short dialogues.
MELANIE DAVIS says; "Asking Mary who is dead to pray for you is calling God's Word a lie. There is one intercessor between God & man & that's Christ not Mary or any other dead saint!"
LENNY ALT Says; "Melanie, Mary is alive with Jesus. Heaven is not a grave yard for dead souls. It is a place where people are fully alive with Christ, (John 11:23-26). You have also misquoted Scripture. It does not say in the Bible that we have only one intercessor; the Bible says one mediator, Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5-6)! Melanie would you pray for me, oops that would be interceding and you are opposed to that. Melanie, I don't need you as my intercessor. I can go straight to Jesus. God bless you, Melanie."
IN THE BIBLE, PEOPLE PRAYED DIRECTLY TO GOD AND THEY ASKED FOR INTERCESSORY PRAYERS OF OTHERS AS WELL.
- Join me in the struggle by your prayers to God on my behalf (Rom 15:30).
- Persevere in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving; (Col 4:3).
- Brothers, pray for us (too) (1 Thess 5:25).
- Remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly (2 Thess 1:2).
- Finally, brothers, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward (2 Thess 3:1).
- With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones and also for me, that speech may be given me to open my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel (Eph 6:18-19).
- I can now tell you that when you, Tobit, and Sarah prayed, it was I who presented and read the record of your prayer before the Glory of the Lord; and I did the same thing when you used to bury the dead (Tob 12:12).
- Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones (Rev 5:8).