This blog is a supplement to - the website for St.Gregorios Syrian Orthodox Church and Mission Centre, Hosur, India - and brings you latest updates along with articles on Christian living and news.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Praying to the Saints - VII

 Why do we Venerate the Saints? 
Answer to those who claim "No Contact with the dead" (II)
Source - Malankara World

God thus indicates that one is not to conjure the dead for purposes of gaining information; one is to look to God’s prophets instead.

Thus one is not to hold a seance.

But anyone with an ounce of common sense can discern the vast qualitative difference between holding a seance to have the dead speak through you and a son humbly saying at his mother’s grave, "Mom, please pray to Jesus for me; I’m having a real problem right now." The difference between the two is the difference between night and day.

One is an occult practice bent on getting secret information; the other is a humble request for a loved one to pray to God on one’s behalf.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Praying to the Saints - VI

Why do we Venerate the Saints?
Answer to those who claim "No Contact with the dead" (I)
Source - Malankara World

Sometimes Fundamentalists object to asking our fellow Christians in heaven to pray for us by declaring that God has forbidden contact with the dead in passages such as Deuteronomy 18:10–11.

In fact, he has not, because he at times has given it—for example, when he had Moses and Elijah appear with Christ to the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:3).

What God has forbidden is necromantic practice of conjuring up spirits. "There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. . . . For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you so to do.

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed" (Deut. 18:10–15).

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Praying to the Saints - V

Praying to the Saints - Why do we Venerate the Saints? 
One Mediator (II)
Source - Malankara World

The intercession of fellow Christians—which is what the saints in heaven are also clearly does not interfere with Christ’s unique mediatorship because in the four verses immediately preceding 1 Timothy 2:5, Paul says that Christians should interceed: "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.

This is good, and pleasing to God our Savior, who  desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Clearly, then, intercessory prayers offered by Christians on behalf of others is something "good and pleasing to God," not something infringing on Christ’s role as mediator.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Praying to the Saints - IV

Praying to the Saints - Why do we Venerate the Saints?
One Mediator (I)
Source - Malankara World

Another charge commonly leveled against asking the saints for their intercession is that this violates the sole mediatorship of Christ, which Paul discusses: "For  there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5).

But asking one person to pray for you in no way violates Christ’s mediatorship, as can be seen from considering the way in which Christ is a mediator.

First, Christ is a unique mediator between man and God because he is the only person who is both God and man. He is the only bridge between the two, the only God-man.

But that role as mediator is not compromised in the least by the fact that others intercede for us.

Furthermore, Christ is a unique mediator between God and man because he is the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15, 12:24), just as Moses was the mediator (Greek mesitas) of the Old Covenant (Gal. 3:19–20).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Praying to the Saints - III

Praying to the Saints - Why do we Venerate the Saints?
Can They Hear Us? (II)
Source - Malankara World

Some might try to argue that in this passage the prayers being offered were not addressed to the saints in heaven, but directly to God.

Yet this argument would only strengthen the fact that those in heaven can hear our prayers, for then the saints would be aware of our prayers even when they are not directed to them!

In any event, it is clear from Revelation 5:8 that the saints in heaven do actively intercede for us.

We are explicitly told by John that the incense they offer to God are the prayers of the saints.

Prayers are not physical things and cannot be physically offered to God. Thus the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God mentally. In other words, they are interceding.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Praying to the Saints - II

Praying to the Saints - Why do we Venerate the Saints? 
Can They Hear Us? (I)
Source - Malankara World

One charge made against it is that the saints in heaven cannot even hear our prayers, making it useless to ask for their intercession.

However, this is not true.

As Scripture indicates, those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth.

This can be seen, for example, in Revelation 5:8, where John depicts the saints in heaven offering our prayers to God under the form of "golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." But if the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God, then they must be aware of our prayers.

They are aware of our petitions and present them to God by interceding for us.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Praying to the Saints - I

Praying to the Saints - Why do we Venerate the Saints?
Source - Malankara World

The historic Christian practice of asking our departed brothers and sisters in Christ—the saints—for their intercession has come under attack in the last few hundred years.

Though the practice dates to the earliest days of Christianity and is shared by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, the other Eastern Christians, and even some Anglicans—meaning that all-told it is shared by more than three quarters of the Christians on earth—it still comes under heavy attack from many within the Protestant movement that started in the sixteenth century.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Letter from Heaven

A Letter from Heaven

To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say, But first of all to let you know that I arrived okay.

I'm writing this from Heaven, where I dwell with God above, Where there are no tears or sadness, there is just eternal Love.

Please do not be unhappy, just because I'm out of sight, Remember that I'm with you, every morning, noon and night.

That day I had to leave you, when my life on earth was through, God picked me up and hugged me, and said, " I welcome you".

"It's good to have you back again. You were missed while you were gone. As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on. I need you here so badly as part of my big plan. There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man".

Then God gave me a list of things he wished for me to do. And foremost on that list of mine, is to watch and care for you. I will be beside you, every day of the week and year, And when you're sad I'm standing there, to wipe away the tear.

And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight, God and I are closest to you in the middle of the night. When you think of my life on Earth, and all those loving years, Because you're only human, there's bound to be some tears.

One thing is for certain, though my life on Earth is over, I am closer to you now than I ever was before.
And to my many friends, trust God knows what is best. I am not far away from you, I'm just beyond the crest.

There are rocky roads ahead for you and many hills to climb, Together we can do it, taking one day at a time. It was my philosophy and please I'd like for you, To give unto the world, so the world will give to you.

If you can help someone who's in sorrow or in pain, Then you can say to God at night, my day was not in vain. And now I am contented that my life it was worthwhile, Knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

When you're walking down the street and I am on your mind, I'm walking in your footsteps, only half a step behind. And when you feel a gentle breeze of wind upon your face, That's me giving you a great big hug, or just a s oft embrace.

When it's time for you to go from that body to be free, Remember you are not going, you are coming home to me. I will always love you, from that place way up above, I will be in touch again soon.
P.S. God sends his love.

~ Unknown

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Questions From Jesus Christ - IX

Questions From Jesus Christ - IX
Do you believe I can do this? (Matthew 9:28)

When you pray to me, do you believe in your heart of hearts that I am in control of your life and that I do everything for your good?

Do you believe that you will receive that which you are praying for?

What will be the status of your faith if I choose to give you an answer (to your prayer) that is different from what you anticipate.

Will you still have faith in me and put your trust in me.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Questions From Jesus Christ - VIII

Questions From Jesus Christ - VIII
So, could you not watch with me one hour? (Matthew 26:40)

Until and unless you knowingly and willingly spend at least an hour in prayer with me how can you expect our relationship to grow stronger and better.

I am not referring to your family prayers but to your personal prayer.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Questions From Jesus Christ - VII

Questions From Jesus Christ - VII
If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest (Luke 12:26)

If you have no control over as small a thing as the hair on your head, why worry about your business, career, finances and relationships?

Entrust them to me because I made them for you.

Remember they were made for you. You are not made for them. Work for the spread of my Gospel and the glory of my Kingdom and watch how everything else in your life falls in line one by one.

When you start working for me, I will start working over your business, career, finances and relationships.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Questions From Jesus Christ - VI

Questions From Jesus Christ - VI
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God? (Luke 17:18)

When I work a miracle for non-Christians they respond by thanking me and dedicating their life to me.

As a Christian how have you responded to the many graces and blessings that I have showered on you?

I am pained to see you living a life of ingratitude and recklessness.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Questions From Jesus Christ - V

Questions From Jesus Christ - V
Do you want to be well? (John 5:6)

You are physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually ill.

While a doctor may be able to heal you physically and a counselor or psychologist may heal you emotionally or intellectually, only my Word can heal you completely.

Yes only my Word can heal you physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.

Establish a relationship with me and witness the change in your life.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Questions From Jesus Christ - IV

Questions From Jesus Christ - IV
Woman where are they, has no one condemned you? (John 8:10)
After all your sins and the damage that you have done to your chance of spending eternity with me, in my infinite mercy I am giving you another opportunity to start life afresh.

I forgive you and urge you to set things right because I may not give you another chance.