I am in need of some GODLY council. I would really appreciate some advice on how to share with my brother who has lost someone who was a practicing Catholic. This person believes in the teachings of the RCC and has asked for prayers for the deceased person. This is kind of a complicated situation and I feel very ill prepared to even speak but I fear that my silence will cause hurt feelings. I do not want to close any doors but I do not want to compromise either...thank you for your help and consideration in thisGod BlessmaryjaneEdited: I realized that I said "a" brother and that seemed to imply that I thought this person was saved, that is not the case. This person is my brother and follows the RCC along with believing that "all roads" lead to Heaven. just wanted to clarify.
Mary Jane, I will pray God gives you His wisdom.
Thank You LeePadah I really could use the prayers. I feel so lost as to what to say but I do know GOD is faithful.God blessmaryjane
Sister,These are very hard situations our prayers and sympathy go out with you. The fact of an eternal hell is not only uncomfortable buy very unsettling for all of us. May the Lord give you grace and an authentic spirit to approach your brother in the flesh.I would not personally feel comfortable to say that I would pray for the dead because the Scriptures tell me not to. But I would encourage him in his faith and walk with the Lord and let him know if there is anything else I could pray for.If the deceased one was recent I would try to remain more silent because emotions will be running high for him. The Lord will give you grace sister.
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Hi Mary Jane. At such a sensitive time it might be best to ask questions (like Jesus did) rather than make statements.You could respond by asking your brother or whomever what HE believes about God, Heaven, Hell, Death, etc. Evenso, the topic of Hell would be very volatile and hurtful at this timeso tread carefully of course, as you already know. Then after he has his say about what he believes you could state what you believe; you could state what the true Gospel states. You listened politely while he stated his right to believe what he does and now he has to listen politely to you.I found this "technique" helpful when i recently came across a religious argument in a chatroom in which an atheist was attacking another Christian and his beliefs. I had just logged on. To take the heat and vitriol off my brother Christian i typed that i was a Christian and if anyone had any questions about God, Heaven, or Hell that i was AVAILABLE. Immediately i got 2-3 people, some of whom i wasnt even aware were "watching" the chat, bombard me with their desire to talk to me or debate. I had never expected such response. One was a grieving mother who had lost a son and thought God took him to punish her! The atheist wanted to get in a debate with me (for the sake of debating itself, most likely) and show his imagined intellectual superiority but i asked him to first tell me what HE believed. I am learning that this is a more respectful way to approach things, as it shows we care about THEIR thoughts and feelings even if we don't agree with them. After i was done listening to him he wanted to know WHY i believe what I do and so i explained and he was extremely polite and fair to me, even as he debated lightly with me using his god (science). I did not convert him but maybe i planted a seed, as he did not have an answer to the logic i presented.Anyway, your brother is not an atheist but what i am saying is that Jesus told stories and answered people with questions most of the time and i have found this new way of doing things takes away a lot of stress.
______________________________________________________________QUOTE:If the deceased one was recent I would try to remain more silent because emotions will be running high for him. ______________________________________________________________Good advice to use in any case unless the deceased was well known to you. Too many folks like to assume this person is in heaven because they cannot bear to think otherwise - and never mind his lifestyle. As I look at this situation, one thing we all know is that this person's destination is sealed, no change in that can be forthcoming, ever. So, I would encourage you to focus on this person's grief, his need at the moment. But do not speak until you feel the prompting of the Spirit to do so. My two cents.
Thank you for the replies. After much prayer I now think I have a better understanding of how to move forward in this. God blessmj
Let me share a short explanation about this RC practice of praying for the dead.According to RC teaching, Salvation is by Faith, but not by Faith alone. Faith alone is not sufficient to obtain Salvation. To be saved one must also observe the RC church commandments and the RC Sacraments i.e. the Sacrament of Baptism and the Sacrament of Penance (Confession to the Priest, absolution of sin by the priest, and performance of acts that gain Indulgences).What are Indulgences?When sins are committed they must be confessed to the priest, who then grants absolution. However, absolution only remits eternal punishment, the sinner is save from eternal hell but not from temporary punishment which the sinner must suffer here on earth or in the purgatory. - An Indulgence is the partial or full remission of the temporal punishment due to sin. In contrast to partial Indulgence, a plenary Indulgence which can only be granted by the pope, remits all of the temporal punishment.Indulgences can be only applied to oneself or to the dead in the purgatory, it can not be applied to any other living human beings. Prayer for the dead can gain an indulgence to reduce one's stay in the purgatory.What the bible says on this matter?Hebrews 10:11-18New King James Version (NKJV)Christs Death Perfects the Sanctified11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,[a] 17 then He adds, Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.[b] 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.