I also have enjoyed reading your posts and am a newcomer here. I have a question that occured to me when reading the extensive thread below concerning the practice of praying to the saints. I was only vaguely familiar with this concept before and since it has been raised here, I was wondering if you would provide a scriptural background for it as I would like to read up on this and understand it better.
In one of your posts you stated "No one ever HAS to pray for the saints intercession, but they are like a prayer army, waiting to be called into action. Their concern is the salvation of everyone on earth". Is there a biblical reference for that?
And later you stated "Revelation tells us that the saints, martyrs, prophets and apostles are separated from the faithful as are the choirs of angels. They are treated separately, and are able to act on our behalf in an appeal to God. Jesus taught us that when we gather together 2 or more, God the Father will hear our prayers. The saints are resources, friends, fellow followers of Christ". Can you provide the verse in Revelation so I could read that?
Speaking for myslef, prayer time is so precious a commodity that I can't even imagine spending my words and the pleas of my heart with anyone but God the Father and with Jesus, but if a biblical precedent for praying to the dead saints does exist, I would like to hear more about it.
And finally, I ask this with the utmost respect and with a sincere question in my heart about your statement. You said one thing that rather disturbed me and I am sure I am misinterpreting your comment. In one of your posts, you said "The protestant reformation was about making your own way, and deciding what is intended for your life by yourself".
and this statement was followed by:
"While not openly denying a structured religion, this opened the door to all sorts of perversions of faith".
Please correct me if I am wrong, but are you equating the Protestant Reformation with opening the door for all sorts of perversions of faith? Because, it would seem to me that perversions of faith abounded both before and after the reformation, i.e. the Inquisitions (Roman and Spanish) pop into my mind as just two examples of some of the more violent and gross perversions of faith. Perhaps you can clear up what I think was a misinterpretation of your comments(?)