Regarding praying to the deceased:
One true disagreement is whether or not the deceased are brought to life in heaven "now" (whatever that is meant to mean in a trans-temporal
reality), or whether they remain asleep, locked into our own temporal universe, "asleep in the grave". If I'm honest, scripture gives a very
confused mishmash of differing suggestions. Cherry-picking verses we can argue that the deceased are not able to hear us, or we can argue that those
who die in Christ are now alive in him (cf. the words of Jesus to one of the thieves on his cross).
Tradition in Christianity has historically gone for the latter view. The earliest known altars were the tombs of the deceased faithful - some sort of
link between the dead physical body and that same person alive in heaven was believed very early on. But, again, if you do not accept apostolic
tradition as carrying authority, and only accept written scripture as possessing the authority then you will not accept that argument.
It is worth noting in scripture that the book of the Revelation fo St John does adopt a position consistent with the early church's tradition of the
prayers of saints being real things ("The twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls of incense, which
are the prayers of the saints" (Rev. 5:8)). It also seems to make it clear people in heaven are aware of what is going on on earth (and thus can
"hear" us): Rev. 6:10-11 (they are impatient that something has not yet happened on earth); 7:13–14 ("Sir, thou knowest
To me, a strict interpretation would be that the saints are in no way "dead" - they are alive, and wholly so by and within god. Intercession of the
living is "good and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior" (1 Tim. 2:1–4).
St Augustine composed a wonderful passage expressing how all life is life only because of god, and that all communion with other life exists only
because of god himself being the source and substance of that life:
... If souls please thee, be they loved in God: ... but in Him are they firmly rooted; else they would leave, and pass away. In Him then may they
be loved; and carry to Him along with you what souls you can, and say to them, "Him let us love, Him let us love: He made these, nor is He far off.
For He did not make them, and so depart, but they are of Him, and in Him. See there He is, where truth is loved. He is within the very heart, yet has
the heart strayed from Him... The good that you love is from Him; but it is good and pleasant through reference to Him...
Intercession of the saints is the work of Christ, because all the saints are alive only in
Christ. The communion of saints/kingdom of
heaven/body of Christ is a perfect union, not a sort of social democracy. All life is the life of god alone - not some kind of independent
self-sustaining thing. The prayers of the saints are the prayers of the living, are the intercession of Christ, are the work of the Holy Spirit. It's
all god. It's all the same thing. It's a facet to his reality. There is no contradiction against the sole mediation of Christ in my mind about this,
any more than it is a contradiction that Christ (who is god) should propitiate sin for god.
But then, that's just my POV, and this isn't really a comparative theology board....
Shall we instead discuss what necromancy is, and what necromancy isn't?