The Bible has much to say about this subject. The Lord Jesus said in John 14:13,14, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” We are instructed in these verses to pray in the name of the Lord Jesus, not church founders. In 1 Timothy 2:5 we read, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” If someone prays in the name of another person besides Jesus, then they are making that other person a mediator between themselves and God. However, Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no access to God the Father apart from His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. As we read in Ephesians 2:18, “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” In other words, through Christ Jesus, and Him alone, both Jews and Gentiles have access to the Father by the Spirit.

We read in Deuteronomy 18:10-12, “There shall not be found among you he that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, that useth divination, that useth auguries, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or one that inquireth of a spirit of Python, or a soothsayer, or one that consulteth the dead. For every one that doeth these things is an abomination to Jehovah, and because of these abominations Jehovah thy God doth dispossess them from before thee” (Darby’s New Translation). Anyone who consults with the dead is an abomination to Jehovah. Therefore, praying in the names of, praying to, and worshipping dead church founders and leaders is very displeasing and sinful in God’s sight.

In Matthew 4:8-10 we read, “Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Only the true God should be worshipped. We read in Deuteronomy 4:7-9, “Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” Worshipping church founders is making them a god, which is strictly forbidden by the true God. In His holiness He is a jealous God and takes it very seriously when someone worships someone besides Himself.

Concerning the second question about if a person should leave a church where this is happening, the answer is a resounding “YES.” We read in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?” The Scriptures are clear that praying to the dead and worshipping anyone besides the true God is unrighteous. The answer about leaving the church is in 2 Corinthians 6:17. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” It is not enough to stay true to the Lord ourselves while continuing to attend a church where this evil is happening. We read in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’” The only proper action is to leave the evil. If you do, the Lord will bless you with His nearness and encourage you each day. We read in 2 Timothy 2:20-22, “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” When we are obedient to God’s Word in leaving evil, then He calls us a vessel unto honor and sets us apart to be used of Him. He also often will bless us with the fellowship of other believers who call on the Lord (not church founders) out of a pure heart. I pray that the Lord will give you the courage to do the right thing for His honor and glory. (335.6) (DJ)