Author Topic: National Day of Prayer  (Read 2270 times)

RDPreus

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #45 on: May 08, 2021, 11:08:19 AM »
Rev. Austin, I wrote above that the National Day of Prayer falls in the week before Rogate Sunday and that this was an opportunity for everyone to hear what Jesus has to say about prayer.  I posted the Gospel Lesson for Rogate Sunday and said, “What better way for us to evaluate the National Day of Prayer than in light of these words of our Savior?”  To this you replied, “No, Pastor Preus, the better way to evaluate a call for a national day of prayer is to recognize that not everyone in our country prays to Jesus.”  I responded, “We all know that not everyone in our country prays to Jesus.  Is this not good reason for us to evaluate the National Day of Prayer in light of what our Lord Jesus says?  Or should we not consider what Jesus says about prayer?  Rev. Austin, what is your point?”  You replied, “My point, Pastor Preus , is that given the reality of our national civic and religious situation, I see no point in fussing about a Day of prayer because the words do not meet your particular definition of the theology or pious practice of prayer.”

I talked about what Jesus has to say about prayer.  I cited from the Bible what Jesus says about prayer.  I said that we should evaluate the National Day of Prayer in light of what Jesus says about prayer.  You disagreed.  You wrote, “I see no point in fussing about a Day of prayer because the words do not meet your particular definition of the theology or pious practice of prayer.”  My “particular definition of the theology or pious practice of prayer” is to listen to what Jesus says about prayer.  How can a Christian oppose evaluating our “national civil and religious situation” in light of what the Lord Jesus says?  Why do you identify what Jesus says with my “particular definition of the theology or pious practice of prayer”?  Don’t you believe what Jesus says about prayer?

I am opposed to syncretism in all of its forms and therefore I oppose such things as the National Day of Prayer or prayer in the public schools.  I oppose such things because I believe what Jesus says in the Bible about prayer and what he says cannot be made to agree with prayers to a generic deity who neither begets nor is begotten.  It doesn’t matter whether Ronald Reagan or Joe Biden is president.  The very idea that Americans of different religions can nevertheless join together in prayer contradicts what the Lord Jesus Christ clearly teaches.

Charles Austin

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #46 on: May 08, 2021, 11:18:06 AM »
Pastor Preus:
I am opposed to syncretism in all of its forms and therefore I oppose such things as the National Day of Prayer or prayer in the public schools.
Me:
Good for you. Me, too; but the National Day of Prayer doesn’t bother me that much.
Syncretism, as you use the word, is a wooly word. Do you believe God hears the prayers of Jews or Muslims? Or should?
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

Weedon

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #47 on: May 08, 2021, 11:29:38 AM »
Pr. Austin,

How do you understand the words of the holy Apostle? “ 1 John 2:23 (KJV) “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” Does it have any implication for a Christian’s participation in a national day of prayer?

RDPreus

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #48 on: May 08, 2021, 01:01:52 PM »
Pastor Preus:
I am opposed to syncretism in all of its forms and therefore I oppose such things as the National Day of Prayer or prayer in the public schools.
Me:
Good for you. Me, too; but the National Day of Prayer doesn’t bother me that much.
Syncretism, as you use the word, is a wooly word. Do you believe God hears the prayers of Jews or Muslims? Or should?

Hears, as you use the word, is a wooly word.  Yes and no.  Yes, in that God hears everything.  He is God, after all.  No, in that there is no true prayer apart from faith in Christ, for it is only through faith in Christ that we can know God as our loving Father who hears and answers our prayers.

Dave Benke

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #49 on: May 08, 2021, 01:33:32 PM »
A)  I'm walking down the street in the spring in New York.  The air is filled with pollen, and I sneeze.  A Muslim person, walking by, calls out "God bless you."  Am I blessed through his prayer?

B)  I'm preparing to sing  "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple next to us are Jewish.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I not be singing at all, and go grab a beer instead?

B+)  I'm preparing to sing "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple on the other side of us are Presbyterian.  And the three people in the row in front of us, as we found out earlier in the game, are from the ELCA.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I leave the game entirely because this syncretistic fiasco is really not blessing anybody, and could in fact be placing souls in danger,  and head home to watch the end of the game in a specifically Missouri Synod Lutheran setting?

C)  I pay for my dollar meal at McDonald's with a five, and the Hindu kid in the window gives me four singles, all of which say "In God We Trust."  Should I accept the change, coming from him, or has the money been tarnished?  What do I do with the burger, which has been handed to me by someone who believes a cow is sacred?

Syncretistically and Unionistically yours,

Dave Benke


Brian Stoffregen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #50 on: May 08, 2021, 01:49:11 PM »
Pr. Austin,

How do you understand the words of the holy Apostle? “ 1 John 2:23 (KJV) “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” Does it have any implication for a Christian’s participation in a national day of prayer?


I believe that the Johannine writings make a distinction between "God" and "Father." No one can have a relationship with God as "Father" without the Son. It's significant that Jesus says that no one can come to the Father except through me, rather than no one can come to God except through me. Without Jesus, we cannot know, or be in relationship with God as Father. Without the Son, there is no Father. That doesn't preclude God from being God, the authority and creator of all peoples on earth.


When we confess that God created me and all that exists; we are acknowledging that God has created Muslims and Jews and atheists, even if they don't acknowledge their dependency on God. Nor can they recognize their relationship as children of the divine Father.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #51 on: May 08, 2021, 01:54:27 PM »
B)  I'm preparing to sing  "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple next to us are Jewish.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I not be singing at all, and go grab a beer instead?

B+)  I'm preparing to sing "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple on the other side of us are Presbyterian.  And the three people in the row in front of us, as we found out earlier in the game, are from the ELCA.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I leave the game entirely because this syncretistic fiasco is really not blessing anybody, and could in fact be placing souls in danger,  and head home to watch the end of the game in a specifically Missouri Synod Lutheran setting?


We often forget that "God Bless America" was not written by a Christian. Irving Berlin (aka Israel Beilin) would not have been writing about the Triune God. Can a Christian even sing it without entering a syncretic relationship with Jews?
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #52 on: May 08, 2021, 02:21:30 PM »
Pr. Austin,

How do you understand the words of the holy Apostle? “ 1 John 2:23 (KJV) “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” Does it have any implication for a Christian’s participation in a national day of prayer?


I believe that the Johannine writings make a distinction between "God" and "Father." No one can have a relationship with God as "Father" without the Son. It's significant that Jesus says that no one can come to the Father except through me, rather than no one can come to God except through me. Without Jesus, we cannot know, or be in relationship with God as Father. Without the Son, there is no Father. That doesn't preclude God from being God, the authority and creator of all peoples on earth.

And the Christological/Trinitarian confusion/error rears its ugly head yet again. 

"He who has seen Me has seen the Father." John 14:9. "I and the Father are one." John 10:30
« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 02:34:53 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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Charles Austin

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #53 on: May 08, 2021, 02:21:48 PM »
Pastor Weedon:
How do you understand the words of the holy Apostle? “ 1 John 2:23 (KJV) “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” Does it have any implication for a Christian’s participation in a national day of prayer?
Me:
Nope. I’m not denying the father when I  participate in such a service, or when I offer an invovacation  or benediction at a memorial day service, or on the Fourth of July or on Veterans Day.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

Charles Austin

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #54 on: May 08, 2021, 02:25:27 PM »
Pastor Preus:
Yes and no.  Yes, in that God hears everything.  He is God, after all.  No, in that there is no true prayer apart from faith in Christ, for it is only through faith in Christ that we can know God as our loving Father who hears and answers our prayers.
Me:
So God has cut off the Jews, abandoned the covenant, and disowned those who once were God’s people? All the prayers at Passover Seders or Yom Kippur services allover the world the world do not reach God’s ears. I get that.
But you know, I don’t think God does. 
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

RDPreus

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #55 on: May 08, 2021, 02:35:30 PM »
A)  I'm walking down the street in the spring in New York.  The air is filled with pollen, and I sneeze.  A Muslim person, walking by, calls out "God bless you."  Am I blessed through his prayer?

B)  I'm preparing to sing  "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple next to us are Jewish.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I not be singing at all, and go grab a beer instead?

B+)  I'm preparing to sing "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple on the other side of us are Presbyterian.  And the three people in the row in front of us, as we found out earlier in the game, are from the ELCA.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I leave the game entirely because this syncretistic fiasco is really not blessing anybody, and could in fact be placing souls in danger,  and head home to watch the end of the game in a specifically Missouri Synod Lutheran setting?

C)  I pay for my dollar meal at McDonald's with a five, and the Hindu kid in the window gives me four singles, all of which say "In God We Trust."  Should I accept the change, coming from him, or has the money been tarnished?  What do I do with the burger, which has been handed to me by someone who believes a cow is sacred?

Syncretistically and Unionistically yours,

Dave Benke

Dave, I am happy to answer your very thoughtful and serious questions.

A)   I'm walking down the street in the spring in New York.  The air is filled with pollen, and I sneeze.  A Muslim person, walking by, calls out "God bless you."  Am I blessed through his prayer?

Answer: No, you are not.


B)  I'm preparing to sing  "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple next to us are Jewish.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I not be singing at all, and go grab a beer instead?

Answer: God can bless people through pain, so perhaps all of your singing may be the occasion for God blessing somebody.  Don’t grab a beer because it’s bad and overpriced.

B+)  I'm preparing to sing "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch at Citi Field.  The couple on the other side of us are Presbyterian.  And the three people in the row in front of us, as we found out earlier in the game, are from the ELCA.  Is the assembly blessed through my singing, their singing, our singing, or should I leave the game entirely because this syncretistic fiasco is really not blessing anybody, and could in fact be placing souls in danger,  and head home to watch the end of the game in a specifically Missouri Synod Lutheran setting?

Answer:  First, ask yourself why you are so fixated on the blessings achieved by prayers.  Take out your worn copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, read it for the hundredth time, and repeat one hundred times: "Everything Peale says about prayer is wrong."  If you pray with a Presbyterian (or any other Calvinist) don't wear your Some Lives Matter T shirt.


C)  I pay for my dollar meal at McDonald's with a five, and the Hindu kid in the window gives me four singles, all of which say "In God We Trust."  Should I accept the change, coming from him, or has the money been tarnished?  What do I do with the burger, which has been handed to me by someone who believes a cow is sacred?

Answer: First of all, you should not eat anything at McDonalds.  You’re not getting any younger and that stuff will kill you.  Second, if you wanted to avoid syncretism on coins and currency you couldn’t use cash money.  Third, by all mean you should buy meat from Hindus and liquor from Muslims.  It’s a wonderful confession of Christian freedom!
« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 02:43:00 PM by RDPreus »

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #56 on: May 08, 2021, 02:38:00 PM »
Oh, I think God gets it.

"No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also." 1 John 2:23
Don Kirchner

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Dan Fienen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #57 on: May 08, 2021, 02:44:28 PM »
This is a pointless argument. Neither Rolf nor Charles can command God as to how He will respond to prayers. Rolf cannot forbid God's actions nor can Charles force them. God will do what He wants to do. God has promised to respond lovingly and powerfully to the prayers of Christians. For those who pray who have repudiated the Christ whom He sent to them in fulfillment of His promises, that is up to God. That He hears and knows the prayers of everyone should be apparent from His omniscience and omnipresence. He will respond according to His wisdom, love, and purpose. That is enough for me. Personally, I am not at all anxious to meet in prayer or in person the Holy God without Christ the Redeemer as my advocate. But He promised to be my advocate. That is all I really need to know. How He will respond to those who have repudiated the Christ, ignore Him, or never heard of Him is His business not mine.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Charles Austin

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #58 on: May 08, 2021, 02:55:14 PM »
Pastor Fienen:
God has promised to respond lovingly and powerfully to the prayers of Christians.
Me:
And God does not always do so.
God also made promises to the Jews. Have those promises been rescinded?
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

D. Engebretson

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #59 on: May 08, 2021, 03:00:33 PM »
This whole discussion begs any number of theological questions, but some that haven't really been fully addressed.

What exactly is prayer?  I hear language of being "blessed through prayer."  Prayer is, as the longer explanation in the catechism states, "speaking to God in words and thoughts."  It is not, as we know, a "means of grace." We are blessed through the Word of God and through the sacraments. In what sense, therefore, is a person technically "blessed through prayer"?  Blessed in the sense that someone cares enough to remember them in prayer?  Or are we assuming they receive something spiritual through our act of prayer?

We also have discussion going on about the prayers of people who believe in the true God, people who believe that Jesus is not true God, and people who believe in multiple deities, among others.  We also have people praying who deny that some with whom they are praying with are validly baptized, along with other important differences of faith and belief.  Do we see prayer as a way to pull together all of these disparate threads of spirituality in some sense of general unity of thought or faith?  Is prayer a way to express unity, and if so, what kind of unity? Impartial unity? Hoped for unity?  Something else?

Does God care what people believe about Him when they attempt to pray?  Or does He settle for whatever people want to believe about Him, even if it's false or incomplete?

What are we trying to say about prayer? 
Pastor Don Engebretson
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