Author Topic: National Day of Prayer  (Read 6790 times)

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #90 on: May 09, 2021, 01:41:42 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

Exactly. Jesus does not say, "He who has seen me has seen God." Nor, "I and God are one." As I stated above, for John there is a distinction between the word "God" and the use of the term, "Father."

And the error continues.
 ::)

What error?

For Jesus to say "I and God are one" would be a nonsensical redundancy. Jesus is expressing the Holy Trinity.

"So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God...The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten."

Yet John pretty much says, Jesus is God.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (1:1)

I'm still waiting for an answer to my question.

It looks like you're going to wait a long time. Your error is thinking that I'm obligated to answer your question.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #91 on: May 09, 2021, 01:43:45 PM »
We do not know in detail what God may do. How could we possibly know that? God has told us some things, but not everything. And we may have misunderstood a thing or two.
But what you wrote, that God hasn't told us everything or we may have misunderstood. You said that God may have changed His mind. That is different.


Have you not read the biblical passages where it says God changed his mind?


And if God never changes his mind, why should we bother to pray and ask God to do something? If God's mind is already made up and nothing can change it, prayer is useless.

Yup, right on cue.   ::)


Do you believe that prayer can cause God to change his mind? Was it futile for Abraham to try and find ten righteous men in Sodom to save the city from God's wrath? Is it futile for us to pray for healing? Or forgiveness?


You make comments that do nothing to further the discussion; nor do you answer the questions.
"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 #92 on: May 09, 2021, 01:45:13 PM »
It looks like you're going to wait a long time. Your error is thinking that I'm obligated to answer your question.


I've grown accustom to your comments that answer no questions. I just assume that they are too difficult for you to answer; or that you might have to publicly agree with me.
"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 #93 on: May 09, 2021, 01:54:33 PM »
It looks like you're going to wait a long time. Your error is thinking that I'm obligated to answer your question.

I've grown accustom to your comments that answer no questions. I just assume that they are too difficult for you to answer; or that you might have to publicly agree with me.

And your comments typically confuse the issue or even espouse false doctrine.

You know happens when you assume.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

D. Engebretson

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #94 on: May 09, 2021, 02:00:50 PM »
Can those who fail to believe in the Son truly pray to God?


That wasn't the question. Rather, does the Triune God hear the prayers of those who do not believe in that God?

I think this has already been answered, as far as I can see.  As an omniscient God one can hardly argue that God is unable to actually hear something said, whether it be in the form of a prayer or otherwise.  At issue, if I'm following correctly, is whether "hear" is equated with "answer."  And part of this, I submit, is how faith in the true God factors in. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

peter_speckhard

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #95 on: May 09, 2021, 02:05:17 PM »
Consider a judge hearing a petition. He can “hear” anyone who shouts anything from the gallery. That is not the same thing as granting a hearing.

Charles Austin

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #96 on: May 09, 2021, 02:18:48 PM »
But, Pastor Engebretson, do we have to have faith in order for a prayer to be answered? If so, what kind of faith? How much Faith? What is the necessary content of that Faith?
imagine one who has no faith or very little faith or a totally unformed and unpracticed Faith reaching the depths of despair and then crying out to God in prayer.
I have heard people in recovery speak of reaching out from the  “bottom“ of their misery to a God they hardly knew and thoroughly misunderstood or a God they had rejected, and yet receive from that God what they need to start or continue their recovery.
And on one Holocaust remembrance day, I was proud to stand alongside and pray with someone who had survived Auschwitz. It was not my words nor was it my theology that shaped the prayer that day, but it was my prayer.
And I find Peter’s judicial image just upstream quite troubling. It suggests that one has to have “standing” in the court, or all petitions are just noisy shouts “from the gallery.”
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minnesota. Interested in faith related to today’s life; and in church history, choral singing, cooking, movies and live theater.

Weedon

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #97 on: May 09, 2021, 02:24:04 PM »
Pr. Austin asks: “Do we have to have faith in order for a prayer to be answered?”

St. James writes: 1:6-7  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

And we confess in the Larger Catechism:

“This is nothing else than the word of undoubting faith, which does not pray on a dare, but knows that God does not lie to him. For He has promised to grant it. Therefore, where there is no such faith, there cannot be true prayer either.” LC III:120

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #98 on: May 09, 2021, 02:25:25 PM »
It looks like you're going to wait a long time. Your error is thinking that I'm obligated to answer your question.

I've grown accustom to your comments that answer no questions. I just assume that they are too difficult for you to answer; or that you might have to publicly agree with me.

And your comments typically confuse the issue or even espouse false doctrine.

You know happens when you assume.


Of course I know what happens. You do it all the time when you assume that my questions are statements. (Additionally, you assume that I don't want to hear (read) your answers.) If the shoe fits wear it.
"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]

peter_speckhard

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #99 on: May 09, 2021, 02:35:06 PM »
The problem stems from people seeking out uncertainty in order to imagine a God that actually does what God could in theory do. Our confidence ceases to be in a promise from God and starts to be in our own reasoning about God.

D. Engebretson

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #100 on: May 09, 2021, 02:35:28 PM »
But, Pastor Engebretson, do we have to have faith in order for a prayer to be answered? If so, what kind of faith? How much Faith? What is the necessary content of that Faith?
imagine one who has no faith or very little faith or a totally unformed and unpracticed Faith reaching the depths of despair and then crying out to God in prayer.
I have heard people in recovery speak of reaching out from the  “bottom“ of their misery to a God they hardly knew and thoroughly misunderstood or a God they had rejected, and yet receive from that God what they need to start or continue their recovery.
And on one Holocaust remembrance day, I was proud to stand alongside and pray with someone who had survived Auschwitz. It was not my words nor was it my theology that shaped the prayer that day, but it was my prayer.
And I find Peter’s judicial image just upstream quite troubling. It suggests that one has to have “standing” in the court, or all petitions are just noisy shouts “from the gallery.”

We can't quantify faith.  Jesus talked of the "faith of a mustard seed" moving mountains.  Jesus also talked about the simple faith of a small child.  Of such is the Kingdom of heaven. Faith is simply that Spirit-created trust in the true God as revealed in Jesus.

As to Peter's comment, the "standing" we have before the "court" (to continue the imagery) is that we stand before God "in Christ."  That is what grants us acceptability. I do not have a hearing before God because of who I am.  I am just a sinner. A helpless sinner.  But in Christ I am covered in his righteousness. 

I think that there is a fundamental difference between "no faith" and "faith" (again without qualifying or quantifying it as to strength or size, but simply locating that faith in Christ).  No faith assumes that someone has chosen to believe that there is no God.  Or if we are talking about  faith in another non-Christian religion, has chosen to believe in a god who is not the true God.  In which case he is talking to someone or something other than the true God.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #101 on: May 09, 2021, 02:40:46 PM »
Pr. Austin asks: “Do we have to have faith in order for a prayer to be answered?”

St. James writes: 1:6-7  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.


However, the preceding verse (boldface added):  But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask. (CEB)


Or, if you prefer:


Εἰ δέ τις ὑμῶν λείπεται σοφίας,
αἰτείτω παρὰ τοῦ διδόντος θεοῦ πᾶσιν ἁπλῶς
καὶ μὴ ὀνειδίζοντος,
καὶ δοθήσεται αὐτῷ.
"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]

Charles Austin

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #102 on: May 09, 2021, 02:41:18 PM »
Pastor Weedon, A quote from James or the catechism will not solve the problem.  Proof texting with that verse makes God a cold, uncaring being, saying “I don’t know you, you don’t know me, get out of here” to someone in despair. Yuck.
Do you mean to say that one must have a Trinitarian, Lutheran confessional’s concept of God before true prayer is even possible?
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minnesota. Interested in faith related to today’s life; and in church history, choral singing, cooking, movies and live theater.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #103 on: May 09, 2021, 02:47:10 PM »
Can those who fail to believe in the Son truly pray to God?


That wasn't the question. Rather, does the Triune God hear the prayers of those who do not believe in that God?

I think this has already been answered, as far as I can see.  As an omniscient God one can hardly argue that God is unable to actually hear something said, whether it be in the form of a prayer or otherwise.  At issue, if I'm following correctly, is whether "hear" is equated with "answer."  And part of this, I submit, is how faith in the true God factors in.


It may depend on what is meant by "answer." Jesus says in Matthew 5:43-45


“You have heard that it was said, You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. [CEB]


Should a Muslim or Hindu farmer pray to their gods for rain, and God causes it to rain; is that an answer to prayer? Or is their prayers irrelevant? It was going to rain whether or not they prayed.


In these verses it seems that God treats believers and unbelievers; friends and enemies, the same - and so should we.
"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]

D. Engebretson

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #104 on: May 09, 2021, 03:17:58 PM »
Can those who fail to believe in the Son truly pray to God?


That wasn't the question. Rather, does the Triune God hear the prayers of those who do not believe in that God?

I think this has already been answered, as far as I can see.  As an omniscient God one can hardly argue that God is unable to actually hear something said, whether it be in the form of a prayer or otherwise.  At issue, if I'm following correctly, is whether "hear" is equated with "answer."  And part of this, I submit, is how faith in the true God factors in.


It may depend on what is meant by "answer." Jesus says in Matthew 5:43-45


“You have heard that it was said, You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. [CEB]


Should a Muslim or Hindu farmer pray to their gods for rain, and God causes it to rain; is that an answer to prayer? Or is their prayers irrelevant? It was going to rain whether or not they prayed.


In these verses it seems that God treats believers and unbelievers; friends and enemies, the same - and so should we.

God watches over His creation and His decision to grant rain is not contingent on faith or the lack thereof.  He does so not because a Hindu farmer prayed to a false god.  He does so because of his mercy. As Luther says at the end of the explanation of the First Article: "All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit  or worthiness in me."

Perhaps we should reframe this question.  It is clear that you and Pr. Austin believe that God hears and answers prayer whether it is offered in faith in the true God, or whether it is not. Prayers of Hindus (who pray to multiple deities), Muslims, Jews (both of whom openly deny the deity of Christ), et. al., are all valid prayers for you.  Prayer is something for you, it appears, that does not require faith. Our training and theology, it would appear, are, indeed, quite different.

And if all this is true, what motivation is there to even have any kind mission outreach of the church to those who do not believe?  It would seem rather irrelevant.  If, in the end, they are going to be saved because of Jesus, but not necessarily because of faith in Jesus, what is the point and purpose? 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI