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I have 2 questions. If you are pro-choice or don't believe that God answers prayers than I'm not particularly looking for your input although you are welcome to respond (especially if you once held these beliefs). These questions are more directed toward those who hold more traditional beliefs. I'm not looking for a debate. I just really want an honest response to my queries. I won't respond except perhaps to ask clarifying reports. It is not my intent to debate or disagree with anyone.

 

Here goes:

 

On Prayer:

 

When people pray and their prayers aren’t answered they say it was God’s will. So my question is this: If God is going to do what God is going to do what is the point of praying? Is God really answering prayers? Do some people believe that when they pray they change God’s mind and God does something different? Does one person live and another die because of the people praying for that person?

 

On Abortion:

 

Most of the people I know who are against abortion are because they believe it is biblical. Without arguing that point, this is my question. These same people believe that when a fetus, infant, or child dies they go to heaven (How old of a child depends on the person). So if 1,000,000 babies were aborted those 1,000,000 souls went to heaven. Now suppose that those 1,000,000 babies were born. It seems highly unlikely that anywhere near 1,000,000 would have become Christians and ended up in heaven for all eternity. It would make sense if an atheist or someone who doesn't believe in an afterlife would be anti-abortion but it doesn’t make sense to me when looking long term why a person who is a Christian is.

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On Abortion:

 

Most of the people I know who are against abortion are because they believe it is biblical. Without arguing that point, this is my question. These same people believe that when a fetus, infant, or child dies they go to heaven (How old of a child depends on the person). So if 1,000,000 babies were aborted those 1,000,000 souls went to heaven. Now suppose that those 1,000,000 babies were born. It seems highly unlikely that anywhere near 1,000,000 would have become Christians and ended up in heaven for all eternity. It would make sense if an atheist or someone who doesn't believe in an afterlife would be anti-abortion but it doesn’t make sense to me when looking long term why a person who is a Christian is.

 

OA, your logic is sound. Christians who believe that Christians alone are chosen by God to go to heaven are certainly placing themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the question of babies who are born but not baptized.

 

I've never been fundamentalist, so I can't explain to you what theological arguments are used to lessen the anxiety that's created when people are forced to hold two incompatible beliefs at the same time. It's been my experience, though, that Christian theologians can go through the most extraordinary contortions of "logic" in order to create "homogeneity of belief" where none exists. Often, the argument boils down to "Because I say so." You may not get an answer to your question other than "Because I say so," OA, because there isn't one that's based in logic.

On Prayer:

 

When people pray and their prayers aren’t answered they say it was God’s will. So my question is this: If God is going to do what God is going to do what is the point of praying? Is God really answering prayers? Do some people believe that when they pray they change God’s mind and God does something different? Does one person live and another die because of the people praying for that person?

 

That's a lot of questions! That's a lot of big questions. I can only say from my own personal experience that the Bible says, in a number of different places in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, that if you are in covenant with God, you get a special deal. The deal is that you get to pray, and God has to listen to you. God may or may not choose to answer, but you have the right to be heard, and you have the right to complain (eg. Psalms of Lament). The question then becomes . . . who exactly is in covenant with God?

 

I was taught that approach to prayer in the church. I no longer accept that approach, but I was taught that approach in the Anglican church.

 

For myself, I gave up the approach to prayer that I was taught, and I replaced it with what might be called "quiet conversation." Each day, I talk to God the Mother and God the Father about my feelings, not because I expect them to "change their minds" based on what I say, and not because I think I can change another person's outcome based purely on my "distance" thoughts and "distance" prayers (because I don't believe in the "power" of "distance prayer" at all -- although I believe that when people express their empathy directly to another individual in person or over the phone, their empathy and commitment to the relationship can be beneficial and even healing); I talk to God each day because I think it's important in a relationship to express one's feelings, and to listen to the feelings of the other person/people, too.

 

So prayer is important if it's a spontaneous expression of relationship between you and God, and if it gives you a chance to go deeper into your own issues and your own heartfelt emotions. Otherwise, it's just rote learning, and you may as well be citing the multiplication tables.

 

I don't know if this is what you were looking for, OA. Hope this helps. Keep your logic comin'!

 

Jen

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I have 2 questions. If you are pro-choice or don't believe that God answers prayers than I'm not particularly looking for your input although you are welcome to respond (especially if you once held these beliefs). These questions are more directed toward those who hold more traditional beliefs. I'm not looking for a debate. I just really want an honest response to my queries. I won't respond except perhaps to ask clarifying reports. It is not my intent to debate or disagree with anyone.

 

Here goes:

 

On Prayer:

 

When people pray and their prayers aren’t answered they say it was God’s will. So my question is this: If God is going to do what God is going to do what is the point of praying? Is God really answering prayers? Do some people believe that when they pray they change God’s mind and God does something different? Does one person live and another die because of the people praying for that person?

 

On Abortion:

 

Most of the people I know who are against abortion are because they believe it is biblical. Without arguing that point, this is my question. These same people believe that when a fetus, infant, or child dies they go to heaven (How old of a child depends on the person). So if 1,000,000 babies were aborted those 1,000,000 souls went to heaven. Now suppose that those 1,000,000 babies were born. It seems highly unlikely that anywhere near 1,000,000 would have become Christians and ended up in heaven for all eternity. It would make sense if an atheist or someone who doesn't believe in an afterlife would be anti-abortion but it doesn’t make sense to me when looking long term why a person who is a Christian is.

 

On prayer: My own opinion about prayer is that it is NOT an attempt to change God's will. Instead, it is a search for the strength to change my own will. When I pray for a friend with cancer, it is for the will for me to be there with him or her when they need me. Then I will have "walked humbly with my God" and my prayer answered.

 

On Abortion: I'm pro choice and male. I don't think I'm really qualified to answer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear OA,

 

I'll attempt to take you not beyond those "prayer answers", but behind.

 

I believe, preceding them, there is a question of whether we believe in the relationship of God in His proper relation to man; that is the logical relationship of the creator to the creature and worshiper.

 

Mustn't we first have faith in a god that can answer our prayers. Minsocal correctly implied that Christian prayer is such a faith by its basic supplication to God; 'Your will, Lord; not mine'. This is an acknowledgement of God's worth, with the honor, and the reverence due Him. This is our prayer that rightfully expects from the God who does make and keep promises.

 

"If God is going to do what God is going to do what is the point of praying?"; "Is God really answering prayers?"; "Do some people believe that when they pray they change God’s mind and God does something different?"-OA

First thing of note is you've recognized that prayer is personal. And the answers must be personal as well.

Second, we can't consider hoping to change God's mind in order to have Him do something against His will. If we petition Him to hear our requests and they are respectful to His will, He has promised to answer them. He has and He will.

 

Answers to prayers are not be possible from just any god, but only unless the God to whom we offer such praying were to be personal and infinite. If this is not characteristic of the god to whom one prays, then one rightfully may expect ones prayers to not be answered, nor even heard.

--

On the issue of abortion, I couldn't find a question, but several statements. Despite that grammatical shortcoming, it wouldn't be forthcoming of me to deny the implication of your wanting some form of an explanation for the opposition to abortion.

First though: It is perplexing how anyone can consider their self to be pro-choice accompanied by an admission to being unqualified to determine whether it is correct.

Second, I believe this is not a man or woman issue. It's a human issue.

Third, Christians believe each human has personality and dignity and value.

Fourth, atheists have no reason to care either one way or the other.

 

While the million babies would go to heaven, we would condemn ourselves by the murdering of these innocents. By their murder we would have denied these people their life, liberty, choices, and opportunities to fulfill their aspirations, violating God's purpose for their creation.

 

It is their life, God gave it to them. We can claim by no authority any right to deny these people of their life.

---

Jen,

 

It's not very difficult to see that you may have some misconceptions about what a fundamental Christian believes in or is. I am familiar with fundamental Christianity and what you seem to continually be describing "through the most extraordinary contortions of logic" is unfamiliar. The rash characterizations seem seldom to be tempered with genuine insightfullness, but rather seems to have an undercurrent of animosity.

 

To say the current abortion logic is sound seems to be taking a lot for granted. What logic is there in saying Christians should want to kill all the babies when murder is known to be despised by Christians? We cannot determine that by which any man can claim a moral authority to rob the innocents of life, except by some pseudomorality, incompatible to God.

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On Prayer:

 

When people pray and their prayers aren’t answered they say it was God’s will. So my question is this: If God is going to do what God is going to do what is the point of praying? Is God really answering prayers? Do some people believe that when they pray they change God’s mind and God does something different? Does one person live and another die because of the people praying for that person?

 

It seems to me that when people pray and their prayers aren't answered some of them might say it was God's will but not all. Others may say they didn't really believe he would answer it but prayed anyway. I can't answer the question concerning what the point of praying is for them. But the question, Is God really answering prayers, it seems to me in my experience, to be definitely yes.

 

Do some people believe that when they pray they change God's mind and God does something different? Speaking for myself, when I pray and connect something in me changes and that change brings about a corresponding change in my life that would not have changed without a change in me. In that sense, something different happens that would not have happened had I not prayed. IE: I am tired and weary and ready to give up on solving a problem. I pray and as I do in faith I feel strengthened and refreshed by the source of my being (God). I continue on and solve the problem instead of giving up. The outcome is changed. This is only one of many possible examples. In that sense God has answered my prayer by changing me which in turn leads to a different result than if I had not prayed and given up instead. Has God changed his mind? To me that would not be an accurate statement but it seems to me the outcome has changed through the use of prayer.

 

The final question, does one person live an another die because of the people praying for that person? In my experience, yes. Prayer aids in a connection with ones source (God) and in that connection is often the answer to that which will result in the difference between life and death. IE: In prayer for another one feels an unction to warn another of a danger which when heeded by the recipient results in life rather than death. ( not being on a plane that crashes because of a warning from prayer, not in a car that has an accident because of a warning in prayer, etc.)

 

On Abortion:

 

Most of the people I know who are against abortion are because they believe it is biblical. Without arguing that point, this is my question. These same people believe that when a fetus, infant, or child dies they go to heaven (How old of a child depends on the person). So if 1,000,000 babies were aborted those 1,000,000 souls went to heaven. Now suppose that those 1,000,000 babies were born. It seems highly unlikely that anywhere near 1,000,000 would have become Christians and ended up in heaven for all eternity. It would make sense if an atheist or someone who doesn't believe in an afterlife would be anti-abortion but it doesn’t make sense to me when looking long term why a person who is a Christian is.

 

Most of the people I know who are against abortion is because they believe it is murder and immoral, nevertheless, without arguing that point as being derived as biblical or not, regardless of their belief concerning the disposition of that fetus, infant or child, it makes sense to me that if their Christian belief is that it is murder and immoral then it would make sense they would be anti-abortion. Their assumption that the child would go to heaven is an assumption on their part (and not known) or the teachings of the church they attend but the affirmation of being anti-abortion based on their conscience of personal morality and considering it as murder whether biblical or not is to me a separate issue.

 

Just one input to consider.

 

Joseph

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I feel a little awkward here, mainly because I have identified as a "buddhist", who are usually understood not to "believe" in "God". However I offer this is good faith with no attempt to undermine anything or anybody.

 

On prayer, I understand this (I don't actually pretend to "understand" anything in any definitive way!!) in the way I seek to understand and live with all things............that is, by understanding it as inter-related to all other things and not a "thing" in itself, separate from all others.I am unable to disassociate "prayer" from "faith", the faith that Reality-as-is is infinite compassion, and, in Christian terms, is mercy, not judgement. This being so, within true awakening, a cry from the heart is seeking the "will" of "God". To seek anything other would be a cry of the false self. I appreciate that all this raises questions of theodicy, of the existence of "evil". This is where in my own "Pure Land" way I appeal to myself as being a "foolish being". Who am I to know?

 

As this is a Christian forum, and as I am me (!), perhaps a quote from the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart would be useful...............

 

In true obedience there should be no "I want this or that to happen" or "I want this or that thing" but only a pure going out of what is our own. And therefore in the very best kind of prayer that we can pray there should be no "give me this particular virtue or way of devotion" or "yes, Lord, give me yourself or eternal life", but rather "Lord, give me only what you will and in the way that you will". This kind of prayer is as far above the former as heaven is above earth. And when we have prayed in this way, then we have prayed well, having gone out of ourselves and entered God in true obedience.

 

On abortion, given the way you have framed the question, claiming that the infants will all go to heaven, my understanding is that St Augustine, seen and understood to be one of the great pillars of the orthodox Christian tradition, actually taught that this would not be so, that unbaptised infants were in fact destined for hell. Whatever the truth of this - as to whether or not this applies equally to the unborn and therefore unbaptised - I have myself read tracts issued by fundamentalist Christians claiming as such, and therefore the argument as stated has no validity.

 

To offer good will, I can assure everyone that Buddhist teachings of "karma" and suchlike are equally able to justify the unjustifiable when in the wrong hands!

 

P.S. Eckharts words are taken from his "The Talks of Instruction" section 1, "On true obedience" as translated by Oliver Davies, Penquin edition of "Selected Writings"

Edited by tariki
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On abortion, given the way you have framed the question, claiming that the infants will all go to heaven, my understanding is that St Augustine, seen and understood to be one of the great pillars of the orthodox Christian tradition, actually taught that this would not be so, that unbaptised infants were in fact destined for hell. Whatever the truth of this - as to whether or not this applies equally to the unborn and therefore unbaptised - I have myself read tracts issued by fundamentalist Christians claiming as such, and therefore the argument as stated has no validity.

 

I find myself incapable of belief in a God that would create Hell, and in the general punishment/reward concept of some popular interpretations of Christianity. I do not follow the literal, fundamental system of belief, and in fact find it a bit archaic and anti-humanitarian. I also find the literal "ask and ye shall receive" interpretation of prayer to be extremely arrogant from a human perspective. In my understanding, both of these are fundamentalist views, with the definition of fundamental being those 5 absolutes of Christian Doctrine as outlined in the Niagara Bible Conference (1878 - 1897). Fundamental Christianity in practice demands that ALL 5 be accepted without debate in order to call oneself Christian. They are as follows:

 

1. Inerrancy of the Scriptures

2. The virgin birth and the deity of Jesus

3. The doctrine of substitutionary atonement by God's grace and through human faith

4. The bodily resurrection of Jesus

5. The authenticity of Christ's miracles

 

So, I agree with Jen that Fundamental scholars sometimes go through "extraordinary contortions of logic" in order to defend their doctrine. I think Bishop Spong used those exact words in one of his books, although I don't have it readily available for reference at this time. David, I cannot speak for your experience with Fundamental Christianity, but the above 5 precepts are the accepted and advertised dogma. To believe otherwise is simply not fundamental, and to accept them in the face of modern comprehension and the laws of the physical world is simply not rational.

 

I don't accept that Christianity is about absolutes or borders. To establish any absolutes or borders is to alienate someone in the human family from the process of Christianity. For me, Christianity is a process. Peter Rollins described it as "becoming save, and becoming Christian" rather than getting saved and being Christian. It is a lifestyle of personal growth, humility, and compassion, not doctrinal absolutes. Anything that does not enhance or enable the human family is un-Christian. Once again, just my view. I am sure others will see it differently. Questions and answers about both prayer and abortion are left to personal interpretation and will remain shades of grey. Until the unlikely day comes that all people believe in the exact same doctrine, humankind will continue to differ in opinion. I don't believe that anyone using the tag "Christian" would condone abortion as a form of birth control, but as a human family I also do not believe we can decide what any other person should or shouldn't do with their body. Therefore, I remain pro-choice, with right to modify my opinion based on contextual interpretation and the opportunity for further enlightenment.

 

On specifics of prayer, I can offer no insight. It is still a mystery to me. I do not believe in the ability to alter the will of God through request and supplication, but I will also make no claim at understanding the will of God. All I can do to understand more deeply the basis and workings of prayer is to continue to pray and be open to any enlightment God may give me on the subject.

 

Bless'

-Jake

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Jesus prayed to the Father to take his suffering away, but only as the Father wills it. To seemingly blanket all requests to God in a selfish light may not be all that appropriate. Also see such as: Ps 55:1, 22; Matt 21:22. Maybe Eckhart hadn't meant it to read that way.

 

"Now, who deserves, without committing any sin, so immense a punishment as to be conceived in the sin of another, before leaving his mother's womb, and then to be no longer free from sin? But from this punishment the free grace of God delivers the souls of such infants as are regenerated in Christ, with no previous merits of their own— otherwise grace is no grace."- Augustine; The Soul and its Origin; ch 9.

 

Augustine rightfully said that without Christ's grace infants could not go to heaven; for that matter, no one can. However, his argument was over the requirement of (a born) infant baptism in order to receive that Grace. He was also clear that the death of the unborn did receive Grace. Baptism should be relegated to another thread.

 

One final note; Christianity sees that without judgement there can be no mercy.

-

Hi Jake,

Under the current management, I think a discussion of what defines a Christian would more suitable for another thread; but on the current topic, I can add to the debate, responding to abortion:

In a moment of contextual enlightenment; to not consider the life of the person in the womb as an individual is dehumanizing. While the woman carrying the baby may behave in any way she sees fit, ignoring there's a seperate human life within her would be selfishly irresponsible, making things like prenatal care meaningless, and killing him so much the worse.

 

As far as prayer goes, I could not agree more with your saying that we cannot change the over arching will of God. (See post #5) I don't believe anyone can infinitely understand God's infinite will, but I do believe we can understand the bits we need to; like the Christian ethic to love your neighbor (by not murdering him).

 

Dk

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I was looking at the latest Forum offerings a while ago, then my neighbour popped in reminding me that I had promised to lend my ladder and that we would clear out our gutters between us. Well, the gutters certainly needed clearing out - as my mate said whne he took a look "you could plant spuds in this lot!" (spuds = potatoes for those not aquainted with English slang) Anyway, nothing like being at the top of a very flexible ladder in a high wind to test my trust and faith in Infinite wisdom and the ultimate good of all things! I know I'm waffling but this has just remined me of the joke about the jewish guy who slips while walking on a high and dangerous mountain path. As he slides over the edge he just manages to grasp at an overhanging branch and clings on for dear life. He hangs there, looking down at the 1000 ft drop beneath, then cries out to the heavens......"If there is anybody up there, help me!!!!!" A loud voice booms down out of the clouds......."There is somebody up here. I will help you. Just let go of the branch and the eternal arms will lift ye high" . At which the Jewish guy takes another look down at the long drop beneath him and then cries out again...."Is there anybody else up there?!!"

 

Well, sorry, I'm getting carried away. I'm actually on holiday this week (and next) so have a little time to spare.

 

davidk,

 

Many thanks for your clarification of St Augustines views. I have never read much by him myself, just aquainted with bits and pieces when he has been quoted by others. As far as Eckhart is concerned, perhaps you may do well to scrutinise his words carefully as he was actually "done" for heresy by the Catholic Church of his day, though this was after his death when he was no longer around to defend himself. Nevertheless, I believe he speaks of "the best kind" of prayer/obedience and stops short of claiming that any other is "selfish" - maybe implicitly of the "self" perhaps, but in his terminology (let alone Buddhist!) this indicate another direction of thought. Also, Jesus ended His prayer in Gethsemane by saying ....."nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt" No doubt Eckhart would have approved(!), and these words may have developed his understanding from his own devotion to Christ.

 

You make a good point regarding "judgement" and "mercy". Perhaps I should have said that in Christian terms the final word is mercy and not judgement? One of the last centuries great Protestant theologians, Karl Barth has said...."Christianity is a proclamation of joy.............It does, of course, throw a shadow. We must not overlook or ignore this aspect of the matter. In itself, however, it is light and not darkness......The yes cannot be heard unless the No is also heard. But the No is said for the sake of the Yes and not for its own sake. In substance, therefore, the first and last word is Yes and not No"

 

Anyway, enough for now. Just like to add that I enjoreading through your post Jake. A lot of sentiments there that I share. Thank you.

 

All the best

Derek

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Thanks Derek. The story sounds like a Mel Brooks.

 

Eckhart's quote can read as if your explanation's accurate. You can see from what limited context we were given that such a question for its meaning could have been raised. I shall rely unequivocally on your explanation.

 

I did, by intent, only paraphrase Jesus on the cross. I don't think the meaning differs (?). I currently haven't the time to address the mercy/judgement issue at the moment. I'd like to get back to you later.

 

David

ps- we may be asked to move to another or a private message to continue

Edited by davidk
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Guest Jarrad

Hello everyone, other than my intro I haven't posted here or anywhere else for that matter I guess.

I have been reading some of the post, and I must admit I am impressed, not so much with the expert knowledge but with the love and honesty people have shared. I am intrigued by some of the questions too, since I have had friends that have had an abortion I wanted to give my opinion on this one.

 

On Abortion:

 

Years ago - I might have sent you straight to hell for having an abortion, as well as for being gay or a member of any other religion but Christianity. As for the child, I guess I believed that God knows better than I what he is doing, that whatever he does is beyond question. As far as the bible goes God would never have sent us down here without the owners manual.

 

I look back now and it honestly feels like I was another person. The truth is I was. Evidently a mean, judgmental, cold hearted person, that used the bible to justify their beliefs. That must have been the way I saw God too, and sadly I wasn't alone. We can all point out scriptures, and where there are no clear cut ones, we can clarify what God meant by them.

 

Back then I seemed to have prided myself on what I understood the bible to say, I was full of knowledge, blind and all puffed up. If anyone tried to tell me anything different than what I already believed, then it was simple... it was foretold that liars and blasphemers would attack the word of God.

 

In my opinion, the bible can be a very dangerous book, just like the koran, or any other book written by men. Yes they have pearls of wisdom inspired from God, (and I quote them often), but in the wrong hands they can be a tool to crush others. I am reminded of the quote: If the only tool you have is a hammer, then you tend to see every problem as a nail.

 

Eventually I came to this conclusion (and I am not afraid to say it anymore) my God is better than that.

 

Bringing this back to the subject:

 

It occurred to me when the prostitute was brought before Jesus - he said go your way, and sin no more (try to do better next time) he didn't condemn her. Was he just talking to her, or was he making a point? He could have been talking to all prostitutes. Do we think for one moment prostitutes at that time didn't get pregnant? Do we think abortion was just invented? We are all just like her, in one way or another.

 

Just as I could never stand in the doorway and send a little baby to hell (if there were such a place), nor could I send my wife or my daughters there if they had an abortion. Now I am going to extend my family out to include yours - no way, not even. Sorry, but I can't imagine that the God I have come to know could either, if he could then I would ask "is there anyone else up there?" <grin>

 

Looking back, God never changed, someone else did. That started quite simply when I started reading what he wrote in my heart and set the other stuff aside, the manual is inside of us not outside, and that will do until we are mature enough to be led by the spirit.

 

Part of our problem can be summed up in a story that Moses wrote <grin>

When Moses brought the children to the base of the mountain, he said make yourself ready for you are about to meet God for yourself. The mountain quaked, stones rolled down, fire and smoke came forth. The people were afraid, and said go up there dude and tell us what God wants and we will do it.

 

Of course Moses did, and from then on we had laws, priest and other men's interpretations of Gods will, and they have stood between us and a personal relationship with him since.

To me Jesus tried to change all that, but to see that I had to be looking for it.

 

Now I am not a women so I am not qualified to say this, but I believe all women who have had an abortion feel some sort of deep emotional guilt. Condemnation from us can only hinder their chance of getting back on the right spiritual path, So I guess I would tell my child, don't take this lightly, But I refuse to believe God condemns you to hell, nor the child, pick yourself back up and try to do better next time.

Or do I say you dumb broad, you just sent your little baby to hell, and your getting ready to bust the gates wide open yourself.

To me it's a no brainer. Why because I love my child so does God, how do I know this? Cause his love is greater than mine.

Jarrad

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Thanks Derek. The story sounds like a Mel Brooks.

 

Eckhart's quote can read as if your explanation's accurate. You can see from what limited context we were given that such a question for its meaning could have been raised. I shall rely unequivocally on your explanation.

 

I did, by intent, only paraphrase Jesus on the cross. I don't think the meaning differs (?). I currently haven't the time to address the mercy/judgement issue at the moment. I'd like to get back to you later.

 

David

ps- we may be asked to move to another or a private message to continue

 

David,

 

many thanks. I have only limited time. I intend to begin a thread that deals in some way with judgement/mercy. Look forward to your input.

 

All the best

Derek

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To me the abortion question is not as pressing as other things going on in the world. But it bothers me to see the topic framed in this way –“if you are pro-choice or don’t believe that God answers prayers.” Lumping these two together seems like stereotyping or pigeonholing. There is no inconsistency between being a feminist and believing in prayer, as the essence of faith… in Canajen’ s words, “a spontaneous expression of relationship between you and God, that gives you a chance to go deeper into your own issues and heartfelt emotions.”

Edited by rivanna
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To me the abortion question is not as pressing as other things going on in the world. But it bothers me to see the topic framed in this way –"if you are pro-choice or don't believe that God answers prayers." Lumping these two together seems like stereotyping or pigeonholing. There is no inconsistency between being a feminist and believing in prayer, as the essence of faith… in Canajen' s words, "a spontaneous expression of relationship between you and God, that gives you a chance to go deeper into your own issues and heartfelt emotions."

 

The two are only linked together because they were the two different things on my mind. I've never even thought of being pro-choice or anti-abortion as having anything to do with prayer.

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Okay, thanks, that wasn’t clear at first.

 

To me the progressive idea of prayer is not traditional forms nor specific requests, but closer to meditation, contemplation--listening, creating room for God…affective more than effective, about a relationship rather than a result.

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On Prayer:

 

When people pray and their prayers aren’t answered they say it was God’s will. So my question is this: If God is going to do what God is going to do what is the point of praying? Is God really answering prayers? Do some people believe that when they pray they change God’s mind and God does something different? Does one person live and another die because of the people praying for that person?

 

haha Very cool that you brought this up - because I have wondered the same thing myself. I actually have come to a point in my walk with Christ that I know when to pray (for myself or someone else), and when not to. Coming from the spiritual background I do, I consider asking God (through Christ) to intervene on behalf of someone's life (to help heal physical, emotionally, mentally, etc. - and to keep people from doing this, that and the other thing - to give when we don't have, etc...etc...etc.) - almost as a means to control God to our wills. It is almost like summoning a spell if one is a Pagan - they try to create things to how they desire through the will(s) of their deity(ies). And considering, from ym understanding of Christ and his purpose for this world, we are called to have faith - not to play "demi-gods" to control Gods will. You can slap Christ's name on it all day long, but still at the end of the day you are still trying to control God in my eyes whenever you pray for specific things. So what I have come to when it comes to prayer - is to just have personal, one-on-one conversation with God (through Christ - for I believe He listens to us through Him, we cannot go directly to Him because of our sin). I believe that is what prayer should be about - building a relationship with God through Christ. Not to use and abuse Christ for our own egotistical whims.

 

On Abortion:

 

Most of the people I know who are against abortion are because they believe it is biblical. Without arguing that point, this is my question. These same people believe that when a fetus, infant, or child dies they go to heaven (How old of a child depends on the person). So if 1,000,000 babies were aborted those 1,000,000 souls went to heaven. Now suppose that those 1,000,000 babies were born. It seems highly unlikely that anywhere near 1,000,000 would have become Christians and ended up in heaven for all eternity. It would make sense if an atheist or someone who doesn't believe in an afterlife would be anti-abortion but it doesn’t make sense to me when looking long term why a person who is a Christian is.

 

I do not have a viewpoint to offer on this question at this time.

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