IFellaway "I don't know any Christians who think like this."
Really ? does the phrase "answered prayer" mean nothing to you ?
Pentecostal land is replete with anecdotes about the "Power of prayer". It is the fuel that feeds pentecostlism and a lucrative christian book industry.
But it is the nature of things that all the times prayer failed to "come through" or failed to provide some requested guidance or direction never end up being subjects of excited conversation in church circles. Why should they be ?
No human likes to constantly recount failures. Silences. Do football fans constantly discuss all the times the ball got to the penalty area but never ended up in a goal ? Of course not.
But even Mother Teresa of Calcutta was deeply in crisis faith-wise over gods "silence" in her latter years, according to her own writings.
I firmly believe that if enough people around the world prayed for it, they could move Mount Everest to London! We are all spiritually connected and we all have the spiritual power to make things happen through prayer together - God says so in the Bible.
Forgive me for being a party pooper but I don't place any virtue on "firm belief" or "faith" - especially in a hypothetical. Why is "faith" a virtue ? beats me. Even when interpreted as mere "trust" - whether in a human or a god - such faith exhibits no clear virtue to me. Quite frankly the wars and struggles we see going on in the news every day are not the result to too little "belief" but too much "firm belief". In fact too much "firm belief" in stuff that these faith-full have no bloody basis to either assert nor use as a stick to enforce conformity by those not sharing the same "firm belief".
I see no virtue in fundamentalism and in fact a great deal of evils resulting form it.
Being trustworthy is a virtue. Being a "good truster" is not. A collection of "trusters" - "trusters" that are happy to put all their eggs int the basket of their local cult is what has given rise to this forum after all.
Every person who has contributed their testimonies here are - in actual fact in no small way - exhibiting scepticism and one hopes questioning deeply the place of "faith" - as it is expressed in religious sects with strong overbearing leaderships. Bring on doubt I say. All you here are in no small way doubters after all !. Revel in it !. Be proud that you dared to question the emperor.
And when it comes to faith as believers use the term - time and time again - even in my xtian days it was perfectly clear to me that "Faith" was in actual case nearly always faith in what some other human was asserting as "spiritually true". Or it is in effect faith in leadership, a church tradition, what mummy and daddy taught you when you were young.
Firmly believing that god will solve ones gravest problems is something that ALL xtians are supposed to believe. For the simple reason that this is what Jesus stated himself. If a christian is hungry and asks god for bread does god give him a snake instead ? so goes Jesus' rhetoric.
Another passage about how god supposedly takes care of cute birds comes to mind. Although maybe Jesus never came across those nests where mummy bird was'nt able to find enough food for her young ones so that her young ones ended up eating their weaker siblings. Birds fall prey to the vagaries of nature. And nature is indeed red in tooth and claw. Jesus clearly needs to pick s better metaphor here. It neither works for birds nor in actual reality for humans on this planet.
All this might be fine for nursery level sunday schools but any adult who has ventured out into the real world knows that there is no such assurance.
If only a fraction of the people who supposedly pray for world peace stopped supporting their catholic popes, pentecostal mega-pastors, frothing at the mouth imams and their billions of flock faithfully and fervently praying for
either a caliphate or the return of their shia messiah, or the xtian one- then maybe peace would come.
As to " I firmly believe that if enough people around the world prayed for it, they could move Mount Everest to London! " well i find this firm belief in hypotheticals to be not only largely fruitless but also a
key factor in SMC behaviour.
If only SMC congregants would fall into line wrt holiness there would be a revival. If only SMC-ers really really really prayed hard.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2013 01:15PM by Clive.