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May 05, 2011

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" Do you place as much urgency on the one as on the other? Do you ever decide not to eat for a few days because you're too busy?"

This is so right on. We only have to look at Jesus' words about the necessity to feed the soul as a priority--even over feeding the body.

"Prayer is a powerful thing, for God has bound and tied himself thereto. None can believe how powerful prayer is, and what it is able to effect, but those who have learned it by experience."

Martin Luther


Further, A God named Love, walking incognito, tells us "I am the Way" and then walks into a Garden, a brawl, called Gethsemane.

Brad, I've been listening to The Hiding Place, and I'm put to shame by the Ten Booms' love of the Bible above anything else, even as they're starving and freezing in a concentration camp. I pray for that kind of deep, heartfelt knowledge of my need for the Bible.

Public Law 100-307 is a law respecting an establishment of religion. The law has no non-religious purpose. It has the primary effect of advancing religion - a particular class religions (those that involve prayer), if not a particular religion, at that. And, it results in excessive government entanglement with religion.

RonH

What law is that RonH? I'm guessing the day of prayer thing but I really don't know......?

RonH I just googled it...gotta love google! It's the day of prayer thing...

.....we went over this ad nauseam and many of us had the same concern but it turns out the phrase respecting-the-establishment has a very precise and narrow meaning when it comes to government actions. "To Establish" is something so far beyond what you're worried about....so dont' worry. You don't have to pray. If you did, THAT goes up to Establishing and then beyond Establishing, but it actually still lands much closer to it than the day of prayer thing does.

Legally, the day of prayer "Establishes" no entity, dominion, or compulsion, reward, incentive, or politic, legal or otherwise.

I only say this to address the establishment issue b/c that is the one you quoted. There ARE reasons or rather situations where such a day could be dangerous or illegal, but that (the establishment thing) is not one of them in and of itself; it has to be tied to something further than a day-of-blank..... Which is a line very easy to cross, and my faith in politicized faith is zero. Like you, I don't think we need to go there.

Would you get rid of it though if you could? Or tax exemptions? Or etc? Is it "merely" politicized faith you would rid the world of, or does your inner distaste run further?

How about a national day of Darwin to celebrate Man's emancipation from the opiate of the masses? I would offer that such a day ought to be welcomed if enough people asked for it. I wouldn't celebrate it; but as it "Establishes" no entity, dominion, or compulsion, reward, incentive, or politic, legal or otherwise, I see no reason to "establish" a Public Square which shoves out anything "different" than myself.

I'm just trying to see where your line is? And if you're tolerant. Is it ONLY politicized faith? If so, then the national day of prayer thing is an act of inclusion, not of establishment, in the same way that my vote for a day of Darwin is such...I mean in a strictly legal forum....

Man's history of oppression of, and fear of, all that is different-than-me has been too long and too painful. The consequences have just been too high.

Loving the un-lovable is where it's at RonH. You've gotta go THERE. Otherwise, all there is is Might Makes Right and the Toughest Survive. And, if such a philosophy is your bottom line, then the Muslim who has enough Might is Right. What is it really that you believe here? Aren't you contradicting yourelf?


Actually RonH, I suppose if Might Makes Right, and if the Toughest Survive, then in fact the Christian who Wills to Power is Morally Right to do so.

I mean this only if that (Man's Might of Will and Power and Intellect) is "where" Right comes from. The Hindu, and the Buddhist, and those Three Branches with a common Root found in the Muslim and Christian and Jewish Faiths all have something the Atheist does not. If any one of them proceeds to wrench power or even life itself from the atheist's hands they, in doing so, violate no moral law within atheism. And we thought the National Day of Blank led to "enganglement".

What is it, really, that you believe here on this point? Do you "feel" an Ought-Not against a naked Will to Power or a politicized faith? Does Homosapien's Might Make Right? Do you contradict yourself?

Does "Ultimate Reality Himself Is Love" give you more solid footing?


Hi Amy, I think that when people have circumstances thrust upon them that leaves no option but to trust God all the way, it would be near impossible for others to live up to that display of devotion by their own power or motivation. It would be hard to not feel depressed, knowing how far short we by comparison fail, and thats a shame that we tend toward that because the heroic displays of faith should inspire us, not tear us down.


I think it would benefit Christians to know that whatever you feed will have power over what is neglected. The flesh[not just the body-but the carnal mind] gets a full multi course meal through the eye, ear, and sensation during every waking hour. God gives the Word to communicate truth and deliver counter-intelligence to combat the worldly assault. The Reformed position is that God speaks through the Bible and His preachers/shepherds, and we speak back to Him through prayer. This means that both discipline are vital to the health of the believer. He speaks through word and sacrament, we respond in worship and prayer--and the cycle repeats indefinitely--for the saint of God. We dont have to match anothers acts of devotion as much as we have to strive to grow in faith and knowledge even in mundane circumstances. I think that pleases God equally with the heroic devotion.

That's beautiful Brad B. We all find ourselves before Him and I know in that moment it will be He and I alone and no other. His eyes will see only the Story of Us as it pertains to He and I, and not He and I and ten or fifteen other people.

I know that; but I agree with Amy's sentiment, and experience. When I read about some of what others have done I am somewhat built up, and somewhat tore down in some way too, and not always in a postive or useful fashion.

Maybe, if we have ten choices, and choose Him, that is "better" or perhaps "higher" or perhaps "just as beautiful as" having all but one thing (Him) ripped out of our lives by some disaster, and then choosing the only choice left us: Him. I don't know that by any means...and I'm sure it's often not the case.... but maybe there is something there to some degree. Even in the mundane.....choosing Him...

If the truth be known, God orchestrates our lives, including our choices, so that we have nothing but Him, who works in us to will and do of His good pleasure. We should never gloat in having made the right choice in a matter, as though we share His glory.

True as Brad in essence says, circumstances are thrust upon us so that we have nothing but Him to rely upon. This is a hard way to go, but it works. If we only continued every conscious moment in prayer, where God is thanked and continually sought for our continuing in His love rather than in our own hate, we would obtain an understanding of how things actually work.

But, as soon as we stop praying, it's back to square one where we start to sing the same old tune. "Amazing me, how sweet the sound, that saved not too bad a guy like me."

LRHM,

A) establish
B) make no law respecting the establishment

Do you see a difference between A and B?
If so, what do you think the difference is?

RonH

RonH:

A vs. B. Your question DOES deserve a REAL answer. But what about this: It doesn't matter b/c that is the answer ultimately.

Animal A has the Might, and thus the Right, to wrench Power, and even life itself, from Animal B.

Right?

The Christian who has the Might, and uses such and proceeds to wrench power or even life itself from the atheist's hands does not, in doing so, violate any moral law within atheism. The Toughest Survive. Might Makes Right.

What is it, really, that you believe here on this point? Do you "feel" an Ought-Not against a naked Will to Power inside of a Politicized Faith? Does Homosapien's Might Make Right? Do you contradict yourself?

Your question MAY deserve a REAL answer from me. If there are grounds upon which to build your Ought-Not here against a naked Will To Power on the part of the Christian which is grounded on something beyond Homosapien's Autohypnosis or Wishfulfillment, then I suppose your question is really a question.

But if Autohypnosis or Wishfulfillment are the Height and the Ceiling to which you can climb, then, well, your question may be answered any which way we want, so long as we have the Might.


Amy,

This is from CS Lewis, on the "inner events that go on" during prayer. As he says, the real me struggles to speak to the real You of God.... may it be the real I who speaks, may it be the real You I speak to:

"The moment of prayer is for me, or involves for me as its condition, the awareness,
the reawakened awareness, that this "real world" and "real self" are very far from
being rock bottom realities. I cannot, in the flesh, leave the stage, either to go behind the scenes or to take my seat in the pit; but I can remember these regions exist.


And I also remember that my apparent self--- this clown or hero ---under his
Grease-paint is a real person with an off-stage life. The dramatic person could not tread
the stage unless he concealed a real person. Unless the real and unknown I existed, I would not even make mistakes about the imagined me.


And in prayer this real I struggles to speak, for once, from his real being, and to address, for once, not the other actors, but---what shall I call Him? The Author, for He invented us all? The Producer for He controls all? Or the Audience, for He watches, and will judge, the performance?


The attempt is not to escape from space and time and from my creaturely situation
as a subject facing objects. It is more modest: to re-awaken the awareness of that situation.
If that can be done, there is no need to go anywhere else.
This situation itself is, at every moment, a possible theophany. Here is the holy ground; the Bush is burning now.


Of course this attempt may be attended with almost every degree of success or failure. The prayer preceding all prayers is "May it be the real I who speaks.
May it be the real You that I speak to." Infinitely various are the levels from which we pray.
Emotional intensity is in itself no proof of spiritual depth.
If we pray in terror we shall pray earnestly; it only proves that terror is an earnest emotion.


Only God Himself can let the bucket down to the depths in us.
And, on the other side, He must constantly work as the iconoclast. Every idea of Him we form, He must in mercy shatter.
The most blessed result of prayer would be to rise thinking "But I never knew before. I never dreamed..." I suppose it was at such a moment that Thomas Aquinas
said of all his own theology, "It reminds me of straw."


C.S. Lewis

Dave,

"Amazing me, how sweet the sound, that saved not too bad a guy like me." Yep; been there way too many times myself ~~~~~

RonH,

Is it wrong to force religion on others who don't want it? No way. Not at all.

And this is why:

I see nothing intrinsically wrong, in the sense of a Certain Someting to which we are obliged to bend our knee, despite our inner impulse toward a Will to Power, which would prevent the Christian not only from inserting a Day of Prayer, but from a full blown Theocracy.

Might makes Right. The toughest survive. We dance to the blind and the indifferent.

I am willing to have a discussion with you about a moral question ((that of a Politicized Faith, which I both fear and abhor but am unable to discuss if we are not intellectually honest here)) but we must be honest about "what" it is we are really talking about here. An Amoral universe may have morals, if we allow our wishfulfillment or our autohypnosis to invent them ad lib. But then, I will invent my own set, and dispense with your set. In the end, Might makes Right. Either I will win. Or you will.

We not only follow the rules, we make them. And we re-make them. And re-make them yet again. And all driven by our dance to what is ultimately blind and indifferent.

Isn't this what you believe to be the bottom line?

I see no problem, in your universe, with a full blown theocracy instituted in our dance to our inner drive toward a Will to Power, to Survive, to Come Out On Top, to perpetuate the Self and to insure the Self's perpetuation in the "pool".


I suppose an intrinsic Ought toward the Loss of Self, and to instead shout Other, or Thine and not Mine, as a certain kind of Ought to which we are to bend our knee is another idea.


But if this idea of Love is anything less than ultimate reality, and is instead, as the atheist tells us, yet one more ab lib production of our wishfullment or our autohypnosis, and is merely Nature's tool to perpetuate the self, then we are back to square one: Might Makes Right.


I see no way out of this except to find a worldview in which Ultimate Reality is Love, or "Other and not Self", or "Thine and not Mine", or "You and not I". Or Gethsemane, in which that Eternally Sacrificed Self tells us, "I am the Way, follow Me, do it This Way".


Brad, when I say it puts me to shame, I mean only that I stand in awe of it from way below! I definitely feel inspired rather than discouraged. :-)

Thank you so much for this post. I am in that desperate place right now, having been without work for several years now, and seeing no answers to my prayers in this regard.

Mo, my heart goes out to you. May God quickly finish what He's teaching you so He can move on to more pleasant things! I pray things will turn around soon for you.

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