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Geezer

So, where is God during this pandemic?

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I asked that question on a Christian site where I’m active. To my surprise a hard core fundamentalist acknowledged that

 God doesn’t seem to be in the prayer answering business. He then referenced all the historical suffering Christians have had to endure. He ended his thoughts by stating that it’s foolish to expect God to respond to prayer.

 

I was frankly shocked by his honesty. This guy is a Bible quoting fundy, that apparently has been struck by reality. I don’t know that he’s ready to leave the faith just yet, but it seems that reality has slapped him in his face.

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6 hours ago, Geezer said:

I asked that question on a Christian site where I’m active. To my surprise a hard core fundamentalist acknowledged that

 God doesn’t seem to be in the prayer answering business. He then referenced all the historical suffering Christians have had to endure. He ended his thoughts by stating that it’s foolish to expect God to respond to prayer.

 

I was frankly shocked by his honesty. This guy is a Bible quoting fundy, that apparently has been struck by reality. I don’t know that he’s ready to leave the faith just yet, but it seems that reality has slapped him in his face.

 

Was this guy Church of Christ?  There is a common view in that tradition that God stopped intervening in the world in the first century, and that he only answers prayers today by helping people deal with adversity.  Which is indistinguishable from people summoning their own inner strength.  So maybe this guy's faith is wavering or not.

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3 minutes ago, TABA said:

 

Was this guy Church of Christ?  There is a common view in that tradition that God stopped intervening in the world in the first century, and that he only answers prayers today by helping people deal with adversity.  Which is indistinguishable from people summoning their own inner strength.  So maybe this guy's faith is wavering or not.


Well, he posts on Ex-church of Christ but he also admitted that he’s become an agnostic Christian that is leaning toward atheist. That noted, he continues to quote scripture quite a bit when replying to posts. I think he lives in San Francisco but I’m not positive that’s true.

 

When I was c of C the teaching, as I remember it, was after the resurrection miracles ceased and so did direct communication from God. That would raise the question, why would Christians pray if they don’t believe God answers prayers in any recognizable way? 

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1 hour ago, Geezer said:


Well, he posts on Ex-church of Christ but he also admitted that he’s become an agnostic Christian that is leaning toward atheist. That noted, he continues to quote scripture quite a bit when replying to posts. I think he lives in San Francisco but I’m not positive that’s true.

 

 

With a little help and encouragement from you, maybe he can get over the hump and join us some day!

 

1 hour ago, Geezer said:


When I was c of C the teaching, as I remember it, was after the resurrection miracles ceased and so did direct communication from God. That would raise the question, why would Christians pray if they don’t believe God answers prayers in any recognizable way? 

 

 

It may not be recognizable to you and me, but I think they are convinced that God IS somehow helping them and that they couldn't get through life without that help.  I remember a sermon where the minister said he didn't think he'd be able to get out of bed in the morning to face the day if it weren't for his Lord and Savior.  I remember thinking "I'm pretty sure I could do it as long as there's coffee".

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Obviously, this answered prayer thing, is pure rationalization to appease a believers cognitive dissonance. The same applies to their rationalizing the potential answers to prayer. Yes, No, and wait an answer will eventually come. 

 

A member hears a sermon about missionaries. The seed has been planted in his mind. He prays and ask God if he’s being called to the mission field. A few weeks or months later he sees and reads an article about missionaries and tells himself that’s his answer. God is calling him to be a missionary.

 

True story. A retired doctor, age 70, was a member of the church where my wife is a member. He heard God’s call to be a missionary in Africa. He prepared for his trip to Africa. He took all the required shots. The Yellow Fever snot infected him with Yellow Fever. He died from the infection. It would seem that God was actually calling him home.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, TABA said:

 

With a little help and encouragement from you, maybe he can get over the hump and join us some day?


Nope, I’m on really thin ice over there now for my “supposed” proselytizing atheism. I have never done that, but I do post a lot of references to books,  written by Ehrman, Price, and other scholars, that challenge traditional Christian teaching. 

 

I also challenge a lot of the thinking, teaching, and traditions that Christians embrace. I have one fruitcake fundamentalists that really wants the administrator to throw me off the site and block me permanently. He’s a total nut job for Jesus.

 

I’m being a little more subtle now to keep from being canned permanently. Since I’m an agent of Satan, I don’t want to get Him pissed off at me too. :fdevil:

 

I thought that the guy that admitted believing God answers prayer is foolishness, was a rock solid over the top Christian fundamentalists. I was truly shocked by his posts. I had no idea he had such doubts and then to admit he was agnostic leaning towards atheism was double shocking.

 

As a Christian Evangelists I was trained to “Plant Seeds”. Some plant, and others harvest, and some seed just dies. I’m a seed planter over there. :woohoo:

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2 hours ago, Geezer said:

I thought that the guy that admitted believing God answers prayer is foolishness, was a rock solid over the top Christian fundamentalists. I was truly shocked by his posts. I had no idea he had such doubts and then to admit he was agnostic leaning towards atheism was double shocking.

 

There's probably a lot more out there. More than can be found through polling. 

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I'm confused, myself.  Is god supposed to help us during this pandemic, or is this pandemic god's judgement against us for making gay wedding cakes?

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16 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

I'm confused, myself.  Is god supposed to help us during this pandemic, or is this pandemic god's judgement against us for making gay wedding cakes?

 

 

Both.  Neither.  Either.  Take your pick because gawd works in mysterious ways.   :jesus:

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Clearly this is all in in scripture.

Have you not seen The Stand?

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My take on this, from my "Church of Christ" experience -- They believe that nowadays, god works to answer prayers in a much more subtle manner. Ain't no more miracles! The big guy works in a more "providential" way after Jesus ascended into the big sky-hole ta heaven.

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On 4/6/2020 at 9:08 AM, Geezer said:

I asked that question on a Christian site where I’m active. To my surprise a hard core fundamentalist acknowledged that

 God doesn’t seem to be in the prayer answering business. He then referenced all the historical suffering Christians have had to endure. He ended his thoughts by stating that it’s foolish to expect God to respond to prayer.

 

I was frankly shocked by his honesty. This guy is a Bible quoting fundy, that apparently has been struck by reality. I don’t know that he’s ready to leave the faith just yet, but it seems that reality has slapped him in his face.

 

Wow....that is something. During my fundy days, I also did not see the point of prayer. It seemed that in the end, God was going to do whatever he wanted to do anyways, so why even mess with it.

 

I have seen some apologist, especially of the Calvinistic type, who would say that God foresaw the prayers and took those into account of what he would do before he ever kicked off the universe. Sounded okay back in the day, just typing that now made me wanted to laugh at how ludicrous it sounds.

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2 hours ago, TinMan said:

 

I have seen some apologist, especially of the Calvinistic type, who would say that God foresaw the prayers and took those into account of what he would do before he ever kicked off the universe. Sounded okay back in the day, just typing that now made me wanted to laugh at how ludicrous it sounds.

 


When prayers are answered it’s God being a loving father.  Where prayers are not  answered it’s God testing his children, or teaching them valuable lessons.  This is the only way to explain a world which looks just like a world where there is no god intervening at all. 

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     God is super fucking old.  He's smart enough to know that he's in the highest-risk group and so he's staying the hell away from this shit show.

 

          mwc

 

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On 5/20/2020 at 1:37 PM, TABA said:

This is the only way to explain a world which looks just like a world where there is no god intervening at all

 

It's fascinating to me the number of situations in which two scenarios could have been possible - a scenario that could ONLY have been possible if God/the Bible were true (we'll call these "scenario 1")  OR the scenario one would expect if God/the Bible WEREN'T TRUE ("Scenario 2").  In each instance, we always find the second scenario to be how things actually are, yet there exists a Christian doctrine to explain why reality is this "unexpected way"...

 

For example, given divine inspiration of scripture, there are 2 possibilities of how reality could have been regarding divine PRESERVATION of scripture.  Scenario 1:  god could have miraculously preserved scripture from copy/transcription errors (which would ONLY be true if god/bible were true) or Scenario 2:  there are errors in copying/transmission.  The second scenario is exactly what we'd expect in a godless universe (and what we do, in fact, find), but it is *theoretically possible, though odd-and-unexpected* in a bible-is-true universe.  So, Christianity came up with its "doctrine of inspiration" that only applies to the original autographs and not the copies - to accommodate the unexpected scenario...

 

Over and over, this pattern repeats itself and christianity finds itself constantly explaining why the reality we live in (in every case) is ALWAYS made up of "scenario 2s" - the realities we'd expext if the bible wasn't true, even though Christianity can be deformed to accommodate that scenario.  Never do we find "scenario 1s" to be the case.

 

Other examples:  the universe could have been found to be only 8,000 years old (a "scenario 1").  Instead it's been shown to be billions of years old (a scenario 2 finding).   Amputees could have been healed instantly by prayer (s-1) or not (s-2).   Children of Christians could be divinely spared being raped and murdered (s-1) or not (s-2).  Demons could still obviously roam the earth and demonic possession could be a court-acknowledged defense for killing someone (s-1) or not (s-2).  There could have been unity in the church (s-1) or 34,000 denominations (s-2).  Internal consistency in the bible (s-1) or not (s-2).

 

Christian apologetics boils down to explaining why the reality we find looks not at all like the world we would have expected to find if the bible were true.

 

It also means that Christianity never gets to claim a victory (by claiming a true "scenario 1"); rather, it simply avoids defeat by justifying how it can exist in a world of "scenario 2s"

 

 

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I grew up in a family that pretty much believed that God didn't answer prayers. I don't know if this is a Calvinism-specific thing. You were still required to pray, though, otherwise you risked exposing yourself as a Fake Christian, and therefore, ostracization. The idea, I think, was that you were showing devotion by knowingly wallowing in helplessness and prostrating before God, understanding that he won't do anything about it. Or maybe it's like compulsively asking an abusive father for affection, knowing you will never get it. It was supposed to outline how 'Glorious' and 'Powerful' he was, in some weird way that fetishized tyranny.

 

The pandemic has put a bright spotlight that I'm sure is making Christians think about the true function or meaning of prayer, but I doubt that it will get them to their senses about the pointlessness of it. People are far too eager to wallow in pointless things. 

 

Still, I hope that the blasé attitude churches are showing about the health and safety of their members is a wake-up call to some of the more self-aware ones. I hope. *crossing fingers*

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On 5/20/2020 at 3:37 PM, TABA said:


When prayers are answered it’s God being a loving father.  Where prayers are not  answered it’s God testing his children, or teaching them valuable lessons.  This is the only way to explain a world which looks just like a world where there is no god intervening at all. 

 

A Christian friend gave me a similar answer regarding prayer, and I told him, "heck, I could get the same response from a fence post."  He hasn't been nearly as friendly since.

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On 4/6/2020 at 3:02 PM, Geezer said:


Well, he posts on Ex-church of Christ but he also admitted that he’s become an agnostic Christian that is leaning toward atheist. That noted, he continues to quote scripture quite a bit when replying to posts. 

 

That's an interesting forum.   I participated for a year or so, but it got to be the SOS over and over.  (much like the church of christ)  One poster (freethinker)(?) made an interesting comment.  She said some had left the Church building, but not the parking lot.  Is she still participating?  If so, tell her I said hello. 

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12 hours ago, Weezer said:

 

That's an interesting forum.   I participated for a year or so, but it got to be the SOS over and over.  (much like the church of christ)  One poster (freethinker)(?) made an interesting comment.  She said some had left the Church building, but not the parking lot.  Is she still participating?  If so, tell her I said hello. 


I stopped participating on that board back in April of this year. 

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I saw god the other day at Wal-Mart.  They wouldn't let him in on account he weren't wearing a mask.

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I looked for him in the forest, but only found mother nature.

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