Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

5238Re: What Think Ye

Expand Messages
  • S.P.Padbury
    Sep 2, 2002
      Dear folk on the Covenanted Reformation List,

      I would like to add some more on the matter of prayer, the
      discussion started by Mitch.

      I think that the key point is to appreciate the different worldviews of
      Calvinists (i.e., predestination; providence; the upholding power of
      our Sovereign God governing all things) and Arminian Charismatics
      (freewillist; the universe governing itself; occasional Divine
      intervention). These two groups see the world very differently; so
      much so, tht they think they live on different worlds!

      The Lord's Prayer chain letter/ "power of prayer multiplied by the
      power of pyramid selling" stuff comes from the world of
      Arminianism/ Charismaticism-writ-large, which is -- let's tell it like it
      is -- a 'Christianized' version of old Greek deism, come through
      revived Greek humanism during the Renaissance, and
      'Christianised' through the minds of such notables as Erasmus of
      Rotterdam and James Arminius.

      These two worlds have very different ideas about what prayer is all

      For the Arminianism/ Charismaticism/ 'Christanized' humanism/
      deism, prayer goes like this:-

      1. A long time ago, God made the world (and universe) and left it
      under the governance of 'natural laws', chance, and subject to the
      influences of human 'free will' and the demonic realm.

      2. All was originally designed (some say 'evolved') to operate
      according to God's eternal plan, but then with the Fall, things
      started going wrong -- "coming off the rails" if you like.

      3. Arminianism/ 'Christianized' humanism focuses its attention on
      the love and mercy of God so much that it loses sight and denies
      that God would ever plan and decree that bad and evil things
      should happen. Their ideals deny, especially, that Christians
      should ever suffer, be poor, get ill, etc. They say, "God is love; he
      would never really want me to go though this..." It is believed that it
      is always God's will to answer prayers with answers that we
      percieve as positive, affirmative and good.

      4. True, some have been forced to face the harsh facts of reality,
      and so concede, "Perhaps God has allowed this (bad thing) to
      happen, so that he can teach me something, or somehow bring
      about a greater good..." But this thought does not really fit with
      their worldview (see 1 above), and they have borrowed it from the
      Calvinist worldview, though they would not like to admit this. I will
      come to this thought again (point 9).

      5. For the Arminian/ Charismatic, prayer is all about asking God
      "for his will to be done" down here in the world, where God's will is
      no longer, generally speaking, being done. It is all about asking
      God to intervene in situations that have gone wrong.

      For an extreme example: I used to attend a faith-prosperity false
      gospel house-church, where Kenneth Copeland videos were shown
      every week, and all manner of faith-prosperity, faith-healing, and
      pentecostal "full gospel" books and other materials were read and
      shared around. In the prayer and healing meetings I attended there,
      it was a common thing to hear: "Are there any wheel-chairs in
      heaven? No! Then let us pray for God's will to be done on earth as
      it is in heaven, and get ... ... ... ... up out of their wheel-chairs!"

      As I said before: Been there. Done that. Repented of it all. Now I
      (rightly!) percieve these things are heretical and evil.

      6. In this Arminianism-writ-large world, God is generally seen as in
      need of somebody to pray "in faith" before he can answer, before
      he can intervene in the affairs of this world.

      (a) Some say that this is because God needs permission before he
      can intervene in "man's world". Or, some other such "permission"
      type scenario.

      (b) Others say that God needs a person to send up a prayer of faith
      as though such a prayer contains a payload of a special mystical/
      etherial energy/ force/ 'substance' called 'faith', out of which God
      can shape the answer to the prayer, or which somehow enables
      God to act in this world.

      Whatever or however this is illustrated in different books or
      sermons on the subject, this so-called 'faith' is the pivotal, crucial
      element or power that gets the job done and the answer manifested.

      7. When a heresy meets the real world, the people (the weakest
      first) get crushed beneath it. In this case, when the person stays in
      their suffering, pained state, in their wheel-chair, or in whatever
      other bad situation that is being prayed about -- somebody gets
      blamed for the "unanswered" prayer. There are three ways this is

      (a) either someone has not "prayed in faith" (i.e., they don't have
      enough 'faith' to make it happen, to get the prayer answered);

      (b) else, someone is harbouring a secret, unconfessed sin, which
      stops the prayer being answered. Many say that God will not
      answer the prayers of those who nurse a secret sin; some say that
      'faith' is neutralised by such sin, and that's why God cannot answer;

      (c) or else, someone parent or grandparent (...) was an occultist,
      freemason or whatever, and they had a demon that, when they
      died, jumped down the family bloodline to the person who is
      blocking the prayer from being answered. Again, this is said to
      neutralize the power of a 'prayer in faith'.

      8. And moreover, since the supercharged, 'faith'-filled superman or
      superwoman who is leading the prayer must always be seen as
      above blame for such unanswered 'prayers' -- so, guess who gets
      to feel guilty, and so have more mental suffering heaped upon
      them: the poor person in the wheel-chair, or whatever.

      9. However much an Arminian or Charismatic disagrees with the
      foregoing points and denies that he/she believes such things, by
      that same amount he/she us being untrue to the worldview of
      Arminianism-writ-large, and is borrowing from the worldview of
      Calvinism-writ-large -- i.e., from what the Bible really teaches.


      That's enough for now. Let is discuss these points some more (if
      anybody wants to!), and thereby clear away the rubble, so that we
      can erect a proper, Biblical, Reformed theology of prayer in its

      Best regards, Simon Padbury.
    • Show all 40 messages in this topic