Monday, July 12, 2010

YouTube - 2.1 Deconversion: Prayer

Here is another post in my series answering Evid3nc3's Youtube videos discussing why he walked away from Christianity. It's been a while so in case you didn't see the other posts or Evid3nc3's series let me just say that this is a great series of videos describing the process that one man underwent in leaving Christianity. In the following video, he discusses why prayer led him away from God.

I am very surprised that I have read that many apostates and atheists find these arguments good. The main problem with his arguments it makes me wonder if he understood what the Assemblies of God teach about prayer. Like him I grew up thinking that prayer was as he initially defined it. But like him I was a child at the time. Also like him, I also came to the conclusion that we much pray according to God's will. But there is several differences between what the Assemblies of God teaches and what you he has has presented.

1. God's will isn't subjective. If you want to know God's plan for your life and your purpose, you can know it. One way to know is to see if what you think God's will is lines up with the Bible. If it does not then you know it's you who is wrong.
2. Why would God grant the selfish prayers we pray? If the point of prayer is for us to commune with God and to draw closer to God, then why would God give us superpowers or make us a robot or and flight of fancy we might imagine? How would that help us? It wouldn't. Thankfully he seemed to have realized that.
3. God does not want us to just pray for things that might happen anyway. I learned that God does supply our needs.  Sometimes not the way we expect but what is best.
4. I also notice  that people just amaze me when they talk about prayer. Can this guy really say all the time in Church he never experienced nor ever seen God move miraculously and intervene in his life or anyone he knows? Has he never seen the peace of God manifested in the life of one whom has not natural reason to be peace of mind? I've seen God bless and help me and those I know in ways that defy description or understanding. Just for starters. One of my first cousins was murdered 5 years ago and my aunt blesses and praises God (as we all do) for keeping her and comforting her. I know people God healed of cancer after medical science gave up on them. I myself was healed of juvenile arthritis. Our church mother was hit by a hummer 3 years ago and was told she would never fully recover, but she has. I could go on and on. All of these things build a relationship with God founded on the fact that God shows us that no matter what happens we can trust God.
5. That's the number one thing I hear missing from the stories ex-Christians tell: a relationship. Where God talks and they listen.

I've spent some time thinking about apostasy. The Bible talks about becoming a Christian from the point of view of a complete change. The Bible uses the same language as in a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Once a caterpillar becomes a butterfly the animal can never turn back into a caterpillar. Same thing is true of a born-again Christian.

Romans 12:2 says
2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The word translated "transformed" is "Metamorphoo" and we get the word "metamorphosis" from it.  You can't undo this once God starts this process. This is also how we know that the will of God is. 

One last thing: How do we know that the purpose is for prayer and living this Christian life is? the Bible tells us.

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. - Romans 8:28-29
Why would I not serve a God I can trust?

YouTube - 2.1 Deconversion: Prayer
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  1. Marcus said "Can this guy really say all the time in Church he never experienced nor ever seen God move miraculously and intervene in his life or anyone he knows?"

    I would say that looking bac on 20 years of Church, I never saw a life transformed in a way that the person couldn't have accomplished themselves.

    It's the idea of god that's powerful, not an actual god. And the idea of god resides in the person, it's not external.

    Like you climb out of gang violence, it should be applauded, but it's not people never do that without god.

  2. Gang violence? I don't remember ever saying that was my testimony. I'm shocked that in 20 yrs you never saw God move? I know I've seen God do things that a person could not do themselves without God. I listed many of them. Again I would say that even those who do things that they think they did themselved did it only with God';s help but they don;t understand that. For example all (and "all" means all in the context I'm using it) comes from God.

  3. You are presenting a false dichotomy Marcus:

    If a person claims something good that happens to them didn't happen because of God, then they are claiming it happened because of themselves.

    This is not true. The list of non-God sources of charity is seemingly infinite. Doctors, the government, family, friends, the natural healing processes of one's own body, teachers, chance fortune, investments, charity organizations..

    The list of potential benefactors outside of one's self goes on and on. There are plenty of people and natural resources that can cause good things to happen in a person's life without a God existing.

    So when you are "shocked" that in 20 years I never saw "God move", the mistake you are making is in assuming that in 20 years, I never saw anything extremely good happen in someone's life that they did not cause themselves directly. I did. I just no longer think that God was the cause.

    What you seem not to recognize, among other things, is the common social process of people doing good things for one another. It requires no God to work.

  4. Um no, I never said that you never saw good things happen to people. i mean that you never saw anything so good, so awesome. that it could only be God that did it. I mean you are saying that you never witnessed nor experienced a single miracle. you are saying that at no time God has "shown out"? You don't know anyone who has been healed of cancer when they should have died? Your life has never been spared and God made it clear to you that it was because of Him? What kind of relationship did you have? I know about the Assemblies of God and there are miracle done among them. Where have you been? They came out of Azusa Street (which was a miracle too)just like we did. What shocks me is your inability to recognize that ever good and perfect gift comes from God.