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Author Topic:   If god has a plan, then doesn't that make prayer worthless?
Angeldust
Inactive Member


Message 16 of 63 (197678)
04-08-2005 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by StormWolfx2x
04-04-2005 1:36 AM


There are various ways that different Christian traditions handle this:
1. prayer does not effect the outcome of events, because if it did it would violate gods plan.
This is kind of a Calvanist view point. Calvanists believe that God pre-ordained everything from the beginning of the universe. So prayer does not effect events because God has already decided everything including whether you prayer or not, or whether he will answer the pray he decided to let you pray.
2. God does not have a plan, is omnipotent, all powerful, and infallible and as such can influence the outcome of events, and he chooses to do so based partially on prayer.
This is kind of Arminian. Arminius believed that God did not pre-ordain everything, but can see everything that will ever happen. He may or may not answer prayer depending on what the prayer is and how he can work it into his overall scheme. He does have a plan, but not nearly as rigid as in the Calvanists view of God.
3. God has a plan and can effect outcomes, choosing to do so partially on prayer, but he is not omnipotent, all powerful, and infallible so his plan may be altered by the actions of mortals, and he counters this by answering prayers.
If I understand the view correctly, this is kind of like the open-theists. God is all powerful, infallible and does have a plan. However, he willingly limits his view so that he experiences time in the same way we do. Prayers are answered for various reasons than, to make change to move along with his plan or simply to bless his people because it doesn't have to move into the whole overarching theme, as long as it doesn't contradict what he's trying to do
I'm definately not a Calvanist. I think I currently exist in a state of curiosity between Arminianism and Open-theism. Let's say I'm a seeker. I do believe God answers prayer. But perhaps C.S. Lewis was right when he said "Prayer doesn't change God, it changes me."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by StormWolfx2x, posted 04-04-2005 1:36 AM StormWolfx2x has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by StormWolfx2x, posted 04-09-2005 3:28 AM Angeldust has replied

  
Angeldust
Inactive Member


Message 24 of 63 (197903)
04-09-2005 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by StormWolfx2x
04-09-2005 3:28 AM


I wasn't attempting to change the logic of your post, merely to point out that there is great disagreement among the Christian community as to which one is right. My personal opinion lies more under option three. Except with God being all-powerful and infallible, but willingly limiting his knowledge to experience time as we experience it.
I am beginning to see that only under a slightly changed version of #3 can God have any meaningful interaction with humanity. If he pre-destines all of time, or even if he merely sees time from beginning to end, all interaction with humanity is from a far removed stand-point and I personally believe that God does answer prayer, and that his interaction with humanity is meaningful. I also believe that enough of the Bible presents a tension between God's love and God's judgement to sustain such a belief. Look at Judges 10, There is a tension there between God's anger at being forsaken by his people again, and his compassion as he sees them hurt. This doesn't indicate someone who has seen it beginning to end. It indicates that he is truly hurt from their idolatry.
I'm not sure I know enough about all the theological outfall to say that I'm an open-theist though.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by StormWolfx2x, posted 04-09-2005 3:28 AM StormWolfx2x has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Nicked, posted 04-10-2005 5:02 AM Angeldust has replied

  
Angeldust
Inactive Member


Message 50 of 63 (198246)
04-11-2005 8:46 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Nicked
04-10-2005 5:02 AM


Re: That's exactly the point!
Either none of them are wholly correct or some of them are wholly correct, in which case there are a lot of christians headed for their hell, whatever that is.
I think it was the Moravians who kept to the slogan, "In essentials, unity, in non-essentials, diversity, in all things, charity."
If we can agree on what the essentials are, then diversity in the non-essentials is not a big deal. I don't believe someone is going to hell because they believe that God responds differently to prayer than I think he does.
The problem (one of them) with Christianity today is that it's become more and more about cognitive consent to a creed or other statement of belief than it has about personal relationship which is the calling that scripture is saturated with. But don't ask me, I'm from a holiness strand of the church. Be Christians, not just be like the world and say you "believe" in God. I think it's James (could be wrong, too short on time to look) that says "You believe in one God, good, even the demons believe that and shudder."
It really doesn't matter how/why you believe God responds to prayer. In the long run, he'll respond/not respond not based on your beliefs but on his character.
I'll get off my soapbox now.....

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Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Phat, posted 04-11-2005 9:01 AM Angeldust has not replied

  
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