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1.05.2006    |    Not so annoying piety
Mark Hunsaker, blogging at Sojourner, commented on this post. He wrote
...do you think God intervenes in our lives via circumstances? Does he "guide and direct our paths" as the Psalmist said? Does he prepare a plan for us as the prophet said?
I think He does, but not necessarily for all or even most of our actions. I think that we've got a lot of freedom to choose how we live our lives, much of which has to give God holy gas pains.

But does He intervene in our lives? Only when He must, to ensure that His plans are kept. His plans, which may be hidden from us. Usually are, if you ask me. You and I make our plans; God doesn't necessarily buy into those plans. In either case, I have to emphasize that this is merely what I think. Not what I know for certain.

My central point of the previous post is the piety of some who proclaim that God has them on a 24/7 watch, with divine intervention in their smallest actions. I think that such people are wrong. And can be rather annoying.

As for prayers, well, one common type is intercessionary, which I offer to God all of the time. And, yes, I prayed hard for those miners. I prayed that they would survive, and, if not, that they would find the strength in our Lord's suffering to die with Him in their hearts. And in dying, meet Him in person.

That's my piety, I suppose...

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Blogger Mark Hunsaker said...

I like your piety John Luke. It strikes the balance between what we see in Scripture and the silliness (i.e., Stephen Covey) you were originally objecting to...

Thank you. Good Words. As Usual.

11:15 PM, January 05, 2006  
Anonymous Paul M. said...

The Bible disagrees with your "piety."

Just one example would be:
"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29-31).

God is not merely "aware" of what is happening, and therefore reacting to it (open theism). Not even a sparrow dies that is not part of his will.

It's a mystery of the faith how we have 100% free will (and are therefore responsible for our actions) and how everything that happens is 100% part of God's will (yet without making him the author of sin.) It's a mystery that human minds can't sort out, but it's what Scripture clearly teaches, so it's what we have to go with.


4:21 PM, January 11, 2006  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.