Friday, January 16, 2009

Lord, Lord?

Great post today over at Regarding Eternity


How tragic that the US Airways plane hit a flock of birds, taking out both engines.

How wonderful that the pilot was incredibly skilled & able to glide the plane down to a safe landing in a crowded river, with no deaths.

How....predictable!...that the reports you read from passengers on the plane describe people praying desperately as the plane went down.

The first interview I saw on TV regarding this crash was with a passenger named Jeff Kolodjay. His voice was still shaking; he was still visibly unnerved.

As he described the events that transpired, he said,"...and everyone was just...praying, actually..."

He stuttered for a second, uncomfortable about revealing this fact.The people on this plane got this report from the pilot: "Brace yourselves, because we're going down." Just like that, they were forced to face death.

Many people on the plane started praying. Audibly, at that. How many of these praying people do you think are practicing Christians? How many are saved of the Lord, in Christ?

How many of these people, the day before, would have felt uncomfortable in the presence of somebody praying at a restaurant? How many would have made fun?

Impending death made them suddenly realize that they weren't in control, so they began to plead to God!

Nothing they had ever done in and of this world mattered any more. All that mattered was God!

Read the rest of the post here

Sinner Saved makes a valid argument concerning the prayers of people who are not Christians praying to a God they don't believe in (yet). As I posted on his blog, the old saying goes that there are no atheists in foxholes.....true that. We can now add planes falling out of the sky to that old saying.

Why do these people start praying in times of trouble? Why do unbelievers go to Christians and ask them to pray for friends or loved ones? Why pray to, or ask another to pray to, a God you don't actually believe in?

Discuss!

14 comments:

steve martin said...

The law is the method that God uses to crush and bring a person to his knees.(theologically kill them off)

There is no greater expression of the law than the spector of death itself.

That is why a good law/gospel sermon at a funeral is a terrific way for God to grab a hold of someone.

Sinner Saved said...

Steve,

On my blog, you told an atheist that the Cross covers him as well, even though he refuses to humble himself before Christ.

If the death of Christ is universal, as you implied on my blog, then why would anyone need to be "reached" by God to live a Christian life?

Are you arguing that there's no such place as hell?

Sinner Saved said...

"...acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever."

steve martin said...

Christ died for the sins of the whole world (the bible says)

He died once, for all (the bible says)

Does all not really mean...all?

Of course that death was for all, and He fogave all, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

He forgave His murderers. He didn't pray, Father forgive all those who come to their senses and repent. No...that was not His prayer.

Yes, there is a hell. Yes, people will go there.

God calls and chooses His own. He give faith to those to trust in His forgiveness.

God is gracious, and gives some faith. He gives all forgiveness, but it is meaningless if it is not grasped by faith.

Jesus said, "I choose you, you do not choose me."

"You were born not of blood, nor of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

God calls and God chooses. This is biblical.

Thank you very much.

steve martin said...

Lutheran theology is pretty radical. But it is VERY biblical. It is totally biblical. It is all in there.

Don't brush it off so quickly. Since it is radical we want to cast it off. But check it out and I think it may start to make sense (not that is has to make sense- many things in the bible do not make sense or are not logical to man's mind).

But I think you can get a picture of God that while slightly different than what you've been taught, is backed up by scripture.

My goal isn't to make more Lutheran Christians, but rather to fan the flame of faith that it might grow and become more Christ centered and less man (or 'me') centered.

Thanks!

Sinner Saved said...

"Narrow is the path..."
Thoughts?

"On that day, many will say to me..."
Thoughts?

"If your eye causes you to sin..."
Thoughts?

Why would it be better to gouge your eye out, if sin didn't matter?

steve martin said...

Who said sin didn't matter?

Who said there is no hell?

Who said that the path isn't narrow?

Look closely at what I've said. I said none of those things.

Sinner Saved said...

Indeed, you took the broad way of dodging the heart of my question, which I can only assume was intentional, as you seem like a smart person.

Let's take the narrow path, shall we? Speak to the heart of what I was asking.

steve martin said...

Sinner Saved,

Maybe I'm not as smart as you think.

What exactly is your question to me?

steve martin said...

SS,

I'll have to wait a few days to answer your question. (going out of town - just leaving the house)

If you go to my site you can get a better understanding of where I'm coming from...for better or for worse.

Thanks S.S.!

- Steve

ExPatMatt said...

Wayne,

You wrote;

"Sinner Saved makes a valid argument concerning the prayers of people who are not Christians praying to a God they don't believe in (yet)."

Just because they are not 'True Christians' does not necessarily make them atheists.

They could be Christians who have, unfortunately, had a False Conversion.

They could be cultural Christians who have been raised to believe in God but have never really investigated the theology or thought too deeply about it.

They could be deists who believe that there is a god, but don't know who he is.

They could be agnostics who were hedging their bets.

They could have just been mimicking what they see people in plane crashes do in the movies.

I think you're placing too much importance on the actions of people (people you don't know the first thing about) in high-pressure situations.

If anything, does this not just illustrate how belief in God is a by-product of the fear of death?

An interesting discussion.

Wayne Dawg said...

Hello ExPatMat,

You said "Just because they are not 'True Christians' does not necessarily make them atheists."

Agreed.

I said, ".......concerning the prayers of people who are not Christians praying to a God they don't believe in (yet)."

What I mean to say is that there are folks who are non-Christians (whatever that may be; atheists, agnostics, folks who worship tree's or nature itself, etc)
who will start praying to a God (capital G..the true God of the bible) they don't believe in; yet.

I say yet, because the Scripture is clear that one Day, every knee will bow and proclaim Jesus is Lord.

On that Day, there will be no more atheists, agnostics or nature worshippers......

Now you said that I am placing too much importance on the actions of people in high pressure situations....

Interesting statement.

Can these people be saved at the last minute through repentance and trusting Christ? Sure...but that is not the prayer they are more than likely praying.

They are praying for self-preservation from the impending accident or situation. They have no desire to genuinely repent and trust Christ..they just want more time to live on Earth for themselves.

Do I know these people? Well, I do know some actually.....I know that there are non-Christians who come to me to pray for them or their loved ones.

You said - "If anything, does this not just illustrate how belief in God is a by-product of the fear of death?"

What it does illustrate is the accuracy of the bible....Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God has put eternity into man's heart.

God has placed eternity into man's heart but not the desire to seek God.

Romans 3:10-12 says that, "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands;no one seeks for God.
all have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."

No one seeks after God.....it is God who does the seeking.

ExPatMatt said...

Wayne,

You said;

"What I mean to say is that there are folks who are non-Christians (whatever that may be; atheists, agnostics, folks who worship tree's or nature itself, etc)
who will start praying to a God (capital G..the true God of the bible) they don't believe in; yet."

Any atheist who prays to a god (any god), is not a True Atheist.

See, we can play the No True Scotsman game too!

Also, you have no way of knowing which god they were praying to or if they capitalized His name.

In response to the 'high-pressure' comment, you said;

"They are praying for self-preservation from the impending accident or situation. They have no desire to genuinely repent and trust Christ..they just want more time to live on Earth for themselves."

I agree with that. People do strange things when they think they're going to die.

People in historically Christian countries are well aware of the concept of 'God'. They may never have read the Bible or thought about religion in their lives, but the concept of God/afterlife/Heaven etc. is pretty deeply ingrained in the social fabric of our time.

When a child is faced with his own mortality he may 'pray' that Superman or GI Joe will come and save him. As adults we grow out of these things but, for whatever reason, the concept of 'God' is very strong. This happens in all cultures throughout the ages and to all gods who were the flavour of the month at the time in that culture.

Very interesting.


A quick question: do you think the prayers of these false Christians is what caused them all to be saved?

steve martin said...

Hello Guys,

Good stuff. I hope you don't mind my 2 cents.

One may profess Christ, but not belong to Him. Christians are called and chosen by God, and no one can know, for sure, who is whom.

We take people at their word (confession of faith) and let it go at that. When a Christian engages in un-Christian activity...we call him on it...but we don't judge him or her's salvation... for none of us measures up...ever.

People all over the planet do seek after something of the "spiritual" (because the law is written upon the hearts of men).
Jesus calls his own through the procalmation of his Word. His Word consists of the preaching of the law and the gospel and the administering of baptism and holy communion (many Christians don't agree on that but that's ok)

False Christians are not saved because thet are not Christians.

You are either a true Christian or not a Christian...there is no in- between.

That's what I believe.

Thanks!