Fake Picture, Real Prayer and God’s Wrath

So it has begun. Hurricane Sandy is only one day in to its battering of the East and the religious have weighed in.  I will warn you – it’s not good.

The first thing that caught my attention was a fake picture of ‘the storm’ over NYC

I was introduced to this photo by a worker at our facility today (who listens religiously to the Howard Stern show) and I was immediately  suspicious of both the sunshine in the foreground and the speed boat that looks oddly mis-sized.

I thought it humorous until that afternoon when I logged onto Facebook and notices that it had already been shared by hundreds of  people. What really caught my attention, though, was a response in the form of a prayer.

My friend had stated in the captions to the photo: “This is an amazing shot of New York today with the Frankenstorm bearing down. Nature is so powerful, yet so beautiful.”   I thought “someone should tell him that it’s a fake”.  Before I could, someone else had offered this response:

Father, all the elements of nature obey your command. Calm the storms and hurricanes that threaten us and turn our fear of your power into praise of your goodness. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

I was stunned. There are so many elements of this ‘prayer’ that concern me. I was filled with questions. Perhaps the biggest one was : Is there a god who hears these kind of prayers? 

This past Sunday at the Loft LA I had preached a sermon called ‘Why Pray?’ about this exact type of thing … so my attention was immediately piqued.

On a side note – I especially appreciated that just hours later this fake meme showed up in the twitter-verse.

I am deeply concerned about people who think that their prayers can command whole weather patterns. This concern is primarily at two levels.

  • The first is that I know so many of them.
  • The second is that a wooden reading of the Bible can lead one to think that this is acceptable and permissible.

This kind of stuff really pulls at me as an emerging evangelical-charismatic.  I was prepared to let the whole thing go when this showed up on the wire:

[I had written multiple times about John Piper's stupid storm theology and simple Bible reading]

A Christian religious leader has already claimed that Hurricane Sandy is further proof that “God is systematically destroying America” as political judgment for the “homosexual agenda.” John McTernan previously made similar allusions about Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Isaac (2012), which he reiterated in his urgent call to prayer posted Sunday evening (via Gay Star News):

Just last August, Hurricane Isaac hit New Orleans seven years later, on the exact day of Hurricane Katrina. Both hit during the week of the homosexual event called Southern Decadence in New Orleans!

McTernan believes that it is noteworthy that Hurricane Sandy is hitting 21 years after the “Perfect Storm,” because 3 is a “significant number with God”:

Twenty-one years breaks down to 7 x 3, which is a significant number with God. Three is perfection as the Godhead is three in one while seven is perfection.

It appears that God gave America 21 years to repent of interfering with His prophetic plan for Israel; however, it has gotten worse under all the presidents and especially Obama. Obama is 100 percent behind the Muslim Brotherhood which has vowed to destroy Israel and take Jerusalem. Both candidates are pro-homosexual and are behind the homosexual agenda. America is under political judgment and the church does not know it!

Religious spokespeople have frequently tried to draw bizarre connections between natural disasters and the LGBT community. Last year, the American Family Association’s Buster Wilson similarly claimed that Hurricane Isaac was punishment for the Southern Decadence LGBT festival. Rick Joyner had the same to say about Hurricane Katrina, claiming that “[God]‘s not gonna put up with perversion anymore.” Pat Robertson has long believed that acceptance of homosexuality could result in hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombs, and “possibly a meteor.”

It’s likely that McTernan will not be the only religious figure to draw such allusions from this devastating storm.

One anti-gay (former lesbian) activist actually targeted  the state of Vermont as a litmus test of who her god was mad at. I loved the first comment on the post:

Considering that Lower Manhattan is troublingly at risk, I say there’s a good chance it’s Jesus cleaning up Wall Street – a modern-day version of when He cleared the moneychangers out of the Temple…

As funny as that last comment may be, I am not amused – because it concedes the rules of the game to the antiquated notions of centuries past and abdicates the metaphysical realities of 21st century life to the … let’s just say – the conceptions of bygone eras.

  • The picture was a fake.
  • It triggered real prayers.
  • I respect those intentions.
  • I questions the ‘god’ who they were offered to.
  • I am flusted that in the midst of suffering, those who claim Christ offer blame and not compassion.
  • They justify that stance by saying ‘if you only did what we said was right’.
  • It signals a pattern of christian response to tragedy.

I am concerned that the fakeness of the pictures and posts we respond to correspond to our notion of reality and our conception of how the world works … and thus how our prayers are effective.

Thoughts?  Responses? 

 

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53 comments
JSamuel
JSamuel

I really don't see anything wrong with that prayer. To say that we cannot command weather patterns with the authority we've been given in Christ says that we cannot do greater things than what He did. If we're supposed to be able to move mountains with the faith of a mustard seed...why would praying to cease a storm be wrong? I don't think we should think of God as the one who demonstrates his power or wrath against "sin" through natural disasters...but, I also don't think it's too much to ask our living father to protect us from them and to stop them when they come. Surely it's not too much to pray to the creator of the entire universe to stop a storm...as if that'd be too much for Him to handle.

phule77
phule77

I think that facebook is especially representative of the emotional, reactive culture that we inhabit. We have been encouraged to live in a reactive, non-analytical way, and the result is that any fear, any trouble, results in an emotional outpouring. Certainly, our worship services in Evangelical Christianity encourage such a view.

 

I think that the significant thing about our prayer culture that would ask God to make everything better is that often, this is in lieu of us actually living out discipleship. We make pronouncements on facebook, we blog, what have you, but there is little actual activity on our part in the world.

What if God's response to the storm is to send us out to be compassionate and involved/relational individuals in the midst of this disaster, and this event, Jaws and aliens or no, is another great opportunity for us to be seen being the hands and feet of God in the world?

But we don't see prayers on facebook pleading "God, in the midst of this disaster please use me as an example of your love in this world. Please open my eyes to the pain and brokenness in the world, and let me have your heart and compassion for this world in a way which truly makes a way and a difference in the midst of this occasion".

 

And I think that that's the problem with critiques that this discussion is somehow unloving, or not compassionate enough to other Christians. It's all well and good to pursue unity in love...but if that unity means publically living in such a way that what is communicated to the world is "you can all burn along with those hybrid cars in NJ, so long as all of us Christians are nice to each other"...then we aren't communicating Christ, really, are we?

DaveHarrity
DaveHarrity

Thanks for posting this. I don't have much to add other than that I appreciate the work you guys are doing and the intentionality to which you're doing it. It still stuns me that some Christians behave this way in the midst of such overwhelming tragedy. Thanks for trying to move against this kind of crap...

PhillipBaker2
PhillipBaker2

I apologize for being way off topic but I can't find the info for the upcoming 3-D event in Chicago. Do you know when where its going to be?

C_Lambeth
C_Lambeth

I appreciate the conversation thus far, but one question that deserves the asking in the "God did it to teach those sinners a lesson" contingent is this: What EXACTLY did this Zeus-type God "teach" -them- with his throwing of lightening bolts? Like a Neanderthal, he might have expressed, "Me ANGRY! You SUFFER NOW!" but I am going to venture a guess that nothing changes when the NYSE opens tomorrow. I doubt that CEOs or Main Street investors were "cut to the heart" over the issue, and I bet that they won't pull their funds out of oil companies, casinos and liquor manufacturers, and that corporate greed and dysfunction will continue with business as usual, etc. Did "God's" "sending a hurricane" to New Orleans convince people that he loves them and that they should repent of their wicked ways? Did Jesus "clean that up?" Maybe Jesus isn't a very good teacher? When IS his certificate up for renewal anyway?

 

I just don't think that these kinds of "god did it" judgments/ sound bites accomplish anything other than to drive people away from Jesus and his Christians.

sprkygrg
sprkygrg

If you are going to wrestle with a pig you might have to get down in his mud hole. How about this response--god is obviously angry with wall street, they were bailed out and now are all in favor of an immoral budget which will break the backs of the poor and marginalized. They support a candidate who was blessed by a bishop who aids and abets sex offenders, God is obviously responding to the latest polling that shows the race tightening up, repent, wall street and America, for your reckoning is at hand.

MattBarlow
MattBarlow

Regarding the prayer you quoted above.

 

Yeah, it may come across as sort of silly to some of us, but you know what else? I hope God isn't as nit-picky about the language and nature of my prayer as you are. When I read between the lines of that prayer, I simply see someone's sincere request for safety and care. Sure, we would agree that it's perhaps a little misguided, but I'm not gonna make a big deal out of someone's compassion. So, to answer your question: Yes, I believe there is a God who hears "those" kinds of prayers - as simple or as simply misguided as they may be. I know it's Halloween and all, but that Prayer Police costume doesn't look good on you, Bo. ;)

jerimijo
jerimijo

The mind can make all kinds of connections to prove whatever agenda it wants. This is dangerous if left unchecked..just ask Witches, Native Americans, or 80's kids that weren't allowed to listen to Led Zeppelin because of backward-masking.

MarshallPease
MarshallPease

So what do you do with Mark 4:35-41 and parallels? In Mark the story occurs following a set of parables about the emergence of the Kingdom from small beginnings. If you accept a psychological explanation in the Bible, what about "turn our fear of your power into praise of your goodness" is problematic? After all, whatever created the storm also allows it to pass. 

 

Russ Jennings
Russ Jennings

I second what @nbpendley says. If we do pray for deliverance from dangerous weather and the result is more people working against global warning, our prayers are being answered. I live in NYC. It was a rough night (not for my neighborhood, but some areas are a mess).  This morning, it's time to show love to the people who have been hurt by this storm - not to vilify them.

nbpendley
nbpendley

Another thought . . . we always seem to be looking for a way to shrug off our responsibility.  In prayer we're able to push what is our responsibility off on God . . . haven't scientists been saying for a while now that these kind of weather systems are connected to global climate changes, something that we might just be able to have affect on or at least take responsibility for?

timothydown
timothydown

hey bo, i'd love to hear you unpack the prayer as alignment - plus one other thing a bit more! i'm right there with you as i pray myself, and open myself to God's will being done on earth...and this has nothing really to do with me becoming more aware of the stromfronts God is brewing in the east. i agree, playing the "God as a jealous kindergartener thing" just doesn't work well on a number of levels, and is downright destructive as the storm itself. as an emerging evangelical-charismatic yourself, i trust you still leave a bit of room at the quantum level for "divine action" that yields real results? maybe i'm off? i'd love to hear a couple more thoughts on your theology of prayer as i've noticed process peeps tend to vary a small bit on this stuff. opening up new opportunities for God to work, etc? hope all is well bro!

 

peace.

_JacquiB
_JacquiB

Bo, This kind of thing drives me crazy, too. I think its harmful and perpetuates some really damaging misunderstandings about who God is and how God works. But it goes back to your discussion on God talk and why it matters. How we have that conversation matters, too. How and when to have that conversation also requires discernment. There's value in meeting people where they are and inviting them into a healthier theology. People have to be open to hearing or we're just being theological bullies. This kind of voodoo theology makes me hyper ventilate, but out of concern for those who hold it, so a "better theology at all costs" posture wouldn't work for me. I'm not sure pointing and telling people what they believe is stupid is all that helpful or congruent with the discernment you're calling for.

HannahHeinzekehr
HannahHeinzekehr

Hmm, is this why you like Claremont? I may be biased by my current location (aren't we all?), but I think Process Theology and its ideas about prayer (tuning in to God's lure and nudgings, andt spending time in discernment about our own good possible choices - plural) are the best. I long ago gave up on the idea of a God who would send a storm or cause death or suffering for any sort of purpose or plan.

dangarvin
dangarvin

"I question the ‘god’ who they were offered to."

 

The god they were offered to is a muscle-bound fellow who opens large gates in the sky-dome in order to let water flood in on the earth-plain.

JanG
JanG

First thoughts: after hearing Pastor John's powerful sermon series on Job, I'm seeing scary parallels here.  His "comforters" give him their self-righteous picture of the way to assuage God's wrath, which is the part that really makes me think "The more things change, the more they stay the same."  The need to change one's point of view about the world to fit with our interpretations doesn't depend on technology; a good imagination will suffice if that's all there is.  It is all done with the best of intentions, too -- I agree there.  Even so, my reaction is to take a dose of humility with my morning coffee so I don't start thinking I carry God and Jesus around in my pocket.

 

At the end, God appears from the whirlwind and asks Job just what he really knows about the workings of a complex universe.  Job's response is not to answer with data, but to repent in dust and ashes.  My dad always said, "When you feel too big for your britches, remember that the more you learn, the more there is to know.  You'll never catch up, so enjoy what you have."  He was a smart and wise man!

 

BoSanders
BoSanders moderator

 @JSamuel Uh OH!  Conflation Alert!!  You have smashed together two things that may not belong together! Does the idea of 'commanding storms'  correspond to reality of experience? I would say no... BUT that does not mean the Bible was wrong about 'greater things' - its just one way of interpreting that passage.  I would say that the body of Christ HAS done more good and in a greater capacity than Jesus did in his limited ministry.  That has nothing to do with stopping hurricanes with words (which we can't).   Thoughts?  -Bo  

phule77
phule77

I would also like to note. We talk about how God cannot bless our mess, he cannot simply ignore all of our sin and make our life great, especially if that would cover up our habitual sin. 

 

But somehow, our nation is different. If a disaster comes up, we don't need to repent, just, one person or a church or what have you can pray, and God should just step up and make it better, because.

 

People offer up Elijah or Elisha as examples, but these were men of God, everything they did was about God. They didn't have jobs or houses or TV's, they just served God. There aren't any Elijah's or Elisha's out there praying for things like storms to go away...quite likely they would see them as ideal circumstances for people to meet God in.

 

As was discussed in the first TNT podcast...we must be aware of the theology behind our methodology. If we are truly a relational people finding unity in Love, then we must engage the culture and the world where they are, in their brokenness, so that God can truly act within the culture, rather than just demanding that God make the bad things go away.

BoSanders
BoSanders moderator

 @phule77 I like this post very much!  ;)  -Bo  thank ... and well said. 

BoSanders
BoSanders moderator

 @DaveHarrity thanks for linking to that.  I was an interesting read... not exactly what I was up to but interesting listen in on a conversation.  ;)  -Bo 

BoSanders
BoSanders moderator

 @PhillipBaker2 I'm assuming that you heard about the Chicago event on the TNT intro ... why not post it there ?   ;)    anywhoo  - details are upcoming - you will see a big post about it.  -Bo  [I'm being cheeky with you here] 

dangarvin
dangarvin

 @C_Lambeth Good stuff! For some reason reading your comment triggered the following little oddity.

 

I think the Zeus aspect of God was killed off, or done away with, at the cross. We just keep dragging him out of his tomb, reanimating him like some zombie, and worshiping him.

 

Zombie Zeus... kinda has a nice ring to it.

sprkygrg
sprkygrg

That's only partly tongue in cheek. Maybe you need to startle in order to move on to the discussion of whether anyone can have the God's eye view. Might be a fruitful segue - end up listening to TNT of McLaren and Clayton and talking pluralisms?

BoSanders
BoSanders moderator

 @MattBarlow Matt ! .... a comment and a question:  

Comment - while your Halloween comment was clever - I wasn't policing prayer. Please never say that again. :)  I was concerned about the authority invoked by those types of prayers. 

 

Question: SINCE you think that there is a god who hears those prayers ... why was the storm so bad? Why didn't it work? Did she not have enough faith? Did not enough people believe?  The math simply doesn't line up ...   -Bo

 

p.s. please write back - I really like your responses 

_petegarcia
_petegarcia

 @MattBarlow  I see the sincerity in requests for safety and care as well. 

 

I don't think that anyone is negating the compassion and concern behind those prayers. What we are critiquing is the belief that God can wave a finger and peel back the storm because God is the one who has caused/allowed the storm. It places blame the damage, destruction and death toll squarely on God. 

 

I think that the conflation between natural disaster and unrighteousness every time weather wreaks havoc is a symptom of a poor view of God. I want to respect the ways in which people connect with God, but at the same time, making prayers off limits for critique is not helpful. Our prayers may be one of the most revealing facets of our understanding of who God is and how we relate to God and the world.

 

BoSanders
BoSanders moderator

 @jerimijo I was with you until Led Zeppelin ... that album CLEARLY said 'worship the devil' if you listened to it backwards!  -Bo   ;p 

BoSanders
BoSanders moderator

 @MarshallPease Wait.  You smashed together too many things for one coherent response :)   Let me just ask 3 questions:

1) are you saying that because of this story in the gospel narrative that WE can tell huricanes what to do ?  

2) Who said anything about a psychological explanation?  If anything, I am doing a literary/ narrative interpretation. 

3) When you say 'whatever created the storm'  ... but what if the answer is 'nature' ... is that then 'god' ?   and .... while we are talking .... ALL storms pass.  

 

please respond ;)  I really like you as a conversation partner!!!   -Bo 

MarshallPease
MarshallPease

@nbpendley

Humans would certainly be "responsible" for the kind of structures, etc, that Sandy damaged or destroyed. That is, structures could have been designed and built in such a way that the effects of a very large storm would not be considered "damage". Then Sandy would be harmless.

 

Truly, there is no way of evading responsibility. Pointless to try.

 

BoSanders
BoSanders moderator

 @timothydown You got it :)  I will work on making that available because you have outlined a fascinating conversation! -Bo 

BoSanders
BoSanders moderator

 @_JacquiB ok ... good stuff.   Two responses: 

1) I am not (only) sitting in the stands criticizing those in the arena. I am in the arena. I pastor presently and have for more than decade been talking about this stuff.  (but yes, you are right and I hope that is not what I was doing)

 

2) What is the harm if that IS what I was doing?  ;)  I mean - if there is not god over there hearing that prayer ... what does it hurt to say "there is no-one on the other end of this line ... you are just talking into a phone with no-one there."  ???   -Bo 

dangarvin
dangarvin

 @_JacquiB You know that's a really good point. Time for a bit of soul searching.

BoSanders
BoSanders moderator

 @HannahHeinzekehr ya. good stuff :)  I presented an idea this past Sunday called "Prayer is Alignment - plus one other thing" .  It is what you are talking about. 

 

It's not that I don't see this kind of stuff on a daily basis - it is just how blatant this episode was - and how many got into it!  yikes. -Bo 

BoSanders
BoSanders moderator

 @dangarvin ya know, this kind of prayer seems odd to me normally - but it is especially highlighted when it is in response to a FAKE picture. It seems to expose a real lack of discernment, not just about photoshop but about the nature of prayer as well!  -Bo 

BoSanders
BoSanders moderator

 @JanG What? I'm kinda stunned here.  I guess I have two responses: 1) Job isn't a newspaper report (which you know) it is a literary presentation. 2) Why didn't the prayer work to stop the storm? 

Because not enough people prayed it? Or did she not have enough faith? or ... DID it work and the storm would have been MUCH worse had she not prayed?  

I'm tired of all that kind of talk!  you can go down that road if you want but I'm out ...  just my 2 cents.  -Bo 

MarshallPease
MarshallPease

@BoSanders@JSamuel

"... the body of Christ HAS done more good ... than Jesus did ..."

The Beatles were more popular than Jesus. John Lennon said it, that settles it.

 

 

DaveHarrity
DaveHarrity

@BoSanders @DaveHarrity bo... the article isn't particularly relevant, but i felt some of the comments on the article were. for example, i think that--often times--christians try to find ways to neglect seeing the world for what it is, they legitimize what they see in the world by negleting the truth of it. rod's comments on that 'mysterious you' post have a similar timbre--he asks the author if an experience feels real only after it's written about. in other words, many individuals qualify their ideologies by ignoring the truth of the world. rather than allowing tragedy, pain, or suffering to shape their world-view, theo., or ideology, they box the event up into their preconcieved notion and fundamentalism takes hold, which is ultimately the destruction of truth, an idolatry. i know this idea isn't original with me. and i may be incoherent right now... :-) thanks for your hard work...

C_Lambeth
C_Lambeth

 @dangarvin Well done, dangarvin. I think a lot of us (perhaps all?) like to play Dress-up Jesus and recast him in OUR own image to make him support what we think, how we live, who we judge/ hate and how we vote. I personally have found a prayer from C.S. Lewis to be helpful on this front, "Lord, please help me understand you as you are, and not as I suppose you to be."

 

I'm pretty sure that rules out Neanderthal Christ and Zombie Zeus. The ZZ thing is wonderful by the way. Thanks for that!

 

-CL

MattBarlow
MattBarlow

 @BoSanders I can't answer those questions because I don't believe that's how God/prayer works - so, I certainly agree with your original critique. However, I also believe that the God who "hears" our prayers may not necessarily be the same god we invoke in our prayers. In other words, while the god someone may invoke in their prayer may be inaccurate (and let's be honest, we're all inaccurate to some degree), I don't think God holds that against them or somehow dismisses the prayer because it wasn't using the proper language. So, yes, I believe that God will always receive our prayers - regardless of who/what we may or may not be invoking. Since I am a (amateur) process guy, I think this fits.Now as to the question of how or why or if God RESPONDS - that's an entirely different matter and I won't pretend to have the answers.

 

For the record, I concur with the critique you and others have given on this woman's prayer, but I was also left wondering if it was really worth bringing attention to on such a large platform, i.e. this website. I LOVE what you and Tripp bring to the table here, but in this instance, your critique kinda came off as more nitpicking than anything really substantial.

 

And please accept my apologies for my "prayer police" remark It was not my intention to offend. :)

MattBarlow
MattBarlow

 @_petegarcia I agree with every single sentence you wrote. I personally don't believe that God works in the ways you described, and I don't pray as if I do.

BoSanders
BoSanders moderator

 @_petegarcia  A) who are you?  B) can I buy you a coffee or beer and get to know you better?  ;) 

_JacquiB
_JacquiB

@_petegarcia @MattBarlow But shouldn't our response in such "critique" be one of love and compassion for those who hold this view of, and presumed subsequent relationship with God, instead of our smug, self- righteous condemnation? On that note, this prayer of pedantic prayers seems to be reflecting the heart and nature of the God we claim to understand so much better a lot more accurately than we are.

MarshallPease
MarshallPease

 @BoSanders I mean, just taking as fact that Jesus was crucified doesn't axiomatically validate penal substitution. Apparently there are crosses that need to be carried, I don't know why.

MarshallPease
MarshallPease

@BoSanders

In the first place, I don't see that poor hapless Anglican blessing as doing any heavy lifting around divine retribution for collective sin; it seems to me like a rather old-fashioned prayer for peace of mind. "When storms are raging, we should place our powerless selves in Your powerful hands and consider Your goodness." All storms pass that's the point, and God help us to have quiet trusting hearts until they do so, no joke. This is John Piper only in homeopathic quantities. So what elements of it fill you with questions?? Let's see your card.

 

The question I was asking was how do you reconcile whatever questions and concerns with Mark 4? Because I do think we are called to imitate Jesus and this would be entirely appropriate as his prayer on that occasion. If that is a wooden reading of the Bible, then let's hear your non-wooden literary/narrative interpretation. Really I would ... I still don't get your reading of John 14:6 and there you go again.

 

If you don't think God could have done something about the effects of Sandy if he cared to, then heck I thought we were framing this discussion as Evangelicals. Is there stuff that was not created by God? 

 

timothydown
timothydown

 @BoSanders i would love to hear your thoughts on that. looking forward to an addendum if you ever get time to write on it. cheers!

_JacquiB
_JacquiB

@BoSanders Sorry I just saw your response. Hopefully I better articulated my issue in my other comment. I know you're in the arena, and I'm sure you are an excellent pastor. My biggest issue is that tone matters when we talk about God, and this one wasn't particularly loving. "That god" might not exist to hear what you're saying, but the woman who prayed this prayer is real and her life experience, what she thinks and feels are real and do matter. I know this because I have not always been the brilliantly enlightened theological mega-genius I am today, but the things that I believed and experienced before influenced that process. ;) But also, you seem to equate God hearing a prayer with God exercising authority and acting on a prayer. Maybe its just a difference in language we're unaware of. In my mind, God can hear this woman's prayers, the desires of her heart, even if she misunderstands how God can or will act in response. And even if she misunderstands God's role in causing the problem. When I was little I was terrified of storms. I'm sure there were times when I cried to my mom to make them go away. My mom didn't cause the storm. My mom couldn't end the storm. That does not mean she didn't hear my plea and that her heart wasn't moved by my fear. She didn't ignore me or ignore my pleas until I came up with a more rational request. She came near and comforted me until the storm ran its course. My understanding of storms and my mom's ability to control storms grew over time and with experience, but so did my love for my mother because she never turned her back on me while my naivete and fear kept me from saying the exact right words. And my plea for something beyond her control certainly never made her stop existing.

_petegarcia
_petegarcia

 @BoSanders A) Just another nerdy theology student (at George Fox)  B) Yes. Yes you may.

_petegarcia
_petegarcia

 @_JacquiB  @_petegarcia  @MattBarlow  Absolutely. There is undoubtedly a plank in my own eye. Having prayed such prayers and having held such a view of God, I often find it difficult to respond in the most constructive way. 

 

I also think that as much as I resist the expressions of faith in question, a part of me wishes I could experience something *like* that.