To those done with religion but not God and my kids (Click FOLLOW for future Posts; See ABOUT/USING THIS SITE tab to navigate Site)

Archive for August, 2022

Why Doesn’t God Answer More Prayers?

I was listening to a recent new popular song that seeks to assure “God answers prayer.” Let’s be honest. More prayers are unanswered than answered. Bold proclamations about God, without being nuanced or explained, can confuse or drive many away from God. Many are rightly disheartened about God when claims about prayers don’t match up with reality.

God can’t answer many prayers

God can’t wave a magic wand without accounting for freedom. It’s not that we didn’t pray enough with the right words and behaviors so God will answer. God can’t make one’s partner willing to stop drinking. A lot of prayers ask for healing. I doubt God is arbitrary when able to heal. Conditions in our body may not always be right. Various biological and environmental factors are involved such as cells, organs, etc. If God respects human freedom, it may not be a stretch to say God has to account for natural freedom as well. A caring God surely intervenes by all means when circumstances will allow just as a human parent.

Love can’t be controlling or arbitrary

Your view of God determines your perspective and how you pray. I experienced as a child and learned as a parent controlling love is an oxymoron. Love doesn’t insist on its own way (I Cor 13:5). It isn’t that God has the power to do something and doesn’t. God can’t change people or circumstances without them freely cooperating. Miracles don’t happen because some people are less sinful or beg better at the feet of an arbitrary God. Miracles happen when God’s uncontrolling love aligns with countless seen and unseen factors including human and organic agents.

Even the Bible doesn’t claim God answers all prayers

Jesus requested from God to avoid the Cross. History tells us God didn’t answer. There are of course many interpretations of passages used to defend one’s position.  Mt 7:7 says: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” But first-century readers didn’t assume this was a blank check for requests. The Apostle Paul expected persecution for beliefs (2 Tim. 3:12). I have a hunch Paul didn’t pray to be persecuted.

Isn’t a truly loving God doing all they can before asked?

Do we really think God is waiting to help others until we ask? Prayer must be more than manipulating God to act. God may wait for our invitation for personal help to be more the person we deep down desire to be, but God is tireless in doing all they can for others and desperately seeks our help to change the world. God can’t singlehandedly change a free world without our help. But the truth is it can rain on the righteous and the sun can shine on evil in an uncontrolled world (Mt 5:45).

So, why pray?

Prayer is more than asking for things. We can also talk to God for self-examination, for sharing our concerns so to not feel along in a chaotic world. Seeking God’s influence in our lives can lead to making wiser choices. God is tireless in working through individual lives to change the world. It isn’t that you didn’t beg enough or behave enough. God hears your prayers and walks alongside you in a world challenging to God and you. God hates when prayers can’t be answered. God feels the same pain you are experiencing. God shares the dreams you have for your future.  Conventional thinkers don’t like to suggest God has feelings of vulnerability, but they don’t mind talking about God’s wrath. We may wish God would just intervene but there may be legitimate reasons why God can’t. But God is with you each step of the way and surely encourages reaching out to others for help as well.

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

What Brief Advise Would I Give Parents In Raising Children?

Parenting, like marriage, isn’t complicated just hard. Treat your partner like you want to be treated and you will probably have a good marriage. See here. Parent your children like you wish your parents had parent you and your children may visit when adults. There are hundreds of tips in being a good parent, but I will suggest only a few. There are no guarantees in parenting. A parent’s job is to parent well, not control their children. I am going to be brief and focus on a few positive actions that can set children up for success.  

First, keep in mind the three main stages of parenting

  • Ages 0-2: Total Dependence so just love, feed, and try to get them to sleep
  • Ages 2-11: Time to discipline because for some reasons kids tend toward selfishness than unselfishness. They rightly are seeking to be independent and need help. Say yes as often as possible. Know when to say “no” and mean it. If you tell them “no” for the right reason, follow through with actions that show you mean it or they will be confused. Pick your battles carefully – mainly around how they treat others (character).
  • Ages 11 and Up: Mentor as much as possible to prepare them to be on their own. Act more as a coach whenever possible so they can learn from their own decisions. Sometimes, you have to interfere when drugs, etc. are involved, but empower your kids to make their own decisions and to learn from their mistakes.

Secondly, discipline well

Expect your children to treat others like they want to be treated. When they don’t, call them out and follow up with any discipline appropriate. There doesn’t have to be any hitting or yelling. Physical discipline/spanking is not necessary. Most parents don’t spank with control all the time so remove the option; besides, it stifles creativity in teaching. I have raised three children (now in their thirties and none in jail) without spanking and you would be proud to call them your kids.

Thirdly, require siblings to get along

I wanted my children to have a positive relationship with one another. I couldn’t make them like one another, but damn if I couldn’t make them treat each other like Mom and Dad should treat one another even when we didn’t get along. Children cannot and do not work this out on their own as the older/bigger just wins. I don’t sit back when bullying in any relationships is happening. I reserved my biggest responses when the kids yelled, hit, or took advantage of one another.

Fourthly and finally, parents must walk the talk

Parents must walk the talk if they expect children to listen to their advice. How can parents obtain commitment by asking their children to treat others right, but parents don’t treat others or their partner well? If kids are not going to drink when young, this translates into their parents not getting trashed and drinking responsibly. Whether we like it or not, kids are always looking for an excuse to be irresponsible. It is just human nature. Parents must work very hard to not give their children a reason to misbehave because of the example they set. “Do what I say, not what I do” is just plain stupid.  

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

 

Did God Really Bless The United States Over Other Nations?

It is often said God blessed the United States specifically, suggesting God’s blessings are withheld from other nations by God. It is important how we portray what God is really like. I am not going to do a Bible study on how God blesses others. Several viewpoints could be defended, depending on one’s interpretation of certain passages. It isn’t presumptuous though to imagine what a loving God is like though our moral intuitions.

The way God blesses must be loving 

Atheists and believers agree. The only God worth believing in is a perfect, loving God. Can God manipulate others? Obviously not because love doesn’t manipulate. We can talk about perfect Godly love by comparing to perfect, human love. The Bible even suggests perfect human love and God’s love are the same: “Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Parent is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). How we lovingly bless others may be how a loving God would bless. Do we bless one child while withholding blessings from another child though both may be deserving or in need?

God’s blessings can’t be arbitrary

True love can’t be arbitrary or bias. Some Christian circles teach that before one is born that God elects or blesses some with eternal life after death while excluding others. Such arbitrary love is immoral. God doesn’t arbitrarily bless some with food in their bellies and not others by manipulating behind the scenes. God doesn’t wish anyone would starve. There are many human reasons why one might not have enough food. Humans must partner together to combat starvation. 

God’s blessings can’t be controlling 

We know true love can’t be controlling. Ask any adult about their parents! We hate when we see friends try to control others for their own reasons or gain.  Employees can smell a controlling employer a mile away. The truth is God can’t wave a magic wand – aka blessing some and not others – without accounting for freedom. It isn’t that you didn’t beg enough or have the right attitude. A loving God is surely always doing all they can in a free world for all nations.   

Don’t blessings flow when accepting God’s influence?

God seeks to influence us to do all the good we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, to all the people we can, as long as we can. Good things or blessings often happen when following God’s example.  Imagine all the friendships not destroyed by following God’s lead in not coveting, gossiping, being slow to anger, etc.  God’s blessing can flow to any nation, including the United States, when leaders and individuals allow God’s influence in their lives to help others. I suspect nations who believe in freedom as opposed to control by those in power benefit. Such qualities seem to be characteristic of the freedom God has bestowed upon us.

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

What Do Science And Religion Have In Common In Dividing A Nation?

Uncivil discussions between those who have science differences seems to becoming more the norm. Those with religion or God differences are no better though less hostile. Disagreements often lead to calling one anti-science or heretical. Successful relationships only happen by handling disagreements in a positive manner so solutions can be agreed upon. Dictators or authoritarians seek to control different opinions. Demonizing different views is tearing apart our nation!

An attitude of “certainty” can destroy a Nation! 

Truth is less certain than let on. Truth is a pursuit! Supposed scientific truth is often updated. Supposed biblical truth, because interpretation is required, is not agreed upon by sincere believers in God. My biggest regret when younger was acting certain than open-minded. Good luck having a good marriage if assuming you are right when disagreeing with your partner. Universal immoralities are obvious (murder, sexual abuse), but some truth can be found in opposing views concerning climate concerns, immigration, pandemic responses, etc.

Why do we claim certainty? 

Certainty than uncertainty comforts individuals psychologically. Those in Authority don’t want to be seen as unknowing. Many religious and scientific folks hide behind their interpretation of a Book or data. But contrary biblical interpretations exist for many moral issues and science data is often updated. It doesn’t matter if you believe your opinion is best for all. You may be wrong!

An attitude of certainty hinders the democratic process and could prevent the most caring decision for all involved. It is hard to know one’s internal motives, but thwarting diverse opinions is self-serving, allowing one to remain in control. Labeling others who disagree as conspiracists or heretics is revealing. Freedom of expression is essential in the pursuit of truth!

How have we pursued scientific truth during the Pandemic?

The bedrock of science use to be considering hypotheses in an attempt to explain a phenomenon in the natural world. It is an educated guess based on the information we have currently have and could change if we get new information in the future. Drugs are often approved initially, only to be pulled from the shelves later after causing death. Dr. Tony Fauci, Dr. Francis Collins, and Pfizer, who have led the U.S response to the pandemic, have failed to abide by what most agree use to be the course of action in pursuing scientific truths:

Why can’t we agree to openly pursue the most caring decision for all involved? 

Immigration laws can be discussed as to what are the most caring for the greater good. It would be wonderful if all children without loving parents could be adopted into your home. It that best for your family? Regarding climate changes, what is best for those who have energy and for those nations who need life saving energy from more fortunate countries? In responding to the pandemic, we must be able to ask and discuss what are the benefits and risks for individuals and society as a whole regarding Covid shots, lockdowns, masks, etc.

  • We can have open discussions and avoid demanding “supposed truths”
  • We must learn to respond not react over our differences
  • We can seek areas to agree first
  • We can seek to understand before being understood
  • We must stop demonizing by moralizing
  • We must handle differences with physical and verbal civility
  • We must stop claiming we have the corner on what is biblical truth
  • We must stop canceling others’ opinions when it comes to pursuing scientific truths

I left the institutional church, but not God, because others wouldn’t engage in non-dogmatic conversations. I didn’t wish to be divisive to those seeking God. Few will engage in political discussions as a way to understand one another’s point of view. We aren’t always certain how to best love, but we must reach solutions by civil and democratic means. If one is close-minded denying your freedom to come to your own conclusions, sometimes we must counteract assertively. We must discuss in the current pandemic the benefits and risks of the Covid shots.  We must be able to debate climate, immigration laws, and what a loving God would truly think about gays, women roles, and other matters that impact millions of lives.

Click on FOLLOW at bottom right of this page to enter email address to be notified of future Posts. No other unrelated emails will be sent. Go to About/Using This Site tab at top of page or Menu on phones to help navigate this Site. I also blog at http://donewithreligion.com If you wish to discuss anything I have written, you can email me at medwar2@gmail.com  

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: