Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Is it so wrong to pray for rain?"

You've seen the video, asking "is it so wrong to pray for rain?"

Focus on the Family guy Stuart Shepard is asking people, in a video he made, to pray for rain on the day Barack Obama gives his speech in Denver during the Democratic National Convention. Shepard, a one-time TV meteorologist according to KOAA, wants it to start raining two minutes before Obama's speech starts, and he wants that rain to be so hard that it will block out network TV coverage so no one will be able to see or hear Obama's speech during the DNC.

Did you happen to pray for an answer to that question? Could be that's why you are here.

Should you be a person of faith who prayed about whether it would be "so wrong" and then, according to the various traditional teachings, turned to Google as a means to let God/ess provide you a clue to what the answer is, well, don't you just LOVE Her sense of humor?

Yeah, I'm messin' witcha. But then, that's pretty much what Prophets of the Lord do. Read your Bible.

Am I CLAIMING to be a prophet of The Lord? Heavens Forfend! I just suspect that from time to time, anything that anyone might say will contain the right nugget of truth, and the more practiced one is in extracting them and the ruder and more conspicuously one points it out, the more likely it is that the right nugget will bonk enough noggins for people to think that.

I disclaim all desire to be seen as a Prophet.

You see, I view being involved in legitimate prophecy as being an occupational hazard, not a spiritual reward or a particular blessing. And being seen as a Bringer Of Truth Worthy of Following would be, to me, a personal nightmare.

But this smug little Pharasee thinks that asking "would it be wrong to pray for rain" insulates him from the moral consequences of him suggesting a course of action that is prohibited to us in the Big Ten.

Whether or not I can be considered a Christian is a matter of some personal debate. But I do take the words of Christ very seriously indeed and I take the Ten Commandments even more seriously; to the point that understanding their essential meaning, the idea behind the prohibition has been a life-long quest.

Some of of them are difficult to figure out, but this one is not difficult at all. You just need a good translation of the Bible and concordance.

Here's the essence of it; "Thou shalt not take the Lord's Name in vain" is not a prohibition against cussin', its a prohibition of throwing curses at people you do not like and trying to give other people the impression that God is lending their aid and approval. He doesn't, She won't, it's in vain - and if you are giving other folks the impression that it is not, YOU are a liar and they are fools.

So the answer to the question, "would it be wrong to pray for rain" in this case, is real clear and real simple. Yes. And so was asking the question in such a way that it is highly likely that you misled others.

God is not mocked, nor does God parse contracts. What part of your own theology do you not comprehend? Omnipotent, omnipresent, knows the contents of your heart, and therefore your intent.

Do you think God is bound by the rules shown on "I Dream of Jeannie?"

No, fella me lad, all lore and tradition points to that sort of tricksy legalistic triangulation being an attribute of the Bad Guys.

So, which God did you say you were prayin' to, again? I don't recall you mentionin' that.

Regular readers may wonder why I'm not loudly mocking this. Well, first, because despite the question being asked in such a coy and deceptive way, it is a fundimantal issue of ethics, and it has an absolutely straightforward answer that can be put in bulletproof biblical terms.

And second, because Jesus's General did it first, better and shorter. (HT, Pam of Pam's House Blend.)

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