Archive for Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Letter: Power of prayer

June 4, 2013


To the editor:

The May 28 Journal-World article entitled “Tiny town had close call with monster tornado” supports the power of prayer when dealing with the Prince of the Power of the Air. However, Job’s children encountered this power when God allowed Satan to attack Job the first time.

Another example is when Jesus directed his disciples to cross Lake Galilee. Later, as they were struggling against the wind in Mark 6, an unusual comment is made in the text, “He intended to pass them by.” However, they cried out and he rescued the disciples. I believe Jesus was going to pass them by because he was put out with them because they had not learned the many lessons from the first time he was in the boat with them (Mark 4:35-41). Mark 6:52 says, “Their hearts were hardened.”

There are two common ways in which followers of Christ are remiss in dealing with Satan. First, we fail to recognize Jesus gives us the authority to resist the devil. Our second failure as Jesus’ disciples is that we let our fears affect our walk. Job said, “The thing I feared the most came upon me.” The hedge of protection that he had was lost because he allowed fear to trump his belief in God to protect his children. Jesus rebuked his disciples because of their unbelief.

God says, “Fear not.” “Satan goes around as a roaring lion seeking him whom he may devour.” We can pray in faith, without fear, and Satan will flee; whether in a tornado or in our concern about our children.


christy kennedy 5 years ago

Satan makes tornadoes? I thought gays, feminists, and atheists did. What do you say to all the good, innocent, and always faithful people who've prayed for mercy and have still suffered terrible tragedy? Shift to the standby "strange ways"?

skinny 5 years ago

Carl, do you believe in Santa Claus too?

jafs 5 years ago

Job was faithful and good - the story of Job in the Bible is a horrifying one, in which God allows Satan to visit all sorts of horrible things on him, in order to win a bet.

It's a very strange story, and paints a rather unpalatable version of God.

Having had all of the troubles visited on him, Job remains faithful and good, and God wins the bet.

What on earth is that all about?

In_God_we_trust 5 years ago

The book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible.

"Job was faithful and good - the story of Job in the Bible is a horrifying one, in which God allows Satan to visit all sorts of horrible things on him, in order to win a bet.

It's a very strange story, and paints a rather unpalatable version of God."

This account of Job gives a very true and palatable version of God if it is properly understood. God is always good. Satan is not all knowing and has been defeated by Jesus when He went and died on the cross (redeeming believers), and was raised again from the dead on the 3rd day. Satan (formerly Lucifer) is a fallen angel. He did not know what authority he had been given in the earth (from Adam's sin in the Garden of Eden). Satan didn't like how God was blessing Job, and said that if God would withdraw his blessing on Job, that Job would curse God. Job did not love God just because God blessed him. Satan is the one that brought the trouble and illness on Job, once he discovered the authority he had stolen from Adam. God is the one that helps, heals and blesses Job in the end, giving Job double what he had before the Satanic attack. We learn that Satan is the one behind most of the troubles in this world by convincing people to misuse their words (authority) and disobey God's Word, so that people oppose themselves, removing God's blessing on them. Satan is the devil and the "God of this world" today. His lease from Adam is just about to expire. We are seeing a last attempt to create a global government today to resist Jesus (Word of God) from reining and ruling the earth at the expiration of the lease, for a thousand years of world peace and blessing.

jafs 5 years ago

The central question in the story for me is why God would go along with that wager with Satan - doesn't seem very loving to me.

God could easily have said no, I won't let you torment one of my faithful creatures like that, right?

Brock Masters 5 years ago

I don't think you should take the stories in the Old Testament literally.

Look for the message and the meaning but don't get hung up on the details. I look at at as a parent try to explain things to a young child who is yet unable to grasp higher level concepts

jafs 5 years ago

What does that mean exactly?

The message is that God allows Satan to torment one of his most faithful creatures to prove a point. Hardly a portrayal of a loving God.

jafs 5 years ago

Also, it's an odd portrayal of God and Satan, and their power. If God is all powerful, then Satan doesn't have a chance, and God can/should simply stop him from tormenting Job.

The other message that some seem to get is that one should have unwavering faith in God even if he torments you, or allows you to be tormented. I'd say that's a little masochistic or something like that.

Perhaps the point of the story is an attempt to understand how bad things happen, given the belief in a loving and powerful God. But that's a question without a very good answer, and the "answer" in Job is one of the least convincing to me.

In_God_we_trust 5 years ago

"Also, it's an odd portrayal of God and Satan, and their power. If God is all powerful, then Satan doesn't have a chance, and God can/should simply stop him from tormenting Job."

While God is all powerful, He is also righteous and just and perfect. He does not just "throw his power around", like we would like for Him to do at times. God respects the laws and agreements and operates with perfection. God is no respecter of persons. Satan legally had the authority given to him by Adam, when he sinned, and a lease on the earth, so he had the authority to be in the earth. (But ultimately God owns the earth and all that is in it). Satan in effect became "the God of this world". God's ways are higher than our ways. We like to think of ourselves as a judge, and always right in our own eyes, but we need to remember that God is the Supreme righteous Judge of all. He is always right and never, ever, makes a mistake. Other beings make mistakes (like Satan, he made a big mistake, thinking he can elevate himself to be higher than God, (pride) but God will use his evil character as an example of what not to be to others, and to try people's hearts to see if they are a son of Satan or a Son of God). We need to learn why God does what He does and learn from it. Then we can see how magnificent and great that He really is. He's God, and as God, the boss, and is never wrong by any measure. He may be working on a very long term plan, but He is never wrong, despite what we might think with our limited knowledge and time frame. God operates in eternity. We operate under time.

"The other message that some seem to get is that one should have unwavering faith in God even if he torments you, or allows you to be tormented. I'd say that's a little masochistic or something like that."

It's a difficult thing for people to understand that God may allow an evil person or spirit to torment or cause trouble against you. (free will) God says he always makes a way of escape. He will not put on you more than you can bear. Jesus says take his burden, for it is light and He will carry your load.

But if you are mistreated, you must look at it like a court case; you have to of suffered damages, in order to have a case to punish the oppressor. God is the one that takes revenge, not us. (Actually He can do it so much better than we could anyway, it is a great time to have faith in God, at a time like this). God does not act preemptively. He does not make judgment against anyone before they have actually violated a law.

I think as you grow to understand God and His level of perfection, you will learn to appreciate His very perfect ways. His ways are truly higher than our ways. We have all eternity to learn about the depth and greatness of God.

jafs 5 years ago

You are free to believe as you like, but I find your beliefs completely unconvincing on many levels.

And, having majored in religious studies, seriously considered the ministry several times, and having had a lifelong interest in religion and spirituality, it is virtually impossible that you will convince me, by posting lengthy descriptions of your beliefs in detail.

Please don't try to convert me any more - it's a waste of both of our time and energy.

In_God_we_trust 5 years ago

Clearly, you are on a search for God. I wish you well on your search for God. May you find Him in truth. I enjoyed the opportunity to answer your questions. I hope that you found some lasting value in our discussion.

jafs 5 years ago

Thank you - that's a very generous and caring post.

In_God_we_trust 5 years ago

God did not make a "bet" or wager with Satan. What God was trying to do is show an example of a "God fearing" person that serves God with integrity. Because Job performed the acts that God said for him to do, he received blessing from God. Job had faith in God. God wanted to show Satan, that their was a man in the earth who loved and respected and served God with integrity. Satan brought up the excuse that Job loves God just because God blesses and prospers Job. God would not come against Job, but Satan discovered that he had the power to afflict Job all along and so Satan immediately went out to attack Job. God warned Satan that he was not to take Job's life. So Satan was the cause of the misfortune, illness and trouble that came to Job for no reason. Today, Satan has lost his power to do that directly, because Jesus has defeated him. Now Satan just tries to get people to misuse their words and makes suggestions that stir up trouble, or steals the authority from people to cause trouble. I suppose God was making a grand appeal to Satan to turn back from his ways of departing from the total goodness of God, by taking notice of Job, a just and upright man. But Satan fell because of pride, and continues in it today. Satan uses the opposite of what God stands for, because God is total good, Satan has only evil to use for his purposes. Satan if you remember, was the one that pulled away from God and tricked or convinced 1/3 of the angels to go with him and serve under Satan. These fallen angels are called demons. That's why when Jesus cast out a demon, they would say: have you come to torment us before the time? The "time" is the expiration of Adam's lease in the earth.

Stuart Evans 5 years ago

how do you know exactly what the unknowable word of god means? I find it amazing that christians will tell us that we cannot understand the power of god(s), but in the same breath profess to tell us exactly how god(s) want us to live.

Did you know that if you give up all those fables, it's a lot easier to understand why things happen the way they do?

gr 5 years ago

jafs, if you say God could have easily said no to satan, why not say that God could have easily stopped satan from doing anything? Why not zap satan the first time he chose to say he thought his way was better? In fact, why not zap anyone who does anything God doesn't want them to do?

Do you think that would be a God of love? How about free choice?

jafs 5 years ago

Seems a bit confused there.

If Satan is evil, and doing evil things to people, then yes, it would be a loving act for God to stop him.

Freedom is important, but must be curtailed if the exercise of that freedom harms others, in my view.

Stuart Evans 5 years ago

in my count, satan is far less evil than God. read your bible, do a body count, get back to me.

gr 5 years ago

Suppose you wanted to rob a bank. What if once you put your plan together, God stepped in and zapped you? Do you think that is a God of Love? But you would serve as an example to others. Imagine their reaction. 'Did you see what happened to jafs? He wanted to do evil and God zapped him. Guess we better not if we know what's best for us.' Do you think they have free choice? Do you think they could really love God and feel they really had free choice?

In what way do you think that would be different than if you were under Hitler and he said, do it my way or else. You choose to do evil and go against him, and suddenly you were shot. Is Hitler's action any different than how you think God's action should be?

jafs 5 years ago

You're the one who talks of "zapping" people, not me.

I think God can certainly stop people from doing evil without killing them, if he's all believers think he is.

Also, your version is exactly what many believers espouse - it's just that the punishment comes later - you get to go to hell for eternity if you don't do what God wants.

There are problems with the traditional viewpoints that aren't solvable.

You're right, of course, to point out a contradiction between the idea of free will and the idea of an omnipotent omniscient God.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

Carl is only about a half degree separated from the religious and moral philosophy of Phred.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

I really couldn't care less what either of these guys claims to be. I was merely comparing outward results of their theological positions. They both believe in a vengeful God who wrecks random havoc and mass destruction for "sins" that both apparently agree upon.

Stuart Evans 5 years ago

The no true Scotsman fallacy shows it's ugly head again..

jonas_opines 5 years ago

The common sentiment of "if I'm right v. if you're right" seems to imply that you're not doing it for anyone other than yourself. Is getting into the right afterlife the only reason you do or believe anything?

jonas_opines 5 years ago

Helping to give myself and other people on this planet a chance to enjoy This life.

Much the same as most people, really, no matter what they profess to believe happens to us after we die.

ebyrdstarr 5 years ago

Do you seriously have to ask that? It's warped to think that one needs to believe in a magical sky creature and an afterlife to have a reason to live. I don't believe in any god, but I believe in many, many things. I live for playtime with my sweet pup, for my work which I live, for my family and my friends, for the hope of seeing the Royals win another World Series (I know, I know), for the beauty of the Flint Hills in May, for a really good (but not TOO good) thunderstorm, for the first snow, for martini night with my girlfriends, and for so many other things. What a sad life it must be to think that none of these things are things to live for.

FloridaSunshine 5 years ago

ebyrdstarr...Why, when disagreeing with "believers", do all the atheists and agnostics have to call believers in God such names as "warped", etc.? And if you know others believe in God, why must you non-believers on call my God "a magical sky creature" and other just as demeaning names? Why is that even necessary? I was agnostic for years in my 20's...but I never put believers "down" by handing out the sort of treatment I (and others) have received from non-believers on I studied, read everything I could get my hands on (C.S. Lewis is one of my heroes, a former atheist), prayed, and finally realized THE most incredible relationship with my Lord had developed over that period of time. It was amazing and beautiful...and has become even more amazing and beautiful as the many years have flown by!

But, ebyrdstarr, I still believe in many, many you do. Believing in God, in Jesus, does not alter my joy with the things of this belief system enhances all of those wonderful things in my life. When I see my granddaughter's face light up as she watches me drive into her driveway is a joy that is indescribable! Having enjoyed the work I did for many years was another great joy. My close family, extended family, and beloved friends are another reason to cherish this life. The parts of this beautiful country where I can retreat, either by myself if I have writing or editing to do (on a limited basis at this point in my life!) or with family and/or dear friends, to relax and enjoy the mountains...or the beaches...all such huge blessings. Too many blessings to list right here...

I don't know what you mean by the comment, "What a sad life it must be to think that none of these things are things to live for." Where did you get the idea, that because one believes in God, one cannot, or does not enjoy the blessings we have while on this planet? That they are not worth living for? I can't even imagine where you birthed an idea such as that...I find it incredible that you would even say such a thing. But, after being on and off for many years, I must say I'm not surprised.

What IS a sad state of affairs is that we enjoy so many of the same things...and all that separates us from possibly being friends, if we met by chance, is the fact that I believe in God.

ebyrdstarr 5 years ago

I was specifically responding to the question of "Just curious, but what do you live for as a non-believer?"

I didn't call believers warped; I called asking that question warped, which it is. I suggested to the person who posed that question that it was sad that s/he couldn't imagine that the things I listed are worth living for, as was implied by the question posed. I thought it was fairly clear that my response was in no way a knock on believers. I thought it was insulting that a believer would have to ask what a non-believer might live for. Please read an entire thread before attacking someone for a response that it is entirely limited and appropriate to the specific question posed.

FloridaSunshine 5 years ago

ebyrdstarr...Your response to my post still doesn't negate the fact that you referred to my God as "a magical sky creature"...and doesn't erase your last sentence, "What a sad life it must be to think that none of these things are things to live for." You can yell, "foul", all you want, but I've come to this site often enough through the years to recognize derogatory remarks about Christians in general when I see them, ebyrdstarr, even if those remarks are clothed in the form of addressing one specific commenter.

As for telling me to read an entire thread before I "attack" absurd of you to say that I had not...or even that I was "attacking" you. You and your atheist and agnostic friends can dish out any old name-calling and insults you wish, but be called on it, and you are suddenly being "attacked". I think YOU should reread my previous post...I think YOU will see how you twisted it to fit YOUR agenda. I am a Christian, ebyrdstarr, not a door mat. It's no wonder Don't_Tread_On_Me has the username s/he does. (And no, I would never have asked the question of non-believers that Don't_Tread_On_Me asked.)

ebyrdstarr 5 years ago

The sad life line was clearly aimed at the person who had to ask what a non-believer had to live for. If your reading comprehension is that lacking, that's not my fault.

The sky creature line was meant to emphasize the absurdity of the questioner to begin with.

You come here yelling at me about my attitude when I said nothing to you but simply responded to a stupid and insulting question. You want to read more into my comment than was there, that's on you, not me. You clearly have a much bigger problem disrespecting me than the other way around.

Crazy_Larry 5 years ago

Do you seriously believe that god is the only reason to live? Forgive me, but that's twisted in the head. Is that you Roeder?

Stuart Evans 5 years ago

DTOM.. as a believer, why do you want to live? I understand heaven is where the party is. Also, as a believer, is your belief the only thing keeping you from a killing/raping/stealing spree?

Liberty275 5 years ago

I support Carl's right to his beliefs as well as their expression . Don't let these jr humanists-in-training get you down Carl. When they are comfortable without god, they will allow you to be comfortable with god.

Cait McKnelly 5 years ago

I am a "non-believer" (at least in Carl's God). but the fact that he believes what he believes doesn't bother or threaten me in any way. (Well, unless he and his cohort decide they're going to force it on me anyway through the legislative and legal system.)
So, bang your Bible all you like, Carl. Just don't show up at my house with "missionaries". I'm busy watching a series based on a milder set of books than your Bible; Game of Thrones.

Stuart Evans 5 years ago

I think that all of us here who are atheists & agnostics find it very easy to live without a god. What we have trouble with is the snake-oil salesmen who promise an eternal life of love and happiness, while bilking those same people of their hard-earned money. And if that weren't bad enough, they take these ideas to congress and legislate them on the rest of us. If you're caught up in religion, you won't recognize all the harm that it does to society; the blinders are securely in place.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years ago

So... using the same logic, god really does hate Moore, OK because, you know, god let that happen. Maybe he was busy?

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Tornados are just part of the science of this planet, and if you believe in God, are part of his plan, not the devils. But did you ever hear that story about the guy who wouldn't leave his house when there were flood warnings, because God would save him. He wouldn't get in the rescue boat, because he believed God would save him, and the same story with the helicopter who came to rescue him. When he made it to heaven, he asked God why he didn't save him, God said that he gave him a warning and sent a boat and a helicopter, what more did he want?

Anyway, storms are not punishments from God. You can do lots of things to prolong your life, heath wise and safety wise. You should take shelter when there is a warning. You should have a shelter in the first place. You should eat healthy and exercise. But that doesn't always work. Dying is just part of life, and if you believe in life after death, then what is the problem? I would think a good Christian wouldn't be worried about death, but many Christians I know are terrified by death.

Crazy_Larry 5 years ago

Everybody want to go to heaven, but nobody want to die. -Peter Tosh

wildflower26 5 years ago

So the people who have been killed or seriously injured by violent weather events just didn't pray hard enough? That is disgusting and offensive.

jonas_opines 5 years ago

You know who else claims that they are responsible for everything that is good, while everything that is bad is because of opposition or indifference to them and their initiatives?


Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years ago

Carl is just one of the many people who's reliance on false religion places him with the great majority of Kansans who believe in phony religious philosophy. Hence the attempts of "conservative" (read "facist") elements that we have elected to govern our lives. The aim of these people is to have domination over others who do not believe such hogwash and want to do things is a reasonable and resp[onsible manner. The bible was written by humans who are as falible as you and me and in no way is the word of any "god". It was codified into Holy Law by King James' Councis of Hampton Court in 1611 and mankind has suffered under the King's wishes ever since.

There is noting worng with believing whatever you want, but there is a lot wrong with imposing it on others, Governer Brownback!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

Which is more powerful-- the Screaming Lead Guitar Jesus, or the Great White Buffalo Jesus?

mom_of_three 5 years ago

I often read Carl's letters and go "huh?" but it does sound like that he is saying that the people in Oklahoma didn't believe in God enough or pray enough and that is just absurd.

jonas_opines 5 years ago

Pretty sure it was Carl who also said that the Newtown Massacre was allowed to happen because prayer was removed from school.

Maddy Griffin 5 years ago

Was Carl able to explain the reasons for shootings in Church?

oldbaldguy 5 years ago

when it is your time it is your time regardless of what you do to avoid it or who you are. saw that on the battlefield. mr. burkhead is entitled to his opinion. however death takes us all whether you are a believer or not.

In_God_we_trust 5 years ago

The key is to determine now, where you are going and what your life will be like after you die.

Cait McKnelly 5 years ago

I already know where I'm going, Mr. God. And there is no "life" after you die. That's an oxymoron.

ebyrdstarr 5 years ago

It makes me sad to think of people wasting their time in this life, precious and short as it is, thinking about some other life that might come next.

mom_of_three 5 years ago

yes, he is entitled to his opinion, but it sounds more and more like those folks from topeka.

In_God_we_trust 5 years ago

This is what happens if your name is not found in the "book of life".

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away: and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened: and another book was opened: which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

ebyrdstarr 5 years ago

This doesn't really make the case that non-believers should wise up and worship your god. A creator who can condemn his or her beloved creations like that doesn't seem worthy of much respect let alone worship.

Crazy_Larry 5 years ago

Isn't that from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy? Great stories!

Kathy Theis-Getto 5 years ago

John was on hallucinogens when he wrote that.

oldbaldguy 5 years ago

that is what makes this country great. we do not kill each other over religion like they do elsewhere.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

Yea, he was a doctor who saved the lives of thousands of women, and was shot down by a terrorist.

Crazy_Larry 5 years ago

And when Xtian terrorists want to make a point about life they kill people.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

"because when a woman's life was hanging in the balance, they sought out the services of George Tiller."


Anthony Mall 5 years ago

Most people don't believe in a God until they need one....

Crazy_Larry 5 years ago

May Odin give you knowledge on your path, May Thor grant you strength and courage on your way, And may Loki give you laughter as you go.

George_Braziller 5 years ago

More of Carl's blathering. Everyone is going to hell, pray a lot, read the bible so your soul will be saved, quote more scripture. Blah, blah, blah. Rinse and repeat. His letters to the editor are always have the same prima donna. tone.

Armstrong 5 years ago

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jonas_opines 5 years ago

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jonas_opines 5 years ago

Yes, a stereotype pieced together from those that confirm a preconceived bias while ignoring those that do not, the same as the intolerant right, to make some monolithic, lockstep "other" that can be pointed at as the opposition.

Myself, don't care at all about tolerance. No, that's not true. I think tolerance is a sham, and misses the boat. Forcing somebody to say or not say something doesn't change their opinions. As long as we're free to do what we want without hurting other people or their property, it doesn't ultimately matter what you think about what we are doing. But we should be free to express our disagreement or criticism along with our praise.

Seems pretty simple to me. But plenty of people -- left or right -- seem to disagree.

FloridaSunshine 5 years ago

We all make choices...every single day...about almost everything. No one is making us believe, or not believe, in anything or anyone. We can choose to marry or stay single. We can choose to eat or starve. We can choose to pursue an advanced education, or not. We can accept or not accept God. This life is all about choices.

This woman (in the two videos) has something to say about Job...and getting through really difficult times...she ought to know. Her neck was broken when she was 17...she's now 62, so her perspective is interesting, to say the least. She's a quadriplegic. She also has had severe chronic pain since going through menopause ten years ago...and three years ago went through breast cancer. She's not just talking the talk, folks. She's walking the walk...even from a wheelchair. And with severe chronic pain. And having had cancer.

jayhawklawrence 5 years ago

We keep seeing records being broken as the the size of these storm events.

I can understand how sin might have caused this change in the weather but it has to do with something called greed and selfishness and what I regard as the criminal actions of a political party that is blocking efforts to save our planet.

I can easily find this sin in the Bible. It is as old as the human race.

Trobs 5 years ago

Ah yes, the trials and tribulations argument.

God must really have it out for Africa.

ebyrdstarr 5 years ago

I don't care about most of Carl's letters. I got involved here in response to specific comments.

But here's why this particular letter irks me. It suggests that those who perished in a tornado just didn't pray hard enough. Let me give an example of how hurtful that line of thought can be to good people.

Soon after Elizabeth Smart was found, her father Ed appeared on Larry King, along with a few others on a panel. Naturally, he was overcome with joy and felt nothing but good will toward all. As he was expressing his joy, he quite innocently, with no malice, commented that Elizabeth's return was a testament to the power of prayer. One person on the panel was Mark Klaas, who has become a victim's advocate in the years since his own beloved daughter, Polly, was kidnapped. Sadly, her kidnapping did not have the happy ending the Smarts experienced. He rather delicately responded to Smart's comment by saying he was thrilled for that family, but wanted to urge him not to make that kind of statement again because it suggested that the Klaas family hadn't prayed enough, thus their daughter died.

Klaas was absolutely right, as is everyone who chides Carl now.

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