Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Prayer & the Psalms: Be still and know that I am God

Yesterday, I asked one of my kids to upload new music to my ipod as I prepared for a cross country plan flight. Looking forward to the diversion, I relaxed back in my seat, and once in the air, turned my music on…and was blasted with a bunch of static!
I reflected that my in-flight ipod experience is a lot like prayer. We can send and receive either noise or static to our Heavenly Father with our ungrateful complaints and arrogant requests or we can offer melodious songs of praise and thanks.
Today, let’s ponder awhile on this question: what sort of music do we make when we pray? And another equally important question: are we quiet enough to hear our Heavenly father when he speaks to us through prayer? We can tune him out, allowing the static of the day to crowd out that still small voice that says, “Be still and know that I am God”(Psalms 46:10).
The Psalms are an important part of our Legacy Bible reading plan—be sure to incorporate at least three Psalms per week. Many of the Psalms were written in the land of Israel and were used in temple worship, accompanied by stringed instruments.
The psalms are a wonderful way to give focus to your prayer life. A beautiful, uplifting and soul-strengthening Psalm is Psalm 46. Why not read the whole song now?

19 comments:

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Don said...

Excellent post Hank! Keep up the good work!

Boris said...

Oh yeah, the Psalms are such pleasant reading.

Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock. - Psalm 137:9

Who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, God's love endures forever. - Psalm 136:10

But God will smash the heads of his enemies, crushing the skulls of those who love their guilty ways. The Lord says, "I will bring my enemies down from Bashan; I will bring them up from the depths of the sea. You, my people, will wash your feet in their blood, and even your dogs will get their share!" - Psalm 68:21

Any adult who tells a child that anything in the Bible is actually true is a liar and a child abuser. Soon we will have warning labels in all the Bibles printed in the United States and anyone giving a Bible to a minor will be looking at a very long prison sentence.

"If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth." H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)

If people were not allowed to brainwash their young with religious superstitions Christianity would completely disappear in a matter of a few years. If you wait until a person is 18 or 21 and then ask them to adopt a particular religion they will tell you, "No thanks." It is illegal to give a minor illegal drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or pornography. It should be just as illegal to tell a child there is a mind reading sky God that will punish them for their thoughts and for not believing this God really exists. I'm pretty sure that day is just around the corner in this nation. When that day comes freedom from tyranny will finally have come to America. Too bad Christers. Your time is almost up. Especially your Hanegraaff.

Anonymous said...

Boris,
Could you clarify "Especially your Hanegraaff?"

Thanks!

SteveH said...

Boris-

If it's OK for you to express your hatred of Christianity using strong language; why wouldn't it also be OK for God to express His hatred of evil using strong language in the imprecatory Psalms.

Should God be "kind and gentle" towards unrepentant evil and mean-spirited opposition? Could it be that the hatred of God deserves hatred from God?

The imprecatroy Psalms and biblical judgement events warn us (among other things) that God absolutely hates evil. He hates evil as completely and thoroughly as He loves us. These attributes of God are reconciled in Christ.

God warns that a day of judgement is coming. That is an important warning, so He does not warn us in words only; He also confirms it in the deeds that He has done.

If anyone is from Minnesota, the "show me" state, He has not only said, but He has also shown us, He means business!

My friend, you need to repent and believe the gospel.

Here is another quote from Martin Luther: All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired, although not in the hour or in the measure, or the very thing which they ask. Yet they will obtain something greater and more glorious than they had dared to ask.

Boris said...

Steve,
The problem is that the Psalms were written by human beings. They were inspired by faith in God that was fundamentally no different than your faith in God. Neither you nor any of the psalmists had any direct revelation from any God. It was common practice in the ancient Near East for poets and other writers to claim their god said this or said that in their prose or poetry. If you think that we have actual words from a God in heaven recorded in this poetry all I can say is cookoo, cookoo, cookoo, cookoo... You're as out of touch with reality as a person can be.

The problem with the God of a particular religion hating "evil" is that the members of this religion feel empowered to tell the rest of us exactly what is evil and what isn't. So we wind up with Christians telling us that God hates abortion so abortion is evil, God hates divorce so people can't get divorced, God hates the new health care legislation so health care reform is evil, God hates homosexuality so homosexuality is evil; God hates liberalism, materialism, atheism, other religions so they're all evil too. I have a big problem with members of any religion telling the rest of us the difference between right and wrong, good and evil or anything else. We should see some sort of moral or ethical superiority in people who claim to tell the rest of us how we should live and what we need to believe. But instead Christians are no more moral or ethical than anyone else and often much less so not to mention delusional.

Every religion has always predicted some kind of coming Judgment Day. If Christianity were really a true religion why does it contain so many of the elements and the beliefs of religions that came before it?

I just love Martin Luther quotes. Here's one for you: "This fool [Copernicus] wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth." The roots of your hatred and fear of science run deep.

Here's another Luther quote: "Idiots, the lame, the blind, the dumb are men in whom the devils have established themselves: and all the physicians who heal these infirmities, as though they proceeded from natural causes, are ignorant blockheads..."

Martin Luther was a willfully ignorant deranged anti-Semitic moron. Protestants love to claim that it was the only the Catholics that held anti-scientific views and persecuted scientists. But Protestants have been even more anti-science than the Catholics ever since they have existed. No Protestant denomination accepted the findings of Copernicus or Galileo until well into the 19th century because of flat earthers like Martin Luther, John Calvin and all the other great "reformers." I've already mentioned the needless suffering the belief that demons cause diseases has caused over the centuries. Martin Luther cannot be excused for promoting this belief when medical practitioners had long since discovered diseases had natural causes and cures.

As far as believing the gospel I already explained what the gospels story is really about on this blog several times now. In the gospels Jesus represents the sun and the gospel stories themselves are an allegory for the sun passing through the 12 signs of the zodiac. No such person as Jesus Christ ever existed. To believe in Jesus I would have to also believe in angels, demons, that demons cause diseases, Satan, seraphs, that dead people came back to life and unburied themselves and walked into a city where they were seen by other people and a lot of other nonsense I could never believe. A person has to be frightened out of their mind to believe that load of nonsense. I don't need to repent or believe anything. I just need to know stuff.

Don said...

"I don't need to repent or believe anything. I just need to know stuff."

You'll regret those words on that Day. All your 'stuff' and intelligence won't matter. But I know you don't think so.

Boris said...

Don,
I know they've obviously gotten to you but the things human beings claim about their religious beliefs and the threats they make for not accepting them simply do not impress or worry me in the least. Now if God should actually threaten me I would definitely be impressed and very concerned. But this hasn't happened and I don't think it's likely to happen either. I don't think it matters whether there is a God or not because there are no verifiable consequences one way or the other. If you had some evidence for your claims that would be one thing. But using fear to induce belief is a logical fallacy and ineffective because while it may induce compliance in some people actual intellectual acceptance lags behind and is often never made. Besides any God that has to use fear to induce worship of himself isn't worthy of our praise but only our scorn. If there was really a Judgment Day it would be God who would be judged and found guilty, not humanity.

Don said...

"Now if God should actually threaten me I would definitely be impressed and very concerned."

What if He actually does and His threat instantly kills you? You'd finally believe Him, but not have a chance to repent and be thrown in hell forever. Just something to think about.

Boris said...

Don,
I don't waste my time thinking about impossibilities. That humans have some kind of afterlife is impossible according to all available data. According to the ancient fear induced superstitions other people have brainwashed you with humans do have an afterlife. I hate to tell you this but scientific data trumps ancient superstitions every time.

Your God isn't going to follow me to my grave and torture me for all eternity because I found it impossible to believe what other people said about him. Obviously human beings made that shit up. Too bad you stepped in it.

SteveH said...

Boris-The imprecatory Psalms were inspired by God. Many fine Christian scholars have safactorily addressed your criticisms which are not new. John Piper did a sermon series on this and has written some good pieces on the subject.

Reason has no place to begin apart from presuming something to be true. So, it's by faith that you reject God. It is by another kind of faith that I accept Him.

What really is the difference between us? The only difference is what we have faith in. You advocate for your faith (and I for mine). The only difference is the tone we use when we advocate.

I believe that apart from faith in God, you are lost. You can believe I am wrong, but I believe it nonetheless. And, I am trying to tell you in a way that you will hear--you need to repent and believe the gospel.

Anonymous said...

Boris,

Could you please stop using filthy language?!?! (But I commend you because you have been getting better!:)

Boris said...

Steve H.
If many "fine Christian scholars" had satisfactorily answered my criticisms why do so many other scholars agree with me?

Your claim that reason has no place to start apart from presuming something to be true is ridiculous and absolutely false. Do you believe people are being abducted by aliens? Did you believe Mark McGwire when he previously denied using steroids or his recent claim that he only used them to recover from injuries? Unbelief is the natural position to take on anything until something has been proved. Your claim that it takes faith to disbelieve claims other people make about their religion and religious beliefs is also absurd and false. Does it take faith for you to not believe in Allah or Krishna? Do you think I need faith to disbelieve in demons, Satan, angels, seraphs or any of the anti-scientific claims made by young earth creationists?

I don't "reject God" because you can't reject something you don't believe exists. A person cannot make themselves believe something that is evidently false to them. What we atheists reject is what all people claim about all Gods and that is what angers you. It's YOU we reject and you just can't stand that.

You can quit telling me to repent and believe the gospel. I don't believe there is a God to repent to and how many more time to I have to tell you people what the gospel story is really about? The story is an allegory for the sun passing through the 12 signs of the zodiac. The gospels are not historical narratives nor are they biographies of a historical figure. The are a version of an ancient solar myth. Notice Jesus begins his ministry by being baptized by John, the water bearer. This is an allegory for the sun passing through Aquarius. John is arrested and Jesus goes down to the sea and meets the two fishermen, Peter and Andrew. Two fish, sign of Pisces, get it? Now get out the gospel of Mark and a chart of the zodiac and read the rest if the story and you'll see what I mean. This is nothing new. Thomas Paine pointed this out centuries ago:

"The Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the sun, in which they put a man called Christ in the place of the sun, and pay him the adoration originally paid the sun." For the Origin of Freemasonry by Thomas Paine

There is nothing any person can say to make me believe anything in the Bible is true or that Jesus Christ ever existed. All of your fear mongering is a waste of time. That only works on feeble minds. It worked on yours didn't it?

SteveH said...

Boris-

You are correct when you say "A person cannot make themselves believe something that is evidently false to them." Only God can deal with your unbelief. That can only start when you begin to understand that you have somthing to "repent from"; namely sin.

Your inability to believe does not make the claims of Christianity false. They could be true with you unable to believe merely because they have not been proven to your satisfaction.

There is a distinction between what we believe concerning the things of this world and spiritual things. Many things of this world can be established as true by means of science, and other natural means.

But by definition, the truth or falsity of spiritual things cannot be established as true in those ways. Instead, spititual truth can only be initially apprehend by means of faith concerning things unseen and unseeable.

Your rejection of God is a spiriual thing. Thus, it can only be by means of faith that you deny Him since His existence cannot be proved, nor disproved by natural means.

Ultimately where one begins by means of means of faith with respect to this most basic spiritual matter predetermines how he will end up thinking about a very many things.

Sorry but you do need to repent and believe the gospel.

Boris said...

If only God can deal with my unbelief then God made me an atheist. Who are you to interfere with God's plan? If I need to understand that I need to repent why is it human beings have to convince me of that first? If I need to repent why doesn't God tell me this?

Your ability to believe the claims of Christianity doesn't make them true. It just means you were coerced with the threat of eternal damnation in hell to believe the dogmatic superstitions of Christianity by OTHER PEOPLE.

The truth or falsity of spiritual things can indeed be established by means of science. For example the creation account in Genesis conflicts with the order of events that are known to cosmology. Archaeology is science too. "Archaeological data have now definitely confirmed that the empire of David and Solomon never existed." - Biblical Archaeological Revue 31, no. 1 (January/February 2005): 16-17. Archaeologists have proved the Exodus events and the wandering in the desert are mythical events also. If the creation account in the Bible is a myth, if David and Solomon are mythical kings and the kingdoms of Judah and Israel described in the Bible are mythical kingdoms, if the Passover event never happened then the Bible isn't true and the God of the Bible does not exist. We can indeed prove that certain Gods do not exist by refuting the claims of their followers and holy books. Scientists and Bible critics have done this. There could be a God but we have proved beyond any doubt that the Christian God does not exist. There's not a thing you can do about it. It's a waste of time for you Christers to try to prove there is a God because if there is it isn't a God you would believe in anyway. Got it?

A position that God doesn't exist is NOT a belief, it's the standard position we all start out with until some of us are indoctrinated into religious schools of thought. People aren't born believing in Jesus. Everyone is born an atheist: lacking belief. There is no counter-claim necessary. Nobody has to prove the tooth fairy doesn't exist either. There's a pink unicorn in the trunk of my car. Prove there isn't. It's not my fault the unicorn disappears every time we open the trunk. Thus it can only be by means of faith that you deny the existence of pink unicorns.

I don't expect you to see just how stupid your arguments are even after seeing them destroyed time and time again. You drank the Kool-Aid dude. Intelligent people believe what they see and doubt what they think. The ignorant (Christians) believe what they think and doubt what they see.

I don't need to repent. YOU need to do some research. The gospels are an allegory for the sun passing through the 12 signs of the zodiac. Jesus Christ never existed. People like Tom Paine who I quoted above have known this all along. This information is now all over the Internet, in books at the library, in bookstores - everywhere. I suggest you look into it. What have you got to lose - except your faith in things that aren't true?

SteveH said...

Boris,

Each of your complaints has been satisfactorily harmonized with the Christian faith. The harmonization is not conclusive; but, neither are any (or all) of your arguments conclusive.

In the following cases, you state as fact that which may not be a fact. Stating things as fact (which may not be facts) is a behavioral pattern consistent with an "unquestioning faith".

It is quite clear that when the wisdom of men supports your presumption that God does not exist, you blindly accept it. But when that same wisdom does not support what you believe, you ignore it.

On July 21, 1993, a team of archaeologists led by Prof. Avraham Biran, excavating Tel Dan in the northern Galilee, found a triangular piece of basalt rock, measuring 23 x 36 cm. inscribed in Aramaic. It was subsequently identified as part of a victory pillar erected by the king of Syria and later smashed by an Israelite ruler. The inscription, which dates to the ninth century bce, that is to say, about a century after David was thought to have ruled Israel, includes the words Beit David ("House" or "Dynasty" of David"). It is the first near-contemporaneous reference to David ever found. It is not conclusive; but it does strongly indicate that a king called David established a dynasty in Israel during the relevant period." On what basis do you reject this evidence to conclude that the strong indication is to be set aside in favor of the unquestionable conclusion that King David's reign is a myth?

The Israel Review of Arts and Letters concluded that: "When all the available information has been assembled, the most that can be said is that there was probably an Israelite ruler called David, who made Jerusalem his capital sometime in the tenth century bce." How do you reject this conclusion which argues you should accept that King David may have existed--instead concluding that it has been proven that his kingdom did not exist?

Even Wikepedia documents a "fierce debate" among scholars and archeologists on this subject. To assert as fact that David did not exist is at best uninformed, and at worst an intentional misrepresentation. Presenting it as your opinion would be fair enough, but you assert it has been proved--when it clearly has not.

On another matter. It is exactly the same story with respect to the exodus. Since BAR is one source of truth for you, note that "many archaeologists, Bible scholars and historians continue to conclude from the evidence that the Exodus did indeed occur, among them the editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, Hershel Shanks." (Ha'aretz Magazine, Nov. 5, 1999).

The weight of worldly wisdom, clearly shows that the exodus has neither been proven nor disproved. Just look it up on even the internet and you will find many different opinions. Yet you assert that it factually did not occur--when the evidence is inconclusive.

Your belief in the gospels being an allegory for the 12 signs of the zodiac demonstrates the power of the blind faith you have. You assert this as also being true, when it may not be. Any reasonable inquiry into this matter won't find any legitimate scholars who believe the historicity of the gospels can be dismissed in this way.

The weight of human wisdom standing in opposition to this belief almost overwhelms it so as to make belief in it virtually "absurd".

Now this does not prove that it is untrue, but it makes my point that such a conclusion can only be reached by virtue of a diferent kind of faith.

My point here is that you have placed your faith in something different than I have placed my faith in. What we need to be talking about is what we disagree on: Does God exist, or doesn't He?

That is why I keep telling you that you need to repent and believe the gospel: you need to re-examine your starting point.

Boris said...

Steve,
A rock with some letters on it proves David was a king, killed a giant and won many battles there isn't any evidence for? Sure it does. Do you think I don't know about this find? It was found in 1993 with the letters k bytdwd. This was quickly read as melek byt.dwd and translated '[Kin]g of the House of David. However there were problems with the discovery - with the reading of the text, its dating and interpretation - and these problems have never been resolved. The difficulties were obvious to many as soon as a good photograph of the text was published. Inconsistent descriptions appeared of how and where the text had been found, whereas to some the dating of the archaeological context seemed optimistically early; others suggested that the form of writing should be dated a century or more later than had originally been proposed. To read k as mlk = 'king' was just guesswork, of course. Nothing in the inscription itself required that the word or name bytdwd be directly linked to Jerusalem and to Judah. It actually refers to a place much closer to Tel Dan. But the most important thing is that David isn't a name. It simply means "beloved" in ancient Hebrew. Obviously David was a mythical king with an eponymous name. Most scholars now believe the Tel Dan inscription is a fake as do I. Even if it isn't it proves nothing except just how desperate Christian Bible believers are to turn anything they can into evidence for their religion.

The people you claim are "legitimate scholars" are not. People who actually believe in invisible beings like Satan, angels, demons, seraphs, talking bushes and animals have no business identifying themselves as scholars. These are people who just like you have a religious agenda and a reckless and blatant disregard for the truth. Anyone who believes anything a religious spokesperson says needs a check up from the neck up. We couldn't believe these people even if they told us they were lying to us.

I am never going to believe that demons cause diseases and that Jesus and other people cured diseases by casting out demons. I am never going to believe dead people came back to life, unburied themselves, walked into the city of Jerusalem and appeared to many other people, none of whom ever wrote a word about this supposed amazing event. I am never going to believe in angels or Satan. The gospels are full of ridiculous nonsense because the people who wrote them wanted to make sure even stupid people wouldn't take these stories literally. But the authors of the gospels obviously never imagined the depth of stupidity of the American Bible believer.

I am not going to repent because the Bible isn't true. Period. It's been debunked a million times over and there's nothing all your desperate special pleading can do about it.

SteveH said...

Boris, you make my point for me. Anyone who believes in God is not qualified to offer an opinion. All such opinions are to be dismissed.

If I said that anyone who did not believe in God is not qualified to offer an opinion, you would probably call me ignorant, much as you already have had the bad manners to do.

Me thinks thou dost protest too loudly. Are you the one who is really guilty of the very thing you accuse Christians of?

You need to re-examine the point at which you started from. God does exist; He will reveal Himself to you if you earnestly seek Him.

Boris said...

Steve,
I did not say that anyone who believes in God is not qualified to offer an opinion. I said anyone who takes the Bible literally is not qualified to offer an opinion on the Bible. The last person qualified to give an objective opinion about any holy book or religion is a person who believes the holy book or the doctrines of their religion. Who is more qualified to tell us whether Islam is a true religion? A Muslim or a critic of Islam? Same goes for your religion buddy. We don't change the rules of criticism just for your religion. Understand?

You need to re-examine the point at which people starting brainwashing you with fear induced superstitions. God does not exist. This will be revealed to you should you ever get a dose of common sense or catch a whiff of science. Until then you will remain disconnected from reality.