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1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.

7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.

13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
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Chris Binkowski
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These truths are a refreshing rain in the spiritual desert of our world.

Thanks for sharing!
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lotus dweller
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You have hoarded wealth in the last days.

You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

The Judge is standing at the door!



The apocalyptic return of Jesus is going to happen in the life-time of the original recipients?

If these people saw that Jesus wasn't going to return as a triumphal Messiah/King of the Jews inside 1900 years what would their response be?

Are they working towards an imagined desired goal and if they saw the goal removed would they throw the whole thing away?

Or are they more being fulfilled by their actions in their present, and is the apocalyptic scenario only part of their motivation? If only part then what percent?
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True Blue Jon
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That's a very good question as it opens up a whole bunch of other questions. If they were wrong about that, what else were they wrong about?
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MeGusta wrote:
quozl wrote:
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

This was proven in a double-blind scientific study to be false.


How did they prove the righteousness?
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Josiah Fiscus
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MeGusta wrote:
quozl wrote:
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

This was proven in a double-blind scientific study to be false.


This kind of study shows a serious misunderstanding on the part of the researchers about prayer.

I want to start by saying that trying to understand prayer without being a Christian may be futile, I'm not sure. It seems that no matter what I say about how prayer works, saying "yeah but there is no God" is going to be running through your mind. If that's the case, like I said, this may not work so well, but I will do my best.

The main problem is that studies like this seem to only be addressing one aspect of prayer: the asking for stuff, or "supplication." Prayer is generally considered to have three other equally important functions, none of which this touches. If it helps you to understand why we pray, consider those aspects.

First is adoration. Think of this like a love note to God. We see him as our maker, savior, and friend. We spend a lot of time in prayer simply standing in awe of God's power and love. Second is confession. Even once we have come to a saving knowledge of Christ, we still sin every day. We struggle against that, but we still ask God to forgive us for the ways we have wronged him and other people. Finally, there is thanksgiving. We are humbled by being able to approach him in such an intimate way and we thank him for his plan of salvation, for his love, and for even the small blessings we still see on this earth. Those things are equally important to prayer, yet no one seems to have a problem with them the way they do with the supplication aspect. So like I said, prayer is very important for those reasons.

Now, as to the sticky wicket, the supplication, I can try to explain that a little bit as well. It's been said that supplication is mostly us expressing our problems to God. We simply say "God, here's the problem, please help me, your will be done." That's not a bad perspective to have. Jesus even prayed in the garden for God to provide another way besides his death for humanity to be redeemed, ending his prayer with "not my will, but yours be done." So in a way, we are really laying out our concerns, not always trying to control our fate.

But there's more to it than that. While it is true that God has a plan, sometimes his plan involves us asking him for things. His will is accomplished by us praying. He does listen to his people.

One final thing about this. You see a lot of people saying "everything happens for a reason" but this is only partially true. The Bible says that God works all things together for the good of those who love him. That doesn't really cover unbelievers, sad to say. It can be a great comfort for a Christian to know God has a plan for them in times of trouble, but telling an atheist that "it's all working out for good in the end" may not only be an insensitive thing to say in times of trouble, it may actually be wrong.

Most Christians can give you examples from their lives of how something that seemed terrible at first ended up being a blessing later, even if it took years and years. I'll resist sharing my personal ones here for the sake of making a very long post slightly shorter, but suffice it to say that if you treat prayer as a means of "controlling God", yeah, it's not really going to work.
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happyjosiah wrote:
Most Christians can give you examples from their lives of how something that seemed terrible at first ended up being a blessing later, even if it took years and years. I'll resist sharing my personal ones here for the sake of making a very long post slightly shorter, but suffice it to say that if you treat prayer as a means of "controlling God", yeah, it's not really going to work.


And yet countless religious leaders (and hack authors) throughout history have gone around telling people that that is exactly what prayer is for. Some, like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, made personal fortunes off it.
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Golux13 wrote:
happyjosiah wrote:
Most Christians can give you examples from their lives of how something that seemed terrible at first ended up being a blessing later, even if it took years and years. I'll resist sharing my personal ones here for the sake of making a very long post slightly shorter, but suffice it to say that if you treat prayer as a means of "controlling God", yeah, it's not really going to work.


And yet countless religious leaders (and hack authors) throughout history have gone around telling people that that is exactly what prayer is for. Some, like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, made personal fortunes off it.


I'm not a fan of either of those men. Perhaps a study like this does do some good after all, in proving to people with that kind of attitude that they should re-examine their beliefs about prayer.
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Golux13 wrote:
And yet countless religious leaders (and hack authors) throughout history have gone around telling people that that is exactly what prayer is for. Some, like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, made personal fortunes off it.


"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

---Jesus

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quozl wrote:
Golux13 wrote:
And yet countless religious leaders (and hack authors) throughout history have gone around telling people that that is exactly what prayer is for. Some, like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, made personal fortunes off it.


"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

---Jesus



I understand all that, though Jesus is leaving a lot open for interpretation there. Who decides what is "the will of my Father who is in heaven"? Jesus seems to say he gets to make that call, which might have been fine while he was around and could tell (a few) people exactly what was required to get past the velvet rope. Now, though, everybody (everybody who believes, that is) has to rely on somebody's interpretation of the Bible - their own or somebody else's.

So when some trusted figure says "The Bible says you can pray for cash, fabulous prizes, heterosexuality, the death of a political enemy, whatever you desire," some people are going to believe him.
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Golux13 wrote:
quozl wrote:
Golux13 wrote:
And yet countless religious leaders (and hack authors) throughout history have gone around telling people that that is exactly what prayer is for. Some, like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, made personal fortunes off it.


"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

---Jesus



I understand all that, though Jesus is leaving a lot open for interpretation there. Who decides what is "the will of my Father who is in heaven"? Jesus seems to say he gets to make that call, which might have been fine while he was around and could tell (a few) people exactly what was required to get past the velvet rope. Now, though, everybody (everybody who believes, that is) has to rely on somebody's interpretation of the Bible - their own or somebody else's.

So when some trusted figure says "The Bible says you can pray for cash, fabulous prizes, heterosexuality, the death of a political enemy, whatever you desire," some people are going to believe him.


And those people should probably read what Jesus said.
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PinkPiggy wrote:


The disciples lacked faith to cast the demon out, but the men Jesus rejected in Matthew 7:21 had faith to cast out demons but not enough to warrant him acknowledging them. That is puzzling to me.

Perhaps the subject of faith would be a good separate thread.
If so your demands for a literal interpretation of the Bible will get first place in that thread.

(To appreciate any humour in this post, you'll first need to understand that Pinook has confused PinkPiggy (a Christian, I believe) with RShipley (an atheist, I believe).)
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PinkPiggy wrote:
quozl wrote:
That's a very good question as it opens up a whole bunch of other questions. If they were wrong about that, what else were they wrong about?


Did James really believe Christ would return in his lifetime? Christ said to John in Revelation "I come quickly." It could very well be that only Jesus himself spoke accurately. Quickly to an ageless being could be any amount of time. James here might have expected it in his lifetime so the last days was wrong in the context of his perception of time but factually correct outside of context he was using it.
I have a problem with this reasoning. If God is communicating with us in ways that we mis-interpret to such an extent that "quickly" actually means "more than 1900 years in the future" then we can have basically no confidence in any understanding we reach concerning God's communications.
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happyjosiah wrote:
MeGusta wrote:
quozl wrote:
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

This was proven in a double-blind scientific study to be false.


This kind of study shows a serious misunderstanding on the part of the researchers about prayer.

I want to start by saying that trying to understand prayer without being a Christian may be futile, I'm not sure.


So you have to be a christian to be able to pray... rofl
So all other religions which know a talking to god are also not really knowing waht their doing?...

I'm just glad i live in one of the few countries there at least exists a rudimentary division between state and religion...


btw I'm not at all an atheist, i'm asatru, aka a heiden by chrsitians ^^.

Normally i don't read religious threads, but i clicked this one by accident and this sentence just jumped into my eye, i don't care for the rest of he thread but just wanted to let you know how rude you come over.
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PinkPiggy wrote:
quozl wrote:
Golux13 wrote:
And yet countless religious leaders (and hack authors) throughout history have gone around telling people that that is exactly what prayer is for. Some, like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, made personal fortunes off it.


"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"

---Jesus



Which itself is an interesting quote. Given Matthew 17: 14-20

Quote:

14When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 Lord, have mercy on my son, he said. He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.

17O unbelieving and perverse generation, Jesus replied, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me. 18Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.

19Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, Why couldn’t we drive it out?

20He replied, Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.


The disciples lacked faith to cast the demon out, but the men Jesus rejected in Matthew 7:21 had faith to cast out demons but not enough to warrant him acknowledging them. That is puzzling to me.

Perhaps the subject of faith would be a good separate thread.


But Jesus isn't measuring their faith. He is determining if he knows them. How are we known to Jesus? It seems it is not by faith.
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SilverDrake wrote:
happyjosiah wrote:
MeGusta wrote:
quozl wrote:
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

This was proven in a double-blind scientific study to be false.


This kind of study shows a serious misunderstanding on the part of the researchers about prayer.

I want to start by saying that trying to understand prayer without being a Christian may be futile, I'm not sure.


So you have to be a christian to be able to pray... rofl
So all other religions which know a talking to god are also not really knowing waht their doing?...

I'm just glad i live in one of the few countries there at least exists a rudimentary division between state and religion...


btw I'm not at all an atheist, i'm asatru, aka a heiden by chrsitians ^^.

Normally i don't read religious threads, but i clicked this one by accident and this sentence just jumped into my eye, i don't care for the rest of he thread but just wanted to let you know how rude you come over.


That definitely was not my intention.

And I did not say "you have to be a Christian in order to pray." I'm simply explaining some things about the way (most) Christians view prayer, and was saying that it may not be easy to understand it without being a Christian yourself.

Many other religions pray, but this particular conversation was about a scientific study involving Christians specifically. I'm simply addressing the topic at hand, not trying to exclude anyone.
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PinkPiggy wrote:
Pinook wrote:
PinkPiggy wrote:
[q="quozl"]That's a very good question as it opens up a whole bunch of other questions. If they were wrong about that, what else were they wrong about?


Did James really believe Christ would return in his lifetime? Christ said to John in Revelation "I come quickly." It could very well...

....

I think I understand. We have at least partial fulfillment of Return prophecies in the destruction of the second temple and the sack of Jerusalem in 70AD. From 33AD to 70AD is a relatively short time. Are there any records of people disappearing? Did the seven churches in Asia lose at least partial membership to the transformation and flying up to meet Jesus in the air? I meant those questions as interrogative, but not argumentative.


If someon shows me a book in which "i will return quickly" might mean "I will return in more than 1900 years time" and then claims to have a definite interpretation of another section of that same book ("at least a partial fulfilment of Return prophecies ..." then I'd want to know where they get their certainty about their interpretation from.

I'm guessing its faith in the Bible as an divinely inspired, inerrant book. but it looks to me that the Bible has had many errors in it at various times. And that the contents of it appear more politically determined rather than divinely chosen. I can see that God might have guided thwe selection of which texts would be included in the Bible. But he seems to have had no control over mis-translations and mis-interpretations. And frequently those who mistranslated and mis-interpretted too saw their Bibles as divinely inspired and inerrant.

Sometimes I think God wants Christians to do historical critical analysis of the Bible - that He has divinely guided all the current discoveries and scholarship.
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