Monday, April 03, 2006

God Talk

Xoff returns to the left Cheddarsphere's upset over Scott Walker's admission that he prayed over his decision to leave the gubernatorial race and became convinced that his withdrawal was God's will.

I think a lot of the fun poked at Walker by adamant secularists stems from positing a cartoonish view of religious people and what it means for them to pray "for" something. Unfortunately, this view is encouraged by too many Christians, including "prosperity-focused" TV preachers like Joel Osteen and faith healers like Benny Hinn.

Walker doesn't have to believe that God is partisan or "pulling the strings" in the Governor's race to conclude that it is "God's will" that he withdraw. What I suspect Walker was after, in his prayer, was discernment of how he could best serve God in the circumstances in which he found himself. Christians believe that this discernment is aided by prayer. It doesn't mean God wants Mark Green or Jim Doyle to be Governor, but that God does want Scott Walker to use his gifts to serve the Kingdom in the best way that he can and, given the circumstances, that this does not mean running for Governor at this time.

This informs my reaction to these back and forth studies on whether intercessory prayer "improves" people's medical outcomes. We pray for the people we love to get better because we can't help it, but the more fundamental prayer (and the one that will always be answered) is for the strength and grace to bring Christian witness to whatever might happen.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Exactly right.

I've narrowed down the constant mockery of Christians by secular societies as falling into one of two categories:

1. Ignorance about the *real* purpose and meaning of our faith. This is further corrupted by the media, Hollywood, and other misinformed types.

2. Fear. I sincerely believe those who mock or attack anything do so out of fear. Why do they fear us? I think it's because we hold and answer to God as the highest power, and this takes a lot of faith and trust in something other than worldly, tangible goods. This scares people because it's so much easier (in their minds) to trust humanity and all it's creations than it is to obey, love, and answer to God.

Excellent post.