Vexen Crabtree 2015

vexen

Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Vexen Crabtree, LS Meet
vexen

Notes on Christian Prayer

I'm fairly sure most the people reading my journal won't really dig this one or see the point! The text is a link:

"Prayer is Not Godly, But Useless and Satanic" by Vexen Crabtree (2005)

The gospels state that Jesus stated that prayer should be done in private, so that others can not see, behind closed doors, in secret and not in public. Matthew 6:5-6 is backed up by many other versus that tell us also that this is the only way Jesus prayed. All the other gospels have Jesus pray in the same way, practicing what he preached. Matthew also says that Jesus instructed that prayer not be repetitious, with 'much speaking' 'as the heathens do'. The criticism is made many times of those who bring attention to their own prayers, so that others will think they are good: Prayer should be private. So much for Christians who say "I will pray for you", as if they're earning cookie points when actually they're rebelling against God's wishes!

  • 1
You're getting to the heart of some of the reasons many people pass God over for:
The incongruities between Christ's actual example, and the various 'good people' practices of 'christians.'

It's not so much rebelling as just being terribly misguided.
but perhaps that's just semantics.


Yeah Christs teachings and practices which actually represnt the spirit of Christianity kinda go against the organised churches view of Christianity which is to use it as a tool for wealth, power & control.

Still I'm sure the organised church are nice people really even if Catholocism does have all the same beliefs as the Nazis and even if the current pope was big in the Nazi movement.

Or they could be bastards, I forget which.

1) Obviously the churches deviate largely from many of the reports on what Jesus teachings are. Also, it is closer to some reports than others. In total, though, the Church is corrupt and evil, it's people are deluded and lost and it does more harm than good. The more powerful the Church, the worse it is. The worst is obviously the Catholic Church, with it's continutal legal and nasty attacks on homosexuality, contraception (even in Africa where it is needed most), etc. There is something about Christianity that brings out the worst in people. Although as you say there are good Christians: You don't have to be bad, to be confused.

2) The current Pope was not "big in the Nazi movement", he was drafted in as a youngster, as all youngsters were, by force. By all accounts he was not a Nazi or a sympathizer. And believe me, I must be being honest in order to defend the pope!

"Catholicism" does not have the same beliefs as the Nazis; one was a political/paranoid racist/x-generation power mongering cabal, and the other was a politica/paranoid delusional/traditionalist power mongering pseudo-cabal.

"...praying is definitely not to reveal things to an all-knowing God."
*nod*

"the wishes of prayer can only ever be against God's will, as I have elaborated on above."

An understandable summation, but you're missing something.
(You'll forgive if this sounds preachy, i've no intention to set up soap box on your personal turf)

This ties into the whole 'free-will' thing:
Way back with Adam and Eve, mankind choose the Satan, and was then left to the consequences of their choice.
I don't understand the details of the grand plan, but basically Christ was introduced as the 'take it or leave it' attonement and for the most part God just leaves us to our own device, unless we request otherwise.
How does this relate to prayer?

Well God, the loving father he is like the dad sitting up at home holding the cell-phone for his wayward kid to call, so he can go help him (it does no good unless the kid asks, or one he won't ever learn, and two he'll just be driven further away); for the most part God only acts in our lives* at our request.

*and for the most part only in the lives of the 'saved'
if you aren't his kid He's not going to be bailing you out of jail.

also, there are types of 'prayer'
well a lot of things that most might think of as prayer, but are clearly demonstrated in public the New Testament:
Blessing (food and other people)
Laying on of hands.

Perhaps this is irrelevant... I'm not sure you classify those as prayer, but most 'Christians' do, and I think that has something to do with their confusion.

It seems 'prayer' is only the private, one on one, communication with God.

"God acts only when God knows it is good to act"
This is very true and gets into the whole point of prayer:
Whereas witchcraft brings you what you want (an admitted simplification and you'll pardon if i'm just completely off), God only gives it if its best.

Adam and Eve is not a literal truth, I'm afraid, and you'll find most Christians (apart from fundamentalists and evangelicals) don't actually believe in a physical Adam and Eve.

But... about that story... Adam and Eve didn't "choose Satan"; they chose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Before then, they didn't know what evil or good was. They were innocent. As such, as there was no sin yet and no concept of sin, they could not choose "against" or "for" goodness. They didn't know what deceit was, was lying was, what "rebelling against God" was. All those things were sinful things that God had not yet revealed to them or even created. "Sin was created through one man". When they "chose", it was just the way it went and it was not a real "choice", they were lied to and God didn't think that a little knowledge-of-good-and-evil might have enabled them a real truth. There was no free will involved in that story, just naivity and the inaction of an uncaring parent.

Thankfully, then, the story is obviously not true, because otherwise the only thing it would show us is that God is bad, not good.


As for the rest, Jesus says what "prayer" is, "blessings" and the other magical things you mention are all psychology, older pagan practices, etc, and although it might be considered "prayer" by some Christians today it is not, technically, prayer unless it is a prayer.

"Adam and Eve is not a literal truth, I'm afraid, and you'll find most Christians (apart from fundamentalists and evangelicals) don't actually believe in a physical Adam and Eve."

Perhaps this has something to do with the motives of the reformers then: thus distancing their selves from (Catholicism? I'm not a scholar, I'm
only aware of various outlooks, not on who adheres to which, when or why.)

But regardless: 'Fundamentalist' seems the camp I most sympathize with, at least in regard to this issue; I'll acknowledge that.

It seems to me that you're coming from the presupposition that [sin] is something in and of itself, rather than a lack of something: the degree one 'falls short' of the mark: God set a standard and they didn't hold to it.

I'm not arguing against your stance: I'm merely pointing out the variance in definition of a key component, which in turn dictates our coming up with two very different summations.

"As for the rest, Jesus says what "prayer" is, "blessings" and the other magical things you mention are all psychology, older pagan practices, etc, and although it might be considered "prayer" by some Christians today it is not, technically, prayer unless it is a prayer."

While I'm not sure I acknowledge that the ["blessings and other magical things"] are in fact about "psychology, older pagan practices, etc"...
I do freely acknowledge that "...it is not, technically, prayer unless it is prayer."

I was merely pointing out the common mistake that many Christians (at least the majority I've encountered) make in presupposing those [other things] to be [forms of prayer], which in turn might explain how we Christians, as a whole, have come to practice [actual prayer] in a public capacity.

All and all my response was intended to share a view point, from an actual "Christian's" perspective, rather than argue against your personal conclusions.

Re: Adam and Eve (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Adam and Eve (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Adam and Eve (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Adam and Eve (Anonymous) Expand
as with all matters of faith, its followers should practice their beliefs instead of preachibg them
hope both of you are well, miss you both xxxx julie-anne

Well it depends what your beliefs are... I've seen some truly terrible beliefs put into action that should have been left as words! Unfortunately the New Testament and many other religions contain a lot of "ignored" text that is xenophobic, violent, immoral, etc.

I'll read the full text when I have a little more time! It looks really good though :)

My mum (as you know is a Methodist Minister...but she's now an ex-Methodist Minister and working in a Hospice as a spiritual type person) sees prayer as a meditation.

She doesn't believe in God in the physical bloke-in-the-sky sense anyway and neither do a lot of Christians I and she know, who would agree with you on all the above!
(Frozen) (Thread)

Most "Christians" in the UK are simply theists. Of the 72% who put "Christian" down on the last census, I would only say that 10% actually have Christian beliefs, the rest are just theists who don't know what "Christians" or "theists" are.

Anyway, I wrote about this at length on http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/numbers.html under the general theory that whatever the most established religions are, they will have their numbers bloated and exagerated by force of habit; even when belief in the underlying ideas fades or never really existed.

I know members of the Church of Satan who even put their religion down as "Church of England" because they think it's "their official religion!"


Would you say she's more of a pantheist, or a theist, or is actually a Christian in some more mystical, gnostic sense?
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread) (Expand)

Methodist

(Anonymous)
They don't hold true to true, Bible only teaching. Anyone could fall away from that denomination because they are being falsely taught or taught human traditions that have nothing to do with the Bible. Too bad for your mom. She needs a good Bible-Teaching/Preaching Church ... preferably a NON-DENOMINATIONAL ONE. I don't think ANY of the denominations are Bible only teaching churches. That's the problem. :>

Re: Methodist (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Methodist (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Methodist (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Methodist (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Methodist (Anonymous) Expand
(Deleted comment)
I have to be in a certain (undefinable) random mood to listen to them. I've actually got three of their albums (well two them are Sam's).

Didn't know you liked them...

Hi
I am not entering into debate here. I just wanted to say that although you come from a different system of ideas from me, I am always interested in reading your thoughts. I happen to be a Christian and at one point was quite fundementalist and evangelical, but over the years I have come to realise that there are things I am not sure of, and have considered the internal doubts I have struggled with for years. I for one do not support the intelligent design theory that is being supported and find it incongorous with scientific analysis of fossil records for example. I also do not see how it is entirely impossible to reconcile my own faith as a Christian and my support for the research of Darwin. I could never call myself a fundemntalist anymore.

With regard to prayer. I did once find a really interesting statement on prayer by a Rabbi, he said it was not about us asking God to fix things for us, because God already knew that we needed the car repair money, the new job, the sickness in the family healed, the safe journey etc etc. Prayer is about reforming ourselves. I read that following much frustration over my own prayers feeling like they were hitting an empty sky, whilst others had their answered. Such struggles included wondering why some couple in the church got their prayers answered when they prayed for £3000 for an extention to their conservatory, and yet when my friends dad, who was a really devout Christian and missionary, died young from cancer despite our fervent prayers for his healing. It just did not make any sense.

I think that when people say things like "I'll pray for you" they mean that they are wishing for good things to happen for someone. Its almost Christian way of saying "I hope your life is lucky". I have also encountered people saying "We're praying for you" when they think you are leading a wrongful life. I get it from people because they do not approve of my relationship with a transgender person, Louise gets it because she is transgender and an atheist. So sometimes the motives are all selfish too. Its like they are saying "I am opposed to your choices so I am hoping that you will oneday admit that my way is the best way".

Anyway, I do not want to turn your thread into a therapy outlet so I'll stop here, I just wanted to share some of my own thoughts.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I know you're a Christian :-) and I remember a few bits of what you said from things you've said before years ago (2001/2002). Obviously Darwin & science & realistic knowledge cannot rest with fundamentalism of any kind (be it those who are scientifically closed-minded (not really 'scientific'), or those who are religiously fundamentalist).

When you say prayer is about self-reforming, from a liberal and classical Christian point of view this is obviously true; God is immutable, and it's *you* who your God wants to change; so it would probably support prayer as a method to get that done. From my point of view it's psychology, the same as meditation, but if you consider it to "get things done" externally then it is magic, the same as casting spells with words.

The psychology surrounding "I'll pray for you" statements is interesting, and mostly not very flattering! It's not very often I feel it is a genuinely altrustic offer!

I would say it doesn't "make any sense" that some people appear to have their prayer answers, and other sometimes more deserving people don't... because there is no God to answer such calls, so I don't have those kind of cognitive problems although I can imagine where you're coming from.

I've always thought it great & hope-inspiring about you & Louise, you two are a good example in many ways.

Example (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Example (Anonymous) Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: A Christian (Anonymous) Expand
Re: A Christian (Anonymous) Expand
Re: A Christian (Anonymous) Expand
Re: A Christian (Anonymous) Expand
Some mystical Catholics (like Thomas Merton) argue that prayer is a way of emptying one's self in order to "let god in" or otherwise submit one's self to the will of god. They'd say folks who pray to achieve some result by God's intervention is pretty blasphemous.

Which leaves the question of The Lords Prayer.
Supposedly taught to the deciples by jesus.
I forget which book that happened in.

I would also point out that the quote about protistants criticising Catholics for thier repetertive Prayers/Ceromony is rather hypocritical on the part of the protistants who arn't as bad for this kind of thing but do have such things in the standard church service.

You may be interested in a program coming up on radio 4 soon called Who killed Christianity. It's about people who diverted the Christian faith from the true message of Jesus. First up is St Paul.

1) The Lords Prayer is Jewish in origin, "Hallowed by thy name" and all that is a series of Jewish proverbs and prayers; they occur variously in the Judaic books of the Bible & the Torah. Alfred Reynolds in "Jesus Versus Christianity" traces each line of the Lord's Prayer in great depth in Greek, Hebrew and English, I was going to include a section on it in my page, do you think I should?

I believe it is part of the Sermon on the Mount, the name given to the collection of Jewish sayings (including the Beautitudes 'Blessed are the poor', etc) that occurs in a part of the book of Matthew.

Freke & Gandy say that not only is the Lords Prayer Jewish in origin, but that the versions we have is a mixture of Jewish sayins and early Roman pagan religions such as Mithraism.

The original aramaic version is very different to the way we translate it nowadays. It doesn't start "Father, who art in heaven"... but, "O cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration" ... which for a start sounds female, not male, like all other early pagan gods.


2) Nonetheless, it is true that protestants used Jesus' words to condemn the countless ritual prayers of Catholicism. Remember that protestants used to have no set liturgy; there is more now, such as the standard church services you correctly mention. Such things do not sit well with what the authors of Matthew, Mark and Luke think Jesus would have said!


3) I am interested, do you know who is speaking? St Paul's writings are the earliest Christian writings we have - they were probably the first to be written - but his anti-human laws, rules and misanthropy led Nietzsche to say in "The AntiChrist" that "The glad tidings were followed closely by the absolutely worst tidings - those of St Paul.", and proceeds to call a "dysvangelist".

Jesus/Jews (Anonymous) Expand
God exsists and all illogical human argument want change that or make you convinced he dosent. i know he does and he dosent need to prove himself to those he created.have some repect.did you create yourself?

Prayer

(Anonymous)
I don't pray "out loud and in public" for you. I always pray for you in private and no one hears my prayer except for Jesus/God. We say we will pray for you to let you know we are praying for you. We don't tell you exactly what we will pray. Know the difference. When Jesus was speaking of "publicly" praying, He was talking about the Pharisees (spelling?) who prayed out loud to make themselves look good and was rebuking them for being "fake." Also, get to know a "real" Christian as opposed to a "fake" Christian. :>

Re: Prayer

(Anonymous)
Vexen seriously needs to get a grip. I think you'll find that when Jesus talks about praying in private, he uses that as an example. He's talking about Pharisees, who shouted prayer on street corners about how good they were and how poor everone else was, with the woul purpose of making themselves heard. Jesus meant that as believers in him we shouldnt do that.
Group prayer is also biblical, with examples in the New Testament too many to number, if only you'll look! There is more power when people pray together.

Sweetheart, you are obviously an intelligent person. When people say I will pray for you what they are really trying to say is, they care about you. Many things you say are true but many things are misunderstood from a Christian perspective. It seems your hostility is personal. You cant argue with someone with deep emotional issues. I can tell you that God loves you. You are avoiding the wrong person. You run from the one who loves you. Jesus died for you. DIED willingly. You are special and important to him. The very thing you hate is the very one who can really give your life meaning. Some Christians say stupid things like many of your people do but it doesnt change the facts. Give it up. You cant fight against God. There is no such thing as no absolute truth. You could get 10 people to discuss the origins of a Pizza but the truth still remains, someone made it. All cant be right.


um, no

(Anonymous)
ok i dont know if this is even the right page, but you were saying that Praying is selfish and satanic. HAVE YOU READ THE BIBLE?!? it tells us we need to Pray. i mean how can you have a best friend that you never talk to? H=God wants us to talk to Him, and and and you were pointing out verses about Pray alone etc. well those verses are telling us to Pray.

Praying is agaisnt god ??????

If praying is against god, then why does he answer them? Why does praying only do good things if its against god? Prayer isn't against god or he would have said it in the bible. He encouraged us to pray! My Mum gets vidions nearly every time she prays! You have to be purposely ignoring these comments if you don't change your page about prayer.

  • 1
?

Log in

No account? Create an account