Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Stop praying in public. It is sinful

From The Christian Science Monitor:
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that challenges whether the city council of Greece, N.Y., can open its meetings with a public prayer. The arguments will likely focus on an appeals court ruling that found the prayers – given by a range of believers from Jew to Wiccan but dominantly Christian – smack too much of religion.

The lower court said those giving the prayers were prone to “convey their views of religious truth.”
The high court may not take kindly to judges passing judgment on the types of prayers, at least the spoken kind that are delivered in a government setting. For a court to impose a definition of prayer – by reviewing prayers and then banning them – could be seen as coercive. It would imply a government hand in how individuals should, or should not, pray.
Godalmighty, I'm so tired of writing about this.  Here's what Jesus had to say about public prayer.  (And Jesus is the primary god/ghost/spirit/SkyMan being prayed to in this conflict.)  If you accept his teachings as infallible, it carries the same weight as his teaching on giving, self-sacrifice, and money, all of  which, now that I think about it, is also cheerfully ignored. 

Matthew 6:5-8
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words."

That's it.  The final word.  When you pray, go to your room and close the freakin' door.  Don't get behind a microphone and ask God's blessings upon the unholy works of the Greece, N.Y. city council. 



Anonymous said...

Libertarians gave the Virginia governorship to the Dems. Every Libertarian vote is a vote taken away from a true conservative.

Anonymous said...

Well, you lost me... Why would you intentionally misquote the bible? You can make virtually any argument with the bible as long as you are willing to take things out of context. The previous verses of Matthew 6 state:

1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

The POINT of the verses is that you shouldn't pray JUST IN ORDER FOR PEOPLE TO SEE YOU PRAY! It has nothing to do with NOT asking God for his guidance and favor in a public setting. It has EVERYTHING to do with praying in order to have MEN favor you by concluding that you are a godly man. Just because you pray in public doesn't mean you are godly or spiritual in any way.

This is simply a biblical warning to those people that would try to use the APPEARANCE of being religious to gain the favor of MEN.

I enjoy reading your posts and you are one of my regular stops on my blog list. Thanks in advance for your time.

Bob S. said...

I think that you might be taking Scripture out of context in this case.

Because Jesus was talking to a crowd
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

Matthew 5:1-2.

While He was correcting that the Sadducees and Pharisees had taught -- not what the Scripture said -- that was why He was saying "You may have heard".

A few verses later, Jesus Himself led a prayer:

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’

Clearly He didn't have a problem with public prayer now did He?

Nope, the focus as Anon said, was on the hypocrisy that was being practiced.

How about the numerous Scriptures citing Jesus sharing the "good news"

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

And on a different tack, why is "public prayer" forbidden but ethical exhortations not? Why should people be kept from invoking a deity but be allowed to exclaim there isn't a god?

I don't have a problem if the City Council or anyone else wants to open their meeting with a reading of poetry, science fiction, current events, or anything else. It doesn't mean they necessarily endorse it, does it?

MingoV said...

@Anonymous: "Libertarians gave the Virginia governorship to the Dems."

Reports indicate that the democratic candidate would have won even if there were no libertarian candidate. Some people who lean libertarian will vote democrat if there is no libertarian candidate. Conservative republicans may be the worst choice for libertarians, especially when those republicans support increased government action against "moral crimes."

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Libertarian votes don't belong to conservatives. They belong to Libertarians.
Veronique De Rugy of Reason magazine revealed that, prior to Obama breaking all records, the worst possible combination for spending was "Republican president with a Republican congress".
Combine that with the fact that Republicans are absolutely horrific on social issues, and you'll see why the Republicans are doomed.

BTW, do you really miss the Whig party?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Next issue....

I think that I got the context absolutely right.

You can pray all you want to before a City Council meeting. No one can stop you. You can pray before an exam, during court or during a session of Congress when someone else is speaking.

But if you do it out loud where anyone else can hear you? So other people besides God/Jesus can hear your prayer?

You're doing it wrong.

Bob S. said...


Think of the context -- Jesus was condemning those who prayed out in public -- for the attention.

Now, what do you think they prayed for?

Themselves in all likelihood. They weren't praying over a meeting or an event. They weren't praying for the safety of the people.

They were praying in public so people would see how pious they were.

Instead of citing your opinion that I'm doing it wrong. Why don't you cite some Biblical / Religious Scholars, eh?