Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Angry prayer

Is angry prayer healthy? A quick search of the Psalms yields a lot of examples of bitterness toward God.

BibleGateway.com Keyword Search: why

Psalm 10:1

Why, O LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

Psalm 22:1

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?

Psalm 42:9

I say to God my Rock,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?"

Psalm 44:23-24

Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.

Why do you hide your face
and forget our misery and oppression?

Psalm 74:1

Why have you rejected us forever, O God?
Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?

Psalm 74:11
Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!

Psalm 79:10

Why should the nations say,
"Where is their God?"
Before our eyes, make known among the nations
that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants.

While many of these passages seem doubtful or downright disrespectful of God, they are an authentic representation of how the psalmist feels. Is it ever improper to have our prayer reflect the condition of our fallen heart?

In the past, I have tended to restrain my prayers out of respect for God. I am now coming to realize that my inauthenticity is actually an insult, not respect. God knows my heart, and my prayer should not be a facade. If it is, I am only fooling myself.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Grace - Get it? Got it? Good!

Grace - unmerited favor. God's common grace is what keeps this world going. His redeeming grace is what saves us from sin.

Romans 5:20b-21
"...where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

To many, this passage seems to give the 'license to sin.' However, that can't be farther from the truth. If you've been given favor that you could never earn, why would you want to go on sinning? It's a slap in the face to the One who has given so abundantly.

Paul says it well in Romans 6:
"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?"

A pastor friend said it best. People tend to get grace and wrath transposed. When tempted, they tend to rationalize giving in by saying that God's grace will cover them. This is a dangerous way to live! This sears the conscience and leads to further erosion of the relationship with the Holy Spirit.

When those same people succumb to that temptation, they then feel condemned because of their sin - because they know God is just and His wrath is mighty. But on this side - if they are a believer - they are covered.

The appropriate way to see God's wrath and His grace is the other way around. When tempted, we should especially fear the Lord our God. It's true that if one is a Christian, that person is spared from God's eternal wrath. However, God still hates sin. His wrath was consumed with Jesus - but why would a believer want to hurt Christ anew?

But when a Christian realizes their sin, confesses and repents, they should worship God for His grace - the 'grace that is greater than all our sin.'

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Well, after yesterday's post, I received an email from Josh at www.fingertoe.com. He offered to be a contributor.

So, it looks like this blog might have some life after all.

I would really like to have 3-4 regular contributors, so if you are interested, please send me a note: disciple AT dreifuss DOT org.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

My apologies to the few who read this blog. Unless something miraculous happens (as in a few people commit to weekly contribution to this site), I will be shutting down the Thinking Christians Blog.

This site was intended for multiple contributors. I simply cannot solely provide the content that such a site should have. Such a Blog should be a lively place full of thought-provoking and Biblical commentary on the world around us. My vision for TCB has not been realized. It takes quite a bit of work to keep up such a thing, and with my current commitments, I cannot keep it running alone.

If you are reading this and are willing and committed to posting regular thought-provoking tidbits about the world around us from a Biblical perspective, please email me at disciple AT dreifuss DOT org.

If nobody answers, it is farewell and Godspeed. I'll continue to post thoughts and such over at www.dreifuss.org.