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John 14:12-14 -  Do most Christians assume Jesus didn’t really mean this?

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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15 August 2018 11:43
 

John 14:12-14 New International Version (NIV)

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”  -  Jesus

 
 
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15 August 2018 15:02
 

The only way to answer your question is to poll a bunch of Christians.  Polling atheists won’t get you any scientific data on this.  But you aren’t really interested in facts here, are you?

 
Poldano
 
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16 August 2018 02:21
 

In The New American Bible, verse 12 is translated as I solemnly assure you, the man who has faith in me will do the works I do, and greater by far than these. The use of “has faith in” instead of “believes in” brings up an issue I have long considered relevant to exegesis: the different senses of faith, belief, and fidelity, and the drift in word meanings over time. Perhaps belief as used in the Bible is not the true opinion of modern philosophy, but the fidelity of marriage, patriots, and hound dogs.

This was a controversial notion within the religious discussion group in which I first brought it up. It was difficult for some people to even conceive of the distinction.

 

 
 
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16 August 2018 07:43
 

It’s obvious that Christians don’t really believe in Jesus since they have no magic powers, or, Jesus was a liar.

 
 
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16 August 2018 09:17
 
EN - 15 August 2018 03:02 PM

The only way to answer your question is to poll a bunch of Christians.  Polling atheists won’t get you any scientific data on this.  But you aren’t really interested in facts here, are you?

Yes, I am interested in facts here.  When I posted the OP I tried to think of a topic title that Christians like yourself could relate to and take seriously.  I was thinking of Christians who watch a forest fire sweeping toward their home and who earnestly ask Jesus to stop the flames before everything they’ve worked for is destroyed.  Maybe earnest Christians watch flood waters rising over their farm and their herd of cows and ask God and Jesus to help them. 

You know there are millions of starving mothers who ask Jesus to save their dying baby and no help comes.  Do most Christians assume that Jesus didn’t mean this statement to be taken literally?  When their house is burned it will open up an entirely new and better life for them etc.?  (God works in mysterious ways).  How do you interpret it?

 
 
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16 August 2018 10:36
 
unsmoked - 16 August 2018 09:17 AM
EN - 15 August 2018 03:02 PM

The only way to answer your question is to poll a bunch of Christians.  Polling atheists won’t get you any scientific data on this.  But you aren’t really interested in facts here, are you?

Yes, I am interested in facts here.  When I posted the OP I tried to think of a topic title that Christians like yourself could relate to and take seriously.  I was thinking of Christians who watch a forest fire sweeping toward their home and who earnestly ask Jesus to stop the flames before everything they’ve worked for is destroyed.  Maybe earnest Christians watch flood waters rising over their farm and their herd of cows and ask God and Jesus to help them. 

You know there are millions of starving mothers who ask Jesus to save their dying baby and no help comes.  Do most Christians assume that Jesus didn’t mean this statement to be taken literally?  When their house is burned it will open up an entirely new and better life for them etc.?  (God works in mysterious ways).  How do you interpret it?

My take - its fulfillment will be in the next life.  There is no time frame in the statement.  We get parts of it now, parts later.  Your child will live in the next life, and you house will not burn. It’s a statement of hope for the future. In this life, you will have tribulation.

 
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16 August 2018 16:21
 

When I was a Christian, I was told that I should pray just for the ability to do God’s will.  “Thy kindgom come; thy will be done…”  So we might want our house to be saved from the fire, but we should be expecting that we would be comforted by God, no matter what happened, and that it is all part of God’s plan, too big for our minds to understand.

 
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16 August 2018 18:00
 
EN - 16 August 2018 10:36 AM
unsmoked - 16 August 2018 09:17 AM
EN - 15 August 2018 03:02 PM

The only way to answer your question is to poll a bunch of Christians.  Polling atheists won’t get you any scientific data on this.  But you aren’t really interested in facts here, are you?

Yes, I am interested in facts here.  When I posted the OP I tried to think of a topic title that Christians like yourself could relate to and take seriously.  I was thinking of Christians who watch a forest fire sweeping toward their home and who earnestly ask Jesus to stop the flames before everything they’ve worked for is destroyed.  Maybe earnest Christians watch flood waters rising over their farm and their herd of cows and ask God and Jesus to help them. 

You know there are millions of starving mothers who ask Jesus to save their dying baby and no help comes.  Do most Christians assume that Jesus didn’t mean this statement to be taken literally?  When their house is burned it will open up an entirely new and better life for them etc.?  (God works in mysterious ways).  How do you interpret it?

My take - its fulfillment will be in the next life. There is no time frame in the statement.  We get parts of it now, parts later.  Your child will live in the next life, and you house will not burn. It’s a statement of hope for the future. In this life, you will have tribulation.

Then the entire premise of prayer in this life is rendered meaningless. God may or may not grant one’s prayer in the here and now. You just need to “hope”. Throw in some tribulations and you have what looks an awful lot like a universe without a God. We observe good things happening to bad people and bad things happening to good people. We seem to be subject to the random forces of nature, with or without prayer.

So what’s the point of the verse? Why would Jesus make such a disingenuous statement? Based on the answer rate of prayers, how can you tell whether we live in a naturalistic universe or a universe run by an all-loving God? Moreover, doesn’t God have a “plan”? Who are we to alter his plans? The whole concept of prayer for obtaining some desired outcome is incredibly silly when you start thinking about it.   

Ron

 
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16 August 2018 18:58
 

I don’t see it that way, Ron. But conversations with you about religion always go off on tangents and lead to never-ending questions about minutiae,so I’m bowing out now before it goes any further.

 
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16 August 2018 19:40
 

I am not Christian any more, but I recognize that pulling out one verse to try to disprove the whole theology is not effective.  The attributed writer, John, wrote poetically.  He was swept away by the ideas of Jesus, and wrote in grand terms. In the context of the whole Bible, prayer was never intended as a magical incantation, but as a way of praising God and aligning oneself with God.

But yes, many a believer has been disillusioned by unanswered prayers.  The trick to continuing faith, as EN said, is to believe all will be explained in heaven.  I have heard this said many, many times.

According to many scholars, Job is the oldest book in the Bible.  And it addresses this very question.  God’s thoughts are too awesome for us humans to comprehend.  Things we see as good and bad happen for reasons we cannot fathom, but God has it all under control.

[ Edited: 16 August 2018 19:49 by hannahtoo]
 
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16 August 2018 20:25
 
hannahtoo - 16 August 2018 07:40 PM

I am not Christian any more, but I recognize that pulling out one verse to try to disprove the whole theology is not effective.  The attributed writer, John, wrote poetically.  He was swept away by the ideas of Jesus, and wrote in grand terms. In the context of the whole Bible, prayer was never intended as a magical incantation, but as a way of praising God and aligning oneself with God.

But yes, many a believer has been disillusioned by unanswered prayers.  The trick to continuing faith, as EN said, is to believe all will be explained in heaven.  I have heard this said many, many times.

According to many scholars, Job is the oldest book in the Bible.  And it addresses this very question.  God’s thoughts are too awesome for us humans to comprehend.  Things we see as good and bad happen for reasons we cannot fathom, but God has it all under control.

IOW don’t believe in any words of god pulled from your ass just believe that god is in your ass and that any shit that comes out could be from him, making your ass philosophical instead of religious.

 
 
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17 August 2018 00:44
 

John Denver’s character got it better than most of you do: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076489/?ref_=nv_sr_2.

What the context of the selection implies is that doing as Jesus did and commanded was essential to the answer to prayers. An important element of those prayers was always “not my will, but thy will be done.” It is inaccurate, therefore, to conceive of the answer to prayer as magical wish fulfillment. Another important element is to work for the betterment of others, both physical and spiritual. I don’t expect most of you to assign much value to the spiritual part, but to those to whom John’s gospel was directed, it was perhaps the most important part. A third element to consider is that, to the faithful and prospective faithful to whom the gospel is directed, carrying on the work of Jesus was the most important goal. They would not have thought it proper to pray for personal gain either materially or in status. Other parts of the gospels are very clear on this. So the gift of God that would be sought, and according to the segment given, would be the ability to affect other people materially and spiritually in the manner that Jesus did.

I don’t know if most Christians would interpret the segment the way I just did. But then again, I don’t know that most self-designated Christians are all that competent at being what the Gospels and Epistles say “follower of Christ” ought to mean.

Fire when ready.  wink

[ Edited: 17 August 2018 01:03 by Poldano]
 
 
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17 August 2018 03:14
 
EN - 16 August 2018 06:58 PM

I don’t see it that way, Ron. But conversations with you about religion always go off on tangents and lead to never-ending questions about minutiae,so I’m bowing out now before it goes any further.

Please stick around, EN. And let me know when we he hit the “minutiae”.  grin

Do you think, as most Christians do, that God can and does (at least occasionally) grant prayers in this life?

Ron

 

 
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17 August 2018 03:30
 
hannahtoo - 16 August 2018 07:40 PM

I am not Christian any more, but I recognize that pulling out one verse to try to disprove the whole theology is not effective.  The attributed writer, John, wrote poetically.  He was swept away by the ideas of Jesus, and wrote in grand terms. In the context of the whole Bible, prayer was never intended as a magical incantation, but as a way of praising God and aligning oneself with God.

But yes, many a believer has been disillusioned by unanswered prayers.  The trick to continuing faith, as EN said, is to believe all will be explained in heaven.  I have heard this said many, many times.

According to many scholars, Job is the oldest book in the Bible.  And it addresses this very question.  God’s thoughts are too awesome for us humans to comprehend.  Things we see as good and bad happen for reasons we cannot fathom, but God has it all under control.

Yep. Great cop out, those “God’s thoughts are too awesome for us humans to comprehend”, and “it will all be explained in Heaven” memes. It’s a way to maintain the fantasy for those who value their own personal comfort over the reality of the world we live in.

And why does a God need/want/require “praise”?? 

Ron

 
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17 August 2018 06:26
 
MrRon - 17 August 2018 03:30 AM
hannahtoo - 16 August 2018 07:40 PM

I am not Christian any more, but I recognize that pulling out one verse to try to disprove the whole theology is not effective.  The attributed writer, John, wrote poetically.  He was swept away by the ideas of Jesus, and wrote in grand terms. In the context of the whole Bible, prayer was never intended as a magical incantation, but as a way of praising God and aligning oneself with God.

But yes, many a believer has been disillusioned by unanswered prayers.  The trick to continuing faith, as EN said, is to believe all will be explained in heaven.  I have heard this said many, many times.

According to many scholars, Job is the oldest book in the Bible.  And it addresses this very question.  God’s thoughts are too awesome for us humans to comprehend.  Things we see as good and bad happen for reasons we cannot fathom, but God has it all under control.

Yep. Great cop out, those “God’s thoughts are too awesome for us humans to comprehend”, and “it will all be explained in Heaven” memes. It’s a way to maintain the fantasy for those who value their own personal comfort over the reality of the world we live in.

And why does a God need/want/require “praise”?? 

Ron

Well, if you believe God really is as described in the Bible, then he is too awesome for our limited minds.  So it’s a cop out in one perspective, and a natural emotional response in another.  (Compare this reverence to the tone of so many science programs that play lofty music, while the narrator expounds on the number of stars in the universe, as beautiful photos of galaxies are panned.  Humans love to feel awe.)

Supposedly God wants us to praise him because it is a recognition that we are but dust in the wind.

 

 
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17 August 2018 12:11
 
unsmoked - 15 August 2018 11:43 AM

John 14:12-14 New International Version (NIV)

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”  -  Jesus

Christian boy:  Jesus, could you bring me an electric guitar and a set of drums?

Jesus:  Umm, what about the neighbors upstairs Roger?

Boy:  So could you put sound-proofing in our walls and ceilings?

Jesus:  Roger, your baby sister . . .

Boy:  So could you give me the money to rent that garage I saw for rent on the way to school?

Jesus:  Well, it doesn’t have electricity and . . .

Boy:  So could I get an album of The Essential Clash for my birthday?

Jesus:  I’ll see what I can do . . . but your dad . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoJYM3krDWQ&t=0s&index=2&list=PL1D92E99548B5468B

[ Edited: 17 August 2018 12:15 by unsmoked]
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