Metallic Pea

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Mea Culpa

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‘Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.’  ~ Hebrews 13:15

I made a prediction some days ago that Pastor Rick Warren would submit to the Politically Correct Zeitgeist and omit the name of (or any reference to) Jesus in his prayer to-day during the Inauguration of Barak Obama.  And, while I feel that much of the prayer was lacking in substance, he did, in fact, close in the name of the King Most High as well as a recitation of the prayer He taught His disciples.  In light of that fact, I owe Pastor Warren an apology.

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Written by ninepoundhammer

January 20, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Posted in Christian Living

10 Responses

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  1. I actually thought it was fairly substantive, fairly specific, asking for God’s blessings on the president and the nation without presuming that everything’s already hunky-dory. And of course, I was glad to hear him invoke Jesus.

    Anything in particular that made you think it wasn’t substantive?

    (Definitely better than the final prayer, asking God to help the “red man get ahead, and the white man to do what is right…” – yada, yada, annoying.

    Brian

    January 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm

  2. I didn’t like the part where people in heaven were supposedly rejoicing over something on earth (rather than God alone as the Bible tells us); I didn’t like the emphasis on American Exceptionalism; I disagree with the, at once, dismissal of race while embracing the supposed significance of the new President’s race (which we are not supposed to notice except to celebrate it as great, but it doesn’t really matter, exept that it does…)

    And I thought it had a certain communist/ ecumenical aspect to it that I disagree with, as well.

    But that’s just my opinion.

    ninepoundhammer

    January 20, 2009 at 2:09 pm

  3. I think there are several Scriptures that can lead us to believe that in Heaven, beings other than God see what is going on on the earth, and respond accordingly. The angels rejoice over a sinner’s repentance, the martyrs cry out under the altar, etc. Or, did I miss your point?

    Brian

    January 20, 2009 at 2:23 pm

  4. @Brian: I think one difference is that angels are not humans, which I was addressing in my comment. As for the martyrs crying out from under the altar in Revelation, I think one has to take into account that it was a vision, which is (in my view) to be taken figuratively rather than literally. (Which is really at the heart of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture/ Pre-Millenialism/ Dispensationalism viewpoint, I think.) If it were literal, that would indicate pain and suffering in Heaven, which we know there is none.

    My point being (without getting into the argument regarding whether the people mentioned in his prayer are even in Heaven–which I think is presumptuous) that he was using them as props; my understanding of Heaven is that we will be focused on worshiping God there and not concerned with, or euphoric over, things that occur on earth.

    Then, of course, there is the whole time/ space/ eternity continuum to think about: In Heaven there is no time, so how could they be looking at events on earth, etc.? Such a discussion (or thought) is way above my head and tends to make my eyeballs ache when I contemplate it.

    I’m no expert on Heaven or eschatalogy (or anything else, really)–those are just a few points that bothered me because I believe he was using them to score points and/ or make a political statement. Again, that’s just my opinion.

    ninepoundhammer

    January 20, 2009 at 3:42 pm

  5. Matt,
    As I didn’t watch any of the Inauguration I am in no position to comment on Warren’s prayer (though I am equally surprised that he invoked Christ). However, the subject of Heaven (specifically the ideas of time in Heaven) I will comment on because they are more interesting than current events.

    -While there is a strong idea of God being outside of time (since He created it), it is never implied that heaven is lacking time. While time on heaven and earth probably behave in entirely different ways, every reference to heaven in Scriptures contains some fourth dimensional quality.

    -The idea that Revelation is entirely figurative (or entirely literal for that matter) seems a bit simplistic. Especially chapters four and five which describe the throne room. John obviously cannot take in everything fully so he resorts to metaphor and imagery. But it is not implied that what he is seeing is a symbol for something else (which can be implied in later chapters). I would be interested in how you figuratively view the martyrs in chapter 6. The idea that there is no pain in heaven is a bit simplistic as well.

    -My biggest issue with your statement is the idea that earth (physical realm) is completely irrelevant in light of heaven (spiritual realm). There might be a hierarchy between the two, but they are interconnected and must not be separated. The Incarnation demands that we not forget the physical.

    (if you didn’t want to get into any of these discussions, it isn’t going to hurt my feelings)

    Jacob

    January 21, 2009 at 10:00 am

  6. @Jacob: I don’t mind getting into this topic at all–it’s why I blog. 🙂

    As for there being time in Heaven, I am afraid I disagree with you. Time is a creation; even ‘eternity’ consists of a duration which, as is my understanding, does not exist in time form, as it were. There obviously is a sense of progression–but I am not convinced that it is the same thing as ‘Time.’
    I believe that when God describes Heaven in relation to a certain degree of time/ space is the employment of anthropropathic communication in order that we, as mere men, can understand it. All discussion and thought of God is necessarily anthropropathic because we cannot possibly conceive of Him in his true nature due to our finiteness of being.

    Here is a link to a really well-thought out treatise on the subject of Heaven and time from an 18th century theologian [http://swedenborg.newearth.org/hh/hh18.html].

    Regarding, Revelation, I didn’t intend to give the impression that all of it is figurative, so that is probably my fault. I do believe that much (most?) of it is figurative or symbolic–but that doesn’t make it any less important. The Apocalypse was written to a certain people (the Seven Churches) for a specific reason. I also believe that it was written prior to the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and, therefore, much of it has already occurred. It still has value to us as Christians (as do the epistles written to specific churches) because many universal truths are discussed but, again, it comes down to one’s view of eschatalogy as to how we understand the letter.

    As for the connection of the physical and spiritual, only Christ exists in both forms–yet even He is not currently present on earth physically. He resides in Heaven physically but is with us here is Spirit.

    My understanding of Heaven (from what I can gleen from the Scriptures) is that it is a place in which we will be totally immersed in worshipping God; totally focussed on Him and not in the least concerned with anything else. Jesus even spoke tangentially about this to the Sadducees when he said there will be no marriage in Heaven.

    I also disagree as to the presence of pain in Heaven. Pain is a result of the Fall while Heaven is the result of redemption/ glorification. Revelation 21:4 —

    ‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’

    All of that is to say that I wish we could discuss this in person because it is, as you implied, very interesting and not well-suited for resolution in the blogosphere. But, we’ll see how it works out because I enjoy learning through discussion on such things.

    ninepoundhammer

    January 21, 2009 at 10:58 am

  7. Matt, I am defining time as a space in which progression happens. I do agree that we are limited in both our human and physical perspectives, such that descriptions of heaven should be taken with a certain figurative value.

    I can’t make out precisely what Swedenborg is trying to say. I seem to agree with him for the most part but his definition of time grates on me. Sure the movement of the sun is an indicator of time but it is not time itself. Time combines with Space to form the four dimensional space in which the sun moves. Who is this guy anyway? At some points he seems intelligent and at others a little crazy. In any case thanks for the reference.

    Christ is not the only combination of spiritual and physical. For certain human are. (though I have theories that all creation is a combination is some sense or another)

    As for pain I was going to reference that exact verse to show that there is a time when there is pain in heaven followed by a time in which there is not. But I am not certain that I am correct with this interpretation.

    How do you define “totally immersed in worshipping God”? In theory without the introduction of sin into the world, we would be doing that now while still being in the flesh. Every bite of food would be a recognition and praise to our Creator and Father, every breath would contain worship. If you mean that our focus could not be on anything else because 100% of it would be on God then you are still using wrong math. After all wasn’t Christ 100% God and 100% man.

    This is definitely a discussion that would be better in person…with a white board…

    Jacob

    January 21, 2009 at 2:12 pm

  8. I wasn’t clear (again)–what I actually meant to say was that Christ alone is physical and spiritual and simultaneously straddles Heaven and earth–though not in both senses simultaneously. (He IS here in spirit but not physically–yet.)

    As for being totally immersed in worshipping God, I mean that it is my understanding that that is all we will be doing for all eternity.

    Suffice it to say, I just have trouble believing (and I don’t believe Scripture indicates) that once in Heaven we will be overseeing and/ or reacting to what is occuring on Earth.

    As for Time, I think that we can both agree that God created it. Therefore, due to His aseity and eternality, there was a time (there’s that word again) when He existed and Time did not. Proceeding from that point to when He actually created Time is a progression but, still, Time had not been created, therefore time itsel could not proceed until it HAD been created.

    Ahh, this is a fun exercise. I think we should haggle over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin next! 🙂 Thanks for the intellectual gymnastics, Jacob–it keeps us sharp!

    ninepoundhammer

    January 21, 2009 at 3:22 pm

  9. The mental gymnastics is the primary reason to ponder such things. Though I am just about through with pin dancing angels for today, I have one last thought:

    Once you get outside of time, you start getting into weird territory. The way it makes sense to me is by metaphor. Picture all time and space like a novel you are holding in your hand. Both the beginning of the book and the end are in front of you simultaneously. They both exist in the “present” according to you the reader but within the structure of the novel there is progression from beginning to end. Theoretically, there doesn’t have to be any “time” in front of existence for God to be outside of it though there could be.

    Jacob

    January 21, 2009 at 4:04 pm

  10. i burped

    em

    January 24, 2009 at 8:08 am


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