Inauguration Day

Today is the second inauguration of Barack Obama, who will be sworn into his second term at 11:30 a.m. ET.  (Actually, he took his oath of office on Sunday, in accordance with the date specified in the Constitution, in the White House, but the public ceremony will be on Monday, in commendable respect for the Lord’s Day.)

The Bible tells us to pray for kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:2).  That would include President Obama.  As would the command to “honor the emperor,” (1 Peter 2:17).  Many of us, especially those of us who aren’t big fans of the president politically, are probably guilty of violating those particular passages.  How should we honor him, even if we don’t like his policies (as Peter surely didn’t like the policies of the Roman Emperor)?  What should we pray for on behalf of the President?

(Meanwhile, see after the jump how the President is being hailed on the cover of Newsweek.)

 

 

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • fjsteve

    Newsweek is, or rather was, trash. Its dwindled down from a waste of paper to merely a waste of bandwidth.

    As to the question, I would say we should pray that God gives him wisdom in his decisions and that he would work to promote justice and restrain evil. I know next to nothing, in the big scheme of things, about running a country and even less about God’s specific plans for the country. So praying for a specific piece of legislation or that Obama would do this or that particular thing seems somewhat shortsighted to me.

  • tODD

    Veith mentioned “how the President is being hailed on the cover of Newsweek“. But is he actually being hailed? The subhead, “America expects, can he deliver?” doesn’t exactly sound laudatory (especially if one keeps in mind the sage advice to always answer in the negative to questions posed in headlines). All the more so when one clicks through to the article that apparently underlies the cover.

    Sure, it’s a nod to the whole “Messiah” flap that swirled around the first election and inauguration (which flap was at least as much the fault of Obama’s detractors, in my experience). But you really have to squint to see this as hagiography.

  • Pete

    I am reminded of the blessing that Tevye’s rabbi had for the czar in The Fiddler on the Roof.

  • SKPeterson

    I try to pray the Litany every Saturday or Sunday morning which includes a line praying for the President or monarch. I pray for “our President, our Governor, and our Mayor” but I should probably do so by name and not by position so much. Then again, is our honor reserved for the person or the office? Some mix of both I expect, with some emphasizing the office and others the person more or less as their party is in or out of power. My greatest hesitation though comes from how much honor, or respect, should be granted to persons so capable and willing to abuse their authority when in positions of power, but who whine and scream about the abuses of their political foes when they are out of power.

  • Carl Vehse

    The prayers will be imprecatory for the murderous and traitorous regime of Barry Saetoro, his Demoncrat thugs and supporters.

  • Carl Vehse

    tODD: But is he actually being hailed? The subhead, “America expects, can he deliver?” doesn’t exactly sound laudatory

    tODD’s comment is correct (I was going to say “tODD is right,” but that would not be correct). The new Newsweek cover photo lacks the Demonicrats’ version of the messianic halo… or the horns, depending on one’s view.

  • helen

    Remind me, Pete.

  • cruxsola

    while Pete is detained…… “May the Lord bless and keep the czar……far, far away from us!”

  • helen

    We pray, on Wed. eve. and Sunday morning, for “Barack, our President [and other government officials] and for good government [variously phrased].

  • helen

    Thank you, cruxsola!

    Sounds good. Far, far away would indeed be close enough….
    Unfortunately, we have all sorts of people and organizations wanting to play “Big Brother” to their own advantage these days. “Far, far away” may still be listening to our cell phones (Patriot (?) Act); checking the cameras on the streets and toll roads, (TXDOT and police); asking persistently to advise us on “wellness” (my health insurance), wanting to install a monitor in my car to “determine fair rates” (my auto insurance); and interpreting my e-mail to select the ads in the side bar! (Google).

    [I understand that the "social media" is a whole other area of intrusiveness; I do not participate there.
    But I do wonder what I may have gotten into with Patheos....] ;)

  • Steve Bauer

    Considering that Paul was talking about rulers who really did claim to be gods and did not even give lip service to “individual liberty” or “rights”, it would seem to me that we should speak respectfully about the President (both in regard to the person and the office) and other politicians no matter how much we may disagree with them. I think this would include our discussions about motives. When we question what politicians do or think, we have to be able to give some evidence for what we say.

    And to engage in the demonizing vitriol habitually employed by some, already exhibited in certain previous posts in this thread, especially considering its specific focus, shows a blatant disregard for the Word of God, no matter how much the author may claim to be standing on it.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Well said Steve. I think many miss the point that in Paul’s time, the rascals really claimed to be divine.

  • Dr Luther in the 21st Century

    “Expecting” isn’t always a good thing depending on the person. I don’t expect anything good to come from a second term. In fact, I expect further attempts to impede religious freedom and even attempts to limit speech. I expect greater debt (to be fair I would expect that if Mitt had won). I expect my medical costs to go up because of new laws going into effect. I hope my expectations are not met.

    On a a separate note, I am surprised Dr. Veith you didn’t comment about the headline at the top of the cover. I am more interested in why they think women are going to save Europe than I am in the inauguration.

  • Paul Reed

    @Carl Vehse

    Imprecatory prayers are found nowhere in the Bible. How Unbiblical of you!

  • SKPeterson

    Paul @ 11:02 – To be fair to Carl, Paul, he is referring to the imprecatory psalms, which can be viewed as prayers. Though I usually put myself in the place of the villains and my fellow man (or often simply Jesus) as the protagonist.

  • Carl Vehse

    Helen (@9:58am): We pray, on Wed. eve. and Sunday morning, for “Barack, our President [and other government officials] and for good government [variously phrased].

    Someone applying Psalm 109:8 could claim the same.

  • Tom Hering

    Hmm. Carl seems to think that because something is voiced by someone in the Bible, their words are something God approves. He wouldn’t want to compare those words with, say, the teachings of Christ. Not that Carl has ever let Christ stand in the way of his politics.

  • Grace

     
    I don’t believe one can expect much from, or respect an agenda, which expouses the death of an infant, as noted by B. H. Obama:

    “I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”
    Obama

     

  • Steve Bauer

    The question here is not about “respecting an agenda” but about respecting a person as a fellow human being redeemed by Christ (whether they know it or not) regardless of whether we respect their agenda or not.

    And I am concerned (based on how he expresses his public persona here) that Carl is not only not letting Christ stand in the way of his politics, he is not letting Christ stand in the way of his theology. I’d say he’s walking a fine line, at best. At least Luther was aware that his intemperant language was a fault.

  • Grace

    Steve @ 2:57 PM

    “respecting a person as a fellow human being redeemed by Christ (whether they know it or not) regardless of whether we respect their agenda or not.”

    I believe that a mans/womans walk reflects their allegiance to Christ, or to another belief, who’s opposition to human life, such as the life of an infant do not represent a “redeemed” individual.

    Saying one is a Christian Belicer doesn’t make it so.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Don’t worry Steve. I’m not at all sure if Carl would pass either a Turing Test, or a Mirror Test.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace (@ 3:19 pm), you’re confusing “redeemed” and “believer.” Not everyone is a believer, but everyone has been redeemed. Christ paid for the sins of the whole world. Right?

  • Carl Vehse

    Paul Reed (11:02am) and Steve Bauer (2:57pm), your comments are wrong and unChristian, like Klasie Kraalogies’ typical flatulations (3:40pm).

    I have previously given an example of Luther’s imprecatory prayer against the pope and the Turk (Mohammedan).

    In his article, “Broken Teeth, Bloody Baths, and Baby Bashing: Is There Any Place in the Church for Imprecatory Psalms?,” (Concordia Journal, 32:4, October 2006, 368), Concordia Seminary Prof. Reed Lessing concluded:

    Luther puts it this way: “We should pray that our enemies be converted and become our friends and, if not, that their doing and designing be bound to fail and have no success and that their persons perish rather than the Gospel and the kingdom of Christ” (Luther’s Works, vol. 21, The Sermon on the Mount and the Magnificat, eds. Jaroslav Pelikan and A.T.W. Steinhaeuser [St. Louis: Concordia, 1956], 1000).

    A war is going on, and it is a war of opposing powers with eternal consequences. In this war the baptized experience casualties, traitors, and triumphs. Our weapon is the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Eph. 6:17), and this weapon is not one of sweet passivity, but of life and death. It is a weapon that includes both “the kindness and the severity of God” (Rom. 11:22). In times of acute and ongoing distress we must invoke the severity of God as expressed in the imprecatory psalms. It is our way of coming before the Lord and throwing the sword to Him, for “the battle belongs to the LORD” (1 Sam. 17:47).

  • Tom Hering

    Carl (@ 4:14 pm), Luther was wrong about this, as he was about a number of things. If the OT gives us an example concerning our enemies, but the NT gives us a teaching about our enemies that overturns the OT example, then we go with the NT. That is what makes us followers of Christ’s teachings.

  • Grace

    Tom @ 4:01 “you’re confusing “redeemed” and “believer.” Not everyone is a believer, but everyone has been redeemed. Christ paid for the sins of the whole world. Right?

    Christ died for the whole world, but few there be that believe, having faith in HIM, following HIM – if one does not believe in Christ, following HIM, the Cross means nothing to them. They are LOST!

    Supporting the slaughter of infants is not Godly, it is a sin. There are many people who believeded in abortion, but then repented and believed in Christ as Savior, their lives were transformed, they did not continue to believe that sinful practices are of God.

  • Grace

    “you’re confusing “redeemed” and “believer.” Not everyone is a believer, but everyone has been redeemed. Christ paid for the sins of the whole world. Right?

    Christ died for the whole world, but few there be that believe, having faith in HIM, following HIM – if one does not believe in Christ, following HIM, the Cross means nothing to them. They are LOST!

    Supporting the slaughter of infants is not Godly, it is a sin. There are many people who believeded in abortion, but then repented and believed in Christ as Savior, their lives were transformed, they did not continue to believe that sinful practices are of God.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace (@ 4:47 pm), you had a problem with Steve Bauer (@ 2:57 pm) when he said (your emphasis):

    … redeemed by Christ (whether they know it or not)

    and you responded to him (@ 3:19) by saying:

    Saying one is a Christian Belicer [Believer] doesn’t make it so.

    which completely missed Steve’s point. Now, after I pointed out the way you missed his point, you continue to miss the point. Really, Grace, when you get offended by something inoffensive that’s said here, please stop and think for a moment before correcting them from a position of biblical/spiritual superiority – which is how you always come across.

  • Steve Billingsley

    One thing we could pray for the President is that God gives him wisdom to make decisions which would help people to lead lives in peace. Given that the first constitutional description of the office of President is Commander-in-chief – that is a pretty big deal. To carry the burden of knowing that decisions one makes can very easily directly (and indirectly) lead to thousands of lives being lost is no small matter. Whatever one thinks of the President or his policy aims – he certainly needs more than a share of God’s wisdom.

  • Grace

    Christ died on the Cross to “redeem” us from our sins. We have to believe in HIM, to repent, have faith, to obtain Salvation. That’s where you and others want to argue without any back-up from Sc ripture.

    Abortion is not the path of a Christian Believer!

  • Grace

    The Bible calls the “SWORD” the WORD of GOD. You might study the passage below very carefully.

    10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
    11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
    Ephesians 6

  • Paul Reed

    @Carl Vehse

    I was being sarcastic. Anyone who thinks that imprecatory prayers aren’t Biblical probably has never read Psalms (or much else of the Bible).

  • Tom Hering

    We have to believe in HIM, to repent, have faith, to obtain Salvation. That’s where you and others want to argue without any back-up from Sc ripture. (Grace @ 5:29 pm)

    Where the hell do you get THAT from what’s been said here?! How dare you accuse the commenters in this thread of such a thing. But I guess you have to maintain the delusion of superiority.

  • Grace

    Tom @ 5:06 and 5:08t’

    I was referrencing your post ad 5:06. As you like to mix and match what I POST, it’s no wonder you take offense at what I state.

    “How dare you accuse the commenters in this thread of such a thing. But I guess you have to maintain the delusion of superiority.”

    SIMMER down, I didn’t insult anyone, unless of course you gather up your side-kicks to march steel/lock-step with your accusations.

  • Grace

    Typical remark!

    Tom @ 5:06 and 5:08t’

    I was referrencing your post ad 5:06. As you like to mix and match what I POST, it’s no wonder you take offense at what I state.

    “How dare you accuse the commenters in this thread of such a thing. But I guess you have to maintain the delusion of superiority.”

    SIMMER down, I didn’t insult anyone, unless of course you gather up your side-kicks to march steel/lock-step with your accusations.

  • Tom Hering

    So, you didn’t insult anyone, but you then proceed to insult me and my sidekicks, whoever they are (I didn’t know I had any). And if I took offense, at least it was over something you actually said, unlike the things that offend you – things you misunderstand or imagine are said. So there.

  • Grace

    So there.

    I haven’t heard that one since my child said it, hands on hips to another 6th grader!
    :lol:

  • Grace

    I know what Steve posted @ 2:57 –

    That’s why I responded as I did, and have since he posted.

    “The question here is not about “respecting an agenda” but about respecting a person as a fellow human being redeemed by Christ (whether they know it or not) regardless of whether we respect their agenda or not.”

    You Tom, refuse to see why I posted my comments about “redeemed” “Salvation” “Believe” “Faith” and the rest of my post.

    There is many an individual in power who’s beliefs are counter to the LORD Jesus Christ. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian follows Christ. Respect? We are to love our neighbor, but that doesn’t mean we respect what they do, or believe.

    21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.

    22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

    23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

    24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
    1 Corinthians 7

    There is much talk about respecting a man who doesn’t believe in the sanctity of life, ie: PRO-LIFE. If one can’t believe it sinful to slaughter a child, I don’t know what you can say to rectify such hatred of the unborn, or how one can respect or trust, much of anything they say or do.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Silly, Tom, didn’t you know that it is our works that make us Christian? :p

  • Carl Vehse

    Tom @4:31pm, Luther was wrong about some things, but he was correct in his quote I provided.

  • Tom Hering

    Okay Carl (@ 7:35 pm), which teachings of Christ or the Apostles confirm Luther as correct in his view of imprecatory prayer?

  • helen

    “Holy men of God wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” is written about the Bible, Mr. Hering.

  • andrew

    we should pray for the salvation of our leaders (here in australia, our prime minister is an athiest woman who is not married to the man she is living with, and has a long track record of affairs with married men). if they were truly saved, and had a heart towards God, there is no chance they would hate the things of God or lobby against righteousness.

  • Grace

    Andrew

    You’re right, we should pray for our leaders and those of other countries too, my husband and I pray for them – But that doesn’t mean we must respect their sinful laws, or their sinful pursuits.

  • Carl Vehse

    Tom (@8:34 pm): Okay Carl (@ 7:35 pm), which teachings of Christ or the Apostles confirm Luther as correct in his view of imprecatory prayer?

    Wrong (and anti-Lutheran) question, Tom. The Lutheran question is which teachings of Christ or the Apostles prohibit Luther’s view of imprecatory prayer.

    But, in any case, there is Scripture confirming or associated with the use of imprecatory prayers, in addition to the three verses provided in my 4:14pm post and, of course, the imprecatory psalms themselves (5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 17, 28, 31, 35, 40, 52, 54, 55, 56, 58, 59, 68, 69, 70, 71, 74, 83, 94, 104, 109, 129, 137, 139, 140, 141, 143): Genesis 12:3; Deuteronomy 28:7; 32:35; Psalm 50:15; Isaiah 34:8; Matt. 11:20-24; 23:13-39; Mark 11:14; Acts 1:16,20; 8:20; 13:10-11; Romans 12:19; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Galatians 1:8-9; 5:12; 2 Timothy 3:15; 4:14; Revelation 6:9-11; 14:19-20;18:4-8, 20; 19:1-3,15.

    BTW, in later verses Deuteronomy 28 also has serious (imprecatory) warnings applicable to supporters and apologists of the Traitorobama and his anti-Christian, genocidal policies.

  • Tom Hering

    The Lutheran question is which teachings of Christ or the Apostles prohibit Luther’s view of imprecatory prayer. (Carl @ 9:56 am)

    But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you … (Matthew 5:44)

    bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Luke 6:28)

    Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Romans 12:14)

    Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called … (1st Peter 3:9)

  • Steve Bauer

    I thiink the full quote from Romans 12:14-21 is appropriate:

    14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20 “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” [this is quoted from Proverbs] 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    ‘Nuff said.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Steve, Tom: Those verses won’t compute for Carl. For all the time that I’ve been coming here, he has been dripping hatred, venom and infantile derision. Never mind that those words that Paul wrote were targeted towards authorities that condoned slavery, infanticide, imperialist oppression, torture…..

  • Tom Hering

    … and taxes for public programs. ;-)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    BIIG public programs! And they regulated lots of things – like banning all traffic other than foot traffic in Rome during the day, to relieve congestion.

  • Tom Hering

    It gets worse. The NT instructs us to honor and pray for 1st century Roman authorities, who not only accepted the practice of abortion, but infanticide as well. Not that they were to be honored for their acceptance of these practices, but in spite of their acceptance of these practices.

  • tODD

    Carl Vehse, ladies and gentleman!

    Coincidentally, those verses (@9:56 am) are the only ones included in the forthcoming Carl Vehse Study Bible, which will be self-published (for some reason, no Christian publishing house, much less a Lutheran one, would touch it). The CVSB also contains extensive study notes on these verses. Although, to be honest, they’re less like “study notes” and more a collection of Carl’s greatest Internet screeds. There’s also a glossary of all his neologisms, and a handy pull-out voter’s guide. The first 100 people to order will also get a vial of Carl’s spittle, collected from his personal computer monitor, and which he personally has cursed.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Todd, that is a classic!

  • Carl Vehse

    It is reassuring to see that ad hominems and snarky comments are all that Tom, tODD, and Klasie can (again) provide in their responses. Setting up God’s Word in an attempt to negate God’s Word is not Lutheran exegesis, it is antiChristian eisegesis, which they employ. The quoted verses by Steve and Tom do not prohibit imprecatory prayers, which are prayers for God to exercise his vengeance as He wills and promises.

  • Tom Hering

    “… imprecatory prayers, which are prayers for God to exercise his vengeance as He wills and promises” against those whom Carl desires He exercise it.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Carl, you attack others ceaselessly, but if someone returns the compliment, you wail about ad hominems. That doesn’t engender any confidence in your general thesis.

    Have a nice day.

  • Grace

    tODD @ 2:27

    tODD
    “Carl Vehse, ladies and gentleman!

    “Coincidentally, those verses (@9:56 am) are the only ones included in the forthcoming Carl Vehse Study Bible, which will be self-published (for some reason, no Christian publishing house, much less a Lutheran one, would touch it).”

    tODD, below is the post Carl made, which you ridicule. You should be ashamed. Those which are bolded I have printed out for your information and comfort, as you’re not willing to look them up for yourself, yet admonish Carl for your ignorance!

    Carl @ 9:56 AM
    “But, in any case, there is Scripture confirming or associated with the use of imprecatory prayers, in addition to the three verses provided in my 4:14pm post and, of course, the imprecatory psalms themselves (5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 17, 28, 31, 35, 40, 52, 54, 55, 56, 58, 59, 68, 69, 70, 71, 74, 83, 94, 104, 109, 129, 137, 139, 140, 141, 143): Genesis 12:3; Deuteronomy 28:7; 32:35; Psalm 50:15; Isaiah 34:8; Matt. 11:20-24; 23:13-39; Mark 11:14; Acts 1:16,20; 8:20; 13:10-11; Romans 12:19; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Galatians 1:8-9; 5:12; 2 Timothy 3:15; 4:14; Revelation 6:9-11; 14:19-20;18:4-8, 20; 19:1-3,15.

    Citing a few of the passages above:

    8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

    9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1 KJV

    1 Corinthians 16:22

    Nine (9) Versions

    New International Version (©1984)
    If anyone does not love the Lord–a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!

    New Living Translation (©2007)
    If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed. Our Lord, come!

    English Standard Version (©2001)
    If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha.

    International Standard Version (©2012)
    If anyone doesn’t love the Lord, let him be condemned! May our Lord come!

    King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
    If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

    Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
    Whoever does not love our Lord Yeshua The Messiah, let him be damned. our Lord has come.

    GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    If anyone doesn’t love the Lord, let him be cursed! Our Lord, come!

    American Standard Version
    If any man loveth not the Lord, let him be anathema. Maranatha.

    And still another:

    Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: 2 Timothy 4:14 KJV

    tODD, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Grace

    tODD @ 2:27

    The end of your post, is as follows:

    The CVSB also contains extensive study notes on these verses. Although, to be honest, they’re less like “study notes” and more a collection of Carl’s greatest Internet screeds. There’s also a glossary of all his neologisms, and a handy pull-out voter’s guide. The first 100 people to order will also get a vial of Carl’s spittle, collected from his personal computer monitor, and which he personally has cursed.”

    Your behavior is outrageous, and so is that of those who march STEEL/LOCK-STEP behind you, not knowing anymore than you do, which is precious little, as noted above.

  • Tom Hering

    The sense of every one of those verses, Grace (@ 3:15 pm) is not “you yourself curse such a one” or “pray to God that He curses such a one” but rather “leave it to God to curse and avenge” and – in light of the other verses I’ve quoted – “God’s vengeance is absolutely none of your business; you’re called to bless.”

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Carl, here’a question: Do you love Obama?

  • Grace

    Tom, ““leave it to God to curse and avenge”

    The bunch of you take aim at most everything Carl posts, without cause. I have no reason to defend myself, look into your distorted window of learning.

    1 Corinthians 16:22 contradicts your claim @ 3:23 PM – Paul wrote those the words, as follows:

    If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!

  • Tom Hering

    Uh, Grace (@ 3:48 pm), in context, 1st Corinthians 16:22 is part of Paul’s advice on how to treat others in the church. “Accursed” in this case means a person is to be shunned – not made a target for imprecatory prayer. Double check the degree of distortion in your own window of learning, would you, please? (Whatever the heck a “window of learning” is. :-D )

  • SKPeterson

    Well, the imprecatory Psalms are imprecatory. However, as I said, the best practice is to put us in the role of the villain and our neighbor in the place of the complainant. I think Luther’s view of the imprecatory Psalms is correct contra Tom, or rather that it is not wrong, but I’m not sure that Luther’s understanding is the same as Carl’s. I think it behooves us to examine the quote from Lessing Carl cited above:

    Luther puts it this way: “We should pray that our enemies be converted and become our friends and, if not, that their doing and designing be bound to fail and have no success and that their persons perish rather than the Gospel and the kingdom of Christ” (Luther’s Works, vol. 21, The Sermon on the Mount and the Magnificat, eds. Jaroslav Pelikan and A.T.W. Steinhaeuser [St. Louis: Concordia, 1956], 1000).

    A war is going on, and it is a war of opposing powers with eternal consequences. In this war the baptized experience casualties, traitors, and triumphs. Our weapon is the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Eph. 6:17), and this weapon is not one of sweet passivity, but of life and death. It is a weapon that includes both “the kindness and the severity of God” (Rom. 11:22). In times of acute and ongoing distress we must invoke the severity of God as expressed in the imprecatory psalms. It is our way of coming before the Lord and throwing the sword to Him, for “the battle belongs to the LORD”(1 Sam. 17:47).

    I think the first paragraph quoting Luther would hold that we can pray for Obama and also pray that God would change him and that his policies be more constructive to the furtherance of life. We also must humbly note our own failings in this and act ourselves to preserve and defend life, not just in the abstract, but by acting on behalf of both the unborn and their mothers, both before birth and after. We can also pray that the goals of those advocating for abortion be foiled, but mostly this passage is about those who would actively thwart the clear proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    I bolded the last line of Carl’s previous quote, as I see this actually providing direct confirmation of what Tom, et al, have been saying about the focus and end purpose of the imprecatory Psalms should be. Therefore, I do not see that Luther was necessarily wrong in his intentions regarding their use.

    Finally, I would note that in The Lutheran Service Book we have prayers for our nation that call for the plans for war and destruction by our leaders be thwarted, that we may live in peace, protected from the fear of our enemies. Now some might say that that protection is a justification for militarism; however, I would say that we are truly asking for our hearts to be guarded and protected by God from fear, and that, absent that fear, we could live in peace with our neighbors. I believe that we need to pray for Obama in this regard as much as any other, and that his plans for future military adventurism be confounded as those plans rely upon stirring up fear.

  • SKPeterson

    Maybe a window of learning is something that people who live in glass houses throw bricks into.

  • tODD

    Zing!

  • Tom Hering

    But SK (@ 4:27 pm), notice that Luther goes further than praying that “their doing and designing be bound to fail and have no success.” He also prays that “their persons perish.” Whereas our God desires that none should perish, eternally, but that all should come to repentance. If we pray that others perish, repentant or not, we pray they will suffer not only temporal death, but necessarily, eternal death as well.

  • tODD

    Tom (@4:51 pm), read Luther’s comment in its context again. His praying that they “perish” is conditional on their rejecting Jesus as Savior (being “converted”). This, then, is a prayer for justice (God’s, not ours), but again, it is preceded by a prayer that they would come to faith and even become our friends. It is this latter aspect that Carl and Grace continue to miss.

  • SKPeterson

    But, Tom, what is contrasting that perishing to? Which is more important, the person or the Gospel. Luther is saying the Gospel. I cannot disagree with that.

  • Tom Hering

    SK (@ 4:58 pm), isn’t the Gospel meaningless apart from what happens to real people, eternally? I don’t know how it can come down to a matter of one or the other – the person or the Gospel.

    Todd (@:57 pm), in order to pray that they perish, wouldn’t we have to conclude, first, that their rejection of Christ is final – that repentance is impossible for the rest of their lives? How could we know that?

  • Grace

    Tom @ 4:12

    You don’t like the passage because it disrupts what you wish it to mean.

    Paul is making this statement.

    If anyone does not love the Lord–a curse be on him. Come, O Lord! 1 Corinthians 16:22

    The word “anyone” applies to everyone. One must “love” the LORD, to believe in HIM for eternal life, if they don’t “love” him, be it “anyone” will not inherit Eternal life.

    You forget these passages as well, Paul wrote this.

    8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

    9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1

  • Tom Hering

    Grace (@ 6:13 pm), I love 1st Corinthians 16:22, when it’s read in context, which you completely fail to do. (No surprise to long time readers of this blog.)

    This imprecatory prayer thing is interesting. There’s seems to be a revival of it, that began with the election of Barack Obama in 2008. The two things are directly connected. It’s first contemporary appearance was in the Dominion movement, then it gained wide attention with Wiley Drake, then it spread throughout the conservative wings of many denominations. I’m not in the least bit surprised that you, Grace, and Carl are rabid fans of it.

  • Grace

    Tom your a hoot at 7:32PM

    My post at 6:13 PM obviously flew right over your head as well:

    8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

    9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed.
    Galatians 1

    TOM WROTE: This imprecatory prayer thing is interesting. There’s seems to be a revival of it, that began with the election of Barack Obama in 2008. The two things are directly connected. It’s first contemporary appearance was in the Dominion movement, then it gained wide attention with Wiley Drake, then it spread throughout the conservative wings of many denominations. I’m not in the least bit surprised that you, Grace, and Carl are rabid fans of it.”

    Tom :lol: that is nothing but nonsense.

  • Grace

    Tom you’re forgetting that Paul stated:

    8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
    Galatians 1

    The Gospel has been preached to many people, both true and false – FALSE ie; many cults, the Emergent Church, all paths lead to God – it is their choice as to whether they will believe what is in the Gospel, or a man made Gospel, vented by someone who either doesn’t know the truth, or is concocting and twisting what God has ordained. You cannot see the truth in that passage because you don’t want to.

  • Tom Hering

    Hey Grace (@ 7:55 pm), guess what Strong’s says “accursed” means in Galatians 1:8-9? “Anathema!” Banished, exiled, denounced. Not cursed unto death or misfortune.

    Recorded, contemporary history is nonsense? My, my, my. You do only see what you want to see, don’t you?

  • Grace

    Tom, @ 8:14 PN

    I gave you a number of translations. Below are 17, and yes one does say “condemned to hell” –

    Galatians 1:8 – below are seventeen (17) translations – some state “eternally condemned” “curse” “accursed” “cursed” “condemned” “damned” “condemned to hell” “anathema”

    New International Version But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

    New Living Translation
    Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.

    English Standard Version
    But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

    New American Standard Bible
    But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

    Holman Christian Standard Bible
    But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him!

    International Standard Version
    But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that person be condemned!

    King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
    But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

    Aramaic Bible in Plain English
    But even if we or an Angel from Heaven should evangelize you outside of that which we have evangelized you, we or he would be damned;

    GOD’S WORD® Translation
    Whoever tells you good news that is different from the Good News we gave you should be condemned to hell, even if he is one of us or an angel from heaven.

    American King James Version
    But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.

    Darby Bible Translation
    But if even we or an angel out of heaven announce as glad tidings to you anything besides what we have announced as glad tidings to you, let him be accursed.

    English Revised Version
    But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema.

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

    Weymouth New Testament
    But if even we or an angel from Heaven should bring you a Good News different from that which we have already brought you, let him be accursed.

    World English Bible
    But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any “good news” other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed.

    Young’s Literal Translation
    but even if we or a messenger out of heaven may proclaim good news to you different from what we did proclaim to you — anathema let him be!

  • Tom Hering

    Good night, Grace. Don’t forget to say your imprecatory prayers before you fall asleep. :-D

  • Grace

    Tom @ 10:38 PM “Good night, Grace. Don’t forget to say your imprecatory prayers before you fall asleep.”

    I don’t invoke evil upon, or curse anyone. I have prayed for you, I have prayed for your health, as you’ve stated your situation on this blog.

    It’s to your shame to read such mockery.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace (@ 10:59 pm), thank you for your prayers. I’m glad to hear you don’t curse others. So why have you made six comments defending the idea of imprecatory prayer – something it now appears you, personally, find objectionable?

  • tODD

    Tom (@7:31 am), I know, right?

  • Grace

    Tom @ 7:31 AM

    “thank you for your prayers. I’m glad to hear you don’t curse others. So why have you made six comments defending the idea of imprecatory prayer – something it now appears you, personally, find objectionable?”

    Tom, it appears you are either prolonging this discussion, (for whatever reason) missing the point, or both -

    Paul made it clear – however I don’t pray for anyone to be cursed, they already are according to Paul (Galatians 1:8)

    “eternally condemned” “curse” “accursed” “cursed” “condemned” “damned” “condemned to hell” “anathema”

    There is no need, they will be as stated above if they don’t, the following will transpire:

    But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8

    The problem you’re having Tom, you didn’t believe that these words could be in the Word of God, against others, but there they are. I have given you more than one example. Carl gave you many more, but of course you can’t bear the fact that Carl is right!

  • Tom Hering

    Uh, Grace (@ 79), Carl defended imprecatory prayer. You defended Carl. Therefore, it was natural for me (or anyone else) to think you, too, were defending imprecatory prayer. Now you say you weren’t – you were just talking about default curses. Which isn’t what Carl was talking about at all. So, where the hell exactly are you coming from? Give us a first, and make your position clear for a change. Would you, please?

  • Tom Hering

    … you didn’t believe that these words could be in the Word of God, against others … (Grace @ 79)

    That’s a very odd, but perhaps revealing, statement. I don’t believe any words in the Bible are against other words in the Bible.

  • Grace

    Tom

    You must be bored, or have nothing to do – to spend so much time twisting what others write, it’s childish.

    Have a nice evening.

  • Tom Hering

    Poor Tom.

  • tODD

    Poor, poor, tOM.


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