I’m kind of a ‘cut to the chase, lose the fluff’ type of guy. That said, I do appreciate style, flair, and showmanship. Just not when it comes to religious beliefs.
I studied Pastorology at Faith Baptist Bible College, and graduated with a double major in Bible and Secondary Education from Pillsbury Baptist Bible College. I took Survey of Old Testament, Survey of New Testament, probably Pauline Epistles, etc…and learned about the differences in Calvinism and Arminianism. I wrote a paper on ‘The Attributes of God’, I learned that God always hears our prayers, I learned that the Bible should be taken literally unless there was some compelling reason not to do so.
I could quote the 7 Dispensations, the 5 points of Calvinism, the overview of many of the books of the Old Testament. On my college extension ministry, I learned how to lead a song service in church to the pain of both my piano player and my audience! I learned how to do order of services, and I even preached a time or two. I learned to preach in season, out of season, and do right even if the stars fall, do right! I was a shining beacon, a voice crying in the wilderness, a witness and testimony to everyone at all times and all places! God had a plan for my life, and I intended to make sure I was in His will so I could have a good life!
But. . .
But to me, the BOTTOM LINE that matters is this; Either God answers my prayers within the time frame they need to be answered or He does not. There is no middle ground here. I’m don’t buy into the defense that ‘God said yes, God said no, or God said wait a while.’ If you replace the name God with ‘dog’, then you still get the same outcome. No matter what happens, it is always true, and that’s just wrong. Prayer and a milkjug
This you tube video sums it up quite nicely.
And so to me, all of the theological verbage and constructs are absolutely worthless if the God they are all based on doesn’t answer prayer. Theology is like monopoly money, it looks impressive when you are playing the game, but in real life, it has no value.
It is intellectual dishonesty to redefine a miracle to be something that our bodies do normally, (get better from a cold, the flu). It is intellectual dishonesty to not attribute doctors, nurses, and medicines for healing our bodies through their knowledge and care. None of that is supernatural, all of it is natural causes.
So either God exists, answers our prayers in a way that our senses can understand, within a time table (like providing money to pay bills by a specific date), or God is imaginary, or a liar.
And that’s my bottom line. No prayers answered equal no real, caring God of the Bible who promises us a lot of love, care, and help.
In my experience, trying to rationalize God, trying to defend why God failed to answer yet another prayer in a needed time frame boils down to something along the lines of God said wait a while, or God is trying to teach you something. Neither one of these response addresses the fact of unanswered prayer!
Perhaps God is imaginary.