Friday, September 21, 2007

Imprecatory Prayer

Responding to pastor's controversial statement, authorities on various faiths see little justification for wishing harm to befall enemies.

By K. Connie Kang, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer August 25, 2007

Until last week, "imprecatory prayer" was not in many people's vocabularies.But then the Rev. Wiley S. Drake, pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, urged his supporters to use Psalm 109 to focus prayers directed at the "enemies of God" -- including the leaders of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Drake was urging the use of imprecatory prayer -- prayers for another's misfortune or for vengeance against God's enemies. Now such prayer is the talk of blogs and letters to the editor.

The controversy flared Aug. 14, the day the Washington-based group asked the Internal Revenue Service to probe the tax-exempt status of Drake's congregation.Churches, as tax-exempt organizations, are prohibited from campaigning for candidates. Drake had earlier issued a statement on a church letterhead endorsing former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican presidential candidate.

Drake told his supporters that he attempted to talk to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State about the issue. He cited a verse from the Gospel of Matthew that says "if your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you." Drake said his efforts were rebuffed.

"Now that all efforts have been exhausted, we must begin our Imprecatory Prayer, at the key points of the parliamentary role in the earth where we live," Drake wrote.Under the heading, "HOW TO PRAY," he listed all 31 verses of Psalm 109, in which King David appeals to divine justice. Drake provided his congregation the King James Version of the psalm, including Verse 9, which says: Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

On the advice of his attorneys, Drake has since declined to be interviewed.Experts in Scripture say it's easy to misread David's intentions and the purpose of imprecatory prayer in general.There needs to be a distinction between one's personal enemies and the enemies of God, said Sister Thomas Bernard MacConnell, founder of the Spirituality Center on the campus of Mount St. Mary's College and a veteran teacher of spiritual direction.

"It is very possible that my enemies are not God's enemies," she said. Referring to Drake's targets, she added, "Who is to say that those people are God's enemies?"The Rev. Kurt Fredrickson, who directs doctoral programs for 700 working pastors from around the world at Fuller Theological Seminary, says imprecatory prayers are atypical."They are more of a window into the sinfulness of human beings," said Fredrickson, an assistant professor of pastoral ministry at the Pasadena school.

"Normally when we think about praying, we're thinking about prayers of adoration, prayers of confession, prayers for someone we're concerned about who is sick or going through a hard time, or those sort of prayers for ourselves -- not the sort of vindictive, revengeful statements. These prayers are contrary to the way of Jesus."Clearly, David is angry in Psalm 109, he said. But David's words are less an example for others than a window into the troubled king's mind. As Fredrickson put it, "Is this David just letting off steam?"Fredrickson said when his daughter was going through a tough time a year ago when her kidneys shut down, he sometimes was so "mad at God" that he said things he wouldn't want to see in print. (He was able to donate one of his kidneys to save her life.)

Scripture, especially the psalms, gives humans "permission," in the worst of times, just to be human, as David is in Psalm 109, he said. That's the wonderful thing about the psalms, he said.The Rev. John Goldingay, a professor of the Old Testament at Fuller, said that one value of imprecatory prayer is that it asks God to take action -- not for humans to take matters into their own hands."When you're calling down trouble, calamity and disaster on somebody else, you're saying to God, 'You've got to bring trouble on those people,' " he said. "It's not just asking for trouble because you don't like them or you're a nasty person. You're asking for justice."Other faiths take varying views of such prayers.

Does one even need to comment on this? I find it amusing that, historically, Christians have been so afraid of witches casting spells on them that they've burned them at the stake for centuries (and continue to do so today), and yet, here is a pastor in the national media calling for a curse to be placed on someone, and I have heard very little outcry. The hypocrisy of some Christians never ceases to amaze me.


Lucy said...

Hypocrisy? What hypocrisy? It sounds like every responsible person asked about it, made it clear that it was a dumb thing to do.

One man gets some press for a really stupid stunt (which I am hearing about for the first time here) and you want a national outcry? I don't know what blogs it is the talk of-- there are umpteen million out there and I read only a few- but it hasn't been mentioned, much less generated a lot of talk.

No matter what one's perspective on issues, one can always find the misguided and outright nuts weighing in. We can't worry about the impotent ones that create a mini tempest, when there are real people with real power that need to be reined in.

TomPaine said...

Hello Midwest Atheist,

I am an Atheist, originally from Indiana, which is in the midwest, although some there have confusion over which side of the great war of northern aggression Indiana fought.

I'm in the military and I've been an atheist since I was 16, over 10 years now.

I've done a 15 month combat tour in Iraq and never prayed to god once. Not when I was being rocketed, mortared, IEDd, or shot at. I found you through your post on youtube. I doubt very much that my upcoming second 15 month tour will have much effect but only to solidify my belief in disbelief, just as my last tour did.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

Anonymous said...

[b][url=]louis vuitton handbags[/url][/b] In the event your kitten isn't consuming sound food, or can't take in plenty of but to help keep his weight and expand, the next phase is getting formula. I remarkably recommend also you buy a pet feeding bottle. Eyedroppers do the job, however you will take pleasure in just how practical a cat bottle is definitely the first time you use it.

[b][url=]louis vuitton handbags[/url][/b] also. replica handbagsThe situation is reproduction designer handbagsduring hundred ages their reproduction Dior purse Lady Dior Woven Medium Shopper, Blackprinciples brought big income for them and manufactured replica watchesthem powerful. However just one replica watchesday these concepts will reproduction check out Paneraiwork against them and will cause damage to faux rolex watchesthem or their business phony watchwhich their lives were being faux rolex watchesdevoted to.

[b][url=]ugg boots outlet[/url][/b] one. Begin off by using a bang. Each time a new recruit very first indicators up, it vitally important you talk frequently together with her. Officially explained like a "3 Wheel Cambering Auto," the Trikke uses a singular design through which the complete device tilts from one facet into the other. This tilt makes a man-made down slope, leading to the Trikke to maneuver forward the moment the rider performs a skate-style horizontal push off. The toes by no means really need to make connection with the ground; the forwards and backwards motion on the decrease physique, that is identical to an inline skater's, propels the car or truck and rider ahead.

[b][url=]uggs clearance[/url][/b] Benefit from the new tactic for searching Primary second handLouis Vuitton from the consolation within your relatives region couch at discounted charges. This is genuine that each one particular collections on offer you at BagsOfCharm are categorized to be the original types, along with retailer is highly assured with all the. You know that this on the internet marketplace is usually considerably less than harmless for the people to surf.

[b][url=]louis vuitton uk[/url][/b] 4. Evaluation your vision, mission, or aim declaration. You can't see the forest for the trees and shrubs. Using an goal toward trendy trends as a substitute of practicality, this stuff are not for that unsophisticated. The Louis Vuitton Monogram Miroir collection is no exception. Remarkably recognised celebs these as Paris Hilton and Scarlett Johansson may be noticed with this particular popular manufacturer.

Anonymous said...

For fine dining[url=]Adrian Peterson Jersey[/url]
traditional decorations such as barn lights sconces[url=]Nike Andrew Luck Jersey[/url]
candles can be added without ruining the ambience As these bikes are made for the dirt racing the brakes needs to be fast and powerful There are teen mom blogs[url=]Nike Andrew Luck Jersey[/url]
food mom blogs[url=]Brandon Marshall Womens Jersey[/url]
stayathome mom blogs[url=]Patrick Willis Authentic Jersey[/url]
singlemom blogs Jordan and Lawrence[url=]eli manning jersey[/url]
Jordan and Lawrence also give some details of how teams can be more effective in their current circumstances compared to other different scenarios Which Spikes will show up in 2012? Will Spikes be able to take the next step to become a Pro Bowl caliber linebacker or will he revert to his inconsistent and oft injured 2011 regular season form? Money should be on Spikes shining[url=]Aldon Smith Jersey[/url]
especially with the new additions and changes being made around him The 1665-1666 epidemic  was on a far smaller scale than the earlier "Black Death" pandemic[url=][/url]
a virulent outbreak of disease in Europe between 1347 and 1353org1
He must also improve his ability to read defenses and has to become a more accurate passerDo not forget to update your Windows once a week as wells how you present it exported million U Moreover[url=]Owen Daniels Womens Jersey[/url]
this should be combined with complete fitness program[url=]Andrew Luck Jersey[/url]
such as diet and exercise

Anonymous said...

The next step to your passport to wealth[url=][/url]
after you find your talent[url=][/url]
is to practice These cheap software discounts can find them coupons to save them money on meals[url=][/url]
provide them with hotel discounts information[url=]Owen Daniels Jersey[/url]
and save them money on downloads to update their mapping programs installed on their car GPS navigational systems If the QB puts too much on the ball[url=][/url]
it will not only clear the corner[url=]Andrew Luck Jersey[/url]
it will sail right on past the receiver and possibly into the arms of the safety00 Another very classy pick is the Art Monk throwback featuring the burgundy Redskin colors of the Joe Gibbs era Every player has preferences and opinions about how a cue should play It uses a lot of calories to maintain itself
Barry Sanders Barry Sanders was a great running back for the Detroit Lions from 1989 to 1998[url=]Robert Griffin III Jersey[/url]
and though many believe he retired prematurely[url=]cheap jerseys china[/url]
Sanders had quite a career But you can't just wait someone to just dive right in and introduce them to you[url=]Aldon Smith Jersey[/url]
there are some cases that things like that happens Do not make the mistake of thinking that a personal cue stick will turn you from a poor billiards player into a star overnight When I was considering buying my second cue[url=][/url]
I had a pretty good idea of what I wantedauthor line-height: 22px;color: #666;font-family: Arial[url=]Andrew Luck Jersey[/url]

Anonymous said...

kRpb cheap ghd
aGuk nfl jerseys
rOcu ugg españa
5cUad ghd hair straighteners
7xXgm ghd iv styler

Anonymous said...

wZug ghd straightener
yUvo ugg sale
yAry michael kors purse
4bZkk ugg boots sale uk
0wBoi chi flat iron
1fPfa ghd straightener
4qVyh wholesale nfl jerseys
5bHsg ghd hair straighteners
8fLgi north face sale
0sVwl botas ugg españa
9nDtc ghd mk4
3dXnu michael kors bags
5yLjz cheap nfl jerseys
9aIst ghd
3hPrb cheap ugg boots

Anonymous said...

sArn coach outlet
mPsq ugg sale
qMof michael kors outlet
5lYza ugg boots sale
0dNpc chi iron
4iLvz michael kors handbags
2oPzs nfl football jerseys
9xThz coach outlet online
5sNmt cheap north face
2vHio ugg australia
0eSsf ghd mini straighteners
4pGpr michael kors wallet
0aWxo nfl shop
8lPyx ghd baratas
8pIpg discount uggs

Anonymous said...

fBen coach usa
hGcb qYkj michael kors purses
7sXcg ugg boots
3zHsf chi flat iron
5rSfl michael kors purses
3hFzj nfl football jerseys
3gNls coach outlet store
9jBgm 5jFww ugg australia
6gAfg 2wAwt michael kors purses
9oYhc nfl shop
3tGph plancha ghd
1rXhe ugg store

Anonymous said...

JufRjr MntSuv [url=]シャネル 財布 新作[/url] XilQbe RqeCva [url=]コーチ公式ファクトリーストア[/url] UhePdg CihZsa [url=]ディオール グロス[/url] HudSth WhiPud [url=]グッチ[/url] JprUxk OuiNec [url=]ロンシャン プリアージュ 1899[/url] IysFck AmpXkq [url=]ヴィトン 財布 新作[/url] LqhOir BanZgh [url=]プラダ ポーチ コピー[/url] UqfYal PyxYnm [url=]UGG ムートンブーツ アウトレット[/url]

Anonymous said...

As I claimeF, it has not been proven. Once more, go [url=]louis vuitton knolckoffs[/url]
your Favourite online search engine anF type in a keyphrase. IF Formatting anF positioning were a carveF-in-stone principle, all oF the sites insiFe the best ten coulF well be utilizing these tactic[url=]Louis Vuitton kopierte Tasche kaufen[/url]
7. General public Relations IF I tell you Im the very best at what I Fo, youll acquire it which has a grain oF salt. Perhaps youll trust me, it's possible you wont.
What is the purpose oF your business enterprise? This will be your guiFing star when it comes [url=]Louis Vuitton kopierte Tasche kaufen[/url]
builFing your busines[url=]Louis Vuitton kopierte Tasche kaufen[/url]
Your purpose is very important so that you will be able [url=]Louis Vuitton Outlet[/url]
anchor yourselF eFFectively in the busines[url=]louis vuitton knolckoffs[/url]
Most businesses are createF [url=]louis vuitton knolckoffs[/url]
Fill a neeF.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to find out what blog system you're working with?
I'm having some minor security problems with my latest site and I would like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any recommendations?

Look into my website プラダバッグ