12-03-99, 04:14 AM
My question refers to a portion of the bible, though I would love to hear responses from those from religions other then christianity.
Here is the passage my question refers to:
"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocricites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they be seen with men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your father who is in secret; and your father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matt. 6:5-6)
Does Jesus mean that communal (or even public) praying is sacriligeous? Does he mean that praying for any reason other then praying is wrong? And for you jews, wiccas, muslims, and buddhists out there, what do you think of public praying? I would love to hear your responses.
I think that the passage speaks more toward the motivations of one's devotional moments. If communion with God is what people seek, then their quest will dictate their public behavior; ergo, in my opinion, dignity. If, however, people pray merely to reinforce your own faith by asking others to recognize your evvorts ... well, it's my notion that you know the rest.
Okay, born Lutheran, been through Satanism, Wicca, and some customized new-age thing I'd rather not confuse you with. But I will say that what chases me from any idea is the need to publicly demonstrate it. The Christians on the streetcorner, harassing people or anonymously leaving stupid comic books or threatening pamphlets in phone booths ruined that experience. When I was a witch, I knew about twenty others at my prime. Of them, perhaps one regularly preserved his dignity in public, and thankfully failed to bother people with our calculated philosophical jumble. We still have magic, of a sort, but we're less religious now than when we started our quests. But every philosophy I ever claimed allegiance to seemed to demand that I spend part of my time annoying other people with it. That's puzzling about Wicca, because I have always thought of it as a non-evangelical religion. But the religion is less the philosophy scribbled in books and more how its people define it. So it is, so it was, so I could not be.
I wouldn't accuse you of insinuating anything with your question, but I would say it's vital and justified.
"Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
12-03-99, 11:53 AM
I think what the passage is saying is that you should not express your faith in such a way that it glorifies you personally in the eyes of others.That if you are genuine and humble you will seek communion with god within the privacy of your own room where you can pray and confess openly, seeking forgiveness, before praying for anything else or others. That if you are vain and self seeking you can indeed make a spectacle of yourself in public, praying for everybody apart from yourself and showing to all and sundry how caring, generous and spiritually superior you are, but that obviously won't cut it with Jesus, who would be able to see right through your hypocrisy.
I love that verse. Speaks to my heart regarding all of the phony crapola I've seen out of "church people". I know that this verse is NOT talking about sharing the Word. To share the Word is what God wants us to do. This verse is talking about what your intentions are when you pray. Your intentions should be to strengthen your relationship with God, and to worship and praise Him. Your intentions should NOT be to impress others, or to show off, or to gain fame by exploiting your relationship with Him. I don't think it's at all sacriligeous to pray in public, but it is to pray for a reason other than to worship the Lord and commune with Him.
"ET phone home!"
"Uh, hello Satan?"
"Hey, your plan worked great! They all think I'm cute!"