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Discussion Forum : General Topics : The "Sinner's Prayer" ala Jonathan Edwards (must read)

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enid
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Joined: 2006/5/22
Posts: 2660
Nottingham, England

 Re: The "Sinner's Prayer" ala Jonathan Edwards (must read)

Having pondered this prayer, where in scripture has anyone ever prayed it?

I can't think of one instance in the bible where someone, in prayer, says they hate God, especially when repenting?

The publican/tax collector prayed 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner', an admission of his own condition before God.

Whether it is Jonathan Edwards or whoever, they are not above scripture.

Just would like some scriptual reference to this assumption.

Yes, the sinner hates God.

Jesus says, if you love Me, keep My commandments.
Again He says, in John 15v23, He who hates Me hates My Father also.

I'll accept that, but I need to know where it says we are to tell God we hate Him.

Thanks.

God bless.

 2006/11/9 9:45Profile
roadsign
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Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

Quote:
Dear God, whom I hate with all my being precisely because you hate and threaten me with hell, I hate this punishment perhaps even more than I hate you.



Perhaps this line is the most difficult. But, as I think of it, I suspect that we argue with God's justice without realizing it. Maybe organized religion flourishes for just that purpose: to defy God's justice by creating a path that dulls the hatred, and sets up it's own righteousness.

I know that I sometimes find myself at odds with God on this point - hell is so extreme! - and so many are headed in the direction - blinded, lost.... . And it seems that God isn't doing anything about it. Grrrrrar...

Diane


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Diane

 2006/11/9 9:52Profile
InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2730
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 Re: The "Sinner's Prayer" ala Jonathan Edwards (must read)

Yes, this shocks me. This is the doctrine of total depravity run amok.

The writer claims Edwards would have counseled someone to pray this way. Edwards was a prolific writer, is there anything at all that he wrote that is anything like this?

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2006/11/9 12:56Profile
roaringlamb
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California

 Re:

Perhaps if it were rephrased something like this.
Oh God whom I hate because I want to be my own ruler, and god. Yet Thou in mercy have shown me the wickedness of my ways, and the justice of the hell I am headed to. Would you in mercy and because of Christ apply His blood to my sin, pardon the crimes I have committed against Thee and Thee alone. May I receive Thy Spirit of adoption that I would no longer be a child of Satan, and self, and a friend of the world. But rather now by grace a child of the very God I have offended time without end. Take this mind, soul, and spirit which I have robbed you of all my days apart from Thee. I lay down my desire to be my own god, and surrender to Thy ways, and Thy will.


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patrick heaviside

 2006/11/9 14:59Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi RoaringLamb,

Quote:
Perhaps if it were rephrased something like this.



I'm not one for repeated prayers, but I think I can handle this one. :-)


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/11/9 15:02Profile
roaringlamb
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Joined: 2003/6/11
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Santa Cruz California

 Re:

I agree with you. A man that has a real encounter with Christ may be without words for a moment, but he definately won't have to be told what to say.
I just wanted to bring a different slant to the discussion ;-)


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patrick heaviside

 2006/11/9 15:15Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
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Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Some of this brought to mind;

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=8555&forum=35#68997]Last Words of Famous People[/url]


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Mike Balog

 2006/11/9 16:04Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re: The "Sinner's Prayer" ala Jonathan Edwards (must read)

Wow! A lot of great responses!

I guess this went over everyone's head, including my own!

It wasn't until I got home from work today that I saw how this "prayer" lays bare the true state of unrepentant man in his phoney quest for God. In fact, this prayer is quite fascinating, if you take the time to read it carefully and ponder on what is implied; it is the subconscious breathings of truth by someone who is seeking God for the wrong motives, someone whose heart has yet to be "pricked". It is sarcastically profound! Of course, I could never see myself offering a prayer like this to an unbeliever (nor imagine Edwards counseling someone with these exact words), for the prayer is merely satirical. But the accusation of blasphemy has come up from someone who is steeped in scripture. So, let's take a look at a few sections of this "shocking" prayer and see how blasphemous it really is:

In this prayer, I see the inner principles of the unrepentant sinner (for notice that 'sin' is not at all mentioned, nor forgiveness, nor repentance) seeking God to avoid hell. In the prayer, a voice is given to the natural state of wicked man importuning the God he hates. This prayer was never meant to be spoken verbatim, nor could it be. It is merely a conveyance of the [i]de facto[/i] state of the sinner, written out ala Edwardian theology. In it, the inner truths of the state of the sinner are spoken as if directly to God. This is merely the essence of man's unredeemed being speaking the uncloaked truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to God, and laying it all bare, as it were.

Now, is it blasphemous that men in spiritual darkness hate the light of Christ, loathe the thought of coming to God to ask forgiveness (which, by the way, is never an issue in this prayer), and that this sinner, if he could, is merely exposing his true affections to God by means of honest confession? Separated and blinded from the truth of God by sin, and threatened with the eternal punishment of hell, sinners cannot truly know God, and so they abhor what they think they know, for if they truly knew God they would love Him. It is only through selfish motives that a false seeker would be justified by the words of this Edwardian "exposure". In fact, Charles Finney has written extensively on this topic, and has gone into some very deep waters in his amazing reasoning. Comparatively, this mock "prayer" only scratches the surface on the motives, intentions, and inner workings of man in this condition. At the same time, this prayer is astonishingly knowledgeable (with more knowledge than unregenerate man could ever have) in the admission that even the ability to love God must come from God.

Quote:
I want you to make me love you, whom I hate.



I want you to make me love you? This, to me, is unrepentant man wanting God to "make him love" so as to escape judgment. I know from experience that the notion is quite feasible (nay, delightful) in man's mind to "love" God without admitting guilt and abandoning sin. False converts harboring unquickened spirits tread this roadway. Throughout this entire prayer, notice there is not one account of sorrow over sin. There is no trace of an "awakened" heart. Just a cold request. Indeed, when a spirit truly comes under Holy Ghost conviction and is quickened into the New Birth, all the needed prayer and words and tears and brokeness just come and flow naturally from the deep unto the Deep.

Quote:
It is no use for me to pretend to be sincere.



He even admits that he is not sincere! Friends, this is an ingenious satrical prayer! Can't you see it? It is 100% biblical, yet 100% fake. It discloses the true state of selfish, sinful man, blinded by self-righteousness yet unwilling to suffer enternal damnation. So, he begrudgingly appeals to the Judge without a guilty plea. Does this process sound familiar? It should, because every Sunday throughout America truckloads of unquickened, false-seeking men and women are verbalizing words that are clashing with the hidden, non-verbal truth of their actual state of being.

I really hope no one took this prayer as an actual model for honest conviction. However, I don't believe this exposure is blasphemous, unbiblical or unreasonable. Rather, I see these truths squelched when multitudes today seek God for selfish purposes.

Any thoughts? :-)

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2006/11/9 17:14Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Quote:
This prayer was never meant to be spoken verbatim, nor could it be.



Think that was the first intimation I picked up on as well brother.
Quote:
In it, the inner truths of the state of the sinner are spoken [b]as if[/b] directly to God.



Regret the mention of the "repeat after me" statement earlier, not at all fond of either the normal 'leading someone in the sinner's prayer' even if it was couched this way, same as Robert made mention of. Had first thought of the 'famous last word's' in relation to the almost defiant to the end mentality that are mentioned within ...

Maybe all I am trying to say is that it struck me as the reasoning process inside one's head, of one coming to grips with his or her own thought's and being honest about it.


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Mike Balog

 2006/11/9 23:39Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Paul,

Quote:
But the accusation of blasphemy has come up from someone who is steeped in scripture. So, let's take a look at a few sections of this "shocking" prayer and see how blasphemous it really is:



I think this would be a good discussion as it plumbs the depths of many truths. At the end of the day it is really just a discussion on Total Depravity (As InTheLight mentioned earlier). I wish to first say that the brother who felt the prayer was blasphemous took the prayer as one actually made to God and not as an unconscious feeling. If a person had actually spoken to God in this way it is possible they had blasphemed because of the tone in which God is being addressed. It comes off as very disrespectful. God discerns the thoughts and intents of the hearts, but by our words we shall be justified or condemned. One may believe their neighbor to be a fool, but how dangerous would it be to actually call him one? So in fairness, the response may have been different to say that these were conscious or unconscious and unarticulated feelings and attitudes rather than an actual ‘seekers prayer.’

Quote:
At the same time, this prayer is astonishingly knowledgeable (with more knowledge than unregenerate man could ever have) in the admission that even the ability to love God must come from God.



I cannot agree with this as it stands because God has commanded men who are unregenerate to love Him. This is probably more due to my position as an Arminian. In both Calvinism and Arminianism there are extremes. If I take Arminianism too far I make man able to do what only God can do- be 100% sinless in his/her unregenerate state (Pelagianism). If I take Calvinism to its final conclusion I make man to be a devil. I can also make a case for it making God to be a devil, as Wesley once said, if some of the tenants are true then God is the father of lies. So, one makes man to be as God and the other makes God and man to be as devils. So there has to be a biblical balance.

Quote:
Now, is it blasphemous that men in spiritual darkness hate the light of Christ, loathe the thought of coming to God to ask forgiveness (which, by the way, is never an issue in this prayer), and that this sinner, if he could, is merely exposing his true affections to God by means of honest confession?



Not all men hate the light. This saying would not be equally true of all men. There are those who are “haters of God”, but these are those of a reprobate mind. Romans 1 comes to mind:

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1)

Notice that this list is radically more extreme than the list of the sins of the flesh that is given in Galatians 5. If the person(s) spoken of in Romans 1 is the person ‘seeking’ (which would likely be impossible if they were actually given over to a reprobate mind; not that they could not respond to God, but the would not) and praying the prayer (or thinking this subconsciously) that would be one thing; but I think it is a category mistake to place all men in this Romans 1 passage.


All men are sinners, but not all the unregenerate refuse to respond rightly to the light. Total depravity asserts that man is totally at enmity with God and totally incapable of doing anything ‘good’. I cannot agree with this. Though ‘the Sin’ has touched the totality of man’s being, is has not depraved him in such a sense that he is a devil or as a reprobate in the Roman’s 1 sense. Man’s thoughts and imaginations are not [u]only[/u] evil continually as those who had fallen before the flood. If it were so none would be saved today. I think it is important also to see that there are varying degrees of ‘enmity’ with God. David was a man after God’s own heart. Abel by faith offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. If all men’s enmity with God were equal then the story of Cain and Abel has no meaning nor do the Psalms.

Enough for now…


God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/11/10 8:18Profile





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