Thursday, October 5, 2017

Prayers for the Dying

I am over the concept that prayers and thoughts are sufficient responses to when a disaster strikes.  I have heard and seen it all the last few days and this is becoming utterly monotonous when it ends up with nothing ever changing.

I laughed when I listened to Trump recite the "speech" about Vegas using scripture as a reference point reading it as if he was a sixth grader at a presentation for school.  What is more distressing is that he drew on what has been the most common scriptural citation used by those who preceded him in similar situations and with the same equal affect as there is no effect here only words not deeds when it comes to gun control. 

The Bible is apparently the best read book of fiction that The New York Times fails to put on bestseller lists week after week and we know that  Politicians love to cite that text as their most "favorite" of all times, a real inspiration, etc.   After leaving office I have never seen a Politician set foot in a Church or quote the Bible yet you would think that is the most essential aspect of one's duty when they become President. Recall the Obama is a Muslim and as if that is a problem as it is pretty "religious-y"  while the liar in chief seems to think his Sundays are best served on the Golf Course vs in a Church pew.  All while being the first Evangelical President.   Irony or Hypocrisy? You decide.

When I read this article in the Atlantic about the standard Prayers speech I was little surprised how little resulted after this moment of reflection.  That or the new moment of silence are the hallmarks of the new Christianity.  Bless you is best used post sneeze frankly.

But what I found interesting is that there is no real way to measure effectiveness of prayer and that may be the point.  Then that way it can be up to God to make the ultimate decision and that enables the Prayer to be the force of change and not the one saying the Prayer.  Good deflection and punt there to God. 

So how do Christians feel about these mass shootings and the failures by Congress to ever actually implement change.  Well I'll be damned they are pissed as hell! Who would have thought the right to lifers who cannot fathom abortion actually respect life enough to want gun reform.  Well a miracle happens when you pray hard enough.

After Mass Shootings, Americans Turn to Four Bible Verses Most

Kate Shellnutt October 02, 2017 
Christianity Today

At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 wounded at a country music festival in Las Vegas Sunday night.

The morning after hundreds of country music fans were shot at a Las Vegas festival, President Donald Trump called on God to comfort grieving families and victims.

“Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” he said, referencing Psalm 34:18. “We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.”

The psalm he quoted ranks among the top verses that Bible readers turn to after mass shootings.
Bible Gateway analyzed search patterns surrounding Sunday night’s concert shooting as well as 18 other major incidents of violence over the past decade, including Virginia Tech in 2007, Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, San Bernardino in 2015, and Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in 2016. Among the site’s 150 million-plus visitors a year, the four verses that saw distinct spikes in readership around those shootings were:

John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Romans 12:19: “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

Psalm 11:5 “The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.”

Overall, these go-to verses address God’s deliverance from the brokenness of the world—a condition many onlookers feel acutely during times of national tragedy.

Passages from the Psalms in particular regularly appear among the most-searched and most-shared verses in Scripture, and they take on particular significance as Christians look to the biblical text to express laments and frustrations.

Pastor Louie Giglio and Christine Caine shared Psalm 34:18 in response to the Vegas attack, while David Platt ranked it as his top prayer for families and victims. Elsewhere in the Psalms, Beth Moore referenced Psalm 7:9, Kari Jobe, Psalm 9:9; and Anne Graham Lotz, Psalm 23:4.

Several verses associated with the end times also trended on Bible Gateway after the mass shootings.
“After a tragic event, some people turn to apocalyptic verses. For example, after the Dallas police shooting in July 2016, the top topics on were ‘violence,’ ‘signs of the end times,’ and ‘end of the world,’” said Bible search guru Stephen Smith. (He noted that a Christian website called “End Time Headlines” was even featured on Facebook’s own crisis response page after the attack.)

White evangelicals worry less about being caught up in a mass shooting (38%) than other life-threatening events like a terrorist attack (66%) or a violent crime (61%), according to Pew Research Center data released earlier this year. Along with mainline Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated, evangelicals were less likely than Americans on average to worry about being a victim in a mass shooting.

Pew also found that about a third of white evangelicals favored tighter gun regulations, compared to half of Americans overall. Earlier research by PRRI showed that evangelicals were the only religious group “in which a plurality (40%) say that putting more emphasis on God and morality in school and society is the most important thing that could be done to prevent future mass shootings.”

Evangelical leaders feel more strongly about gun legislation, according to a survey released by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) last month. Among denominational heads and ministry presidents (most of whom own a firearm themselves), 55 percent said gun laws should be stricter.

“Evangelical leaders have nuanced views on guns,” said Leith Anderson, NAE president. “They accept the Second Amendment, but also deeply grieve when weapons are used to take innocent lives.” Anderson tweeted on Monday to offer prayers and condemn the violence in Las Vegas.

At least 58 people were killed, and more than 500 wounded, in the Vegas shooting. Victims include a 29-year-old graduate of Union University, a Southern Baptist school in Tennessee, who died saving his wife.

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