Why does God need praise??

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Darrell MacDonald

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Aug 31, 1998, 3:00:00 AM8/31/98
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I am a Christian with some questions. Why is it that God needs the
constant praise the various denominations teach is necessary? Does this
not imply vanity in God? How can God be vain? Isn't it sufficient for us
to follow His teachings?

--
Darrell A. MacDonald, NSAA
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada

e-mail: ac...@chebucto.ns.ca


Bryan J. Maloney

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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In article <6sfqes$5vk$1...@geneva.rutgers.edu>, ac...@chebucto.ns.ca
(Darrell MacDonald) wrote:

> I am a Christian with some questions. Why is it that God needs the
> constant praise the various denominations teach is necessary? Does this

He doesn't need it.

"You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it.
You do not delight in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart.
These, o Lord, you will not despise."

But let us also remember:

"Praise the Lord, o my voice!"

> not imply vanity in God? How can God be vain? Isn't it sufficient for us
> to follow His teachings?

His teaching include praising Him. Worshiping Him. Bowing down before
Him and offering our hymns and our hearts. It is not becaus God needs
these things, it is because *WE* need these things. This praise is one of
the many things that helps us turn towards Him.

--
- "God created women equal with men" ... "There are many women who
are better than men."--St. Kosmas Aitolos
http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/bjm10/


David Barton

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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ac...@chebucto.ns.ca (Darrell MacDonald) writes:

> I am a Christian with some questions. Why is it that God needs the
> constant praise the various denominations teach is necessary? Does

> this not imply vanity in God? How can God be vain? Isn't it


> sufficient for us to follow His teachings?

I know of no denomination that teaches that God needs our praise.
Rather, the ones with which I am familiar teach that we need to praise
God; indeed, that praise and worship are the only possible responses
for ones such as ourselves, finite and sinful, when we encounter the
Infinite, the Perfection, in fact Love Itself. What else could we do
but worship and praise?
--
Dave Barton <*>
d...@intermetrics.com )0(
http://www.intermetrics.com/~dlb

Taliesin of Earthstar

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Sep 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/1/98
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Out of the depths of their immense wisdom, on 31 Aug 1998 23:42:20
-0400, ac...@chebucto.ns.ca (Darrell MacDonald) intoned:

>I am a Christian with some questions. Why is it that God needs the
>constant praise the various denominations teach is necessary? Does this
>not imply vanity in God? How can God be vain? Isn't it sufficient for us
>to follow His teachings?

I would not say "vanity." Most Christian denominations teach that God
is praised/worshipped because he is "worthy of praise." (from the
scriptures, but I can't remember the referrence).

Perhaps the practice of praising God, in a Christian perspective,
establishes the relationship of Deity to Human.

A more secular point of view would also recal the usual relationship
between a commoner and a Monarch (especially in a Middle Eastern
cultural context). In many ways, Deity is treated like a king (only
"bigger and better"), and in Near-Oriental cultures, kings were fawned
upon and almost worshipped (many -- such as the Pharoes (sp?) of Egypt
-- were worshipped outright). As the Kingdom-era Hebrews saw kingship
as a "type" of Deity, perhaps this "praise" was seen as God's proper
due.


Taliesin of Earthstar
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"And so we ask for peace for the gods of our fathers, for
the gods of our native land. It is reasonable that whatever
each of us worships is really to be considered one and the
same. We gaze up at the same stars, the sky covers us all,
the same universe compasses us. What does it matter what
practical systems we adopt in our search for the truth. Not
by one avenue only can we arrive at so tremendous a secret."

Quintus Aurelius Symmachus (A.D. c. 340-c. 402),
Roman senator.


Gary

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Sep 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/3/98
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Darrell MacDonald<AC...@CHEBUCTO.NS.CA wrote in message
<6sfqes$5vk$1...@geneva.rutgers.edu>...

>I am a Christian with some questions. Why is it that God needs the
>constant praise the various denominations teach is necessary? Does this
>not imply vanity in God? How can God be vain? Isn't it sufficient for us
>to follow His teachings?

The chief end of man is to glorify God and ENJOY Him forever.

Since God's Glory is infinite, any addition to it by our feeble efforts adds
nothing to it. (For those with mathematical background infinity + any finite
number = infinity.) Since all the praises of all people is still finite,
God's Glory is thereby not increased.

Further, God is " is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything,
because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

A world of information is contained in this single verse. Think about it.

God created us in order that we may forever come to Know Him, for this is
eternal life, "That we may know Him."
What after all are we to do throughout eternity? Some of us have begun
already.

Gary


PhxCanary

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Sep 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/6/98
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>I know of no denomination that teaches that God needs our praise.
>Rather, the ones with which I am familiar teach that we need to praise
>God;

So why do we NEED to praise God? Why is it a requirement? How many times a day
should we praise God? If you don't give God his daily dose of praise, will you
go to Hell?
"I'm in love with your confusion, on your knees."


Betty Jo

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Sep 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/6/98
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If you have any doubt about the value of praising God, try doing it.
The joy you will experience will resolve your doubt.

"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul
after thee, O God.

"My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I
come and appear before God?

"My tears have been my meat day and night, while they
continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

"When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I
had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of
God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that
kept holyday.

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted
in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the
help of his countenance.

"O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I
remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites,
from the hill Mizar.

"Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all
thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

"Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the day time,
and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto
the God of my life.

"I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why
go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

"As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while
they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted
within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who
is the health of my countenance, and my God."
Psalms 42:1 - 11, KJV

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Awake97105

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Sep 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/13/98
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In article <6sfqes$5vk$1...@geneva.rutgers.edu>, ac...@chebucto.ns.ca (Darrell
MacDonald) writes:

>I am a Christian with some questions. Why is it that God needs the
>constant praise the various denominations teach is necessary? Does this
>not imply vanity in God? How can God be vain? Isn't it sufficient for us
>to follow His teachings?
>

IMO, it has something to do with relationship:
"He lives within the praises of His people, He loves to hear them call upon His
name."

How do I feel if a good, dear friend gives me a sincere heart-felt compliment?
(It feels great!) I think something of the sort happens in the relationship
between God and man. That's what genuine praise is like.

But we identify only slightly with God's feelings. Take for example, "I, the
Lord thy God am a jealous God. Thou shall have no other gods before me." Is
His jealousy like our jealousy? I think our jealousy is usually more selfish
and about "what I want, what I need."

In His name,

Barry

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a
harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do
good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
--Gal. 6:9-10 (NIV)


David Barton

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Sep 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/14/98
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Sorry this has taken so long; I've been out of the country, and have
been unable to read the newsgroup. I *think* this is in response to
my response.

phxc...@aol.com (PhxCanary) writes:

> So why do we NEED to praise God? Why is it a requirement? How many
> times a day should we praise God? If you don't give God his daily
> dose of praise, will you go to Hell?

*snort*. Did you really read my original respone?

Requirement? No more than a requirement to eat when we are hungry,
sigh with ecstasy when we see a beautiful scene or hear a ravishing
piece of music, or embrace when we meet our loved ones after a long
time apart. The need springs from our own selves, a response to
seeing the infinite One who made us, and for Whom we are made.

There is nothing legal about this. If you do not feel the need, then
you haven't met the Lord of the Universe.

Now, there is a totally separate question of discipline, just as the
question of building a marriage is separate from the initial response
of falling in love. In this, you praise God for the same reason you
tell your spouse that you love him or her --- because it is true in
the large, even if day to day living obscures the fact. If praising
God does not reflect the same kind of reality, then DON'T DO IT. You
are, in this case, lying to God, which is a much greater sin.

ark...@webtv.net

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Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
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Maybe because the human race looks at the word from a physical
perspective and the word praise was written from a spiritual
perspective.

In this world, the word praise has a certain MEANING.....

How mean can that be.

Perhaps from a Spiritual point of view, the word is viewed with an
entirely different understanding.

It is........

.................... P(raise) is raising the Spirit WITHIN each of us
THROUGH movement of His letters.

------------------------------------

Oleft2lose

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Sep 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/22/98
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>How do I feel if a good, dear friend gives me a sincere heart-felt
>compliment?
>(It feels great!) I think something of the sort happens in the relationship
>between God and man.

But you would never try to cajole or order the praise--so why should god?


>Take for example, "I, the
>Lord thy God am a jealous God. Thou shall have no other gods before me." Is
>His jealousy like our jealousy? I think our jealousy is usually more selfish
>and about "what I want, what I need."
>

What would lead you to believe our jealousy is more selfish? Perhaps god's is!
And what jealousy is not selfish? Maybe you are correct in wildly guessing
ours is more selfish, but is god's so much better because his is just less
selfish than ours?


{Freedom's just another word for it}


Christina Lee

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Sep 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/23/98
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On 22 Sep 1998, Oleft2lose wrote:

> >How do I feel if a good, dear friend gives me a sincere heart-felt
> >compliment?
> >(It feels great!) I think something of the sort happens in the relationship
> >between God and man.
>
> But you would never try to cajole or order the praise--so why should god?

What is your conception of God? How do you really see Him? Whatever
lens a person uses to view God will color your understanding of Him. I'm
going to make a plug for Jesus at this moment, because as I said to you
before in a previous post, several weeks ago, if you have seen Jesus, then
you have seen the Father. In other words, the Person of Christ is God.
If you know what Jesus is like, then you know what God is like. Do you
know Jesus? Is your understanding of God based on anything that you know
about Jesus?

As for God cajoling or ordering people to praise Him, I can understand why
you might see Him as being rather a conceited close-minded tyrant, but
again I ask, what lens are you using to see and understand Who God is?

Worship is declaring the worth of God. For a believer, worship is an act
of love for God.

God can't make or force a person to love Him. This is quite logical. Is
forced "love" really love? God, like anyone else who wishes to be truly
loved, desires genuine expressions of love.

How about this for a thought? God doesn't really "need" our worship! He
doesn't need it to survive or to remind Himself what a great Person He is.
You may have heard of this idea before, but I think that it is true...that
worship is something that mankind needs. We were created with a need to
worship. As a believer, I believe that I was created to worship the true
God. I think that worship reminds believers who they are in relation to
their God. If a person supposedly does not worship any Deity, then what
god are they worshipping? I think that the need to worship is in every
person, because I think that this is a big part in answering the question
of who they are. So, who or what do you worship if you do not believe in
any God? If you think that you really don't worship anything, what do you
think of the most everyday? Whatever this/who it may be, you are giving
it a lot of attention...and are you giving it quite a high priority.



>
> >Take for example, "I, the
> >Lord thy God am a jealous God. Thou shall have no other gods before me." Is
> >His jealousy like our jealousy? I think our jealousy is usually more selfish
> >and about "what I want, what I need."
> >
> What would lead you to believe our jealousy is more selfish? Perhaps god's is!
> And what jealousy is not selfish? Maybe you are correct in wildly guessing
> ours is more selfish, but is god's so much better because his is just less
> selfish than ours?
>

Oooooooh! This is a lovely question! :)

I'm pretty sure that you know where I stand on this! But to just have it
clear, God is not a selfish God. He is a loving God, always looking out
for our best interest. The worship of other gods/idols {let's define an
idol as anyone OR anything (a car) that takes first place in a person's
heart above God} is very destructive to a person's spirit. (By the way,
what do you think about the idea of a spirit?) Actually, without getting
into too many details, idolatry can also be destructive for the body and
mind too. Since God loves people so much, wouldn't He be angry with the
destructiveness that could result in the people that He loves
if they get caught up in worshipping other idols?

Let's put it in more human terms. Are you married? (You don't have to
answer these to me...I'd just like to think about it in these terms.) Are
you seeing anyone on a steady basis? Is there anyone that you love and
want to have this person love you in return in an exclusive type of
relationship? Wouldn't you feel jealous if your loved one turned on you
and starting going after other lovers? What about if you were indeed
married, and you went through the marriage ceremony, and made your vows to
each other...and your spouse threw away those promises that were made to
you and ran off with other lovers?

There are images in the Bible about God being the husband to the nation of
Isreal. If a person looked at idolatry as an act of adultery against God,
perhaps he/she could appreciate how hurtful idolatry is to God. It
breaks His heart.

>
> {Freedom's just another word for it}
>
>

By the way, I'm glad that you have provided an answer to your end
statement about what freedom is... :)

How about this definition?

Freedom is not another word for being able to do whatever you want.
Freedom is another word for being able to choose the right thing.

Take care of yourself.
And have a good day!

Carol

Oleft2lose

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Sep 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/25/98
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>As for God cajoling or ordering people to praise Him, I can understand why
>you might see Him as being rather a conceited close-minded tyrant, but
>again I ask, what lens are you using to see and understand Who God is?
>

I see god through the lens of my years alive and experiences had on this earth,
just as I assume most others see him and everything else they perceive. You
say you understand how I see him as a conceited close-minded tyrant, but do not
explain how others can see him as anything but this unless they ignore the
state of the earth these last 2000 years, or posit that a god who intervened
numerous times in history, refuses to do so enough to allow us a better world.

>How about this for a thought? God doesn't really "need" our worship!

I would hope he doesn't, but then why does he command it throughout the bible,
including within the 10 commandments? Is he just trying to waste humankind's
limited time on earth?

>worship is something that mankind needs.

I strongly disagree. I know many who do not "need" worship, and if some do, do
you agree that they can worship whatever god or thing they like to fulfill that
need? I feel that if people spent more time treating their fellow man and
their world more kindly, rather than worshiping, we'd all be better off, and
any god would prefer that! Don't you agree? If worship helps some men to get
to that point, that's fine, but it seems more often to create divisive feelings
among men, because many don't like the way, or the object, of the other's
worship.

>I think that the need to worship is in every
>person, because I think that this is a big part in answering the question
>of who they are. So, who or what do you worship if you do not believe in
>any God?

I don't worship anything at this time, I do believe in myself--to do the best I
can, and in certain others to do the same. I work for my life on this earth,
and count on and plan nothing for the future. Why is that hard for you to
believe? I'm guessing, but the other forms of life on this planet probably
don't worship either (or at least many don't). They rely on other internal
resources.

>If you think that you really don't worship anything, what do you
>think of the most everyday? Whatever this/who it may be, you are giving
>it a lot of attention...and are you giving it quite a high priority.

I'm not sure how what I think of most everyday relates to worship, but if I'm
truthful, I probably think most of sex every day. How does this fit in with
your points? I don't think I worship sex, but maybe I'm mistaken.

Most worship, it seems to me upon only brief reflection, grew out of man's
inability to control things like the seasons, the hunt, the eclipse, etc. It
was an act of appeasement to an unknown force. We've become more sophisticated
in our worship, as we have in controlling our environment, but it seems to me
it's still the same. Worship and prayer are generated largely, though not
solely, out of an inability to control certain aspects of our lives.

Jim Watson

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Sep 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/27/98
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Sorry for jumping in here. I haven't been following this thread, so I
apologize if I'm repeating material that's already been covered.

In article <6uf4si$5md$1...@geneva.rutgers.edu>,
oleft...@aol.com (Oleft2lose) wrote:
>
> You say you understand how I see him [God]


> as a conceited close-minded tyrant, but do not
> explain how others can see him as anything but this unless they ignore the
> state of the earth these last 2000 years, or posit that a god who intervened
> numerous times in history, refuses to do so enough to allow us a better world.

But God *has* intervened enough to allow us a better world, first through the
covenant with Abraham, then through the covenant for all people, sealed with
the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

> I would hope he doesn't [need worship],


> but then why does he command it throughout the bible,
> including within the 10 commandments? Is he just trying to waste humankind's
> limited time on earth?

Because worship is the proper response of created creatures who have been
saved from their own self-inflicted misery by the grace of their creator.
Worship is the sign that we accept God on his terms and that we thank him for
his mercy. A refusal to worship would mean that we reject God. This is why
our worship is one of the terms of his covenant in the 10 commandments.

> I strongly disagree [that worship is something mankind needs].


> I know many who do not "need" worship,

I also disagree that worship is something mankind needs. *Salvation* is
something mankind needs. One could extend your statement and say there are
people who do not "need" salvation. My response would be that there are also
people who don't "need" cancer treatment because their cancer has not been
detected yet.

> and if some do, do
> you agree that they can worship whatever god or thing they like to fulfill that
> need?

People can and do worship many gods and things in attempt to secure
salvation. Obviously it is only worthwhile if the object of worship is
effective in working their salvation.

> I feel that if people spent more time treating their fellow man and
> their world more kindly, rather than worshiping, we'd all be better off, and
> any god would prefer that! Don't you agree?

Certainly we'd all be better off if people were nicer to each other. But the
fact that we aren't nice is evidence that we are fallen, sinful creatures who
cannot save ourselves. Whatever niceness we can muster on our own will never
be enough to create for ourselves a perfect world. Utopian societies,
Christian and otherwise, have always failed when they're based on principles
of human behavior.

> If worship helps some men to get
> to that point, that's fine,

Again, the point of Christian worship is not to produce some effect, but to
glorify our saving God.

> but it seems more often to create divisive feelings
> among men, because many don't like the way, or the object, of the other's
> worship.

If any theory about God other than "all gods are equal" is true, then
division is an inevitable result. There is worship of the true God, and
worship of false Gods, and they cannot be equal. Christians believe that
there is one true God, and many false gods. There is a long, horrible
history of Christians terrorizing others because of this belief, but it's a
result of our human nature, not our new nature as children of God.

> I don't worship anything at this time, I do believe in myself--to do the best I
> can, and in certain others to do the same. I work for my life on this earth,
> and count on and plan nothing for the future. Why is that hard for you to
> believe?

It's not hard at all to believe! I might have said the same things earlier
in my life. But I would guess that you know in your heart that there is more
to life than that. If what you've said is the highest truth there is, why
are you here in soc.religion.christian? Why should this discussion matter to
you?

> I'm guessing, but the other forms of life on this planet probably
> don't worship either (or at least many don't). They rely on other internal
> resources.

Again, is living like an animal all there is to life?

> Most worship, it seems to me upon only brief reflection, grew out of man's
> inability to control things like the seasons, the hunt, the eclipse, etc. It
> was an act of appeasement to an unknown force.

Probably true. And there have been elaborate stories invented about the
origins of the gods who supposedly controlled the elements. I believe these
are flawed human attempts to express the relationship between creator and
created that we know in our hearts to be true. The difference with the Bible
is that God has no interest in our worship if our hearts are not with him.
In the Old Testament, sacrifices were made for atonement (which is not the
same thing as appeasement), but God's desire was for the whole self of the
believer, not the sacrifice. In the New Testament we have the outrageous
story of God actually becoming one of us and atoning for our sin by his own
blood. There is no worship or praise or appeasement by which we can
influence God to favor us any more than he has already favored us. We can
merely put our faith in his work and worship him out of sheer gratitude.

> We've become more sophisticated
> in our worship, as we have in controlling our environment, but it seems to me
> it's still the same. Worship and prayer are generated largely, though not
> solely, out of an inability to control certain aspects of our lives.

You're absolutely right that humans continually invent new ways of pleasing
the gods, or "connecting with a spiritual power", or whatever new word we
invent for it. Does it work? If it did, why would we need to change
anything?

I think the underlying issue in the question of "Why does God need praise?"
is a big picture of our relationship with God. You misunderstand
Christianity (and maybe we aid in the misunderstanding) if our worship seems
no different from any other primitive or New Age attempt to influence the
powers around us to our own advantage. I encourage you to pursue the truth
about the whole message of Christianity to better understand why we worship.

Peace,

Jim Watson

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Henry Troup

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Sep 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/28/98
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God doesn't need our praise.

We need to praise God, not for his sake, but for our sake.

--
Henry Troup h...@nortel.ca Nortel Public Carrier Networks
My personal position or opinion should not be taken for
the official position or opinion of Nortel


Oleft2lose

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Sep 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/29/98
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>But God *has* intervened enough to allow us a better world,

How is this world "better" than the one that existed before christ, and how is
that "better" than the one before abraham? It's hard to measure, but many
would argue the world is continuing to deteriorate.

>Because worship is the proper response of created creatures who have been
>saved from their own self-inflicted misery by the grace of their creator.

I disagree. The created creatures did not ask to be created, especially with
the frailties they were created with. Should children born with drug
addictions worship their parents who care enough to have them treated at the
hospital? I recognize this is an imperfect analogy, but I hardly think refusal
to worship is akin to rejection.

>One could extend your statement and say there are
>people who do not "need" salvation. My response would be that there are also
>people who don't "need" cancer treatment because their cancer has not been
>detected yet.

And of course, some simply do not have cancer. In fact, the majority probably
do not

>But I would guess that you know in your heart that there is more
>to life than that.

So I guess that I can suppose YOU know in your heart that what you are saying
is deceptive and wrong.

>Again, is living like an animal all there is to life?

Perhaps. If it were, would that be so terrible? Making the most of the
limited life you have. Is that why you feel you must posit a god, salvation,
and an afterlife?

>You're absolutely right that humans continually invent new ways of pleasing
>the gods, or "connecting with a spiritual power", or whatever new word we
>invent for it. Does it work?

It works at least as well as organized religion in general, and christianity in
particular has. And maybe better to the extent that people are not using
organized religion as an excuse to kill.


>You misunderstand
>Christianity (and maybe we aid in the misunderstanding) if our worship seems
>no different from any other primitive or New Age attempt to influence the
>powers around us to our own advantage.

This is precisely what it appears.

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