Julie, you said: "Elman - prayer is good, but faith without works is dead. Our faith must have action and discussion is necessary to determine what action will be most effective. It is a way of being good stewards of what God has entrusted us with."
So, Julie, can you give me a verse in the bible that says that "prayer is good, but faith without works is dead"?
I asked Julie because I think she is already sharing ideas against what is written in the Holy Bible.
Please read this verse:
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Julie, may I ask again, is it not praying to God an act of faith? Please read again the verse I mentioned:
2 Chronicles 7:14-22 (NIV)
14 if my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray
and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
Julie, before you pray have you asked any of the following: Who are you God? How shall I pray? To whom shall I pray? How shall I pray? How long and when shall I pray? What shall I say in praying?What shall I think when praying?
All I was saying is that moral vs social reform is nothing new when it comes to a debate, and it even existed in times of old. But have abortion to the most wicked example of it, been eradicated?
What affirmative action can you get when you discuss a 'chicken or egg' topic?
Julie said: "This whole distinction (or lack thereof) between moral and social reform has been bugging me the last few days. I keep wondering, is it even possible to have moral reform without social reform? Doesn't living out our faith necessitate action? I too often do live the life of the mind and don't put action to my words as often as I should. So I'm thinking through what this looks like - any thoughts?
Julie mentioned too prior to the above that: "So to impose a moral judgement on a person (abortion is wrong) without being there to help her have a dignified life is hypocritical. Morality is way more complicated than that. These are real people in real situations that need help. Most of them know abortion is wrong, many of them know sex before marriage is wrong, but they don't see a way out of the system. So changing the system, showing love, and doing all that social reform stuff is how moral reform gets done for most emergents."
Julie, may I ask again, how do you define morality, and help?
How about its definition in the bible? Why do you think God gave conditions including seeking His face?
You can see how a person would give his own perception and opinion about a subject without realizing that he has no basis at all but a man's pre-conceived ideas to be specific.
What is the status quo? Why are women pregnant, even girls? Why are there men who abuse women? Why engage in pre marital sex or decide to have a baby when in fact you cannot feed yourself?
The answer to this is found in the bible. Let us discuss the basics of morality in the bible. Read the verse I mentioned.
I understand that Julie was just expressing her passion to help, especially with the abused women.
Because of this passion she was even able to think and say that: "People can do good actions (which are moral) even if they are not personally moral. But people can consider themselves moral (and force it on others) without being involved in any action (to which I have to question if they are really moral)"
But even if we consider her statement without accepting it, we must realize that Julie may be acting in good faith but does not necessarily mean that it is a moral thing to do!
Even if we say that it is an affirmative action, we should have a basis. As she is claiming to be a Christian too, she should have realized that the reference to what is moral and divine guidance is found in the Holy Bible. The Holy bible should be primarily considered before having an affirmative action. Actually, consulting the holy bible is an affirmative action and an of act of faith.
Isaiah 34:16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.
God gave conditions which include seeking His face.
Isaiah 1:18-20 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
Julie, yes, you have the passion for the truth and want to share it. And there is a saying that when you want to share something and if it is unworthy, keep it to yourself! When a blind man leads a blind, they will both fall into the ditch. I mean, make sure first if what you are preaching is the real truth. Abortion, homesexuality are issues of salvation and part of what comes with the journey of the Christian faith. And when you are walking in the way of God, you only have one thinking, one faith!
As a christian, I will of course promote the Word of God and push it even if it hurts including those who think differently.
Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
So, I am saying this not to malign any person, or Julie but to say that when you refer to the Holy Bible you can even smell who is telling the truth or not:
Ecclesiastes 10:1 — Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor.
But when you refer to the book of the Lord, you are called blessed:
Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Actually, there is no difference between lying and abortion. Let us go back to the versus I first mentioned from my first comment:
16 There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19 a false witness who pours out lies
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
I say, reform should first be done in the religious aspect, which I say begin at the grass roots. All has been said and done, truly, others would even want to legalise abortion and the like. Therefore, enough is enough. Let us not debate on Moral vs Social reform but rather:
2 Chronicles 7:14-22 (NIV)
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
17 As for you, if you walk before me as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a man to rule over Israel.’
19 But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21 And though this temple is now so imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22 People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’