Thanks for praying for me

… More specifically, thanks for letting me know that you are praying for me to abandon my skepticism and go back to believing in your god.

I know you are praying because you care, but the reason I’m so glad you’re doing it is because it so beautifully illustrates what is wrong with the concept of spiritual accountability to God.

Presumably, your doctrinal stance is that if I believe certain things about Jesus, I will go to heaven, and if I don’t believe those things, I will go to hell. This implies that I have inviolable control over what I believe — that I can simply will to believe something, independent of what I understand to be factually true and independent of external pressures. This is the only way that a god would be justified in holding me personally accountable for my belief or lack of belief.

If you are praying that I will believe in God again, that means that you think God can cause me to believe in him, or at least remove other external factors that prevent me from believing in him. In other words, you admit that what a person believes can be influenced by external factors — including, in some cases, divine manipulation.

If your prayer could even possibly make the difference between my believing and my not believing, then your prayer might be the deciding factor in where I spend eternity. If so, how fair is that — that my fate depends on whether you bother to pray for me?

Either external factors can influence a person’s belief in a god or they can’t. If they can, then personal spiritual accountability is out the window. If they can’t, then praying for unbelievers to become believers is futile, as are all other actions aimed at ‘converting’ them.


Posted on November 25, 2013, in Incoherence of Christian Doctrine, Logic. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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