I found this post in my Drafts folder from 2010. Why didn’t I post it? There are lots more where this came from, drafts from beyond the grave…
An interesting take on prayer and why you don’t seem to get an answer.
God answering prayer violates free will. Theists, whether Christians or otherwise claim that God intervenes in the world but simultaneously state that God can’t make us do good because this violates free will. But doesn’t any intervention by God into human affairs constitute a violation of free will? Why in one case can God affect and/or control human behavior without violating free will but in another case God’s action does? Is there a limit to how much God can intervene in human affairs before it becomes a violation of free will? Five percent of the time? How about ten? To me it seems a clear double standard that is in need of an explanation.
If one abandons the notion that God can intervene in the world to answer prayer God all of a sudden looks much different. Gone is the notion that the Holocaust could have been prevented and was part of God’s divine and “awesome” plan. Gone is the immense power for God to take sides in war as illustrated in the Hebrew Bible. Gone is a God that plays favorites. No longer can God be omnipotent as previously understood because God lacks the power to act in the world. For many who begin to interpret the divine in this non-theistic new light, God then becomes synonymous with love, creative energy and relatedness. Just because the theology of yesterday is insufficient for our modern standards doesn’t mean we need to abandon God, religion or appreciation for the divine.