“I still stand by it and still feel that it is entirely appropriate. For the early Christians who lived near a pre-conversion Paul whose families were indeed being murdered and torn asunder by the, (at the time) Christian-hating Saul I would say the same thing. Christ Himself prayed, ‘Forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ If He, HE could pray that, I truly cannot fathom any excuse we could have for not praying for our enemies. It is easy to pray for people who are like you, but it is another thing entirely to pray for someone who isn’t like you – or even flatly opposed to you."
A couple of basic problems:
i) Did Christ ever say that? The problem is that the MSS evidence is stacked against the authenticity of Lk 23:34. So if Strawfoot is invoking the authority of Christ for his position, shouldn’t he make a minimal effort to evaluate the textual authenticity of his prooftext?
I pointed this out in my initial reply. What is Strawfoot’s response? To blow right past it.
So what does his faith rest on? Make-believe? Scribal interpolations attributed to Jesus? Does Strawfoot also take up snakes and drink poison?
What about visions of the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich? Or splinters of the True Cross?
ii) How did he get from early Christian martyrs who prayed for their executioners to Ted Kennedy? I missed the transitional argument. Where’s the parallel?
Remember, this is his own analogy. How does he plan to complete the comparison? Is he saying that Ted Kennedy is a 21C version of Nero? In what respect?
“If praying for my ideological/personal/physical enemies forever excludes me from the TR club and makes me an insipid lunkhead then so be it.”
What, exactly, is Strawfoot’s problem? Did I say we shouldn’t pray for our personal enemies? Didn’t I specifically identify the enemies in Mt 5:44 as personal and/or political enemies? If Kennedy filled that job description, then—in principle—it would be our duty to pray for him. (Mind you, the Federal gov’t has something like 3.6 million employees.)
Is Strawfoot too illiterate to read what I wrote? Is he too blinded by personal animus to pay attention? Or is he simply dissembling?
What about “ideological” enemies? Is Mt 5:44 referring to “ideological” enemies? Can Strawfoot sustain that identification from the context? Does he even try to exegete his prooftext?
If he doesn’t care what the Bible really means, why go through the motions of quoting Scripture? Why not drive a hybrid car, practice Yoga, and visualize world peace?
Incidentally, just how many Senators, judges, governors, Congressmen, et al. is Strawfoot actually praying for on a regular basis? How often did he pray for Ted Kennedy before news of his brain cancer hit the airwaves?
“I can see no other healthy response. Until your faith has been tested in the area of praying for someone who means you harm then you can’t know how it feels.”
I take it that Strawfoot has extensive personal experience praying for government officials who’ve persecuted him for his faith and murdered various members of his family. Perhaps he’d like to share some personal anecdotes for our inspiration and edification as we brace ourselves for Kennedy’s national inquisition. Only when Ted Kennedy takes away their frappuccinos will the Tavernistas know what it feels like to pray for a mortal enemy.
“RE: BBB-ers: I hope and even pray that they are true brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to think they don’t mean to send ill-will to non TR Christians – even if I’d be reluctant to flip up their coat-tails looking for the ‘yellow stripe’ of God’s elect for fear of a Truly Reformed right hook.”
Did I ever frame the discussion in terms of who was or was not truly Reformed? No. Because Strawfoot can’t defend his position from Scripture, he takes refuge in these cutesy diversionary tactics.
“(For which I would have a split second to decide to dodge the punch, punch back, or turn the other cheek. All of these being responses that would probably get me in further trouble within the TR fortress.)”
But he’s not turning the other cheek, is he?
“So I can deduce from this that so and so isn’t worth praying for and there is no hope.”
Did I ever frame the issue in terms of who is “worth” praying for? No. Strawfoot covers his retreat in a trail of falsehoods. Piety never looked so like charlatanry.