Does John 14:14 make God a vending machine?


#1

I’ve often heard atheists attack of strawman of prayer that’s often been compared to a vending machine, and when they are challenged about it, they often cite John 14:14 to say that that is what the Bible says:
[BIBLEDRB]John 14:14[/BIBLEDRB]
How do we respond?


#2

No scripture makes God into anything. Scripture comes from God, not the other way around, and does not cause God to be or do anything.

John 14:14 does not imply that God a vending machine because we understand it in light of the other 31,000 verses in the Bible, including the verses in the Epistle of James about asking rightly.

You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:2-3)

John 14:14 was addressed to the twelve. Jesus was speaking to the leaders of his Church. He says that they have to ask “in my name” and the very next verse is “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” There are conditions to what we ask for.

Reality also proves that God is not a vending machine. I still don’t have the burgundy Z06 Corvette.

-Tim-


#3

God will never grant evil requests and will grant good requests on his terms. So, he chooses when we receive something we asked for, how we receive it, God always surprises us, and if we receive it. It may be a good thing according to moral law, but God sees a bigger picture then us, so he may not grant the exact thing you prayed for, he may give you something slightly different. Then you realize that this was what you needed, not what you asked for. But do not worry, no prayer goes unanswered, that’s for sure. We might not see it’s fruits, like when you pray for a soul in Purgatory, but it will not go to waste. Keep praying! :signofcross:


#4

To be honest, I would have to say that a/ some (too many) Christians do treat God/prayer that way, and b/ prayer is not magic, and so it does not work like that (God has a choice).


#5

Well, it says “in my name” so this is restricted to anything he would have asked for.


#6

not magic ? Well, if you do it the right way and say the right words, it certainly works, and that’s magic.


#7

Um, no. As mentioned in the passage quoted by TimothyH, asking even with the right words does not ensure receiving.


#8

Pray for knowledge and understanding. It will all make sense.


#9

How do you think i got the knowledge and understanding about the exact way to do it ? :rolleyes:


#10

it’s not enough to say the right words, you also have to be the right person


#11

Then, you’ve gotten the point of it all - your relationship with God and mankind.


#12

I was beginning to wonder about that myself. Honestly, I have met people who seriously think that God is some sort of butler who awards them whenever they do good things. And they would justify statements by bringing up John 14:14. If you ask me, I don’t believe it. Because, really, why does he need to be treated like a butler who puts everything in a silver platter, whenever one does good in his name. And from how I look at it, one does not do good, in order to gain God’s favor. One does good because it is the right thing to do; not because it was conviennent, or socially acceptable, but rather because they are right.


#13

Pray for knowledge and understanding. It will all make sense.How do you think i got the knowledge and understanding about the exact way to do it ? :rolleyes:Then, you’ve gotten the point of it all - your relationship with God and mankind.
[/quote]

No, you have to be the right person with the right words, to be heard.


#14

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