1

I personally believe that there are biblical grounds for praying to Jesus (e.g. this and this), and, as far as I'm aware, many Christians believe the same. However, I'm currently in ignorance with regards to the Biblical Unitarian position on the subject.

I have four questions:

  1. Do Biblical Unitarians believe that praying to Jesus is a legitimate, scriptural practice?
  2. If the answer to the previous question is yes: do they also believe that Jesus can answer questions verbally (as in Acts 9:10-16 and 2 Cor 12:8-9)?
  3. If the answer to the previous question is yes: do they believe then that if one prays to Jesus and asks him if he is God, he will respond with an unambiguous answer?
  4. If the answer to the previous question is yes: has a Biblical Unitarian ever done this?
8
  • what is praying? Saying 'thank you Jesus' - is that praying? Of course it is. Why wouldn't this be normal for a Christian to acknowledge his life and victory? God's word is quite clear on who Jesus is - the prayer is already answered!
    – steveowen
    May 20 at 22:50
  • @user47952 - "the prayer is already answered!" - Really? And what is the answer (in a few words)? May 20 at 22:55
  • Unfortunately, 2 Timothy 4:3-4 has been true for some time - about 2000 years! (and 3:7)
    – steveowen
    May 20 at 23:19
  • The first one is pretty easy to answer. Why do you think there will be an answer to 2.-4. that is a Biblical Unitarian answer, though? May 20 at 23:21
  • 1
    @SpiritRealmInvestigator My apologies - given the questions you've asked before about Biblical Unitarianism, I thought you would know that Biblical Unitarians are mostly united on 1 issue - that God is the Father, not Jesus. After that, there are all sorts of differences (as there are differences among Trinitarians on all sorts of issues). I don't see any reason why a Biblical Unitarian would think Jesus couldn't communicate verbally to someone. Whether someone's verbal experience is veridical is another question, of course. May 20 at 23:56
1

Biblical Unitarians have a wide range of views about a wide range of subjects - the term simply groups together people who believe God is the Father, not Jesus, and also hold that the Bible has authority in a strong sense (as opposed to other forms of Unitarianism which view the Bible as having authority in a weaker sense). Biblical Unitarians are a faction within Christianity, not a specific denomination.

Question 1. is highly relevant to the defining features of Biblical Unitarianism. If Jesus is not God, is it OK to pray to him?

The answer commonly seems to be yes, but there is debate.

The article Can We "Pray" to Jesus Christ? from BiblicalUnitarian.com addresses this question.

"There is a controversy among Christians who believe that Jesus is not God but the Son of God, about whether or not we can pray to Jesus. The only definitive place to go for an answer to that question is the Word of God. [...] We believe that the Bible makes it clear that one can pray to Jesus, but does not have to, and we will do our best to show why that is."

This is perhaps similar to the debate between Protestants and Catholics about whether praying 'to' Saints is OK. Different people have different views.

In particular, Jesus seems to say we can ask Him for things. John 14:14

"You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

However, there is debate about whether this means addressing the prayer to Jesus, or addressing the prayer to God in Jesus' name, which Jesus unambiguously says we can do.

So the answer to 1. is 'yes' for at least some Biblical Unitarians. Even there, though, the emphasis is perhaps different from standard Trinitarian practise.

"Those who enthusiastically embrace the idea of praying to the Lord Jesus must recognize that this practice ought not to be carried out to the point of distracting one from the worship of the Father. We are sure that the Lord Jesus would find it ironic indeed if he himself were to become the principal object of Christian worship and adoration, when his entire life and ministry was devoted to the glorification of his Father."

For question 2., as the OP points out, there are instances in scripture where people seem to 'hear' Jesus. Since that's the case, I don't see why Biblical Unitarians would object to this idea.

Question 3. moves away from something specific to Biblical Unitarianism, presumably a prayer could be answered unambiguously.

Question 4. is an empirical question, but really two questions. Has someone had an experience like this? Were they having a veridical experience? I'm sure a Biblical Unitarian has done this, but I don't have a link to reports of this.

13
  • Question out of curiosity: what would convince a Biblical Unitarian that Jesus is God? Because based on your answers to questions 3 and 4, it looks like not even a Christophany would do it. May 21 at 19:33
  • 1
    @SpiritRealmInvestigator Would a Biblical Unitarian apparently receiving an answer from God in prayer that Jesus is not God convince a typical Trinitarian? May 21 at 19:34
  • Do you mean the Biblical Unitarian receives the revelation and then he/she shares their testimony with the Trinitarian, or the Trinitarian receives the revelation directly? The former would a second-hand story from the Trinitarian's viewpoint, whereas the latter would be an undeniable first-hand experience. Therefore, I would say that the latter would be more compelling to the Trinitarian than the former. May 21 at 19:39
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator Oh, you mean if a Biblical Unitarian himself received a Christophany where Jesus claims to be God? May 21 at 19:42
  • Yeah, that's what I was trying to say in the question (my apologies if I explained myself very poorly) - update: question edited May 21 at 19:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.