The Word's Christian Fellowship, Inc.
#139 Thank You an No Thank You                                                                  October 1, 2017

“No thank you” is an interesting little phrase that we all use from time to time. Usually we say “no thank you” when something is offered which we aren’t interested in accepting, and although we decline what was offered we appreciate having received the offer or suggestion or direction, whatever the case might be. What we really mean when we say it is “no, but thank you anyway for your offer, suggestion or direction.”

However, if taken literally, the phrase “no thank you” would really be sarcastic or dismissive to say the least, wouldn’t it? Literally you would be saying: “I refuse your offer or suggestion or direction and I’m certainly not going to thank you for it. NO thank you to you.”

In writing, in order to express the normally accepted meaning of the phrase you would need to write, “no, thank you.” Separating the “no” from the “thank you” by the comma would express the two different thoughts in the phrase. Sometimes I say “no, thank you” with the colloquial meaning of: no, but thank you anyway for your offer or suggestion or direction.

However, quite some time ago, I got into the habit of saying “no thank you” in a literal sense to devilish offers or suggestions or directions meaning quite literally: I refuse your offer, suggestion or direction and I’m certainly not going to thank you for it. NO - zip, nada, none - thank you to you.

I caught myself doing it again this week. I was reading what the world leader of a major religious organization said regarding I Timothy 2:1-2

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

This pontiff went on to explain to his millions of followers around the world that, “Christians must pray for their leaders, even if they do bad things.” He didn’t exempt the various world leaders from prayer, though. He said, “If you are a leader, ask yourself: Do I pray to the One who gave me power through the people?” He went further and said to all his followers, “And if you find in your examination of conscience before Confession that you have not prayed for your leaders, bring it to Confession. Because not to pray for leaders is a sin.”

By cleverly twisting God’s Word, adding to it, and subtracting from it, this very learned and respected man made the One True God and Christian believers responsible for the governmental ills in the world. He made the false claim that our loving Heavenly Father gives every perverted potentate or president and every devilish despot or demagogue the power they exercise. He further implies that Christians are responsible to help those leaders carry out their evil mischief by their “prayers” and if they don’t they are sinning. What abominable accusations cleverly disguised as Biblical exhortations.

Christians should pray for (on behalf of) all men, and for (on behalf of) kings, and for (on behalf of) all that are in authority, because certainly not all of them are Christian nor do they pray to our wonderful Heavenly Father.

However, the object, aim or purpose of the prayers of Christians is not given until verses 3 through 6 which the aforementioned pontiff left out of his commentary.

I Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in
   faith and verity.
8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Praying that men and women can be saved because God’s Word is available, rather than providing prayer/political assistance to various rogues across the globe, certainly fits with other exhortations to pray in the seven Church Epistles, like Colossians 4:2 and 3 and Ephesians 6:19.

Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am
   also in bonds:

Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the
mystery of the gospel,

I’ll say a hearty “yes Sir” to God’s exhortation with a “thank You for the privilege,” as well. But the sly and vile direction of the pontiff - that’s another matter entirely, to which I say, “no thank you” meaning, “I refuse your offer, suggestion or direction and I’m certainly not going to thank you for it.”

“NO - zip, nada, none - thank you to you.”

                                                 © Stephen A. Harrison  The Word’s Christian Fellowship, Inc.  4415 Yank Road  Wilson, NC 27893