Fascinating discussion over at Dave's site. A complete inability to deal with any of the biblical passages that I provided. Or even try.
Instead Calvin is invoked as a straw man (a man that I never invoked). And Calvin is claimed to be a Universalist in regards to prayer. And a Universalist in regards to salvation. Bizarre misrepresentations.
But I'm not going to play their Calvin card. Not going to try dredge up some peculiar sermon. Not going to take Calvin out of context as they were shown that they did. Not because I can't find a refutation- but because (as I said) I am not slavish to Calvin but to Scripture.
Now, having provided considerable scripture (numerous precepts and precedents) as to why a Christian should not pray for apostates (but rather "pray against them")... we will now turn to several principles surrounding this special pleading. Several principles against Universal Prayer.
1. It presumes too much- Jesus did not "ask on behalf of the world" (John 17:9). Did not ask on behalf of the Universe. Did not pray for the Universe. Did not pray for "all men". So what gives us the right to?
2. It presumes too little- Perhaps we should be praying for Satan and his angels as well then? Bugs and bunnies?
3. Different strokes for different folks- Some folks need different types of prayer. As I mentioned, some need imprecatory prayer. A 'kicking of the pricks' (Acts 9:5 KJV).
4. Argument from silence- After tossing the bum from church (Matt. 18:18)- the church is not asked to pray for him. He is left to his own devices. Solitary devices. A Jewish device.
5. Waste of time- Don't waste perfectly good prayer time on those that give strong indication of being apostates. If they are- it is IMPOSSIBLE to renew them again to repentance (Hebrews 6:6).
6. Waste of love- i) Now some Universalists will claim that we are to love our enemies. That is true. But to extend that to 'loving our enemies as ourselves'... is false. A false extension. To extend that to 'loving our enemies to the same extent' (Marouns argument) is contrary to Gal 6:10. A biblical distinction that should be upheld... with prioritized prayer for "those of the household of faith". And prioritized providence for your own household (1 Tim. 5:8).
ii) And Universalists often appeal to the parable of The Good Samaritan. That we should be Good Samaritans to everyone. But there is no indication that the waylaid man was an enemy in this parable. An enemy to the Gospel. Or least of all an apostate. We are only told that he was "a man".
Yet, we have far more information on Dave. Lots of information on Dave. Lots of indication that Dave is an enemy. The worst kind of enemy... an enemy of the Gospel. Lots of indication that Dave is an enemy of the sufficiency of Christ. A false brother. A brother intent on bringing us back into sacramental bondage (Gal 2:4). Into "dead works" (Hebrews 6:1). A brother that "nullifies the grace of God" (Gal. 2:21).
Indications that the apostle Paul deemed sufficient- to hand lotsa folks over to Satan for. Indications that Rome considers sufficient to hand me over ("anathematize") to Satan for. And indications that I would deem sufficient to hand 'brother Dave' over to Satan for.
So then should I pray for Dave... after handing him over? That would be schizophrenic. Double-minded and dumb.