Praying in the name of Jesus

This morning I read an article that talked about the uproar over the possibility of Pastor Rick Warren praying in the name of Jesus Christ at President-elect Barack Obama's invocation.

What is the point in leaving Jesus out?

...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10)

Is that what people fear when they hear the name of Jesus? Truly - if Jesus was just "a first century Rabbi" why the outrage at hearing His name in public? Is it the separation of church and state? Perhaps those who use that argument should consider the possibility they've misinterpreted Thomas Jefferson's use of that phrase and what the first amendment actually says. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." So...if there is no law against praying the name of Jesus in public (and unless you want to break the Constitution, one shouldn't be drafted), why get yourself in a tizzy for what amounts to a few seconds in time? Truly...we don't have bigger problems to solve?

This country was founded ON Judeo-Christian principles (that is NOT to say everyone has to be a Christian). The families who set sail on the Mayflower were looking for a place where they could openly worship the God they served without fear of persecution. This country has always opened its doors and arms to people of every faith - no matter how misguided some may feel a particular faith is.

Personally, I do care whether or not you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I do want you to see Him as the Savior He is. I pray every day for those who don't that their eyes would be opened. However - I also know that simply saying the name of Jesus does not require you to believe that He is who I say He is. Who am I? No one. Only God has the power to change hearts, no one person does. Rick Warren is not going to convert you if he prays for the President in the name of Jesus. Regardless of whatever your fear (he isn't going to turn your children into mindless Jesus-zealots, either), he does not have that power.

Rick Warren is praying for President Barack Obama and our country as a whole. Not you as an individual. So...instead of yelling and screaming about the use of what is to you, ultimately, just a name - take that energy you're building as anger and turn it into something more positive. Go volunteer at your local Boys & Girls Club. Clean a park. Visit a nursing home. Do something that truly matters.

After all...if Jesus Christ really isn't the Son of God, it's just a name.

I'm just grateful I live in a country where I have the freedom to write what I just wrote. I can look up Bible verses and quote them. I can respectfully listen to your point of view and disagree. Perhaps we should look to what it means that he can speak the name of Jesus in public like that - there are so many places around the world where speaking against the government line means imprisonment or worse.

Tolerance - if you want it - must be extended as well. If not, you are a hypocrite.

May you be blessed. In the name of Jesus Christ, the one and only begotten Son of God.

1 comment:

Regina said...

Thanks Bonnie for this post I really enjoyed what you had to say. And am very thankful for the country that I live in. We are so blessed and SO many do not even realize it.