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Praying in Jesus’ Name

January 6, 2009

A few weeks ago, it was announced that Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddle Back Church, will pray the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration. This caused quite a stir among those on the far left and the far right. Many have called Warren “America’s Pastor.” He is the best selling author of The Purpose Driven Life and moderated the first debate between Obama and McCain. obama_warren

From what I know about Rick Warren, he seems to be an honorable man who loves God and loves people. He and I do not agree on every issue, but then again, I don’t agree with myself on every issue! J His questions during the Saddle Back forum helped many conservatives understand that McCain was a pro-life candidate. Before then, many McCain voters were voting against Obama. After that forum many said they were now voting for McCain.

Regarding the prayer at Obama’s inauguration, many are wondering if Warren will pray “in Jesus’ name.” Prayers to “God” are seen as less offensive because individuals can focus their prayers to whatever God they choose. But many oppose a public prayer “in Jesus’ name.” Legally, Christians are able to pray in the name of Christ- people can pray to whomever they want. Mr. Obama is a Christian and it makes sense to have a Christian minister pray a Christian prayer at his inauguration.

Does it matter? I say “Yes.” If the man referred to as “America’s Pastor” is too politically correct to pray the way he normally prays, then it is a big deal. What is more politically correct? To pray a generic prayer or to recognize Pastor Warren’s First Amendment right to pray? In a land of equality, it should not be offensive for a person to pray however he or she wants to. If our political leaders want to ask leaders of other religions to pray, that is fine with me. I would expect them to address their God also.

My advice to Pastor Warren: let everyone know that you pray “in Jesus’ name” and you plan to during the inauguration. That way people won’t be holding their breath wondering what you are going to do. If people protest, that is fine. You will be respected because you exercised your rights as protected under the constitution. I think this is the ethical thing to do.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 6, 2009 10:55 pm

    “In God we make our boast all day long” – Psalm 44:8

    Thanks for your thoughts!


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