Tuesday, August 26, 2008

POLITICALLY CORRECT EMERGENT PRAYER
...the kind that only man hears and God ignores

UPDATED: Miller explains his prayer prior to giving it.




Emergent author - Donald Miller - gave the closing prayer at last evenings DNC opening convention. Not much commentary is needed. This prayer was politically correct, but spiritually vacant. It is the kind of prayer that sinful men will embrace, but God ignores. I hope Miller enjoyed his "60 seconds of fame"; it is the only reward he will receive for such dribble being offered in the name of Jesus. Personally, it left me feeling blue like jazz; but maybe that was the point.

Donald: prayer is not just about man and his needs... it is also about God and His glory. Remember that the next time you decide to play politics with God. 

Burn your plastic Jesus!
Burn your plastic Jesus
Your social worker for the poor
A political crusader, who won’t question your behavior
Who doesn't rule as Lord of lords
He’s your presidential slogan
Your bumper sticker God
Who wants to make you happy
With your BEST LIFE NOW
Oh burn your plastic Jesus
Burn your plastic Jesus

He’s got no power, got no real love
He’s got no cross that he bled and died on
He’s got no tomb that he broke through
Burn this plastic Jesus … he’s just as plastic as you



Here is the transcript of Donald Miller's prayer at the DNC last evening:
"Father God,
This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future. We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation. We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy. Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left. Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them. Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.
Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle. Help us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education. Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony. We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.
Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world? A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American. Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world? Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.
Lastly, Father, unify us.
Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common. And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish. 
God we know that you are good. Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans. I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice. Let Him be our example.
Amen."

73 comments:

Tartanarmy said...

No comments yet brother! Either people see no wrong in this prayer, or Christians like you and I are well in the minority! Keep up the good work brother. In Christ's precious name.

Mark a.k.a Tartanarmy

R W S said...

Therapeutic Christianity gone crazy. This is a Christ-less example that the White Horse Inn have been talking and warning about all year on their broadcast. Sad commentary on much that passes as Christianity.

Stan McCullars said...

Steve,
Good post.

I posted on this prayer but it's possibly too long to include in the comment section. Check out the link.

The Spokesman said...

Steve,

These kind of posts are betraying your duplicity and are part of the reason for my concern over some disturbing trends in the blogosphere. This engenders a spirit of pharisee-ism where even if one doesn't say it they have the attitude of - thank you God that I am not like other men; those liberal Democrats over there; but I pray the right kind of prayer and believe in the sanctity of life and always vote Republican regardless of his violation of your precepts in other places!

SJ CAMP: This prayer was politically correct, but spiritually vacant.

So was the Saddleback Faith Forum!

Donald Miller: "Father God,
This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.


SJ CAMP: Rick Warren was absolutely brilliant. He was lucid, inviting and incisive in how he worded the questions; probed in follow up inquiries; and he kept the evening civil, uniform, and on point.

Donald Miller: Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left. Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them. Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions… We need your help.
Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world?


SJ CAMP: It was a very good demonstration of Christians being salt and light in culture; of applying the truth of Scripture to important issues in community (abortion, war, marriage, etc.)

Steve, I do not regard you as an enemy, but I admonish you as a brother - you must bring your duplicity in check for the sake of the Lord and His elect.

Grace and peace,
Olan

Dave Algie said...

"Blue like jazz." I had to look that up on Wikipedia before I got it.

I am liberal in my political views and have left the staunchly Calvinist, Evangelical Christianity of my youth.

However I found the prayer weak and awkward in its efforts to shoehorn in political philosophy (much of which I agree with). Some of the wording is too smarmy to be believed.
That delivery came across as insincere and flaky, too. Worse in the actual delivery than it looks written on the page.

Nonetheless, Steve's comments seem harsh and in need of some clarifying. I have read the embedded verses from Phillipians and Colossians and don't yet see how the prayer strictly speaking contravenes these guidelines.

Phillipians 4:6 seems to say that prayer should be a process of presenting requests with thanksgiving. The prayer in question seems to do that. Conservatives may find some of the requests made here outrageous. Yet really, many of the requests if they were taken at face value conservatives would agree with and some echo biblical ideals. The prayer is actually rather too blindly patriotic for me, towards the end.

The question I would respectfully ask Steve is; when he sees this prayer and describes it as "dribble", do his thoughts as to its dribbly qualities really derive from a thoughtful, biblical dismantling of the prayer or more from an entrenched rejection of political philosophy the prayer contains?

Blake said...

I agree with what The Spokesman said. To add to that, considering that there are rules governing what can and can't be said in a prayer in a house or senate, federal or state, the fact that Miller was even allowed to mention Jesus, even if it was subjectively noted, is more impressive than the prayers that are so regulated in houses and senates. Personally, I think the whole praying vague prayers at political functions is an act of futility because they aren't prayers but feel good performance pieces. Politics is a secular practice and all of these prayers are just people patting themselves on the back for relating to their constituency. I don't think Miller's prayer hurts anything but it doesn't help anything either. His prayer in this environment does not reflect on his eternal salvation, but it does reflect on the spiritual state of this country. It's a good prayer as far as fake prayers go, but who cares about fake prayers?

Only Look said...

It made me feel like taking Pepto Bismol. He makes it sound like Jesus gave his life for the democratic parties cause.

What a tragic day we live in.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

theoldadam said...

At least he mentioned the name Jesus(even though he has reduced Him to an 'example')

I guess the real Savior, for these folks, is Obama himself and the "New Creation" will be the here and now and a heaven ruled by socialist elitists.

Patrick Eaks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick Eaks said...

I have one question, what did Donald mean by this, "Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice."? Is this a comment in referance to the Atonement? Maybe I have read his comments wrong. Can someone help?
Thanks,
Bro Pat

Jamie Steele said...

Donald Miller, Brian Mclaren, Rob Bell, Tony Campolo...
The hope of the Democratic "Christian" Movement.
Somewhere Mike Yaconelli is smiling.

SJ Camp said...

tartanarmy
Thank you Mark... It is an unfortunate day when prayers by liberal emergents are even touted in the least as being acceptable.

Miller is famous for being indefinitely gray on spiritual things. I understand that in regards to politics (the art of compromise) but Christianity?

Well said.

SJ Camp said...

r w s
Therapeutic Christianity gone crazy.

Oh the blessedness of the economy of words when truth is spoken! Excellent and thank you.

SJ Camp said...

stan m...
Really good post on your site - thank you! I would encourage others to read it as well.

Steve

SJ Camp said...

Olan
There is no duplicity here brother. Please stay on topic here and let's not bring Rick Warren onto this thread. Apples and Oranges.

As to Miller's prayer - examining it is not Phariseeism, it is discernment.

I have written and dealt with many within the ECM for three years plus now. I have read many interviews Miller has done including his books; and have listened to audio as well. It is always the same linoleum treatment of Christianity.

The ECM is not only liberal socially, but doctrinally. That is the well that this prayer is drawn from. If you have read Jim Wallis, McLaren or Bell, etc. same thing.

There have been other prayers given throughout election campaigns that had real teeth and substance to them. This was not one of them.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Campi
Col. 1:9-14

littlegal_66 said...

Not as much a prayer as a social reformer's reflective grown-up wish list?

SJ Camp said...

dave a...
However I found the prayer weak and awkward in its efforts to shoehorn in political philosophy (much of which I agree with). Some of the wording is too smarmy to be believed. That delivery came across as insincere and flaky, too. Worse in the actual delivery than it looks written on the page.

Exactly.

The question I would respectfully ask Steve is; when he sees this prayer and describes it as "dribble", do his thoughts as to its dribbly qualities really derive from a thoughtful, biblical dismantling of the prayer or more from an entrenched rejection of political philosophy the prayer contains?

Thank you for this question Dave.

It is the former because of the later. The reaction to this prayer is because of its lack of biblical foundation. This prayer was a politically correct expression to appeal to an audience at the DNC - not to an Audience of One.

It's vagueness spiritually is indicative of Miller's approach to the faith in general. That is not being harsh, just truthful.

I think Stan did a very good job of how this prayer can easily be dismantled biblically on his site. But if you look at the Disciples Prayer in Matt. 6, it fails at almost every level.

Prayer at its core is utter humility before God. This prayer WAS a political agenda - a platform encased with an "Dear Father" and an "Amen."

The most shocking element of this prayer was his reference to Jesus at the end as if the atonement is the victimization of the incarnate Son of God. Rubbish.

IMHO, this was all about Miller... not genuine prayer.

I do thank you again for your thoughts...
Steve

SJ Camp said...

theoldadam
I guess the real Savior, for these folks, is Obama himself and the "New Creation" will be the here and now and a heaven ruled by socialist elitists.

Not too far off the mark.
Well done.

SJ Camp said...

blake
I don't think Miller's prayer hurts anything but it doesn't help anything either.

Fake prayers are benign meaningless amoral expressions? They are neutral and do not hurt anything?

I know you don't believe that...

SJ Camp said...

only look
It made me feel like taking Pepto Bismol. He makes it sound like Jesus gave his life for the democratic parties cause.

Bingo!

SJ Camp said...

patrick eaks
I have one question, what did Donald mean by this, "Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice."? Is this a comment in referance to the Atonement?

Yes it is AND it is meant politically and socially; but not biblically. He didn't die for injustices.

No one took our Lord's life. He laid down His life of His own volition (John 10:1-10).

Penal substitutionary atonement is not victimization driven by a social agenda. It is humiliation, justification and imputation.

IOW, Miller and other emergents view of our Lord Jesus Christ are far too human!

Here is the biblical record worth reading: Phil. 2:5-11; Hebrews 2:8-18, 7:26; Romans 3:21-31.

SJ Camp said...

littlegal
Not as much a prayer as a social reformer's reflective grown-up wish list?

Precisely.

Stan McCullars said...

Steve,
Thanks for your kind words.

I appreciate how you interact with all who comment.

Rick Frueh said...

Asking God to bless and guide the Democratic Convention is like asking God to bless a Madonna concert.

BTW - if humbly admitting that someone (Warren) with whom you disagree was being charitable is being duplicitous, than so is "blessing your enemies" and that command came from Christ Himself.

SJ Camp said...

rick
Asking God to bless and guide the Democratic Convention is like asking God to bless a Madonna concert.

That sounds like a serious slam against Madonna ;^).

IAS, Miller's prayer was "disposable spirituality": Christianese nomenclature designed to make unsaved people feel religious for a brief moment.

"Bless your enemies..." Thanks my brother!
Campi

Blake said...

Steven
Fake prayers are benign meaningless amoral expressions? They are neutral and do not hurt anything?

I know you don't believe that...


It's fake because of how, when and where it's prayed. The fakeness of the prayer has little to do with the content. Any solid Christian that prayed that prayer, or at least expressed the sentiments of the prayer, in the Spirit, in the quiet of their own home, during a quiet time, and/or in their church or small group would likely not be rebuffed by other Christians. What's objectionable about praying against apathy, for the oppressed and downtrodden, for respnsible engagement in the world, for people's "daily bread" (healthcare, living wage, education), for a morality with integrity, for favor, for forgiveness, for humility, for strength, for unity, and for Christ to be our model?

Yes, it's neutral because many Christians pray for these very things all the time. The fact that it's not really challenging the presuppositions of spiritual beliefs of any nonChristian praying the prayer is not Miller's problem. They wouldn't let a prayer like that get prayed. It's sentiment should be taken seriously by Christians but its vagueness allows that nonChristians can join in and pat themselves on the back for it. NonChristians can do that because they're depraved and won't choose to determine what the sincere foundation of that prayer ought to be. That's their problem that they will be judged accordingly for. I don't see reason for God to judge Miller for something I would hope and expect he meant upon his writing it since many other Christians mean it when they pray it every day.

Winslowlady said...

One of the things I have been taught in my Christian life is to be a Berean, meaning, to examine all things in light of God's Word. That is what I see as the focus of a few blogs out there. With this one leading the way on several issues. I enjoy watching the discussions develop and seeing how this drives us to pursue truth and biblical world views.

In light of this, there are two things that come to mind. When a popular author like Miller who has quite a following in evangelical circles is invited to give a closing prayer at any event, he should try and do so in a way that exalts Christ, and pleases the Lord. We all fail to some degree, and certainly, we can all pray many of the same things he prayed, but my problem with this prayer was using this prayer to place a DNC agenda before the Lord and ask Him to bless it.

For those who are politically savvy, the words framed in this prayer in the context of the DNC's platform, belie the truths of God's Word. When they say help the least of these, they certainly aren't praying for unborn babies.

All other considerations will lead to the kind of effort made by Miller to educate the listener rather than honor the Lord in prayer.

Also, in my opinion, the notion that Camp is being duplicitous on his blog because one time in over 600 articles he paid a compliment to RW on how he moderated a forum is disingenuous. Just because someone disagrees with someone on any given theological issue, but is not afraid to acknowledge something is right, is not being duplicitous but gracious.

We need more balanced discussion and this was showing charity, not duplicity. Too many Christians shrug their noses and dig in when they have a theological beef with someone. However, charity shows the willingness to hold disagreements, even strong ones, but have the grace to compliment, praise, and respect when that is due.

Again, we all can pray many of the things Miller prayed, but the DNC definitions of those things are much different.
WL

KarensFaith said...

I may be wrong and I usually am in regards to these things, but it seems to me his prayer was for things like social reform, more government to solve our problems, etc. Meaningless and vain.

He asks God to restore our moral standing in the world. Sadly, America really doesn't have a lot, if any, morals anymore. What with the garbage coming out of Hollywood and on TV, what our kids are being taught in schools, abortion on demand, gay rights (also on demand), calling our sins sicknesses instead of sin, etc. We have to ask God to clean us up because we sure can't do it by ourselves. That's what he should have prayed for and until we obey God and follow His commands there will be no restoration of moral standing for us in the world.

He said that they (the world) don't know the heart of the average American? I thought it was the same as everybody else's in the world--desperately wicked. He was right about one thing, we need God's help.

Blessings,
Karen

gigantor1231 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

Olan is right! Olan is also on topic, he was simply using your kudos for r$*K W@773N as an example of the duplicity that you have displayed here. Sounds to me like he hit a sensitive spot and you had to put him in his place!

Are you going to be speaking up when it comes time for the Republican convention as well? Talk about a bunch of wolves in sheep,s clothing, it will not shock me if they have the big Rickster come and lead their 'conservative' prayer, I bet that will be a good one too. The question is; who is the meaner and nastier wolf in sheep's clothing?

I am no fan of Donald miller either, just the opposite. It does not surprise me that he was chosen to lead their prayer. He has just the right mix of worldly philosophy, liberalism and eastern mysticism it would not surprise me if he was chosen by Barrach to be one of his ambassadors, or his personal Chaplin or something. At any rate, no shock that drivel and tripe come from Donald's mouth, after all that is what comes from his pen.

P.S.

S.J. Have you studied up on the Donald M., read any of his tripe? Do you consider him a brother as you do the Rickster? Just curious?

SJ Camp said...

blake
Any solid Christian that prayed that prayer, or at least expressed the sentiments of the prayer, in the Spirit, in the quiet of their own home, during a quiet time, and/or in their church or small group would likely not be rebuffed by other Christians.

I disagree - content IS the issue. If ANY believer in the Lord Jesus Christ prayed that prayer in ANY environment - it would be just as foolish.

IMHO, proper tone or sincerity does not compensate for lack of truth.

SJ Camp said...

G-Man
Olan is right! Olan is also on topic, he was simply using your kudos for r$*K W@773N as an example of the duplicity that you have displayed here. Sounds to me like he hit a sensitive spot and you had to put him in his place!

He didn't touch a nerve and no I didn't "put him in his place." The Faith Forum thread went down too many rabbit trails - I won't allow that again. Let's stay on topic here brother and leave the motive guessing behind.

What I have noticed though is a lack of discernment by some here on certain issues and who is saying them.

As to will I speak up on the Republican Convention as well? Is this a serious question? You haven't read this blog to thoroughly if you have to ask. I never play politics here; I don't play favorites; and I have written on many issues promoted by several evangelical leaders (and some that are friends) while others remained silent for political sake. Of course I will cover the RNC and will try to do so biblically and with balanced scrutiny.

Grace and peace,
Steve

SJ Camp said...

winslowlady
For those who are politically savvy, the words framed in this prayer in the context of the DNC's platform, belie the truths of God's Word. When they say help the least of these, they certainly aren't praying for unborn babies.

Bingo! Nor does it mean Barack's half brother earning 12 bucks a year living in a cardboard hut in Africa. He felt comfortable eating with a very nice family in KC last night - perfect strangers - but where is little brother? Left out in the cold.

Also, in my opinion, the notion that Camp is being duplicitous on his blog because one time in over 600 articles he paid a compliment to RW on how he moderated a forum is disingenuous. Just because someone disagrees with someone on any given theological issue, but is not afraid to acknowledge something is right, is not being duplicitous but gracious.

We need more balanced discussion and this was showing charity, not duplicity. Too many Christians shrug their noses and dig in when they have a theological beef with someone. However, charity shows the willingness to hold disagreements, even strong ones, but have the grace to compliment, praise, and respect when that is due.


Thank you very much. It is refreshing when someone actually "gets it." This was very kind, encouraging, and appreciated.

Campi

SJ Camp said...

karensfaith
I may be wrong and I usually am in regards to these things, but it seems to me his prayer was for things like social reform, more government to solve our problems, etc. Meaningless and vain.

I agree.

This was the DNC platform set in the language of supplication. Dangerous.

Thank you for your comment.
Steve

Carla said...

Although Miller is rater well known for his book Blue Like Jazz I had never read it. I knew enough people that have sound Biblical doctrine that had read it, and assured me it was just a useless book. I did read numerous excerpts and many many discussions online about the content (from those who loved it - generally Starbucks-sippin' emergent-types) and that was enough for me to know my book money would be better spent elsewhere.

Interestingly enough, just last night I was reading this article called

Green Like Envy: An Ex-pagan Looks at Blue Like Jazz
. Everything in that article rings true with what many others have commented on regarding what this book and this man, is all about.

So then, to read this here today really didn't surprise me at all to see that he prayed in such a way. Indeed it was very politically correct as you state, and most certainly appealed to the same mindset that suddenly had great recognition for "God" after 9/11.

But... does Miller sound like a man who truly embraces Biblical Christianity at all?

I sure don't see it.

Mike Ratliff said...

Is this not the prayer of the adherents to the social gospel? Jesus didn't die for injustice he died to pay the price for the sins of His people. He didn't minister to bring justice and fairness into the world. He ministered to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God.

What we must never forget is that judgment begins with the church and we must contend earnestly for the faith. As far as politics go, we are dealing with the world here. On the other hand, Obama professes to be a Christian, a politically correct Christian though. We should expose those who profess Christ out of convenience as if that is a selling point for us to overlook the rest of his or her character.

Christianity has become a million miles wide and maybe about a quarter of an inch deep. What passes for Christianity these days is not Biblical Christianity. This prayer is just another sad example of "selling Jesus."

John Bunyan almost went mad thinking he had committed the unpardonable sin when he was a new Christian simply because he was tempted to "sell Jesus," and he thought he had assented to it. God took him through a very long period of doubt and healing, but when he emerged he was the man of God who was able to simply serve God no matter what political pressures were placed on him to compromise.

What we have today is nothing but compromise and those who don't are looked at as "in the way" or "backward" or "pharisaical" or "legalistic." Well, that may be, but our Lord is still calling us to stand and not give in to the ways of the world. We are to be separate and wholly His.

In Christ

Mike Ratliff

Patrick Eaks said...

Campi said:
Penal substitutionary atonement is not victimization driven by a social agenda. It is humiliation, justification and imputation.

Amen! Jesus death on the cross was to accomplish one thing - to save the elect of God!!!

I think the word of God is direct about this;

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

The elect are the us, we and our!

He came to not only save us from the penalty of sin but also the power of sin!! Praise God!!!!

Bro Pat

gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

You did get things right with D. Miller, who is so left wing that he has two left feet, two left hands... I am sure you see the pattern here.
Miller's prayer/s reflect the ecumenical, glad handing, belligerent trash that is proclaimed by all of those that are popular in the emergent movement, this is why Miller is so popular among those involved in the bottom end of our modern day downgrade. Not to mention Miller's willingness to mix in a little eastern mysticism and all that good feeling, self need fulfilling stuff. Here is the heart of the Obama movement, Obama is hope because he is going to meet the felt needs of his peeps, he is going to bring that true change. I wonder if he is going to do it on a white horse and if he will be holding a bow in his hand, sans arrows?

Gee bud, sorry boneheads like Olan and I 'just don't get it' and we are not refreshing for you, how disingenuous to question you!
The contention has not been a matter of compliment, that someone did something right, rather a issue with giving credibility to someone who is so worldly and flesh centered in his teaching of the scriptures. I have yet to hear you refute the fact that he clearly teaches a different gospel.
Perhaps you ought to save these comments that Olan and I leave here, since we obviously disagree with your choice to lock arms with the Rickster. Perhaps when this all pans out we can come back to these and compare notes. The other thing is, let it never be said that all of those that agree with you are your 'yes men or women', when you are in error Steve we will be faithfully be willing to contend with you for all our blogging brethren to see, and when the dust settles that has been kicked up, they will see that we still stand in unity around the risen Savior and Lord. He is Sovereign over all!

SJ Camp said...

G-Man
Gee bud, sorry boneheads like Olan and I 'just don't get it' and we are not refreshing for you, how disingenuous to question you!

I didn't say this nor do I believe this. You are both fine commenters here and I always appreciate your thoughts - even if you are wrong from time to time :-).

In fact, all of those that comment here are a refreshing to my heart. I am honored to serve the Lord and His people through this blog and the many varied articles that I try to present to you from day to day.

A few quick thoughts and corrections for you to ponder:

1. I have not locked arms with Mr. Warren.

2. I am not in error on this. We may disagree and that's OK, but that is far from error.

3. Most blogs wouldn't allow you to have at it with the freedom to disagree with its blog host... especially when many of those comments are off topic on a thread. I say that not pridefully, but with humility for I firmly believe that the iron must sharpen the iron and for that to happen there must be a freedom to express and unfold ones ideas and hopefully from a biblical worldview.

4. But I want to challenge you and Olan here as well. Again, you are two of my favorite contributors here and for that I am honored. But you both have been uncharitable judging the state of Mr. Warren's soul this past week. Several have tried to point that out to you, but you both remain unteachable. I would encourage you to reconsider on this.

You seem unable or unwilling to examine carefully each issue separately pertaining to Warren and to take him in slices as opposed to an all or nothing mentality.

5. I have written faithfully on numerous topics here about Rick and his pragmatism and have disagreed forcefully and have taken the hits for it as well. But again, and I am far from alone on this, when Warren conducted himself in a worthy manner and held a very good "faith forum" on a myriad of issues from a biblical worldview that concerns this coming presidential election, as much as I have criticized him in the past, I shouldn't be afraid to also express thanks to him as well when he does do a good job.

6. I don't believe in amputation; and I don't believe when it comes to a brother in the Lord, that we should withhold the grace of encouragement where we can. So hear me for the last time, on THIS issue, IMHO Warren got it right on his faith forum.

7. Have you considered you are in error on this point? Humility would demand that you both review your positions as well.

I have heard from many reformed solid pastors on this issue - and without exception, we stand together. None of them, including me, are fans of Mr. Warren; but all were surprised and encouraged by much of what Rick said and expressed... and are grateful.

8. On this post, Miller was the classic liberal outside the purview of biblical orthodoxy.

The social gospel is no substitute for the gospel of sola fide, sola gratia and solus Christus. And the Jesus who combated injustice is not the Lord Jesus Christ of the Scriptures who was the once for all propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the elect. Miller needs to burn his plastic jesus of his own invention and come to the Jesus of the Scriptures.

Grace and peace,
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

SJ Camp said...

Mike R.
Christianity has become a million miles wide and maybe about a quarter of an inch deep. What passes for Christianity these days is not Biblical Christianity. This prayer is just another sad example of "selling Jesus."

Amen and well said! Good to hear from you brother.

Steve
Col. 1:5

SJ Camp said...

Pat
He came to not only save us from the penalty of sin but also the power of sin!! Praise God!!!!

Amen! And thank you brother for all the great verses you listed as well.

Campi

SJ Camp said...

Carla
Great to have you weigh in on this thread.

So then, to read this here today really didn't surprise me at all to see that he prayed in such a way. Indeed it was very politically correct as you state, and most certainly appealed to the same mindset that suddenly had great recognition for "God" after 9/11.

But... does Miller sound like a man who truly embraces Biblical Christianity at all?


No he doesn't in this prayer.
Steve

littlegal_66 said...

”…it will not shock me if they have the big Rickster come and lead their 'conservative' prayer, I bet that will be a good one too.”

Actually, the following are scheduled thus far to lead the RNC in prayer: Dr. Robert Certain, Rabbi Ira Flax, Rev. Eva Rodriguez, Father Edward Reese, Pastor Dan Yeary, & Archbishop Demetrios. Quite a diverse group; (wow, it almost seems like a fulfillment of this portion of Donald Miller’s prayer: “Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common).”

gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

Camp: 'Most blogs wouldn't allow you to have at it with the freedom to disagree with its blog host... especially when many of those comments are off topic on a thread. I say that not pridefully, but with humility for I firmly believe that the iron must sharpen the iron and for that to happen there must be a freedom to express and unfold ones ideas and hopefully from a biblical worldview.'

Gig: Yep, that's what I love about this place, we are free to beat on each other, in a civil and loving manner of course. It is appreciated too! As I had said in my last post, no one can say that this blog is full of yes men, cronies of Campi's.

Camp: 'But you both have been uncharitable judging the state of Mr. Warren's soul this past week. Several have tried to point that out to you, but you both remain unteachable. I would encourage you to reconsider on this.'

Gig: As I have said before, I do not know nor do I judge the condition of Rick's or anyone else's soul, that is a matter of the heart and is between him and God. I simply will not call a man a brother that is so blatantly in error and so enamored with his own glory, he seems to have made himself the evangelical pope of sorts.
I am absolutely teachable, it is the questions that have not been sufficiently answered. There looms a massive cloud over Rick Warren from my perspective. When those question are answered sufficiently and the evidence has been satisfactorily refuted then I have no problem conceding.

Camp: 'You seem unable or unwilling to examine carefully each issue separately pertaining to Warren and to take him in slices as opposed to an all or nothing mentality.'

Gig: It is very difficult to take Rick in slices when one slice contradicts the other! Please, show me these 'slices' that you are observing. The slice that I see is of a man that has this messiah complex, Rick is really beginning to believe that he is some kind of messiah called to the world and he is more than willing to take on the title. He increases that Christ might decrease!

Camp: 'I don't believe in amputation; and I don't believe when it comes to a brother in the Lord, that we should withhold the grace of encouragement where we can. So hear me for the last time, on THIS issue, IMHO Warren got it right on his faith forum.'

Gig: Huntley got it right, so did Brinkley, Brokaw, "that's the way it is" Walter Cronkite got it right. Now Rick got it right too. Good job Rick! No dispute here. As I have said before, it is just a matter of who's credibility is being built up here and that is the crux. Rick is a likable guy, he is just a false teacher.

Steve, I have been burned many times over the years by many pastors, teachers etc... and it has simply taken me to that place where the last word for me is God's word. Not that I do not sit under a sound pastor and teacher in my church and humbly learn from him. I question and investigate via God's word, I am very stubborn when I have come to a point of truth, I hang onto it until either it is more fully enlightened to me or it is exposed as a lie and proved to be untrue.

My desire is to stay on task within whatever thread we are discussing, so this will be the last time that I address this..... I hope. If you can direct to any resources on this topic that have helped you with regards to Warren then send that info. my way, would love to learn from it.

Rick Frueh said...

As far as the regenerate state of Rick Warren's soul, please provide me with an unabridged list of all who are truly saved and all who are not. Unless a person denies Christ openly, we have nothing but subjective views. Do not pull up tares because only God knows with inerrancy who they are.

I believe Rick Warren is overly pragmatic to the point of manipulation, but I personally have never thought him anything but a believer. But there is a real and present danger that many who shuffle through the PDL assembly line may be responding to shallow taliking points rather than the deep ministry of the Spirit.

Kuya Kevin said...

. . . Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice. Let Him be our example.

The forces of injustice? Huh? Sounds like liberation theology to me.

Hayden said...

Steve,

Good catch on this one. This really irks me when the Emergent church chastises conservatives for 'being too aligned with Republicans' and come along and jump feet first into the Deomcrat party (Wallis, Campolo, MacClaren, Tony Jones, Miller).

As far as the Warren forum, I agree with you. I heard Dr. Mohler (who is no fan of Warren) talk about it on his radio show and he also commended Warren without commending some of the trite that is taught at Saddleback. You struck a good balance.

SJ Camp said...

kuya kevin
The forces of injustice? Huh? Sounds like liberation theology to me.

Bingo! The "doctrines of demons" come in many forms and expressions - this being one of them.

I think this needs to be said here: I want to encourage all the readers of this blog to commit to pray for Barack Obama and his family that they would come to know the Lord Jesus Christ. His politics are a concern, but the greater concern is does he really know Jesus as his Lord? Has he really embraced the gospel of sola fide?

So in all of our discussion may we not lose the eternal perspective with those that we are challenging in our comments.

And may I ask us to also pray for Mr. Miller as well. That the Lord would wake him up from the slumber and compromise of the unsound doctrine of the ECM to embrace biblical Christianity once again.

By His grace and for His glory!
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

SJ Camp said...

Hayden
Good to see you in this combox my friend. Hope all is well with your wonderful church and ministry you faithfully do by His grace.

Good catch on this one. This really irks me when the Emergent church chastises conservatives for 'being too aligned with Republicans' and come along and jump feet first into the Deomcrat party (Wallis, Campolo, MacClaren, Tony Jones, Miller).

Partisan politics can bring out the worst in us... especially when cloaked in the ecumenical spiritual nomenclature of the ECM.

As far as the Warren forum, I agree with you. I heard Dr. Mohler (who is no fan of Warren) talk about it on his radio show and he also commended Warren without commending some of the trite that is taught at Saddleback. You struck a good balance.

I am honored to stand with Mohler on this issue. And thank you for your words of encouragement as to balance. I fail many times to do so, but hope that it was achieved on that post.

Campius
Col. 1:"9-14

littlegal_66 said...

". . . Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice. Let Him be our example."

To which kuya kevin responded: "The forces of injustice? Huh? Sounds like liberation theology to me."

Or, for the not-so-informed delegates to the convention who were in attendance that night, some hokey Saturday morning superhero cartoon from the early 1970's; i.e., these prolific fighters of injustice.
(I'm sure Al Gore has the "Aquaman" role covered pretty well, but who could fill the role of "Wonderdog?")

Sorry, Steve, I know you're trying to maintain a serious discourse here, and I certainly don't want to diminish that in any way, but that really is what came to mind when I first viewed/listened to/read the prayer...
........oh my, I think I feel a Photoshop project coming on for this evening...

Carla said...

Steve wrote:

"...thank you for your words of encouragement as to balance. I fail many times to do so, but hope that it was achieved on that post."

You did. It was very obvious to most anyway, what you were saying and what you were not saying.

rosemarie said...

Fair Warning. I am wound up and haven't commented on a blog in ages. OK maybe it's only been a week but it seems longer.

The problem with any of these types of public prayers is that they are most often said for those who are listening and are not honest petitions to Almighty God. Their words are carefully balanced, weighed and orchestrated so as to support what has happened before and what will follow. They placate man and make no attempt to plead humbly before the Heavenly Father.

I am not intimating that Miller didn't mean what he said, I am saying what he said was not what the prayers of believers should be. How could they be? Our prayers should never be scripted and edited so as to support a political agenda or to be inoffensive to anyone listening. Our prayers should come from deep within our hearts and our only concern should be that they do not offend the One to whom we offer them.

Speaking of offense...prayers like this one offend me, not for their content but because they are said for no other purpose than to make a show of being men and women of faith. Their point is to placate the Christians of the country, not to beg for mercy or favor. I doubt very seriously that an unpublished, unknown but godly man (or woman for that matter) would be asked to offer a prayer. Nor do I believe such a person, if offered, would accept the responsibility if they knew the constraints that would be placed on them regarding what they could and could not say when they pray.

And finally, Steve, I too see the difference between commending Rick Warren for his interviewing ability and criticizing his theology. I also see a difference between criticizing Miller's prayer and judging the intention of his heart while praying it. I don't know why he accepted the invitation nor what was really on his heart while his lips were moving. I, like you, am left with only his words to discern what was meant. His words were man-centered and are indicative of man-centered theology.

Keep up the good fight!

donsands said...

"And may I ask us to also pray for Mr. Miller as well." -Campi

Yes, we need to take a moment always to pray for those who may be in error. And then to speak the truth in love as well.

Perhaps Donald Miller will look back and say to himself, "I wish i would have honored the Lord Jesus Christ more. I wish I would have shared the truth of His saving grace and Cross. I wish i would have made clear that jesus Christ is the risen Lord of lords, and the King of kings and presidents.

I have prayed prayers that i wish i prayed better. And I thank the Lord for those who loved me enough to come to me and help me grow in grace and knowledge, and mature in Christ.
So that I am more able to glorify my Lord and Savior.

"The problem with any of these types of public prayers is that they are most often said for those who are listening and are not honest petitions to Almighty God." Rosemarie

This is my problem. I try with all my strength to focus on my Savior and my Father when I pray, but I wander. Hopefully portions of my prayer that are weak, and even shallow, may be helped with the "Spirit making intercession" for me. Rom. 8:26

SJ Camp said...

donsends
Well said brother. Thank you.
Campi

Blake said...

Winslowlady
We all fail to some degree, and certainly, we can all pray many of the same things he prayed, but my problem with this prayer was using this prayer to place a DNC agenda before the Lord and ask Him to bless it.

First, if that was the DNC's agenda then that would mean it's not the Republican agenda. If it's not the Republican agenda I'd be even more frightened of the state of Christianity right now considering so many Christians are voting Republican. Why would someone vote for a party that wouldn't even pretend to pray "against apathy, for the oppressed and downtrodden, for respnsible engagement in the world, for people's "daily bread" (healthcare, living wage, education), for a morality with integrity, for favor, for forgiveness, for humility, for strength, for unity, and for Christ to be our model?"

Second, it isn't the DNC's agenda. Asserting that's their agenda is giving them too much credibility. The only prayer either party could honestly pray is the Pharisee's prayer. The Dems and Reps are both too corrupt to do anything morally responsible.

Steven
I disagree - content IS the issue. If ANY believer in the Lord Jesus Christ prayed that prayer in ANY environment - it would be just as foolish.

Really?? It's foolish to pray "against apathy, for the oppressed and downtrodden, for respnsible engagement in the world, for people's "daily bread" (healthcare, living wage, education), for a morality with integrity, for favor, for forgiveness, for humility, for strength, for unity, and for Christ to be our model?" I really hope you're kidding.

Blake said...

Sorry for double dipping, but I found this right after posting my comment. It's Christianity Today's interview with Miller before he said the benediction. I figure it will either fuel the fire in this thread or hopefully begin to put it out.

The Spokesman said...

Blake: The only prayer either party could honestly pray is the Pharisee's prayer.

Actually the democrats would have to pray the Sadducees' prayer and the republicans would have to pray the Pharisees' prayer.

The Seeking Disciple said...

My prayer to God is that more and more people will wake up to how dangerous the emergent movement really is. This is not a differences in opinions but is an outright deniel of much of sound, biblical theology. Thank you Steve for opening many eyes but there are so many who are still in the emergent deception.

gigantor1231 said...

Y'all

Here is my question; How much credibility are we willing to give false teachers, like Miller, etc. and all, in your critique of his/their prayers and teachings etc.? There may be redemptive value to some of what these people say. What should we do with those redeeming things? Should we pat them on the back and say good job, even if what they teach is completely antithetical to the Word of God? What say you?
At what point does one just address them as they are, purveyors of error and deception, and then no longer speak of them as among the brethren, or what seems to be the more popular method, if they say that they hold to Christ we treat them as brothers and sisters, with the disclaimer that they are highly deceived or just really really liberal?

littlegal_66 said...

blake asked: "It's foolish to pray 'against apathy, for the oppressed and downtrodden, for respnsible engagement in the world, for people's "daily bread" (healthcare, living wage, education), for a morality with integrity, for favor, for forgiveness, for humility, for strength, for unity, and for Christ to be our model?' I really hope you're kidding."

I don’t believe it is foolish to pray for “daily bread” if you are praying and trusting in God to provide it. (IOW, if that's what is really being prayed for). (BTW, when did “education” become “daily bread?”) However, this prayer would have us take the focus from trusting in Him to trusting in man. Read this carefully: "Give us the courage to....finally provide health care to those who don’t have any....unify us as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater...."we," "we," "we," "us," "us," "us,".....where is God in all of the plans that Donald has for us as a nation? He does admit that we have tried to solve these problems ourselves, but that those efforts have failed ("We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there"), however, I don’t see evidence in this prayer that would indicate a change in that modus operandi.

littlegal_66 said...

Further, he asks for those in power to be granted the courage to think of ways to provide the daily bread for American families. (“Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.”) I don’t believe that takes a lot of courage; I think it takes real courage to trust God to provide those things…when your cupboard is bare and the rent/mortgage is due…(and I've been there before) that’s where real courage, real faith comes in. I want to recognize that God is our source; I want to be able to “praise God from whom all blessings flow,” not “praise gov. from whom all blessings flow.” (I know, spoken like a typical conservative). And lest you perceive that I write from a vacuum, I would meet his criteria in several areas for those needing “opportunites advanced” by leaders on my behalf. But I believe the Lord will provide any "opportunities" for my "advancement," if/when He deems them necessary.

SJ Camp said...

G-Man
By the command of Scripture we are to "test all things; and hold fast to that which is good." (1 Thess. 5:21).

Testing anyone's truth claims does not mean you are lending credibility to them. It means you are being faithful to God's Word in doing so. Also, it is a matter of guarding a faithful witness in the Lord when discernment is applied.

In this case, Miller's prayer needed to be examined (tested) - why? Because he is identified as being an evangelical author and speaker. His words carry weight in some circles. And he participates in many Bible conferences comprised of conservative Christian orthodox people.

We should examine his words and then, speaking the truth in love, evaluate them in light of Scripture.

Steve

SJ Camp said...

the seeking disciple
My prayer to God is that more and more people will wake up to how dangerous the emergent movement really is. This is not a differences in opinions but is an outright deniel of much of sound, biblical theology.

Amen!
Campi

SJ Camp said...

blake
You are far too generous in re-categorizing Miller's prayer. It was what James warned against: "You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions."

His prayer was the merriment of devils and enjoyed the applause of hell. If he would have prayed a Christ exalting/honoring prayer, the convention would have thrown him out on his "blessed assurance." Oh for men of courage to say the true things with boldness, humility, grace and charity when given an audience before unregenerate men.

The prayer of repentance to deny ones self, take up their cross, and follow the Lord Jesus Christ by grace through faith alone in HIs gospel is what the DNC needed to hear. NOT: "Help us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education."

We call that back home, The Nashville Two-Step.

And no... I am not kidding.

Kuiperian said...

That prayer sounds so nice, addressed to our father in heaven in the name of Jesus, for what, to appease Christian sensibilities towards Obama… Well folks that won’t work for me not in a million years; I could never support someone that has such strong support for the abortion holocaust. Don’t be fooled! I don’t even think its genuine coming in a forum like this.

Debbie said...

Mr. Miller prayed THIS prayer at THIS convention at the invitation of THESE leaders because THIS IS WHAT HE BELIEVES. And yes, it says so much about his worldview and core beliefs. I do not doubt that it was as genuine as can be; but like M. Ratliff said it reflects a Christianity which" has become a million miles wide and maybe about a quarter of an inch deep". Truly genuine in intent but devoid of meaning or consequence. Let's not pretend that he doesn't want the association to be made between this list of needs to be met and what lies at the heart of his political party's manipulation for power. That is part of the political process. He knows this as well as anyone else. In any setting, though, it's sad to see prayer used as another way to try to further man's agenda.

gigantor1231 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gigantor1231 said...

S.J.

Obviously we are to test the spirits, you are preaching to the choir here! It just seems that parsing Miller's prayer is like the pharisee thanking God that he is not like other men. It is no shock to hear Miller pray the way that he does, at the D.N.C. or any other event or venue, because he is all about liberalism and he is a great proponent of the emergent, not to mention that he is another false teacher proclaiming post modern theology! Read 'Blue Like Jazz' or 'Searching For god Knows What' and you will know exactly what I am talking about.
I do not hold that liberalism or being conservative is the right way, there is only one way and that is through Christ alone, his fruit is the only fruit that is meaningful and apart from Him everything that we or anyone else will do is meaningless. It appears to me, whether Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative there is little if any fruit of the spirit and truth within the political movement of this country. So, to hear a vacuous prayer from one of the participants at the D.N.C. is no surprise at all.

P.S. I do wonder, however, how much of a contribution he had to make to the D.N.C. to get up there and pray?

Bryon Mondok said...

Steve:

Ever since I became a believer a little over twenty years ago, I've been instructed to pray for our political leaders. I've been praying for the leaders in both parties - and the politicians. I prayed like I actually believed that God would move in hearts. For the first time in my adult life, Democrats are conducting a conversation about God and faith in the public square. My question for you, brother, is what did you think this would look like, Democrat believers? Did you think they would look like Republicans?

This isn't a Christian vs. non-Christian post. This is a Republican vs. Democrat post. What are you saying? Are you saying that in order for God to hear prayer, you have to believe Jesus died for your sins AND BE a Republican? You're adding to the gospel, my friend. This sounds more like sour grapes. How are you going to get along with your non-republican brothers and sisters in the eternal Kingdom of God?

Kai Schraml said...

Oh please, get over yourselves...it is a prayer about widows, orphans and those in deep need...

Would you criticize Jesus for praying about such things? Then how can you criticize Mr. Miller?

Where is your serious malfunction? Grow some compassion...

Tartanarmy said...

Well, I posted first, maybe jumped the gun, but 70 posts later and some do not yet appear to get it.

Very sad. As the intro states, "prayers that only man hears and God ignores". Sums it up well I think, but honoring God is way down the list it seems, going by a few comments in this thread.

Mark a.k.a Tartanarmy

Russell said...

Blake said...

I agree with what The Spokesman said. To add to that, considering that there are rules governing what can and can't be said in a prayer in a house or senate, federal or state, the fact that Miller was even allowed to mention Jesus, even if it was subjectively noted, is more impressive than the prayers that are so regulated in houses and senates. Personally, I think the whole praying vague prayers at political functions is an act of futility because they aren't prayers but feel good performance pieces. Politics is a secular practice and all of these prayers are just people patting themselves on the back for relating to their constituency.

Ok Blake, time for some basic civics. First, no there are no rules at what can be said at a prayer, in any political chamber. And if there is, it is unconstitutional, as The First Amendment guarantees us the freedom to practice our religion, as well as our freedom of speech.

Second, politics is NOT a secular practice. No action that we take is or should be without God, you can't separate the two. At the Constitutional Convention it was Ben Franklin who suggested that each day's session would be opened with prayer.

Russell said...

Steve, in the explanatory video before the prayer video, Miller says he doesn't think abortion should be illegal, because that doesn't work? Not only is that ENTIRELY non-biblical, it is absolutely ridiculous logic!

I guess this means that we should legalize all murder, as there are thousands of murderers in prison right now. Think of the money we could save for all those great social programs! Drug dealers and pedophiles, too! We can turn all the empty prisons into abortion clinics, free condos for the homeless, and for illegal immigrants! That would be great!

BTW, a recent survey of women found that 57% would not have abortions if they were illegal.

Wrong "pastor." try again. It's called a Bible. Look it up.