America Needs Prayer Like Never Before? Really?

This is the headline on a Foxnews.com piece written by Pastor Greg Laurie, Honorary Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force.  I’m not sure what that is exactly, but apparently they are instrumental in organizing events for the day.

On National Day of Prayer, America needs prayer like never before

Now, the article, which you can read here, goes on to quote several people expounding on the reason America is so much worse off now than ever before.  The reasons are the usual suspects of the breakdown of the family, the shutting out of God in culture, the loss of the founding Judeo-Christian values, etc.  Interestingly, the writer brings back the old “the 1960s started us on a downward spiral” argument.

This purpose of this post is not to argue these points.  The purpose is to question the premise of the headline, and I’ll keep it short because it’s the perfect opportunity to put into practice the purpose of this blog.  I want you, the reader, to think about this.

Are we really worse off now than we were between 1800 and 1960?  Examine those 160 years from roughly the invention of the cotton gin, which contributed to the revitalization of the slave system through a Civil War then the oft-excused, even forgotten, period of segregation.

Is homosexuality, not mentioned in the article but obviously a big target for this observance, worse than the systematic oppression of a whole race of human beings for 150+ years?

Think about it.

And as always, let me know what you think.

 

Credit Where Credit Is Due

I don’t know anything about his ministry beyond the basics of the Lutheran denomination, but apparently the pastor who gave the benediction and closing prayer at an interfaith memorial service for the Newtown victims caught some flack for his participation in the service.

Also, he has apparently both defended his participation and apologized for it.

For me, this is a great example of what Paul was talking about in Romans 14 about trying to avoid being a stumbling block to “weaker brothers.”

As I mentioned, I know nothing about Rev. Morris, his ministry or his church beyond basic Lutheran tenets, but I do commend him for this one action.  I believe he did a good thing in participating.  I agree with his defenders who believed he was acting as a Christian witness and not militantly refusing to “mingle” with other faiths, and I also agree with his apology for causing problems amongst his brothers and sisters.

Good for him.

A Good Start

On the About page of this blog, I express, in essence, the hope that at some point, the church will be able to discuss differing opinions on any cultural, moral or political issue civilly no matter what it is.  I hope that this includes the “agree to disagree” principle so that we can come as close as humanly possible to the truth about such things as respect for human life (death penalty, abortion, etc.), the government’s versus the church’s role in providing for widows and orphans, etc., etc.

Same sex marriage is among the issues that I know a vast majority of Christians can’t, under the current church climate, question in their church.  I know there are exceptions, and I hope that this is beginning to change.

Well, I just came across this document calling for exactly this to happen.

A Call for a New Conversation on Marriage

Now, I looked at the list of signatories and am not satisfied with the number of church leaders involved.  There are a few who are to the right of center on the conservative spectrum, and there are a few (“liberal”) seminary leaders and a Bishop in the Episcopal Church.  I applaud these church leaders, but I wish there were more conservatives on the list.

The most encouraging for me is the name of the President of Fuller Theological Seminary.  Fuller has for a long while been a distinctly Christian institution, with a good reputation for facilitating this kind of discussion.

I do hope this document is the spark for a new kind of discussion..