IN THE NAME OF JESUS
Many wondered how Rick Warren would pray at Mr. Obama's inauguration today. It turned out he walked a tightrope, reducing the number of people offended, but being ambiguous enough to drive purist Christians crazy. Many were relieved that he at least mentioned Jesus, but making it personal left the door open for other ways. This Isa business - some Arab Christians use that term for Jesus, but the Koran also uses it for a Christ figure who did not rise from the dead and is not God. Hugh Hewitt, a Jew, praised the prayer. He was not the least bit offended - in fact, he thought it was ingenuous. A blogger from Nepal thought it was great as well because "there are a lot of ways to God". Those two comments by the unsaved tell me more than all the analysts published at Christianity Today.
The Apostle Paul was bold and prayed in the name of Jesus and proclaimed him as the only way and freedom in Christ as the only path and he paid the price. When Paul left Jerusalem, there was peace. The Apostles in Jerusalem did the dance just like Rick Warren did. Both got along relatively well. Paul was the uncompromising one who drove everyone crazy. He suffered for the name of Jesus, but oh, how great was his reward both in fruitfulness here on earth and in terms of crowns in heaven.
I hope I am more like Paul than the get-along disciples or the current crop of inclusive ministers. I don't ever expect to be asked to pray at any political event, but the fact is, prayer is communication with God, not a public religious exercise - that is what the Pharisees did. Those of us who are ministers are ministers of JESUS CHRIST and committed solely to his gospel. We are not general purpose religious folks called to inspire people and we are not called to any other purpose. I encourage all of you to pray boldly in Jesus name, proclaim him fearlessly as the only way to God, and let all the chips fall where they may.
You will not face Allah one day. You will not face Krishna or Sophia or anyone else except the great I AM. He is the only one to fear, and remember Jesus words; if you deny me before men, I will deny you before the Father in heaven. Whatever flack we get for exalting Christ here, it is far less than the flack we will get from the Father if we dishonor the name of his only begotten son. Pay now or pay later. As for me and my house, we'll pay now!