I need to start out with a bit of a disclaimer:
I did not watch a single minute of the RNC.
If that disqualifies me from commenting on the following video, then so be it. No, I am not a Democrat; I’m a registered Republican. However much there may be that I stand opposed to regarding the Democratic party, there isn’t a GOP stamp on my forehead either. I’m not sure if this GOP is the one I first voted for just three weeks after turning 18 in 1976, or again, with a great deal of confidence in 1980 and 1984. So much has changed.
I want to offer some words regarding Ken Hutchins prayer at this year’s RNC and seek to answer a couple of questions I was asked to address as a pastor. I’ve never heard of Mr. Hutchins until I saw this video. I thought, on the surface of things, his prayer was quite good: nothing political contained within its words and, as far as prayers go, it was really quite spot on. Biblically, I found nothing wrong with it…except that it was offered by one who is not a Christian. I don’t say this from my bunker or from under my desk. Ken Hutchins is an avowed Mormon; Mormons are not Christians, no matter how much the GOP or any other group wants to claim that they are.
Mormons worship a different God. They do not believe that Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten, uncreated, eternal, infinite, self-existent Son, come to this earth in the flesh to die in place of us on the cross, buried and then raised again in three days. They just do not believe what the Bible teaches. And don’t try to goad me into some argument about their Book of Mormon being from God; it’s not. Study your history and your religious cults and you’ll know just how “goofy” Joseph Smith was before he “saw” the angel Moroni (is that plural for Moron? just wondering) came and gave him words on gold leaf that no one––I repeat from a housetop––no one else has ever seen nor born witness to with eye-witness testimony. Mormonism’s foundations are simply unverifiable.
Okay, now that this is done, was it wrong for the RNC to have him lead the entire convention in prayer?
Oh, you want more explanation than that? Okay. I’ve already stated that I did not watch the RNC. That doesn’t mean I haven’t listened to or read a good deal about the RNC; especially some of the prayers offered at this year’s complete waste of time and money––oops; sorry––national convention. Some of the prayers I heard were wa-a-ay worse than this one and they too were probably not offered by a true, Christ-confessing, God-fearing, Bible-believing Christian. Many people have prayed before far more solemn events than the RNC, not been truly repentant sinners, and given “nice and adequate” prayers. The only problem is: the Bible says God doesn’t listen to the prayers of unbelievers, except the one crying out for mercy in salvation through Christ alone. So, really, there’s no harm, no foul, no one was led astray. It’s just that most of the prayers read (yes, they were read, you can tell by listening; I’m sure those who watched know this without my having needed to say it) probably stopped at the ceiling (or, at least, the end of the bandwidth of the broadcast).
So what’s a good Christian to do, when someone like this, offers up a prayer of invocation or benediction? Pray. Pray hard. Pray with all seriousness. Pray some of the words the one leading in prayer is praying. Just because they might not be a genuine Christian doesn’t mean some of the words aren’t true. But you, o sinner-saved-by-grace-alone-through-faith-alone-in-Christ-alone, you pray and you pray for real. You come before the Almighty God of heaven and earth via the very name of the One who came and bore your sins on the cross. You pray because you now have the right of access unto God’s throne room through Jesus Christ. You take those words and give them meaning and depth and power and purpose. And then, you let God do what He does so well: act in His sovereign will and power to answer them as He sees fit, in accordance with His will decreed before time began to be measured, and in full assurance that He will receive the glory and the honor.
I was born in central Iowa, raised in a godly home with two first generation Christian parents. The Evangelical Free Church of Madrid, Iowa was where I heard the teaching of the Word of God all my “growing up” years. There were some of the most dear and faithful servants of our Lord serving there, who will never be known around the world, but will hear (or, as is the case for some already, have heard) their Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest.”
When I was between the ages of 12 & 13, I attended Bible camp at Twin Lakesin northwest Iowa. Pastor Don Stover (another of those saints who has entered God’s rest) was telling us the story of Pilgrim’s Progress using blacklight flannel graph (really cool high-tech in 1970!). When Christian gets to the foot of the cross and his burden of sin rolls away into the empty tomb, God had me. I was gloriously converted to Jesus Christ, my Savior.
God’s call to the ministry was a long, gradual process through which He used many people to lead me and confirm within me His will to be a minister. He also used one or two key people to bring me to the doctrines of grace. I had been in ministry for about 6 years when the light of these truths were shown so brightly to me. I trust that I have grown in my understanding of them and have caused others to rejoice in the absolute free sovereign grace of our God.
I have been married for 29 years and have three children.I have earned a B.A. from Trinity College (now Trinity International University)in Biblical Studies, and later earneda MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, have served four Evangelical Free churches since 1986, and am currently the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Rochester, MN since 1997.
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