I criticized Pastor Mark Burns’ invocation on day one of the Republican National Convention for being politicized. I have to point out that when Connie Ryan Terrell, executive director of the Iowa Interfaith Alliance, gave the invocation at Progress Iowa’s annual corn feed on Sunday sounded more like a social justice call to arms than a prayer.

I mean normally I would feel guilty videoing while praying if that was what we were actually doing.

Here’s the video.

The transcript of the invocation is italicized and in bold, my comments are not.

As we join together we hold close to our hearts the cries in our communities for opportunities and equity, fairness and security.

Who are we praying to? Seriously, this isn’t a small matter. Some nebulous recitation of words doesn’t mean jack squat if we don’t address the God of Bible. As far as I know she could be praying to the flying spaghetti monster.

Apparently all we care about is equality and fairness. Typically when someone prays they actually thank God for His blessings and providence. Nothing to be thankful for I guess.  Also, what does holding close to our hearts do? Absolutely nothing.

We hear the needs of families who struggle every day: adults and parents who don’t earn a living wage to sustain their family’s basic needs, children who go to school hungry or who don’t have books to be read to them at bedtime, public schools that struggle under the weight of too few resources.

Yes there are needs. No doubt there are needs. Jesus promised we would always have the poor around us. This will be an ongoing need until He returns. What liberals tend to ignore are the faith-based organizations who are doing great good in the community to reach out to those who are in need and empower them to change.

I know it doesn’t quite fit the narrative of equality.

Also public schools don’t have enough resources? The do less than private schools do per student with more. Apparently God (if that is who we are talking to here) only cares about public schools.

And too many unmet societal needs.

Have we forgotten that God says He is the great provider and bountiful supplier? Oh yeah, it’s not PC to pray to him.

Entire communities that face boundless amounts of mistrust, discrimination, and bigotry. Others who encounter violent actions against them simply because of the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their gender identity, or the religion they practice.

First reconciliation happens through the cross. I fully acknowledge that Christians have engaged in discrimination. I can’t look to the era of Jim Crow laws and the like and not see shameful conduct. Those who conducted themselves in that way were not following biblical teaching and needed to repent.

Jesus provides the way for reconciliation. We are told in Colossians that in Jesus, “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross,” (Colossians 1:19-20, ESV).

When Jesus died on the cross the sin of bigotry and racial strife was placed upon Him, and when He rose from the grave He signaled that sin and all overs, as well as, death were defeated. Not only through Jesus can we be reconciled with each other, but we can be reconciled to God.

“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,” (Colossians 1:21-22, ESV).

While I believe we need to treat all with respect and no one should be bullied Connie, and others like her, consider it bigotry to broach the subject that homosexuals can be reconciled to God and it requires repentance. With it comes change.

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God,” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, ESV).

If you are reading this and bristle at the verses above your problem isn’t with me. It’s with the Bible and the God of the Bible. Connie Ryan Terrell is concerned about people being discriminated against due to their religion, but let’s be clear here… She isn’t talking about people who believe the passage above.

Many liberals will read that passage and see hate and intolerance. In one respect they are right. God hates sin, he won’t tolerate it, and those who engage in it won’t enter His heaven. He doesn’t hate people however. He loves people. He loves people so much that He sent His Son to die on a cross so that we could have forgiveness of sin. Without that act no one would be saved.

Also, contrary to what liberals believe, if we believe this to be true, and I do. How much would have I have to hate someone (homosexual or otherwise) to not share how they can avoid eternal death and judgment. How selfish would I have to be to not share with those around me how they can have an abundant life on this earth and eternal life in heaven?

Tolerance is respecting an other’s point of view when there is a difference of opinion. It’s not tolerant to label a person “a bigot” when they are trying to share what they believe to be good news with another person. You may not believe the Bible, but it’s not tolerant when you ascribe motives to people without understanding what truly drives them.

In all things we strive to be instruments of justice. We seek strength to make the right choices, wisdom to know what those choices must be, and determination to hold ourselves and our leaders accountable so that all children, all Iowans, all Americans, have the opportunity to learn, to grow, and to live equally as part of the American dream.

There it is instruments of justice…. We should seek justice. The Bible tells us to do that. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, ESV).

We see all of the commands that God gave to the Israelites before this encapsulated into this one verse. Jesus boiled it down further – love God, love people, (Matthew 22:37-40).

It isn’t either or, but both and. We can’t ignore what Jesus said in Matthew 24 about reaching out to those who are needy in our society. At the same time we can’t ignore his call for us to make disciples as well, (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8).

What both liberals and conservatives need to understand is that what they view to be right may not be right in God’s eyes. Again drawing from an earlier point I don’t know who she is seeking strength from.

In regards of all children being able to live equally as part of the American dream… does this mean the unborn as well?

With all that we have, with all that we have given, we commit ourselves to ensure fairness and justice, and live our lives in a manner that promotes the worth and dignity of all. In all these things we join our voices together and pledge to find the solutions that benefit the many and not just the few. Amen.

Who are they committing themselves to? “Live our lives in a manner that promotes the worth and dignity of all.” This begs the question – the unborn? How about those who seek not to have their religious conscience violated? Is it showing dignity and worth when that is trampled on?

If you are concerned about the benefit of the many and not just the few why are you pushing the LGBT agenda so hard to the point it violates privacy rights and religious conscience rights?

Honestly when she said “Amen” that is the only point I could tell this was a prayer.

Politicized prayers – bad for Republicans and bad for Democrats as well. While this prayer wasn’t as partisan as what I heard from Pastor Burns at the RNC it is just as unbiblical.

1 comment
  1. But….The Flying Spaghetti Monster IS the one true God. We have proof. Just read our Gospel. It is better than that “Bible” thing which has been twisted over the eons to meet the needs of Church Oligarchs. And it is much more up to date. Also, our Heaven is something to look forward to. Yours is so vague.
    Regardless, Peace and RAmen

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