Which God is He Praying To?

image Though much has been written about Donald Miller’s prayer at the DNC last week, we can suffer one further look at his continued attempt to erode Christianity and make it palatable to the masses. For those of you who don’t know, Miller is a hero of the pomo-emergent church who, true to postmodern philosophy, construct their own truth as they see fit. Given his lack of theological depth, it seems improper of him to offer a covering prayer as a representative of the (capital C) Church that the Lord gave His life for. Since he addresses the prayer to the “Father” we can assume he is attempting to gain a hearing by the God that Christians worship so let’s see how he brings glory to the Father through his words. Here is a transcript of the prayer:

“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.”

Jesus taught us the proper way of prayer and it is identified by a desire on our part to see the will of God being done, not our own (Matthew 6:10). Does this prayer succeed?

“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.”

What, Donald, of the 1.3 million children that will be aborted this year? This a foundation of the Democratic party platform that you are praying for God to endorse and support. Does this align with His will? I would suggest No, Don. I would suggest that each of these lives was a creation of the Father you addressed (Ps 139:13-14) and that He would desire that they be given a chance at life and the fulfillment of the purpose for which they were created. Wouldn’t these be the least of these?

“Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.”

This sounds noble, Mr. Miller, like much of your writing but what does it mean? While I am a huge proponent of the ministry that Jesus describes in Matthew 25:31-46, the service is in furthering the will of the Lord. Does service to people only take the form of accommodation to the problems that people face without confronting the spiritual paucity that lies at the core of those problems? Liberal practice teaches that we cannot point out the true problems that a person suffers, we can only offer comfort for them while allowing them to remain mired and dependent in the problem that is consuming them. How does this demonstrate God’s love?

“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.”

We do indeed need your help God. Mr. Miller, we finally find some agreement! Sadly, your collectivist approach to God seems far apart from the individual responsibility that we have before Him (see again Mt 25 and note the goats and the sheep). God has a specific purpose for each of His creatures, unique from the others. While He does see people as “His people”, he also counts the few remaining hairs on my head and knows my name. I am responsible before Him to live UP to the purpose he assigns me. (BTW, Don, every human being in this country has “health care”. They simply need to purchase it. No one who appears at an emergency room can be turned away, even though the losses to hospital system are huge. So, what you meant in your coded language, is God, give everyone free health care.)

“Lastly, Father, unify us. Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.”

Mr. Miller, did you remember that this was an interfaith service? Were you aware that the Lord you were addressing said that He was the only way to the Father? (John 14:6-7) Not one of the ways, not one of many alternate paths, the only way. So, Don, how do you propose to find unity? In seeking the Christian God’s will or by discarding it in favor of your new Humanism? It seems to be the former might be better than the latter. Perhaps, you and I won’t find unity on this front.

“I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.”

So that’s why Jesus gave His life? Mr. Miller, I would dare say that even the First and Second grade Sunday school classes would be able to help you out with the theology of the crucifixion. It was not against the “forces of injustice”, it was against the forces of total human depravity and the sin that infects our fallen world. The injustices that we see are a byproduct of this sin. Jesus gave His life so that you and I might be redeemed from this condition, discover God’s purpose for our lives, and through us, He could address the corruption that creates the injustices.

Mr. Miller’s attempt to make the Democratic talking points appear as God’s agenda, they are not. It seems as though others agree. Steven Camp speaks to this here and Dr. Douglas Groothuis offer comment here.

2 thoughts on “Which God is He Praying To?”

  1. “Given his lack of theological depth, it seems improper of him to offer a covering prayer as a representative of the (capital C) Church that the Lord gave His life for.”

    I am not defending Miller because I can’t read his mind nor can I know his motives but I praise God that “theological depth” has never been one of God’s primary characteristics for those He has chosen to carry out His work. I would encourage you in the spirit of love (which is the primary characteristic that will last into eternity) to be slow to pick of the gavel and strike it with such certainty about who is and who is not a qualified “representative of the (capital C) Church that the Lord gave His life for.”

    By the way, the primary emphasis of Matt 25 is to reveal the primary characteristic of those who are God’s people. Love and compassion. When you are at the end of your life, will you look back and see a history of feeding the poor, clothing the naked, giving water to the thirsty, taking care of widows and orphans? When was the last time you fed a homeless person even talked to one?

    Once your anger and bitterness towards me for writing this to you is over, if you can muster the love, acceptance and forgiveness, I, as a brother in Christ honestly encourage you to take as much time and effort that you put into blasting Don Miller and go and spend time with a homeless person or a single mom in the hood. Go and spend time with those whom Jesus would be spending time with.

    Were we need correction, we need love, not polarizing bitterness. What I have read from your post is anger from an agenda and not much of it rang with love. It sounded like clanging cymbals. We need the right kind of unity as you referenced and we can only get that through love.

  2. Well, Guy, I’m sorry that you were offended by my critique of Mr. Miller’s attempt make the God of atonement appear to be simply the God of social justice causes. It is thoroughly Biblical to correct those who misrepresent God and His missio dei. Additionally, I harbor no anger and bitterness toward you for voicing your opinion. Perhaps had you pointed out where my theological critique was incorrect rather than simply expressing your displeasure at my words regarding Mr. Miller we could have engaged further.

    As to the nature of my ministry, if you knew my history well enough to be as critical as you are, you would know how foolish your cries for me to work with the homeless are. Suffice it to say, I have more than walked the talk when it comes to serving and ministering to those less fortunate than myself. God Bless.

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