Don Miller, author of popular books, Blue Like Jazz and Searching for God Knows What gave a benediction at the DNC convention last night:
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.
Disclaimer – If you are not a Christian, you may find this post meaningless. However – I am always interested in what exactly other folks think, so perhaps you will be too. The following is a little Christianity 101 in response to Don Miller’s strange prayer/political talking points list at the DNC convention:
I have many problems with this whole thing that I could comment about, (is it a prayer – or a list of political agendas?) but the last bit is, by far the most important (and disturbing).
…Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.
Against what ‘forces of injustice’, did Christ give His life for?
You could argue that Miller meant mankind, as the ‘forces of injustice’. However, he didn’t say – ‘gave His life for the forces of injustice’ – he said ‘against’ them…and right after running through a long list of (what he, no doubt, perceives as) social injustices.
The other argument you could perhaps make is that Miller was talking about ‘sin in general‘. But again – given this was a prepared prayer/speech, why say ‘the forces of injustice’? Sin is essentially a rebellion of man against God – thus, we/us/mankind are ‘the forces of injustice’ because of our own sins. In this case – again – is he saying that Christ gave his life against us…?
Here’s the point that I am driving at: Christ died for the sins of mankind to create a way for us to be with Him. We don’t earn His favor by being just. Neither did He die to grant better economic opportunity, or healthcare, or to further social causes. Christ took the punishment for our own wickedness upon Himself. As the Battle Hymn of the Republic puts it, “…He died to make us Holy…” If there was any injustice – it was the fact that He (Jesus) was punished for our crimes, and not us. The Bible could not be more clear on this:
(Be sure to read these full sections, lest you think I take them out of context)
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8 (READ THE WHOLE SECTION)
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
Colossians 2:13-15 (READ THE WHOLE SECTION)
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:23-26 (READ THE WHOLE SECTION)
The simple fact is that God wanted us back so badly that He took our just punishment upon His own shoulders. God loved us, despite our sin -so much so, that He was willing to do whatever He could to provide a way for us to be with Him. This was the passion of the Christ and is essentially Christianity in a nutshell.
It appears to me that Miller is somehow equating social and societal injustices with the cause of Christ. Jesus’ mission was to redeem individual souls – not fix societal injustices – (though this may be the end result from fixing souls). In my view – Miller is, at the very least – carelessly distorting religion to fit a political cause.
If this is the case – Don Miller, sadly – you have become the Pat Robertson of the left.
UPDATE – Dennis Prager had some strong words about some other aspects of Don Miller’s prayer/speech: