Thursday, July 28, 2011

Praying for a Car Race

NASCAR still opens its left turn festivals with prayer. Perhaps that’s good, though I have my doubts.

A recent prayer by a pastor has strengthened those doubts, though perhaps the problem is not so much with praying for a race as it is with pastors who have no spiritual discernment and reverence.

In the midst of this prayer, he thanked God for his “smokin’ hot wife.” He then claimed he was trying to be like Paul (the apostle, not the driver … That’s a bit confusing though because I didn’t think Paul had a wife.)

Perhaps the most disturbing thing is that some people think it was acceptable. And some even think it was good.

One hapless commentator said this was “a prayer that at worse [sic] praised a man's wife for being sexy.”


This person even thinks this is a positive for the church.


This is a guy who uses a public prayer to hold up his wife as some sort of sex symbol, and that's a positive for the church?

Now I don’t want to be a crank. I really don’t.

But "smokin hot" is an advertisement for a strip club, or July in Detroit, not a church. This is a blight and embarrassment to God and the gospel. And I am a man, but I would think this would be an embarrassment to his wife.

In the Bible, and in civil society, women are honored for their character and virtue, not their "smokin' hotness." (See here and here for some thoughts on this.)

While Nelms wanted to use this prayer for publicity for the church, to draw people to the gospel, attracting people to your church because of a pastoral prayer like this ain't exactly holding up offense of the cross of Christ as the dividing line.

But in a church world gone mad over relevance and being cool and hip which has confused attraction and novelty with evangelism, this shouldn’t be surprising.

God help a church, or a believer, that thinks this is a good thing for church attention and growth.

And God help a pastor who thinks that this is appropriate for public prayer.


Chris Anderson said...

It's even worse when you realize the source of much of the prayer was a blasphemous movie clip.

Jon Gleason said...

Thanks, Larry, you've nailed it. What a low view of God this man must have.

Someone who would pray publicly like this is exalting himself, rather than exalting God. Either he doesn't really know God, or he doesn't let his knowledge of God determine the content of his public prayer.

And I appreciate your words about anyone who would endorse this, too.

Chris, I know what you're saying. It is even more revealing about the man, and it is indeed worse in that it provides a de facto pastoral endorsement of the movie.

In a sense, I disagree, though. It really doesn't matter what triggered this or where he got the idea. What really matters is that he chose to use prayer to entertain man, rather than to speak to and exalt God. Whether he got it out of a blasphemous movie or a self-help book or a devotional book by a Christian author, he didn't get it out of Scripture.