About a year ago, I posted a blog commending Rick Warren’s prayer at the inauguration of our President. At that point, my biggest criterion was whether he would actually pray in Jesus’ name. This he did, and in a very emphatic fashion [especially when compared to the apostate Gene Robinson’s inaugural prayer which began with the words, ‘Oh god of our many understandings …’]. However, after considering my previous comments several times over the past year, I want to revise, if not recant my initial position.
Here’s why: When I think about the one, single thing that needs to be prayed on behalf of our nation today, it is a prayer of repentance. But conspicuous by its absence was any acknowledgment of sin, guilt, or our desperate need for God’s mercy. It simply wasn’t there. It was the one giant, glaring omission. It would be like logging on to CNN.com this morning and seeing the headline: Osama Bin Laden will join President Obama this afternoon to cordially discuss Al Qaeda/US relations over tea. What!?!? The blood of 1.6 million annually aborted babies is flowing above the horse’s bridle, but be that as it may, let’s talk about how You can protect us from our enemies; the stench of our whoring lust fills Your holy nostrils every day, but let’s try to ignore that for the moment so that we can ask You to bless us with more money so we can buy more stuff to replace You as the worship focus [idols] of our lives. Hmmm… WWJD – What would Jeremiah Do? What would Jeremiah say to such a nation?
Now I do have a great deal of respect for Pastor Warren personally. He is the single evangelical leader who has the potential to be one of the top ten richest men in America, yet he wears a watch he bought at Walmart and has lived in the same house with the same wife for something like 15 years. I love this about him and hope to emulate it myself. My great concern though, is his hamartiology – his understanding of sin. I shouldn’t have been caught unawares by this. Wasn’t it his Saddleback methodology that told us to totally eliminate the word ‘sin’ from our ministerial vocabularies? I’m embarrassed it took me so long to see this deficiency in that prayer from last year. May we be a people with God’s definition and disposition toward sin –our sin. God is a God of mercy, even toward such abominations as are ours’. Remember Nineveh. It is time for fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. It is time for “40 days of Repentance”.