Dr. Ravi Zacharias and the National Day of Prayer: Where is the name of Jesus?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Revmitchell, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    For many years I have appreciated the apologetic work of Dr. Ravi Zacharias. His skilled defense of Christianity in an age of atheism and skepticism has provided a much needed voice for truth in the academic sphere through his ministry. I have had to disagree with Dr. Zacharias in the past over his presence at the Evening of Friendship at the Mormon Tabernacle back in 2004 and now, once more, I find myself having to reluctantly disagree.


    Dr. Zacharias is the 2008 Honorary Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. As such, he both wrote and recorded an official prayer that appears on the organization's website. Dr. Zacharias' prayer can be read here. What is missing from the prayer is the name of Jesus Christ. He ends his prayer in "God's Holy Name" The absence of Christ's name is not accidental. A call to the National Day of Prayer headquarters in Colorado Springs revealed that the Honorary Chairman's prayer does not include the name of Jesus so as not to offend the Jewish participants in the event. The woman assured me that others are free to pray in Jesus' name if they desire. The organization promotes "Judeo-Christian" prayer events around the nation. Herein lies the problem.


    Story Here
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

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    That is unfortunate. May the Lord enlighten Ravi with truth and give him courage to stand for the Name of Jesus.
     
  3. Analgesic

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    So, if he doesn't say "In Jesus name"... The prayer is somehow less legitimate? I seem to recall a certain Special Someone teaching the Apostles how to pray.

    I'd always just assumed he did a pretty good job...
     
  4. preachinjesus

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    Seems to me he did mention Jesus...if you mention "God's Holy Name" you've mentioned Jesus. Being part of the Trinity you mention one you have mentioned them all.

    Do we really need to have a measurement like "Jesuses per minute" to meet a qualification or some dogmatic quantifier?

    I have no doubt Ravi Zacharias had Jesus on his heart, mind, and lips during the entire event. Now let's turn to some other figure who is actually reaching people and dig into them. Which one do you propose?
     
  5. donnA

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    Jn 14: 13And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

    Apparently it depends, on whether or not your prayer is for God's glory, or to pacify non christians and make them feel good.
     
  6. Rubato 1

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    Exactly, DonnA. The point is not what he says, but what he does not say, and why.

    It comes close to denying the Lord, IMHO. For preachers who tell the young people of their congregations to stand for the Lord in school, etc. this is the perfect opportunity to practice what they preach. They wouldn't invite him back, but that proves the whole point.

    (When I was in Christian high school I didn't have the pressure to stand for Christ, but I told the young people on our church bus route to do so. So, when I went to Driver's Ed, I took my Bible with me to class and kept it on the top of my stack of books.:laugh:)
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    Ultimately the reason for not using the name of Christ at the end of this prayer was so as not to offend lost Jews.
     
  8. PreachTREE

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    Why? Ever since when is preaching/teaching about Christ to a bunch of Mormons wrong?
     
  9. J.D.

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    I (and I think almost all Christians) always end my prayer with the words "in Jesus name, Amen." If I were asked to leave off those words, it wouldn't be a question of whether saying those words affect the prayer or not, but whether the name of Jesus may be publicly proclaimed or not.

    I was once asked to give the invocation at an official military function. I knew what that meant, so I made it clear right up front that I would not pray without Jesus' name invoked. Nothing was said about it until just before the event began, a chaplain came up to me and handed me a piece of paper and told me that I had to read it but not sign it. It basically said that prayers at official military functions must be generic and inoffensive to all faiths (in other words, don't say in Jesus name).

    After I read it, I told that chaplain that I was going to pray in Jesus name unless I'm ordered to stand down (not pray), to which he said "do what you believe the Lord wants you to do", which in chaplain-talk was encouragement to go through with my prayer.

    I have to admit that it took all the determination I could muster to say those words "in Jesus name" when it came time, for as far as I knew, I would be severely reprimanded for it.

    But lo and behold, instead I was thanked many times over for doing it, and there was no repercussion to my military career.

    Since then, the rules have been changed so that whoever leads in prayer is expected to pray "in accordance with their particular religious tradition".

    But while Mr. Zacharius disappoints me in this, I understand the tremendous pressure that they can put on people to conform when they’re operating in the political world. Just look at what’s happened to Ian Paisley in Ireland. His political compromises have cost him both his denomination and his political party, and may yet cost him his Church, even though relatively speaking, he has been one of the most UNcompromising politicians in history.
     
  10. pinoybaptist

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    Ravi Zacharias is one of the non-Primitive Baptist preachers out there that I find very capable in his handling of the Word of God.
    Many times I have felt abandoned and insecure in my relationship with the Lord, and many times after listening to this man I have felt lifted and reassured and slack-jawed in utter amazement at the love and character of the Carpenter who left His kingdom that I may receive mine.
    I cannot fault Dr. Zacharias for simply saying "In God's Holy Name" anymore than I can fault him for closing a prayer with "In The Holy Spirit's Name" or "In The Father's Name" for these are all One God.
    If the purpose is not to offend others, we can look at Paul who had his head shaved as custom dictated in order to not offend those who are in the Jewish religion, whom he also desired to reach with the Word of Christ.
     
  11. donnA

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    The name of Jesus is offensive to the unsaved, offensive because it reminds them of their sin, to down play Him in anyway is denying Him and unsaved man's need of Him. If just hearing the name Jesus is offensive, then so be it.
     
  12. Rubato 1

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    I would have to contend that the reason for obstaining from 'Jesus' is not to 'not offend', but to 'not get in trouble.' We can't preach the gospel w/o offending people!


    Would we offend unbelieving Jews? So did Jesus, it seems...
     
  13. BaptistBarb

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    my pastor does not always end his prayers with "In Jesus name" , does that mmake him bad too?
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    It does make him wrong.
     
  15. Revmitchell

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    Refusing to mention the name of Jesus under any circumstances so as not to offend lost people is a serious problem. When offense becomes a bigger priority than proclaiming Jesus (of which the gospel cannot be given) then there is a grave heart problem.

    Doing it and becoming repentent is one thing. Doing it as a chosen lifestyle is quite another.
     
  16. BaptistBarb

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    Interesting.

    Does that make Jesus Himself wrong?

    His words:

    Matthew 6.9-15

    John 17:1-26

    I do not find Jesus telling us or modeling for us the fact that we have to end our prayers "in Jesus name."
     
  17. dan e.

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    The nerve.... If only he'd join the baptist board and spend his days making judgments on other leaders' ministries he'd be much more fruitful for the kingdom.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    To bad he didnt stick to scripture.
     
  19. Martin

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    ==Sadly, I am not surprised. Popular evangelicalism is going down hill and it is going fast. Spurgeon called it the "downgrade". The evangelical church needs to get back to the meat of the Word of God. Evangelicals need to stop falling for every fad that James Dobson, Tim LaHaye, Rick Warren, or some other self-appointed leader, parades down the street. We also need to stop attempting to be cool. The Truth is not cool because it will always go against what the world considers to be cool. The popular evangelical church is in trouble.
     
  20. Martin

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    ==I don't think the problem is that he did not use "in Jesus' Name" at the close of the prayer. The real problem, at least as I see it, is the reason he did not use "in Jesus' Name". When Christians start compromising the exclusivity of the Gospel in order to not offend the lost, we start losing our main message. Apart from the LORD Jesus we have no message, no point, and no prayer.
     
    #20 Martin, Apr 29, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2008

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