Now here’s another one to add to the list. Earlier this month, Pastor Randall Snipes of the Oak Grove Baptist Church deliver a sermon to open a session of the Virginia House of Delegates, at the invitation of Republican Speaker Kirk Cox.
Rather than saying anything inspirational or helpful, he reminded everyone why they would be tortured for all of eternity for not believing in his invisible Sky Daddy.
Let us pray. Heavenly Father, we bow before You, Lord, and we proclaim now… that you are God, and there is none other than You, and there is none like You.
God, we ask that, as a nation, Lord, we would not seek our own pleasure, our own preferences, or our own praise, but that, God, we would seek Your pleasure. That God, we would seek Your praise. Lord, that we would seek Your will.
God, we ask you humbly today that you would convict us. Lord, if you’d send your Holy Spirit to convict us of sin, and the righteousness, and of judgment. God, the sin that that we commit, the sin that we celebrate, the sin that we allow, the sin that we promote. God, convict us of that. Lord, convict us of righteousness. Lord, Your holy standard. God, and how far short we are of that on so many occasions. And God, convict us of the judgment it is to come, the day that you have already set before, for we will give an account for every action, every deed, and every word. God, a day that you have set aside where every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that “Jesus is Lord.”
God, I pray that you would convict us of that day where those who love you will be rewarded, and those who reject you will be sentenced.
God, give us that conviction this day. And Lord, we ask that you would grant us wisdom, that this group of people would have supernatural wisdom today. Lord, of wisdom that begins with the fear of you. God, we ask… for forgiveness. Lord, forgiveness for the millions and millions of innocent lives that have been murdered for the sake of convenience. God, we ask you for forgiveness for the bloodshed that is on our hands as a nation. And Lord, we don’t deserve it. God, we confess before you that we do not deserve it. But Lord, we have nowhere else to turn but to you, and to ask as humbly as we know how, God, that you would forgive us. That you would help us turn from our wicked ways. God, that we would seek Your face.
God, we pray that this day you would begin a spiritual revolution, an awakening, a revival in our nation, Lord, that you would deliver us from evil, not just of our nation might be exalted, but God, that you would create in us once again a nation that exalts You.
We do not ask these things based on our own merit or in our own power. But today, God, we evoke their precious and powerful and Holy Name of Jesus. In His name we pray. And to Him be glory and power and honor, forever and ever. Amen.
(For those keeping score, that’s 20 mentions of “God” and another 13 mentions of “Lord.”)
In absolutely no way is that an acceptable use of the government stage. That’s not an invocation. That’s just a Christian preacher who gets Jesus Points every time he says “God” or “Lord,” telling Jews and atheists and Muslims that they belong in Hell while also urging politicians to punish women for daring to take control of their own bodies.
If anyone who wasn’t a Christian gave a version of that same speech, that person would never be invited back and every politician would be pressured to condemn what was said.
Lowell Feld, the excellent blogger at Blue Virginia, posted that video and correctly notes that any invocation ought to be “inclusive, ecumenical, positive…and definitely steer clear of controversial political topics.” He also has comments from Del. Mark Levine, who was one of the few to denounce the invocation:
Religion should always be welcome as a shield, but never used as a sword to mistreat others.
No one invited into the House of Delegates should be praying to God that any of us go to hell.
I’m sure this guy would be happier living in a theocracy.
But his comments were un-American and beneath the dignity of Virginia and the House of Delegates.
House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn also added,
Very disappointing. Prayers should be inclusive. The invocation on the floor of the House on the day of the reconvened session was divisive and meant to score political points.
Those comments are helpful, but where’s everybody else?
If this is acceptable, then one of those Democrats should invite a non-religious invocation speaker to tell everyone they’re living in a deluded fantasy world and they should have stopped playing make believe when they were in pre-school. If that’s too offensive to those representatives, then maybe they’ll finally understand what an offensive (and irrational) Christian sermon sounds like to the rest of us.
(via Blue Virginia)