My Thoughts on Donald Miller's Prayer at the DNC

Monday night Donald Miller had the opportunity to perform the closing benediction at the DNC. The video above is of that benediction (the sound goes dead for about 3 seconds mid way through but it was the best copy I could find) I for one found the benediction to be as close to perfect as I could have hoped. Don was honest, real, and came across very sincere in his prayer. The problem is that instead of celebrating the fact that a prominent Christian speaker and author like Donald Miller was asked to be there and share the message of Christ with millions of people worldwide, we again have another circumstance of friendly fire.

Todd Friel, the host of "The Way of the Master", spends several minutes being his typical loud-mouthed windbag self as he tore Donald and his prayer apart on his Tuesday radio show. Todd is what is wrong with Christianity. His obnoxious rants are enough to make any follower of Christ ashamed to be called a "Christian". He and everyone like him are the reasons why non-believers want nothing to do with us. So what if Don didn't say the prayer like Todd would have. The fact he was given the opportunity and platform should be praised not bashed. Maybe Todd is jealous because his obnoxious ranting hasn't gotten him anywhere close to the stage Don had on Monday night.

I'm so sick of fighting this battle with morons like Todd that spend there days and nights tearing apart their teammates instead of being Jesus to the lost, hurt, broken, poor, fatherless, widowed, and fallen. All Donald Miller did was make me glad to call him a brother in Christ and all Todd Friel did was disappoint yet another believer.


Josh said…
Todd Friel, Kirt, and Ray, are shining examples in the muddied so-called Christian circles, of what Christianity should be, how it should be preached, and taking a stand against 'so-called' Christians like Donald Miller!

"He and everyone like him are the reasons why non-believers want nothing to do with us."

Nope! Wrong!Try again!
They don't want anything to do with us because they love their sin, and don't want to repent and put Jesus as Lord of their life.

To quote D.M. "..Jesus who gave his own life against the forces of injustice"
To just reiterate what Todd said, "NO! To save sinners!!!" to call all men to repent!

I wish there were more Christians like Todd!
Jesusgreek said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jesusgreek said…
Here is the transcript of the prayer:

"Father God,

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.

Hep 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.


I found this commentary on another blog that was discussing Don's prayer:

"We’ve had some comments about Don’s prayer over at his fan site. A large majority of folks felt disappointed that Don didn’t specifically mention that Jesus died for our sins. They weren’t happy with his line about Jesus giving his life to “fight injustice”. Others were upset that he listed off a bunch of issues from the Democrat’s talking points but failed to mention abortion.

Personally, I think they’re missing the point. Don was asked by the Democrats to pray, not to come preach. And since his prayer had to be approved by someone at the DNC, he couldnt just walk in there and start talking about abortion when clearly they would not have OKed him to do that. SO what’s he going to do, hijack the prayer and start going off-script? not if he’s smart.

I don’t know, I feel like sometimes people just want to fling truth into any situation without context, thinking “well hey, it’s truth, so it’s got to be a good thing.” But there’s a reason you don’t walk into your office and shout out “Jesus dies for our sins. Believe in Him or you’ll never be reconciled to God!”. We dont do that because the context is all wrong. Just because it’s truth doesn’t mean we have carte blanche to throw it in wherever we want.

If Don would have tried to use his platform of the DNC prayer to preach truth at a room full of politicians and pundits, would it really have made a difference? Would God have been more glorified had Don laid out a precise gospel message? Would the hearts of the attendees have been touched had Don asked for repentance for our countries abortions? I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think so. And hey, maybe Don’s prayer, because he was using rhetoric familiar to democrats, will open up a conversation with some of them that otherwise would never have happened?"

Look Josh, we both know we will forever disagree on pretty much everything spiritual. I think you're 100% wrong and you feel the same about me. Just keep your thoughts to yourself and off my site and I will continue to stay away from yours. God loves you, and me, and Don and one day we'll all sit in heaven and laugh about all of this.
Josh said…
no offense, but you have a blog for a reason....Usually it's for people to read, and comment, hence the comment area.

You are right, we will probably always disagree on doctrine and these matters, but i will continue to post comments when i feel they are needed, especially when i feel things you post are in error, and or heretical.
I still have friends that are dear to me that attend your church, and as long as they do, i will be concerned for them. Since they read this blog too my post here get read by both you and them. I've asked my friends to listen to the same thing i posted on your blog, i want them to find out the truth , so they are not deceived by these false preachers(Donald Miller, Rob Bell, and the emergent church movement)
The Bible doesn't back up the statement of, "God loves you, and me, and Don and one day we'll all sit in heaven and laugh about all of this." God takes sin and false teaching very seriously!
Jesusgreek said…
That's cool, feel free to comment then. Just know that your foolish responses will never again get a comment back from me. I'll let your words continue to show readers the dangers of what happens when someone gets wrapped up in the legalistic, judgmental, close minded, "I'm right and everyone else is wrong and going to burn in hell" mentality. I feel sorry for you Josh. Satan has really distracted you and I'm afraid one day you'll wake up and be 70 years old and see how much of your life you wasted fighting battles that did nothing to advance the kingdom of God.
Josh said…
"..legalistic, judgmental, close minded "I'm right and everyone else is wrong and going to burn in hell" mentality. " -jesusgreek

Well, legalism is a theological term, and is adding any work to either salvation or sanctification, and i'm doing neither, so no, throw that accusation out the door.

judgmental, if you mean, 'judge not, lest you be judged' that's out of context, keep reading that section in matthew. but if you do mean 1 cor. 5:11-13, 1 tim.5:20, 2 tim. 4:2, then yeah, i would fall into that category.

close-minded, and if you mean trying to strictly follow what the Bible preaches, then yeah, put me in that category.

I'm not right because i say im right, im right because the Bible says what i'm saying, im simply preaching what the Bible says. if you have a problem with that, then you have a problem with the Bible.

If people aren't following what the Bible preaches then yes, they are going to burn in hell, unless they repent and put their faith in Christ for the remission of their sins, follow and have Him LORD in their life.

Mike likewise, i hope you don't wake up 70 yrs old and realize that you have wasted your life accepting, believing, preaching every 'wave of doctrine' that comes through evangelical circles, and see how much of your life you wasted fighting and arguing against doctrines and preaching that are heresy.

By the way, if Donald had half the boldness he should, he would have presented the gospel(if he could present the correct gospel at all) in his prayer. at least people would have heard! You or any other man is not able to judge what gives God 'more' glory or if it's not 'effective'. God could save people that night from hearing the gospel spoken.

And that is what is wrong with most churches today,including(emergent, seeker friendly, easy believeism) that they will not stand up and preach, 'thus saith the Lord!' that God hates sin!, and you will die and go to hell unless you repent!
Kristie said…
How can you say that God doesn't back up the statement "God loves you, and me, and Don and one day we'll all sit in heaven and laugh about all of this."... do you think God takes Don and Mike's sin more seriously than your own? Do you think your arrogance and pride are not a sin in God's eyes? (which is obvious in your remarks "Nope! Wrong! Try again!"- a completely arrogant and prideful exclamation)

What is the greatest commandment? To tell everyone that they are sinners and going to hell if they don’t repent? Did Jesus yell “SINNER!” at the adulterous woman like everyone else did? No he LOVED her... and because of his love she repented. Can you see the stone you’re holding in your hand?

Do not judge someone when you’ve never even seen the great things that God has done through them (if you want proof I would be glad to share with you how God used Mike and Beth to shape my faith journey)… and don’t be so naive to think your dear friends can’t think for themselves and are being “deceived” by Mike’s (apparently) heretical teachings… have more respect for their faith and choice in worship.

Lastly let me just say that the way you speak (via these blogs comments) makes me think you are on your way to joining the Westboro Baptist Church (…. I hope that might be a chilling wake up call to what happens when believers are so focused on “sin” and “repentance” that they miss the whole “love” and “grace” thing… don’t let Satan do the same thing to you. If you read the bible and don’t see the love story between its pages…. then you are missing the whole point.

Please put down your stone man.
Kristie said…
"You or any other man is not able to judge what gives God 'more' glory or if it's not 'effective'. God could save people that night from hearing the gospel spoken."

this is a contradiction... you just said no man is able to judge what gives God "more" glory... but here you are.. in ever single comment...claiming to know what gives God more glory... how can this be so if you just said that no man is able to judge this?

YOU can't judge this... you just said you can't judge this... so if you said it.. it must be true.

for the love... put down your stones!
Josh said…
Lets start by saying, God is sovereign. The Bible does state what God gets glory from. Yes, in the end God gets glory from everything, because he is sovereign, and everything that happens is because it's in God's will. However people proclaiming to be Christian and standing up and misrepresenting, what and who Christians are is not very glorifying to God by the Bible's standard. matter of fact, i believe this is what the Bible calls idolatry; creating God in your own image, the way you think/feel God is, and not what the Bible says who He is.

Simply, if you do not preach, repentance, sin, and hell, you are not preaching the entire Bible, and consequently a false gospel. Yes, God is love, grace, and mercy, but He is also, just, jealous, and wrathful. Most churches are only preaching one side! The first words Jesus preached were, "repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand", not "i love you!"

Be careful when you accuse a church you know nothing about! you may want to read up on it first

In comments made, i may have let sarcasm take over in parts("Nope! Wrong! Try again!") for that i will apologize.
this is Tim Dumont, my comments are made toward josh, you my friend are a part of the never- ending debate, the debate of what christians should be and what they actually are. in reading your words my heart goes out to you, i listened to millers prayer and found nothing displeasing. i have read one of his books and liked it, i am not a fan of bell, or mcclarin,i am orthadox in my faith, but even more so my brother i am not a fan of calvin. i am telling you this so you can put me in a box also. i was at one time involved in the minstry, but it was people like you that made me and make me want to have nothing to do with american christianity like your homeboy paul washer speaks of. col 4:6 speaks of, "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." which means speak in way that leaves people wanting more. in everything that i have ever read of you it leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. when i read your words the bible says this the bible says that. dude i guess the question you have to ask yourself is who really is your god? and i do mean god with a lower case g, like the jews of old always quoting moses. i believe moses was there lower case god, as it also seems to me that you might have the same problem with the bible. may it be your god, i pray that it is not the case. dude you are a young little dude, i would love have you have you spend some time with me and my homeboy robin, please give us a call if you are ever in town and we will intoduce you to a Jesus that you never even knew existed. and as for my paster he has given me hope in a country where hope is a foreign concept in church. he has shown me grace where churches like the one i am sure you attend would say that a person like me has too much baggage to serve Christ. all that to say this i would die for mike and that fact that you feel the need to throw righteous indignation angers me, beacuse when you hurt my family it hurts me also. so be a man even if you are only 23 but for some reason so know it all stay away from his blog, dude just look out the window there are alot of people who you can tell that they are going to hell, but a word of advice just make sure they were not the one god (lowere case) created to go to hell.
Lindsay said…
I would just like to say that I know things that have been written can be taken out of emotion that is not necessarily there. Josh is my husband and I am personally proud of him. However, I can hear his heart in his comments. I know that you cannot. He says these things, to which I would agree, out of a heart of love for the lost people and love for friends and family. As Christians we should have a passion/zeal to preach God's word and we are commanded to publicly rebuke false teachers. If we just accept every so called pastor because we want to be in unity, we are going contrary to God's Word. We should be following God's word as meticulously as we can! After all, it's our guideline for life and how God speaks to us! Why else does God say to meditate on it day and night? I say all that to say that if someone is living/preaching contrary to any/all/part of God's word on core doctrine, then we shouldn't be in unity with them or be agreeing with them. We should be rebuking them and sharing with them scripture.

Mike, you said that Donald Miller couldn't go into the convention and share Christ, they wouldn't let him. So, he doesn't, but compromises God's gospel when he had a HUGE opportunity to share it with those people. It comes across to me that he was more worried about being invited back or not offending them, that he neglected to share the greatest news of all, Jesus Christ!
Josh and I have such a passion, now that we're saved, to share the gospel with people and expose false teachers (as we were under one for so long). Our friends are in your church. It hurts that you advocate things on your blog that are contrary to scripture and often post things that are wordly. You've said before that you don't just post about God and do post about other things so that the lost people will inadvertently happen on to your page and maybe take away something. I think this is a contradiction to who God says we should be. We should be the furthest thing from the world. We shouldn't be like the world a little so that we can attract the lost and then trick them into hearing a little about Jesus.
I've read you openly support Joel Osteen, who has publicly denied Christ as the only way to heaven. I've read you post curse words and God's name taken in vain and brush it off as nothing. My question to you is, when is even the small sin going to be taken seriously? Cursing is a sin, taking God's name in vain is a sin, so why is it that you justify it? I feel so hurt, because you are the pastor over my friends. Yet, you do not seem concerned about false teaching, small sins, or meticulously following God's word. As a pastor you should be carefully breaking down what so called "christian" authors/preachers say and testing them against God's word so you don't lead your flock astray. My friends have great respect for you as a pastor and I wish I could say the same. If I didn't know you were a pastor, I would have never guessed it from your blog. I encourage you to please do some biblical research on people you are publicly supporting and websites that you publicly support. I'm begging you! If you truly do, you will find that some of the things you support are contrary to God's Word!
Beth said…
Lindsay - you know your husband's heart, and I know my husband's heart. I don't read your husband's blog and condemn him or say nasty things. I have never commented on your blogs because I do not know either of you. Could you repay the courtesy to me and my family? You've met us one or two times (I think you attended one church service and one Bible study at our home). I do not think that these brief encounters give you a deep insight into our soul. Calling a person a "false teacher" and telling them that they are condemned to hell are strong accustaions. Perhaps you should save your accusations and words for people that you know?

I understand that if my husband posts a blog, it is open for comment. However, I have to wonder why people that live in another state, that barely know us, would be so obsessed with our lives or our ministry.

You state that my husband is worldly and have harsh words for him. That hurts me. My husband left a job in youth ministry, and our family stepped out on faith to start our church. For years he made a very small salary and made sacrifices (as did our family) that many would be unwilling to make. He often went into his church office and worked in the cold or heat becuse he did not want to waste the church's small budget on heat and air. It was his vision that led our church to donate 10% of our tithes to missions (we gave grocery cards to poor families, supported missions all over the world, etc.) My husband and I have attempted to be the hands and feet of Christ in our daily lives as well as on mission trips. We have ministered to American Indians in Montana, done Hurricane Katrina work in Mississippi, and ministered in Atlanta to the homeless and the orphaned. I am not telling you this to praise my husband or to be filled with pride. I only point this out because my husband is trying to follow the teachings of Christ, not just in his words, but in his deeds. My husband loves Christ and he loves people. I know you may not understand his methods, but he is trying to love people by serving (as opposed to pointing out every person's sin and informing them that they are going to hell).

I, like Mike, will not comment again. I told Mike time and again that responding to your comments will not change your perspective. In your minds, you have the world figured out. According to your own words, you each know who is sinning, who is a false teacher, and who is going to spend time in Heaven. I learned a long time ago that you cannot have a debate when the person on the other side of the debate knows it all. The only real debate can happen when both parties understand that the other side may have something to offer. It is clear that you, Lindsay and Josh, would never care to learn anything from us. I beg you, please, end your obsession with Mike. You have followed your conscience and pointed out what you view as his sins. As the old saying goes, "Let go and let God." I am asking you to let go and leave us alone.
Brandon said…
I'm guessing Josh and Lindsey are still trolling this site, so I figure I'll weigh in with some of my own thoughts.

First off you are right, it is a blog and you have every right to comment on here and voice your opinions. That said Mike has every right to comment back or delete any of your posts, since it is his blog.

Getting past that what good do you really think you are accomplishing with your false accusations?

As Beth stated, you are only getting a glimpse of the ministry. Like Kristie, I grew up in their ministry and can honestly say that you have no idea what you are talking about.

Your accusations are based in some reality you are creating for yourself to make you feel like you are the greater good here.

You claim that the emergent church is missing the point in not teaching the fire and brimstone. Have you really ever been involved with the emergent church?

The concept is that you show God's love to the un-saved so that they can understand Him better. Then through this you start to expose the depth of their sin.

I don't know that you have ever even dealt with evangelism in today's culture, but going up to a 30-something or younger in the street and calling them a sinner and telling them they will go to Hell unless they don't repent just doesn't work.

My wife was a missionary in New York City working with High School kids through Campus Crusade and even they understood this concept. In their training before being sent to the mission field they talk about reaching out.

What you seem to be missing is that while the Bible and the truth in it is constant through the ages, the way that people will react to it has changed through the years.

If you honestly think you are living the life of the early apostles I sincerely request you re-read Acts and get a better grip on reality.

There is always a hesitant reaction to change, it's in our human nature, we just don't like it.

And finally, Linsay. Can you point me the scripture where Jesus points out what a curse word is and that it's a sin? I'm pretty sure the definition of sin is anything that brings us further away from God. Now if that's the case, how can a four letter word create a gap between myself and God? What's really in a word? It's only the power that you give it. Further, considering Jesus didn't speak English, there is absolutely no way that He chose a particular word and said that if you repeat this word you are going to Hell. (You talk about legalism Josh, well here is the perfect example of how you and your household is being legalistic.)

Granted, we are called to build each other up and if something is offensive we are called to refrain from doing while around those that it offends. But if you are calling Mike to be P.C. on everything he posts then you're asking him to create a blog that is not his own.

A single suggestion I have for you is while we are called to rebuke sin within the church, I would caution you to do that only when you actually have a clue about your claims.
Josh said…
I told myself and my wife i wouldn't post on here again, but i felt compelled to respond to you.

"I don't know that you have ever even dealt with evangelism in today's culture, but going up to a 30-something or younger in the street and calling them a sinner and telling them they will go to Hell unless they don't repent just doesn't work"

^I had to 'LOL' at this because no one here(minus brent/kaylyn) actually knows our church, what it believes/teaches, or how we do evangelism.(in case you want to know or care,
That's all i'll say, it will turn into another discussion if i say more, and apparently that's not what this 'living room' is for.

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