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This struck me

August 28, 2008

Donald Miller gave the benediction at the DNC.  This struck me.  Much to think about.  Listen to it; it’s just a couple minutes.

Don Miller at DNC

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. August 28, 2008 8:25 am

    1st response: What!?!?!?!

    Response after watching: Wow!

    So this begs the questions–What are the ramifications of being part of the DNC?

    Is the ability to pray/witness/share-your-own-concerns-for-our-nation worth the seeming support of a candidate that you may or may not support?

  2. August 28, 2008 1:11 pm

    Bit doesn’t that question beg the question – What would then also be the ramifications of being a part of the GOP Convention?

    And the second question remains the same, as well.

    Just a thought.

  3. August 28, 2008 6:42 pm

    Exactly. That is my point.

  4. August 28, 2008 6:46 pm

    Maybe I should explain.

    Being a part of either could be construed as supporting a particular candidate, which in my opinion may not be a good move.

    However, again I ask,
    “Is the ability to pray/witness/share-your-own-concerns-for-our-nation worth the seeming support of a candidate that you may or may not support?”

    I am honestly asking, because I am not sure what I think yet.

  5. August 29, 2008 12:46 am

    Better that I watched the whole thing. I thought he was praying to Obama for a minute.

    No, it isn’t worth it. No one goes to a political convention seeking Christ.

    A ‘messiah’ perhaps…

  6. August 29, 2008 1:58 am

    What would be wrong with it if Donald Miller really does support Obama? I don’t understand why it would not be a good move to be open about who you are planning to vote for. So many Christian leaders are openly republican…what is so surprising about one who cares for widows and orphans?

  7. August 29, 2008 10:22 am

    Fogey: I agree that people don’t attend political conventions looking for God, but what about the millions watching from home (democratic and republican alike)? They are watching for a variety of reasons from wishing they could be there to (like me) being bored and tuning in to see what was on television (without cable the convention was the only option).

    Jeana: I understand your question. But isn’t it dangerous to support a candidate (whether democratic or republican) without a platform to fully explain what you support (since realistically no one is going to like everything a candidate stands for, nor should they, unless the candidate is Jesus)? It seems to me to leave too many people believing that if they really like Donald then they should support everything Obama stands for. Personally I like a lot of Obama’s ideas, but I also shy away from him because of his blatant connection with Oprah, who in my opinion continues to pull people away from the true God. (I could go on about my frustrations with her for sometime, but since we are talking about the DNC and Donald Miller, I won’t).

    I fear giving someone power that I don’t know enough about to know what he would do with it. Conversely I fear giving someone power I do know what he would do with it.
    Can you tell I don’t know which way to vote yet? 🙂

  8. August 29, 2008 10:23 am

    Hey Allen, are you going to weigh in on your own post 🙂 I feel like I am taking over, sorry :-/

  9. August 29, 2008 11:52 am

    Steph, no I don’t think it’s dangerous. I think it opens up dialogue. I don’t agree with everything Allen says on his blog (like giving C.S. Lewis heresy horns–for shame!) but I still link here from my blog. He doesn’t fully agree with my position on women in ministry but he still links to me. You link to Sister Mary Martha–are you concerned that people will think you are Catholic?

    There is no way any one person can agree on EVERYTHING with any other person. It’s just not possible. And there is no way one person can fully endorse another person. I mean, I would even have to preface my full endorsement of my husband with fine print: I love everything about Geary except that ridiculously ugly blue and yellow tie he just bought at Goodwill.

    And there is no way we can boycott everything that someone we disagree with likes. Oprah likes breathing oxygen, therefore, since I don’t want to be associated with Oprah, I will not breathe oxygen. I know that is extreme and I don’t mean to be harsh but do you see what I mean?

    Here is a good blog post from someone I respect that I have been thinking about quite a bit lately: http://www.welcometomybrain.net/2008/07/i-dont-agree-with-everything-she-says.html

  10. August 29, 2008 12:02 pm

    Hmm, the last part of my comment got cut off.

    If people vote for Obama simply because they like Donald Miller or Oprah, or if they vote for McCain because they are huge James Dobson fans, that doesn’t turn them into either the candidates or the endorsers. Donald can vote for Obama without agreeing with Obama’s stance on abortion. I can use a Rachel Ray recipe without fear of someone believing that New Earth junk. I seriously doubt that people are now burning their copies of Blue Like Jazz because they are questioning whether Donald is pro-choice. And if they are questioning hopefully they are seeking answers instead of making snap judgments.

  11. August 29, 2008 2:16 pm

    Maybe I was being too extreme to make my point and in the process lost the point.

    Let me get back to it.

    Honestly I think that Donald Miller being there is great. I think so for different reasons than some, but I think that any opportunity to witness is something we should do. And yes, I do think this was an opportunity, maybe not a huge numbers cascading down the aisles professing new found faith opportunity, but an opportunity none the less.

    As for Obama. If he was simply friends with Oprah, okay big deal. But since Oprah was his campaign for a number of months (or so it would seem from the publicity out this way), I can’t discount the connection. So what is my problem with Oprah? She has many points of views that I whole heartedly disagree with, but the most disturbing thing is her excited support of the beliefs of “The Power of Now” and “A New Earth”.
    The following is from Oprah.com
    “In The Power of Now, Eckhart writes, “When I occasionally quote the words of Jesus or the Buddha…or from other teachings, I do so not in order to compare, but to draw your attention to the fact that in essence there is and always has been only one spiritual teaching, although it comes in many forms. Some of these forms, such as the ancient religions, have become so overlaid with extraneous matter that their spiritual essence has become almost completely obscured by it. To a large extent, therefore, their deeper meaning is no longer recognized and their transformative power lost. When I quote from the ancient religions or other teachings, it is to reveal their deeper meaning and thereby restore their transformative power—particularly for those readers who are followers of these religions or teachings. I say to them: there is no need to go elsewhere for the truth. Let me show you how to go more deeply into what you already have.” Oprah, comments on her website (through video) saying in effect we all worship the same God, and should stop fighting over whose god is the God.

    http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahsbookclub/anewearth/pkganewearthwebcast/20080130_obc_webcast_religion
    This has obvious importance as a Christian, but as a voter I am scared to vote for someone that could (I say could because I have no idea still what he believes) essentially believe we all with end up at the same place in the end. With that type of thinking morals can be lost, bad decisions made and it won’t matter because in the end we all will see each other in “heaven”.

    If I ignore Oprah, and assume Obama doesn’t agree with her that still leaves me with the questions:
    who do we give the power to change the course that this nation is on?
    Who can we trust more than the other?

    Obama frightens me because he is all politician, meaning he never says where he stands on something until it comes to voting. I have looked over his website and issues he wrote a response on, and still I can’t tell you where he stands on anything.

    For the most part I know where McCain stands, but I don’t like all of his stances.

    Choices. Choices.

  12. August 29, 2008 5:49 pm

    Wow, a lot has happened since I last looked yesterday. We even have a GOP VP hopeful. Sorry, Steph, I definitely read your comment through a “Christians are Republicans” lens, and I should have given you much more credit than that. My bad.

    I think we’ve seen pretty clearly the ramifications of Christians (on the whole) jumping on whole-heartedly with the GOP. It brings some pros and some cons, but in my opinion, has been harmful to my ability to share the gospel with my neighbor (unless they’re Republicans, too. Here in SW WA, not so many Republicans.). And I could see the exact same thing happening if the roles were reversed and Christians by and large supported the Demos.

    At the same time, with regard to the act of praying at either convention, or during a National Day or Prayer or some such thing, it seems like it’d be tragic if Christians didn’t jump at the chance to pray in those places. It seems like it is a slim chance to bring a prophetic voice to a place that is often desolate of any sort of actual concern for God, and that it is worth taking any slim chance we can get.

    I appreciated the end of Don’s prayer being clearly in the name of Jesus. He didn’t hold back or give a “toned down” prayer in the name of generic “god” or “higher power’, etc. He essentially declared “My God is Jesus, so that’s who I am praying to.” That felt fairly anti-political or at least anti-PC. And I think that was a great choice.

    As for the Oprah connection, yeah, that’s a tough call. You have to figure that she represents a giant market, and if she wants to be his supporter, it would be awful tough for him to say “No Thanks” to her. That is, of course, entirely political, but politics is the name of the game. I wouldn’t necessary take his openness to accepting her help as him saying he agrees with anything she says, necessarily. But it is good evidence that he’s a politician, just like the rest of ’em.

    I’m an outspoken advocate of voting for the Hamburglar. I know what he stands for, and while I don’t appreciate his means, I love the end. Let us eat burgers!

  13. August 29, 2008 6:01 pm

    Thanks Jeana and Ryan for helping me sort through a mess of thoughts.

    And the more research I do the more I realize just what I am looking at, 2 politicians who are good at what they do and as a result are running for president.

    Anyone want to weigh in on the Republican VP nominee?:-)

  14. August 30, 2008 3:11 pm

    “What would be wrong with it if Donald Miller really does support Obama?”

    Because basic conservative principles are the logical extension of Christian influence on public policy.

    Steph,
    You are right about the taking the opportunity to pray on national TV. But little is served in the context of a party convention, because the pastor is not setting the agenda. That was not a prayer. It was a DNC stump speech. It hit their talking points line by line. His mention of Jesus disservices his name.
    If you are going to invite a pastor to open the days’ business with prayer, then you should take or leave the pastors written prayer. And the pastor should insist on a prayer oriented toward humility.

    I’ve never heard more pride in a prayer. But then I didn’t live during Jesus’ time here.

    I would encourage you to visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpj4j-k6TSc. Very likely more informative than the upcoming debates.

  15. August 30, 2008 4:48 pm

    Thanks Fogey.
    I must admit I didn’t watch the vast majority of the DNC, so I didn’t make the connection between the talking points and the prayer. I just just clicked the nice link Allen left 🙂
    I will check out the link when my head is a bit clearer. Being early in pregnancy has muddled my ability to take in information with any kind of clarity.
    Thanks for taking time to help me continue to sort things out.

  16. August 31, 2008 4:39 pm

    Sorry, Steph, I thought your point was “It is dangerous to ally
    yourself with an candidate if you don’t agree on EVERYTHING they stand for.” Reading through your comments again I see that you’re really pointing to the tension in deciding how to vote. I also want to clarify, that I do not think you are the one making snap judgments. You are obviously doing your research and that is awesome. Thanks for inspiring us to think a little deeper about our presidential candidates.

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