16 January 2009

Inauguration Day Prayer #2: Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile

posted by Dan Phillips

[See the series introduction/explanation]

Everyone who went to T4G 2008 was informed and challenged by Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile's talk on "race" (and how it isn't a Biblical concept). He also joined Phil for the band of Bloggers meeting, where I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with him. A gracious, thoughtful man, Thabiti is Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman, is a blogger and a published author, and I want to trade his voice for my whiny, nasal one.

Here is Pastor Anyabwile's contribution.

I would be torn as to whether to participate or not.

On the one hand, I wouldn’t want the inevitable public clamor that usually surrounds Bible-believing folks who participate in these sorts of things. I’m not sure the witness potential matches the negative runoff that comes with the invitation.

On the other hand, I believe that having the public’s (any public’s) attention riveted to a prayer for a few short minutes could be effectively used in the hands of the Lord.

So, I would be inclined to simply pray through the gospel of our Lord, as the highest possible blessing upon the individuals listening, the country as a whole, and the world in need of a Savior.

The other reason to accept would be to fill the space with an orthodox commitment to the Lord and His gospel instead of having another secular or even anti-Christian voice heard.

But, as I said, I would be torn.

Grace and peace, my friend.


Many thanks to Pastor Anyabwile for challenging our thinking. He raises the issue: view the opportunity as an opportunity, period, and grab it? Or factor in the counter-weight of the likely impact and repercussions?

NOTE: Special Rule for all these posts: diss me as you see fit, but nobody disses my guests.

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Unknown said...

I have to say Thabiti was probably the highlight of T4G for me. The rest was great, but he was a breath of biblical fresh air. And hilarious.

DJP said...

You remember his translation of the meaning of his name?

Sir Brass said...

You asked Pastor Thabiti? You've certainly got connections dan!

DJP said...

Beyond doubt, the best things about me are Who I worship, who I married, and who I'm blessed enough to know.

But again, it's more about Pastor A's graciousness than my anything.

Brian @ voiceofthesheep said...

Pray through the gospel...AMEN!

ErnestoPerdonado said...

My Favorite Response: Praying the Gospel!
What could be more apropiate

Jerry said...

Let's see, we already have Frame and my dear brother Thabiti. I wonder who the other two are?



candy said...

Thabiti for President.

donsands said...

What a great answer. He is one of those rare pastors, full of the Spirit and faith. Man, would I love to hear him pray for this president and nation.

Rebecca Stark said...

Such an excellent idea to do this, DJP.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Thabiti "officially" means: "Sure, invite the black guy to talk about race"

Rick Frueh said...

I appreciate his honesty about being torn. The offering of prayers at an inauguration are mostly token ceremonialism, scripted for human ears and not a divine audience.

Being invited to pray at an Obama inauguration may be a spiritual slap in the face.

Unknown said...

Rick, I'd agree such things are often a waste of time - but imagine if the good guys took the calls and made the opportunities count?

Unknown said...

While its surely a godly thing to forbid being disrespectful* of Thabiti and other guests, it highlights a very real issue re "christian" blogging
(that often seems to be as much an oxymoron as "christian" tv no Biblically consistent Christian can watch
(are there any? 1 John 1:10 hence our need for grace, especially The Cross)),
that issue being of what God's Word says about our speech and the oxymoronic notion that "dissing" is a Christian option for doing anything to anyone (e.g. the recent abuse of God's messenger Keanu Reeves re "The Day the Earth Stood Still" the spiritually undiscerning cannot or more likely will not perceive (and I don't mean his regrettable green hijacking, rather nearly inscrutable hints (Matt 11:15) in The Matrix (only #1, not the #2 & 3 porn)).

[*As one who takes both God's gift of language and our evil and infantile abuse of it seriously I've had a hard time stomaching the ignorant postmodern "dissing" further mindless corrupting of English, as if it needs any more.]

Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
It seems to come down to a fundamental issue. When and how often will we admit and confess our daily sins of not PRACTICING our clearly merely INTELLECTUAL belief (and that often quickly forgotten) in Jesus's omnipotent omnipresence? the fact that He observes and records every key we press/ word we speak every second and the concomitant thoughts that will be shown in the Judgment?
Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak [or type!], they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. God save us.
Thank God doubly emphasizes that He will wipe all tears from our eyes, for there will be many His grace must victoriously assuage. Rev. 7:17; Rev. 21:4

DJP said...

I will only note that "God's messenger Keanu Reeves" are four words I never expected to see conjoined here.

Or, well, anywhere.

Brendt said...

This is not a criticism of Thabiti or Dan -- if it was, then I'd have to criticize myself too. So this is just thinking out loud.

Or factor in the counter-weight of the likely impact and repercussions?

When we factor in, consider, weigh, etc, issues like this, is it not (at least sometimes) a denial of God's sovereignty? How many opportunities have we missed because we didn't think that God was big enough to handle the details?