Friday, February 27, 2009

Balak and Balaam, Obama and Culp

About 3500 years ago (give or take a few) a man of the cloth was approached by a national leader to come to his headquarters and give a prayer of cursing over a huge band of people that had camped too near his kingdom. He was afraid that they may have in mind to do him some sort of what better way to nip the possiblity of a terrorist attack in the bud than to enlist a local clergyman to pray a prayer of cursing over these potential invaders that had camped a bit too near.

The problem is...he didn’t do a good job of vetting this preachers prayer. He said, "I brought you to curse these people and you have actually blessed them." (paraphrase of Num Chap 22-24)
Fast forward this video tape...3500 years into the future (give or take a few). It’s deja vu all over again. See this from Americans United:

"February 26, 2009
Earlier this week, Dan Gilgoff at
U.S. News reported that President Barack Obama has started a new tradition at some of his presidential events. On some occasions, at least, it seems Obama’s opening act will be a prayer vetted by the White House.

According to the U.S. News blog, White House staff contacted local clergy to open the two town hall meetings that Obama held to sell his economic stimulus package and another rally to unveil his mortgage bailout plan.

Gilgoff told the story of Ryan Culp of Elkhart, Ind., who turned down a request by Obama to deliver a prayer during the presidential campaign because he is a conservative Republican and, Culp said, "didn’t want to be perceived to be a supporter of a Democratic campaign." Culp was asked again now that Obama is in office and this time obliged.

The day before Culp was to give the prayer, he was required to call an aide at the White House and recite the prayer for approval. The aide told him the prayer was "beautiful."

A once-in-a-lifetime experience for Culp has become routine for President Obama: In a departure from previous presidents, his public rallies are opening with invocations that have been commissioned and vetted by the White House."

Now the big difference between then and now, in my humble opinion, is that the national leader of antiquity sincerely expected the clergy’s prayer to bring forth fruit. In our day and age, it seems it’s all for show..or in order to placate some contingent or group so as not to lose votes or popularity. That applies to both the national leader and the one who would allow his prayer to be vetted or edited.

(via The Reformed Pastor)

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