12 May, 2008

A Biblical Response to Ravi's Excuse

Dr. Gregory Allen responds to Ravi Zacharais' explanation of why it was 'ok' not to pray in the Name of Jesus. Below is an excerpt of his article. The entire article is well worth reading here at Slice of Laodicea

"If any form of persecution, estrangement, exclusion, or barring of Ravi Zacharias’ ministry would have resulted from the stance I believe he should have taken with clarity, the words of Jesus in Jn.15:18-25 would have come into view. The civil powers (including Shirley Dobson under the thumb of government mandate) that set the rules and the tone for the observances, would have rejected Ravi had he prayed in the Name of Jesus, and judged him guilty of “forcing his personal beliefs down the nation’s collective throat” at the government’s expense. He would have been “crucified” in the secular press as “taking advantage of a momentary platform for his own agenda and purposes; surely condemned for something “unethical” in the world’s eyes. The war cry of “Separation between Church and State” would have been heard from sea to shining sea, and shouted from “purple mountains majesty” around the world. But after the world would have laid Ravi to rest in his figurative “grave,” hand dug by their pens of prominence, God would have performed a resurrection! Listen then, to John 15:19-22, and watch how God would have brought beauty out of those ashes:

“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, ‘The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my sayings, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for MY NAME’S SAKE BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW HIM THAT SENT ME. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but NOW they have no cloke for their sin. HE THAT HATETH ME HATETH MY FATHER ALSO.”

The Father Jesus spoke of is Ravi Zacharias’ “Holy Father.” So while I appreciate Ravi’s response and the reasonings that he felt led him to his decisions, I refuse to invest my “okay” with his decision. It’s not okay! The fact that he took to “shying away” from the name of Jesus for politically correct purposes is a denial of the call of Christ to endure the persecutions the world smites us with for the high crime of being His chosen servants. If the God haters of this land react to a Christian speaker’s disobedience to civil authorities by seeking to do away with the National Day of Prayer, so be it. Since they’d need an Executive Order from the President and/or an act of Congress to remove it from the land, “let them alone” (Matt.15:14). When Jesus dealt with the hypocrisy of religious people in His day, who had “a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom.10:2); choosing their tradition (Matt.15:6) over the Words of God, He quoted these verses from Isa.29:13-14:

“Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote…the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their men shall be concealed.” (NASB)"

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