Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Pardon & Public Prayer

Okay, so I first need to begin by asking your pardon. You're probably thinking that this blog should be titled "The Not-So-Daily Difference" after nearly a month's sabbatical from writing. No excuses will be given. I am, however, in the process of writing a fairly lengthy post that will highlight much of the month's events which contributed to my detour from satisfying the thirst of all four readers of my blog. All kidding aside, I am sorry and will endeavor to be more faithful in writing as I've come to enjoy this time as 1) an offering of worship to God; 2) an opportunity to encourage/challenge others; and 3) a helpful discipline for myself.

Today's post hits close to old home in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. (Yes, I spelled the name of my hometown right!) Believe it or not, sleepy Soddy-Daisy is at the center of a national controversy concerning the matter of public prayer before a sporting event. You can read more by following this link: Fox News.

I have vivid memories of prayer before our football games each Friday night during my high school career. Depending what area of the country you're from this concept might sound anything from appalling to strange to expected. For many of us who grew up in the "Bible belt" it was as normal as singing the National Anthem.

Our culture (and it might be more accurate to say "cultures") has changed drastically even over the 15 years since I graduated from high school. It seems as if everywhere you turn you are hearing about things like the banning of prayer before a high school football game. One old friend on Facebook said last night, "If you don't believe in prayer or football, then you probably don't belong in Soddy-Daisy." That's not far from how most people back home feel.

But how should we really respond to circumstances like these? There are constitutional laws granting religious freedom to all people and restricting the public expression of it for some good reasons. The Scriptures clearly teach us that we are to submit to every civil authority established over us (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13). At the same time, the Bible also calls us to "let our light shine before men, so that they may see your good work and give glory to your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

What do you think about this topic? How should Christians respond to something like this? What might be some creative and appropriate responses from people who want to take a stand for their faith?

1 comment: