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The North Carolina General Assembly is reviewing its policies on guest chaplains after Winston-Salem pastor Ron Baity was told he could not pray in Jesus' name. Meanwhile, the group Atheists of Florida is suing the City of Lakeland over its opening invocations "in Jesus' name." Several governmental bodies around the country are facing similar fights.

"The Christian faith demands that we pray in the name of Jesus. A prayer has to have an address, just like a letter has to have an address. Jesus said in John 14:13 that 'whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do.' … The apostle Paul writing to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2 said that there is one mediator between God and man: the man Christ Jesus.

One of the great tragedies of the hour is that people have the idea that they can just throw a prayer up and God's obligated to answer the prayer. God has a prescribed manner of approach. That manner of approach is through his son, Jesus Christ."

"There is unequivocal demand that Christians not be ashamed of the Son of Man. So we can't disguise that aspect of who we are; and really, if the government wants to integrate religion into its processes — there's no such thing as generic prayer. It's not superstition, it's not magic — it's talking to God. I don't think we can be asked to set aside our Christian distinctives, because then it's not really prayer. We're just sort of window-dressing, moral and theological window-dressing for the function of the state, and I think that does harm to the mission of the church. On the flip side, Christians should do whatever they need to do to demonstrate the lordship, supremacy, and uniqueness of Christ. And if that's unacceptable in whatever public function it is, then Christians ...

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In Jesus' Name
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September 2010

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