Presidential Prayer

Rev. Dr. Silvester Beaman gave the homily and closing prayer at Joseph Biden’s presidential inauguration on January 20, 20121. He closed the prayer with this:

To your glory, majesty, dominion, and power, forever. Hallelujah! Glory! Hallelujah! In the strong name of our collective faith, Amen.”

Rev. Dr. Silvester Beaman, Presidential Inauguration Prayer

Just when we had stopped reeling from “Amen and A-woman,” we are greeted with something even worse—prayer not in the name of God, but “in the strong name of our collective faith.” What a reversal that is! Our faith in God is what causes us to pray in the name of God—more specifically, in the name of Jesus Christ if we are Christians. The name of our collective faith means nothing, since our collective faith does not rule the universe. God does. Faith is only as good as its object. Moreover, what we need is not collective or generic faith, but saving faith in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, the name that is above every name.

The priest who gave the opening prayer did not mention Jesus’ name, let alone pray in that name. This is what happens when biblical religion is diluted and distorted by the desire to not offend anyone and to please everyone. Well, it fails, since those of us who pray in Jesus’ name and who attribute our salvation to Jesus alone, are offended and not pleased by these kinds of prayers. But no matter, many of us will continue to pray in Jesus’ name, knowing that he is the one Mediator between God and humans and the one who will return to judge the living and the dead.

19 thoughts on “Presidential Prayer

  1. January 21, 2021

    Doug,

    Par excellent, biblically accurate (as always) commentary. Thank you.

    Randall BirndorfLongmont, Colorado

  2. Amen.

    Google the Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers on YouTube. This kind of deist deception in the USA has been going on since the American Revolution.

    Christians may have colonized America but the founding fathers were not Christian. Thomas Jefferson we wrote the Bible to remove the spiritual. While Thomas Paine wrote a famous anti-religion book called The Age of Reason.

    Americans don’t know their own history as well as they think they do.

  3. I believe the deists are guilty of making an idol out of reason then try to deny the authority of revelation. I am currently reading some of the history of ideas behind deism in an online article called: Deism and the Founding of the United States by Darren Staloff
    Professor of History at the City College of New York and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

      • I used to think free thinking was great then I realized that a lot of hardened sinners were constantly trying to tell Christians we need to be more open minded. I compared this to the Bible where God says to guard your heart and I realized the human will and nature was compromised by sin and not as free as some people think it is and perhaps God allows us the illusion of free will while He’s really in control and then you have to realize He could be just guiding His people using the scriptures to build a better mind in them while we rely on His will. If we obtain enough maturity we start to walk in His ways and will for our lives which is really to do His will and not our old sinful will.

        The hardened unbelievers are oblivious to the power of sin and the blindness it encourages so they think they can break theists by encouraging us to be open minded but a good bit of this world is evil and why share your thoughts with an evil thinker? A lot of people have gotten in trouble in this world through evil books and ideas they submitted to.

        So the next time some person charges you as a Christian with being closeminded. Then say that could be a good thing. There’s a lot of evil in this world. Imagine it gained the upperhand in your thinking because nobody warned you to guard your heart and hear no evil, speak no evil or see no evil.
        Propaganda in the wrong hands can be evil can’t it?

        There can be cross contamination of ideas. People like to take a good idea and marry it to a bad idea like the deists seem to have done. Started out right and ended in a wrong conclusion.

        The central verse of the whole bible and the deists blew it:

        Psalm 118
        8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

        9 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.

        Praise the LORD that His love endures forever in spite of the bad free thinking of men.

        Psalm 118:29
        Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
        for his steadfast love endures forever!

        If we were all suppose to be freethinkers then why would Christ build his mind in you?

      • I think American Christians may be too vested in patriotism. Isn’t love of country really love of the world disguised as national self interest.

        There is an interesting essay on line called “The Persecution of Christians During The American Revolution.”

        I had no idea until I read it that the pro-Revolutionary Christian colonists actually persecuted and robbed the more peaceful Christian conscientious objectors but they did.

        I don’t think this idea of a just war they talk about in political philosophy that originated with Augustine is even justifiable biblically. Christ said the peacemakers are the children of God.

        Christians really don’t belong to their countries. They are part of a holier nation than anything in this earth we identify with (cf 1 Peter 2).

        I think the carnal Christians and babes in Christ still over identify with country. The spiritual people identify with Christ and abide in him. Some of these babes in Christ are quite old in chronological age so it is confusing since we usually expect the older to be wiser but not everyone reads the Bible for the deeper truth and let emotion rule them. A lot of Christians never read the Bible at all. If they don’t what kind of ideas are they following?

        Just because people want a Christian country doesn’t make it so. America was the New World home of Native Americans long before any Christians showed up and they were not Christian unless you count the Great Spirit they worshipped as a disguised God of the Bible.

        The Cherokees were converted to Christianity when Andrew Jackson decided to move them off their land to serve other Americans’ commercial interests.

        Satan deceives the whole world (cf. Rev. 12:9).

  4. Thank you for pointing this out to me. I had it on, but really wasn’t paying attention.

    I appreciate you and your work.

    VR

    George H. Schmitt Sent from my Galaxy Note

    On Thu, Jan 21, 2021, 5:43 PM Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. wrote:

    > Douglas Groothuis posted: ” Rev. Dr. Silvester Beaman gave the homily and > closing prayer at Joseph Biden’s presidential inauguration on January 20, > 20121. He closed the prayer with this: To your glory, majesty, dominion, > and power, forever. Hallelujah! Glory! Hallelujah! In the ” >

  5. i noticed the closing of this prayer and was quite hurt and offended by the ending as well. Jesus gave His life for the world and yet so many are ashamed to mention His precious name. One day, the Bible says, that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. My faith in in Him and I will not be ashamed. Amen

  6. If you lose any friends for this post Douglas I would be honored to take their place. I’m a retired assoc. professor of chemistry/pastor.

  7. Randy,  Thank you so much for this interesting commentary.  I am shocked to hear that Thomas Jefferson is not a Christian.  I recall reading about the time he and others prayed so fervently for our country that their chairs actually rocked.

  8. “… the desire to not offend anyone and to please everyone.” What makes you think that this is the desire? You rather bluntly say that they fail, but it isn’t really a failure if they have some other goal.

    I think they might be seeking a shared language that can guide an inspire a diverse community of people who are looking to work together to make the nation a better place. That doesn’t require offending nobody and pleasing everybody. Some people are just not part of the target audience. If they are offended, it’s unfortunate but largely irrelevant.

    • Are you a Christian, Gavin? There is no collective faith. The only spiritual truth is belief in Jesus Christ. Every other religion is false as the Bible tells people.
      I am starting to question why we Christians are patriotic at all? We’re citizens of heaven and we’re not suppose to love the world at all. We sojourn in the world as pilgrims. This world is not even our home. It is a temporary abode so why enter politics at all? Without Jesus all the unbelievers are still under the power of sin and sin has negative effects on the mind, will, etc. Our job as Christians was mainly to do good works and make sure people got Jesus and got out from under the power of sin. Sin impacts everyone negatively. Not live at peace with false religions that help perpetuate sin.
      Christians have their own special identity and mission for God in this world but some people like to water this fact down, ignore it and gloss over it so they can fail to perform delivering the truth.
      Christians were never designed to blend in. We’re suppose to stand out as lights to the nations.

      Think about it. Tolerance isn’t superior to love. Love goes the extra mile for people. Tolerance lets evil get away with things.

      The right Christians are suppose to be concerned with is the spiritual right Jesus died to give everyone. The right to be born again. Sin is awful. Look at some of the personality disorders and other sinful aberrations like addiction, etc. that it produces in people. Tolerate that sin and you give evil a free pass.

      The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

      Free will is a myth too if the noetic effect of sin runs all the way into human genetics and it does. Some people are born with evil predispositions but some people are able to truly commit to God and give those sinful predispositions up.

      And we are suppose to ignore the negative worldwide effects of sin to observe a mythic collective faith because somebody means well? That man delievering the prayer should be able to read a bible and know there is no such thing as a collective faith. There is only personal faith in the way, the truth and the life which is Jesus Christ.

      Every belief except belief in Jesus Christ is false religion. How can a Christian be a collective with false religion? What makes you a Christian is acknowledging Jesus cf. Romans 10:9.

      The myth is that the US is a Christian nation. It isn’t whereever the Christians go the world always follows if it wasn’t there already. No place in this world will really be Christian until the Thousand Year Reign is established. Then the whole world will be united under Jesus Christ for a thousand years. We’re fortunate we live in as safe a place as we have because this world doesn’t really like Christianity and a good part of it is still ruled by their sins.

      Think about it. You are a citizen of heaven but overly concerned about nationality. There are no borders in Jesus Christ. All his people throughout the world are one in him.

    • Gavin, the nature of the truth is that it is exclusive. Faith in Jesus Christ and acknowledgement of him is a major step in being separated unto him. That’s a holy step based on recognition and acknolwedgment of Jesus.

      Are we suppose to be conceding holy steps to the world or showing them the way?

      • Susan asks, “How can a Christian be a collective with false religion?” I don’t want to form a collective religion with, for example, a Muslim. I can, however, recognize some shared goals and shared values and work with a Muslim person to accomplish those things. I don’t think that is an abdication of my own faith.

        Many Christians want to work in the world with Christians, as Christians. The will feed the hungry at at Christian mission. They will collect clothes for the less fortunate through their church. I think that is wonderful! I don’t see any conflict between between people who want to do good works in an openly Christian way, an openly Muslim way, or in a shared way as a diverse group with different faiths but some shared goals. All of that is great. Is anyone asking you to do anything else?

        “Are we suppose to be conceding holy steps to the world or showing them the way?” You are supposed to be showing them the way. Although, if you would also like to work together on some important things – improving public education, increasing access to health care, finding solutions to the challenges of climate change – I think you would be welcome. I don’t think anyone wants you to concede holy steps to do that, but it it is too much of a conflict for you, fine. We wish you the best, and we will keep working with the people who want to work with us. The hand does not need to do the work of the foot. You keep doing your thing.

      • Gavin, I just had a Muslim from India the other day try to deconvert me online in a Christian thread with a bad analysis of the scriptures. He’s still under sin. He has no anointing or an earnest deposit of the Holy Spirit and is not adopted into God’s family but he wanted to correct me on the Gospel and he wouldn’t be corrected himself.

        Apologetics is one of the places where false and counterfeit religion is debunked. Why is debunking important? Because the difference between the tares and wheat is in the heads. The tares and wheat look a lot alike but are different in their heads.

        If you don’t debunk the bad religions or develop an ability to spot fake religion from real spirituality then you stay a slave to sin.

        If you have ever had multiple conversations trying to convert an atheist then you would know they engage in bad eisegesis, are oblivious to sin and can’t spot true spirituality from fake religions.

        Do you think you could stand up and say one word in Christ’s favor to help end the confusion? I try all the time and get verbally stoned for it by people who are spiritually dead and spiritually blind in their trespasses in sins and don’t know it.

        If you don’t direct people to Jesus Christ the power of sin cannot be dealt with in a person’s life. I don’t care what they seem to be doing or look like if they don’t have Jesus they are still slaves to sin and that is a spiritual disease.
        People are self deceptive. If you give them a free pass ideologically they will take a mile.

        Ever have an atheist criticize God to you for allowing slavery while all the time oblivious to the fact he is a slave to sin?

        We are either going to exhibit the mind of Christ and take charge of the conversation or we are going to allow people to stay misdirected under sin.

        I am also busy refuting the eternal torment doctrine in a lot of people’s minds. People have been traditionally mistaught on it. Is God going to send people to be eternally tormented who were born into sin involuntarily? But that’s another issue.

        We have to get at the heart of these issues not let other people distract us from serving God’s purposes. I used to debate unbelievers for years and realized. Evolution, etc….all big diversionary tactics. Thousands of times I heard from them….what’s your evidence.

        The evidence is sin and some people are so confused and self deceptive they never obey Christ and examine themselves.

        So I just act like a doctor myself these days and tell them sin has a terrible effect on people. Hardens hearts, keeps them blind, etc.

        If you won’t give them the truth how can Christ heal them? They could walk around spiritually blind and dead sinning all the time until they leave this world and how does that benefit anybody?

        God bless! Google the Noetic Effects of Sin and read up on it. Why do atheists engage in horrible eisegesis and talk about God like he is Satan? Because of sin’s effects….

        If you could help God put an end to a spiritual disease would you do it? Some of these people are trying to deconvert Christians so we will relapse into the spiritual disease with them.

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