Eugene Cho

pray for those liberals…


I remember being instructed as a new Christian many years ago to pray for influential Hollywood people.  I did as I was instructed and I still remember praying for numerous including Tom Cruise…umm, I should have prayed more. So, I kind of chuckled when I saw this article recently from the Christian Post entitled, Prayerful Americans Called to ‘Adopt a Liberal.’

I’ve been called lots of different names and labeled with different words including the ‘liberal’ word. I’ve also been called a ‘narrow minded fundy,’ ‘wanna be progressive’, ‘classic conservative’, ‘christian communist’ and the list goes on.

The positive about being labeled is that I might actually make it on someone’s prayer list and who doesn’t want prayer?  :)

I’m a fan of prayer. I’m a fan of civility. I understand the nature and necessity of politics. I don’t really like some of the views of the folks on the list but I also don’t know them as people – personally. And I know that while we’re instructed to pray for our ‘leaders’ but the ‘adopt a liberal’ thing sure seems weird.  How long before we get an “Adopt a Conservative” initiative? And thus, the perpetuation of the “otherizing” and worse, “demonizing” of others. Which leads us to the big picture question:

Is there another way?  What is the “follower of Christ” way?

Enough of me. What do you think?

Here’s the article:

A Christian legal group has introduced a new initiative to encourage prayerful Americans to “adopt” liberal leaders.

Fla.-based Liberty Counsel’s “Adopt a Liberal” program, inspired by the exhortation of the Apostle Paul, as recorded in 1 Timothy 2:1-3, invites prayerful conservatives to pick out a liberal or two who is in a position of authority to be the target of “regular, intense prayer in accord with St. Paul’s admonition to his disciple, Timothy.”

“Prayer is powerful! It allows God to change the minds of those for whom we are praying. In fact, we fully expect that many of our adoptees will ‘graduate’ from this prayer program with vivid testimonies of God having changed their lives and worldviews,” Liberty Counsel stated.

While the legal group admitted that there is a certain amount of tongue-and-cheek humor associated with their new program, they said they do want it to conform with the biblical passage in Paul’s letter and for it to move liberal leaders and cause them to be the kind of leaders who will encourage others to lead “a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”

The Rev. Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and one of the liberal leaders listed by Liberty Counsel, expressed Thursday that he’s thankful for the prayers being said on his behalf by supporters of the Religious Right group.

“This is quite an honor,” Lynn said. “I’m pleased that Liberty Counsel considers me such a threat that I rank alongside President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.”

But Lynn added that Liberty Counsel shouldn’t expect him to change his views and warned that any Liberty Counsel supporter who “adopts” him had better be prepared.

“I like to stay up late, and I’m not doing any chores around the house,” Lynn quipped.

Currently, Liberty Counsel’s list includes 11 individuals – Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Congressman Barney Frank, Director John Holdren, Barry Lynn, Secretary Janet Napolitano, President Barack Obama, Senator Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Senator Olympia Snowe.

Participants can also select “The Unknown Liberal,” a liberal not on the list who also “desperately need[s]” their prayers.

“Please pray daily for the liberal(s) of your choice, so each can become a good influence on our Nation’s culture,” Liberty Counsel stated. [original link]


Filed under: , , , , , ,

17 Responses

  1. Tonya says:

    I am not a person who generally picks a “star of the week” to pray for, but then I am a person who listens to God. Here’s the story.

    7 years ago I read a memoir by Jennifer Aniston’s mom…don’t ask me why, it was trash. But on the last 2 pages I distinctly heard God ask me to commit to praying for Jennifer and then-husband-Brad. So I did…regularly, for over a year. Feeling a bit silly about it the whole time.

    At a silent retreat I ran into friends from college who had since become missionaries to Hollywood (note, we are all Minnesotans…Hollywood is a loooooong ways away). As they were leaving we broke silence long enough for us to greet each other and for me to ask how their ministry was going. Still feeling sheepish…I asked if they had any interactions with Jennifer Aniston. What they told me was enough to convince me that it was no accident that God had me praying…and even that some of my prayers were answered.

    Wow…for a brief moment God pulled back the veil and I could see what previously was only seen “in a glass darkly.” A year later I was released from praying. I believe that whole episode happened, not so much for the power of prayer (although, HELLO!) but for the sake of renewing my faith in prayer. I just have no idea of the mysteries of God and how he works…

    So, if anyone feels lead to pray…for anyone (myself and Pastor Eu included) please do. God is working and desires for us to join him!

  2. Lee Gibson says:

    Why do we need to impose our vision of God’s will on somebody else?

    It is the height of arrogance to think that I know God’s will, that other person doesn’t, and I’m going to pray to God to tell them to agree with me. Because, of course, it’s me and God against them.


  3. It is appropriate — and biblical to pray for those in positions of influence. The “adopt a liberal” approach to doing so is a bit obnoxious.

    Also, the statement, “Prayer is powerful! It allows God to change the minds of those for whom we are praying…” sets off my theological crap detector on several levels.

  4. Tonya says:

    Lee…”Why do we need to impose our vision of God’s will on somebody else.” I agree 100%. How would I even know what that person actually believes, let alone what they should be believing?? I think praying for leaders should be more general prayers…for wisdom, for the ability to see from a kingdom perspective (even if they are NOT believers!), for protection from evil, for soft hearts, etc. General principles that are biblical. Our prayers would only add to the power of the work that God is already doing in and around them.

  5. Rose says:

    I would rather a ministry that is more along the lines of “Adopt an elected official” rather than liberal or conservative or whatever. I have prayed for many years for people of influence in the entertainment industry. It’s the industry I work in, and I see nothing foolish about it.

  6. I have felt led to pray for Christopher Hitchens before, but not as a serious, committed part of my ministry.

    Just my 2 cents.

  7. Joe Louthan says:

    Uh, do we get to pray for the older brother, err, I mean, the conservatives?

  8. elderj says:

    I don’t know much about this particular initiative, but I am aware that there are groups of people who regularly (and as noted in the post scripturally commanded) pray for political leaders. I noted this first during the Bush administration. And if the content of the prayer is as suggested in the post (entirely scriptural) then I have no problem with it at all. It seems to me that if people committed to prayer can employ a bit of tongue in cheek humor (a la “adopt a liberal”) we can abstain from casting aspersion on them or their efforts.

    I would take issue with it if they were explicitly praying for certain political policy things (like liberal Christians groups praying for the adoption of health care reform cough cough), but if they are praying for “them to be the kind of leaders who will encourage others to lead “a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” then I’m all for it.

  9. Angela says:

    There can’t be too much prayer. So has the ‘Adopt A Conservative’ parallel started yet?

  10. pjchris says:

    Okay…Olympia Snow and Arnold Schwarzinager (sp?) are liberals?

    But seriously, I too agree that we should be praying for our leaders, but I disagree that one group with political leanings one way needs more prayer than any other group. I fairly sure that when the Bible says that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)that it means “all”. Our leaders are human, just like everyone else, and we all need prayer.

  11. @ Lee Gibson-I am there with you.

    If God puts it on my heart to pray for someone, I will. But these “programs” to pray for certain people–especially those with “liberal” views–seem artificial.

  12. Jim says:

    I like to pray through the contacts list on my blackberry

  13. Brian Clayville says:

    I say pray away for whoever you feel a need to pray for. If we are really wanting to advance the kingdom, we will pray with out ceasing and this will include all types of people. Some who happen to have massive influence.

    Using the labels does not help us advance God’s kingdom, it merely irritates those whom we disagree with.

    Most of the “progressive” politicians do not act in a way that shows any desire to serve God in their public lives. Therefore it is probably a great idea to pray for them more intensely. I can’t say that a lot of so called conservative politicians act much differently in their public lives so let’s pray for them too.

  14. I have no problem with it whatsoever as long as their motives are in check. There have been so many other obnoxious “outreach” activities over the years that this latest move is like a breath of fresh air.

  15. Erick says:

    It’s interesting that this group is focusing on praying so hard for liberals and not conservatives and the light in which they are doing so shows that there is something wrong with liberals and not conservatives…even though both political groups are leading our nation. The idea of “these sorry souls” bothers me because it sounds holier than thou. Yet I am convicted because I hardly pray for our leaders and their decisions, I really should do that more.

    Good post…

    ps Kind of funny that you wrote this today Eugene, I was called a socialist earlier this morning for taking a playful jab at corporate America, namely Walmart, on fb…I had to laugh.

  16. James Haynes says:

    I put this commentary on my read it later tab of my browser, so I am just now commenting.
    I am an active member or an evangelical congregation in the South. I am as disgusted by this “pray for a liberal” program as I was when our church took the President off of the prayer list. That action was uncalled for, because he was still in office. More disturbing was the clandestine racism in our congregation by not putting our newly elected President on the prayer list. Okay to pray for a man they agreed with, but not his successor. If they disliked him so much should not he be a “Priority” on their list?
    I continue to be appalled by Christians that are pious on Sunday and use Limbaugh and Beck as apostles of the Second Coming the rest of the week. Truly, well meaning Christians should really listen to what is said by their ilk. They too would be as disgusted as I.
    I receive many hate spewing emails from these fellow Christians. In the past I would answer with facts. I resigned to the fact that they were blinded by ignorance, prejudice and hatred. These normal friendly people are used to spread untruth and rumors. All this because they trust the person that sent them the information. If these friends would spend as much time in the Scriptures as they do watching Fox News, perhaps they would be more discerning.
    Veritas-Truth will always set you free.

  17. […] and religious legalist; the other person on the fence on that hot theological issue; the other liberal or conservatives; that feminist or ultimate fighting Jesus lover, and on and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Our character is often evident in our highs and lows. Be humble in the mountaintops. Be steadfast in the valleys. Be faithful in the between. Quintessential Seattle summer night... Exciting news! While I can't share the specifics yet, Jeremy Lin (@jlin7) and @onedayswages will be partnering together. 
About a year ago, Jeremy reached out after he read my book, Overrated. We talked about, faith, gospel, justice, tenacity, influence, breaking ankles with our crossovers. Eventually, one thing led to another and then dreaming about collaboration for the greater Kingdom.

I appreciate his heart, his humility, and his commitment to use his platform for Christ. And of course, I'm thrilled for his new chapter as the starting point guard for the Brooklyn Nets. He's gonna have a great season. #jeremylin #linsanity #onedayswages #nba #brooklynnets // photo credit: @lovitylove I was trying to have a tender father-daughter grown up talk moment before she heads off to college next month. As in like, "Hey, you're a grown up now, floss regularly,  know who you are, what you're about, study hard, don't succumb to peer pressure, your relationship with God is the first priority, don't take too many selfies, know the difference between "their', 'there', and they're', watch out for boys and their cooties"... but...I'm having a difficult...time...focusing. This fall, I'm marking 25 years of serving as a pastor in the local church. Served in Sacramento, CA, Flushing NY, Princeton, NJ, Seoul, Korea, Lynnwood, WA, and now about 17 years in the city of Seattle. Minhee has been on this journey with me for almost 20 years. 
So many ups and downs. Lots of tears and restless nights. Lots of personal doubts and insecurities. But ultimately, we've experienced that God's grace is sufficient in our weakness. 
And along the way, so many incredible and indelible memories. 
Especially grateful to be invited into the joyous celebrations and also the deep moments of vulnerability and pain. Through it all, what an amazing joy and privilege to bear witness to the grace and love of Christ. Palm trees make everything feel better. Thank you to the kind folks of Mount Hermon for hosting us. Thank you, Santa Cruz for being Santa Cruz.

my tweets



Blog Stats

  • 3,411,598 hits

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,410 other followers