In Jesus’ name?

Interfaith worship
Public prayer with non-Christians is risky business, at least if you’re a Missouri Synod Lutheran. Pastor David Benke of the LCMS is going through a disciplinary process for having prayed at the interfaith “Prayer for America” service held at Yankee Stadium in September 2001 following the terrorist attacks. That event included Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus. No matter that he prayed “in the name of Jesus” or that he twice sought and received permission to participate from the president of the synod. It doesn’t seem to matter either that his denomination had just months before passed a resolution approving participation in civic ceremonies like inaugurations, graduations and “once-in-a-lifetime” celebrations. For his role in the interfaith event, Benke must fend off charges of encouraging syncretism.


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