Activists are seeking to purge evangelist and pastor Greg Laurie of California from leading the National Day of Prayer event May 2 in Washington, D.C. His offense? Laurie has preached that the Bible defines marriage as one man and one woman, and that homosexual conduct is outside God’s design.
The National Day of Prayer was created by Congress and signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1952. Its purpose is “to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture.” The United States has a long tradition of presidents calling for days of prayer for the nation, and Congress formalized this practice to happen annually on the first Thursday in May. Mrs. Shirley Dobson is the chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force.
This year, the National Day of Prayer Task Force selected Greg Laurie as its 2013 Honorary Chairman. Laurie is senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. Pastor Laurie has also lead many evangelistic rallies, called Harvest Crusades, where thousands of people hear him preach the Gospel of Christ at large stadiums.
But activists have ignored all of the good Laurie has done in his life and focused only on what they disagree with: his preaching of the Bible’s views on marriage. The activists are seeking to impose a theological litmus test on anyone who prays at public events. Agree with our views, or we hound you to the outskirts of society. So much for their alleged commitment to diversity and tolerance.
A similar uproar occurred earlier this year, when activists successfully banished Pastor Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta from praying at President Obama’s Second Inauguration due to a sermon he had preached 15 years earlier on marriage and the Bible’s prohibitions on homosexual conduct. Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California also endured similar criticism when he was selected to pray at President Obama’s First Inauguration in 2009, but the President allowed him to pray, in spite of his views on marriage.
Pastor Laurie is standing resolute, and is expecting to pray at the National Day of Prayer gathering in Washington, D.C. on May 2. And I am sure Laurie will be praying for God’s blessings on his opponents.