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Home Bulletins September 22, 2010

September 22, 2010

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Christopher Hitchens is dying of cancer.  He is one of modern times’ most vocal and famous atheists.  He wrote the best-selling “God is Not Great.” It is a violent rant against all things of God.


Since his illness made the news, many Christians are publicly asking people to pray for him. There was an online push designating yesterday, Sept. 20, as “Everybody Pray for Hitchens Day.” There’s a Facebook page for those committed to Praying for Christopher Hitchens. This story is major news.


He has made it clear he wants NO prayers for salvation! He was asked by a reporter, “Does it offend you that people are praying for you?”  “No, no,” Hitchens replied, “I take it kindly on the assumption that they are praying for my recovery, but not to be saved.”  And just in case a rumor might circulate that at some point during this process of dying that he has made some death-bed confession, Hitchens warns people to not believe it.


Does he have the right to be suspect of the reasons why Christians are compelled to pray for his salvation when he doesn’t see us bother to pray for the salvation of the child next door, the grocery store clerk or that good friend from college? Why are so many people campaigning for Hitchens’ salvation? Is it because his salvation would in some disingenuous way affirm their own? Or do we simply wish to use his healing as a launch for our cause?  Could it be many of these prayers are not truly sincere?


He believes that for the Christian community he’s the Big Fish. Netting him would be like hauling in Jonah’s whale. The salvation of Christopher Hitchens would get wide-spread news!  Maybe this is why Hitchens doesn’t want our prayers.


Can we justify praying for him when there’s a vast wilderness of people lost?  Are we truly feeling a pain for the lost in this world, as we should? And can we say in all truthfulness that we are praying as earnestly for those whose names aren’t among the celebrated notables?


Let us pray for every lost soul in this world.  Let us do our part to bring Jesus to everyone, whether celebrity or totally unknown.


(Many excerpts taken from the article titled “Praying for Christopher Hitchens Simply Isn’t Enough” by Karen Zacharias)


– Pannell



 
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