Pastor Joe Nelms decided that, rather than give an actual prayer, he’d pull lines right out of the irreverent prayer from the movie Talladega Nights to inject some humor into what’s normally a cookie cutter prayer.
Now, while I can tolerate the “smokin’ hot wife” and perhaps the racing cars types, it’s how he closed the prayer that makes me believe he crossed the line.
Then, to keep the crowd into his exuberant prayer, Nelms tossed in a “In Jesus’ name, boogity, boogity, boogity, Amen” to end it off. Because really, why not, he must have thought. Others wonder what Jesus thinks of it all.
[NASCAR Pastor’s Head-Turning Prayer: ‘Thank You For My Smokin’ Hot Wife’]
I mean, I get it. Some people think that if they make God attractive to others—if they make Him entertaining or they make it seem like fun—then perhaps they can get someone to come into their church. Then maybe they will hear the Gospel and get saved.
Except they forgot something that they should have learned as a child—the ends do not justify the means.
The Lord of all Creation does not need us to put on entertainment to get people to follow Him. He’s not begging for people to follow Him, He commands it.
Look at His life on Earth, and you’ll see a Person that made the call, that stood His ground, and never begged. Although one could say He used miracles to attract a crowd, the crowd was the byproduct. Many times you see Him saying that the one healed should tell no one—He wasn’t out for fame, but to serve.
Pastor Nelms made Christ cheap, by associating His name with an irreverent prayer, and although I’m sure he meant well, I’m also sure that a humanly king wouldn’t have tolerated that kind of disrespect. So what of a Heavenly One?