Jesus prayed in public, pastor writes
Dear Mr. Casey,
I am writing in response to your article entitled, “Silence is best prayer strategy before meetings.” Regardless of my views or your views on the issue of sectarian prayer before a public meetings, I feel it is important that all the facts be presented and the be presented in a proper context.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am the pastor of Westlake Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist Church in Moneta, Va. I was present during the meetings in Franklin County when the issue of sectarian prayer before their meetings was raised.
Just like the gentleman opposing Franklin County, Ms. Rauchle distorted the facts, and you perpetuated the distortion. In her quote of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was not condemning public prayer, Jesus was condemning public prayer if it was to bring attention to yourself or receiving the praise of others.
Jesus Himself prayed many times publicly. One such instance is at the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 as recorded in all four Gospels (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14). Therefore, if Jesus would pray in public, He would not then condemn it from others.
While you and I may have to agree to disagree on the issue of public prayer, I would like to request that as a columnist, you at least do your readers the service of presenting all the facts and present them accurately. I feel with this article you did your reputation as a columnist as well as your readers a great disservice.
Rev. Justin A. Likens
Pastor, Westlake Baptist Church