“Will Not Pray for Soldiers”?

This month’s CT has an article by Collin Hansen about several famous pastors and churches in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Among them is Greg Boyd, pastor of Woodland Hills Church. Boyd is an outspoken advocate of pacifism.

I was struck to learn (on p. 6) that Boyd’s church “will not pray for soldiers.” Boyd’s bad wrong on other things that are more important (he’s an open theist), but if this is true, it has him being much more harsh to soldiers than John the Baptist (who, when specifically asked by soldiers what they should do, told them to be honest, not to quit their immoral job) or Jesus (who marveled at a soldier’s faith, without ever mentioning that he should repent of having been a soldier).

Of course, like other anti-war protesters, Boyd is exercising his free speech, which was purchased and is frequently protected by the blood of the soldiers for whom his church (if I’m reading the article right) refuses to pray. Oh yeah, and there’s the fact that the church should be willing to pray for anybody.

(On pacifism, see my series “The Easy Non-Solution of Pacifism,” parts 1, 2, and 3.)

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Comments

  1. I haven’t read the article yet, but I’m hoping that what Boyd means is that they won’t pray for victory for the soldiers (as opposed to the “kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out” mindset that some fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals seem to have adopted). If he’s against praying for soldiers’ safety and quick return, as well as for their family back home waiting for them, then that’s not only bad theology, it’s just blatantly sinful.

    C’mon Greg, tell us you know better!

    I will give him props though for preaching against the whole God-and-America idolatry that is rampant among evangelicals…especially since that single sermon led to around 1,000 people leaving his church. Regardless of one’s stand on pacifism, that takes some cojones to do! :)

  2. Right, but from my limited reading he seems to be one more (as you pointed out re: Miller in your last comment) who basically says, “Christianity isn’t a matter of right-wing politics,” and their solution is left-wing politics.

    Again, my reading of him is limited, and I hope I’m wrong.

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