Russell Moore explains the phrase in an answer to a chaplain who asks:
Dear Dr. Moore,
I’m a committed evangelical Christian, and also a chaplain with responsibility for people from all sorts of religious backgrounds. I am called on to pray at many functions, with mixed audiences. Some over me are pressuring me not to end my prayers “in Jesus’ name” but to instead pray more inclusively to God, generally. I can pray “in Your name” and that seems to solve the problem. I mean Jesus, of course, but it wouldn’t be as patently offensive and it would enable me to minister here longer and more effectively. Is that ethical?
A Confused Chaplain
Dr. Moore explains what praying in Jesus’ name is:
- “This is not a quandary about language” and that “Praying in Jesus’ name isn’t simply a cultural addendum at the end of a request”. We pray in Jesus’ name because Jesus commanded us to do so (Jn. 14:13). We pray in Jesus’ name because we believe that “there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). Thus, we have no access to God apart from our being hidden in Christ.
…and what it is not:
- When you pray publicly, you are not there to proselytize or to do apologetic battle against other religions. But that’s not what praying in Jesus’ name is. If you are asked to pray, you can only pray as a Christian. In so doing, you are actually, ironically enough, protecting the rights of other religions and their chaplains.
and he points out:
- Christian chaplains have been ordained by their churches, and offered to the military, to be Christian chaplains. For them to pray as a civil-religion cleric is for them to enlist their services in another faith. You wear the Cross, and must speak it and not put it under the bushel of a more inclusive language of civil faith.
lastly, he conlcudes his argument with Matt. 10:32-33:
- behind all those rationalizations hung a warning: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven”
You can sad the entire article here at http://www.christianpost.com/