What Do You Think About Last Week’s NASCAR Invocation?

This past Saturday, Tennessee pastor Joe Nelms delivered the invocation at the NASCAR Nationwide race in Nashville. His prayer raised some eyebrows and drew quite a bit of attention. Check it out:

I’ve always believed that there’s no such thing as an irreverent prayer, as long as the prayer is made with a sincere heart. Then I heard Nelms’ prayer. Some people are saying that the prayer was the best they’d ever heard. I’d say it’s far from it.

In a Huffington Post editorial (and I can’t believe I’m quoting the HuffPost), Shirl James Hoffman put it well:

One needn’t have a particular theological bend to see that using prayer as a bit of shtick or hijacking a public-prayer opportunity to deliver a bit of stand-up is crass and insensitive, if not profane. And some would remind the good pastor that the scripture around which he no doubt crafts his Sunday sermons, warns mightily against calling attention to yourself when you pray.

I think that Nelms’ prayer wasn’t really that clever; in fact, it was a little annoying, playing into redneck stereotypes and trying to channel Ricky Bobby. I don’t necessarily think that the prayer was sacreligious, but it did pretty well scream, “look at me,” rather than, “look at God.”

When our prayers attract attention for any reason other than sincere faith, they are counterproductive to Christianity and do not serve to draw people closer to Christ.

That’s my opinion. What do you think?


One thought on “What Do You Think About Last Week’s NASCAR Invocation?

  1. It was an affront to God IMO. When a man of the cloth makes comments about his wife being “HOT” it could very well cause another to stumble (Sin). If a man looks upon a woman with lust, he commits adultery. That is exactly what the “preacher” put some in danger of doing.
    It was also disrespect to all good “rednecks”, even his tone was phony. And as you said, he called attention to himself and in a prideful manner I must add which is not of God but of the Devil.
    He may have thought it “cute” but I found it tacky. Wonder what his “flock” thought about it?

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