At our last meeting, Councilor Renfro asked the Father to give the Council wisdom, “in Jesus’ name, Amen.” This Council continues to disrespect the views of Lord Jesus regarding public prayer while invoking his name, and to violate the Constitutions of Oregon and the United States, in favor of your tradition of prayer in public meetings.
This county is big on tradition. This Council not only has a tradition of establishing the City’s religion in Council meetings by your prayer: it also allows the City to keep political and religious speech out of its advertised public market; while the County keeps political and religious speech confined to ghettos in the Josephine County Fair by the Fair Board’s tradition. Our circuit court has a tradition of denying that depositions are allowed in criminal cases under Oregon law. When this defendant showed Judge Wolke that depositions are indeed allowed in criminal cases under Oregon statutes, he declared, “In twenty years on the bench, I have never seen depositions allowed in criminal cases, and I’m not going to start now.” He explicitly upheld the Court’s tradition over Oregon statutes.
Jesus had something to say about tradition, as well as about public prayer:
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”
He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prosphesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, / But their heart is far from Me. /And in vain they worship me, / teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
“For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of Men-the washing of pitchers and cups and many other such things you do.”
He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother: “Whatever profit you may have received from me is Corban”-(that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” Mark 7:6-13
If you really want to honor Lord Jesus through your work in the Council, you will uphold the law and end unlawful traditions like your invocation, honoring Him in your hearts rather than with your lips.