I was very disappointed with the follow-up article for Dalton’s observance of the National Day of Prayer that appeared last Friday on the front page. The reporter, Christopher Smith, chose to use an interview with, and I quote, “a lady sitting by herself uncomfortably” from Chatsworth and use her negative and out-of-context remarks to taint the whole event. (By the way, we are so glad she attended all the way from another county.)
The comments she made that our prayers came across too political were not true, and in reality it was not political issues, it was what the Bible and our Lord calls sin. I also really disagree with her when she commented that the message came across “if you’re different then you are not wanted and that Jesus doesn’t really love you.” I know many of the men of God that prayed confessed some very sensitive sins, but I know these men of God and their motive was to plead with God for mercy and grace for our nation and not to make some political speech. They would never even suggest that Jesus is prejudiced or does not love all sinners. I guarantee you that each pastor, youth pastor or Christian layman that prayed would welcome any sinner to come to their church and hear preaching from the Word of God. I believe that the singing, the encouraging response and, most important, the praying was sincere and honest and directed toward God for one reason and that is for all of us to come back to God and to beg for his protection and blessing on our shell-shocked country.
I’m very disappointed that the reporter did not interview any of those who prayed to get their response to these accusations, especially to her comment that their message came across “If you’re different, if you’re gay, then you’re not wanted. Jesus doesn’t really love you after all.” This is the furthest thing from our message and their prayers! We believe that the very reason our Lord and Savior went to Calvary and died was for all sinners, but at the same time real men of God will not recant what God says in his Word, especially about sin. I appreciate the good photos and the front page article, but the article just brought out one person’s negative reaction to the motive and purpose of our prayers with no rebuttal from the ones that prayed.
Pastor Wayne Cofield
Member of the steering committee for the National Day of Prayer in Dalton
Editor’s note: Christopher interviewed a Dalton resident who disagreed with the Chatsworth resident’s comments. He also quoted two local pastors who prayed at the event. We believe Christopher presented the story in a balanced and objective manner.