WATCH: Eric Metaxas Was On Fire at National Prayer Breakfast; says Jesus Came to Be the Enemy of Phony Religion

hcsp.jpgNew York Times bestselling author and humor writer Eric Metaxas may fool you at first with his non-stop wisecracks (including how he wished the head table at the National Prayer Breakfast was filled with celebrities rather than politicians), but once he gets talking about his Christian faith, he gets pretty serious, pretty fast.

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama listen to author Eric Metaxas (R) deliver the keynote message at the 60th annual National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton hotel in Washington February 2, 2012.

Metaxas, author of books such as Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery, was the keynote speaker at the 60th National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday. After an entertaining introduction – where everything from the Occupy movement to the hefty prayer breakfast fee ended up as materials for jokes – the born-again Christian author got down to business and focused on contrasting phony religiosity and real faith.
“The lives of both of these men (Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer) illustrate between phony religiosity and really believing in God in a way that it changes your life – it must change your life and the lives of others,” said Metaxas.
Wilberforce was a British politician who lived in the 19th century and led the movement to abolish the slave trade. And Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor who stood up to the Nazi’s atrocities against the Jews during World War II, and was executed as a result.
“England paid lip service to religion in those days. ‘Oh I am a Christian. I’m English, yeah, we’re Christians.’ But they seemed to think that slavery was a fine thing,” said Metaxas. “So keep in mind that when someone says I am a Christian, it might mean absolutely nothing.
“But for Wilberforce it became real. It wasn’t about Christianity; it was about the living God and serving Him. Wilberforce suddenly took the Bible seriously, that we are all created in the image of God … that it was our duty to care for the least of these, and he said, ‘Lord, I will obey.'”

Click here to view photo gallery: Scenes from the prayer breakfast.

SOURCE: Christian Post
Michelle Vu

* * * * * * * * *

In a town where just about everything is scripted, the sight of the president, vice-president and members of Congress singing “Amazing Grace,” during the 60th Annual National Prayer breakfast was one of several off-script moments that were most refreshing today.
“The Bible teaches us to be doers of the Word and not merely hearers,’ President Obama said during a speech where he went from talking about the prayer partners in his life to spending time at the North Carolina home of the Rev. Billy Graham.
“Before I left, Reverend Graham started praying for me, as he had prayed for so many presidents before me. And when he finished praying, I felt the urge to pray for him. I didn’t really know what to say. What do you pray for when it comes to the man who has prayed for so many? But like that verse in Romans, the Holy Spirit interceded when I didn’t know quite what to say.”
Obama’s frank comments came during an event that seemed different from previous years. Normally the event is a series of well crafted prayers shared by Democrats and Republicans as pastors and the religious elite listen.
But this year marked a change
Best selling author Eric Metaxes blasted the religious status quo by saying that “Jesus is the enemy of a dead religion.” Metaxes went between humor and blistering critiques as he talked about his books on William Wilberforce and Derrick Bonhoeffer.
While Robert Griffin III, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, was just sscheduled to offer the closing prayer, he added a little humor of his own to the event, issuing a challenge to Obama for a basketball game and complaining the event went so long he need to go to the restroom.
But following the event, the Baylor University star was on his best behavior:
“I was just honored to be that close to the president,” Griffin, a running back who will skip his senior year at Baylor to enter the NFL draft, said after the program. “Not every day do you get to offer a challenge of a game of basketball to the president. Its overwhelming, but you try to live in the moment and that is what I am trying to do.”
Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Washington Post
Hamil R. Harris