Ed Dobson’s walk with Jesus leads him to national stage
Posted by jhaywood January 09, 2009 23:23PM
GRAND RAPIDS — When the Rev. Ed Dobson set out to live like Jesus for a year, he envisioned it as a private spiritual journey, not an avenue to national television.
But that’s where the path took him.
The retired Calvary Church pastor appeared on “Good Morning America Weekend” on Sunday, recounting his year of living like Jesus. Program producers flew Dobson and his son, Daniel, to New York after reading a Press story about his experience on the USA Today Web site.
“It was over before I knew it,” Dobson said of the 3:43-minute live interview with show co-anchor Bill Weir.
Dobson said he wasn’t nervous, having appeared on TV often as an aide to the Rev. Jerry Falwell before coming to Calvary in 1987.
“It was always you were arguing about something,” Dobson said of those appearances. “It was nice for the first time not to argue about anything.”
His year-long beard finally trimmed, the pastor talked of eating kosher, keeping the Jewish Sabbath and other challenges of emulating Jesus.
Blessing those who persecute you was one of the greatest, he said. He spoke of attending the funeral of a friend of Daniel who was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb and feeling anger toward those who planted it.
“I finally realized I had to pray for them and bless them, which is very, very hard to do,” he said on the show.
Dobson also said he has drawn heat for voting for Barack Obama as the candidate he felt best represented Jesus’ teachings. He has been criticized for that on the ABC and USA Today Web sites.
“I understand, to some degree, their reaction,” Dobson said this week. “I wish I had been able to say that I don’t have a lot of faith in any politician, no matter the party, and I really wrestled with voting for Mr. Obama, given that he is pro-choice. But I concluded that wasn’t the only issue that was important, that I wanted to be pro-life from conception to the grave.”
Dobson emphasized he is not saying everyone should have voted for Obama — or that Jesus would have.
“I would encourage people, whether you’ve ever read the Bible or not, begin reading the Bible,” Dobson told Weir, “and just listen to what God has to say.”