Ed Dobson’s walk with Jesus leads him to national stage

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.

Ed Dobson

“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.”

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One Response to Ed Dobson’s walk with Jesus leads him to national stage

  1. Rd says:

    From Dr. Ed Dobson, senior vice president for spiritual formation:I know that my comments in the Grand Rapids Press, USA Today and on the Good Morning America Weekend show have created some discussion and controversy. Unfortunately, the main focus of my journey this year was lost – namely, to better understand the teachings of Jesus. I come away from the experience with a deeper appreciation for the life, teachings, sufferings, death and resurrection of Jesus. I wanted to take a few moments to react to two of the issues that are causing the most controversy: my vote for President-elect Obama and the issue of alcohol use.I have always been and will continue to be pro-life. So why in the world did I vote the way I did? I am pro-life before birth and pro-life after birth. I am equally concerned with the violence on our streets, with people who are dying of HIV-AIDS, people who are suffering genocide in various places in the world, children who are growing up without adequate health care, etc. For me, being pro-life includes not only the protection of the unborn but also how we treat people who are already born. I felt that Mr. Obama was closer to the essence of Jesus’ teachings – compassion for the poor and the oppressed, being a peacemaker, loving your enemies and other issues. I have also said, though it never was printed, that I have little faith in politicians of either party. The real work of reducing abortions and extending love and compassion to the poor and oppressed should be done by those of us who are devoted followers of Jesus.Now, to the alcohol issue. Jesus himself was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard. Obviously, he was neither! But he did eat food, and he did drink wine. He did frequent parties with tax collectors and sinners. So part of my journey was to try and emulate Jesus in this way. I know that this is not in sync with the Cornerstone lifestyle statement. However, I am not an employee. I do not get paid. I am a volunteer. I was not asked to sign the statement. Had I signed the statement, I would have followed that commitment because I have always strived to be a person of my word.I regret any controversy that I may have caused our community at Cornerstone University. I love our students, personnel and the mission of the school, and I do not want to distract from the great things that God is doing on our campus. I look forward to sharing with you more of the things that God has taught me during the course of the past year.Serving alongside you at Cornerstone,Ed Dobson

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