1.11.08

Focus On The Family: Getting Acquainted


Most recent posts have been about significant or at least timely issues: Halloween, the impending election, pop music, sports.

My topic of choice, namely James Dobson and other conservative evangelical groups, can prove to be a bit less…well…relevant, at times.

I was struggling to find an angle from which I could write about these evangelicals that would seem equally as apt as these other articles, and I kept coming up short.

How to make James Dobson relevant?

Admittedly, being relevant probably isn’t high on Dobson’s priority list. But he and his crew at “Focus on the Family” have at least made the headlines again, making this job a bit easier.

Sadly, though, it is for once again offending thousands across the country with its wildly-biased political hip-checks. (Last month it was the “Pray for Rain” video where one of FOTF’s producers used his platform to entertain the idea of praying for rain here in Denver so that Obama’s open-air Invesco Field speech would be cancelled.)

And this week’s special was no less-offensive. FOTF released a 16-page fictional letter entitled, "Letter from 2012 in Obama's America."

Signed by "A Christian from 2012," this concerned American laments not being able to sing the Star-Spangled Banner anymore as he/she is so upset by the way America changed after Obama was voted into the White House. Gays, Muslims, and Pro-Rights advocates (and any of their affiliates) seem to be the three major causes in turning the U.S. into the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. And somehow, Obama is cited as letting these and other ne'er-do-wells run loose in these coming years.

First, did we not learn anything from "The Left Behind" series? Christian apocalyptic fiction writing is recipe for disaster, people!

As for commentary on the content of the letter, I defer to Jim Wallis, who was able to compose himself long enough to write an intelligible response to Dobson and his Homeboys (unlike myself – my keyboard may have started to smoke when last I attempted).

I leave you with the questions I've been struggling with as of late: What happens when an outreach ministry uses its voice in such a way? How is any person of faith who is far or even slightly left of the religious right to respond?

More generally, what happens when we turn our focus (pun intended) from sharing the love of Jesus to targeted political and social agendas? And how do we reclaim and again begin to share Jesus’ mission to seek the lost and broken?

7 comments:

  1. An insightful Letter to a 2000 Christian over at Quibbling

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  2. I already don't sing the Star Spangled Banner, but mostly because I don't care to celebrate "bombs bursting in air" and the like. I also don't "pledge allegiance" to the flag... or even wear flag pins. So much for my political aspirations. (I do, however, still vote... if for no other reason than to piss off the people who say I shouldn't be allowed to since I'm not fully devoted to my nation).

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  3. Does anyone else find it ironic that at the bottom of this letter, permission is given to reproduce the letter and use it for "nonpolitical purposes?"

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  4. I think we're all missing the point! Apparently, by 2012 Christians have discovered how to send letters back in time. The question is: Why are Christians sending letters? Is Obama going to destroy the internet? I knew he was up to something.

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  5. I am purposely choosing not to read this letter but I will answer you question about how Christians are to respond when other Christians seem to miss the Jesus mark.

    Love. We've got to just love them and extend the same benefit of doubt to them that we do to other lost souls, praying, "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do."

    THEN..........when or if it comes up in conversation w/other believers we are to be salt and light,yes, to our "own kind".

    I am a firm believer in speaking hard things with love/grace AND of waiting for the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

    If non-believers bring it up, then I think we can carefully present a BIBLICAL clarification while being very aware that we don't dare malign or gossip about our brothers and sisters.

    Bottom line, God is the one in charge. He's the one who appoints things and He's the one who knows who is going to read what and how they are going to react.

    I say we get back to trusting Him that radically, even when others do so much to alter Truth.

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  6. Ha, nicely done Joseph. In the future, God gives Christians a time machine, and this is how they use it? To write a letter to four years ago? Really? Hey, future Christians! I got dibs on 1977 Portland!

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  7. Dr. James Dobson is always relevant, as is Jesus, who is the same, yesterday and forever. Dr. Dobson has been the single greatest influence in my life, after Jesus. He is my hero and my mentor. I am eternally grateful to him for leading me by example as to how to live a Christ-like life. I implore you to read God's Holy Word, allowing it to guide you in its clear truth and wisdom. James Dobson is more loving than you could ever dream of being.

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