Sylvia Thompson
On milquetoast leaders and the guilt-tripping of Christians
By Sylvia Thompson
July 29, 2015

Recently, a group of professed Christian leaders issued what they call "An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage." [1]

The statement is in response to the recent decision of five Supreme Court justices regarding marriage that foists a leftist ideology upon American Christians. It is appropriate that this group qualified their statement as "an evangelical declaration," because those involved are well aware that they do not speak for all evangelical Christians.

The statement is tepidly uninspiring and somewhat akin to the risen Christ's description of the Church at Laodicea, in the Bible book of Revelation. Christ called that congregation "lukewarm and neither cold nor hot..." Consequently, He will spit them out. (Revelation 3:14-16)

This particular statement is of interest to me because one of its supporters is Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, an evangelical organization.

Focus was founded by Dr. James Dobson, who accepted Mr. Daly as President after the previous President stepped down. Dr. Dobson cited philosophical differences with Mr. Daly as his reason for also eventually resigning. Those differences, centering on the role of Christian leadership, led Jim Daly to imply in an interview that Dr. Dobson's biblical stance on moral issues, such as abortion and homosexual sin, are distractions. This quote from Daly taken from an article by John Kirkwood is revealing:
    "It's fair to say we have concentrated on some things that have distracted from the main thing, which is the Gospel of Christ," said Daly, "When you are in the culture of doing good deeds, taking care of the poor, taking care of the widow, the orphan, not as a means to something else but because this is what true religion should be doing, even the nonbeliever would say, 'Look at that' ... There is a certain respect that comes from that." [2]
Nothing in Scripture states or implies that facing down evil and sin is "distraction." Nothing in Scripture states or implies that a focus of Christians is to garner "respect" from willful sinners. Sadly, such leaders as Jim Daly are in abundance.

Another example is Tullian Tchividjian who decided to make Coral Ridge ministries less "political," as though Christ's domain does not include every facet of human existence. You may recall that Coral Ridge was headed by the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, who was quite bold in declaring that all of the earthly domain is fair game for the believing Christian leader, politics included. (Tchividjian is a grandson of evangelist Billy Graham.)

Thankfully, Pastor Franklin Graham (his uncle) of Samaritan's Purse not only takes care of the "widows and orphans" aspect of Judeo-Christianity, but he is also firmly rooted in the fight against the rampant sin and evil that currently permeate America. It seems that true believing Christian leaders can walk and chew gum at the same time.

In the category with Pastor Graham are other devoted, strong Christian leaders who are not advising the flock to steer clear of criticism of and opposition to gross sin, particularly regarding the killing of unborn children and the tyranny of unrepentant sexual deviancy (most prominent of which are homosexuality and transsexuality). The leaders who exemplify strength include Pastor Robert Jeffress, who speaks boldly and biblically on these issues.

Dozens of Christian leaders such as Franklin Graham, James Dobson, and John Hagee signed a petition, even before the godless ruling of the Supreme Court was issued, stating that they would defy any decision to redefine the 6,000-year-old definition of marriage. [3]

Compare their modeling of Christ Jesus in the Temple Courtyard of the first century with these statements from the declaration. (For those unaware, Christ literally beat money changers out of the area with a cord whip, because their behavior in God's house was repugnant. [John 2:13-16])

The statements read as follows:
    The gospel must inform our approach to public witness. As evangelicals animated by the good news that God offers reconciliation through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, we commit to:

    • Respect and pray for our governing authorities even as we work through the democratic process to rebuild a culture of marriage (Rom. 13:1-7);

    • the truth about biblical marriage in a way that brings healing to a sexually broken culture;

    • affirm the biblical mandate that all persons, including LGBT persons, are created in the image of God and deserve dignity and respect;

    • love our neighbors regardless of whatever disagreements arise as a result of conflicting beliefs about marriage;

    • live respectfully and civilly alongside those who may disagree with us for the sake of the common good;

    • cultivate a common culture of religious liberty that allows the freedom to live and believe differently to prosper.
Activist homosexual tyrants will click their champagne glasses in toast to this manifestation of weak leadership. Christians are led to believe here that we are the problem in our wretched culture; we aren't bending over backward far enough for willful sinners.

Granted, there is no obvious apostasy in these words from the declaration, but they exude nothing of the force of righteous indignation that a true believer experiences when faced with raw evil. First century Christians were not advised to "live respectfully and civilly" alongside the degeneracy of ancient Roman culture. To the contrary, they were told to be no part of the degeneracy. That is why they were persecuted.

These professed leaders begin their lukewarm screed with "The gospel must inform...." That is true, but it must be the whole gospel that informs.

Reading their statement makes me wonder what planet these people think they are living on and what can they possibly be thinking we are up against, as Christians. It is no less than Satan and all those whom Satan corrals; those forces devour the weak.

Joining the strong leaders who understand where we are as Christians, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn (a messianic Jew) further sounds the alarm:
    In the last days Christianity will continue to break into two. There will be the apostate false church and that which remains true to the Gospel and a biblical worldview. The true Church will boldly speak the truth on moral issues,... [4] (Emphasis mine)
Believing Christians must be astutely knowledgeable of those we follow as leaders. A surefire way to discern the "wheat" from the "chaff" is by being firmly grounded in the Word of Almighty God (the Holy Bible) and continually praying for guidance so that we will not be misled.


© Sylvia Thompson


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Sylvia Thompson

Sylvia Thompson is a black conservative writer whose aim is to counter the liberal spin on issues pertaining to race and culture... (more)


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