Monday, January 5, 2009

What's really wrong with Focus on the Family Action's screed

You are likely aware of the 40-page communique put out right before the election by James Dobson's Focus on the Family Action that gave a fictional scenario about the results of an Obama presidency by the year 2012 -- same-gender marriage legalized, Iran attacking Israel and other things -- that has rightly drawn a lot of fire from other evangelical Christians for its fear-mongering, arrogance and misinformation. Of course, FOTFA has defended it as only a "possibility" based on Barack Obama's past voting record.

But here's the real problem with it: It's false prophecy.

By prophecy, I don't mean predicting the future, though that's part of it -- I mean speaking the word of God at a particular time in history, especially to the church of Jesus Christ. Having read a synopsis, I don't see anywhere FOTFA is encouraging Christians to keep the faith despite hard times, which is the heart of prophecy. I read only about "what's going to happen to our country?" -- which tells me where the focus is. Or, more accurately, isn't.

When I read the Scriptures, especially the parts about the early church being hassled simply for existing, I don't read that it reacted with alarm to the evil going on around it. Rather, it simply announced, by deed as well as word, the kingdom of God, which is greater than all the powers that seemed to come against it. It got to a point where Christians were sacrificing their very lives for the cause of Christ, and that willingness to do so eventually caused the Roman Empire to crumble.

I see no such trust in God in that screed. Like all "religious right" organizations, FOTFA makes the mistake of placing its trust in cultural authority, believing that doing so would make it easier to do ministry. But in the process it seeks to avoid spiritual warfare, which God will never allow because He wants to be the focus. Basically, it doesn't speak for God -- and I thank Him that millions of Christians understand that.

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