Earthquake Hits American Family
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On Friday July 16, 2010, a 3.6 magnitude earthquake hit Maryland just outside of Washington, DC. The earthquake struck the area at about 5 a.m. and was not felt by most people. In fact, President Obama told the press that he did not feel anything - he slept right through it. Ironically, I was awake at that time and had just begun to address a national group of prayer warriors who meet by conference call daily - long before the birds are chirping. The prayer team had been praying all week about the dramatic destabilization that they see in American moral and political life.
The paradox of the sleeping president versus the alarmed citizen prayer warrior has been the case in America for several presidencies - both Democratic and Republican. The problem of America’s fractured family structure is an emergency that can no longer be ignored. Let me put it this way: if something is not done, immediate future generations will be affected. American greatness will be lost and we will slip into the quicksand of mediocrity.
For the last 30 years, leading Christian conservatives have attempted to seduce the GOP into doing their bidding in the political arena. Unfortunately even the Christian Coalition of the ’70s never fully mobilized the majority of American churches because its agenda evolved into a combination of ethnically driven, agenda items. The white church sought to pursue a moral agenda largely dealing with “righteousness issues” - banning abortion, pornography, and fighting the homosexual agenda. On the other hand, black and Latino voters have resonated with “biblical justice issues” - care for the poor, economic empowerment of urban citizens, andthe eradication of institutional racism.
While the Church has done a political dance of death - trying to decide whether it can work in unity, the national culture has drifted into humanistic control. Although I do not like the term “culture war,” I must acknowledge that such a war has existed. In mid 1967, the nation experienced something called “the summer of love.” That summer gave birth to the generation’s cry “make love not war.” What the phrase really meant was that young people embraced hedonism, did drugs, had casual sex, and abandoned traditional sexual roles in the name of feminism.
As a result of the music, books, movies, and educational trends that began in the late ’60s, we have two or three fractured generations of families. There has been an erosion of traditional family life, a redefining of the nuclear family, and a corresponding decline in our academics, intellectual pursuits, emotional stability, and corporate American character. This is because the home is the first schoolhouse, the first church, and the basic building block of every society.
Our answer to these erosions is not simply political or simply the purview of the church. A new breed of activist Christians is needed. These Christians will have to be willing to embrace both righteousness and biblical justice teachings, without falling into the trap of selling out to any presidential administration. Groups like the “Red Letter Christians” and others have fallen into the trap of mistaking compromise for balance. These groups want to appear to be the “good guys” who speak differently than their gruff evangelical cousins who pattern themselves after the likes of James Dobson, James Kennedy, and Jerry Falwell. Unfortunately, the prophetic role of the Church will always lead to a certain dimension of isolation. Choosing to be “Christian light” is clearly not the answer. The compromise movement leadership will only be useful to any administration as long as they are used to discredit those who carry a bold, biblically based, conservative approach to the social issues of our day.
We as the Church should fight same-sex marriage, the federal funding of abortion by the healthcare system, and a host of other policy ills. Even if our victories are delayed for a generation, there are things that an unwavering Church alone can do. Whether we win in court on the great issues of our day or not, the Church can make an important impact on our society.
There is, however, one battle that we must absolutely win in the next few years – the battle over religious liberty. We must have the ability to teach and preach the scriptures in a no-holds-barred fashion. We should go back to one of the fundamental conclusions that Paul Weyerich in hisLetter to Conservatives.Weyerich’s call was for Christians to create an insular subculture within their communities that will allow our children to emerge with a fully orbed, biblical worldview and value system. Another biblical term for the process would be that we would make disciples of Christ out of our children spiritually but innovative conservatives out of them culturally and politically. Reaching these goals will require religious liberty and the freedom to preach the gospel as it is written, instead of a watered-down version of our beloved scriptures.
When an earthquake occurs, scientists are quick to discover its source and the extent of its damage. As the radical gay agenda tries to weaken the family structure through same-sex marriage, we also must be quick in our analysis. Although the damage to the family may not occur within minutes of a judge’s ruling or a city council’s vote, the impact will be more far-reaching than any natural earthquakes we have experienced. Generations are at stake. Our families are at risk. Start making a difference by joining the fight to protect traditional marriage. And if you live on the East Coast, join us thisSunday, August 15th, at 2pm at the west side of the Capitol in Washington DC for the March for Marriage Rally.