Something very strange is going on at Focus on the Family.
It has been going on for some time.
It began with the unceremonious ouster of founder James Dobson in 2010.
He was replaced by Jim Daly as president.
Ever since, Daly has shifted the course of Focus to one more in line with the world’s thinking than with the perspective of the Kingdom of God.
As Daly himself explained in his book,”ReFocus,” he believes conservative evangelicals should be “careful to not create a ‘super sin’ out of homosexuality.” He said the changes he has instituted at Focus reflect a generational shift in priorities and style. He also wrote that Christian conservatives need to realize they “may not win many battles” and should “not [be] engaging to win” but to “reflect God’s glory.”
I interpret this as surrender to the shifting tides of the world.
While Dobson once said Obama had a “confused theology” and a “fruitcake” view of the Constitution (true on both counts), Daly said he wants to avoid such attacks. He wants to seek common ground with Obama and has done so in joining with other prominent evangelicals, including Southern Baptist Richard Land and the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, to advocate for “comprehensive immigration reform.” If you don’t know what that means, I’ll tell you: It means amnesty. It always means amnesty.
In an interview with Huffington Post (an interesting venue, indeed), he suggested Dobson and the late Jerry Falwell and D. James Kennedy, all elder statesmen of the conservative Christian movement, developed “a venomous mentality” by trying to slow or reverse destructive cultural changes. “And I understand it. I don’t judge it,” he told the Huffington Post, before adding that he grew up “in a different world.”
I know Dobson – and I knew both Falwell and Kennedy before they died. None of them has or had a venomous bone in their body.
But I want to return to this constant refrain from Daly that homosexuality is not a super sin. He has said it over and over again in trying to explain why Focus rarely touches on the subject any more. Recently, in another interview, he said: “I think one of the great tragedies of our time is we’ve set this up as some super sin or super debate about homosexuality.”
It raises the question, “Who said homosexuality is a super sin?”
No one that I know.
A super sin to me is one that, perhaps, is unforgivable by God. That is certainly not the case with homosexuality. In fact, it is true of only one sin, according to Jesus – the sin of “blaspheming the Holy Spirit.”
In other words, Jim Daly is setting up a straw man argument.
However, it also seems obvious to me that Daly – and Focus – are trying to downplay the seriousness of the sin of homosexuality – one characterized by the Bible in Leviticus 18:22.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, it says: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
In Romans 1, Paul actually refers to homosexuality as a kind of judgment on a society gone astray.
I’d say Jim Daly and the “refocused” Focus are running away from the issue of homosexuality, a movement that is successfully redefining the very meaning of marriage and the family in the U.S.
No wonder the culture is in such shambles. Those we expect to occupy until Jesus returns, to be salt and light in the world and to be watchmen on the wall are literally abandoning their posts.
They are making accommodation with the world.
Some of them, like Jim Daly and Focus, even admit they are unwilling to have a “super debate” about homosexuality.
That leaves just one side having pushing its sinful agenda without opposition.
Gee, I wonder how that battle will turn out.