Hello Pot, I'm Kettle!

March 13, 2007

There is an old saying about "the pot calling the kettle 'black,'" which is used to critique ironic and even hypocritical criticisms. Focus on the Family seems to need to be reminded of this. They recently attacked the National Association of Evangelicals for not getting rid of its vice-president who has spoken out saying that global warming is a real problem (see my previous posts on the issue here and here). Tom Minnery, senior vice president of government and public policy at Focus on the Family Action, stated (apparently with a straight face):

I guess I was disappointed more with the fact that NAE seems to me moving more away from the gospel of Jesus Christ and more toward the gospel of political activism.
That is quite an ironic statement considering how incredibily political Dr. James Dobson has become in recent years. In a column last October for Ethics Daily, I pointed out the growing political activism of Dobson. In it, I also quoted from the book Blinded by Might by conservative Christians Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson (no apparent relation to James). They argue that Dobson should "Focus on the Family, Not on Politics," which is a clever way of putting a great point. They argue that such partisan involvement was distracting from the great ministry of Dobson and FotF. Yet, now FotF leaders attack the NAE for focusing too much on politics, even though the NAE is focusing on issues while Dobson is marrying himself to a specific party.

The point here is that all Christian organizations need to focus on faith and ministry, not politics. At the same time, that does not mean Christians should not take a stand on important issues. And by this I mean on issues in addition to abortion and homosexuality. What we must avoid is aligning ourselves so closely to one political party that we lose our prophetic voice. I address the issues of politics and faith in my new my book, For God's Sake, Shut Up!: Lessons for Christians on How to Speak Effectively and When to Remain Silent. In it I critique Dobson but also explain my respect for much of his ministry work. I truly hope that Christians will regain their focus!