Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Focus on the FAMILY

I am wondering if we can have a discussion. It is a sensitive topic to many, so I am not sure we can handle it :) You need to promise to be nice, and listen to everyone. But I was made aware of a story yesterday that has really got me thinking. I will share it with you.
You all know of the company/ministry Focus on the Family. Led by Dr. James Dobson, they are out of Colorado Springs, CO. They are a huge faith based organization on the American evangelical scene. Yesterday they announced that they are about to lay off 20% of their company, or an estimated 202 jobs! WOW! How sad for these folks, and what a rough time of year for it.
Given our economic condition in America this in itself is not so big news, but the next part is what has folks up in arms. And it does make you think. These layoffs come after they just spent over half a million dollars in recent weeks to help defeat Prop 8 in California to ban gay marriage.
This is difficult to swallow. I see why it is important for folks to stand up to things they believe in. But, at the same time, what kind of message are they sending when they put 200 families out of work and income in order to throw money into such a campaign? Are they "focusing on families"? It certainly is not a message of love is it? I struggle with this, as I see both sides’ arguments. But if they had to throw that cash some way, couldn’t they have fed many a hungry person in California instead?
I just feel that we aren’t doing any good for the kingdom sometimes, when we think we are. I think of the old story about a stumbling, drooling drunk who gets on a city bus and sits next to a gospel preacher. The preacher immediately begins reading Bible verses out loud in a menacing voice towards the drunk, and then shouts, “brother, do you not know you are going to hell?!?” The drunk stands up, slaps his forehead and says “oh no, I got on the wrong bus again”. (insert cheesy laughter here) The point is that the drunk was not deterred by the man’s “evangelism”. My thought is maybe there is another way? MAYBE is the key word----what ya' think? But if this world needs to know it’s going to hell, then I say the way to tell them is by showing them heaven!..........rather than “yelling on a bus”.
I pray for the company and the many families losing jobs around our country. Let us be a brotherhood of love. I propose that we should not tell people that God loves them if we aren’t ready to love them ourselves. So…..God loves you! So what do you guys think? Let's talk.....nicely :)

5 comments:

Josh said...

I totally agree Brian! That was very well put. We need to get back to focusing on loving people and showing them how to live with our actions.

tom b. said...

well this is gonna start up a firestorm...
here's my take. there is no right answer. people are going to be upset over the firing of the faithful families that worked there. people are going to be upset over the use of money to fight gay marriage. people are going to be upset at other Christians for being upset about anything they disagree with. i believe we need to show grace when we receive it...which is daily. we need to trust that the same God is God of all and the He knows what He is doing. if He disagrees with a decision made by a company He can deal with it accordingly.

Rals said...

I sure DO like your most recent blog post. And I agree completely. It makes you wonder if 'Focus on the Family' really means 'If I ever live to see the day when two gays wanna get married I'm gonna bring out the big guns--or just half a million bucks!'

And I gave em heaven when i spoke the other day; just like you said.

Brian Pannell said...

that isn't "firestormworthy" Tommy :)! I agree with about 99% of your point. What I am strugglignwith is nto how this affects God, but men. If my goal is to be Jesus to this world, and it is...then surely SOME of our actions that we choose have to be better thought out????

I am not in judgement of anyone...I am sure the folks at FoF had good motives. But the end result does possibly put up road blocks in our continued effort of reaching out to the lost

tom b. said...

I agree with you big poppa. You just clarified my point for me. I was simply inferring that we as Christian individuals need to be more concerned with how we as individuals represent the God we proclaim to be our Lord. This is a HEAVY responsibility which we should NOT take lightly and our actions speak louder than words. I just think we have enough to conern ourselves with on a personal level that we run the risk of diverting attention to those personal responsibilities when we start focusing on the actions of others. Just my 2 cents...