Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Are Christians Obsessed With Gays and Abortion?

David French, the the director of the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom, has an excellent piece at Patheos.com this morning on the topic of Christians, priorities, and the culture war.
How do those numbers stack up with leading Christian anti-poverty charities? Let's look at just three: World Vision, Compassion International, and Samaritan's Purse. Their total annual gross receipts (again, according to most recently available Form 990s) exceed $2.1 billion. The smallest of the three organizations (Samaritan's Purse) has larger gross receipts than every major "pro-family" culture war organization in the United States combined. World Vision, the largest, not only takes in more than $1 billion per year, it also has more than 1,400 employees and 43,000 volunteers.

And I don't begrudge them a single dime. In fact, I'd say our relative priorities are just about right. When you see World Vision efforts on the ground in Africa, you see they are often standing as a firewall between life and death, hope and despair. Samaritan's Purse and Compassion International are likewise standing in the gap for the "least of these," living out the pure religion that scripture commands.

So given these realities, what is our real "obsession"? Historically, monetarily, and with our time and lives today, it is serving our fellow man. We fight the culture war, but largely as a defensive struggle—fighting against changes instigated by the Left, like legalized abortion, the redefinition of marriage, and attacks on the basic free speech rights of Christian parents and students. Do critics expect no opposition to such cultural change? Do they believe any such opposition is inherently illegitimate?
I think that the highlighted quote in that last paragraph is vitally important. The "culture wars," to the extent that they exist, are instigated and promulgated from the left. There is no fight from Christians to oppress homosexuals; there is a fight from the left to redefine the institution of marriage. The "prayer in school" movement is a response to the attempt, from the left, to criminalize religious speech. The fight against abortion is a fight against killing babies, instigated by a fight from the left to enshrine it as a right.

But I don't know any Christian who is "obsessed" with any of those issues to the exclusion of helping feed the hungry, house the homeless, care for the sick and spread the Gospel...

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