Owning the curse is not applauding the curse. Insisting that we deal with the manifold problems within the church first is not the same thing as saying we are abandoning the civil realm to the secularists. Insisting that the ship be made seaworthy is not to abandon the voyage.
To illustrate what we are talking about, one correspondent wrote us with a few excerpts from James Dobson’s recent book Marriage Under Fire. “Here’s the question of the hour: How can we stop the imperious courts and the rogue local officials from overriding the will of the people, who continue to oppose homosexual marriage by a wide margin?” Dobson continues, “There is only one answer: Congress and the state legislatures must pass . . .” And there is our problem in a nutshell — salvation through the state, instead of through the Savior. Only one answer? And it is Congress?
We here in Moscow do not have a problem at all with Christian activism, so long as it is Christian activism that understands the fundamental issues that are at stake. And instead of petitioning Congress on the basis of the will of the American people, somebody needs to circulate some petitions to be presented to Focus on the Family. Neutrality is impossible, and Congress will not learn this before Focus on the Family does. Attempts to define marriage without reference to Jesus Christ are hopeless.
Napoleon once said that he would rather meet ten thousand men well-generaled, and well-victualed, than to meet one Calvinist who thought he was doing the will of God. Mary Queen of Scots is reported to have said of John Knox. “I fear the prayers of John Knox more than all the assembled armies of Europe.” We have turned this around, and our magistrates fear our prayers not at all, our sermons hardly at all, our worship never even enters their heads, and they sometimes worry a little bit about our petitions in swing states.
Nothing against petitions, rallies, armies, marches, you name it. But those in the rally must be trusting something other than the rally. Otherwise, they are just another pressure group.