Thursday, February 17, 2005

Why Evangelicals Should Vote Yes on March 1

- by Dan Walker, Family Action Network

I am baffled at how anyone in the Christian community would not encourage others to wholeheartedly support the proposed ordinance and vote YES to stop the proliferation of the
radical homosexual rights agenda in Topeka.

I am not very familiar with Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) but if I had to guess I wouldn't estimate they have over 100 adult members. Compare that to the 6,400+ adults who
signed the petition.

By that comparison alone, this is not a WBC issue. Likewise it is not a Tiffany Muller or Clark Duffy issue; rather, this is an issue of whether or not we seize an opportunity to hold back evil and the potential likelihood that someday Topeka's churches, businesses, landlords, public and private schools will be forced to swallow the radical homosexual agenda...or face criminal and/or civil penalties.

Pastor Snell is absolutely correct when he stated that the larger evangelical community should have spearheaded this effort. But we didn't. Instead, many were paralyzed with inactivity, sitting around wringing their hands wondering what others might think if they actually did something productive to slow down the radical homosexual steamroller.

"What would non-Christians think if WE took a stand? Wouldn't we be aligned with Fred?" I can't tell you how many times I've heard these questions and how saddened I am to hear them from Christian leaders.

Bottom line: Whether we join in this fight - or not - the media and the pro-homosexual forces will still attempt to pigeonhole evangelicals as hate-mongers. Even if WBC hadn't ever existed, those standing in the way of the radical homosexual agenda would be called intolerant, hateful, narrow-minded, and the like. For many of our opponents and their partners in the media, the ends justify the means and truth is relative and can be used however it is most expedient. The whole Political Correctness Movement didn't start because of WBC and it would exist without WBC. And for those of us who have spent 10, 20 or more years fighting abortion, homosexuality and other publicly-embraced sins, we are accustomed to being pigeonholed and having our opponents attempt to marginalize us. But we march on none-the-less.

True, WBC did originate this petition drive. But in the balance, does any perceived harm from that outweigh the responsibility we have to God to vote in a manner consistent with scriptural teachings about homosexuality. More importantly, how does that weigh against our responsibility to lead out and encourage others to do the likewise.

While many evangelicals would say they disagree with the message of WBC, and that we should love the sinner and hate the sin, the fact is that if this ordinance fails we very well will see the momentum turn against us, and in the future we will be faced with choosing between loving
the sinner and the sin, or face government penalties.

Look at Europe, Canada and other countries. This is THE issue I can see being used by Satan to hinder your free speech as a pastor. Again, there are plenty of examples throughout the world where pastors have to make the choice of preaching unabashedly from God's Word or
capitulating to public and government pressure.

Fortunately in this country we still have some protections in selected arenas. But the long-term trend doesn't look good for the United States. Wouldn't you agree? And if we are apprehensive now about taking on this issue - just because non-Christians might think poorly of us - what
will we do when criminal penalties and your church's tax status is linked to whether or not you take a stand against homosexuality?

This issue creates a vacuum that will be filled. If this ordinance passes three things will happen: (1) we won't have to fight radical pro-homosexual, anti-Christian ordinances similar to those that were proposed in September 2002 and November 2004; (2) we won't have to fight radical ordinances that have already passed; and (3) we won't have to fight even more radical ordinances that could be proposed in the future.

But if the ordinance fails, and especially if it fails miserably because Christians don't support it, then we will be back fighting at city council meetings with the other side saying "we told you so, now let's give homosexuals the rights they deserve." Pastor, as I see it you're taking a very dangerous and potentially damaging position when viewing the big picture and potential
consequences of your advice.

We are in no way compromising our doctrine, beliefs or witness by supporting the passage of this ordinance. I am thankful that this issue is on the ballot and for once we have an opportunity to actually gain ground in the fight for family values. Every other time I (and many other pro-family leaders) have gone to city hall, it has been in an attempt to cling to the rights we presently have.

WBC also fought in September 2002 and November 2004. And I presume they support passage of the State Marriage Amendment in April. Does that mean we shouldn't have gone to City Hall in past years (because WBC was there also), or that we shouldn't also support the marriage
amendment? Of course not.

If you are consistent in your advice, shouldn't we also oppose any pro-life legislation supported by U.S. Senator Orin Hatch simply because he is a well-known Mormon? I'm sure we can resoundingly agree that Mormon doctrine and theology isn t consistent with ours. At least with WBC what you see is what you get. They are open and honest with their views. Contrast that to Mormonism which in my opinion is very seductive and deceptive to non-Christians
and Christians alike in an attempt to proselytize. So why should we support something a well-known Mormon promotes?

Regardless of however you look at WBC's involvement in this issue, it doesn't negate our duty to vote according to Scripture - regardless of whether or not WBC had involvement in getting the issue put to a public vote.

We have a unique opportunity that exists because thousands of Topekans signed this petition. And while WBC was very involved in the legwork to make this happen, I think we should be more concerned with the underlying issue Pastor Snell brings up, which is why WE didn't do this? We can complain about the darkness all day long, but eventually we have to answer why it is we don't walk over and turn on the light switch.

The same is true with this issue; if you don't want churches, businesses, and Christians in our city to have their rights taken away, then you should - you must - flip the voting switch YES. We have no other choice regardless of who stood in the cold weather and snow to do the work everyone in the Christian community should have been doing. Let's not compound our past mistakes with yet another mistake.

If Christians stay home on March 1st, this issue will fail. And if that happens we will be playing into Satan's long term plans to a degree far above that of any community splash back you think we might get for actively supporting this ordinance at the same time WBC also supports it.


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