Focus on the Family: A Sham and a Shame
by Martin & Deidre Bobgan
In Part One of this article we demonstrate that Jim Daly, the successor to Dr. James Dobson, remains as psychological and humanistic as Dobson. We also reveal that Daly has moved in a different direction from Dobson. Unfortunately and unbiblically, Daly has chosen to exercise his role as head of Focus on the Family (FOTF) to relate his organization to homosexual activists by seeking fellowship with them.1 In Part One we also present Daly’s theology and his reasons for seeking fellowship with homosexual activist leaders absent any genuine evangelism on his part. In this Part Two we begin with Dr. John MacArthur’s teaching on homosexuality as a contrast to Daly’s views.
MacArthur versus Daly on Homosexuality
Rarely have we heard pastors preach whole messages on homosexuality and abortion. However, Dr. John MacArthur has given an entire message on each subject. MacArthur’s views on homosexuality are based on Romans 1:18-32. The following is from the transcript of his sermon:
What you see in Romans chapter 1 is the sequence of what happens when God abandons a nation. First, verse 24 says, He gives them over to "the lust of their hearts to impurity," sexual sin, the dishonoring of their bodies among them. When God abandons a society, the first thing that happens is it becomes pornographic. It becomes obsessed with sex, obsessed with fornication, adultery, every kind of sexual behavior. We have gone through that already in the sexual revolution a couple of decades ago.
The second thing that happens when God abandons a culture is found in verse 26, "God gave them over to degrading passions...their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural...in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error." At the end of that verse, "Receiving in their persons the due penalty" is the diseases that come consequent to homosexual behavior. And as you know, they unleashed on the world the horror of AIDS.
But what it’s saying here is that when God abandons a nation or a culture under His wrath, there will be a sexual revolution followed by a homosexual revolution. And we are living in this very condition.2
MacArthur further says:
Our responsibility is to tell people about the Kingdom of God and who can be in the Kingdom of God and who is excluded from the Kingdom of God. That’s the ministry of the church; that’s what we do; that’s what every preacher must do. And I’m not the one who makes the terms. I am only the one responsible to God to proclaim what God has revealed. And I’m here to tell you that if you advocate a life of sexual sin, adultery, fornication, effeminateness, or homosexuality, you will not inherit the Kingdom of God. What that means is, you’re on your way to hell, not heaven. This is the spiritual kingdom of those who are in Christ. The church is made up of people who were like this. Please notice, here’s the good news, verse 11, "Such were some of you."
In answer to the accusation that what MacArthur says is "hate speech," he says that hate speech is when anyone:
…will allow them [homosexuals] to go the direction they’re going, affirm that knowing that it will take them to hell. That’s hate speech. This is love speech. You either warn them or you affirm them. And Romans 1 warns them and any faithful Christian warns this is dangerous, this is deadly.
What MacArthur teaches here should be a biblical understanding for any believer who converses with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender individuals or organizations. That does not mean that a Christian should unwisely unload everything in the face of one who has entered that satanic web of deception, but the Christian should speak the truth in love, gently, and according to the Lord’s leading and timing. These LGBTs need to hear the Gospel and believe in Jesus and receive new life. Then they will be ready to obey what God says about sexual sin.We have not seen Daly take this approach with them.
An explanation for Daly’s unbiblical pussy-footing around the issue of LGBT with activists is found in an article that reveals the contrast between Daly’s and Dobson’s views as follows:
Daly shares Dobson’s views in the public policy arena, but has taken a different approach than his predecessor.
While Dobson’s approach was highly political and partisan, Daly and his colleagues have said that he is trying to make it less so.
Similar to his predecessor, James Dobson, Daly opposes abortion and same-sex marriage, but also wishes to address issues other than these typical evangelical hot button issues; he, along with other Focus on the Family leaders, "want[s] to frame political work as an inspirational call to do good—not just to oppose what they view as sinful behavior."
Daly says that he wishes to make abortion much rarer as a step toward eliminating it.
In addition to abortion rights groups at the state and local levels, Daly has also met with organizational leaders who are traditionally at odds with conservative evangelicals, including the Colorado-basedgay rights organization, the Gill Foundation.4 (Bold added.)
The Gill foundation reports: "An American software entrepreneur and philanthropist, Tim Gill started the Denver, Colorado-based Gill Foundation in 1994…. Tim and his husband, Scott Miller, live in Denver, Colorado."5
The above article obviously explains Daly’s milquetoast approach to homosexual and abortion activists. But we ask: Where is the "common ground"6 (discussed in Part One) on which Daly says he wants to meet with such organizations as the Gill Foundation, which is "one of the nation’s largest funders of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equal rights work"?7 (Bold added.)
The Christian Indexreports that "Tim Sweeney, president of the Gill Foundation, when asked about his first private meeting with Daly last fall," said, "It’s sort of a wait-and-see, but I’m hopeful."8 The reason Sweeney is hopeful is because his belief is summed up at their website as follows: "Our thinking is that if people keep talking, they will come to some accord,"9 which seems to agree with Daly’s desire to find "common ground" through "civil discourse."
Compare what Daly says, which we quoted in Part One, about lesbian neighbors and other homosexuals with what MacArthur teaches from the Word about the practice of homosexuality and the biblical fact that they "will not inherit the Kingdom of God."How can parents have fellowship with practicing homosexuals, as Daly does and recommends, and yet teach their children what the Bible says about how those individuals who practice such sins are excluded from the Kingdom of God? (1 Cor. 6:9-11.)
Regarding Daly’s desire for "civil discourse," the two of us have had civil discourse withindividual homosexuals, both professionally and personally, but never have we initiated, as does Daly, any fellowship with homosexual and abortion activists and their organizations, because there is no biblical precedence for doing so. We do not see this reaching out and fellowshipping in this way in the ministry of Jesus or Paul. Also, we have not seen or heard a message on the FOTF website that is even close to the one preached by MacArthur. We ask our readers to go to the FOTF website and read the questions and answers on homosexuality and then listen to or read MacArthur’s views on homosexuality and see, in the light of eternity, which one is involved in love speech versus hate speech.10
MacArthur versus Daly on Abortion
The Denver Postreports:
Focus on the Family president Jim Daly on Friday said he will bridge a great divide by asking abortion-rights advocates to work with his conservative Christian ministry to make abortion less common.
Reproductive-rights supporters say they want abortion to be legal, safe and rare, Daly said, and so his Colorado Springs-based media powerhouse will try to walk that common ground with them — lessening demand for abortion.
The "let’s talk" offer to reproductive-rights groups signals a sea change in Focus’ uncompromising approach to the abortion issue. It is bound to engender controversy about whether détente advances or hinders Daly’s ultimate goal of making abortion illegal.11
In the sameDenver Post article, the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains spokesperson, Monica McCafferty, said, "Most of what we do is prevention"; "abortion must remain legal"; and "We certainly never want to see the day when women can’t make this personal, private decision for themselves."12
To see if Daly’s détente approach was successful or had any impact on Planned Parenthood, we spoke with McCafferty, who said there was a meeting early in 2012 with FOTF. She said the meeting was "informational and educational," but thatPlanned Parenthood "has not changed with respect to its policies and practices."13 In other words, there was much hoped for by Daly, but nothing accomplished and particularly nothing accomplished for "THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST" and "BIBLICAL FAMILY VALUES," which is the sole mission of FOTF!
Keep in mind that abortion activists have been on the forefront of a government-approved killing of 55 million innocent unborn babies to date in the U.S. We quote from MacArthur’s message on abortion that should convict the minds and hearts of all people regarding the horrors of murdering the most innocent in their vulnerable life in the womb.
In a message on abortion, MacArthur says:
To me it is ironic that those who pride themselves on defending the rights of the weak, murder them in the womb when they are the most weak. What kind of hypocrisy is that? Self-congratulating pseudo-humanitarians advocate a deadly force of violence unleashed against infants that makes the Nazi Holocaust look mild by comparison. In our world, we’re slaughtering between fifty and sixty million babies a year. In the United States on record is 1.5 million abortions a year. Every third baby conceived is murdered in the womb. Four thousand a day plus, 170 an hour—Planned Parenthood alone kills one every ninety-five seconds.
The Physicians Association of Planned Parenthood released this statement, quote: "Abortion is a treatment for unwanted pregnancy, the second sexually transmitted disease." Pregnancy is a sexually transmitted disease. Our nation and others are murdering a whole generation of humans in mass infanticide that was legalized in January of 1973 by the Roe v. Wade decision made by an unrighteous group of people on the Supreme Court. Now forty-three percent of all women have an abortion and forty-seven percent of abortions are repeats. It’s legal to do to a child what you might be arrested for doing to a cat, or a dog, or certainly an eagle. 14
LGBT(P) and Planned Parenthood
According to a report from the Family Research Council (FRC) andcontrary to homosexual activists "insisting that there is no connection between homosexuality and the sexual abuse of children":
Homosexuals are overrepresented in child sex offenses: Individuals from the 1 to 3 percent of the population that is sexually attracted to the same sex are committing up to one-third of the sex crimes against children.15 (Bold in original.)
FRC further says: "The evidence indicates that disproportionate numbers of gay men seek adolescent males or boys as sexual partners."16 In addition,The Gay Report states, "In the study, 23% of the respondents [gays] admitted to having had sex with youths aged 13-15."17 We assume that the figure is actually higher because of the reluctance of reporting on the part of the gays. Also, the study was conducted over 30 years ago and much has happened to expand this evil practice. Thus the LGBT organizations should be called LGBTP (Pedophile), which may be the next wave of attempted acceptability.18
Planned Parenthood is an organization that is just once removed from the temples in the apostle Paul’s day where babies were sacrificed to imaginary gods. Why, oh why, would Daly cozy up to two such Last Days organizations of such significant sinful underpinnings? The apostle Paul would certainly never be cozying up to such organizations, not only based upon the extremity of the sins that are promoted, but also because of the biblical warnings to the contrary! That is not to say that the apostle would not evangelize them along with everybody else.This major flaw of Daly in fellowshipping with these sinful activist groups is actually prohibited in Scripture. Ephesians 5:11-13 clearly says:
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them
The prohibition against fellowship goes beyond participating in their sinful acts. In his commentary on Ephesians 5:11-13, William MacDonald warns about "any attitude that might indicate tolerance or leniency" and says, "The believer is called not only to abstain from theunfruitful works of darkness, but positively he is called to expose them" (bold his).19 Daly is not affirming sinful acts, but his fellowshipping with sinning activists in order to find a common ground, totally without one glimmer of the Gospel, violates the biblical admonition against such a relationship.
The call for reproof is in the same sentence: "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." While the LGBT and abortion activists may certainly know the FOTF stand on these issues, they are not hearing a word of reproof from Daly, which is also missing from all the FOTF material we read on line. They may therefore receive Daly’s invitation to meet as a change in FOTF’s direction to show some degree of tolerance from their perspective.
In all the stories we read and heard about Daly’s fellowshipping with homosexual and abortion activist leaders,we could not find one iota, one jot, one scintilla, one grain of FOTF’s sole mission: SHARES THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST WHILE PROMOTING BIBLICAL FAMILY VALUES." In one interview Daly and Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, made their opposition to same-sex marriage clear and discussed biblical reasons for their stand.20 However, to our knowledge Daly has never said directly to homosexual activists and organizations what he said on the broadcast.
By Daly’s new direction to fellowship, at least one opponent (FOTF) of the LGBT and abortion activists has softened through fellowship. Daly’s new direction for FOTF shines no stoplight for these activist organizations.
One cannot help but think about the Bible’s prohibition against unequal yoking:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Cor. 6:14).
According to Louw and Nida’sGreek-English Lexicon, "one can translate 2 Cor 6:14 as ‘do not attempt to work together with those who are unbelievers’ or ‘do not become partners with those who do not believe.’"21 In referring to being "unequally yoked together with unbelievers," Albert Barnes states clearly: "Christians are in no way to patronize them, or to lend their influence to them, or to promote them by their name, their presence, or their property."22 The concern here is that Daly appears to be yoking FOTF together with Planned Parenthood and LGBT activist groups through fellowship and conversation.
In seeking to work together on "common ground," Daly has joined FOTF with organizations whose beliefs and practices are enmity to God. It is one thing to personally extend kindness to people in the world; it is another thing for a Christian organization to join hands with an organization which has as its primary purpose something that opposes God and His Word, as do the LGBT and abortion groups. In so doing Daly is violating James 4:4, which clearly says, "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." In the context of this verse the "adulterers and adulteresses" are those who are not faithful in their relationship with God by forming a friendship with the world, and the "world" has to do with the people and "their motives and acts" that are "aliens to God."23
FOTF formed a friendship with the world from its inception by teaching and utilizing psychological and humanistic ideas about mankind and giving them a biblical façade. Now the friendship has been extended to organizations that promote lifestyles and activities that are anti-biblical and anti-God. In commenting on James 4:4, Warren Wiersbe says: "How does a believer declare war against God? By being friendly with God’s enemies." He further says, "By the ‘world’ James means, of course, human society apart from God. The whole system of things in this society of ours is anti-Christ and anti-God." He also says, "The world is the enemy of God, and whoever wills to be a friend of the world cannot be the friend of God."24 Daly has chosen this path of friendship with the world and attempted to justify it in his bookReFocus. This is not an accidental friendship with the world that he fell into, but rather a chosen friendship with the world by which he has joined FOTF along with the FOTF board members, staff and supporters, with enemies of God.
In Part 2 of a broadcast titled "Refocusing Our Lives to Reflect God’s Heart," an audio clip is played of Daly speaking to the staff at FOTF. In it Daly tells of a meeting in Minneapolis during which, after he spoke, "Sarah, the president of the Minneapolis Planned Parenthood, said, ‘Can I give you a hug? What you said tonight really spoke to my heart.’" In response, Daly’s FOTF staff gave him a rousing ovation.25 One has to question the degree to which Daly and FOTF can join hands in their so-called "common ground" of working towards prevention. How can their efforts be truly common ground when their means to an agreed-upon goal is so diametrically opposite? It is like joining Christian purity with Planned Parenthood’s education in the use of contraceptives and its free dispensing of them without parental approval. It is like joining the light of encouraging self-restraint with the darkness of "protected" sexual self-indulgence. One of the reasons for the admonition against the yoking together of believers with unbelievers is to prevent Christians from compromising their faith and actions. While believers are to love even their enemies, their words and behavior should not produce a confused message that could lead others into compromise.
In summary, Daly’s dialog with the LGBT and abortion activists and organizations is based upon half-baked biblical teachings. His rationale for détente with the LGBT and abortion community could be extended to activist atheist, cultic, Satanist, and occultic individuals and organizations,a practice that is wholly without biblical support. Daly has accomplished nothing by his détente approach with homosexuality and abortion activist groups and has failed to be the evangelist he claims to be for the biblical truth about both. In contrast, MacArthur has biblically brought forth the dreadful fact that unrepentant homosexuals "will not inherit the Kingdom Of God" and described the ungodly horror of abortion to prick the consciences of all who will listen. Consider MacArthur’s approach versus Daly’s and decide which is more biblical regarding the seriously sinful practices of LGBTs and abortionists.
Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-fil-A, created a storm of controversy when, in an interview, he expressed support for the biblical definition of marriage. On the heels of the controversy it was claimed that Chick-fil-A "has stopped funding some pro-family groups as a concession to gain approval for a restaurant in Chicago." In contrast, Cathy said that "the company [Chick-fil-A] had not altered its position on support for traditional pro-family groups." In the midst of the controversy Daly "confirmed that the company [Chick-fil-A] and its owners would continue their commitment to pro-family groups and causes."26 Daly is quoted as saying:
Dan and Bubba Cathy are my Christian brothers and good friends…. They and their company have long shared Focus on the Family’s commitment to helping build strong and thriving families—and they have in no way deviated from that deeply held and biblically inspired passion, while working with the city of Chicago to open Chick-fil-A restaurants there.27
We have presented two views of the way to deal with homosexuality and abortion activist leaders and organizations.According to the full context of MacArthur’s talk on homosexuality, Daly and FOTF are in error and may be guilty of "hate speech," as MacArthur describes it. In regard to abortion, is it biblically better to convict (MacArthur) or converse (Daly)? Is it better to evangelize (MacArthur) or compromise (Daly) by conversing with two organizations that espouse and promote nationally and internationally sinful activities that God clearly condemns and say nothing about what the Bible teaches in Romans 1:18-32 or Leviticus 18:22;20:13 and about the murdering of human life? Dan Cathy and other supporters of FOTF need to "choose you this day" with respect to who is being biblical on the issues of homosexuality and abortion, MacArthur or Daly?
To be continued….
1 "Fellowship" is "friendly relationship."Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary. New York: Gramercy Books, 1996, p. 707.
2 John MacArthur, "Homosexuality and the Campaign for Immorality," Grace to You, http://www.gty.org.
6 "Focus on the Family Chief Ready to Start Dialogue,"The Washington Post, 6/27/2009, http://www.washingtonpost.com.
7 Gill Foundation, http://gillfoundation.org/about/.
8 "For Daly, Focus on Family Is Personal Crusade,"The Christian Index, http://christianindex.org/6226.article.
10 John MacArthur, "Homosexuality and the Campaign for Immorality,"op. cit.
11 Electra Draper,The Denver Post, "Focus on Family asks abortion-rights advocates to help make abortion less common," 2/12/11, http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17367578
13 Phone call to Monica McCafferty, November 15, 2012.
14 John MacArthur, "Abortion and the Campaign for Immorality," Grace to You, http://www.gty.org.
15 "Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse," Family Research Council," http://www.frc.org/issueanalysis/homosexuality/homosexuality-and-child-sexual-abuse.
17 Carla Jay and Allen Young.The Gay Report. New York: Summit Books, 1979, p. 275.
18 Cord Jefferson, "Born This Way: Sympathy and Science for those Who Want to Have Sex with Children," http://gawker.com/5941037.
19 William MacDonald.Believer’s Bible Commentary: New Testament. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1980…1990, p. 759.
20 http://www.focusonthefamily.com, June 19, 2012.
21 Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A.Vol. 1: Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition). New York: United Bible Societies, 1996, p. 446.
22 Albert Barnes.Notes on the Bible. www.e-sword.net.
23 Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997).Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Jas 4:4). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
24 Wiersbe, W. W. (1996).The Bible exposition commentary (Jas 4:4). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
25 Jim Daly, "Refocusing Our Lives," Focus on the Family, 10/16/12, http://www.focusonthefamily.com.
(PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, March - April 2013, Vol. 21, No. 2)
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