Note: See the post: On Dobson’s ‘dissection’ of Obama’s June 2006 speech
Dear Dr. Dobson (and others at Focus on the Family Action),
Let me preface this by saying I hope one reads this in the sincere spirit of concern in which it is written in trying as best I can in keeping with Matthew 18. Of course, I’m only one person, and I’m not so disillusioned to think this will do any good, but as a Christian, I’ve felt led to at least try.
I have long listened to James Dobson’s radio broadcasts and am familiar with who he is and what he’s about. I think he means well. But I think he, like so many other Christian leaders in this country, skate about it the wrong way. While I am interested in politics on a personal level, I believe Christian discourse should, as much as possible, stay above that fray. If it doesn’t, the door stands wide open for problems. When Christians become so irrevocably married to a political party or to a certain world ideology (i.e. left-wing or right-wing), it tends to cloud judgment and control all a person says and does. Thus, Christ becomes not the most important topic of discussion, but a tool or vessel used to begin conversations that support a manmade party, ideology or worse, a specific person. This is the flaw I see in your broadcast about Obama (and others on the radio I have heard over the years.) I exhort you guys to keep a Christian-based program what it should be: about Christ and his teachings and other topics directly related to that, not about politics or “social issues.” Christ is much bigger than any of that. The U.S. Congress and Supreme Court will never be 100 percent filled with evangelical Republicans. It will simply never happen. Imagine if all the time and resources the orgnization spends on supporting Republicans and “social issues” was redirected toward feeding the hungry, caring for people, ministering to them, teaching them about Jesus and helping them mature spiritually. Can you image the difference you could make on the world? Other Christians and unbelievers alike would say, “Wow, what a wonderful organization – they are doing so much good in the world.” Not only would you help reach the less fortunate people whom you were ministering to, but you would help reach out to nonbelievers and show them what Christianity is all about.
Unfortunately, this is not the case right now. You know, it becomes pretty hard to accomplish the Great Commission when vast resources are spent fanning the flames of personal attacks and issues that don’t matter spiritually. Citizenlink’s latest “Action Alert” is another example of this. If the Obama broadcast was an attempt to get Dobson and Focus on the Family back in the headlines, well you succeeding beautifully. But last time I checked, that’s probably the farthest thing from what you should be doing. The last time I checked, living the Christian life is about becoming like Christ and reaching others for Christ. Am I correct? If so, these personal issues are inconsequential. Media coverage is inconsequential. Maybe some folks there should re-read “The Purpose-Driven Life,” where the very first sentences read: “It’s not about you.” Dobson is one of the most influential Christian leaders in this country, but his organization is, in my humble opinion, hurting Christianity. Unbelievers who listened to that broadcast and saw more examples of attacks and vitriol from supposed believers, likely just had their opinions about Christians confirmed. This life is not about me or you or Tom Minnery or Barack Obama or James Dobson. So please, pretty please, get over yourselves. Please stop with the pettiness and start becoming salt and light to an unbelieving world. Please stop the attacks and start teaching what’s so great about Christ’s love. Please stop being so defensive and start defending true Christian service, which is about turning the other cheek, caring the less fortunate, growing in Christ, and most importantly, reaching people for Christ. Let me end by asking: If an unbeliever watched that Obama broadcast or visited the citizenlink site, would they be more inclined to follow Christ or would they turn farther away from Him? If the answer is anything but the first option, it’s time to rethink your motivation and the motivation of this entire organization.
Thank you for your time,