NASHVILLE – Focus on the Family President and CEO Jim Daly said religious leaders must stop playing defense when defending marriage, family values and pro-life issues in the public square.
"I think at times we express as the Christian community … a sense of lack of control or fear or just an idea that we don't know where this is going. That to me is defensive play as opposed to offense," Daly said in an interview with The Christian Post Sunday.
Those advocating marriage between a man and a woman only or for the end of abortion should play offense by exuding confidence and boldness, he explained.
"We in the Christian community who say we have solid confidence that even though things are difficult, we know the answer and that's the Lord Jesus Christ," he said.
Daly is the mind behind the John 3:16 advertisement during the Patriots/Broncos NFL game featuring children quoting the verse commonly associated with Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.
The ad was pulled together in about two days and 40.9 million people ended up viewing it. The commercial was replayed for convention-goers Saturday.
The ad is one of the evangelism tools Focus on the Family is using to change opinions on Christian values and spread the Gospel. "We're in the battle and Focus on the Family is sticking with it," he shared.
Daly later told CP that he understands that the pro-life issues and traditional marriage messages are not as captivating as the John 3:16 ad. In fact, those messages are often labeled hateful and bigoted, he acknowledged. Still, he said Christian leaders and ministers have the advantage of lasting truth.
He summed, "God's church for 2,000 years has held strong. I have great confidence I think research over the long haul will prove that marriage between a biological mom and dad is the gold standard, has been the gold, will continue to be the gold standard for raising children. No matter what the culture tries to say, when they measure it, kids do better with a mom and a dad."
The truth is on Christians' side, Daly stressed, so religious leaders and nonprofits should have an attitude of confidence.
"When we talk about the debate on life let those who see a pro-choice perspective or an abortion perspective as the way, let them defend that. I say the better choice is life."
Daly was a featured speaker at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville. He also spoke to NRB convention attendees Saturday about adjusting their attitudes. Quoting Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship ministries, Daly admonished the crowd, "When a blind man steps on your foot you don't get angry and we often forget that these people are spiritually blind."
He called on religious conservatives to not only stand for truth but also to stand with grace and love.