Twelve years ago, Rick Warren released his book The Purpose Driven Life. People were told every person in every church should read this book. Everyone needs to know why we are here on earth, and this book provided the answers. More than 32 million copies were sold.
Today we're living in a different time, and there is need for a different resource so that once again, millions can be helped but in a much different way. May tens of millions respond because time really is running out-yet it's not too late.
Last week a video was released entitled, Is Gay Okay? 10 Things Everyone Needs to Know. I submit to you that this is a video every person in every church needs to view. Everyone needs to know the most important issue Christians face today and the answers to the questions surrounding it.
This is not a promo. It's a plea.
This is not a product. It's a prophetic resource.
This is not hype. It's a humble appeal at America's tipping point.
No one's making any money.
No one's putting anyone on a mailing list or signing anyone up for anything.
What's at stake is the future of the family and our religious freedom.
The Most Important Issue Today
Once a year, the National Religious Broadcasters convention convenes as it did days ago in Nashville, Tenn. Churches, ministries and organizations representing Christendom come together to connect and communicate with one another.
On the panel including Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice; Todd Starnes of Fox News; pastor Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Janet Parshall, host of In the Market radio talk show; and Craig Parshall, vice president and chief legal counsel for NRB, the participants stated, "Selecting our topic for 2014 took us about three nanoseconds. ... It's the most important issue Christians face today: the attack on religious freedom."
Matt Barber, founder and editor of BarbWire.com and constitutional lawyer at Liberty University, shared lunch with me a few days ago, aflame with a passion for communicating to Christians that religious freedom and the radical gay agenda cannot coexist and that we must be equipped immediately to deal with this reality.
Dr. Michael Brown, a personal friend for more than 35 years, contacted me yesterday to not only catch up but also to share strategy In an hour of urgency as our religious freedoms are dissolving. In The Christian Post, Brown wrote a feature article entitled "The Great Gay Deception," declaring, "It can be said without exaggeration that gay activism is the principal threat to our freedoms of speech, religion and conscience."
Decision magazine, the publication of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has been coming to my home for almost 40 years. Normally the articles are upbeat testimonies and reports on evangelistic outreaches. The recent edition is completely different, in that it sounds an alarm on the cover that we are now in a war on Christianity. Franklin Graham states boldly in his lead article, "I do not believe this is simply a culture war or a battle between conservative and liberal elements of our society. ... This is a full-scale assault against Christianity and the followers of Christ."
In response, I personally handed a copy of the Is Gay Okay? DVD to Decision magazine's assistant editor last Monday and affirmed the direction their magazine is taking to awaken American Christians. By the way, Billy Graham, who is now 95, has said he can't do much now but is praying every day for a spiritual awakening in America!
On Sunday evening, the founder of Charisma, Steve Strang, addressed a "TAG" gathering in Nashville ("TAG" stands for The Awareness Group), encouraging them to be aware regarding the erosion of our freedoms and the necessity of being informed and engaged. He challenged leaders from churches throughout our city to come out of hiding and mobilize the people for a screening of the Is Gay Okay? video as a statement of unity and courage and to inspire pastors in other cities to do likewise.
Last night, my wife and I returned from a significant leadership gathering in South Carolina called "The Roundtable." We drove almost all night to be in attendance because we didn't want to miss this invitation-only forum sponsored by Rick Joyner's MorningStar ministries.
It was an honor to join together with senior leaders such as Mike Bickle, Wellington Boone, Bob and Rose Weiner, Larry Kreider, Gen. Jerry Boykin, Bobby Connor, Marc Nuttle, Garland Hunt and others for prayer and dialogue. While there was inspiring interaction, what stands uppermost was the clarion call for courageous leadership amidst the radical gay agenda and its aggressive attack on our religious freedom.
Gen. Boykin, serving alongside Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council, called us to attention with his pointed remarks about the shameful reluctance of many pastors to speak up and equip their people on issues related to the radical gay agenda, the push for same-sex marriage, and the manipulation by the media and high-profile politicians, celebrities and athletes to legitimize homosexuality.
He told us of a high-profile mega church pastor who declined to be involved regarding this issue because he didn't want to "offend homosexuals." Another pastor asked him, "What is LGBTQ?" One major Christian university polled its students and found almost unanimous support for the sanctity of life, yet almost half thought gay marriage was fine, proving the need to redeem a situation where the media is shaping their thinking more than the church.
There was such sobriety in the room as we realized what was unfolding in Arizona, Texas, Virginia and across America in the striking down of and refusal to uphold marriage protection laws. We are witnessing our government deny us religious freedoms while compelling us to act contrary to our religious convictions and while manipulating and mischaracterizing issues to bully people of faith, citing "tolerance, discrimination and civil rights."
Gen. Boykin highlighted three points before we moved into fervent intercession:
- Pastors can remain uninformed and silent on this issue no more.
- Pastors must awaken to the gravity of the situation and the fact that we are at a tipping point in the church and in America today.
- Pastors must re-establish their biblical position to equip the flock in these areas so they and the people aren't intimidated but rather informed and confident to pray and be involved in the political process, plus engage others in the marketplace in a winsome way on the LGBTQ position.
Here's the deal: In the providence of God, this video is available right now as a tool to help us be equipped as pastors, parents, young people, youth leaders politicians and educators.
Mike Bickle, who brought together 30,000 primarily young people for an event in Kansas City, took his copy of the DVD and said before exiting, "I am going back to Kansas City and show this to our people this Saturday night!"
Charisma News and BarbWire.com news services both highlighted the video this week and encouraged people nationwide to click on and view the 47-minute primer.
Free of charge, YouTube now features the video so that any person anywhere can simply click on and learn the biblical worldview on the 10 main issues involved in this debate. Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. David Foster were involved, so be assured it's theologically sound. The presentation is fast moving, compelling, concise and charitable. It is not a boring, scholarly, academic treatment of the subject but follows the teaching style of Jesus, of whom it was said, "The common people heard him gladly" (Mark 12:37). The video features five compelling testimonies of former gays and lesbians refuting the lie that gays cannot become straight and that they're born this way.
What are the 10 Things Everyone Needs to Know?
If you can't give clear, concise and charitable answers to the following 10 questions, then you need to invest the time and view the video either by yourself or with your family or your flock or those you influence. If you're a pastor, give yourself a day off from sermon prep, and simply show the 47-minute video in your Sunday or Wednesday service!
- What does the Bible really say about homosexuality?
- Can a person be a Christian and a practicing homosexual?
- Did Jesus ever say anything about being gay?
- Are Christians not to judge?
- How does a person become gay?
- Is a person born gay?
- Are gay rights and civil rights the same thing? Did the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ever speak on this?
- Is same-sex marriage wrong?
- What are the consequences if same-sex marriage is legalized?
- Can a gay person become straight?
The late and beloved Chuck Colson, one of my primary mentors, always challenged people: "Stay at your post." When he passed away a while ago, those attending his memorial service received a pin with that challenge on it. In other words, no matter how difficult it may seem around you, stay faithful to God and His Word and what He's calling you to do.
The bountiful and blessed nation in which we live is under fierce assault at this time. This is not a time for pastors and people to go AWOL. It's time to recognize the gravity of the situation but also the lifeline of opportunity God is giving us to reclaim ground by becoming informed on the pertinent issues, instructing those who look to us in our churches and families, and refusing to retreat. As "salt and light" authentic Christians, we must remain resolute in this dark hour. Billy Graham says, "Courage is contagious." Don't be discouraged. Remember,"If God be for us, who can be against us?"