Some of the same issues that are endemic in the GOP are also destroying the effectiveness of Christian influence in our culture.
This was never more clear than during the past election and the failed campaign to protect marriage.
Some, including myself, feel a rush to be "moderate," to be non-controversial, coupled with arrogance, cost us marriage in WA state.
Should we continue as we are, or is there a better way?
Pastor Ken Hutcherson recently told One News Now that pro-family groups were responsible for letting both the homosexual agenda and Obama win at the ballot box.
Hutcherson, a former NFL linebacker and now pastor, said as he became involved in the recent battle to protect marriage in WA State, he soon realized he and those in leadership were not operating out of the same play book.
He said the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Focus on the Family and Washington's Family Policy Institute's (Focus' state affiliate) intent was to be moderate, avoiding controversy.
He said those groups essentially told him and other local Christian leaders their message on marriage was "too offensive."
Hutcherson said, "They didn't want me involved basically in the top leadership, so I took a back seat and let them run with it. And it really hurt our unity here."
This is true and was my own experience as well. Although friends of Faith and Freedom gathered a substantial number of the total signatures--upward of 80,000 to put R-74 on the ballot, we had the same experience.
Hutcherson said he sees the Republican Party acting in the same way---running from their conservative roots and platform toward a more "politically correct" position.
"They could have won if they had acted more conservative and less moderate," he said.
So, what now?
About 2600 years ago, Jeremiah spoke to his nation because they had lost their way. They had "changed" their god and they had "hewn themselves cisterns---broken cisterns, that can hold no water." (2:13)
I know, that was then and this is now.
Much has changed in 2600 years----but people, morally and spiritually, have not changed much. And God has not changed at all. Nor has His Word.
Jeremiah's inspired message to a nation that had lost its way and was standing at a critical crossroad?
"Stand in the ways and see..." Stop. Re-evaluate. Your are on the wrong path.
"Ask for the old paths where the good way is..." Return to the blueprint for life, given by the Creator of life.
"And walk in it..." Forget progressivism. Forget relativism. Forget secularism. They are false gods. Broken cisterns that will not sustain life or culture.
"Then you will find rest for your souls."
Regretfully, the people said "no," we want to try the new gods for a while longer. We want to relate to the culture. (Jer. 6:16,17)
Dramatic change must occur in Christian activism in the state of Washington. Leadership can not be "moderate" on eternal issues. Seeking acceptance more than truth. Nor can we simply become silent. Inactive. Or remove ourselves.
We are clearly commanded to be salt and light, to occupy until Christ returns. Our children and grandchildren deserve our best effort. It is required of us.
I have personally spoken with several people in the state regarding these matters. We have begun to form a coalition of like minded, Christian leaders who care about the culture and reject the rush to be "moderate" notion.
New leadership must emerge in the state. My roll is to help facilitate it. This is not an attack on any one or any organization, merely a commitment to break free of the "broken cisterns syndrome."
Hopefully we will have some major announcements very, very soon.
I sincerely believe we can build a broad, significant coalition of "old path" conservative people of faith.
There are a few pastors and many people who are encouraging this step.
We are already moving forward, however, your expressed support would mean a great deal at this time.
You can make a donation here. You may write to me expressing your support at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Below is a letter that is circulating among other pastors and leaders. I received it a few days ago and have included it for your information.
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.
Letter to Pastors in the State of Washington:
The vote has been decided. In a few short days, homosexual marriage will be law in Washington State. Many dedicated Christians fought valiantly to prevent this day, but unfortunately, our biggest enemy and challenge came from within our own supposed ranks.
It was my wife’s and my honor to serve with the dedicated Christian leaders and soldiers during R-71 that fought so valiantly against the domestic partnership bill in 2009. We all knew the domestic partnership bill was just a prelude to a homosexual marriage bill.
Unfortunately, at that time, Pastor Joe Fuiten and Joseph Backholm came out publicly against R71.
Hereafter, I will refer to Pastor Joe Fuiten as Joe Fuiten. I will no longer honor his name with the title Pastor. They said that the timing was wrong and we would lose. That the church must wait for the marriage fight. So not only did they not support R-71, they actively worked against it. Through letters and phone calls they convinced many pastors to not support the fight against domestic partnership. Many of us personally confronted pastors about their decision to not support R71. We and the leaders of R71 sounded the alarm that this bill was just a prelude to marriage. Most of our pleas fell on deaf ears. Joe Fuiten had sufficient credibility fighting for Christian causes over the years that they heeded his advice. As a result, the churches support for R71 waned and even though through heroic efforts the referendum made the ballot, we lost in the vote. The vote was close. If Joe Fuiten and Joesph Backholm had not poisoned a good number of churches against R71 many believe the domestic partnership bill would have failed and would have pushed Senator Ed Murray and Jamie Pederson’s homosexual bill back.
At about the time the governor signed the homosexual marriage bill into law, there was a meeting of influential legislators and Christian leaders to decide the course of action against this bill. Due to his involvement in subverting R71, it was unanimously decided that Joseph Backholm would not have a leadership role in the upcoming fight. Furthermore, Joe Fuiten would also take a back seat in this fight. However, unbeknownst to everyone, Joe Fuiten and Joseph Backholm had been courting favor with NOM (National Organization for Marriage) behind the scenes and NOM said they would not support the fight unless Joseph Backholm was leading the effort. As soon as the Secretary of States doors were open, both Fuiten and Backholm separately went to file paperwork for referendum 74. Backholm’s timing was better and his name went on R74.
Please understand. In the minds and hearts of every serious Christian leader in the coalition, these men were not qualified to lead this fight. Many said they would support the referendum, but would not actively work with Fuiten or Backholm.
Before R74 was filed, Steven Pigeon filed 1192 - the “Marriage = One Man + One Woman” initiative which was a sound legal option to prevent homosexual marriage in Washington state. With the filing of R74 we now had a 2 pronged attack or approach to defeat homosexual marriage. That didn’t fit Joe Fuiten or Joseph Backholm’s ambitions. They came out repeatedly against the initiative, calling and contacting churches via e-mails, phone calls and meetings telling them not to support the initiative, but only the referendum. I-1192 leadership had a meeting with NOM representatives and Joe Fuiten. An agreement was made to support each other in the fight. Fuetin and NOM covenanted they weren’t going to subvert I-1192 anymore.
It wasn’t long at all until Backholm and his associates continued to subvert I-1192. The I-1192 leadership confronted Backholm and Fuiten personally, but never publicly let on what was going on except in leadership meetings. Yet the bombardment on I-1192 continued.
So now, even though much better funded and supported, R74 failed and failed by about the same margin as R71. My wife and I thought R74 might not prevail due to the disunity they sowed. Discord never has the approval or favor of God.
Now I’m speaking to Christian leaders. We can no longer afford to coddle and attempt to keep the peace when we have those that cause division in our midst. The Lord makes it clear in His Word that we are to mark them that cause division.
Pro 6:16 These six things does the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him -
Pro 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pro 6:18 An heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Pro 6:19 A false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren. (Causes division)
During both R-71 and R-74 (I-1192), Joe Fuiten and Joseph Backholm lied and broke faith with the coalition of Christian leaders that initially met to discuss strategy and tactics. They continually sowed discord in the church during both campaigns. Let me state it clearly. The Bible states their gods are their own bellies or selfish ambitions. Both men have disqualified themselves from Christian leadership.
Look at what the Word has to say about the last day:
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
This passage refers not only to those outside the church, but those within … having a form of godliness but denying the power (authority of God’s word) thereof. Joe Fuiten and Joseph Backholm have been trucebreakers (broke covenant with Steve Pigeon, Pastor Ken Hutcherson and Pastor Shahram Hadian) and traitors in working with the enemies of righteousness in their subversive efforts. By this they have disqualified themselves from Christian leadership.
The only way to ensure this does not happen again is to speak against it, which isn’t popular in the secular feel good don’t offend anybody church. Regardless, take a look at what’s at stake for the church and the losses we have suffered due to the subversive efforts of these 2 men. If they choose, they can repent and get things right with the Lord. They can apologize to leaders they have betrayed. These both would be the good and right thing to do. But they cannot and must not hold leadership positions in Christian battles any longer. They have proven themselves unfaithful and unfit.
To rebuke leaders in the church is not without biblical precedence. We are even told the proper way to do it. We are not to rebuke elders or leaders except by 2 or more witnesses. Every word of this letter is backed up by many witnesses. And even then, we are to rebuke them publicly that others may fear. These men have been very harmful to the cause of Christ. The apostle Paul withstood Peter to his face before witnesses because he was to be condemned that the truth of the gospel may remain. Peter was behaving as a hypocrite and Paul rebuked him. Peter took the correction and got over it.
There are other examples in scripture.
To those Christian leaders that bought the bill of goods from Fuiten and Backholm, search your hearts and seriously consider the fruit. As Gary Randall wrote in a recent blog, we need to find new leadership with solid Christian character and integrity that fear God only and that will not take a compromising stand!
In His service,
Pastor Roy & Valerie Hartwell