I mentioned yesterday in this column that Seattle's Dan Savage, a radical activist homosexual, has been awarded the "Emperor Has No Clothes Award" by the atheist Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Their reason for awarding him was "his outspoken criticism of religion" and "his work with the anti-bullying campaign, 'It Gets Better'---an affirming outreach to youth who practice homosexual behavior."
Savage is indeed critical of religion---especially Christianity, and he does indeed champion anti-bullying.
At least in word, if not in deed.
Earlier this year at a conference in Seattle---attended by 3,000 high school kids and sponsored by The National Scholastic Press Association, featured speaker Dan Savage bashed the Bible relentlessly and verbally assaulted the Christian kids in attendance, causing many of the Christians to walk out during his speech.
Hardly what you would expect from the champion of anti-bullying.
He later offered an apology that really was not one.
But how does receiving this distinguished atheist award square up with Savage's latest project "Not All Like That" (NALT), in which he has paired up with "Christians" to launch NALT, using testimonies by Christians to affirm homosexual behavior and assure kids and others that all Christians are not like those who believe homosexual behavior is sin.
And isn't there even a bit of conflict between the belief of atheists and far left Christians?
Wayne Besen, head of the ministry Truth Wins Out and involved with Savage in the NALT project says of the atheist award, "It's a blessing."
Christians involved with Savage in the pro-gay outreach NALT say they are just fine with Savage being honored by the atheist organization.
John Shore, co-founder of NALT says, "Savage getting the award from FFRF does not make him anti-religious."
I agree. Receiving an award does not make anyone anything, however, a brief glance at Savage's history in words and deeds affirm his disdain for religion---especially Christianity. The award merely affirms his beliefs and actions and honors him for them.
Shore says, "No, no, you don't understand; Savage is 'anti-hate,' he is against religion being used as a tool of subjugation against gay people."
He says everyone should agree with Savage---"especially anyone who purports to follow the Prince of Peace."
Is Shore suggesting that if Christians don't embrace the Savage-NALT plan, they are not Christians?
That would be intolerant.
Is embracing and affirming every behavior, regardless of what the Bible teaches, the true test of Christianity for these folks?
One problem. The Prince of Peace disagrees with them.
Jesus Himself has said, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword, for I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law a man's own enemies will be the members of his own household" (Matthew 10: 34,35,36).
In fact, Jesus said in verse 22, "Men will hate you because of me."
The Jewish leaders misunderstood His mission and hated Him, as some do today. Jesus came to bring personal peace, not "group peace" or political peace.
While Jesus came to redeem or "save" every individual, how we perceive or understand Him will affect how we respond to Him.
His mission is made very clear in the Bible.
If we perceive Him to be merely a good man or good teacher, we will tend to dismiss Him in many aspects of our lives.
If we believe He is the only begotten Son of God, we know He is God who became flesh, taking upon Himself the sin of every human being and paying the price of death for that sin. We also believe that He was resurrected from the dead and the power that resurrected Him dwells in us as His followers. From Him we have received eternal life.
He is not merely a good teacher---He is God.
That Truth can and does divide people---even families. Sometimes people reject Jesus because they have not been told. They have not heard the gospel. Sometimes they reject Him out of rebellion.
How we see Jesus also can blur the lines. If He is merely a good teacher, He certainly is not Lord to us.
Christianity then becomes a philosophy or religion---not a personal relationship.
Besen says there "is no conflict between Savage receiving the award and our project."
"In fact," he says, "it's a blessing. All Christians should support genuine liberty and oppose theocracy. America is a nation with a Christian majority, but it is not---and never was---a Christian nation."
Besen says, "Dan Savage is an emissary and a bridge between the two groups. He has the credibility to tell the non-believers that there are many wonderful Christians who are pro-gay and we should give them a chance."
Peter Sprigg, with Family Research Council says, "Savage clearly has nothing but contempt for Christianity, and any Christians who participate in any initiative that involves him are simply allowing themselves to be used as dupes."
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.