The New Cost of Discipleship, by James Dobson

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James Dobson is president of Focus on the Family.

Many Christians in America are engaged in a great debate today about moral issues and whether they should be working to promote their beliefs in the centers of power. Some have concluded that their countrymen no longer care about right and wrong, and that believers should throw up their hands and declare the culture war lost. We hear this talk everywhere—suggesting that conservatives quit trying to influence local and national governments.

This resurgence of isolationism is not new, but it is articulated again in a recent book entitled Blinded by Might: Can the Religious Right Save America? The authors, Cal Thomas and Pastor Ed Dobson (no relation), criticize those of us who believe it is our duty as Christians to voice our views in the public square. Cal has been my friend for years, and he has appeared on the Focus on the Family broadcast many times. He is a good man whom I respect. I'm not acquainted with Pastor Dobson, but I believe both of these men love the Lord and are sincere in what they write. Unfortunately, at least in my opinion, they are dead wrong in their perspectives about public policy. Furthermore, what they recommend for the Christian community would accelerate the decline of America if the ideas they espouse become widely accepted.

Let me respond to several of the themes articulated in Blinded by Might, the first being a perspective with which I agree. The authors made the case that the church should never be involved in politics. To "marry the pulpit" to a political party or candidate is to risk its widowhood in four years. Who can argue with this point? It is hardly a new concern. Indeed, it is patently illegal for churches and nonprofit organizations ...

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