I first met the late Ed Dobson when he was a columnist for Fundamentalist Journal, a publication published by Jerry Falwell. I was raised not far removed on the theological spectrum from fundamentalists, so I read each issue of the publication with great interest—and a tinge of fear. Would they represent the fundamentals in a positive or a cringe-worthy manner?
I came to depend on Ed Dobson's column as one place you could always find clear biblical convictions—as you would expect from one of the architects of the Moral Majority—but articulated with great compassion. To Ed, people weren't just souls to be won (and tallied for their PR value), or voters to be recruited, but individuals to be loved as Christ loved.
When Ed became pastor of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, it wasn't long before I was tapping him for Leadership Journal (LJ).
I was impressed that some of his first contacts in Grand Rapids were with local leaders of Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women. This certainly wasn't in any pastor’s manual at the time. But because Dobson took Jesus's words so seriously, he was determined to seek out such leaders to determine how he could be a good neighbor and "love his neighbor as himself." He sought ways to find common cause even with those he disagreed with politically and theologically.
The exchange below comes from a 1993 LJ interview, when I asked Dobson about his efforts to, in good conscience, find common cause with the gay and lesbian community. –Editor, Leadership Journal, Marshall Shelley
Dobson: One way our church has attempted to love homosexuals is by extending love to those who have AIDS. I began by calling the national ...1
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