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August 12, 2008

Focus on the Family Action Pulls Video

Focus on the Family Action pulled a video off its site Monday that asks people to pray for rain during Sen. Barack Obama's anticipated acceptance speech in Denver later this month.

Stuart Shepard, director of digital media at Focus Action told Colorado Springs Gazette reporter Mark Barna that the video, posted July 30, was meant to be "mildly humorous."

Tom Minnery, Focus Action vice president of public policy, told the Gazette that the video was taken down Monday because several Focus members complained that prayer shouldn't be used to bring harm on someone else.

"We are not about confusing people about prayer," Minnery said.


Wow, it only took them two weeks!

It was utterly classless to start with, but unfortunately says a lot about the political people at Focus.

There's NOTHING funny or even mildly humorous about this incident. Focus on the Family ought to be ashamed of themselves and make a serious public apology to Mr. Obama. I'm glad some of their employees had the guts to complain. What is incredibly wrong is that they are NOT representing Jesus in this as they pray down rain on someone they perceive as their "enemy".

And what about the fact that a non-profit organization is clearly making a politcal statement. Be careful there.

I am a believer but I do NOT share their kind of "humor" nor do I condone the platforms they use to make their points. Not everyone shares their political opinions and as an organization they never have any business expressing them. As individuals if they feel they must then so be it - we have free speech rights in this country (after all I am expressing mine right now as an individual) but to represent an organization with this kind of "humor" that derides another human being (whom God created by the way)is shameful.

I am extremely disappointed in Focus on the Family's production of a video like this. I am pro-life and pro-marriage, but this is wrong!

Let's pray FOR Senator Obama and for ALL politicians! Neither party is serving this country well!

I was saddened to see a respected Christian organization consider that video as "mildly humorous" The scriptures group foolish talk or course joking with obscenity (Eph 5:4). I felt as if I had watched something obscene. No, I'm not an Obama fan.

I have been part of the focus on the family member for over 30 years by either listing on the radio or reading the weekly e-mails.My wife of over 28 and I must say we have benifited by it's ministry. But now we sense a racial tone comming from somthing we considerd sacared and part of our faith. I can't put my finger on it but we are offended.Christianity today your articles are one sided and now I no why sundays are the most segerated time in America.

Personally it was a bit of a hoot. Although I won't pray for rain, I would be happy if it did. Focus probaby was a bit foolish, but no doubt they were telling it like they feel. Anyone who is as liberal as Obama will end up providing more opportunity for infantacide. A little rain is not so bad vs the fires of hell. If believers support Obama they will have to answer why they voted for someone that has little or no respect for the unborn and continued to support a culture of death. And we think praying for a little rain is bad????? Come on. Get a grip on the real important issues.

May we all be reminded to carefully consider our own faults and pray for each other.

Are you saying that as a born again believer all my life I will go to hell for voting for Obama? WOW - and you tell others to get a grip? Get the scriptures.

In reading the article and comments here I was immediately struck by the thought: Have any of the objectors to praying against one's enemies actually read any of the Davidic Psalms? Come on, get real! This great prayer warrior and political leader (referred to as a man after God’s own heart) kicked some serious butt in asking God to “rain down” all sorts of calamities, obstructions and other forms of retribution on everyone he saw as a stumbling block to his own political vision.

My take is that Focus on the Family simply suggesting prayer for rain to keep a candidate from speaking (whose political record and opinions have consistently been the antithesis of Christian morality) is well within current political correctness, reason and biblical examples of prayer. This is essentially a clever way to suggest prayer that the deceit and false message FOTF believes Obama is spreading isn’t heard by those who don’t have much discernment. That has to be a good thing. (Admit it – lots of folks don’t have this spiritual or even intellectual gift.) How God might use the elements at His command to accomplish this goal are entirely up to Him, but our prayerfully asking that He does intercede is the point and this we are clearly called to do.

As to praying for our enemies, yes we should pray for their salvation, for their seeking Godly wisdom and discernment, and for an end to (or at least a limiting of) the effects of the harm we perceive they cause. And more importantly, (as I think Jana intended) all of our prayers for others – loved ones and enemies alike – should begin with an earnest request that God first change our own hearts and minds and beliefs to reflect His own.

For those who objected to accepting the statement as pointed humor I would ask: Have they missed the sarcasm and wit Jesus employed in dealing with the religious political leaders of his time? Look at some of His rebukes. I’ll bet from time to time some of the disciples following Him were snickering or turning away to hide their understanding of His sharp, pointed and yes, occasionally humorous words.

Since when are Christians not allowed to be funny? God created us and we are certainly comical creatures, are we not? Merriment, joy, mirth, laughter, delight, amusement, delight, celebration and hilarity are not sins. One of the qualities that attract us to others is a developed sense of humor and it think it follows that God must have a sense of humor.

Ephesians 5:4 quoted above appears to be totally out of context. The Amplified Bible reads: “Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness [to God].”

I suggest there was nothing in the video which would remotely be considered obscene, indecent, sinful, corrupt, nor coarse. As to ‘foolish’ the original Greek is ‘morologia’ from moros - dull or stupid (as if shut up), i.e. heedless, (moral) blockhead, (apparently) absurd: - fool (-ish, -ishness) and from logos – word or talk. And again I don’t find this applies to FOTF’s humorous prayer suggestion for rain.

But I would speculate that casting blame on FOTF’s video humor using this scripture is perilously close to coming afoul of the judgment in Matthew 5:22. Be careful brothers, as Peterson so eloquently expresses it in the Message, “The simple moral fact is that words kill.”

For a good understanding of the biblical application of “foolishness”, I recommend reading ‘Fool-Proofing Your Life, by Jan Silvious. She defines different kinds and characteristics of fools based on the three distinct Hebrew words that are translated ‘fools’. Using examples largely from the Book of Proverbs, she does a very adequate job of defining what a modern day fool looks like; so that we can all recognize them and respond biblically.

By the way, I honestly don’t discern anything racial here (or from other FOTF commentaries) and I’m sorry Saunders is offended by something he can’t even put his finger on. Perhaps, he should not hold FOTF as sacred, because – well after all He’s a jealous God. And before he criticizes an organization he might try prayerfully taking his criticisms before God asking for help and wisdom to know why and to be able to express clearly what he think about it.

What an example of Hebrews 6:6 "We crucify Christ afresh and put Christ to an open shame" - with Service Disabled Veteran Incarcerated with the needed treatment for PTSD/Traumatic Brain Injuries totally neglected - no Right To Life for our Wounded Warriors - Women Veterans Incarcerated at a population never before -
The War Widows

Wow, just when I was beginning to lose hope the modern day Pharisees(FOF, etc) would completely overtake all that is decent and Christ-like he confounds the evil Conservatives. They brought a curse on the South with this wicked prayer.

Wow, just when I was beginning to lose hope the modern day Pharisees(FOF, etc) would completely overtake all that is decent and Christ-like he confounds the evil Conservatives. They brought a curse on the South with this wicked prayer.

Wow, just when I was beginning to lose hope the modern day Pharisees(FOF, etc) would completely overtake all that is decent and Christ-like he confounds the evil Conservatives. They brought a curse on the South with this wicked prayer.