Friday, October 23, 2009

Resignation: Count Me Among the Ferocious

On Monday I resigned from the Christian Civic League of Maine. Yesterday I ignored the advice of some media consultants and returned quite a few of the calls I received from the press. I didn't have time to return all the calls. In today's news cycle, which lasts about as long as it takes to walk to the coffee pot, if you don't return the call or email in the same day you've missed your opportunity.

The most repeated question of the day was, "Why now?" Maine is six weeks away from voting on gay rights once again. The press found the timing curious.

I'm not happy with the way the gay rights debate is going. That should be no mystery to anyone who follows me. The frustrations associated with those developments contributed significantly to my reasons for resigning.

Mostly, however, it is the sense Paulie and I have that it is time for us to move on from the League. I have served the ministry most of my adult life. It has been an honor to do it. The League needs a new face. I know that the ministry will choose well. The League is one of Maine's treasures. It will thrive.

It will thrive because it is not, ultimately, possible to cut the umbilical cord that runs between Christianity and the west. Christianity is the mother of the west. Christianity is durable enough to survive the pain of our current ideological struggles while providing life-giving sustenance. The faddish rebellions of our day are nothing more than baby kicks up against the womb's wall.

I will continue to support, in every way I can, the League's ministry going forward. The League's mission is about so much more than gay rights and a political party. Politics has always threatened to reduce the League to only those realities during my tenure. I don't expect that pressure to dissipate anytime soon.

Maine won't survive in the long term without Christianity. There is no such thing as multiculturalism. All that is good and beautiful about the west is directly related to the influence of one man's good news -- Jesus Christ. His gospel has done more to influence our culture than anything else. Thank God for that. His influence remains strong.

Strong or weak He wins in the end. As John wrote of Him, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." And He will be there in the end. Jesus Christ doesn't speak from the grave. He is alive.

One thing dramatically lacking in our time is anything unmoveable. The Bible is unmoveable because it is the story of Jesus Christ. At the end of the day my faith in Him is the only thing that matters to me.

Applying that to so-called gay rights means understanding that it (gay rights) is simply God's judgment. It is insanity. Ponder Romans 1. My last words to the League at the board meeting on Monday were those of Paul from the last half of Romans. I read them, and offered no comment. They speak for themselves.

I support the leaders of Stand for Marriage. I want them to succeed.

I have never led a campaign on this issue where I have not openly admitted at this point in the campaign that the matter is in God's hands, and that the outcome is likely grim for the good guys. I feel no different this time.

Faithfulness, tradition and conviction have always marked the truly heroic leaders I've had the privilege of working with on this issue down through the years. Style, deceit and ferocity define the other side. Our side is too gentle -- but gentleness is a good thing ... until power threatens to vanquish love and truth. Then it's best to be ferocious because that is all that's left or innocence dies. The image of a thug threatening my wife comes to mind. I'm not going to be gentle, and what is "civil" becomes painfully obvious.

Count me among the ferocious.