Thursday, March 11, 2010

Focus on Dr. Dobson

My favorite people these days have something to do with football.  My buddy in Ohio, Coach Dave Daubenmire, is running for Congress in one of America's most conservative Congressional districts.  He coached football until the prayer police tried to make him stop.  They failed, but he got so disgusted with fearful leaders during the year long fight that he quit ... coaching football.  He kept right on coaching though.  He traded a non-descript cap for his trademark cross hat and took to preaching, and coaching guys like me.  I enjoy his columns published on

My new favorite football guy used to play NFL ball.  He's now a preacher also.  The good Reverend Ken Hutcherson penned a doozie of a column the other day.  World Net Daily published it.  He titled it I lost my Focus on the Family.

Hutcherson says he spoke personally with both Jim Daly and Dr. Dobson.  He claims that he's the only one who has spoken to both of them about Dobson's recent departure from the ministry he founded over three decades ago.  I'm sure there are many folks around the world who looked on these developments and would have enjoyed a conversation with both men.  I count myself among them.  Maybe "enjoyed" isn't the right word.  It isn't enjoyable to discuss these developments with anyone, but it is necessary.

I attend a small Nazarene Church in rural Maine.  Dobson was raised by a Nazarene evangelist father.  I'm sure he got his toughness from his dad.  It's no picnic being an evangelist.

Having inherited his dad's grit, as leader of Focus on the Family Dr. Dobson stood up when it was absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to endorse publicly the notion of spanking.  He not only endorsed it, he taught us all how to do it Biblically.  Moreover, Dr. Dobson taught us about discipline, choosing to do the hard thing for the good of others.

Dr. Dobson helped Paulie and I raise three sons who we couldn't be more proud of today.  All three have demonstrated with their actions deep commitments to God, family and country.  Between them there are three combat tours to Iraq with the United States Marines, and work in high levels of our government protecting all of us from terrorists.  And they're just getting started, none of them having crested 25 years of age.  I credit Dr. Dobson's Focus on the Family with providing significant, very significant, guidance to our parenting.

Dr. Dobson is an American hero.  He should be broadcasting from the Focus microphone until the day HE chooses to retire, and not before.  It is beyond belief, what has been done here.  I feel like listeners to Focus on the Family should object to this move and demand that Dr. Dobson be returned to the host chair of Focus on the Family.

His new radio venture is unwise for the movement.  I'm ashamed to call myself an evangelical as I think about this.  Surely we must do better with the war horses of our movement?  Dr. Dobson is in his prime.  God has brought him through so much.  Agree or disagree we need his ideas as host of Focus on the Family, not as the host of some side show.

Dr. Dobson is not to blame here.  He is too much of a gentleman to make Focus look bad.  I honor him for that.  The board of Focus on the Family needs to make a course correction, and invite Dr. Dobson back to the microphone.

Peter LaBarbera, the leader of  Americans for Truth observed:
We also suspect that Focus may be feeling the pull of George Barna’s polling research denigrating “religious right” activism (e.g., Barna Group President David Kinnaman’s and Gabe Lyon’s influential yet painfully shallow book UnChristian) and the appeasing liberal Christian “Emergents” — both of which appeal to younger generations of Christians who eschew the polarizing “culture war.”  In that regard, Focus has a choice: does it follow the worldly culture trends driven by these new generations — who, although they probably are loathe to admit it, are indoctrinated in politically correct,  “gay”-tolerant attitudes? Or does it recommit itself to educating these youth and standing boldly for timeless truths no matter where the culture is headed? (We realize there are many Christians who advocate quitting the cultural war against social evils, but they never have a good answer to this question: what about the hugely funded and powerful Homosexual, Abortion and Porn Lobbies that never quit; do we simply abandon America’s cultural/political landscape to them in a free society?)
If even the obviously Christian Focus on the Family is going to give up the fight for common sense on sexuality then very soon the question will be, "Will anyone be allowed to boldly speak out for Biblical ideas about marriage, family and sexuality?"  Massachusetts lawmakers decided this week to consider jail terms and fines for citizens in their state who shame the public display of sexual sin.

This is not a good sign for Christianity in America.  It's obvious we are losing our courage.  One good way to get it back would be to reverse course with Dr. Dobson, one of the most gutsy men in recent American history, and put him back on the radio.

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