“Truth in Love” was the theme of a 1998 ex-gay ad campaign sponsored by Exodus International and Focus on the Family, which first brought the existence of Exodus’ alleged “ex-gays” to widespread public attention.
But in a statement due next week, evangelicals blast Focus and other culture-war organizations for practicing “truth without love.”
The Associated Press reports via CNN:
The statement, called “An Evangelical Manifesto,” condemns Christians on the right and left for using faith to express political views without regard to the truth of the Bible, according to a draft of the document obtained Friday by The Associated Press.
“That way faith loses its independence, Christians become ‘useful idiots’ for one political party or another, and the Christian faith becomes an ideology,” according to the draft.
The declaration, scheduled to be released Wednesday in Washington, encourages Christians to be politically engaged and uphold teachings such as traditional marriage. But the drafters say evangelicals have often expressed “truth without love,” helping create a backlash against religion during a “generation of culture warring.”
Phil Burress, longtime board member of Exodus International, dismissed the manifesto without addressing its concerns, by asserting a majority-rules argument. According to AP:
Richard Land, head of the public policy arm for the Southern Baptist Convention, said through a spokeswoman that he has not seen the document and was not asked to sign it.
James Dobson, the influential founder of Focus on the Family, a Christian group in Colorado Springs, Colorado, did not sign the document, said Gary Schneeberger, a Dobson spokesman. Schneeberger would not say whether Dobson had read the manifesto or had been asked to sign on.
Phil Burress, an Ohio activist who networks with national evangelical leaders, said that if high-profile evangelical leaders such as Dobson and Land don’t support the document, “it’s like throwing a pebble in the ocean” and will carry no weight.