Grappling with The Gay Agenda
- Ginny McCabe Contributing Writer
- 2004 13 Aug
Dividing the nation as it advances, the gay agenda is rapidly building momentum within pop culture today – in large part because of the gay lobby that has put a human face on the movement. Among judges, politicians, the church – and probably in your own thoughts and convictions – it is becoming an issue that increasingly demands our attention.
We all have to deal with it.
Dr. Ronnie W. Floyd, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Springdale, Ark. and pastor of The Church at Pinnacle Hills in Rogers, Ark., speaks out about some of the truths surrounding the issue in his latest book, The Gay Agenda, from New Leaf Press.
He takes a compelling and compassionate look at one of the most turbulent and consuming issues of our society – homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Floyd honestly addresses some of the issues involved, yet he stresses the value and importance of upholding and maintaining the traditional family and marriage structures.
With more than 27 years of practical ministry experience, Floyd has personally seen the devastation and hurt individuals and families who deal first hand with this issue. The Gay Agenda challenges the Christian community to stand firm on biblical truths, but at the same time deal with this issue with love and compassion.
“Dr. Floyd has been involved in this issue for years, actually,” says New Leaf editor, Jim Fletcher. “When we began to establish a publishing relationship with him, last year, we discovered that he had an interest in this and that happened to dovetail with some of the things going on the culture, so we approached him about turning one of his sermon series about the issue into a book.”
As the issue of gay marriage explodes on a national level, Floyd urges believers to engage in respectful dialogue, and reminds us that we are not against the particular individuals, but rather, a lifestyle that brings isolation and pain to many.
“I think it is important for us to understand that with one hand we hold the truth of God. And with the other hand, we hold the love of God. This should reveal the heart of every Christian and every church in America,” said Floyd in the book.
In addition, Dr. Floyd strives to answer some of the pivotal questions, such as: “A gay agenda – is there one at work in our society?” “What does this issue mean for the traditional family?” “How will the church be affected as the divisions within denominations and congregations grow?” “In what ways will this issue change the character of our nation?”
Floyd looks at some of the theological questions as well as why state laws governing marriage may not be enough. The “gay” issue will continue to have an impact on society – in our schools, churches, workplaces and neighborhoods.
“We think the book is a very good overview of the gains that the gay lobbyists have made in the culture. (The book talks about) where they have come from and where they are going,” Fletcher said. “It is also a rallying cry to the Christian community. Floyd has a real interest in mobilizing Christians to engage in the issue.”
Floyd’s large church ministry (14,000 combined members) gave him the practical experience he needed to complete the project. “He takes a bold stance on scripture and also the balance he brings. He really cares about people…We think he is one of the great spokesmen of (this) generation of the church. He is very articulate and very passionate about this issue, and he is fantastic speaker. He has a unique way of communicating, and his ministry has exploded,” says Fletcher.
One particular focus of his ministry is called HOPE (Heal Our Pain, El Shaddai).” This is a ministry that is geared toward families that are struggling with the “gay” issue.
“If we have a genuine desire to heal these divisions, then we should happily minister to gays and their allies in both truth and love,” said Floyd.
The HOPE Ministry was created by a couple in Dr. Floyd’s church in order to provide hope for those who have a family member in the homosexual or lesbian lifestyle (something that can be a devastating thing for the entire family.) The group meets weekly to allow its members to encourage one another and to pray for one another. They meet in a private and non-threatening setting.
In “The Gay Agenda,” Dr. Floyd shared personal stories to illustrate many of the points he makes. “Our church has also provided venues of ministry for families struggling with homosexuality. We have attempted to assist those in the gay lifestyle as well as those who are affected by it,” Dr. Floyd said.
“Do you know why we are doing this?” The purpose behind the ministry is neither to condone the gay lifestyle, nor to shun those involved. “We strive to walk in obedience to God’s truth and act in his love” are among some of the questions he answers.
He said other key things that are happening in the culture abroad. “The gay lobby is very good at using anything it can to divide the real mainstream, which is where the majority of Americans live,” said Dr. Floyd.
His personal experience and ministry expertise is backed by facts, figures and surveys surrounding the “gay” issue. Dr. Floyd specifically noted that a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation illustrated how the country is divided politically over same-sex marriage. For example, “Among those who ‘strongly oppose’ same-sex marriage, 53 percent indicate they will vote for George W. Bush. Twenty-five percent favor the democratic candidate and a whopping 30 percent are unsure.”
“The Gay Agenda” acknowledges that the Gay Agenda is rolling on, claiming victory over victory. The drive for the gay lifestyle to be accepted as norm and mainstream continues. Floyd believes there is a great need for a wake-up call. This book encourages us to take a stand and get involved.
In conclusion, Dr. Floyd said we have a reason for our hope and we must continue to share biblical and Godly truths. “Sticking our heads in the sand will not help. We cannot simply “wish” our culture a longer life,” he said. “…People may not want to hear this, but the contemporary vision of a ‘user friendly’ God is not the God of truth, the holy God who has made Himself known in Christ. We must understand that these are not just cultural controversies that we can ignore. Much is at stake for the sake of the gospel, the church and our society.”