A Voice in the Wilderness

For those of us who cling ferociously to what we call “traditional biblical values”—that is, families which have two grown-ups in charge, a him and a her—the modern age has grown bewildering. The gay lobby now exerts immense influence in the public sphere, the LGBT community has taken the place of the Christian church as ambassadors of all that is considered right and moral, and Facebook members will find that their profile page now offers them 51 gender options to choose from.

Does all of this seem to you like something you’d rather not talk about? It did to me too. I found this whole topic to be depressing, frightening and generally unpleasant. Until, that is, I got to know Outpost Ministries.

Outpost is an outreach to men and women who are choosing to confront unwanted same-sex attraction. I’ve known about and supported Outpost for many years without thinking about it very much because a staff member is a close friend. It seemed a viable, worthy cause—you know, like the Food Shelf or Toys For Tots. A niche ministry among many.

But more recently, my understanding has deepened and my tune has changed, to the point that I’ve just accepted an invitation to join Outpost’s team. I’ve come to see Outpost as one of a small group of Christian organizations which are taking a stand and leading a charge against a strategic, global campaign of our Enemy. I believe now that what they (we) are doing is vital and urgent. It is so central and important to our Church as a whole. In fact, if they or somebody like them don’t do the kind of work they are doing, then our nation is headed pell-mell into chaotic darkness.

That’s a very large claim. It is either grandiose or true. To defend it, I must beg a little patience while I explain. Here’s how it works: we humans exist to love and be loved by God. That was God’s purpose in creating us. It is His great risk because in order to stand a chance of receiving back the kind of love He gives us, He had to make us like Him—able to choose.

And because we are like Him, we have the same choice in loving one another as we have in loving Him. God put us on the earth and gave us each other to love so that, in doing so, we may learn to love Him. That’s where the fun starts.

The human creature begins as a baby, a cute, little cherub full of needs but with absolutely no idea what love is or how to do it. He/she must be taught. By whom? Obviously, those people on whom the little tyke must depend for his/her every need, the caregivers. Ideally, a mom and dad.

As God does with the Church, the parents reach out in love to their little one. This begins on day one, and even in the womb. Baby responds in kind, and a mutual bond of trust, affection, identity and ownership begins to grow. And from this essential, primary bond, the child can then branch out to loving others and God.

But this scenario presumes that the parents in question live in a perfect world. They know what love is, how to do it, and are capable of teaching it to their child—perfectly. If they don’t, then even though the child may get fed and clothed and outwardly seem well-adjusted, one possible result when he/she grows up is—you guessed it—same-sex attraction.

At Outpost what we’ve found is that our clients come to us with versions of this same story. The result is that those children grow into adults who have a desperate need—because we’re all made that way—to love and be loved, but they can’t because they lack the ability to bond. They are often well-versed in social skills and forms of religion, but on the inside they are brutally isolated—from others and from God.

Well, that’s a sad story, but how is it a large-scale catastrophe? What makes it a battlefield (in what we loosely call “spiritual warfare”) is that through stories like this, our Enemy gets what he really wants: human beings who, through their inability to bond, are cut off from God, functionally unable to respond to His love. And because of this, the Enemy has moved every resource he can find in support of this dynamic.

The result is that in recent years the gay lobby has steadily gained in political, social and moral ascendancy; to the point that now, in the US and even in the Western world in general, to disagree—to advocate for biblical values—is considered virtually indistinguishable from a hate crime.

And the outcome—what the Enemy gets out of all this—is the destruction of the family as the foundational institution of human existence. And without a family, primarily a loving mom and dad, how can children learn to respond to God’s love?

I grew up in a small town called Bemidji, MN, and I miss it, partly because it’s such a safe, rational, sane place. If you live in a place like that, or go to a church like that, it probably seems like a very normal place. But it isn’t. Not any more. It is now one of many, shrinking pockets of relative sanity in a larger culture which seems grimly intent on shredding itself into meaninglessness.

A sad part of this story is that throughout this macro upheaval, the Christian Church has remained largely silent. In fact, many main-line denominations, responding to political pressure, have begun to waver and have even made declarations against biblical values. And many church leaders, while privately sticking to their beliefs, are unwilling to take a visible stand because they fear the storm of invective which may come their way if they do.

Outpost is one of the very few Christian organizations—a voice crying out in the wilderness, as it were—which is in the business of saying “No!” to these designs of the Enemy. And yes, we’ve paid a price. We’ve been misquoted, maligned and vilified in the press, vandalized, etc., but in the process, we’ve seen many men and women walk a path of humility and healing which results in new hope, restored gender identity, and families where their own kids are learning how to love.

But of course, Outpost is bigger than that. It has to be. Whether we really wanted to or not, by default Outpost carries a very public banner which says that all is not lost, the family as an institution is not an outmoded myth, and God still works through moms and dads to raise up children unto Himself.

That is why I think Outpost is so important. This isn’t just a worthy cause, this is vital. The need is vast and urgent, and we need workers.

And we need you too. We need you to open your hearts to the tearing need which inhabits the world outside our homes and churches. We ask only one thing from you: that you get with God and ask him what part he wants you to play. Will you do that?

About Dale Fredrikson

Dale Fredrikson is Congregational Pastor at Twin Cities Justice House of Prayer and provides leadership in various capacities within Outpost Ministries.

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