A debate is a conflict which clarifies a position. A dialogue is a conversation which compromises a position.
– John E. Ashbrook
Explaining his acceptance of an invitation to serve on the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships panel (FBNP), former Southern Baptist Convention President Frank Page admitted to having concerns. He noted that there are “very few conservatives on the council,” but he is requesting prayer: “I do ask Baptists to pray for me as I try to bring to the table what I believe is a conservative, biblical viewpoint.”1
Reportedly, Page took assurances from former associate Pentecostal pastor Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House Office of FBNP, that President Obama really wants to hear his views. Where do these guys hide when the expos’es are coming out?
Obama and company want to vent Page like an air bag in a small group, pretend to incorporate his suggestions into policy by using facilitators expert at recasting his words to match predetermined outcomes, and obtain his support, for things he might ordinarily object to, by arriving at consensus. He is being used, and many will likely suffer because of his succumbing to flattery.
Bible believing Christians will be the losers, and the White House Office of FBNP will gain either way Page falls. If he remains, they will be able to claim conservative religious support for their agenda. If he jumps ship, they can renounce all conservatives (Bible believing Christians) as obstructionists, and they will certainly hold that over his head as leverage to keep him onboard.
The White House Office of FBNP is another effort at conscripting churches into an army of federally mandated social workers for community service (something that used to be reserved for convicted felons), under federal laws that do away with free exercise of religion. Financially struggling churches began falling into this trap by first accepting faith-based funding, and in tying on the federal feed-bag they tied on a muzzle. Some thought that they could use government money to finance God’s work. They might have been innocent enough, or coned by a wolf, but certainly naive and foolish. In this age of deception, it has never been more important to keep separate the things that are Caesar’s from the things that are God’s
1. Baptist Press, “Page hopeful, cautious about faith council,” February 17, 2009.