Randy Thomas over at the Exodus blog has called for prayers for those participating in the National Equality March. His goal is to “generate prayer” by spreading word through the blog. He is praying for the following things:
For True Freedom: That God’s freedom and sovereign love will lead the participants to Him. I have a friend who was in a pride parade and out of the blue, he just knew that he knew God was telling him to leave. So … he did. God is so much bigger than we often give Him credit for. I am praying for truly loving Christians to be sovereignly placed among the crowd to love and serve wherever the door opens to do so. I am praying that the hellfire and brimstone crowd stays home. <–My personal opinion right there .
Praying for safety: not only from anyone who might try to use this opportunity to attack them because of homophobia, but also from some of the peripheral parties and events that are planned or spring up around these types of events.
Pray for compassion: Some people will be there for the sole purpose of stigmatizing the people in the march and gaining video/photos to that effect. I am not going to debate that as a possible good that some conservatives have said it is and that I should not publicly criticize. Reporting facts is a good thing, stigmatizing people is wrong. I pray when people learn about this they will be moved to compassion even if they disagree with what the event participants are pushing for.
Praying for President Obama: He will be speaking at the HRC black tie dinner Saturday night. The gay activist community is not happy with him because he hasn’t followed through on any of his campaign promises to them. I would imagine he is going to have to answer them at this event and every word will be enshrined so … definitely praying for him and for them.
Praying for those “Coming Out” – Sunday is the annual “Coming Out” day where people across the country will be telling others they have embraced a gay identity. Some will consider this a very happy day and others will be devastated. I will be praying for millions to come home to Christ.
Praying for a new civility for the post-gay reality – I am getting a sense that people are just flat out tired of the old culture war mantras on both sides. I don’t know exactly how this would work or what it would look like but I am praying that dissatisfaction with age old time worn culture war hullabaloo would grow and a push for a new civility would arise. I am not talking about creating false common ground spinning around the same word games with a different “I love you, you love me” brand. I want authentic relationship, respect and dialog.
Randy doesn’t want the “fire and brimstone” crowd (think: Fred Phelps) but he wants “loving” Christians (of the Exodus strain of Christianity) to be placed so they can seize those moments to “serve where the door opens.” He is glad that “gay-identified” people can coexist alongside ex-gay and anti-equality proponents, but is praying that sexually honest people do not “come out” and instead “come home to Christ.” And finally, he caps it off with the claim that he wants “civil dialog” framing the culture war rather than the “tired mantras on both sides.”
Overall it seems that Exodus is praying that the gays come (to their side) quietly, peacefully, and easily. Although they might share certain viewpoints about homosexuality and sin, it’s overall bad publicity for Exodus when people calling themselves Christians
stand at the perimeters screaming into bullhorns and carrying banners emblazoned with “Sodomite” and “Repent.” Unfortunately for Exodus, those types of protesters also do not hesitate to emblazon their signs with the url to the Exodus website. It’s much better for publicity to have ex-gay proponents inconspicuously dotting the pro-gay Equality March crowd, quietly calling for queers to “change” and “find freedom in Jesus Christ” – nevermind what those terms might actually mean. But those same Christians should be prepared to have gays quietly respond in turn with “no thank you,” or even “I’ve already found peace in Christ, at a church that accepts me.”