Saturday, January 10, 2009

California Pastor Leads Church on Local Mission

Christians experience reinvigoration of their family and their faith as they impact the culture where they live.

Church members say: "I saw it as a crossroads in our country. I feel like for the sake of our country and our family I had to stand up and be heard." . . . "A lot of my friends are mad at me, but I honestly don't care. I'm standing up for what is right."

-- From "Christian family fights on for Prop. 8" by Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times 1/10/09

Abel Ferreira and his wife, Robbie, never considered themselves political activists.

But when Proposition 8 landed on November's ballot, the Spring Valley couple did everything they could to ensure that the constitutional amendment [in favor of biblical marriage] got passed. They made phone calls. They attended prayer rallies. They fasted for 40 days.

For the Ferreiras, as for so many other people motivated to action by Proposition 8, the measure wasn't just a matter of politics. It was about family, faith and the future of the country.

The Ferreiras's fight for Proposition 8 began less than two miles away, at Skyline Church. . . . Pastor Jim Garlow, one of the state's most vocal proponents of the measure, was crucial in collecting the more than 600,000 signatures required to get the proposition on the ballot.

One Sunday about a year ago, Garlow told his congregation what he thought the consequences of legalizing same-sex marriage would be.

"The thing that affected me the most was knowing that my grandkids are going to be taught this ungodly and sinful act as if it's OK," Robbie said. "I thought from that point on, 'No. I will fight for them. I don't have them yet, but I'm going to fight for them.'"

A few months ago, the Ferreiras's 18-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, began posting her opinions about gay marriage and her support of Proposition 8 on her MySpace profile.

She was met with a flood of criticism from friends and strangers, she said.

Robbie points out that Skyline Church offers counseling for people who are "struggling with same-sex attraction," and its pastor has told his congregation to save gay people by giving them love.

"We hate the sin," Abel often declares, "not the sinner."

In April, after hearing Engle preach at Skyline, Robbie formed a Bible study group.

Every Sunday evening, about a dozen teenagers and people in their 20s meet in the Ferreiras's living room to discuss faith.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.