FRC's Lt. General Jerry Boykin sure knows how to draw a crowd! This weekend in California, at a special Calvary Chapel Sonora men's retreat, the Army veteran was so popular that he had people waiting outside. Of course, they were protestors -- not that it mattered to this war hero. As far as he was concerned, they only helped boost the event's publicity!
It takes a strong Christian to create this kind of reaction, but for retired General Jerry Boykin, causing a ruckus just means we're doing something right. He wasn't deterred by the rally outside Courthouse Square -- if anything, it confirmed that the things FRC is standing for -- godly fatherhood, men of God, biblical marriage -- are exactly what the culture needs to hear. Tom Taylor, one of the organizers of the LGBT protest, disagrees. He thinks the community ought to stand up and "discourage" churches from inviting "such speakers in the future."
Well, some people in the community did speak out, but it wasn't enough to get the church -- or General Boykin -- to back down. If anything, the pastors think, this whole "controversy" helped bring more attention to a conversation more men desperately need. When they booked General Boykin more than a year ago, Pastor Dave Atkins told local reporters, "the intent was to never cause offense to our friends in the LGBTQ community."
He's right, Senior Pastor Miles McMahon agreed. "I think that this whole thing is being unfairly characterized... I was looking for someone who I was hoping would be a strong influence to get men to stand up and as the Bible says 'act like men,' whatever that means," he said. "You don't see men in my mind who are supposed to be the responsible one and leader in the family, so I was looking for someone who would help them step up into what we would call a God-given role." General Boykin, who just published a new book, Man to Man: Rediscovering Masculinity in a Challenging World, happened to be the perfect choice.
Like a lot of Christians, he's tired of those on the Left insisting that our disagreement is rooting in some sort of intolerance or hostility. "People think I hate them because I don't fly the flag of 'We think this is wonderful.' But I don't think it's wonderful," Pastor McMahon said. "However, what people do in the privacy of their own homes is none of my business. If it was up to me, I would do it differently, but it's not up to me and it's up to the Lord." In the meantime, he went on, this whole protest shouldn't distract from the greater message General Boykin came to deliver -- the gospel.
And in the end, that's exactly what he did. Despite the demonstration, a pandemic, and the first gathering for awhile of its kind, many men at this event came to know Jesus Christ. They recommitted themselves to their wives and families. And, above all, put their hope and identity in something other than this world.
For more on how you can get involved in FRC's Stand Courageous movement, including resources for the men in your life and updates on the latest events, check out our website.