8 Top Christian Blog Posts of the Week: The Lou Giglio Edition
Linking you to the top Christian blog posts of the week—posts that provide robust, rich, and relevant insights for living. This week I highlight posts related to the uproar over Pastor Lou Giglio’s invitation to offer the benediction at President Obama’s second inaugural ceremony.
Giglio is Pastor of Atlanta’s Passion City Church. He is also founder of the Passion movement that brings tens of thousands of Christian young people together, urging a rising generation of young Christians to make a passionate commitment to Christ. In recent years, the movement has also sought to raise awareness and activism among young Christians on the issue of sex trafficking. It was that activism that caught the attention of both President Obama and the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
In a statement released to the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Giglio said that he withdrew because of the furor that emerged after a liberal watchdog group revealed that almost twenty years ago he had preached a sermon in which he had stated that the “only way out of a homosexual lifestyle … is through the healing power of Jesus.”
Lou Giglio’s Statement
You can read Pastor Giglio’s entire written statement to his church about his withdrawal at Change of Plans. Here is one part of Pastor Giglio’s announcement to his church.
The issue of homosexuality (which a particular message of mine some 20 years ago addressed) is one of the most difficult our nation will navigate. However, individuals’ rights of freedom, and the collective right to hold differing views on any subject is a critical balance we, as a people, must recover and preserve.
As a pastor, my mission is to love people, and lead them well, while lifting up the name of Jesus above anything else. I’m confident that anyone who knows me or has listened to the multitude of messages I have given in the last decade would most likely conclude that I am not easily characterized as being opposed to people—any people. Rather, I am constantly seeking to understand where all people are coming from and how to best serve them as I point them to Jesus.
A New Moral McCarthyism
Al Mohler, in a scathing rebuke to the intolerance of the left points out that, “In other words, a Christian pastor has been effectively disinvited from delivering an inaugural prayer because he believers and teaches Christian truth.”
He goes on to write:
“The imbroglio over Louie Giglio is the clearest evidence of the new Moral McCarthyism of our sexually ‘tolerant’ age. During the infamous McCarthy hearings, witnesses would be asked, ‘Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?’
In the version now to be employed by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the question will be: ‘Are you now or have you ever been one who believes that homosexuality (or bisexuality, or transsexualism, etc.) is anything less than morally acceptable and worthy of celebration?’”
Read Mohler’s entire insightful and prophetic post at The Giglio Imbroglio: The Public Inauguration of a New Moral McCarthyism.
The New State Church
Russell Moore points out that, “When it is now impossible for one who holds to the catholic Christian view of marriage and the gospel to pray at a public event, we now have a de facto established state church.” Read Moore’s chilling assessment in Louie Giglio and the New State Church.
Why It Matters
Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition explains why it matters.
“Why It Matters: For the past several decades voices inside and outside the church have said that Christians have hurt our witness by focusing on issues that challenge individualistic sexual permissiveness. They say that if we would only focus on actions that show how much we love our neighbor, actions like ending human trafficking, we would be welcomed in the public square. But as the Giglio incident reveals, no amount of good works can atone for committing the secular sin of subscribing to the biblical view of sexuality.
It’s not even enough to stop talking about the issue. As Giglio says in his statement, ‘Clearly, speaking on [homosexuality] has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years.’ But for the sexual liberationists, both secular and religious, it is not enough to have stopped talking about an issue decades ago. Anyone who has ever spoken about the issue—or at least has not recanted from believing what God says about homosexuality—is to be treated as a bigot.”
Read the rest of Carter’s perspective at Pastor Disinvited from Giving Inaugural Prayer Because of Sermon on Homosexuality.
Evangelicals No Longer Welcomed in the Public Square
Ed Stetzer relates that:
“For those of us who know Louie, this is a strange moment indeed–but also illustrative of how our culture has turned. Louie has dedicated his life to helping others–the poor, the enslaved, those trapped in sexual trafficking. Yet, I do not recognize the person I see portrayed on the news– a bigoted homophobe driven by his hatred for gays. You can be certain that is not Louie Giglio–even still some prefer to believe that any opposition to homosexual practice, and people who hold that view, must apparently be silenced for the common good.”
You can read all of Stetzer’s post at The Louie Giglio Moment: Are Evangelicals (and about 4 of 10 American Adults) No Longer Welcome in the Public Square?
Giglio Outed as Evangelical
Clint Archer at The Cripplegate shares an interesting take on this.
“There is nothing for Christians to be ashamed of for being outed as believing what the Bible teaches. If anything he should be embarrassed by how long it takes for people to know what we believe.”
The Beheading of Lou Giglio
Pastor J.D. Greear at Between the Times makes the following nuanced comparison.
While the comparison of this situation to the beheading of John the Baptist is obviously hyperbole, it is not hard to see that the spirit at work in both situations is the same. (And I am not suggesting that any of the advocacy groups have called for violence against Louie–just that they wish to have him removed from the public square). As a church, we face the choice of whether to remain faithful to God’s word or to capitulate to culture. As a nation, we face the choice of whether or not we believe in free speech and whether those holding to the historic Christian faith are allowed in the dialogue of the public square.
For the complete context of his thoughts, read The Beheading of Louie Giglio.
The Gospel: Good News to Gays
Sam Allberry, writing at The Gospel Coalition shared his personal story.
Homosexuality is an issue I have grappled with my entire Christian life. It took a long time to admit to myself, longer to admit to others, and even longer to see something of God’s good purposes through it all. There have been all sorts of ups and downs. But this battle is not devoid of blessings, as Paul discovered with his own unyielding thorn in the flesh. Struggling with sexuality has been an opportunity to experience more of God’s grace, rather than less.
Read all of Sam’s thoughts in How Can the Gospel Be Good News to Gays?
Join the Conversation
Which of these posts most impact you?
What other posts related to this issue do you recommend?
What is your view on this issue?
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