Christ was no doubt on to something when He limited His public ministry to three years. Any longer and a mere human may forget what he said before or, even worse, lose enthusiasm for an earlier message as the culture changes.
Which is evidently what happened to the Rev. Louie Giglio. Until recently he was scheduled to give the benediction at Obama’s second inauguration. Giglio — founder of the “Passion Conferences” that are marketed to college–age Christians — had lately been in the news for his work against human trafficking and had said grace, so to speak, over the Easter Prayer Breakfast in the White House.
But then an aggressively homosexual lobbying group dug up a sermon Giglio delivered in the mid–90’s and accused him of being an orthodox Christian that believes in the Bible. Well, that was that and Giglio lost no time beating a hasty retreat from the inauguration.
Giglio might have made a better decision if he’d listened to his own sermon before deciding to run up the white flag.
In it the reverend is addressing the homosexual onslaught that traditional culture was just beginning to experience. Giglio wisely pointed out, “We must lovingly but firmly respond to the aggressive agenda of not all, but many in the homosexual community. Underneath this issue is a very powerful and aggressive movement. That movement is not a benevolent movement, it is a movement to seize by any means necessary the feeling and the mood of the day, to the point where the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as unknown warm in our society and is given full standing as any other lifestyle, as it relates to the family.”
That was not only wise, it was prophetic. Then Giglio mentions what both the Old and New Testament have to say regarding homosexual practices and concludes, “…homosexuality is not an alternative lifestyle…homosexuality is not just a sexual preference, homosexuality is not gay, but homosexuality is sin. It is sin in the eyes of God, and it is sin according to the world of God…That’s God’s voice. If you want to hear God’s voice, that is his voice to the issue of homosexuality. It is not ambiguous and unclear. It is very clear.”
Again, there is nothing that a plain reading of Scripture does not tell one. Giglio was not embellishing and he was certainly not personally condemning homosexuals. He just stated the obvious at it applies to the Bible and observant Christians.
Homosexual practices are not a lifestyle. The practice is a rebellion against God at the most fundamental level. God created woman for man and blessed the union. Any other arrangement is a perversion of God’s plan and God’s intent. And it remains a perversion in spite of the fact the only perversions elite culture recognizes today are smoking, obesity and magazines with a capacity larger than 10 rounds.
Giglio also said, “We must not sit quietly by and stick our heads in the sand and let whatever happens happen in our country. We’ve got to respond to the world we live in. That is the mandate that comes to us as people of God. And this issue is coming more and more to the forefront every day.”
Unfortunately, that is exactly what Giglio did not do. Instead he issued a weak statement that reads, “Due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15 to 20 years ago, it is likely that my participation, and the prayer that I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.
“Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past 15 years. Instead, my aim is meant to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.”
This reads like it was written by the same people covering up the massacre at our consulate in Libya. And “ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ” means exactly what?
Christ is significant with or without Giglio’s help. What He needs are teachers who will engage the culture. My fellow conservatives are off the mark when they view this incident as another instance of a politically correct culture that hostile to Christianity.
The culture has always been hostile to Christianity. Good grief, Herod murdered all the male children in Bethlehem aged two or under in an effort to end Christ’s ministry before it began. You can’t get much more hostile than that.
What Giglio has done is acquiesce in the disparagement of the truth of the Bible. What kind of message does this send to the young Christians that Giglio is supposed to be leading? Does Giglio hope the culture will be at least as accepting of him as it is of tobacco executives?
Does it mean Christianity has some vaguely disreputable beliefs that we only share privately with our friends, but the philosophy is not something we want to identify with in public?
How, exactly, does that differ from a meeting of the Klan?
We are losing the culture war because Christians are lead by pacifists, as I wrote about earlier <http://michaelshannon.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/conservative-pacifists-in-the-culture-war/> . Giglio has “evolved” from confronting the culture to surfing cultural waves. His current cause is “human trafficking,” which has a number of advantages for a timid Christian. One, all the right organizations are against human trafficking. Two, you get to hobnob with celebrities. And three the chances of offending someone in the congregation are infinitesimal.
Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, asked the Washington Post: “Are all Orthodox clergy now to be banished from civic life if they openly affirm their faith’s teaching about marriage and sexual ethics?” “Our only clergy from declining liberal denominations now acceptable according to hyper–political correctness? With the same standard also apply to Muslims and members of other faiths who don’t subscribe to the views of Western secular elites?”
Giglio evidently thinks refusing to confront the administration’s “Heretics Only” drinking fountain policy is being polite. But the message it sends the flock is one of weakness and vacillation when it comes to the plain language of the tougher parts of the New and Old Testament.
And it really compares poorly with the Catholic bishop who is preparing to go to jail rather than comply with the Obamacare abortion mandate.
Lou Giglio is building a ministry designed to attract the young in Atlanta. Up until now the name was “Passion City.” In light of his failure to affirm his own message, I suggest Giglio might want to consider changing the name to “Mildly Enthusiastic (But Not to the Point Where We Would Offend Anyone) City.”
Michael R. Shannon