Louie Giglio & The Public Square


Louie GiglioThe day that Louie Giglio is called an “unrepentant bigot” or “anti-gay” or anti-any person for that matter is a day in which the only bigotry being shown is from secularists toward evangelical Christians and a day in which no evangelical is beyond this persecution. Is it proper for a secularist to be appalled at the Westboro “Baptist Church”‘s hate message? Absolutely, but so are evangelicals. Is it proper for secularists to call actions of discrimination, mistreatment, and abuse of a certain group of people hateful? Absolutely. However, a further step has been taken and it is now affirmed with the pressure placed on pastor Louie Giglio which led him to withdraw from giving the prayer at Obama’s Inauguration. Not only are those who demonstrate hateful actions toward homosexuals being resented and banned from the public square, but even those who simply hold to the belief that unrepentant homosexuals will not be in the kingdom of heaven are not welcome in the public square. Does it matter that the holders of this clear and direct teaching of God in the Bible in fact love homosexuals and desire to minister to them? No. Because our view differs from mainstream secularists, we are not welcome. This is at least public and unprecedented Christian persecution in the USA, and at worst, in the words of Russell Moore, a “de facto established state church”. Here is an excerpt from Russell Moore’s take on Giglio and the Inauguration prayer:

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. Just as the pre-constitutional Anglican and congregational churches required a license to preach in order to exclude Baptists, the new state church requires a “license” of embracing sexual liberation in all its forms.

I have yet to read a better overall take on the matter and the rest of Moore’s article can be found here. And be sure to also check out Louie Giglio’s response to the White House and his take on the situation.

While liberalists and secularists have striven for a tolerance and acceptance of all peoples, they have created a terrible self-contradiction by being so intolerant (by their own definition of the term) of the beliefs of evangelicals. It is only evident of the blindness of the hearts and minds of the world when the explicit gospel is presented. Repentance is not something that goes over too well because it implies that there is something that needs to be repented of and that is just “so intolerant”! While secularists are typically relativists, they set an absolute standard when it comes to taking part in society. You must embrace all forms of sexuality. Logically, there is no end to this. The traditional view of sexuality is not only being challenged but being considered bigotry in the public square. And when this persecution falls on such figures as Louie Giglio, who would fall under the approval of many liberalists because of his work to end human trafficking and slavery, we can see that this is only the beginning and the worst is yet to come. If this is a tell-tell sign of Obama’s America in the next four years, then all I can say is that change is what we voted for and change is what we have. And as we go forward, evangelicals had better be ready to stand their ground on the solid rock of God’s Word in the face of such hostilities from secularists and liberalists who consider us to be hostile. What grand contradictions we must be prepared to face!

However, in light of all of this, now more than ever, we must be in prayer for our nation as our opportunity to show the worth of Christ through public persecution is now increasing. May Christ be magnified through these recent developments and may our President realize that he only has authority because he has been granted authority by the one true Sovereign. My prayers are with Giglio, President Obama, and our nation during this time of division in America.

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4 thoughts on “Louie Giglio & The Public Square

  1. I wonder if you have actually listened to Giglio’s sermon. To my ear, it is mostly hate speech. It is also spiritual terrorism. He cites with approval the biblical injunction that calls for the execution of homosexuals. He tells gay people that they are “malfunctions” and are going to hell. Only by undergoing reparative therapy can they be saved from hell fire?

    Is this a mainstream Christian point of view? The biblical passages are there. But there are also biblical passages that say that people who do not observe the Sabbath should be executed. Does he believe that? Or that those who commit adultery should be executed. Does he believe that?

    In any case, the sermon is repulsive because it is a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It misunderstands the message of Jesus, which is not to terrify people, but to love them.

    Would anyone be invited to speak at the Inauguration of the President of the United States who approved of the execution of any other group?

    I can just imagine the gnashing of teeth if Romney had won the election and then invited Bishop Gene Robinson to speak at the inauguration to show his spirit of inclusiveness. All of a sudden, those who are attack the President for kicking Giglio off the Inaugural stage would be attacking Romney for betraying those who spported him.

    1. Thank you for your comment, thoughts, and opinions. Based on your comment, I must be missing out! What a horrible sermon this must be. Now, in the evangelical, Bible-believing, Reformed circle in which I find myself, I haven’t heard tale of any such hatred coming from Giglio. You have some very strong accusations: “hate speech”, “spiritual terrorism”, “execution of homosexuals”. I will indeed have to listen to this sermon. I will attempt to reply however based on what I do know of the incident, sermon, Giglio, and the typical nature of this common debate and dilemma. All of my thoughts proceed from a heart of peace and love by God’s grace–but may you be the judge.

      Now, to your reference to the “biblical injunction that calls for the execution of homosexuals”. I must be honest. This sounds like an ignorant comment (not ignorant in the demeaning way, but ignorant in the lack of knowledge way). Seriously, I am not trying to insult you at all. There are many things to which I am ignorant. You seem to be missing the big picture of the Bible. Basically, God is holy and all men and women are sinful. Because all men and women have sinned, we all stand guilty before God and the punishment is eternal death (separation from God in the torment of hell). Check out Romans 3:23 and 6:23 for more reference. Jesus speaks of this as well in John chapter 3. The wrath of God remains on all who do not repent of their sins and believe in Jesus (John 3:16, 17, 36; Acts 3:19). The reason for this is that God made a way for this punishment to be averted from us and directed elsewhere, namely to Jesus. Jesus died in the place of sinners. He rose from the dead three days later to affirm his defeat of death and sin. Salvation is all about God’s grace. Without God’s grace (undeserved favor) we all stand guilty before God. The grace God gives us is the “gift of repentance” (Acts 11:18). The message Jesus brought was one of repentance of sins (Matthew. 4:17). Salvation from this wrath from God and from eternal punishment of sins in hell is about repenting of sins and believing or trusting or having faith (the Greek word used encompasses them all) in Jesus. Anything outside of this is not salvation at all for the only way to be saved is through Jesus Christ who became our propitiation (look up “propitiation”–John 14:6; Romans 3:25).

      With that as our foundation we can move to what I believe Giglio’s text was for that sermon, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. In this passage, the Apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16), talks about how all who are unrighteous (sinful) are guilty before God and will not inherit his kingdom. This means that all sinners who do not repent and believe in Jesus will go to hell, to put it bluntly and biblically. He then proceeds to list examples of such sinners (obviously not exhaustively since the “type” of sinner wasn’t his primary point). Among these he includes “the sexually immoral and men who practice homosexuality”. All who defame God’s name by abusing his gift of sex to the marriage relationship between one man and one woman are sinning against God. Therefore, these individuals stand guilty before God and will be subjected to eternal separation from him in hell. Frankly, hell is hell because God is not there.

      Now, bring those two paragraphs together. All unrepentant homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God (heaven). All unrepentant thieves will not inherit the kingdom of God. All unrepentant drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God. All unrepentant idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God. All unrepentant revilers and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. And to your point, all who do not keep the Sabbath holy and are unrepentant will not inherit the kingdom of God. And all unrepentant adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. The reason? They are guilty before God because of their sin. This isn’t an oppression of a certain kind of people, but rather it is a description of all people without Jesus. And this is totally fair since some get more than they deserve (forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus) and the rest get exactly what they deserve. It is perfect justice and perfect love from a perfect God. The key word in all of this is “unrepentant”. Those who are unrepentant will be subjected to eternal hell. This isn’t hate speech. This is the gospel.

      If his sermon hit on anything close to this then he wasn’t preaching some kind of horrid Christian terrorism, but he was indeed preaching the love of Jesus. It is tremendous love and grace that God would grant us repentance and make a way for us to be innocent in his sight (justification; see Romans. 3:21-26). The fact that he will cleanse us of our sin (homosexuality included) and transform our hearts is the greatest love in all the earth. The fact that Jesus absorbed the wrath of God in the place of sinners (all who believe in him) is tremendous love and grace. This is the farthest thing from hate speech. If this is the message he was conveying then he is spot on with the inerrant Word of God. This is not blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. You need to do a little searching yourself. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is final rejection of his work on the heart–to give this gift of repentance. In other words, all who remain unrepentant of their sins will have blasphemed the Holy Spirit for which there is no forgiveness (Matthew 12:31).

      I do believe you are misunderstanding the Bible and what it teaches. In no way would Louie Giglio preach the “execution of a people”. He cares more and works more for helpless people (those involved in human trafficking and sex slavery) than anyone I have heard of. And in no way does the Bible teach that a certain group of people should be executed. However, God will execute judgment on unrepentant sinners. Sin will be punished either on the cross of Christ or in the fires of hell.

      The uproar from evangelicals has nothing to do with politics, but with the fact that a direct teaching from Scripture and the preaching of it lead to the pushing of a figure like Giglio out of the public square. It seems that the only way to be allowed to participate in social events like the Inauguration Prayer is to have a certain view on sexuality and anything that falls short of this is hatred and bigotry. It just seems ironic that the mouths that are shunning and denigrating evangelicals for not being “tolerant” of their views are being pretty intolerant (by liberal definition) of ours. This isn’t a Dem/Rep thing. It is just startling that Giglio was basically discriminated against by many relativists who have set an absolute standard on what is appropriate for public/social conduct. The air in our nation right now is thick with irony and contradiction.

      Nevertheless, my aim in this reply was to be enlightening, helpful, insightful, and firm in my beliefs and the teachings of evangelical biblical Christianity. In love I disagree with you and pray that you would search the Word of God for yourself to see if I am found to be credible. I deeply apologize if I have been insensitive or too polemic. I am praying for you and your journey for truth and joy amidst the fog and mire of the pluralism in our nation. Blessings!

      In His Grace,

      Mathew

  2. Matthew, I think you didn’t read my comment correctly. It is Giglio who invokes the biblical passage about executing homosexuals, not me. He doesn’t say that homosexuals should be executed, but he cites as a measure of God’s displeasure with homosexuality. He is the one who doesn’t get the “big picture” of the Bible and, more important, of the message of Jesus.

    I agree that we are all sinners. Yet I don’t recall Giglio or anyone else preaching an entire sermon about how those who do not keep the Sabbath (as though we all agree on just when the Sabbath is, some people designating it as Friday night through Saturday, some Saturday, and most of us Sunday) are going to hell. Or even that adulterers are going to hell. (And adultery is one of the ten big commndements!). This obsession with homosexuality and the hectoring, bullying tone, and especially the threats of damnation, seems to me to indicate something more than simply a concern about a particular theological position. It reeks of bigotry. Telling people that if they don’t agree with you or interpret the Bible the same way that you do that they are going to hell is terrorism.

    The God that I love is not a God that would consign his creatures to hell because of their sexual orientation.

    1. We will remain at odds my friend. “The God that I love is not a God that would consign his creatures to hell because of their sexual orientation.” This statement affirms the fact that you need to do some further study. You do not seem to realize that this line of thinking leads to universalism. This God that you believe in would not send anyone to hell. Why would one set of sinners be excused to continue to remain unrepentant of a direct sin against God, but others (like adulterers) not? You love to affirm Jesus’ love and I commend you for this, but you seem to ignore his wrath and judgment. Unrepentance leads to hell. And the God of the Bible is a God of love and justice. He is a God of grace andwrath. I agree that there should never be a “bullying tone”, but the threats of damnation come directly from the Bible. To ignore such threats is to ignore the Bible. Homosexuality should not be the only sin that we address from the pulpit, but it should not be ignored or eliminated from the Bible because of the tide of our culture changing to be very accepting (to say the least) of homosexuality. This is not a plea for the maltreatment of homosexuals. I would not hate or be hateful toward them as I would not toward adulterers. The reason that there seems to be more preaching on the topic of homosexuality than the topic of adultery, for example, is that there are few if any pastors preaching that adultery is “okay”. Our culture, overall, has a problem with adultery. On the other hand, there are pastors preaching that homosexuality is not a sin and our culture considers anyone who takes the biblical stand that homosexuality is a sin to be a bigot Therefore, more and more pastors and sermons must be clear on what the Bible says about homosexuality. It is a hotly debated topic in our culture and one that is reinterpreting 2000 years of classical biblical interpretation that teaches that homosexuality is a sin. This is why you will hear more teachings and sermons on homosexuality than on keeping the Sabbath holy and adultery.
      You need to take some time to read the Bible with an open heart and not be calloused to its clear teachings on homosexuality. It is a direct attack on God in his design for sex. It falls in the same category as adultery, fornication, etc. I agree that people should not be condemned to hell for disagreeing theologically with someone because the Bible simply doesn’t teach that. The Bible does teach, as I made clear in my previous reply, that unrepentant sinners will go to hell and homosexual behavior is a sin. To be abundantly clear: it is UNREPENTANT sinners that are consigned to hell. UNREPENTANT homosexuals. This is is where the gospel comes in. However, there is a strong wave of opinions that says homosexuals do not need repentance for their sexual sin. They do not need the gospel or Jesus to redeem them from their sexual sin. This is dangerous and why pastors must be clear on the matter of homosexuality because of the tendency to believe that this is not a sin when the Bible clearly says that it is. It is loving and not bigotry to preach this gospel and to warn sinners where the Bible warns sinners. Take a second look at the God of the Bible and see if he lines up with the God you love, because the God of the Bible does consign all of his sinful creatures to hell who do not repent of their sin and believe in Jesus (homosexuals included).

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