Thursday, January 10, 2013
Who's Obsessed with Homosexuality?
Two days ago, the picture was quite different. Not only was the inaugural platform to be a display of diverse political and theological opinion, but also a testimony to the good that can be done when those of differing opinions work together. CNN, quoting a White House official on its religion blog, stated that Atlanta Pastor Louie Giglio was chosen to offer a public prayer "because he's a powerful voice for ending human trafficking and global sex slavery." Through the Passion movement, Giglio has led young evangelical Christians across American to aggressively combat the evils of human trafficking worldwide, and address a host of other social justice issues.
But upon hearing of the President's selection, a few in the far-left media went to work to "dig up dirt" on this evangelical pastor. What they discovered was a sermon 10 years old in which Giglio says about homosexuality what the church as a whole has been saying about it for 2000 years. As a result, Giglio withdrew his name. As my friend Marty Duren well-said, "Apparently, his brave efforts to eliminate slavery worldwide weren't pro-gay enough."
Let me say that again. What Louie Giglio believes about homosexuality is the same thing that the Christian church--the WHOLE Christian church until recent years--has believed about it. And for this, he is now excluded from the party on inauguration day. The Presidential Inaugural Committee said this about the issue:
“We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural. Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part for his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world. As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.“
Actually, this statement should have ended with "inclusion and acceptance of all Americans except those who hold to the historical position of the Christian church where sexual ethics are concerned." So much for inclusion and tolerance!
What's interesting is how the good folks at Think Progress had to dig . . .and dig . . .and dig, and go back nearly 15 years to find a message from Pastor Giglio on homosexuality.That the man has preached nearly 800 sermons since this one should be evidence enough that he has no particular axe to grind on this issue. In fact, if anyone betrays their obsession with homosexuality in all of this, its Think Progress. Yet, if you were to ask Louie Giglio where he stands on the issue today, you would discover something many liberals find shocking: They haven't changed, because his views aren't determined by the shifting winds of culture, but instead by the Scriptures. Put in syllogistic terms:
Premise 1. Without repentance from sin and faith in Jesus, no one can inherit the Kingdom of God
Premise 2. Giving in to any sort of sexual sin outside of heterosexual marriage, including homosexual activity, is sin according to the clear teaching of the Bible
Conclusion: No one who refuses to repent from homosexual behavior will inherit the Kingdom of God.
The shocked reaction of so many progressives to this line of reasoning would make one who is totally ignorant of the history of Western Civilization to think that the church suddenly decided to invent this idea. But the facts and history are quite simple. For the past two milennia, and until the last two decades, every single stream of Christianity--Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox--spoke in uniformity to this issue, and has taught that sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage is a sin. That's not bigoted. Its called being a follower of Jesus. The "shock" expressed at this by some liberals would be hilarious, if the ramifications weren't so tragic.
Which brings me back to the subject of obsession. Giglio spoke well to this in his public statement:
He's right, by the way. Evangelical Christians as a whole aren't interested in focusing exclusively on the homosexual issue. Our message is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In this situation, no one is more obsessed with sexual orientation than the far-left Fundamentalists, who bring this issue front and center every single time it can be exploited.
Don't be fooled by the far-left media. Evangelical Christians aren't "anti-gay." Anyone who takes Scripture seriously loves all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. The difference is that we love them enough to tell them what we believe their Creator thinks. Since when is love defined by me being more interested in whether you like me than it is in my genuine concern for your own well-being?
I am sure that this incident will spark more controversial discussion about an issue that has long been settled in the Christian canon. Some who even call themselves "Christian" will perform hermaneutical acrobatics in order to try and make the point that "this isn't really what Scripture teaches." But at the end of the age, when all other man-made ideas and philosophies are burned up, the Word of the Lord stands forever, unchanged. Believing it doesn't make someone a bigot.
To my far-left friends I can only say this: We Christians aren't the ones obsessed with sexuality. Obsession is evidenced in digging up years and years of sermons in order to find something someone said about sexuality. To put it simply, its not us, its you. We have another, far better obsession. His name is Jesus. And we aren't interested in changing what He says about your obsession. But we are interested in offering Him--as He is--to you.