The liberal attacks against Louie Giglio are already starting. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush at the Huffington Post goes after Giglio in his article “Obama, Inaugural Prayers and the Evangelicals Who Don’t Like Him.”1 As I’ve previously noted, Giglio has accepted President Obama’s invitation to give the benediction at his inauguration. Giglio is a Conservative, Evangelical Christian and some liberals like Raushenbush are not happy with the President’s choice of Giglio.
Below I will quote and comment on the pertinent part of Raushenbush’s article showing his misrepresentation, inconsistency and political broad brushing.
Rev. Louie Giglio, the conservative evangelical pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta has been tapped for the honor. Rev. Giglio is to be admired for his tireless organizing against human trafficking, which is an issue that has galvanized many evangelicals, and accepted the offer from the White House with grace saying: “During these days it is essential for our nation to stand together as one.”
So far, so good.
Yet today a sermon by Rev. Giglio has surfaced, apparently from the ’90s, in which Obama’s choice for the “final good word” attacks gay people, saying they will be prevented from “entering the Kingdom of God’ and also that the “only way out of a homosexual lifestyle… is
through the healing power of Jesus.’
Yet? Interesting how decades old sermons just “surface”. Giglio’s call to stand together as a nation is not inconsistent with his Christian convictions. Unity is not uniformity. Rather, part of America’s DNA religious freedom woven into a culture in which we can disagree and still have unity as a country. While America will never have perfect unity, she will also never be a country of uniformity as long as the Constitutional freedoms upon which she was built exist.
This is not such a big surprise. It would be hard to find an evangelical in America who didn’t preach against gay people, especially as far back as the ’90s.
If Giglio’s position is not a surprise then why write about it? I’m sure President Obama had some idea of Giglio’s Christian position on homosexuality. Did Giglio actually preach against gay people or was he calling practicing homosexuals, aka sinners, repent?
I’m sure Giglio calls out heterosexuals too. Preachers call out sinners to repent and believe in Jesus; the Bible demands it. So why does it seem like Raushenbush seeks special treatment from Christians only for the homosexual lifestyle?
I guess the wider question is why does Obama insist on entrusting a representative of this group with this high honor in the first place? White evangelicals seem unlikely to change their opinion of the president, regardless of who is praying at his inauguration. Why try to build a bridge that will lead to nowhere?
Maybe Obama is trying to build bridges. We don’t always know where a new bridge will take us. Notice the shift from criticizing Giglio to blanketing him with “white evangelicals.” Does Giglio now represent all white Evangelicals and vise-versa?
At the same time, those who did support the president, and who, like the president have evolved in their faith enough to support the full humanity and dignity of LGBT people, again feel slighted by the president’s choice.
Raushenbush now seems to speak for all who, like Obama, have “evolved” into supporting the LGBT movement. If the President can evolve why is Raushenbush so hopeless when it comes to Giglio?
The main point Raushenbush is missing is that Giglio is supporting the “full humanity and dignity of LGBT people” by calling them to Jesus. Giglio is affirming that LGBT people, like himself, are sinners who are made in the image of God and are in need of a Savior.
On the day when the National Cathedral has announced that gay people can be married in its sanctuary, it seems discordant to invite someone to pray who is on the record as condemning gay people to hell.
On the contrary, he is inviting them to heaven!
Raushenbush quotes Obama hoping he is right when he stated, “…something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.”
In light of Obama’s quote, Raushenbush’s tone change slightly as he concludes.
The Inauguration on January 21st may be the next step in our national journey of reconciliation and redemption of all people.
In this current push by some liberals to silence anyone who is not for “gay rights,” I just want to remind everyone that gay is not the new black. More importantly, Giglio and other Evangelical Christians do care about LBGT people which is why the offer them true reconciliation and redemption through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For what it’s worth…
(HT: Denny Burk)
- Paul Brandeis Raushenbush. Obama, Inaugural Prayers and the Evangelicals Who Don’t Like Him. www.huffingtonpost.com ↩