Jonathan Capehart is joyfully reporting at the Washington Post that Louie Giglio has withdrawn from President Obama’ inauguration.1 Just yesterday I defended Giglio from an attack by a Liberal at HuffPo. So I post with sadness that Giglio has removed himself from Obama’s inauguration.
I know Christians are divided (what’s new?) over whether or not an Evangelical should participate in an event like the Presidential Inauguration. However, many of us saw Giglio giving the benediction as a great gospel opportunity. Maybe another Evangelical will replace him who is also not ashamed of the gospel.
The full text of Giglio’s reasoning from the Washington Post story is given below. He may have his reasons, but I don’t get them and I don’t agree.
I am honored to be invited by the President to give the benediction at the upcoming inaugural on January 21. Though the President and I do not agree on every issue, we have fashioned a friendship around common goals and ideals, most notably, ending slavery in all its forms.
Due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15-20 years ago, it is likely that my participation, and the prayer 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 fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.
Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing, thus I respectfully withdraw my acceptance of the President’s invitation. I will continue to pray regularly for the President, and urge the nation to do so. I will most certainly pray for him on Inauguration Day.
Our nation is deeply divided and hurting, and more than ever need God’s grace and mercy in our time of need.
I wish he would have stayed and used the platform he was given to “make much of Jesus Christ” expressing how we “more than ever need God’s grace and mercy in our time of need” that is found only in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What came to mind when I first read Giglio’s reasons for bowing out was this Scripture, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12 ESV).
What would you have done?