Do we shape our beliefs around our lifestyle or our lifestyle around our beliefs? Do we have the strength of moral conviction, and stand for what we believe? Does the Bible still matter?
These are just a few questions we must ask ourselves, as our country pulls further and further away from its Judeo-Christian foundations. The presidential inauguration has had a long, rich history of prayer not only being respected, but welcomed at inauguration ceremonies. Originally, the benediction was to be lead by Rev. Louie Giglio, leader of the Passion Movement church in Atlanta. However, because of a mid-1990’s sermon focused on what the Bible actually & specifically says on homosexuality, a blogger on the Think Progress website was motivated enough to rail against Rev. Giglio.
The backlash against him became so large that rather than make the inauguration ceremony about him, Rev. Giglio respectfully stepped down. However, simply allowing that to be good enough was not ‘good enough’ for President Obama, he had to also "disinvite" the Reverend and alienate him as well. This is further proof that the Left’s attempt to narrate ‘diversity’ and ‘acceptance’ only goes as far as their own beliefs, and be damned everyone else.
Addie Whisenant of the Presidential Inaugural Committee rewarded Rev. Giglio’s respectful declination with this statement:
“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 because of 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.”
"The Presidential Inaugural Committee and the White House have now declared historic, biblical Christianity to be out of bounds, casting it off the inaugural program as an embarrassment….[A]nyone who has ever believed that homosexuality is morally problematic in any way must now offer public repentance and evidence of having “evolved” on the question…This is what is now openly demanded of Christians today. If you want to avoid being thrown off the program, you had better learn to evolve fast, and repent in public."
(2:40) We must not just 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 that 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.
(31:45) We must lovingly but firmly respond to the aggressive agenda of not all, but of many in the homosexual community. … Underneath this issue is a very powerful and aggressive moment. 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 a norm in our society and is given full standing as any other lifestyle, as it relates to family.
(9:20) [God] says very clearly in [Leviticus], verse 22, after he talks about a lot of different kinds of relationships, he says in verse 22: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female. It is an abomination.” Now if you would look forward into the New Testament context, to the passage that most of us know most commonly with this issue, into chapter one of the book of Romans, let’s read a few verses together beginning in verse 18. If you’re taking notes tonight, you might make this the note of Leviticus 20:13 and the book of Jude, we won’t look at those passages but there is some support and encouragement there to this topic.
(17:37) Men, women, I can’t say anything other to you tonight than this, that if you look at the counsel of the word of God, Old Testament, New Testament, you come quickly to the conclusion that homosexuality is not an alternate 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 word of God. You come to only one conclusion: homosexuality is less than God’s best for his creation. It is less than God’s best for us and everything in our lives that is less than God’s best for us and his plan for us and his design for us, is sin. That’s God’s voice. If you want to hear God’s voice, that is his voice to this issue of homosexuality. It is not ambiguous and unclear. It is very clear.
(28:20) I would refer you maybe just to the article “Born gay?” by Joe Dallas, who is the president of a ministry that helps with homosexuals in “recovery.” It was found in Christianity Today in June of 1992. It really unfolds for us that the evidence that they say is there, that the media wants to tell us is there really isn’t there at all. But I want to tell you this tonight. Even if it was there… How do you respond to that? How do you respond to the news reports that we’re hearing in the last few months that there is a genetic tendency to be an over-eater and it’s been supposedly proved by the scientists? That there is a genetic tendency to addictive behavior. Alcoholics by and large have a genetic tendency to addictive behavior. I predict in our lifetimes and not a very long period of time from now, scientists and geneticists will have found a way to prove a gene theory for every malfunction in sinful society. And do you know why? We talked about it the very first week—because we do not want responsibility for our choices.
(47:40) First Corinthians, Chapter 6. In verses nine and 10, it talks about the things that prevent people from entering the Kingdom of God. It talks about all kinds of immoral behavior. And right in the midst of that passage, right in the middle of that verse it says “and those who are homosexual.” It’s clear.
(40:25) As the church of Jesus Christ, we cannot sit on the sidelines, we cannot sit back inside our churches, but we must reach out and we must aggressively move toward the homosexual community because we have a message and we’ve got something to say… our message is we know Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ is powerful enough to do anything and to do everything. And the only way out of a homosexual lifestyle, the only way out of a relationship that has been engrained over years of time, is through the healing power of Jesus.
(43:16) We’ve got to say the homosexuals, the same thing that I say to you and that you would say to me… it’s not easy to change, but it is possible to change.
Considering this sermon is from 15 years ago, since then Rev. Giglio has not taken a strong stand either for or against homosexuality. This is further reflected in his recent statements:
"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."
Maybe President Obama may have chosen Hispanic, homosexual Richard Blanco to read his poem at the inauguration, if only, to save face toward the Left. This is about a full out persecution of the Christian religion, as homosexual activist Wayne Besen, and founder of the activist group Truth Wins Out, told the New York Times,
"It is imperative that Giglio clarify his remarks and explain whether he has ‘evolved on gay rights,’ like so many other faith and political leaders. It would be a shame to select a preacher with backward views on LBGT people at a moment when the nation is rapidly moving forward on our issues."
The LBGT community has not been content with any legal benefit of civil unions. Instead, they want to redefine a Christian religious sacrament, practiced for over 2,000 years, simply because it does not agree with their personal ideology. They demand the same acceptance and diversity they refuse to give in return.
We should not be surprised by this reaction, for the drive to completely demoralize your opponent is exactly what President Obama has been doing to the Republican Party, or has continued, in the first few weeks of this year. If you get your opponent to bend their will toward your own, you demoralize them and expose them for having no courage or strength of their conviction. How very "Sharia" of Mr. Obama and the Left.
So, again, I ask; Do we shape our beliefs around our lifestyle or our lifestyle around our beliefs? Do we have the strength of moral conviction, and stand for what we believe? Does the Bible still matter?