Pastor Louie Giglio was invited to say a prayer at President Obama’s inauguration ceremony later this month. Being a Christian pastor, it should have been expected that he would have preached at some point on what the Bible says about the sin of homosexuality. Someone with a pro-homosexuality group dug up a sermon from decades ago in which he had done just that, and, yada yada yada, Pastor Giglio – pressured, or not, by the Inaugural Committee (that’s a little murky at the moment)— decided not to do the prayer. Ok, are ya with me? Good.
I’ve read a bit about this debacle over the past few days (though I have a few disagreements with some points, all of the articles hyperlinked above are excellent) and most of what I’ve read seems to be focused on Louie Giglio. But Louie Giglio isn’t alone on the stage of this little drama.
There’s another player. Our President.
Although all the details and communiqués were being handled by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, as President Truman used to say, “The buck stops here.” Right at the feet of President Obama. Ultimately, he is responsible for the “unvitation.” If he felt that the Committee was out of line in their statements or actions, he could have intervened. Instead, he has been silent, which implies consent.
Our President consented to the press release from the Inaugural Committee which said in part:
“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.”
Translation: Louie Giglio’s Christian beliefs about homosexuality, which come straight from the Bible, do not “reflect this administration’s vision.”
Let me say that again. Christian beliefs about homosexuality, which line up with what the Bible clearly says, are opposed by our President.
Why is that important?
And so do a lot of other people who share his beliefs on things like homosexuality and abortion.
If that describes you, before you get mad and stop reading, in fairness, hear me say something:
Sanctification (progressively becoming more and more Christlike) is a process. People who get saved, especially as an adult, bring a lot of entrenched opinions and thought processes with them to the cross.
Am I saying you have to become pro-life and anti-homosexuality (notice, I did not say anti-homosexual) before, or in order to, get saved?
Am I saying that five minutes or a week after you get saved, you’ll be pasting “Choose Life” and “One Man, One Woman” bumper stickers on your car?
What I am saying is that a person who has genuinely been born again has a God-created desire to know, trust, and obey God’s word.
Even if it’s hard.
Even if you don’t like it, initially.
Even if you don’t completely understand it.
The desire, inextricably interwoven with your love and affection for Christ, born in your heart when you were born again, exists.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. II Corinthians 5:17
Do you have that desire?
Do you wrestle with the things in God’s word that are difficult for you –perhaps things like homosexuality- in order to understand, embrace, and obey them?
Or, do you war against the things you find in the Bible that you don’t like- rebelling against their inherent truth, rejecting them, twisting their meanings to suit your own opinions, and refusing to accept them?
If it’s the latter, you need to be afraid.
Be VERY afraid.
Because the Bible makes it clear that you aren’t saved.
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. I John 2:3-6
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. I Corinthians 2:14-16
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4
Christians desire to keep God’s word, just like Jesus did. Christians lovingly call sinners to repentance from their sin and to faith in Christ, just like Jesus did. Christians think like Jesus did. Christians reject the world’s values rather than promoting them, just like Jesus did.
My dear friend, if you find yourself constantly battling against God’s word, I urge you, please examine your affections and the fruit of your life, thoughts, and behavior in the mirror of God’s word. It doesn’t matter if you’ve repeated a prayer, filled out a card, been baptized, taken communion, faithfully attended church, served as a teacher, deacon, elder, or pastor, had someone assure you of your salvation, or even if you just “feel saved”. If your life and heart don’t match up with what Scripture says is true of a Christian, you are not genuinely born again.
Please, turn away from your sin- all of your sin -and put your faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross, and in His bodily resurrection, as payment for that sin. If Cain taught us anything, it’s this: you can’t come to God on your own terms. You have to approach Him on His terms.
Or, to borrow from a mantra oft repeated by some in the homosexual community:
If you’re going to accept Him, you have to accept everything about Him.