Biblical sermon on homosexuality derails Giglio inaugural prayercomment (0)
January 17, 2013
The biblical standard that homosexuality is sinful has once again placed a Christian leader under public scrutiny, this time leading to the cancellation of Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio’s benediction at President Obama’s 2013 inauguration.
President Obama had selected Giglio to pray at the inaugural, which falls on the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, because of Giglio’s campaign to end slavery worldwide.
Giglio had accepted President Obama’s invitation to deliver the benediction at the Jan. 21 inaugural but withdrew from the program Jan. 10 after members of the pro-gay community complained about a biblically based sermon Giglio delivered in the 1990s and labeled him anti-gay.
In the sermon, “In Search of a Standard — Christian Response to Homosexuality,” Giglio details Scripture that identifies homosexuality as sinful, and he offers the hope of transformation the apostle Paul offered in 1 Corinthians 6:11.
Uproar over Giglio’s comments is the latest in a string of attacks against Christians supporting a biblical view of sexuality.
“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,” inaugural committee spokeswoman Addie Whisenant said in a statement Jan. 10.
“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,” Whisenant said.
LifeWay Research indicates 44 percent of Americans believe homosexuality is a sin, said Ed Stetzer, LifeWay’s vice president of research.
“This Louie Giglio moment, and the Chick-fil-A moment that preceded it, and the Rick Warren moment which preceded that raise the question: Where do we go from here?” Stetzer blogged.
“Furthermore what does this mean for Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Orthodox Jews and so many more who believe that their authoritative religious texts teach something the prevailing culture finds so unacceptable that, even if they are working to eradicate slavery, they are no longer welcome in mainstream context?”
In announcing his withdrawal on the website of Passion City Church, which he leads, Giglio said his inclusion in the inaugural would place him in the middle of a fight not of his choosing.
“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,” Giglio said.
“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,” Giglio said.
Preserving personal freedoms are critical, he said, even as salvation is offered to unbelievers.
Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, also is on the inaugural program.