What to Learn from the “Giglio Imbroglio”

Al Mohler has some insightful commentary on the “Giglio Imbroglio.” Most are focusing on the political dimension of this flare-up–how it is yet another display of the intolerance of the new tolerance. Yet, for Christians there’s something more for us to learn from Giglio. Here’s how Mohler says it:

Two other dimensions of this story also demand attention. First, we should note that Louie Giglio has not been known lately for taking any stand on the issue of homosexuality. To the contrary, Giglio’s own statement withdrawing from the invitation made this clear…

A fair-minded reading of that statement indicates that Pastor Giglio has strategically avoided any confrontation with the issue of homosexuality for at least fifteen years. The issue “has not been in the range of my priorities,” he said. Given the Bible’s insistance that sexual morality is inseparable from our “ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ,” this must have been a difficult strategy. It is also a strategy that is very attractive to those who want to avoid being castigated as intolerant or homophobic. As this controversy makes abundantly clear, it is a failed strategy. Louie Giglio was cast out of the circle of the acceptable simply because a liberal watchdog group found one sermon he preached almost twenty years ago. If a preacher has ever taken a stand on biblical conviction, he risks being exposed decades after the fact. Anyone who teaches at any time, to any degree, that homosexual behavior is a sin is now to be cast out.

This is exhibit A against wishful thinking that focuses on social justice as a way to win the support of the wider culture. Giglio has done more than any other in the evangelical spotlight against human trafficking, so much so that he caught the attention of the President. Yet all his accomplishments are washed away with one simple declaration made 20 years ago: “I believe homosexuality is a sin.” Seeking to win the favor of the establishment by avoiding core issues of naturally (and specially) revealed truth is a horrible strategy. It hasn’t worked in the past and is clearly not working now. No matter how much good we may do, the new litmus test is one simple question: “What do you believe about sexuality?” We better be prepared to answer this question and be ready to be cast out of the public square (assuming of course we affirm biblical teaching).

 

UPDATE: There is some uncertainty whether the White House removed Giglio or whether he removed himself first. It matters a great deal. If the WH forced him out, there should be much concern about religious liberty and the presence of evangelicals in the public square. If Giglio removed himself in light of an impending controversy over homosexuality, this says much about his credibility as a minister of the gospel. On this latter point, see here: “Neither Giglio nor his spokeswoman would comment directly about where the pastor stands today on the issue of homosexuality.” What this shows is that the issue of homosexuality (and sexuality in general) is the defacto litmus test for evangelical faithfulness. I hope Giglio will clarify his position soon.

 

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