Louie Giglio is a Christian pastor in Atlanta.
For the past two decades he has spent his time getting Christians to focus on a topic dear to me — human trafficking. That has been his calling and focus. It is a worthy cause. More than 17,000 people are smuggled into the United States each year to serve as slaves, often in the sex trade. American children are kidnapped and enslaved. Louie has rallied Christians and the secular world to this cause.
But twenty years ago he gave a sermon that could be considered prophetic. He told Christians of the coming pursuit of an aggressive homosexual agenda and that they must not stick their heads in the sand and let happen what happens. You can hear that bit here.
He went further than that. He admonished Christians that, in dealing with the issue, they must do so without hate, but with love. They must not condemn, but lead to Christ. But he also said they must stand their ground.
In the sermon, Louie made clear that the secular world is against Christians on this issue. But most controversially, he said that gays can be saved from their sin by embracing Jesus Christ, through whom all things are possible. Listen to his statement. Louie Giglio’s grievous and offensive sin is that he dares to believe in sin.
His statement is one of orthodox Christianity. Over time, many Christians have accepted that people can be born gay and that it may not be a choice as you or I might perceive it. If we are all born into sin and homosexuality is a sin, which it is, then it seems to fix Christian orthodoxy that one can be born gay. The problem is that, for orthodox Christians, it is still a sin and the world is increasingly hostile to the idea that any sexual sin should be treated as sin. The world is opposed to moral truth and standards and demands intolerance in the name of tolerance.
For the past 20 years, Louie Giglio has not focused on homosexuality. In fact, the controversy is a distraction from his important focus today on human trafficking. But gay rights activists are outraged that he dared say something twenty years ago that was then, as it is now, mainstream within Christian orthodoxy. It is something I agree with him on. It is something that, twenty years ago, would not have caused the outrage it is now causing.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 notes, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” Secularists peddling a secular agenda in the name of tolerance have declared Truth to be myth and myth to be truth. They hear what they want to hear and condemn what they do not understand as intolerance.
Many young Christians either have embraced secularism in a bit of conformity with the modern world or choose not to even discuss it. Louie Giglio, for the last 20 years, has not discussed his views on homosexuality lest it distract people from embracing his cause on human trafficking.
But this should be a lesson for Christians. They will be forced to choose between this world and the next on these issues. This world is preaching a new religion of tolerance and a hostility to orthodox Christian beliefs. A time is coming where Christians will have to choose between the Word of God or the words of a bunch of secularists out to make the uncommon common and the common obscene.
Russell Moore noted on this controvery,
by the standards of this controversy, no Muslim imam or Orthodox Jewish rabbi alive can pray at a presidential inauguration.
When it is now impossible for one who holds to the catholic Christian view of marriage and the gospel to pray at a public event, we now have a de facto established state church. Just as the pre-constitutional Anglican and congregational churches required a license to preach in order to exclude Baptists, the new state church requires a “license” of embracing sexual liberation in all its forms.
Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia said in the last year that evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant and then it tries to silence good. Louie Giglio was going to say the inaugural benediction, which would cause the media to highlight the horror of slavery that still goes on in this nation. But in the name of tolerance the secularists have decided we must be intolerant of a commonly held Christian belief and the cause Louie Giglio has worked so hard for these last twenty years will not get the attention it deserves lest some get offended by real Christianity.
More from Archbishop Chaput, who has used his position to put a bright spotlight on the secular notions of tolerance in the modern age and its impact on Christianity:
We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty — these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it’s never an end itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil. Likewise, democratic pluralism does not mean that Catholics should be quiet in public about serious moral issues because of some misguided sense of good manners. A healthy democracy requires vigorous moral debate to survive.
As Louie Giglio said, Christians should not be hostile, they should not hate, they should not judge, and they should not condemn. But they also must not shy away from real Truth and real Christianity. Just because so many have “itching ears” and “will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” does not mean Christians should be willing to scratch that itch.
Like it or not, this world will make you choose between it and the next.