If there is any doubt the new power-house movement in our country is the gay movement, look no further than Pastor Louis Giglio and the presidential inauguration next week.
For those who haven't heard, Pastor Louis Giglio received an offer Wednesday to do the benediction at the inauguration, but backed down from the prestigious offer the next day. The reason? He preached from the Bible 15 years ago.
At some point, this has to concern even those who may disagree with the Bible's passages regarding homosexual sex. Pastor Giglio did the gracious thing. Instead of trying to make a statement by keeping the appointment, he felt it profitable to step aside, saying his presence “will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.”
In simple terms, a group of people defined by their attraction to the same sex pretty much seems to be running the American conversation right now.
Now, there are many who are going to cry, "The Bible condones slavery, so why should we listen to it about homosexuality?" The reason is simple. You cannot compare 1860 slavery with Ancient world slavery. In the ancient world, God allowed slavery as a welfare system and insisted on a seven-year limit for such service. Every 50 years, all debts were canceled and land restored. God's intention for justice and harmony! In the New Testament, Paul rightly declares, "there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28). I ask you to study the progression of God's revelation in the Bible before you make the typical broad-brush dismissal found so prevalently in the media today.
While this news concerns me, it does not worry me. Christians should be ready for this. Our Lord prepared us to be disregard and marginalized. The concern I have is that a movement founded on tolerance actually intended such discourse to be a one-way street. See it their way or we will reject you outright.
Never mind that last week, Pastor Giglio hosted a next-gen youth conference that raised over $3 million to end human trafficking. Never mind that he preaches all about the love of God for sinners displayed in Christ's suffering and death and then challenges the recipients to selflessly live for others. Never mind that he has been one of the strongest voices for justice in the Evangelical movement. Let's tie him up and drag him through the mud for daring to teach what he believes freely of his own will.
This is bad for everyone.
I am a pastor who will confess Christians have done a horrible job loving gays while not approving of homosexual sex. But it seems you have only two choices, you either accept, approve and fully affirm—or you are Westboro Baptist Church. The conversation has been laid out. There can be no middle ground.
I believe there is more than middle ground. Acceptance can be separate and distinct from approval. Many gay people attend my church and know we teach the Bible's stand on homosexual relations. Yet I love having them there, and want them to continue finding God's power to resist sin just like the rest of us.
America has been thoroughly indoctrinated by a movement that seems to forget it's own mantra. Tolerance must be redefined before we lose ourselves in outright bigotry!
If our president is looking for an opportunity to model his Christian faith for us, this is it. Reach across the aisle, and bring opposing views together. Keep us the UNITED States of America.
I hope he will. I'm praying for him.
Tim Hatch blogs about Christian faith and values at www.timhatchagain.com every week.