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There's a New, Intolerant Sheriff in Town

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.

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.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Emcee of Seekonk January 11, 2013 at 04:01 PM
"Keep us the UNITED States of America." ... "I'm praying for him." I hope God listens to your prayers.
yerkillinme January 11, 2013 at 05:16 PM
I'm an atheist that supports Gay Marriage and I say Amen to this article, well done.
deb of see-attleboro January 11, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Tim: I am so appreciative to you for being so bold as to take on these subjects that weigh on the minds of many Christians. How often do Christian churches even tackle the subject of homosexual sex or fornication? If I didn't know better, I would think they all have given up. What I find most disheartening is that Christian leaders cannot agree on what the Bible says regarding God's plan and purpose in this post-sexual revolutionary age. Either that or they are (as you so humbly confessed) just horrible messengers. If this doesn't change fast, we all get yoked to the Westboro Baptist' and risk the Church being labeled one big ugly hate group.
Amy January 11, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Politicians should hold themselves responsible for things they've said and done in the past before they judge others. I have a problem with what Reverend Wright has said in the past but in the end, we're all held accountable for our own actions.
Tisiphone January 12, 2013 at 11:04 PM
I think it is sad that respect for marriage has declined so far as it has. In large numbers, people no longer marry. The "meaning" of marriage has been lost. So, if gays want to marry, who cares? It is almost a defunct institution.
Dan Johnson February 11, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Rev. William Sinkford, former President, Unitarian Universalist Church: "The Unitarian Universalist Association has a long-standing and deeply held religious commitment to support full equality for gay people. We dedicate ourselves to work for justice, grounded in faith, which calls us to support everyone's full humanity, everyone's ability to love, and everyone's value in the world.
Dan Johnson February 11, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Many gay couples are Christians, and many have been getting married in their churches, even long before those marriages were legally recognized. But we don't require religious belief to get married. Non believers get married every day by clerks, judges, and Elvis impersonators in Vegas. There is no religious requirement for a wedding. It is allowed, not required. There are 8 types of marriage in the bible. But we base our laws on the constitution, not the bible. Your chosen interpretations about what the bible says or doesn't say, fail to provide any legitimate governmental interest sufficient for denial of equal treatment under the law as promised in the founding documents and required by the 5th and 14th amendments.
Dan Johnson February 11, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Intolerance is clearly displayed by refusing to treat others as you would yourself under the law. "If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principal of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded." Iowa Supreme Court "Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional." (Perry, in federal court) The Ca. Supreme Court: "While retention of the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples is not needed to preserve the rights and benefits of opposite-sex couples, the exclusion of same sex couples from the designation of marriage works a real and appreciable harm upon same-sex couples and their children." (In re marriage cases, p.117)
Dan Johnson February 18, 2013 at 01:02 AM
Gay couples are seeking equally under the laws in effect, in the remaining states that do not yet recognize their marriages, and by the federal government. Neither tradition nor gender provides a legitimate governmental interest sufficient for denial of this fundamental right. As Justice Kennedy wrote about the founding fathers: "They knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress." Laws that treat gay people less than equal to straight people are laws that only serve to oppress. It is time to overcome the prejudices we were taught as children and stop harming our neighbors and family members by passing laws that dehumanize and harm gay citizens through denial of legal equality.
Dan Johnson February 18, 2013 at 01:27 AM
"Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others, sharing other people's suffering. On these lines every religion had more or less the same viewpoint and the same goal." The Dalai Lama Yet treating others with respect and equality does not require any religious belief. Non-theistic ethical and philosophic systems, like Humanism and Ethical Culture, believe in equality, fairness, and respect for others. While all belief systems have differences, all major religions, ethical systems, and philosophies agree that each person should treat others as they would themselves. Almost all of these groups have passages in their holy texts, or writings of their leaders, which promote this Ethic of Reciprocity. The most commonly known version in North America is the Golden Rule of Christianity. It is often expressed as "Do onto others as you would wish them do onto you." Or in "natural law": "no man require to reserve to himself any right, which he is not content should be reserved to every one of the rest". Not only is refusing to treat others as you would yourself a violation of every major ethical belief system, it is a violation of the promise of equality in the founding documents and required by the 5th and 14th amendments to the constitution. Legal discrimination stigmatizes, dehumanizes, and causes needless harm in many ways, while treating others equally under the law harms no one.
deb of see-attleboro February 18, 2013 at 07:27 PM
In the interest of putting this secular marriage nonsense behind us, I propose a Uniform Coupling Code to be developed and regulated at the federal level. The Feds can handle the so-called civil right and the churches/religious organizations can handle the spiritual rite. Are you cool with that, Dan?
Dan Johnson February 18, 2013 at 08:05 PM
No need to create anything new. Allowing same sex couples to participate under the rules currently in effect does not alter the "what" of marriage. Only the "who" is expanded to include same gender couples. Churches already can create their own rules for marriage and refuse to perform any ceremony for any reason they choose, just as they do today. The problem arises when they try to impose their own rules and restrictions on everyone else, using the force of law. The State vs. Federal government issue is a different issue. Currently, the States get to determine what marriage is, and the Feds are supposed to honor that. DOMA is the first law that refuses to honor the decisions about marriage from the states. This violates 5th amendment requirement of equal treatment. The other problem arises when the states refuse to treat all citizens equally under the laws in effect without being able to demonstrate a compelling and legitimate governmental interest for denial of equal treatment. This violates the equal protections clause of the 14th amendment. So the simple solution, is to treat same sex couples and opposite sex couples equally under the laws currently in effect. In that way, the marriages of straight people remain the same.
deb of see-attleboro February 18, 2013 at 08:14 PM
I prefer my solution. So it goes.........

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