ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP) -- Georgia pastor Louie Giglio was pressured to step down from offering the benediction at President Obama's upcoming inauguration due to what has been deemed by some as unacceptable remarks made in a sermon almost 20 years ago.
Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta and founder of Passion Conferences geared toward college students, delivered a sermon at a conference in the mid-90s titled "The Christian's Response to Homosexuality."
Think Progress, a blog that identifies itself as liberal and associated with the Center for American Progress Action Fund, reported Jan. 9 on Giglio's sermon and described the address as "vehemently anti-gay" and full of "rabidly anti-LGBT views."
In the eyes of homosexual activist groups and apparently the White House, Giglio's transgressions were that he dared not only to articulate the biblical truth that homosexuality is categorized as sin, but he also called attention to the true nature of the activists' goals.
In reality, the only transgression Giglio could be charged with is being right. He not only was theologically correct, but he also was spot-on concerning the sociological goals of the homosexual movement.
I listened to Giglio's sermon, and what I heard was a very even-handed treatment of a controversial subject in which he stressed compassion for those who were struggling with homosexuality.
At the outset of the sermon, which was part of a series of messages keeping with the theme "In Search of a Standard," Giglio stressed that the issue of homosexuality was complex and this particular message was designed to "discover what God has to say about this issue and to challenge the church to respond to this issue with truth and grace."
Giglio bent over backwards to season his comments with grace and compassion. At one point he said that Christians should avoid railing against the homosexual movement with intolerance and insensitivity.
Rather than single out homosexuality as some special sin, Giglio really sought to include the behavior along with many others that the Bible also classifies as sinful. He indicated that sin is opting for a behavior that is less than God's best. All people do that, he said, and are in need of God's grace.
Giglio even said God's view of homosexuality is different from his view of homosexual people. "God is opposed to all kinds of sin," he said. "Every homosexual is a person who matters greatly to God and that God loves intensely."
At one point Giglio read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 which says: "Don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God's kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God's kingdom. And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
Giglio stressed the phrase "and some of you used to be like this." He pointed out that the only hope for an unrepentant sinner -- any sinner, including a person who is practicing the sin of homosexuality -- is turning to Jesus Christ.
Theologically, Giglio was on target and did an excellent job of articulating the truth.
One part of Giglio's sermon that seemed especially irritating to homosexual activists was when he described the modern homosexual movement and its sociological goals. Giglio said: Continued...