If You Had Any Doubt, Evangelicals Are Now an Unwelcome Minority in America!

by Dave Miller on January 10, 2013 · 155 comments

Louie Giglio is hardly a fundamentalist firebrand. But in the brave new world of Obama’s progressive secularism, little distinction is made between Giglio and Fred Phelps. Anyone (and according to Lifeway research, that is 44% of Americans) who believes homosexuality is a sin is unwelcome in the public square. One who holds to the biblical truth about this subject will not be eligible for appointed office or elected to significant places of service.

I mentioned this in a post last week, that we are going to have to get used to being a minority, and increasingly, I believe, an excluded and perhaps eventually persecuted (Bullied? Oppressed?) minority.

It should not surprise us. I don’t have time to write extensively on this, but you can look at our blog roll and see articles by better men than I that deal with this.

Here are links to some good articles you can read about Louie Giglio’s exclusion from Obama’s inauguration because of comments he made 15 years ago about homosexuality.

Article in BP by Dr. Mohler on the issue.

Others will follow – check the blogroll.

 

1 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I wish I had seen this story before I hit the publish button on my previous ecclesiology post. I’m guessing our readers might want to talk about this.

I am deeply grieved at the direction that President Obama is leading America. However, he is the president and I will not allow personal insults against him.

Criticize his policies, his politics, and the direction he is taking the country. But personal attacks on the man will be deleted.

2 Jake Barker January 10, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Dave,
Does that mean that were I to call him the “antichrist” you would delete my post and if I were to say that the direction he is leading this country is one that would be approved by the “antichrist” you would let my post stand?

3 Doug Hibbard January 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm

That actually sounds like an appropriate distinction.

4 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 6:19 pm

What Doug said.

5 cb scott January 11, 2013 at 9:49 pm

He is not “The Antichrist.” There is a dead give away that he is not. Obviously, the Antichrist will be highly intelligent.

However, he is one of many antichrist appearing in the “last hour” (1John 2:18).

6 Greg Harvey January 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm

I’m not sure I’d appeal to victimization by claiming the modifier “persecuted”. Now Elijah, Isaiah and Jeremiah on the other hand…

7 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Yeah, I actually looked for a different word. Perhaps excluded would be better. Obviously, there is a range of “persecution”.

I do not think that there will be overt persecution anytime soon, but perhaps active discrimination and exclusion. This was an “off the top of my head” post and perhaps not worded as well as it could have been.

8 dr. james willingham January 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm

If your grieved now, you “ain’t seen nuttin yet.”

9 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Yes, I believe you are right.

10 Mark January 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Stand strong and remember.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12 ESV)

11 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 2:57 pm

I’d call it a great comment, but since its mostly a scripture reference, I will just say “amen.”

12 Mark Mitchell January 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Just because the President supports homosexuality does not mean a majority in America does.

13 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Check the Stetzer article.

In recent research 44% believe homosexuality is a sin, 43% do not, and the rest are not sure.

14 Frank L. January 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Dave,

Another issue to toss in the pot is that even those that believe homosexuality is a sin are not likely to be very vocal about it. In other words, many of that 44% will not count in the cultural battle.

To say Biblical truth is the minority opinion in America is probably a gross understatement.

Times they are a changin’.

15 Mark Mitchell January 10, 2013 at 6:58 pm

I am not buying it. Polls and research are not infallible. The only thing we can know is that 43% of the people polled do not think it is a sin. And based on the figures from Stezter that does not put us in the minority.

16 Frank L. January 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Mark, I’m not going to try to change your mind. But, if we are any kind of “majority,” then we certainly are losing ground to the minority opinion.

That is only possible if the majority are silenced by apathy which in my way of evaluating the issue, is the same as siding with the minority.

Either way, I don’t see how you can “not buy into” what seems to be clear in my experience.

17 Mark Mitchell January 10, 2013 at 8:08 pm

The conservative majority has always been “sluggish” to act or speak out. Nothing new there.

18 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I do not believe there is a conservative majority anymore – not on social issues anyway. The “do what makes you happy” has replaced the “do what is right” ethic.

America now has an immoral majority.

19 Frank L. January 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Mark, just one question and then I’ll back out. I think I recognize what you are saying, but I’m not sure I agree wholeheartedly.

20 Frank L. January 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Mark, I forgot to ask my question:

If the “majority” is sluggish and non-engaged in the political process, in what sense do you consider them the “majority?”

Are you saying that we (the church) might somehow awake this sleeping giant and usher in a new Christian age?

Do you agree or disagree that presently America is a “post-Christian” nation?

I’m having a hard time reconciling what I see with my eyes and hear with my ears and what you are saying.

21 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm

When I say what I said, I hear people say, “Well, the Christians have withdrawn from the culture war and therefore we lost.”

I don’t buy it.

Christians (I’m talking about biblical Christianity here, not just cultural or nominal) pretty politically active and we aren’t getting it done.

We can still speak, vote and act, but we are kidding ourselves (in my humble but correct opinion) if we think we are any form of majority in America.

22 Rick Patrick January 11, 2013 at 8:52 am

Dave,

You said you do not buy this: “Well, the Christians have withdrawn from the culture war and therefore we lost.”

I would say that: (1) yes, Christians have withdrawn from the culture war–as evidenced by Giglio saying he had not made homosexuality part of his “range of issues” for fifteen years, and (2) regardless of whether or not our withdrawal is the CAUSE for us losing in the culture war, we must continue to fight on and stand up for what we believe in. We may continue to lose, but we must never stop fighting, even in a losing cause culturally.

Our silence is interpreted by the culture as compromise and acquiescence.

23 Frank L. January 10, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Dave,

I think that what we have seen (and I guess this is what you are saying also) is that in the culture war the “nominal Christians” have dropped out.

Battle always sifts the sprinters from the marathoners. I would call this new culture war, “Moral Minority,” and I’m believing we can be just as effective as the “Moral Majority” was — though we may have to be a little more savvy in how we go about things.

24 Robert I masters January 11, 2013 at 12:12 am

Dave,
1. Iowa is much different then most of the rest of the nation on Politics in the church. Thats a good thing in my opinion.
2.you keep using Christians as individuals and I am speaking of the Church as one unit.
3. When I use term Christians I am speaking broadly all those who would hold to a general Trinitiarian christianity or conservative views This is how I come up with majority.

25 Robert I masters January 11, 2013 at 5:45 am

Amen,
Ed Stetzer told me that John Calvin was not missional…facts tell a different story.He is frequently wrong.

26 Christiane January 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm

conservative evangelical Christians may find this statistic surprising:

” “The big finding here is that American Catholics are at least 5 points more supportive than the general population across a range of gay and lesbian issues,” said Robert Jones, chief executive of the Public Religion Research Institute, which conducted telephone surveys of 3,000 Americans. 70% of American Catholics say that messages from America’s places of worship contribute to higher rates of suicide among gay & lesbian youth.”

I don’t know about the reliability or validity of the research done by the Public Religion Research Institute concerning Catholics, but the Institute does have a fellowship connection to Georgetown University in DC, a major Catholic university in our country, which does lend some credence to the findings.

27 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Truth is not established by majority opinion and sin is not abrogated by it either.

Right is right no matter how large a percentage says it is wrong, and wrog is wrong no matter how large of a percentage says it is right.

The fact that biblical truth is a minority opinion in America does nothing to change the fact that the truth is still established in God’s Word. Increasingly, those who take the Bible seriously are going to have to be “contra mundum” in this culture.

But God’s Word is not up for election by popular vote, Christiane.

28 Nate January 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm

The unfortunate truth is that there is a sizeable number of evangelical christians that voted for the President who wouldn’t vote for Romney because he is a Mormon. They sadly believed the President when he claimed to be “christian,” yet by the end of his first term it was clear that there was nothing evangelical about his claim.

29 John K January 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm

One of the interesting points to me on this issue is it won’t be hard to find a Pastor who will be willing to affirm his support of homosexuality and preside over the benediction at the presidential inauguration.

30 Christiane January 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm

But Giglio withdrew voluntarily, I thought. Is there something I don’t know about here? If there is, then I could understand the whole uproar in a more appropriate (proper) context.

I reference Giglio’s withdrawal statement, this:

“I am honored to be invited by the President to give the benediction at the upcoming inaugural on January 21. Though the President and I do not agree on every issue, we have fashioned a friendship around common goals and ideals, most notably, ending slavery in all its forms.

Due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15-20 years ago, it is likely that my participation, and the prayer I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration. Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.

Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing, thus I respectfully withdraw my acceptance of the President’s invitation. I will continue to pray regularly for the President, and urge the nation to do so. I will most certainly pray for him on Inauguration Day.

Our nation is deeply divided and hurting, and more than ever need God’s grace and mercy in our time of need.”

31 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 5:04 pm

It would be incredibly naive to believe that he withdrew completely voluntarily. He withdrew the way that football coaches and pastors “resign” and the way that Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration as Secretary of State.

While Louie was gracious in his statement, I think it is pretty rightly assumed that pressure was applied to him to do so.

32 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm

This article makes it clear that this was not really voluntary.

http://www.religionnews.com/2013/01/10/pastor-pulls-out-of-inauguration-over-anti-gay-sermon/

33 Bruce H. January 10, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Dave,

What would you say in a prayer that the Democratic Party would accept? It would be so neutral that it had no meaning. It certainly wouldn’t be heard by the living God.

34 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I will never be asked by the Democrats to pray at anything, so It’smoot.

35 Bruce H. January 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm

It would almost be offensive if they did ask.

36 John K January 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Christiane,
On his church’s website Giglio says that “after conversations between our team and the White House I am no longer serving in that role.”

37 Jake Barker January 10, 2013 at 5:23 pm

And I reference the following which would indicate that a committee had requested the withdrawal:

The Presidential Inaugural Committee issued a statement in response to Giglio’s withdrawal.
“We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural,” Addie Whisenant, a spokesperson for the committee, said. “As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”

38 Christiane January 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm

thank you, everyone, for responding . . . it does help me to frame Giglio’s statement into the proper context . . .

I think Giglio’s subsequent remarks say it all, and I was not aware of those remarks until now

39 Truth Unites... and Divides January 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm

“As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.

Irony? Or hypocrisy?

How about the inclusion and acceptance of Americans who affirm Scripture’s transcendent teaching that same-sex behavior is sin?

40 Jake Barker January 10, 2013 at 5:44 pm

TUAD,
We don’t count anymore…..the powers that be (on earth anyway) could care less about us except as objects to tax. You may expect that to change in a couple of years when “re-education camps” are established.

41 Truth Unites... and Divides January 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm

“If You Had Any Doubt, Evangelicals Are Now an Unwelcome Minority in America!”

Evangelicals must be at fault or have done something terribly wrong to be unwelcome in America.

Therefore, Evangelicals need to listen to what they should do so that they can be welcomed, and by being welcomed, they then gain a receptive listening audience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

42 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Are you criticizing what I said, assuming that I believe what is said in your second and third paragraphs?

Are you saying that there are people who believe those things?

Do you believe those things?

Your comment, in addition to the formatting, is confusing.

43 Truth Unites... and Divides January 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Do you see a criticism of what you said?

Again, sorry for the boldface formatting. I intended to only boldface the title of your article.

44 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm

As I said, your comment was confusing. I wasn’t sure if it was sarcastic, or if you were insinuating that I believed those things or someone else did.

Since tone of voice cannot be carried through comments, it can be confusing.

45 Greg Buchanan January 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm

remember what Paul would have said: … to those who use emoticons…

46 Nate January 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm

I’m assuming your post is tongue-in-cheek…

If not, the appropriate scripture would be, “If they persecuted me (Jesus) they will persecute you (believer in Jesus)”

47 Truth Unites... and Divides January 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Good assumption, Nate.

48 Truth Unites... and Divides January 10, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Oops. Sorry for the boldface formatting in the comment above. It was inadvertent.

49 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I made an edit.

50 Bennett Willis January 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm
51 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm

The link works and the article is informative.

52 Bruce H. January 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I don’t have a sense of loss here. The agenda of America’s Democratic Party would cause any Christian to politely say, “No, thank you.” to any invitation of political mingling. This Party has crossed the moral line and will never return.

I understand the word “minority”, however, our kingdom is in the majority. May we live the way Christ would have us live each day until He returns.

53 Truth Unites... and Divides January 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm

“The agenda of America’s Democratic Party would cause any Christian to politely say, “No, thank you.” to any invitation of political mingling.”

I think you’d be surprised at how many professing Christians vote Democrat.

54 Bruce H. January 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm

I know. I wouldn’t make it a point of contention but I do not have to fellowship with them like I do with others who are like-minded. Keep in mind, there are more professors on both sides than we can number.

55 Truth Unites... and Divides January 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm

“I wouldn’t make it a point of contention but I do not have to fellowship with them like I do with others who are like-minded.”

Just curious. In the past when you did, if you ever did, engage professing Christians who vote liberal democrat on the topic of politics and voting, what did you say and how did it go?

56 Bruce H. January 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm

When they revealed to me that they were Democrat I would just have an expression of dismay. I would smile and continue with another subject. I have heard some indicate that they didn’t agree with abortion or same sex marriage but were for “the working man”. The spirit of anti-Christ is growing and this party has removed its mask. So called Christians today accept more of the worlds way of doing things than the Kingdom of God. My allegiance is 100% for another kingdom. BTW, Republicans are not much better.

57 Truth Unites... and Divides January 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm

“When they revealed to me that they were Democrat I would just have an expression of dismay. I would smile and continue with another subject.”

Quite understandable. I have on occasion done the same.

“BTW, Republicans are not much better.”

You got that right. But they’re in the way of the liberal democrats on abortion and same-sex marriage among other things.

58 Bennett Willis January 11, 2013 at 12:55 am

I always flinch when someone feels it is necessary to add any adjectives before the word Christian. When you say “professing Christians” I always feel that you (and anyone else) are indicating that it is lip service and not real.

Probably just a personal problem.

59 Bennett Willis January 11, 2013 at 12:57 am

But now that I read the whole series of comments…

60 Adam G. in NC January 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Folks, this may be exactly what the Church in American needs. Look at what happened in China when persecutions increased a few years ago…the underground church just exploded.

Keep hope alive my bruthas

61 Randall Cofield January 10, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Indeed.

Even so, come, persecution…

62 Randall Cofield January 10, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Given the wicked agenda of this administration, Giglio should have politely refused the invitation in the first place.

How on earth could he have prayed at the inauguration without including rebuke and a call to repentance?

63 Truth Unites... and Divides January 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm

“How on earth could he have prayed at the inauguration without including rebuke and a call to repentance?”

I would like to charitably think that Pastor Giglio would have done that. (But I doubt he would have have.)

Maybe the author of “Blue Like Jazz” or Rob Bell can pray at the inauguration.

64 Byron Polts January 10, 2013 at 5:03 pm

I never had any doubts.

65 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Figured you’d weigh in Potts. Stay away from Lucy, by the way.

66 Robert I masters January 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I believe the reason this is happening because of the Churches failing to obey the Cultural Mandate as found first in Genesis 1:28.Notice I did not say individual Christians mandate to fulfill the cultural mandate.Call it Dominionism, no bother to me.
I mean the NRA can enlist 100.000 new members in 18 days when gun rights are attacked.Why cant the collective voice of all pastors with the support of congregations rise up in this We the People nation.
We are still the majority in America….Onward Christian Soldiers!
Down with sin up with obedience to Christ command.

67 John K January 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Robert,
Maybe another way to look at is:
John 15:19
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

68 Doug Hibbard January 10, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Robert, the NRA can enlist 100000 in 18 days, but does that change anything?

Not likely. The end-result will be the same, just those 100,000 new NRA members will be short their membership fee as they try to stockpile against the impending collapse.

Likewise, I don’t see national change no matter what we do. Should we be mobilizing 100,000 Christians to pray, witness, and serve Jesus like never before? Preferably 10 times that number—we’d almost have the whole SBC that way. But will it change the direction of the US?

I doubt it.

If you want the OT comparison, we’re somewhere between Hezekiah and Josiah, at best—one good leader may slow down the collapse, but otherwise, this ship is headed for the rocks. Preach the Gospel, plant a garden, and learn to capture/purify rainwater.

(The preceding paragraph brought to you by the “It’s not paranoia if it turns out to be true” foundation.)

69 Robert I masters January 10, 2013 at 11:22 pm

It changes everything!
Just tonight the legislature announced a deal in Tennesseee to allow Guns in trunks for conceal carry holders. This allows guns in company parking lots . they are calling it the dont ask dont tell policy. Also this new law will create a new class of citizen, arms holders, so it will be illegal to discriminate against arms holders. This includes schools too. Already we see how Nashville is the “IT” city in the U.S named as the best city in America by the NYT. Hottest schools , hottest music, growing churches , people safe , people getting saved.
Last year when the city of Nashville came up with a gay rights ordinance
Tom Rainer, Glen Casada, other evangelicals met in closed door meeting . then Glen Casada put forth legislation that prevented Nashvilles dont do business with us ordinance unless you include sexual orietation in your non discrimnation policy. Now it prevents any city in Tenn from overding state law.
Thats how we do it in the Southern Baptist Geneva

Robert, “John Calvin” Masters

70 Robert I masters January 10, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Doug Hibbard,
1. Did you know Hibbard is a town in Nebraska

2. You must be a Pessimistic Pre-Millennial Preacher

3.what do you did do with The Cultural Mandate.Scripture clearly teaches that starting in Gen 1:28. How are you going to have dominion if you do not obey . I say just obey leave the result to God. He has always shown Himself faithful.

Its both political and Gospel.

71 julie January 10, 2013 at 5:34 pm

maybe this was intentional from the very beginning? Rules for Radicals: get the two sides fighting each other. Better yet, get folks who generally agree with other to fight. I am quite sure they already knew this about Mr. Giglio before they issued their “invitation”. They want to stir us up and divide us america. United we stand, divided we fall.

72 Robert I masters January 10, 2013 at 5:37 pm

John,
That verse in no way takes away from Gods command to have dominion.
We are not called to get “the world” to love us. We are commanded to love all men including homosexuals.
So I think what we should both: have dominion and love all men.
Unfortunately the Church is not doing the first!

73 Truth Unites... and Divides January 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Hypothetical.

A young professing Christian who votes liberal democrat likes both Pastor Giglio and President Obama, and who also loves attending Giglio’s annual Passion conferences.

The young professing Christian is unhappy that Pastor Giglio has not “evolved” his stance on same-sex behavior and is unhappy that Giglio has not repudiated his past remarks in order to pray at Obama’s inauguration. The young professing Christian thinks that this is an unnecessary conflict that could have been resolved if Giglio renounced his previous sermon teaching. The young professing Christian then turns towards more liberal professing Christian figures like McLaren and Rachel Held Evans.

What would you say to this hypothetical young professing Christian?

74 Christiane January 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm

I would tell the young Christian this:
that Giglio’s conscience on any matter of faith is sacrosanct. Giglio may not go against his own conscience and remain at peace with God.

If someone is a Christian at all, they are VERY aware that the conscience is a private place where God and man meet on holy ground, and no other may intrude in that place.

75 Truth Unites... and Divides January 11, 2013 at 2:29 am

Thanks for the reply.

Sometimes the sacrosanct conscience argument cuts both ways. If you know what I mean.

76 Christiane January 11, 2013 at 2:36 am

you’re welcome for the reply . . .

if you are referring to a ‘clash of consciences’ over an issue, I most certainly am aware of this . . . I think it happens most often when people are locked into emphasizing differences, rather than looking for areas where there exists genuine desire and ability to work together for good

77 Joe Blackmon January 11, 2013 at 7:39 am

I would say to this hypothetical individual that God is perfectly holy and must punish sin but is also compassionate and loving. Therefore, He sent His Son Jesus to die ont he cross where He punished Christ for our sin. Now, if this person will repent of their sins and trust God to forgive them on account of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, God will forgive them on account of their repentance and faith.

In other words, I would assume they are in need of the gospel and preach that gospel to them.

78 Truth Unites... and Divides January 11, 2013 at 1:18 pm

“In other words, I would assume they are in need of the gospel and preach that gospel to them.”

Sounds good to me.

Just out of genuine curiosity, have you ever shared the gospel with someone whom you privately deemed a false convert, and then that false convert became displeased with you for sharing the gospel with them?

79 Robert I masters January 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm

TUAD,
Who are your directing that question too? Anybody

80 Truth Unites... and Divides January 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Yes. Anybody.

81 Joe Blackmon January 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Here’s the deal–we should have known this was coming. It doesn’t scare me and it doesn’t bother me. Non-Christians have rejected the gospel and Christians for a long time.

What sickens me is the people who name the name of Christ who are positively giddy at this turning of the tide who bemoan the last 30 years as being a hinderance to the gospel and who dare to suggest that it’s ever ok to vote democrat. Those are the wolves among the sheep to watch out for. People like Obama–I know where they stand and where I stand with them. People who are in our churches, on blogs, and out sharing a pretend gospel that will never save are the ones to worry about.

82 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I once voted for a democrat. Am I saved?

Joe, when you make blanket comments like that, it just ruins the whole comment.

83 Joe Blackmon January 11, 2013 at 10:21 am

Dave

I know, voting democrat is not salvific. I understand that. I really do. If someone is going to vote democrat, could they just not talk about it, like ever? Just keep it to themselves, like something they should be embarrassed about? Would that sound better? :-)

84 Dave Miller January 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Liberal commie.

85 Joe Blackmon January 11, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Dork. Yankees fan.

86 Truth Unites... and Divides January 10, 2013 at 9:12 pm

“What sickens me is the people who name the name of Christ … and who dare to suggest that it’s ever ok to vote democrat. Those are the wolves among the sheep to watch out for.”

There are probably a lot of pastor-wolves out there who sicken you. Many pastors, if they say anything at all, will say to just go out and vote.

87 Doug Hibbard January 10, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Other pastors will say things that will not go out onto the internet because we do not trust that Big Brother is not watching us.

88 Dave Miller January 10, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Dr. Mohler has an article on the topic in Baptist Press.

http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=39504

89 Truth unites... And divides January 10, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Mohler: If you are a Christian, get ready for the question you will now undoubtedly face: “Do you now or have you ever believed that homosexuality is a sin?”

Ready. Answer: Yes, and I still do.

90 Truth unites... And divides January 10, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Clarification: Same-sex behavior is a sin.

91 Frank L. January 11, 2013 at 12:09 am

Where does the Bible teach that sin only becomes sin when it becomes an action.

The Sermon on the Mount seems to make a different case.

92 Truth Unites... and Divides January 11, 2013 at 12:25 am

I understand where you’re coming from.

I don’t disagree. Pax.

93 John Fariss January 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Frank L.,

I would certainly agree that we are responsible for our wilfull thoughts and decisions, and that to be sin, all “it” has to do is miss the mark of fellowship with God. But I cannot recall anywhere that the Bible says it is a sin to be tempted, but rather to surrender to that temptation. If temptation itself is a sin, Jesus was a sinner, as He was tempted in the Wilderness. Is it not our response to temptation that defines whether or not something is sinful?

John

94 Ken Hamrick January 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm

That seems to be a major problem with how the Church addresses homosexuality. There is a real lack of Biblical clarity. The world uses the term homosexuality to cover both the attraction and the behavior. Biblically, one is not an adulterer by merely being attracted. We should not give the impression to homosexuals that they are under God’s wrath for having an attraction that they may feel is not under their control. Rather, we should point out that single heterosexuals are expected by God to remain chaste even with an attraction to the opposite sex.

95 John Fariss January 11, 2013 at 11:18 am

“Same-sex behavior”? Not sure exactly what you mean here. Sexual activity? Certainly a sin. Hugging, a kiss on the cheek, a pat on the back, one big, burley football player giving another a slap on the butt? That could be considered “same-sex behavior” and stil be a long, LONG way from homosexual activity.

John

96 Truth Unites... and Divides January 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm

John Fariss,

If someone is a chaste person who occasionally struggles with same-sex temptations and desires, but doesn’t act upon them, and lives a life within biblical sexual ethics, is that person engaging in same-sex sin?

97 John Fariss January 11, 2013 at 4:36 pm

TUAD,

Seems to me you have answered your own question. Struggling internally with desires and temptations is, by definition, not the same as “engaging in” behavior, be it same-sex, opposite-sex, or in any other realm. But I am not really sure what you are getting at, hence my initial question.

John

98 Truth Unites... and Divides January 11, 2013 at 5:29 pm

“Struggling internally with desires and temptations is, by definition, not the same as “engaging in” behavior, be it same-sex, opposite-sex, or in any other realm.”

Some folks regard your statement above as a kind of “homosexuality” and that this type of chaste, celibate “homosexuality” is not a sin. Which I can understand.

Hence, the careful distinction between chaste, celibate “homosexuality” and same-sex behavioral sin such as male-male genital stimulation.

99 Truth Unites... and Divides January 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm

John Fariss: “[Male-Male or Female-Female] Sexual activity? Certainly a sin.”

That’s what I meant by same-sex behavior being a sin.

P.S. I’ll bow out now from the excellent conversation that you and Frank L. are having.

100 Frank L. January 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm

John,

It is not a sin to “resist” temptation but it is a sin to “entertain it.” Jesus was clear that sin does not require any “action” or “behavior.” I start there.

James gives us the definition of when a “temptation” becomes a sin and it does require any “action” or “behavior.” (See James 1).

I think it is too easy to say, “homosexual attraction” is not a sin. I think it could be, or it may not be depending upon the application of the words of Jesus and James.

101 John Fariss January 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm

I think we are talking past each other.

John

102 Dave Miller January 11, 2013 at 8:39 pm

That happens so seldom on blogs…

103 John Fariss January 11, 2013 at 9:46 pm

I know, Dave. You want to call Guiness, or want me to?

John

104 Ken Hamrick January 11, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Frank,

Where did Jesus or James indicate that sin required no action or behavior? Choosing to lust after a woman, for example, is an action of the heart. But merely being attracted by that woman, and thus tempted to lust, is neither an action nor a sin.

105 Bennett Willis January 11, 2013 at 12:46 am

I read a very serious (lots of footnotes) article in Science magazine today. It pointed out the value of being persecuted to any organization that had rituals and traditions–and ideals.

It may be that a bit of persecution is just what we need.

Personally, I think that Pastor Giglio did the right thing to get out early. He terminated any beneficial publicity that his opponents would have received and as he said, “removed a distraction.” He also terminated the “persecution” that would have helped them.

106 Christiane January 11, 2013 at 2:11 am

I think ‘the distraction’ he mentioned might have more to do with his current cause for which he was likely chosen to speak: his work to end slave trafficking.

He readily admits this was one area which brought many people together to work for good.

I think he didn’t want for that to end, and I can understand that kind of concern. If I’m right, Giglio did something well . . . he tried to keep the focus off of himself and on efforts to help others. That, in itself, is a very Christian act of humility.

Once again, I take him at his word.

107 Greg Harvey January 11, 2013 at 4:33 am

Bennett, Bennett, Bennett:

Are you sure you want to leave your rather subtle distinction hanging like red meat in front of a partisan crowd?

The fact that persecution can be politically useful is an entirely different category than Jesus’s promise that we will be hated by the world because he is. God might even redeem the persecution itself both for his glory and our benefit, but he is not going to play to the sympathy of the crowd in doing so. (Which doesn’t mean some in the crowd won’t have their eyes open and come to faith because they see a brother or sister in the faith stand strong in the face of real persecution.)

We all need to reread Fox’s Book of Martyrs to remember what true persecution and faithfulness in the face of persecution looks like. Let’s not trivialize it lest we do harm to the witnesses who have given their lives for the faith:

Revelation 6:9-11 (NIV):

’9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters,[e] were killed just as they had been.’

108 Bennett Willis January 11, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I suppose that if Pastor Giglio had “hung in there” that the persecution he would have endured would have promoted closeness within the group who participate in this blog. At least this is what the article in Science (Vol 336 18 May 2012) supported.

109 AlVz January 11, 2013 at 9:28 am

This whole (R) (D) (I) thing is just so crazy and should not be in the church! Did Jesus die for Pres. Obama? Yes.

The Body of Messiah has lost its way. What are we not about the cross? If we go and tell ALL the world the GOOD NEWS OF A GREAT JOY. Then we will be doing our job.

Where is all this politics in the message of Messiah? Where?

110 Doug Hibbard January 11, 2013 at 11:52 am

Perhaps in the Proverbs where He says that “Sin is a disgrace to any people?”

Perhaps woven throughout Scripture where we are told to make disciples of all nations, which means teaching people to live in accordance with commands like “Be holy, as I am holy.” And when the political authority rests in our hands, as it does per the law of the land here, we ought to use that authority to enable disciple-making rather than hamper it.

We cannot proclaim the Gospel and act like it has no impact on the political realm.

111 Greg Harvey January 11, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Doug: it would be awesome if you developed an article (or series) on this theme and addressed the clear and present problem that the two-party system poses regarding dilution of the Gospel message.

I especially think there is a fascinating distinction worth exploring scripturally between “morality” and the Gospel message and especially how grace enables us to address the problem of sin not through our own holiness but through God’s. Especially the part where it is clear each of us deals with truly problematic, continuing sin.

If continuing sin is a persistent feature of our politics–and it clearly is–then there are clear ramifications. One is that the rejection of a politician because of sin may or may not be supporting “holiness” as much as it is supporting a rather stunting moralism. The other–kind of a corollary of that axiom–is that extremely gifted politicians (I’m thinking Bill Clinton as I write this) could do enormous damage to the political system by using their charisma to downplay enormously damaging sin.

It would also address the relative gray of politics–much of which ends up being picking of winners and losers–with the rather stark vision of clear black of sin and white of God’s holiness.

Because I suspect that’s where AIVz was going with his comment. Just like none of us ought to be comfortable with praying that God give victory to our high school or college football teams (Sabanation adherents possibly excepted), most of us ought to be extremely careful in a coalition-based political arrangement dominated by two major coalition parties of labeling one as “good” and the other as “evil”.

112 Robert I Masters January 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Greg
The Gospel is not the most important message of Scripture.
The Sovereignty of God must be that principle.

Is the Cultural Mandate a Biblical Mandate as found first in Genesis 1:28.

113 Bill Mac January 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm

The Gospel is not the most important message of Scripture.

Are you joking?

114 cb scott January 11, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Robert I Masters,

if you believe the Gospel is not the most important message of the Scripture, how can you support the Gospel Project?

The Good Story of God’s redemptive nature toward sinners is the core of both the OT and NT.

115 Dale Pugh January 11, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Possibly you could explain the concept you champion here, Robert.

116 Robert I Masters January 11, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Bill Mac and CB Scott.
No I am not joking and I did not say that it not important…just not the Most important thing. I do not think that this Kuyperian view of Christianity is anything new.
Unless you swim only in the Pietism ocean.

D.J Kennedy believed in this, as do most Reformed people.
He believed in the Gospel mandate(important)….EE
He believed in the Cultural Mandate(important)–Center for Reclaiming America
All to the Glory of God Alone(MOST Important)—Gods Soveriengty

117 cb scott January 12, 2013 at 1:13 am

Robert I Masters,

Your statement was, “The Gospel is not the most important message of Scripture.”

Your argument of defense does not coincide with your original stated declaration of which I challenged.

1). The most important message of the Bible is the Gospel (The Good Story of Jesus Christ).

2). The foundational doctrine of the Christian faith as found in Scripture is the Trinity.

3). The primary proposition of the Scripture is the Sovereignty of God (Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God . . .”).

118 Robert I Masters January 12, 2013 at 2:57 am

CB Scott,
My message is the same:
The primary or Most important message is the Glory of God.

The lesser; but still important message is the Gospel of Christ.

To use your statement, its the core which by its very definition is something less than total.

How it applies here is that the Christian church must be involved in other spheres of life that are not specifically the Gospel in order to bring God the most Glory.

I am still waiting for the answer about what you believe about the Cultural Mandate of Gen 1:28

119 Robert I Masters January 12, 2013 at 3:44 am

Dale Pugh,
The concept I champion is what people call “Kuyperian” Christianity. I believe it be Biblical.

Abraham Kuyper was a Dutch theologian, prime minister, academician who argued that Faith was for all of life not just ecclesiastical.

For a clear concise explanation see Douglas Wilson at this Google
search:
Conversation: What does it mean to be ‘Kuyperian’?

120 Greg Harvey January 12, 2013 at 9:51 am

Robert: that mandate was pre-fall. It is fulfilled post-fall via the spreading of the invisible Kingdom and our responsibility in that certainly includes both having children–kind of the context of the Great Commission and the Gospel is Gen 1:28–but that is background to the Gospel not the foreground.

But that said: none of my comment presumes any particular epistemological hierarchy other that my assumption of the relative incompatibility of civil government and the Gospel. I’ve thought through that and considered whether it is a uniquely American cultural assumption. I believe it is a biblical perspective–not an American one only–and is reflected in a rejection of rebellion against the government (as disappointment to both the Jews of Jesus’s day and perhaps even some of his disciples) as well as Jesus’s comment of “render to Caesar…”

I do not believe our highest imperative today is multiplying and filling the earth at least as believers. It is the Great Commission and our opportunity to participate in the birth from above of each new believer.

But my question was whether we undermine or dilute the Gospel message by going all in with one side or another in partisan, coalition-based politics. I am concerned that we do.

121 Bill Mac January 12, 2013 at 10:49 am

I would say that Christ is the most important figure in scripture, and He seemed to think the most important message He could deliver was “repent and believe the gospel”.

122 AlVz January 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm

We can not make laws to STOP sin or make people HOLY. We can not.

If more people follow Jesus and the NEW Covenant then we would have a better world. We would have more LOVE. Love that is only found in Messiah. Messiah Yeshua died on a cross that we would love each other. Jesus died that we would be one.

You are to love ADONAI your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. YOU are to love your neighbor as yourself. DEUTERONOMY 6:5

123 Frank L. January 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Great point

124 Frank L. January 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I was referring to Doug’s post not Alvz.

Laws certainly curtail sin. If everyone got saved it still would not stop sin

We will always need laws. Any other view is just misplaced Utopianism.

125 Truth Unites... and Divides January 11, 2013 at 1:26 pm

“Laws certainly curtail sin. If everyone got saved it still would not stop sin.

We will always need laws. Any other view is just misplaced Utopianism.”

Sin according to Secular Liberal: Affirming God’s Word that Same-Sex Behavior is Sin.

Law according to Secular Liberal: Same-Sex behavior is Good.

Law Enforcement according to Secular Liberal: Punishing anyone who affirms God’s Word that Same-Sex Behavior is Sin.

Now read this again:

“Laws certainly curtail sin. If everyone got saved it still would not stop sin.

We will always need laws. Any other view is just misplaced [Liberal] Utopianism.”

126 AlVz January 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Torah did not stop sin…it showed people that they are sinful. NHot until Yeshua comes back we need laws.

What I’m saying is that if our engery is going to policis and need the Gospel and the power of tyhe cross we are not doing our job.

Messiah gave us His blood for life. We are to follow Him. His New Covenant. I don’t hear that in the church today. I hear only VOTE, LAW, and GOVerment is doing XYZ.

I’m bowing out now. My you all follow Messiah and His law…LOVE

127 Robert I Masters January 11, 2013 at 6:10 pm

This is not a Biblical understanding of the totality of Scripture.
Its not incorrect it is incomplete!

BTW-A Biblical understanding of the law is well explained in Lifeways new
Gospel Project……session 5.
http://tinyurl.com/bchmylv

Thank you Ed Stetzer and Trevin Wax for that Project!

128 AlVz January 11, 2013 at 8:35 pm

If you are interested Wayne Monbleau has a complete study of the New Covenant. http://www.lovinggrace.org If you look at mine I will look at your. LOL

ALL of the scripture points to Jesus as Messiah. His New Covenant. Not sure what your talking about? The law is a tutor to bring us to Messiah. Paul tells us that.

May the Lord bless you greatly.

129 AlVz January 11, 2013 at 9:28 pm

How do I see session 5?

130 Robert I Masters January 12, 2013 at 12:47 am

Alvz,
I guess the answer to that is to get the guidebook from Lifeway.

Maybe someone from Lifeway can either link him to that session or at least summarize the whole session in a concise manner.

131 cb scott January 12, 2013 at 1:01 am

AlVz,

If you are not hearing the biblical gospel in the church (the one you attend?) then find another church, and fast.

132 AlVz January 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Well two things…here and at my church I’m seeing/hearing about things other then Jesus. It is heart breaking. If the Body of Messiah took half of the time and put it into going into the world and sharing the Gospel we would have a better world.

Also must christian don’t even know the NEW COVENANT. Why?

133 Dale Pugh January 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm

AlVz–I’d be interested in knowing exactly what your own theological framework might be. You seem to spend a lot of time pointing out what you see is wrong, but I don’t see much in the way of substantive discussion from you. Maybe you need to offer some legitimate biblical insights and arguments for your point of view.
We discuss a lot of issues on this blog, but I doubt you’d find many of us concerned about those issues apart from the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross. People need Jesus. End of story. I’d be willing to wager (if I were a betting man) that 99.9% of us on here would agree that seeing people come into relationship with Jesus is our main objective. Does that mean we can’t discuss anything else?
What do you mean by the term “New Covenant”? I may think you mean one thing, but you may mean something else. You like to use your special words (i.e.–”Messiah”, “New Covenant”, “Torah”, “Yeshua”), I suppose in attempt to be more biblical in your approach to the Christian life. But what do you gain from all of that? In my experience, the use of such words rarely translates into deeper holiness.
And if you’re seeing/hearing about things other than Jesus, get off of this blog and get out of your church. Find a church that does what you’re looking for and get off of this blog and do something about the problem you see. Spend more of your time doing what you’re complaining that you don’t see happening. You’ll be much more fruitful with your Christian life.

134 AlVz January 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Dale Pugh-

I’m a Messianic Jewish believer. Yeshua is Jesus’ hebrew name. The New Covenant is the one spoken about of in the old. Messiah is my way of saying Christ.
Torah is the Law that Yeshua fullfilled.
I am a believer for 35 years.
Yes I will bow out of the BLOG. I will not come back. My point of view is very different then most of you. So I guess I’m just that way. I’m not sure why I said anything.

135 Dale Pugh January 13, 2013 at 12:47 am

Yeah, I know all of that. I figured that was where you’re coming from, but it’s always helpful when someone owns up to their own perspective. I’m not trying to run you off, just challenging you to make some kind of contribution to the discussion.

136 Christiane January 13, 2013 at 11:00 am

Helps to welcome strangers sometimes . . . lest we forget the Words of Our Lord when He came among us

Matthew 25:35
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in . . .

137 Truth unites... And divides January 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

God’s Law is a gift of His Love.

138 Jess Alford January 11, 2013 at 8:39 pm

I don’t think there is a big deal here. If Pastor Giglio has kept his mouth shut since the 1990′s about homosexuality being a sin, yea, no big deal.

I preached approximately 100 sermons this past year, 60 of those sermons contained the phrase “homosexuality is sin”. You don’t have to go back 15 yrs. to find if I made this remark. Go to last Sundays sermon
and you will find I’m guilty.

139 Dave Miller January 11, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Are you saying that the President did the right thing here?

140 cb scott January 11, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Jess Alford,

Please, please, please think before you answer Dave Miller’s question. Surely you do not think the POTUS is right. No, no, no, Tell me it ain’t so, Jess

141 Frank L. January 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm

CB,

Let’s see if I got this right: Jess . . . think . . . BEFORE you answer?

Not willing to take that bet :)

142 cb scott January 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Frank L.,

Yep. ;-)

143 Jess Alford January 11, 2013 at 10:11 pm

I am not saying the President done right, I don’t even know if the President forced him out. If he was forced out then that is wrong
as can be, but not nearly as wrong as a preacher not saying that homosexuality is a sin in the last 15 yrs.

In one of the articles Giglio says he withdrew himself. This is why I have a question about the truth of the matter.

144 Dave Miller January 11, 2013 at 10:23 pm

The articles I read are pretty clear that Giglio was pressured to withdraw.

145 Dave Miller January 11, 2013 at 10:25 pm

And I don’t think anyone said Giglio hasn’t addressed the issue since that sermon 15 years ago. That’s just the one they latched on to.

146 cb scott January 11, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Jess Alford,

It is highly doubtful that Giglio has made only one position statement on the sin of same-sex relationships in the last 15 years. His attackers used one (1) sermon that was 15 years old to make their case. Obviously, one was enough.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee made this statement:

“As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”

Does that appear to you, Jess Alford, that the POTUS and his administration is in your corner? Do you think they would say to you on Sunday morning, “Hey Jess, Ole Buddy, we got your back. You can count on us.”?

147 Jess Alford January 11, 2013 at 11:10 pm

cb,

We have to be careful about assuming anything, Giglio may have not said that homosexuality is sin since he said it 15 or 20 years ago. He could have.

148 Jess Alford January 11, 2013 at 11:14 pm

cb,

The whole thing is sickening.

149 cb scott January 12, 2013 at 1:20 am

Jess Alford,

You are right. “The whole thing is sickening.”

However, it is also a clarion call to all men of God; Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

150 Bill Mac January 12, 2013 at 1:27 am

Jess: It just seems odd that you are willing to extent the benefit of the doubt to Obama in greater measure than to Giglio. From what we know, which man has been more faithful to the message of Christ?

151 Bill Mac January 11, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Jess: Just curious. Have you focused on other sins as frequently in the last year as you have homosexuality?

152 Jess Alford January 11, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Bill Mac,

Yes, adultry, divorce, fornication, drunkards, thieves, liars, pride,
and a whole mess of other sins. Thank you for asking.

I would always say that Jesus is the answer to the sin problem.

153 Christiane January 12, 2013 at 3:02 am

I don’t think evangelicals are unwelcomed in this country . . . look at the popularity of the film The Blind Side which was genuinely well-received and much-loved across the board in our culture.

I think people are confused . . . sometimes, you may not realize this, but evangelical people send out mixed messages and folks don’t understand what is going on . . . which leads to unfortunate speculation about what evangelical people are really all about.

Take that film, The Blind Side, which so very positively presents an evangelical Christian family. It was praised, and sold in Lifeway stores.
And then it was criticized by one pastor. Lifeway, fearing an uproar at the coming SBC Convention, removed The Blind Side from its shelves in order to ‘keep the peace’. BTW, that critical pastor? His resolution failed at the Convention. But The Blind Side is no longer sold in Lifeway.

And the public noticed.

154 Christiane January 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm

In short, evangelicals are getting the kind of press that seems designed to be seen as ‘negative’ in our culture,
and while this may seem like a good thing to some Christians, I believe that it is also important to show the many positive qualities of evangelical people . . . the qualities where no one can take issue.

Right now, the picture is ‘out of balance’ tremendously.

That is why, I think, that Giglio pulled out of the invitation . . . so that the negative perception of the public would not overshadow and diminish the very positive work he and his organization had done to fight slave trafficking.

Am also wondering this:
Christian people know that persecution goes with the faith . . . but taking umbrage and showing anger was not a part of the early Christian walk.
St. Stephen forgave those who stoned him and this is recorded in sacred Scripture. Maybe the ‘anger’ (which is being stirred up by some media source which shall go unnamed) is not an effective response to what has happened recently regarding Giglio, or Chic-Fil-A, or Lobby Hobby ? There is ANOTHER way to respond, but it is not something that can be done without God’s grace; and this other WAY is more representational of the Kingdom of Our Lord.

Just something to think about.

155 John Wylie January 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm

In regards to the main subject of the post, I’m not surprised at all about this. I realize my interpretation of Bible prophecy is not a popular one with many in the convention today, but it tells me that things will get worse until the return of Christ Himself to sort all of this out.

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