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An Open Letter to Louie Giglio

 Dear Pastor Giglio,

As a former pastor, I have admired your work for many years. Your winsomeness and appealing demeanor have made you a very effective communicator of the unchanging truth of the gospel. I applaud you especially for your passion for the youth of our nation. You have formed a true and abiding connection with America’s spiritually hungry millennials as evidenced by the 60,000 young men and women who turned out for your New Year’s Eve weekend rally in Atlanta just three weeks ago.

I applaud you as well for your outstanding work in fighting the scourge of human trafficking, which is an unmitigated evil. Atlanta is the hub of sex trafficking in the United States, and you are to be honored for taking the fight to the forces of darkness right in your own backyard.

It was your noble work in combating sex slavery that rightly drew the attention of President Obama’s inaugural committee to you, and led to your invitation to offer the benediction at the end of the inauguration ceremony.

Yet, when a sermon you delivered 15 years ago surfaced, a sermon in which you unhesitatingly affirmed a biblical view of sexuality, you were unceremoniously dumped by the White House in a McCarthyite display of religious bigotry.

Your comments in response to this display of bullying by the president have left many of us who share your values wondering where you stand today on the issue of homosexuality.

For instance, when you emphasize that the sermon in question was “from 15-20 years ago,” you create the impression that it no longer represents your views, and that you, as the president famously claims to have done, have “evolved” on one of the preeminent moral issues of our time.

When you tell the nation, “Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years,” you are suggesting that you have abandoned the field as our culture battles over the definition of marriage and the family.

In your statement, you refer to this “fight” as an “issue not of our choosing,” again implying that fighting to protect the institution of natural marriage and the natural family is not a battle in which you want to engage. But sometimes, Louie, you don’t get to choose your battles. Sometimes battles choose you, and this is one of those times.

So we must know: have you changed your view on the issue of homosexuality? Do you no longer regard it is a sin? Your failure to address this question clearly and forthrightly in this controversy leaves many of us confused. It is imperative that you clarify your current position.

God has chosen you to be his mouthpiece at this critical juncture in American history on this issue of paramount importance. Surely you, as a perceptive cultural leader, understand that the homosexual agenda represents the greatest threat to the institution of marriage and to religious liberty in our time.

Your own experience illustrates that. You yourself have become only the latest in a long string of victims whose freedom of speech and religion have been shredded because of our culture’s determination to call good what God has called evil.

Every advance of the homosexual agenda comes at the expense of religious liberty. You have become the new Rosa Parks, sent to the back of the cultural bus because you are considered socially unacceptable. You have meekly allowed yourself not just to be sent to the back of the bus but thrown off the bus entirely instead of standing your ground as Ms. Parks did.

You could have, and should have, said, “Mr. President, you have invited me to offer the benediction at your inauguration, and I have accepted that invitation. I will not withdraw. If you want to disinvite me because of my unapologetic stand for the word of God, that is your prerogative, but you will have to throw me off the platform yourself. I’m not going to do it for you.”

In your statement to your church family, you say, “The issue of homosexuality (which a particular message of mine some 20 years ago addressed) is one of the most difficult our nation will navigate.” What do you mean by this? If, as you suggest, this is a difficult issue to “navigate,” does not our nation need experienced navigators such as yourself, who can steer this ship of state away from the cliffs of moral debauchery?

It looks as though you have abandoned your post on the bridge right when your voice was required to make the course correction our culture so desperately needs. We are headed for the shoals, and our nation has turned its lonely eyes to you. And you have been silent.

When you say, “[I]ndividuals’ rights of freedom, and the collective right to hold differing views on any subject is a critical balance we, as a people, must recover and preserve,” this sounds dangerously close to moral relativism. You seem to be saying that you have no right to challenge their values. You seem to be saying all values of are equal worth and validity.

But, Louie, President Obama is not disagreeing with you. He is disagreeing with God. And you have a profound moral obligation to defend his truth and speak truth to power at this time.

You go on to say that if people listened to your sermons over the last decade, they would “most likely conclude that I am not easily characterized as being opposed to people—any people.” When you say this, you create the impression that to be against homosexual behavior is to be against homosexual people rather than for them.

But Louie, surely you know that if we love people we will love them enough to tell them the truth about behaviors that can leave them diseased, dead, and separated from God for eternity. How is it a loving thing to refuse to warn people about sin that has disastrous consequences both for time and eternity?

Your sermon from long ago struck the perfect balance. You offered homosexuals life-giving forgiveness and life-giving power to leave their self-destructive lifestyle and find hope and transformation in the person of Jesus Christ.

So we must ask you directly, and the nation deserves an answer: Do you still believe that homosexuality is a sin from which man may be saved but also must be saved? If you do still believe this, then why have you not said so?

The eyes and ears of an entire nation are open to you at this critical moment, and you have been given a once-in-a-lifetime platform to be God’s man with God’s word for a deceived and deluded culture. Will you seize the moment? It is not too late.

I urge you to unambiguously affirm the position you advocated in your sermon. Your convictions were based squarely on the unchanging standards of the word of God. We need to know that you still stand where you once stood.

Our nation desperately needs a clear, unambiguous word from God at this moment in our history, and he has chosen you for that task. To this point, it appears as if you are shirking your heavenly duty. I urge to you to respond to God’s call to be God’s man for this hour.

As you of course know, our youth are at severe risk in our culture because of the normalization of homosexuality. You know from your work in human trafficking that boys are often subjected to sexual slavery in order to serve the depraved whims of homosexual peophiles.

You know that HIV/AIDS is devastating the health of our young men. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 87% of the young men between 13 and 24 who have HIV/AIDS contracted it through having sex with men.

You have the opportunity right now to alert a nation of young men to the dangers of homosexual behavior, the same dangers cited longed ago in Romans 1. I beg you to seize the day.

Martin Luther long ago said this: “Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved. And to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

Louie, God has stationed you in the very gap through which the forces of sexual perversity are flooding our society. Will you be the man who stands in that gap before God on behalf of the land?

Your window of opportunity is rapidly closing, and may be shut altogether by the end of this week. Carpe diem.

bryan fischerYour brother in our common faith,

Bryan Fischer

 (Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)

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