Louie Giglio has had an exciting few weeks.
First it was 60,000 college students and young adults packing out the Georgia Dome for Passion. Worship, teaching, and mobilizing thousands to put a dent in stopping modern day slavery. I didn’t attend but I watched portions via the free stream that they made easily available.
Later in part because of Giglio’s work to end slavery he was asked by the President to deliver the closing prayer at the Inauguration later this month. While I am confident this announcement was preceded by lengthy conversations and vetting by the White House it went public this week and Giglio accepted.
That is until some LGBT groups found a sermon recording from 15-20 years ago in which Giglio speaks on homosexuality, calling it a sin and encouraging those who identify as homosexual to seek change and healing through the grace of Jesus Christ.
After a few days of building news coverage Giglio declined the offer to participate in the Inauguration. You should read his eloquent response here.
There have been the predictable responses in the hours and days since the announcement. And I am not here to parse the decision Giglio made in accepting or subsequently declining the President’s offer, I do think of the pushback Rick Warren received for participating in the first such Inauguration.
I do think we should do two things:
Acknowledge this is complicated.
Playing armchair pastor or politician makes it very easy to oversimplify this situation. We don’t know the full story and we don’t know how we wold handle it if we were in this position.
Anyone who has ever tried to faithful communicate the Gospel in relation to homosexuality knows how delicate the topic is. Even if you have full confidence in your position you have people in your community who personally struggle with this or they are care for someone who does.
Google is forever.
Learn that what we say, write, and do is a matter of public record. I think about the sermons I preached a few years ago and cringe. About a year ago I sat down to read the thesis I wrote for my Master’s less than 4 years ago and couldn’t finish it because I was embarrassed by the content.
What we put out can be accessed down the road. So don’t lose integrity, increase it. Say what you believe, but be sure you believe it. Speak from your convictions but be confident your convictions have been fully prayed and thought through. Write with passion, but don’t believe passion excuses lazy and underprepared arguments.