LOUIE GIGLIO OUT OF OBAMA INAUGURATION OVER “ANTI-GAY COMMENTS”

UPDATE: LOUIE GIGLIO IS NO HERO TO BE ADMIRED

Louie

Apprising Ministries now points you to Jonathan Karl of ABC News who informs us:

Rev.  Louie Giglio, who had been announced as the pastor to give the benediction at the presidential inauguration, has now pulled himself out of the ceremony, after criticism of his previous anti-gay comments and actions, sources confirmed to ABC News.

Giglio, who is now Pastor at Passion City Church in Georgia and his role at Obama’s second inauguration was first announced Tuesday. But the liberal website Thinkprogress reported Wednesday on audio of Giglioi  delivering a sermon in the mid-1990s in which he said homosexuality is a sin and advocated gay “recovery.” (source)

Fox News is reporting in Pastor withdraws from Obama inauguration after sermon on homosexuality surfaces

Georgia pastor selected to deliver the benediction during President Obama’s inauguration has pulled out of the ceremony after comments surfaced in which he described homosexuality as a “sin.”

The Rev. Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, was announced as part of the inauguration program on Tuesday.

But the website ThinkProgress subsequently published a lengthy sermon of Giglio’s from the ’90s.

In the sermon, he purportedly said: “If you look at the counsel of the word of God, Old Testament, New Testament, you come quickly to the conclusion that homosexuality is not an alternate lifestyle… homosexuality is not just a sexual preference, homosexuality is not gay, but homosexuality is sin. It is sin in the eyes of God, and it is sin according to the word of God. You come to only one conclusion: homosexuality is less than God’s best for his creation.”

Giglio, under fire by gay-rights groups, announced Thursday he was withdrawing from the Jan. 21 inauguration. (source)

Louie Giglio’s friend John Piper would tweet Giglio is suffering for  Christ’s sake now:

JP
(source)

CNN Belief Blog Editor Eric Marrapodi adds that:

In the face of withering criticism over a sermon he apparently delivered on homosexuality in the 1990s, the Rev. Louis Giglio has withdrawn from giving the benediction at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Giglio informed inauguration officials Thursday morning of his decision to withdraw from the ceremony, an inauguration official told CNN. (source)

Marrapodi then quotes part of Giglio’s official statement about why he’s withdrawn:

“I am honored to have been invited by the president to give the benediction at the upcoming inauguration on January 21,” Giglio said in a statement delivered to the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee. “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 a 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.” (source)

In his Louie Giglio dropped from the inaugural program Denny Burk tells us:

Despite Giglio’s own statement saying that he removed himself (see at bottom), the spokesperson for the president’s inaugural celebration said this in a statement:

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. Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part for his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world. 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.

Whether this was a unilateral withdrawal remains to be seen. Right now, most of the reporting says that Giglio was dropped, and the statement from the president’s inaugural spokesperson seems to support that. (source)

Here is Louie Giglio’s statement to the White House in full:

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 (source)

Louie Giglio has just issued an online letter concerning his withdrawal from the inauguration to his church congregation called Change of Plans, which also contains his statement to the White house:

Dear PCC Family,

Though I was invited by the President of the United States to pray at his upcoming inauguration, after conversations between our team and the White House I am no longer serving in that role. I sent the following statement to the White House today:

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 we need God’s grace and mercy in our time of need.

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. However, individuals’ 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.

As a pastor, my mission is to love people, and lead them well, while lifting up the name of Jesus above anything else. I’m confident that anyone who knows me or has listened to the multitude of messages I have given in the last decade would most likely conclude that I am not easily characterized as being opposed to people—any people. Rather, I am constantly seeking to understand where all people are coming from and how to best serve them as I point them to Jesus.

In all things, the most helpful thing I can do is to invite each of us to wrestle with scripture and its implications for our lives. God’s words trump all opinions, including mine, and in the end, I believe God’s words lead to life.

My greatest desire is that we not be distracted from the things we are focused on…seeing people in our city come to know Jesus, and speaking up for the last and least of these throughout the world.

Honored to be your pastor,
Louie (source)

Here is MSNBC’s report concerning Passion Movement founder Louie Giglio out of Obama Inauguation:

HT: Frank Turk, Pyromaniacs

Further reading