Albert Mohler

The Giglio Imbroglio - the public inauguration of a new moral McCarthyism

Albert Mohler
By Albert Mohler
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January 10, 2013 (AlbertMohler.com) - A new chapter in America’s moral revolution came today as Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio withdrew from giving the benediction at President Obama’s second inaugural ceremony. In a statement released to the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee, Giglio said that he withdrew because of the furor that emerged yesterday after a liberal watchdog group revealed that almost twenty years ago he had preached a sermon in which he had stated that homosexuality is a sin and that the “only way out of a homosexual lifestyle … is through the healing power of Jesus.”

In other words, a Christian pastor has been effectively disinvited from delivering an inaugural prayer because he believes and teaches Christian truth.

The fact that Giglio was actually disinvited was made clear in a statement from Addie Whisenant of the Presidential Inaugural Committee:

“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 because of 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.”

That statement is, in effect, an embarrassed apology for having invited Louie Giglio in the first place. Whisenant’s statement apologizes for the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s failure to make certain that their selection had never, at any time, for any reason, believed that homosexuality is less than a perfectly acceptable lifestyle. The committee then promised to repent and learn from their failure, committing to select a replacement who would “reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance.”

The imbroglio over Louie Giglio is the clearest evidence of the new Moral McCarthyism of our sexually “tolerant” age. During the infamous McCarthy hearings, witnesses would be asked, “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”

In the version now to be employed by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the question will be: “Are you now or have you ever been one who believes that homosexuality (or bisexuality, or transsexualism, etc.) is anything less than morally acceptable and worthy of celebration?”

Louie Giglio, pastor of Atlanta’s Passion City Church, is also founder of the Passion movement that brings tens of thousands of Christian young people together to hear Giglio, along with speakers such as John Piper. They urge a rising generation of young Christians to make a passionate commitment to Christ. In recent years, the movement has also sought to raise awareness and activism among young Christians on the issue of sex trafficking. It was that activism that caught the attention of both President Obama and the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Note carefully that both the White House and the committee were ready to celebrate Giglio’s activism on sex trafficking, but all that was swept away by the Moral McCarthyism on the question of homosexuality.

Two other dimensions of this story also demand attention. First, we should note that Louie Giglio has not been known lately for taking any stand on the issue of homosexuality. To the contrary, Giglio’s own statement withdrawing from the invitation made this clear:

“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.”

A fair-minded reading of that statement indicates that Pastor Giglio has strategically avoided any confrontation with the issue of homosexuality for at least fifteen years. The issue “has not been in the range of my priorities,” he said. Given the Bible’s insistance that sexual morality is inseparable from our “ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ,” this must have been a difficult strategy. It is also a strategy that is very attractive to those who want to avoid being castigated as intolerant or homophobic. As this controversy makes abundantly clear, it is a failed strategy. Louie Giglio was cast out of the circle of the acceptable simply because a liberal watchdog group found one sermon he preached almost twenty years ago. If a preacher has ever taken a stand on biblical conviction, he risks being exposed decades after the fact. Anyone who teaches at any time, to any degree, that homosexual behavior is a sin is now to be cast out.

Second, we should note that Pastor Giglio’s sermon was, as we would expect and hope, filled with grace and the promise of the Gospel. Giglio did not just state that homosexuals are sinners — he made clear that every single human being is a sinner, in need of the redemption that is found only in Jesus Christ. “We’ve got to say to the homosexuals, the same thing that I say to you and that you would say to me … It’s not easy to change, but it’s possible to change,” he preached. He pointed his congregation, gay and straight, to “the healing power of Jesus.” He called his entire congregation to repent and come to Christ by faith.

That is the quintessential Christian Gospel. That is undiluted biblical truth. Those words are the consensus of the Church for over 2,000 years, and the firm belief held by the vast majority of Christians around the world today.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee and the White House have now declared historic, biblical Christianity to be out of bounds, casting it off the inaugural program as an embarrassment. By its newly articulated standard, any preacher who holds to the faith of the church for the last 2,000 years is persona non grata. By this standard, no Roman Catholic prelate or priest can participate in the ceremony. No Evangelical who holds to biblical orthodoxy is welcome. The vast majority of Christians around the world have been disinvited. Mormons, and the rabbis of Orthodox Judaism are out. Any Muslim imam who could walk freely in Cairo would be denied a place on the inaugural program. Billy Graham, who participated in at least ten presidential inaugurations is welcome no more. Rick Warren, who incited a similar controversy when he prayed at President Obama’s first inauguration, is way out of bounds. In the span of just four years, the rules are fully changed.

The gauntlet was thrown down yesterday, and the axe fell today. Wayne Besen, founder of the activist group Truth Wins Out, told The New York Times yesterday: “It is imperative that Giglio clarify his remarks and explain whether he has evolved on gay rights, like so many other faith and political leaders. It would be a shame to select a preacher with backward views on LBGT people at a moment when the nation is rapidly moving forward on our issues.”

And there you have it — anyone who has ever believed that homosexuality is morally problematic in any way must now offer public repentance and evidence of having “evolved” on the question. This is the language that President Obama used of his own “evolving” position on same-sex marriage. This is what is now openly demanded of Christians today. If you want to avoid being thrown off the program, you had better learn to evolve fast, and repent in public.

This is precisely what biblical Christians cannot do. While seeking to be gentle in spirit and ruthlessly Gospel-centered in speaking of any sin, we cannot cease to speak of sin as sin. To do so is not only to deny the authority of Scripture, not only to reject the moral consensus of the saints, but it undermines the Gospel itself. The Gospel makes no sense, and is robbed of its saving power, if sin is denied as sin.

An imbroglio is a painful and embarrassing conflict. The imbroglio surrounding Louie Giglio is not only painful, it is revealing. We now see the new Moral McCarthyism in its undisguised and unvarnished reality. 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?” There is nowhere to hide.

Reprinted with permission from AlbertMohler.com


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Rebekah O’Brien

Watch: Family of 12 children blows away judges on America’s Got Talent

Rebekah O’Brien
By Rebekah O'Brien

Twenty years ago, he was devastated by the loss of his 6 youngest siblings in a horrific car crash. Now Toby Willis is the father of 12 phenomenally talented children, who recently stunned judges with their performance on NBC's America's Got Talent. 

Check out their performance here:

Willis is a man who didn't let the horror of his past define his future. He didn't let fear govern his life. Instead, he and his wife, Brenda devoted their lives to their children, who range from a beautiful 21-year-old all the way down to an adorable 3-year-old. Every child is incredibly gifted. And they have completely captured hearts across America. 

These 14 individuals remind us that no matter what, life is worth living, and living to the fullest.

Read more about the Willis Clan here


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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Bishops: As world watches soccer, Mid-East Christians being slaughtered

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

I'll be honest: I don't understand why soccer has so many fans. However, as my Facebook News Feed has been inundated with other people who seem to love the sport, I've accepted that I must suffer until Sunday evening before I get a four-year break. I've even watched a couple of hours to try and understand the game, only to return to mocking it on Facebook.

If only my friends and I -- a microcosm of the American and developed world's population -- spent a fraction of this time paying attention to some real battles going on, with real consequences for millions of Middle Eastern Christians. 

From Rorate Caeli's blog, a wake-up from two bishops. First, in Syria and Iraq:

It was unclear whether Syrian troops, who apparently advanced in and around the northern city of Aleppo on Monday, July 7, would be able to halt the ISIL fighters. Yet, most Christians have already been forced to flee Syria and Iraq, where the head of the Chaldean-Catholic Church, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, fears Christian life will eventually come to an end in the region.
"In ten years there will perhaps be 50,000 Christians left" in Iraq, he said in a statement released by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need and obtained by BosNewsLife. "Prior to 2003, this figure was about 1.2 million. Within ten years we have shrunk to a community of perhaps four to five hundred thousand faithful," he added.

The bishop begged from attention from Western states who he said "find football" in the current World Cup "more interesting than the situation here or in Syria."

And now Cardinal Barbarin, the Primate of the Gauls:

"The eradication of religious minorities is not, alas, a collateral damage of the insane strategy of the murderers: it is their declared goal," says Cardinal Barbarin. And he adds, "Because these are men who are being murdered, in silence, between two waves of a Brazilian soccer stadium," he insists by evoking the global enthusiasm for the football world cup.

Are there tangible, real benefits to the World Cup besides the occasional scoring of goals? Absolutely. It's what the entire concept of the Olympics is based around. But as American Christians continue to be sucked into a shallow world of sports, celebrity scandals, and political memes, we ignore where critical battles for peace and justice exist -- in the Middle East, and other regions of the world, where, to quote the Boston Globe's John Allen, "Christians...find themselves in a literal firing line."

Recently, my parish had a collection to help provide funds to Middle Eastern Christians. I'm ashamed that, despite being a professional reporter, blogger, and general politico, I knew so little about the situation that I shrugged off the chance to offer some financial assistance to Christians who are modern martyrs for the faith.

If only I was alone in my ignorance. Alas, I'm not -- and while Facebook memes about popes and soccer abound, the Middle East crisis will continue to go unnoticed.


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The suit alleges that Planed Parenthood performed the abortion on R.Z., and immediately returned her directly into the hands of her abuser. Shutterstock
Operation Rescue staff

Planned Parenthood performed abortion on teen, returned her to sex abuser: shock lawsuit

Operation Rescue staff
By Operation Rescue staff

Planned Parenthood faces a legal challenge in Colorado after Cary Smith, of Federal Heights, says she discovered that clinic staff failed to inquire or report about suspected sexual abuse of her 13-year-old daughter after giving her an abortion.

It was any mother’s nightmare.

According to the lawsuit filed on June 20, 2014, Cary’s daughter, R.Z., was only about six years old when her new step-father, Timothy David Smith, began to sexually abuse her. At this age, she was too young to realize that her step-father’s inordinate attention was actually a crime.

Little R.Z. turned seven, then eight. The years went by, and the abuse continued. But Cary Smith never knew.

The abuse eventually became both verbal and physical as well, with R.Z.'s step-father even threatening to take her life. Timothy’s verbal and physical abuse soon extended to Cary, even when R.Z. was present.

Then it happened. R.Z. got pregnant. 

On May 3, 2012, Timothy transported his 13-year-old step-daughter to Planned Parenthood in Denver, Colorado, for an abortion appointment that Timothy had forced R.Z. to schedule.

Planned Parenthood staff met R.Z. and her step-father and gave them the necessary paperwork. R.Z. filled out her date of birth and signed a few forms, but Timothy completed all the rest. R.Z. never read these documents.

According to the suit, throughout the visit, four staff members spoke with and observed R.Z. and her step-father. All of them had opportunity to see that R.Z.’s birth date indicated she was only 13—well below the age of consent. Yet, the suit says that none of them asked R.Z. about their relationship and none of them asked why their last names were different. As well, none asked about potential sex abuse, and none of them reported anything to the state.

After the abortion, R.Z. walked back out to the parking lot, got into her step-father’s car, and went back home. And the abuse continued.

Two months later, on July 18, 2012, Timothy was outside of the home, and Cary was left alone with her daughter. R.Z. took the opportunity to tell her mom that her own step-father was sexually abusing her, and had been doing so for years.

Cary took the 13-year-old to the hospital and immediately reported the abuse. She contacted Planned Parenthood for her daughter’s medical records, and discovered that her husband had arranged for a secret abortion for R.Z. earlier that year.

Timothy Smith was arrested and charged with multiple counts of felony sex abuse, and pled guilty to two counts in late 2012.

But Cary was not content. Although R.Z.’s abuser was now behind bars, the system hadn’t worked.

The first medical professionals who had seen R.Z.—the four Planned Parenthood staff members—must have known that her daughter was a potential victim of sexual abuse. These were professionals who had the information to do something. They had opportunity to ask R.Z. before her mother even knew.

And they had the responsibility to act—to report suspected child sex abuse—under Colorado law.

But, according to the lawsuit, these professionals did nothing. Worse, they performed a dangerous, legally-restricted procedure on a minor child, without informing her mother, and turned R.Z. back over to her rapist following the abortion.

Cary maintains that defendants’ negligence “created an unreasonable risk of physical harm” to her daughter. Cary is now suing Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains for five claims for relief, including negligence, negligent affliction of emotional distress, and extreme and outrageous conduct.

“We applaud Cary Smith for her brave stand to hold Planned Parenthood accountable for their crime against her daughter,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “This lawsuit is another indication that Planned Parenthood is dedicated to one thing—selling abortion; and they do not care how many young girls are raped or abused in the process.”

Read Smith v. Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood


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