Should Louie Giglio Ever Have Prayed at Obama's Inauguration?

Should Louie Giglio Ever Have Prayed at Obama's Inauguration? January 12, 2013

[Note: Things moved so quickly on this topic that I wrote the first draft of this piece under the title “Should Louie Giglio Be Praying at Obama’s Inauguration?” Literally hours later, he had withdrawn. This piece will now be a discussion of how the withdrawal was handled on both sides and whether he should ever have accepted the invitation in the first place.]
I like Louie Giglio, so I took notice when I first heard he was going to be praying at Obama’s inauguration. It’s been said that Obama likes his work against sex trafficking and knows he has an influential ministry, so he felt like “showcasing” Giglio for the rest of the country to see. In a classic turn of events, some liberals dug up an old sermon of his against homosexuality and vehemently protested his invitation. The protests were so numerous and urgent that the Obama administration was asked to “fix” this faux pas, and Giglio has now withdrawn his initial acceptance of the invite.

My position may not be popular, but I say this has all worked itself out for the best. I saw a few people expressing concern that Giglio accepted the invitation in the first place, and I felt a bit disappointed myself. One could say, “Come on, if you’re a preacher and you get invited to pray at the inauguration, what are you SUPPOSED to do?” I would reply that in certain cases, you’re supposed to say “No.” But perhaps I just have steelier nerves than most.
We’ve had ample time to observe Obama in action, and he’s proved again and again that he’s little more than an aspiring dictator whose hands are swift to shed innocent blood. His administration is hateful in the eyes of God. Should a Christian be seen having anything positive to do with it? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t even shake his hand if I got a medal from the man. Giglio would have been doing much more—praying a benediction over his entire presidency. It’s all very well to say, “Well, he could just pray that Obama would know what is right and make good decisions, and there’s nothing wrong with that even though Obama hasn’t so far.” But if we’re all (or mostly) agreed that in the words of Miracle Max, “it would take a miracle” for Obama to do a 180, then what’s the use of blessing the President’s inauguration in such a public fashion?
The problem is that Giglio doesn’t view Obama like another Hitler. Oh, he probably voted against him, but he’s not ready to say that Obama is evil. Psychologically, he hasn’t really taken that step. For that reason, he considered it an honor to get invited at all. And that’s a problem.
Much has been made of the ambiguity regarding who exactly initiated the change of plans. Was Giglio pressured by “the Committee?” Did he decide to withdraw all on his own? And if in fact he was kicked out, or pressured out, isn’t that big news for religious liberty in America? Personally, I don’t think these details really matter. So what if he was pressured out? “Wow, you got invited to speak at Obama’s inauguration, and then you weren’t invited anymore? Well, that’s just terrible… not.” In other words, whoop-de-doo. What IS of concern to me is how Giglio has responded to the matter. On his website, he reproduced his withdrawal letter to the White House. Let’s look at an excerpt. I’ve bolded items of note and added comments:

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 [There’s that “agree/disagree” stuff again], we have fashioned a friendship [a what?] around common goals and ideals, most notably, ending slavery in all its forms [Actually, the Obama administration has refused to cooperate with certain Christian organizations in the past on this very issue, so I’m not sure the President’s priorities are as neatly lined up with the Reverend’s as he thinks. But let’s waive that for the nonce.] 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.

Now, I have seen quotes from the message that caused such controversy, and they were really good. So my question to the Reverend Giglio is, what happened in the last 15 years? The issue hasn’t disappeared. It’s become more relevant than ever. But somehow, speaking about it is no longer a priority for him. And frankly, it’s a bit alarming for him to set speaking on this issue in some sense AT ODDS with calling people to “ultimate significance” in Jesus Christ. But let’s let him speak for himself in this elaboration on his letter:

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.

Okay, so he’s kinda sorta half-implying that he still thinks homosexuality is a sin, and God’s word on that matter trumps our opinions. But he’s being deliberately coy about it. What he wants first and foremost to communicate is NOT the desperate urgency of calling out this sin and condemning its impact on society and souls. It is instead that he is “not opposed to any people.” As if that’s going to convince anybody left of center that he’s not a bigot.
Reverend Giglio, save your breath and use it to speak the truth instead of trying to get people to like you who will never, ever, ever like you. You used to understand that. In fact, in your old sermon you express a clear willingness to be called “a bigot” for speaking “the truth.” But perhaps, in the words of Gandalf, you have changed, and not entirely for the better.

Don’t duck. Don’t dodge. Don’t say, “Well, THEY’RE over there making a big deal about this, but I’m over here not talking about it.” It’s too late to change the subject. Now re-locate your spine and wade back into the conversation.

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  • Darren

    I agree with you, but I your being a bit harsh. You don’t want to necessarily start a fight with the president and you do have to hold a certain respect for a man who is capable of running an entire country. Also, I sort of like the way he addressed homosexuality I don’t think you want to come right out and say it’s wrong that might make it look like you’re just looking for trouble, but if you can say something that still shows you have your own beliefs that’s also good.
    One thing you might like do you follow NHL hockey at all? If so have you heard of Tim Thomas? He’s a goalie and I believe he was raised a protestant (I’m not sure how much christian beliefs he still holds) but his right wing views never left him. When his team got to go visit the white house he with held because he doesn’t like what goes on there. He’s also taking a year off hockey to figure things out and since then he’s expressed support for Chick-fil-A and other companies whose restaurants/businesses stand up for the traditional view of marriage.

  • I don’t follow sports much, but that’s really cool about Tim Thomas! I like that story.
    I’m afraid I don’t hold one iota of respect for the President. Not only is he a moral monster, but he has also proved himself incapable of running the country (if by “running the country” we tacitly mean “running the country well”). As for a “fight,” the fight’s already on, and I for one am very much up for it.

  • Darren

    I don’t agree with him but I didn’t think Obama was doing that bad of a job. That could be because to I’m not from the States so I might not notice it as much.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    I enjoyed your post and last sentence.

  • Yes, from a lot of different angles Obama has been a very poor President. Not being in the states might be a good excuse for not knowing that though!

  • Yes, you would. 😉

  • Lydia

    “I don’t think you want to come right out and say it’s wrong that might make it look like you’re just looking for trouble,” Whoa! I really disagree with that. Who cares whether some people will say it “looks like you’re just looking for trouble”? Are we men or are we mice? That homosexual acts are wrong and that the homosexual lifestyle is terribly destructive are truths that need to be spoken openly now more than ever. It’s a _terrible_ principle for Christians to adopt that they “don’t want to come right out and say it’s wrong.” That’s true for any sin, but all the more true for sins that are being celebrated and approved in our own time. Think if someone had said that to the abolitionists about slavery: “Well, now, you don’t want to come right out and say it’s wrong; that might make it look like you’re just looking for trouble.” What?? It seems like the fact that something is a hot topic and that people on the wrong side of the issue, people who want to promote the sin, are really pushing hard is being used as an argument for backing off and speaking only indirectly. But it should be an argument for doing exactly the opposite–for speaking out absolutely clearly and not being intimidated.

  • JSR

    “I wouldn’t even shake his hand if I got a medal from the man.” Reminds me of a pastor who said you can be right about an issue but develop the wrong attitude and end up being wrong yourself. I think blowing off somebody, especially someone who has no clue why you’re not even meeting the standards of common decency, in no way lifts up Christ. In fact you’ve made yourself a stumbling block. If you’re a jerk to someone who later decides to come to Chrisg, they’ve got to overcome your poor example in order to get to Him.
    Yes, I know Jesus dealt harshly with people, but the reason was always clear and he spent a lot of his ministry trying to help people. Remember, even Jesus used respect when he was dealing with the temple elders when he was 12. If he could figured out how to treat people that were spiritual monsters with respect, I believe it’s our duty to do the same.
    Just for a point of reference, this isn’t a comment about your view points, we generally agree, just remarks about honoring Christ by how you treat those you disagree with you.
    Happy New Years!

  • I’ll let someone else reply to the bulk of your comment if they like. But I think you’re right—I should re-phrase what I said. In fact I realized my mistake when I hit publish. I wouldn’t even go to the White House to accept the medal if I won a medal anyway. They can send it to my home address.

  • JSR

    Your humility is refreshing. I can completely understand the decision to not go to the Whitehouse.

  • I hope that wasn’t meant sarcastically…

  • JSR

    Not in the least bit. It was offered in all sincerity. I apologize if it appeared otherwise.

  • No need to apologize. To be clear, I would be honored if it were another man in the President’s chair—a better man. A man I could be proud to call my President. So perhaps it is not humility, but a kind of pride.

  • A commentator attempted to accuse me of treason against the United States, which crossed the line even for me. His comment has been trashed. Further comments from him will suffer the same fate.

  • Melody

    I’m thankful that God doesn’t use your criteria for what is a good or bad person. I like the way He does things better.

  • And here I thought that a more or less direct quotation of God’s own criteria for what is a good or bad person would be enough to convince people that I wasn’t just making it all up. Silly me. I suggest you brush up on your Proverbs. And your Isaiah. And your Romans. Just a thought.

  • Megan

    I found this through Tim Challies’ blog.
    I’m not sure I agree with you, but maybe I’m just misunderstanding. The Bible says to pray for those in authority so that we can live peaceful lives. So a godly man was asked to publicly pray for our nation. We have a president who opposes God, so we really need prayer, private and public! Don’t we want a godly man praying that God would give our president wisdom, insight, and the moral courage to do what honors God? God will listen to a godly man and He has the power to change hearts! Do we really want a godless man to pray at this big event for evil things? I shudder to think what would happen if such a man got what he asked for!

  • I see your point, and it is indeed repulsive to think about whoever will actually be praying. But here’s my question: Don’t you think a godly pastor should be allowed to pray publicly that God would change Obama’s heart?
    See, the problem is that I’m quite sure whatever prayer a pastor could give at the ceremony has to go through some kind of filtering committee. And you can bet that anything truly convicting would be edited out. “We pray that this President would defend and protect the weakest among us, including the unborn child. We pray that this President would uphold the sanctity of marriage and of the family. We pray that you would lead him to repentance for what his administration has wrought over the past four years.” Can you imagine that getting through? I can’t. But that is the best way I can pray for the President, the best way anyone can pray for him. Imagining myself in the position of the pastor (this is impossible because I’m a woman, but putting that aside…), I would feel that I’d compromised by letting a committee gut what I really had to say, and forcing myself to be blander and more generic to please them. If I’m going to speak prophetically, if I’m really going out there to speak truth to power, I won’t restrict myself to saying what the king wants me to say.
    But any pastor who prays at this inauguration is going to be seen as, in some sense, forging a companionable relationship with the administration. The idea is that you still respect the President, and you think he’ll do some good things. But they just want to use you as a symbol. Should a pastor let himself be used in that way? I think that forming any positive connection whatsoever to this presidency is an evil in itself. The association could only be outweighed if the godly pastor in question were truly given free reign to say what he needed to say.
    Again, I see what you’re saying, but I think there are multiple factors to be considered here.

  • Jeff

    This was truly a disappointing blog. The Pharisaical attitude is something that can destroy Christianity. You may not have intended for it to sound that way, but it’s exactly how it came across. You basically said “to hell with those who don’t want to believe.” That’s NOT the attitude Christ had. You will see that Jesus respected civil authority and went to eat with sinners. Where do you see Him dining with the religious leaders? You don’t. He came to seek and save that which was lost. When you take the attitude toward the lost that this blog has displayed, you are defeating the Christian purpose. Let me clarify that I do NOT support the beliefs and actions of our president. But he is STILL my president. The office deserves respect, even if the man doesn’t. And his administration needs more prayer than any I can recall. What about when Jonah was called by God to preach to Nineveh and pray for them? They were a HORRIBLE people, yet they repented. To say a man shouldn’t pray blessings upon ANY administration is being blind. I pray that you don’t really feel this way because I’ve enjoyed many of your posts in the past.
    Some people in the church wonder why Christianity has such a bad name? When our words and actions say that others aren’t as good as we are because they have denied the grace of Christ… it doesn’t leave them much choice, does it? I’m not saying we don’t call sin sin. I’m just saying that we MUST be sure that we love the sinner while we despise the sin.
    Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
    Please consider what you have written and ask God if this is REALLY how He wants His children to carry forth His Word.
    God bless.

  • I wouldn’t necessarily say that somebody is evil just for not believing in God. There are plenty of non-believers who are good people in their own way (even though all of us must ultimately come to terms with whatever sin we cling to). I have certain specific actions of Obama’s in mind that I think merit the term.
    It is not so much that I say “to hell with those who don’t want to believe.” I am simply observing that people such as Obama eagerly wish hell upon themselves. In the process, they eagerly wish it upon others. In saying that we must do everything in our power to fight Obama, I am not saying that I wish for him to rot in hell. I am saying that I wish for him to be defeated when it comes to carrying out his evil designs on earth. As I outlined in my response to Megan above, I am not sure that appearing in a friendly social context to bless the inauguration of such a moral monster is going to further that cause. I pointed out that the “tough love” kind of preaching/praying that Obama needs would certainly not make it past his personal filtering committee, and hence the efficacy of such a prayer would be considerably diluted. And the more it was diluted, the more it would become MERELY a token, a symbol. We should avoid this.

  • By the way, if I can recommend a few books, I have found Dante’s _Inferno_, C. S. Lewis’s _The Great Divorce_, and Charles Williams’ _Descent Into Hell_ all very helpful and illuminating in clarifying my thoughts on salvation/damnation.

  • Jeff

    I can certainly agree that President Obama stands for so much that a Christian should find abhorrent. I can agree that he tends to talk from both sides of his mouth. Then again, what professional politician doesn’t do the same? Still, the man is the president of the greatest country on the planet. If ever a man needed prayer, this man does. What if all Christians ceased praying for the country and our civil offices?
    Maybe God has told you personally to wipe your hands of some of these people, but that doesn’t mean God will never send ANYONE their way again. God deals with each of us on a personal level. It was just a little disheartening to see you disrespect the president and then disrespect a wonderful man of God in the next breath. Listen to what Louie preaches. His messages are about love, not hate. He isn’t preaching tolerance, but loving until there is no love to give. He isn’t preaching about how big and important we are, but how small we are and yet God still loves us.
    So YES, a RESOUNDING yes, that Louie should have accepted. How can we ever hope to win the lost if we refuse to be around them? How can we be effective as soul winners if we wipe our hands clean before we get a good start? How can they hear without a preacher? The world needs preachers today and I thank God for men like Louie Giglio who are reaching out to a darkened generation.
    I’ll try to check out your book recommendations.

  • How can the preacher preach if the lost will not hear?
    Once again, maybe we’re talking past each other. Where have I said we should not pray for the President? I also never said we should not speak to or form friendships with lost people. I merely questioned the wisdom of becoming involved with an official political event that was going to be conducted completely on a politician’s terms. In other words, an event where Obama would, directly or through his committee, REFUSE to “hear” what the prophet must cry.
    I would say upfront, “I am willing to come and pray, but only if you will promise to let me speak as the Spirit moves me. You can listen to what I have preached in the past and decide whether you are willing to give me that freedom. I will pray on my terms, not yours. The choice is yours.”
    As for Giglio, I know that he’s being used by God to do some very good things for the kingdom, and I do not disrespect him as I disrespect the President. I consider the President to be an evil adversary. I consider Giglio to be a confused ally. I’m just concerned that he is not giving this issue its due priority anymore. I would be delighted if I could know for sure that his views have not changed since the excellent sermon he preached 15 years ago.
    Dante’s _Inferno_ is a very dense read, and Williams, while powerful, can be somewhat odd/obscure. Lewis’s _Great Divorce_ is the most accessible of the ones I mentioned and contains no less wisdom. Every Christian should definitely read it.

  • Don Pippin

    Well, what little respect I had just went bye-bye. I am so thankful Gods word doesn’t change. God said it was SIN and his example of the punishment was Sodom and Gomorrah. I really thought the Rev. was a fighter but he is a coward. Obama is trying to cram that stuff down our throats but I am not having any of it. I hope I am wrong about him but I just cant trust anything he says. he has lied over and over again. He is, so far in my opinion, the worst president we have ever had.
    God Please Bless America Again!!!

  • No, you’re definitely not wrong about Obama. Like the beavers said about the White Witch, “bad all the way through.”
    I still want to like Giglio though. I’m just really disappointed with his response.

  • Jeff

    The preacher’s ability and call to preach is not dependent upon whether or not one will listen. We are not called to make someone listen, we are simply called to witness.
    Perhaps President Obama has virtually zero chance of listening and turning to God. Does that mean that others within his administration will be the same? When God said he was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, did Abraham not get Him to agree not to destroy it for the sake of 10 righteous people? Do you believe that this merciful God would have agreed to spare the cities for the sake of 5? What about for the sake of 3? What about for the sake of 1? I believe God’s mercy stopped at 10 ONLY because that’s all Abraham asked.
    Please allow me to toss out a hypothetical situation for you. Suppose that Rev. Giglio is able to form a close relationship with President Obama. Let’s just say that the president then begins to talk with Louie and open up to him and trust the things Louie has to say because of their level of trust with each other. Let’s imagine that this gives Louie a chance to witness to President Obama at a level most people could only dream of. With this witness the president then begins to consider his ways and the Spirit begins working inside his heart. The president surrenders his heart to Christ and changes his ways, becoming the kind of president that our country needs. How would people look at Rev. Giglio if he were the one who brought this witness to the president?
    Christ told an angry crowd to let the sinless man cast the first stone. Do ANY of us have just cause to criticize a man who was going to pray a blessing on a country and an administration? Let’s remember that this blessing is not telling God that He MUST do good things for our country regardless of how wicked we are. This blessing is simply a man who is REQUESTING that a loving and omnipotent God would see fit to bless our country during this administration. What is wrong with asking God? You have not because you ask not.
    Before we become hypercritical we should consider the old proverb that states that you can draw more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. We will not win the majority of the lost by telling them how awful they are. We will win the majority of the lost by telling them how much God loves them. Remember that the ONLY thing making us different from them is the working of the Holy Spirit within our lives. Without Him we would be as blind as they are.

  • So you think Giglio should have allowed his speech to be watered down and molded to fit what the President wants to hear?

  • Jeff

    What I think is that some have been quick to judge based on assumptions. We have no idea what Louie would have said. You can only assume what he would say. Based on the messages I have heard from him, I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt.
    Remember, there is a time and season for everything under heaven. That includes a time to be silent and a time to speak. There IS a time and a place for the kind of preaching you wish could be done at the inauguration. Remember that the country already thinks that Christians hate homosexuals. The question we need to be asking and what we need to be sincerely praying about is how we can reach the lost without alienating them. The lost world needs to know that we love them and care about them. We can’t let anger and frustration control us to the point where it appears that we hate them and want nothing to do with them.

  • Lydia

    I think from your comments on this discussion, Jeff, that you really absolutely do not understand what a civic ceremony is. You’re casting this entire thing in terms of some kind of highly personal relationship between Giglio and Barack Obama. Praying at an inauguration is not about forming personal ties of friendship without compromising one’s message. Praying at an inauguration is a public, civic act that involves a relationship between the one doing the praying and the *administration*, the public persona and acts of the president being inaugurated. This isn’t some private, personal thing. If Obama wanted to seek counsel from Giglio or ask him why he is a Christian and have a private conversation to that effect, well and good. But that isn’t what he was being asked to do.
    You seem to have no concept whatsoever of the way in which going and praying in some general way for a blessing on this president’s administration would seem to involve a public endorsement of this president. I think if you really understood that, you would stop casting everything in terms of an opportunity, forming friendships, and so on and so forth.

  • I think Jeff is picking up on Giglio’s statement that he’s formed a “friendship” with the President. I gather that the two have had some personal communication in the past. But the public ceremony is just a different kind of thing, where appearances really do matter.

  • Jeff

    I am, in fact, picking up on that exact statement. In reading the original blog, one of the things that seemed to be a shocker was that Louie and the president had formed a friendship. I would guess that most Christians have at least one friend that is not of high moral character. I see nothing wrong with being friends with someone. I do see wrong in conforming our lives to a lifestyle that is clearly and blatantly sinful. However, the ONLY time I think it is proper to remove ourselves from the lives of the unrepentant is when God has instructed us to do so. There are biblical examples of that happening, but the Scripture also speaks of God being longsuffering toward us. It is not His will that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance. Again, how can they believe if they have not heard? How can they hear unless one preaches? How can one preach unless he is sent? Every single day God sends His devoted Christians to witness to the world. He never said to make them believe us. He never said to force them to change their lives. He doesn’t even tell us to command them in what is right or wrong. Christ’s great commission was for His disciples to be witnesses of HIM. I have never saved a single person and I never will. I have witnessed and led people to Christ though. And it’s not my place to say that someone is so far beyond reach that we should criticize a Christian for associating with him. If President Obama were your brother or father, would you want Christians wiping their hands of him and saying it’s a lost cause? No! You would be praying for God to send someone his way. I certainly hope that the one thing we can all agree on is that we are called by God to be His witnesses and to praise his name.
    Lydia, I think that you may be the one who doesn’t understand. You don’t know anything about me. You are assuming that you know and understand my thoughts, yet you have no idea who I am, what my background is, how highly educated I may be or to what degree I understand society. You have managed to completely miss my entire point of debate on this issue. I am only 41 but I have been a “born again” Christian for almost 34 years now. I can tell you the day, time and nearly exact location of the church where I knelt and gave my heart to Christ. I have studied the Bible over and over and understand that I still have much to understand. I am a mere 2 courses from having a BS in Biblical Studies. The only courses I lack are a philosophy course and a college algebra course. I resigned the pastoral role at my church because I felt God saying it was time for me to leave a congregation that I dearly loved, a congregation that I had served for 11 years. My church members would tell you that I never made excuses for sin or sinners, but that I also made it a point to preach about the love of Christ more than anything. They would also tell you that I firmly believe a pastor is to serve the congregation and not rule the congregation. I also have my secular degree and I’ve held down a public job for 17 years. In my job I am required write query paragraphs, many of which are extremely intricate, to provide key financial information to my superiors. I have been a part of many civic ceremonies, so I am FULLY aware of what it means to partake in such a ceremony. It does not mean that you fully agree with everything taking place. When I perform a wedding I don’t look at the past. I counsel with the couple and push them toward the future and tell them what is expected of them. I am praying God’s blessing on them because I know that marriage is an institution that was ordained by God and it absolutely needs His blessings. In much the same way, I pray SINCERELY that God will bless America. It is a land that I love. I pray that God will bless this administration because He has appointed this administration. If you don’t believe me, just read the Bible. I want to see America thrive and grow and the only hope for that is through God’s blessings. Have you ever thought that perhaps a prayer of blessing for the current administration is not an endorsement that we agree with what they are doing? Perhaps this prayer of blessing is, instead, an endorsement for how big and powerful we believe our God to be.

  • Obama’s not just like your unsaved friend at school or work. Those people might realize that they’re lost, or if not maybe they are at least interested. And a lot of them are willing to admit they don’t believe. Obama is not only calculatedly wielding his immense power to oppress God’s people and disobey His commandments, he is doing so under the pretense of himself being a Christian. He repeatedly talks about how he prays to God and believes in Jesus. Now whether or not he actually prays, I don’t know, but I can tell you right now that if he is, he’s communicating with somebody else. Maybe he doesn’t fully realize who that somebody else is. But my point is that there’s an extent to which he KNOWS what he’s doing, and he’s still doing it. I’m sure he’s heard hundreds of sermons preached, hundreds of gospel presentations. He never receives them with more than a polite nod and a smile.
    This isn’t a noble heathen scenario. Obama’s not living on an island somewhere in the middle of the ocean, without missionaries to tell him who Jesus is. Western Civilization is saturated in the sacred. There has been no lack of opportunity for Obama to come to a true, saving knowledge of Christ.

  • Jeff

    But are we to discontinue all attempts to witness to him? Perhaps God has already turned him over, but that isn’t for me to decide. It certainly isn’t for me to criticize someone who may be making an attempt to win him to Christ. The best way to defeat the enemy is to win them over to your side. If there is ANY way for President Obama to find salvation, I am all for it. Most importantly we are still talking about a man who has a soul that will live forever somewhere. I certainly don’t want him to die lost and go to hell. Secondly, I would be elated to discover that our president had miraculously accepted Christ and was going to change his policies. I prayed for God to control the eelection. I wanted Romney to win. It’s not that I think Romney is that good of a choice. I just saw him as the lesser of two evils. But once Obama won I turned my prayers to asking God to change the president’s heart. There is NO place in this life to give up on anyone who still has breath. As Gold City sang, I’m not givin’ up.

  • Lydia

    Jeff, I’m not here to judge how you do or don’t do a wedding or when you will or won’t perform it. Given what you have said, I do suspect we would disagree about that. In any event, praying at an inauguration isn’t conducting a wedding, either. After all, if you counsel the couple, you at least have _some_ reason to believe they intend to live according to God’s will in the future. If they laughed off all your counsel and told you they intended to have an “open marriage,” I hope you wouldn’t marry them. In this case Giglio was being asked not just to “be a friend” to Obama but to engage in a public, civic act that implied endorsing an administration, an administration led by a President proud of his past evil actions qua President and planning openly to continue them to the best of his ability.
    You obviously do _not_ understand that, and how many courses away you are from a B.S. degree is irrelevant, because your comments speak for themselves.

  • Jeff

    I would not perform a wedding for a couple if I knew there was no chance it would survive.
    Your comments are speaking loud and clear. If someone doesn’t agree with you, he is ignorant. Ma’am, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the ways of one Jesus Christ.

  • I get the feeling that after all this you still seem to be under the impression that I a) actively want the President to die and go to hell and b) believe that nobody should pray for his salvation. Also, you seem to think that I don’t love America and don’t think we should pray for our country. I’m not sure where you’re getting any of that from my comments.
    If Giglio is using his friendship to witness to the President, then more power to him. But I still don’t see how that would have been incompatible with politely excusing himself from the inauguration.
    I think that what actually did happen is a sign that even if Giglio dropped some evangelistic words in the President’s ear, they have yet to hit their mark, to put it mildly.

  • I do not mean to judge the Rev. However, he is supposed to be the leader of the flock. What kind of leadership is that. I really don’t care if it was 15, 20, or how many years ago, what kind of leadership is that. It is still “SIN” today, yesterday and tomorrow. God doesn’t change.
    Now, Obama will wash it up, dress it up and put sweet smelling stuff on it
    but it doesn’t change it, “IT IS STILL SIN”.
    God help us folks, we are in for a mighty rough ride for the next 4 years.

  • Lydia McGrew

    “I would not perform a wedding for a couple if I knew there was no chance it would survive.”
    Well, bingo, there you go. Giglio has every reason to believe that Obama won’t change his ways and, as YGG has pointed out again and again, every reason to believe that he will not be allowed to speak truth to power in any prayer he would pray at the inauguration. Therefore, there was no justification, even in terms of consequences, for his wanting to be involved in a ceremony that would tacitly seem to give approval to the Obama administration. This is pretty straightforward.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “Your comments are speaking loud and clear. If someone doesn’t agree with you, he is ignorant. Ma’am, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the ways of one Jesus Christ.”
    Hi Jeff,
    I’ve been reading your exchange with YGG and Lydia (who I just learned is actually Lydia McGrew). You’re a very well-meaning and well-intentioned fellow. Having said that, Lydia is not a Christian who thinks that someone who disagrees with her is ignorant (“ignorant” in the negative connotation sense). Furthermore, she is quite familiar with Jesus Christ and the Scriptures which attest to Jesus. And when I use the word “familiar” I mean familiar in a biblically faithful and true sense.
    I suspect Lydia is rather modest, and will not toot her own horn, but I will take the liberty of tooting a horn for a blog that she contributes to:
    She also has her own blog as well.
    Jeff, please treat your faithful sisters-in-Christ, Lydia McGrew and Yankee Gospel Girl, better than what you have shown so far.