Gospel, Homosexuality, Politics, Salvation, Sin, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday ~ SoteriObamaGigliology and You

Originally published January 12, 2013

Disclaimer: This article should not be viewed as an endorsement of Louie Giglio or any unbiblical theology he currently holds to.
soteriobamagigliology

Is Louie Giglio a living martyr or a coward? What do you think of our shiny new state church here in the U.S.? If you haven’t heard about The Giglio Imbroglio, allow me to bring you up to speed.gty_rev_louie_giglio_jef_130110_wblog

Pastor Louie Giglio was invited to say a prayer at President Obama’s inauguration ceremony later this month. Being a Christian pastor, it should have been expected that he would have preached at some point on what the Bible says about the sin of homosexuality. Someone with a pro-homosexuality group dug up a sermon  from decades ago in which he had done just that, and, yada yada yada, Pastor Giglio – pressured, or not, by the Inaugural Committee (that’s a little murky at the moment)— decided not to do the prayer. Ok, are ya with me? Good.

I’ve read a bit about this debacle over the past few days (though I have a few disagreements with some points, all of the articles hyperlinked above are excellent) and most of what I’ve read seems to be focused on Louie Giglio. But Louie Giglio isn’t alone on the stage of this little drama.

There’s another player. Our President.

Although all the details and communiqués were being handled by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, as President Truman used to say, “The buck stops here.” Right at the feet of President Obama. Ultimately, he is responsible for the “unvitation.” If he felt that the Committee was out of line in their statements or actions, he could have intervened. Instead, he has been silent, which implies consent.

Our President consented to the press release from the Inaugural Committee which said in part:

“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.”

Translation: Louie Giglio’s Christian beliefs about homosexuality, which come straight from the Bible, do not “reflect this administration’s vision.”

Let me say that again. Christian beliefs about homosexuality, which line up with what the Bible clearly says, are opposed by our President.

Why is that important?

obama-in-church-2004-b654b48e648853dc_largeBecause our President believes he is a Christian.

And so do a lot of other people who share his beliefs on things like homosexuality and abortion.

If that describes you, before you get mad and stop reading, in fairness, hear me say something:

Sanctification (progressively becoming more and more Christlike) is a process. People who get saved, especially as an adult, bring a lot of entrenched opinions and thought processes with them to the cross.

Am I saying you have to become pro-life and anti-homosexuality (notice, I did not say anti-homosexual) before, or in order to, get saved?

No.

Am I saying that five minutes or a week after you get saved, you’ll be pasting “Choose Life” and “One Man, One Woman” bumper stickers on your car?

No.

What I am saying is that a person who has genuinely been born again has a God-created desire to know, trust, and obey God’s word.

Even if it’s hard.

Even if you don’t like it, initially.

Even if you don’t completely understand it.

The desire, inextricably interwoven with your love and affection for Christ, born in your heart when you were born again, exists.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. II Corinthians 5:17

Do you have that desire?

Do you wrestle with the things in God’s word that are difficult for you –perhaps things like homosexuality- in order to understand, embrace, and obey them?

Or, do you war against the things you find in the Bible that you don’t like- rebelling against their inherent truth, rejecting them, twisting their meanings to suit your own opinions, and refusing to accept them?

If it’s the latter, you need to be afraid.

Be VERY afraid.

Because the Bible makes it clear that you aren’t saved.

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. I John 2:3-6

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.  I Corinthians 2:14-16

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  James 4:4

Christians desire to keep God’s word, just like Jesus did. Christians lovingly call sinners to repentance from their sin and to faith in Christ, just like Jesus did. Christians think like Jesus did. Christians reject the world’s values rather than promoting them, just like Jesus did.bible

My dear friend, if you find yourself constantly battling against God’s word, I urge you, please examine your affections and the fruit of your life, thoughts, and behavior in the mirror of God’s word. It doesn’t matter if you’ve repeated a prayer, filled out a card, been baptized, taken communion, faithfully attended church, served as a teacher, deacon, elder, or pastor, had someone assure you of your salvation, or even if you just “feel saved”. If your life and heart don’t match up with what Scripture says is true of a Christian, you are not genuinely born again.

Please, turn away from your sin- all of your sin -and put your faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross, and in His bodily resurrection, as payment for that sin. If Cain taught us anything, it’s this: you can’t come to God on your own terms. You have to approach Him on His terms.

Or, to borrow from a mantra oft repeated by some in the homosexual community:

If you’re going to accept Him, you have to accept everything about Him.

Gospel, Homosexuality, Politics, Salvation, Sin

SoteriObamaGigliology and You

soteriobamagigliology

Is Louie Giglio a living martyr or a coward? What do you think of our shiny new state church here in the U.S.? If you haven’t heard about The Giglio Imbroglio, allow me to bring you up to speed.gty_rev_louie_giglio_jef_130110_wblog

Pastor Louie Giglio was invited to say a prayer at President Obama’s inauguration ceremony later this month. Being a Christian pastor, it should have been expected that he would have preached at some point on what the Bible says about the sin of homosexuality. Someone with a pro-homosexuality group dug up a sermon  from decades ago in which he had done just that, and, yada yada yada, Pastor Giglio – pressured, or not, by the Inaugural Committee (that’s a little murky at the moment)— decided not to do the prayer. Ok, are ya with me? Good.

I’ve read a bit about this debacle over the past few days (though I have a few disagreements with some points, all of the articles hyperlinked above are excellent) and most of what I’ve read seems to be focused on Louie Giglio. But Louie Giglio isn’t alone on the stage of this little drama.

There’s another player. Our President.

Although all the details and communiqués were being handled by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, as President Truman used to say, “The buck stops here.” Right at the feet of President Obama. Ultimately, he is responsible for the “unvitation.” If he felt that the Committee was out of line in their statements or actions, he could have intervened. Instead, he has been silent, which implies consent.

Our President consented to the press release from the Inaugural Committee which said in part:

“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.”

Translation: Louie Giglio’s Christian beliefs about homosexuality, which come straight from the Bible, do not “reflect this administration’s vision.”

Let me say that again. Christian beliefs about homosexuality, which line up with what the Bible clearly says, are opposed by our President.

Why is that important?

obama-in-church-2004-b654b48e648853dc_largeBecause our President believes he is a Christian.

And so do a lot of other people who share his beliefs on things like homosexuality and abortion.

If that describes you, before you get mad and stop reading, in fairness, hear me say something:

Sanctification (progressively becoming more and more Christlike) is a process. People who get saved, especially as an adult, bring a lot of entrenched opinions and thought processes with them to the cross.

Am I saying you have to become pro-life and anti-homosexuality (notice, I did not say anti-homosexual) before, or in order to, get saved?

No.

Am I saying that five minutes or a week after you get saved, you’ll be pasting “Choose Life” and “One Man, One Woman” bumper stickers on your car?

No.

What I am saying is that a person who has genuinely been born again has a God-created desire to know, trust, and obey God’s word.

Even if it’s hard.

Even if you don’t like it, initially.

Even if you don’t completely understand it.

The desire, inextricably interwoven with your love and affection for Christ, born in your heart when you were born again, exists.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. II Corinthians 5:17

Do you have that desire?

Do you wrestle with the things in God’s word that are difficult for you –perhaps things like homosexuality- in order to understand, embrace, and obey them?

Or, do you war against the things you find in the Bible that you don’t like- rebelling against their inherent truth, rejecting them, twisting their meanings to suit your own opinions, and refusing to accept them?

If it’s the latter, you need to be afraid.

Be VERY afraid.

Because the Bible makes it clear that you aren’t saved.

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. I John 2:3-6

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.  I Corinthians 2:14-16

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  James 4:4

Christians desire to keep God’s word, just like Jesus did. Christians lovingly call sinners to repentance from their sin and to faith in Christ, just like Jesus did. Christians think like Jesus did. Christians reject the world’s values rather than promoting them, just like Jesus did.bible

My dear friend, if you find yourself constantly battling against God’s word, I urge you, please examine your affections and the fruit of your life, thoughts, and behavior in the mirror of God’s word. It doesn’t matter if you’ve repeated a prayer, filled out a card, been baptized, taken communion, faithfully attended church, served as a teacher, deacon, elder, or pastor, had someone assure you of your salvation, or even if you just “feel saved”. If your life and heart don’t match up with what Scripture says is true of a Christian, you are not genuinely born again.

Please, turn away from your sin- all of your sin -and put your faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross, and in His bodily resurrection, as payment for that sin. If Cain taught us anything, it’s this: you can’t come to God on your own terms. You have to approach Him on His terms.

Or, to borrow from a mantra oft repeated by some in the homosexual community:

If you’re going to accept Him, you have to accept everything about Him.

Church, Faith, Politics

The Mormon Moment: Can Christians Biblically Vote for a Mormon?

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SPECIAL NOTE: The scope of this article is limited. While all are welcome to read and consider it, the particular audience for this article is ONLY: Christians who are considering voting for Romney but are hesitant and wondering if it is biblically acceptable for a Christian to vote for a Mormon.

  • I am not attempting to convince Obama supporters to vote for Romney. This is a free country and you may vote for the candidate of your choice.
  • I am not addressing political issues such as taxes, the national debt, the military, etc. This article is of a theological, not political, nature.
  • I will not entertain any arguments as to whether or not President Obama is a Christian. Matthew 7:16, 20 say, “You will know them by their fruits.” The president has clearly demonstrated by his words and actions that he is not a regenerate Christian. Neither is his verbal claim to being a Christian sufficient to prove that he has been born again. Matthew 7:22-23 says, “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord… And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you…” Claiming to be a Christian doesn’t make a person a Christian any more than claiming to be a doctor makes a person a doctor. You are more than welcome to believe whatever you like about the state of the President’s soul, but it will not be argued in this venue.

 

It’s an issue American Christians have never had to deal with before: voting for a Mormon for President. Maybe you’re a Christian who has been considering voting for Mitt Romney, but you’re “theologically hesitant.” If you vote for him, are you, as a Christian, supporting an idolatrous and false religion? Will Romney’s winning the Presidency give legitimacy to Mormonism? Will it further deceive the lost into thinking Mormons are Christians? Will more lost people consider becoming Mormons? These are weighty issues and should be fully considered.

However, I’d like to offer you the opportunity to consider the biblical argument for the freedom to vote for Romney if you so choose. What are some reasons you can consider yourself free in Christ to vote for Romney?

1. Romney is running for president, not preacher.

In Matthew 22:15-22, the Pharisees came to Jesus asking if it were “lawful” –in other words, “in keeping with Scripture”—to participate in a secular government by paying taxes. Jesus’ response? “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21)

As in Jesus’ time, our civil government in the United States is secular. It is not run by the church. It is not ruled by the Bible. And, usually (Matthew 7:14), it is not headed up by a genuinely born again Christian.

This isn’t a theocracy. And God’s ok with that. After all, He is the One who, in His sovereignty, has allowed and maintained this republic for the last 200+ years, and has established the authority of every President we’ve ever had (Romans 13:1).

So God gets -established, in fact- that there’s going to be one set of standards and requirements for civil governing authorities, and another set for those who are leaders in the church. For one thing, a leader in the church must be a genuinely regenerate Believer. There’s no such requirement –in the Bible or anywhere else—for Presidents. There’s a whole list of requirements for pastors, deacons, and elders in I Timothy and Titus, but they necessarily, apply only to Christians who desire to be church leaders. They do not apply to non-Christians (or even Christians) who desire the presidency.

2. We have two choices for president, both unsaved. Does it matter which label they wear?

Romney is a Mormon. If he holds to Mormon doctrine, he is, by definition, not a Christian. Obama claims to be a Christian, but his own words and the fruit of his life belie this claim.

Jesus said that the way to life is narrow and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:14). Statistically speaking, if you have voted in any election, you have probably voted for a lost person, even if that candidate claimed to be saved. Simply saying you’re a Christian doesn’t make you one (Matt. 7:21-23), and being a Mormon doesn’t make a person any “loster” than being a lost person who calls himself a Christian.

While it would be wonderful to have the option of voting for a born again Believer in this election, we simply don’t have that choice this time around.

3. Since we only have two choices in this election, and they’re on essentially equal spiritual footing, we have to look at externals.

We have two choices for president:

A.) Obama: A person who claims to be a Christian, yet encourages and promotes sin in the form of promoting the false doctrine of universalism, furthering the homosexual agenda, and promoting the pro-abortion agenda.

B.) Romney: A non-Christian who has pledged his support of the biblical definition of marriage and the pro-life side of reproductive issues.

The great Reformer Martin Luther may have summed it up best when he said, “I’d rather be ruled by a competent Turk (Muslim) than an incompetent Christian.”

4. Refusing to vote at all, or voting for a non-viable third party candidate has the same effect as voting FOR Obama.

We cannot afford to treat the question of whom we shall vote for in this election as merely a philosophical exercise or hypothetical question. There are real life consequences to our actions (or inaction) on November 6. For millions, this election is, quite literally, a matter of life and death. Sometimes we have to think of an election not as voting FOR a certain candidate, but as voting AGAINST a certain candidate by selecting his opponent.

As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

5. All governmental authority is established by God. And they’re not always Christians.

Romans 13:1 says, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”

Think back over the kings, presidents, emperors, dictators, and czars throughout history. You’ll come across…

Hitler. Attila the Hun. Idi Amin. Pol Pot. Ivan the Terrible. Caligula.

God put those guys in authority? Yep.

Now take a little journey through the Old Testament and look at some of the evil kings God allowed to rule his own chosen people.

Someone is going to win the election in November, and that someone is not going to be a Christian. Our only option is to vote for the person who, though not a Christian, is closer to lining up with what the Bible teaches.

6. A Mormon president will not cause hordes of people to become Mormons.

How many people do you know who became Catholics because JFK was elected? How many became Quakers when Nixon was elected? How many became “Christians” (or, depending on your way of thinking, Muslims) when Obama was elected?

If anything, the nomination of Romney to the ticket has shone a glaring, and very public, spotlight on the many anti-biblical beliefs of Mormonism. Instead of viewing his election to the presidency as an endorsement of Mormonism, why can’t Christians look at it as an opportunity to help others understand false Mormon doctrine and the truth of biblical doctrine? This is a wide open door for evangelism and the public exposure of deceptive teaching!

 

I believe biblical principles demonstrate that we, as Christians, have the freedom to vote for Romney. God has seen fit to orchestrate events so that we only have two viable choices in this election. Both are far from perfect, but Romney has demonstrated a willingness to uphold standards that are more closely in line with the Bible than those Obama upholds. If you’re still on the fence, give it some thought, give it some prayer, and consider for whom God would have you vote.