There's been a lot of speculation about the smaller crowd expected for this year's inauguration--and now we know why. The president seems to be disinviting all the Christians!
The purging started with Pastor Louie Giglio, who had been scheduled to offer the benediction until homosexual activists dug up a 20-year-old sermon and were shocked to find the Christian minister preaching a Christian message on sexuality. Giglio vanished from the inauguration program 24 hours later, despite his successful ministry for human trafficking victims.
In that instant, America was finally introduced to the real agenda of the radical Left. It was the inauguration of a new era of religious intolerance. By his own admission, Pastor Giglio had intentionally avoided the issue of homosexuality for years and concentrated his ministry on more agreeable topics. That much was clear from his own statement: "Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities," Giglio pointed out. Yet even he, who desperately wanted to avoid confrontation, could not.
As he learned yesterday, liberals are no longer satisfied by the church's silence on homosexuality. They will accept nothing less than the active embrace and celebration of what the Bible calls sin--or use totalitarian tactics to get it. What was once outrage over Christian activism has been replaced by outrage over Christian association. The White House has declared that anyone who holds to the belief--spoken or unspoken--that sexual immorality is wrong has no place at democracy's table.
This should be a wake-up call to every evangelical who thinks they can pacify the Left by making the symptoms of immorality their sole focus and being silent on the cause: sin. As those who seek to emulate Christ, our approach must be holistic. We should help the hurting regardless of the cause, but we must also have the courage to go beyond the symptoms to the source. Engaging the world through social justice or conservationism may help us find common ground--but it will not mollify faith's detractors. Nothing less than 100 percent capitulation will.
As Albert Mohler wrote in a compelling column about Pastor Giglio, Americans have entered "the Moral McCarthyism" era of our time. Instead of asking if people are members of the Communist Party, the question will be: "Are you now or have you ever been one who believes that homosexuality (or bisexuality, transsexualism and so on) is anything less than morally acceptable?"
According to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, 52 percent of Americans would still answer yes. If the mere act of subscribing to a moral view of sexuality is a disqualifying factor, then Roman Catholics, Muslims, Mormons and Orthodox Jews would be disinvited too! After all, Pastor Giglio was not imposing his view on society. When he did talk about homosexuality, he did so to fellow Christians in the confines of his house of worship. If that kind of dissension is not tolerated--believing in the Bible in your own church--then there is no freedom left. And we have become, as Dr. Russell Moore suggests, members of a State Church, where "if you want to avoid being thrown off the program, you had better learn to 'evolve' fast."
"This is precisely what biblical Christians cannot do," Mohler writes. "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."
A church without truth is no church at all. It's not enough to love people to Christ if that love is absent the very reason we need Him: human fallenness. There comes a time, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, when silence becomes betrayal. "The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die." Friends, this is that day. Will we hide in fear or stand on truth?
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.
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