“Our lives begin to end the day we go silent about the things that matter.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you’ve been keeping up with politics the last few days, you’ve seen Kelly Clarkson, heard from Beyone, and been taken back in time by James Taylor. Oh, and the President was sworn in as well.
But what you missed was Louie Giglio giving the benediction at Obama’s second inaugural ceremony. Because it didn’t happen. Louie was originally chosen to give the prayer because of his work to end modern day slavery and his work with the next generation of Christian leaders. Within hours of the announcement, LGBTQ and other gay activist groups began beating their proverbial drum and arguing Louie was anti-gay (mostly because of a sermon that Louie gave in the 1990′s about God’s view on homosexuality.) Long story short, the media noise got loud, religious and non-religious people started taking notice, and the Giglio camp decide to step aside. Too much controversy.
Since then, I’ve read a number of blogs and articles from various Christian leaders suggesting that the tide of Christian intolerance is rising and that what Christians will face in the future will be similar to what blacks faced in the Civil Rights movement. These same leaders also suggested that the Giglio team “bowed out gracefully.”
But we didn’t need Louie to bow out gracefully–we needed him to stand up boldly.
I have a deep respect for Louie, but in this situation, I would have advised him to walk through the controversy. With meekness and gentleness, he could have stood tall and shared God’s word despite the nay-sayers. Let’s be honest, the LGBTQ and other groups didn’t do anything but voice their opinion. Loudly. And they have the right to do so. We don’t have to agree with their position, but we certainly can’t afford to tuck tail and run when things get messy. Because things will always get messy when the views of men clash with the views of God.
Am I suggesting we should have set battle lines and drawn swords? Not at all. I’m calling for a quiet boldness. I’m asking that we confidently state our Biblical worldview without hating those who oppose us. Since it is a special day of remembrance for Dr. Martin Luther King, let’s honor him by remembering, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
I feel bad for Louie. The situation was unfortunate and tough. Call it religious intolerance, reverse discrimination, or prejudice if you so choose, but I believe it is just a reminder that we are called to be bold in our faith. It is not enough to speak of the promises–we have to stand on the premises and be counted. It is time to love, persevere, and engage with the culture.