Balaam replied to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the command of the LORD my God." - Numbers 22:18
Passion is a large-venue rally for young Christians that condemns human trafficking and is most closely identified with its highest profile speaker, John Piper. Recently, Passion met in Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Upon the conclusion of their rally, Passion's publicists announced their 60,000 attendees had donated over $3,000,000 to nonprofit corporations.
Passion's second most famous preacher is Beth Moore, who from her own involvement wrote this:
Many of you are familiar with the Passion Conferences that God has used wildly among 18-25 year-olds for well over a decade. ...God has shown outlandish favor on these events and He alone knows exactly why but this is the feeling that I get every time I observe a Passion gathering: He likes it. He likes coming to it. He likes brooding over it. He likes filling it. His glory is jealously guarded and His fame is generously spread.
Imagine what would happen if God completely captivated thousands of lives in that 18-25 year range... What if nothing less than the flagrant (sic) fame of Jesus Christ became their life ambition? ...At these events, the wholly surrendered life in Christ is captured for what it really is: the most exhilarating adventure available for human flesh and blood.
Passion's huge success earned its CEO, Louie Giglio, an invitation to give the benediction at President Obama's Inauguration to a second term. Then it came out that fifteen to twenty years ago Giglio had said homosexual practice... is sin:
That's God's voice. If you want to hear God's voice, that is his voice to this issue of homosexuality. It is not ambiguous and unclear. It is very clear. If you look at the counsel of the Word of God, Old Testament, New Testament, you come quickly to the conclusion that homosexuality is not an alternate lifestyle... homosexuality is not just a sexual preference, homosexuality is not gay, but homosexuality is sin. It is sin in the eyes of God, and it is sin according to the Word of God.
...The only way out of a homosexual lifestyle, the only way out of a relationship that has been ingrained over years of time, is through the healing power of Jesus. 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 is possible to change...
The President was not pleased. CNN reports:
A spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee said the committee was "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. 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..."
Mr. Giglio did his duty and walked the plank, issuing this statement earlier today:
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 a 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.
Which is to say Mr. Giglio has long been dispassionate concerning the souls of sodomites. Calling them to repentance "has not been in the range of (his) priorities for the past fifteen years."
His passion is now reserved for "call(ing) people to ultimate significance" and "mak(ing) much of Jesus Christ."
Is this quibbling over words? I think not.
Calling people "to ultimate significance" is the closest we get to preaching faith today, and there is no preaching of repentance. Or I should say there is no preaching of repentance of any sin other than elder brotherhood, which is to say self-righteousness. And even this preaching of repentance is really not. It's a bait-and-switch routine whereby the man calling sinners to repent is condemned for his self-righteousness. Thus the only man who's called to repent is the man who calls others to repent.
So now Mr. Giglio has learned what he may and may not say in polite society. Sadly, although he'd already repented of saying it some fifteen years ago, it was no use. He'd set off Secularism's thought crime meter and has now been banished to wandering outside the Beltway crying, "Unclean! Unclean!"
Which apparently he's quite willing to do.
Poor Mr. Giglio.
Poor passionate ralliers who have had to watch this humiliation of their great leader.
Poor shepherds who have now learned the truths they must never utter if they ever hope to ascend to any tall-steeple church outside the deep South.
Poor white collar men who have learned the sort of pastors and sermons they must never allow their names to be associated with.
Poor sinners—particularly of the gay variety—who will now suffer the consequences of God's prophets being banished to solitary confinement.
One observation, one suggestion, and one question: