Scot McKnight’s Take on the Louie Giglio Inauguration Prayer Situation

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First, if you don’t read Scot McKnight’s blog (much less his books) you really should give it a try. Second, his take on Louie Giglio’s backing out of the Inauguration Day prayer is extremely insightful. For those who aren’t up to speed on this. Giglio was asked to pray at the inauguration. Once he was selected a LGBT group dug around a bit and came up with a sermon from the 1990s where he made a few comments against the homosexual lifestyle and its impact on our society.

Here is an excerpt from Scot McKnight on stickiness of the Gospel, politics & political parties,

This is what happens when you enter the political forum. When you enter politics you risk sullying the gospel. In DC everything is political. Who speaks, who stands where, who gets to be in the parameters of the photos, who speaks when and when one speaks where… To agree to the political space is to agree with the politics. It was noble of you to back off; it was good to say “This isn’t worth it to the gospel.” But who could have been surprised that the caucus for same-sex marriage would find Louie objectionable? Rick Warren experienced this four years back. The debate has increased, not decreased.

There were two approaches left once the opposition’s rhetoric got going: back down, which Giglio did, or endure it, which Warren did.

Neither approach is worth it. If you don’t agree up and down the platform of the Democrats, don’t pray on their platform. Evangelicals will give anything to get some power back, or to be seen with power, to be the leader of the nation. That’s not our job, friends.


Randy Alcorn’s take [HT Tyler Ellis]

16 Responses

  1. Wouldn’t be refreshing if each newly-elected president called someone who had vigorously opposed him/her and said, “Do you consider yourself my political enemy, or at least an opponent? Would you be willing to lead a public prayer for me and my administration at my inauguration?”

  2. Matt, as someone who has LGBT family and friends, I do hope your phrase “some LGBT” was a typo. It’s dehumanising to call them “some LGBT” instead of “some LGBT PEOPLE”. Just a heads up. We are all God’s children, no matter what our sexuality, gender or orientation.

    1. I initially had “LGBT groups” and then I wasn’t sure if it was one group or several so I took it out as I dug around and then forgot to come back and rework the sentence.

  3. Politics is ‘wearying’…if I can invent a word. Admittedly I bury my head in the sand often when politico topics come around.
    I do not pray often enough for those ‘in’ political office and those infuencing policians. 1Timothy 2 is a great reminder to pray for those in authority (and the influences upon them I add the thought). That we may live in peace as able – and I think that prayer is for MY peace as well as those about whom I am praying. God is good all the time, even when I disagree.
    While I don’t know for sure, I anticipate Mr. Giglio is praying for the one who does step onto the platform as well as the country and the leaders.

  4. I am of the conviction that when fundamentalist, and even many evangelicals, are around their own kind, it is very easy in their preaching and teaching to take stands in which they feel strong, believing, “The world cannot stand up against what we know to be rightous”.

    But when a few launch out into “the world”, they come face to face with the humanity of others, a humanity that never occured to them while in their protective bubbles. Those they once railed against now have a face and feelings. When the others see their religious leader cave in to “the world”, they become angry, more determined than ever to take a stand…until one of them launches out.

  5. My problem with what Scot says is that he so blatantly trumpets other “justice” causes of public policy. He’s been talking gun control quite a bit lately, for instance. It’s unfair to hint Giglio did it for evangelical power acquisition (if that’s what he did), and bit much to imply Christians should never enter the public square unless they agree COMPLETELY with what the current Caesar says. It’s OK to take an apolitical position. I’m more or less there myself. I’m not sure the statement “to agree with the political space is to agree with the politics.” Then no Christians would pray in the presence of others, ever–as few agree up and down with one another.

    1. Timothy,
      You are making some really valid points. Look at Paul’s actions in the face of the political leaders of his day. When he had the chance to speak with them, even challenge them, he did. That is an important reminder. It is also important to know that our presence on a given platform does not mean we are bending or bowing to the powers that be or that we are in 100% agreement or solidarity with all of their views. Otherwise we might as well call Elijah a Baal worshipper for even being on Mt. Carmel. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You may want to bring that up on Scot’s blog if you haven’t already. I would love to hear his response.

  6. The failure of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to stand up to President Obama on many vital matters of principle is one of the most important – and least mentioned – political dynamics of this era. As the largest caucus of Democrats on Capitol Hill, the Progressive Caucus has heavyweight size but flyweight punch.

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