Friday, January 18, 2013

The Dangers of Personal Museums ~ Life Lessons from Louis Giglio

On Monday President Obama will be sworn into office for another four years.

Louis Giglio will not be praying at the event.

In case you've missed this turn of events, or missed some of the brouhaha that followed, here's a quick recap.

End It Shine A Light on Slavery
Louis Giglio is the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta and one of the men behind the Passion conference which recently completed in Atlanta. If any of your friends went to Passion 2013, you've probably seen the End It links on Facebook and twitter because one of the focuses of this year's conference. as well as a focus of Louis' work recently, is ending slavery.

Just after the first of the year, it was announced that Louis had been chosen to pray at Obama's inauguration. It wasn't long before some people started complaining of the choice. Eventually Louis withdrew because of gay support groups making a fuss over a 15-year old sermon in which he spoke out against homosexuality.

Louis' post on his church's blog. 

The article on Fox News and the article on CNN depending on how you like to read your news.

Social media lit up with people both supporting and criticizing Giglio. While some people are holding Giglio up as an example of how those pushing the homosexual agenda will turn anything into a discussion about gay rights, others are nearly trashing him because the group used a sermon 15 years old.

I would like to take a moment to say both of those groups are wrong.

For the record, I support Louis and his decision. He is my brother in Christ and I completely understand his desire to keep his focus on the passion and ministry God has currently given him. I do not think Louis is perfect, above reproach, or incapable of making a bad decision.

That is where I think the problem has arisen for those who are polarizing the situation. People love to hold others, particularly celebrities, up on pedestals. We have personal museums of personalities that we have decided are the perfect examples of who we want to be or what we believe in.

Tower of wooden blocks
Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The problem is that these pedestals are rickety, built like a child's tower of blocks. When these people, who mostly have never asked or claimed the spot we've given them, do something against the image we've created, they fall. We either knock them down ourselves and try to bury them beneath the rubble or someone else comes in a gleefully sends them crashing to the floor, scarring and bruising us in the process.

It is so dangerous to put fallible humans above reproach. They will always, ALWAYS fail us.

In this case, Louis never asked to be the posterboy for the conservative stance on homosexuality. In fact, by his own words he pulled out so that he wouldn't be in that position. He also never said he was perfect. In fact, in the sermon snippet used by the ruckus-raising group, he says he is s a sinner just like everyone else listening to his sermon.

Go through your personal museum. Who rests uncomfortably high on your homemade towers? They aren't always distant celebrities. Parents, friends, pastors, and others in our daily lives are sometimes exalted as well.

Do yourself and them a favor. Dismantle your pedestals. Don't ram them down and crush everything you admire. Take them down piece by piece, block by block, and build an altar with them. Use it to remember that the only One capable of living up to every expectation without failure is Jesus Christ.


Author's notes: I did not include the links to the social media that I saw because most of them were personal discussions on Facebook. You can find many, many blog posts on both sides through Google. Also, for the record, Louis Giglio spoke out against homosexuality during a series on marriage and dating less than a year ago. His choices and situation were not the main point of this article, simply a recent example used to illustrate my point. Do not lay undue praise or censure at his door. 

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