A Matter of Conscience

Last Friday, I commented on the withdrawal of Louie Giglio from praying the benediction at the upcoming Obama inaugural. My goal was to point out the intolerance on the Left toward evangelicals who view homosexuality as a sin. We are to be considered “haters” and fringe elements in American society.

I want to revisit that story again, but from a different angle. One question I didn’t raise earlier was whether Giglio should have agreed to participate in the inaugural. One naturally would be honored to be asked to such a high-profile event, but is it wise to be part of something that celebrates another four years of Obama’s rule? I realize Christians will differ in their views of this, but let me state the case for what I have concluded, at least with respect to my conscience.

There is, in my mind, a distinct difference that can be made between the personal and the public in this instance. As a Christian, I want everyone to come to the knowledge of the truth, and I will take any opportunity afforded me to reach out to anyone with the gospel message. That includes even those who have done their best to undermine that truth. So if I were ever asked—and this is a stretch, I know—to a meeting with President Obama that was private, either one-on-one or with a small group of some kind—I would accept that invitation readily. We have to take advantage of all open doors to allow the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of those who need redemption.

However, if I were invited instead to do what Giglio was invited to do—give the benediction at Obama’s inaugural—I would probably decline. Why? If I were on the platform with President Obama, it would appear as if I am in support of his policies. Public perception is very important. There are a lot of low-information voters out there who, without checking out the particulars, would simply assume I was an Obama supporter. Therefore, I would be linked unfairly to the following Obama policies and beliefs:

  • Obama’s all-out promotion of abortion on demand. He is the most pro-abortion president in American history, even rejecting, when he was an Illinois state senator, a bill that would have allowed doctors and nurses to give medical aid to a child born alive during an attempted abortion. That is radicalism to the extreme, and I would never want to be associated with that. During his first presidential term, he also vociferously promoted continued funding of Planned Parenthood, which is the foremost provider of abortion in the nation. The latest statistics reveal that Planned Parenthood helped bring about 333,000 abortions in a recent year, a new record for that organization. This is horrific, and I must, in conscience, distance myself publicly from anyone who holds such extreme views.
  • Obamacare, which I loathe as an engine of tyrannical governmental control over individuals, now is the vehicle by which Christian organizations are being persecuted for their beliefs in the area of abortion. The HHS mandates are attempting to force Christian colleges and businesses to offer abortifacient drugs and other means for furthering abortion in their healthcare plans. This is an outright attack on the First Amendment’s promise of liberty of conscience with respect to religious belief.
  • Obama’s decision to promote homosexuality, not only as a legitimate lifestyle with no moral repugnance, but beyond that, his espousal of same-sex marriage. No president has ever promoted this false concept of marriage, and it is just as dangerous to the health of our society as his approval of abortion. In both cases, the family, as understood Biblically, is undermined.
  • His total lack of concern for the constitutional constraints on presidential power, as he now prepares to run the country via unconstitutional executive orders.
  • His complete rejection of any genuine fiscal discipline, seeking to be granted unlimited authority to add to the nation’s debt as much as he chooses, bypassing Congress. Both this power play and the one mentioned just above it are the fruit of his overall Marxist and anti-colonial mindset, both of which see the United States as an oppressor and its Constitution as an outdated document no longer applicable to the socialist vision of the future.

For these and many other reasons I could list, I would not in any way want my presence on a stage with the president to be misinterpreted as a show of support. I can pray for the nation quite well privately; I don’t have to be the public face of blessing on the next four years of antichristian rhetoric and action.

As I said earlier, I know there are those who will disagree with my conclusion, but I have to abide by my conscience before God, and to accept the invitation Louie Giglio originally accepted would be, at least for me, a public renunciation of my most deeply held beliefs. In good conscience, I could never do it.

Christians are going to be faced with many more decisions like these. How are we going to respond? Will we stand firm on what we know to be true? As long as we are always willing to share the truth with anyone who is open to it, and as long as we conduct ourselves in the proper spirit, I believe God will honor our strong stand.