Saturday, January 5, 2013

Discerning a Gnostic conference called "Passion 2013," Louie Giglio

from part two of a three-part series on the "Passion 2013" conference
Louie Giglio is a 54 year old pastor of Pastor of Passion City Church in the Atlanta area which he founded in 2008. Prior to that Giglio was a pastor at Andy Stanley's North Point Church for 13 years, itself an emergent-leaning church with a mystical bent. He is Speaker/Founder of the Passion Movement. The Passion Movement is most publicly seen in the large conferences held at the first of each year and is so named after the year. Passion 2013 just concluded this week in Atlanta, Georgia. TheAtlanta paper reported that 60,000 youths attended.

Mr Giglio's main ministry began in and continues to be aimed at Christian youth- especially college aged students through young adult.

More than 170,000 people from more than 130 countries watched part of the Passion 2013 conference online. His "Laminin" sermon has attracted over 3 million views on Youtube. If you would like another take on the Giglio laminin sermon, I point you to the essay Laminin and the Cross at the science-oriented website Answers in Genesis, where we are specifically cautioned against looking for signs in the world OR in science via Mr Giglio's laminin doctrine.

This blogger had this to say about the Inadequacies of Evidentialism(i.e. 'Laminin proof'):
And though I would imagine his ministry has been a blessing to many folks over the years, he is one of those type of speakers who will sensationalize Christian "evidences," like the laminin molecule, in order to make God appear to be really cool and neat-o. But this misappropriation of Christian evidence has some hidden dangers that will undo your credibility as a messenger for God.

First, it capitulates to the culture, particularly the teen culture who already think being a Christian is "squaresville." Though there is good intentions with the attempt to show that believing in Jesus doesn't make a person an "L7," what happens when smug and surly Devon goes home after one of these Giglio conferences where he opines on the shape of the laminin molecule, does an internet search only to discover that Giglio exaggerated his proof? All that shows is Christians can lie.

Secondly, the illustration merely trivializes the Gospel. Honestly, does the laminin molecule have to look like a cross in order for God to be a perfect creator? How does a cross shaped molecule help God out exactly? How does it make God more real? Isn't the fact that there is a complex, self-replicating molecule to begin with proof enough for God's hand in all of life?
I agree.

So the statistics show us that Pastor Giglio is popular and has influence. The facts show that his most famous sermon is a bit off-center and exaggerated, with a wrong emphasis. With such numbers it behooves us to take a look at what he is preaching to these multitudes of youth, many of whom reside in my own state of Georgia.

The Passion 2013 website says "At the heart of it all, Passion exists to see a generation stake their lives on what matters most. For us, that's the fame of the One who rescues and restores, and the privilege we have to fully leverage our lives by amplifying His name in everything we do."

This is something I have read frequently that Giglio and the people associated with Giglio say. It is that what they do is for the fame of Jesus. On the surface it looks like bringing fame to Jesus is a good thing. But words matter. I say again, words matter. Jesus doesn't need fame. He had fame. (Luke 4:14). Fame is fleeting and fame is fickle. We do not need to bring Him fame.What we bring Jesus is glory.

Puritan Thomas Watson wrote in his sermon, "Man's Chief End is to Glorify God",
The glorifying of God, 1 Pet. 4:11. "That God in all things may be glorified." The glory of God is a silver thread which must run through all our actions. l Cor. 10:31. "Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." Everything works to some end in things natural and artificial; now, man being a rational creature, must propose some end to himself, and that should be, that he may lift up God in the world. He had better lose his life than the end of his living. The great truth asserted is that the end of every man's living should be to glorify God. Glorifying God has respect to all the persons in the Trinity; it respects God the Father who gave us life; God the Son, who lost his life for us; and God the Holy Ghost, who produces a new life in us; we must bring glory to the whole Trinity.
Jesus does not need us to bring Him fame.

To continue, Mr Giglio has gone the way of people who teach, preach and expect to hear divine audible voices directly telling them what to do specifically and in individual circumstances. And not that they can expect this voice just once, but often. At last year's Passion 2012 conference, Mr Giglio said, "How many of you heard the voice of God speak specifically, clearly, directly, and personally, to you? Can you just put a hand up? I’d like you to share it. Can you put a hand up for a minute?" ... "God spoke to me.” Don’t let the voice of the darkness, tell you that you are not worth that God would not speak to you. Don’t let him tell you, you don’t matter. God spoke to you."

He teaches youth that it is normative to hear God, and worse, the flip side of his teaching is that if you do NOT hear God, there is something wrong with you. Apparently Mr Giglio has full confidence in his ability to detect the Voice. At a conference in GA in March 2012, Mr Giglio was interviewed by his friend Andy Stanley. Mr Giglio said, "The upside to planting a church at 50 years old – You care less about what other people think. You have more confidence in your ability to hear from Jesus.”

The ability to hear His voice- through the scripture and no other place- comes from the Holy Spirit. Not ourselves.

That was a short overview. Now to the Passion 2013 conference..."

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