Evangelist Greg Laurie, who is scheduled to lead the nation in prayer at events hosted by government officials in Washington D.C. during the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, chose not to respond to gay activists who demanded that he be disinvited because he holds a biblical view that homosexuality is a sin. Instead, Laurie asked for prayer Monday in a post to his blog.
"I would appreciate your prayers as I pray for our nation. We all need to take the very real challenges facing our nation seriously," Laurie wrote. "America need God's help. We cannot back away from what He says in Scripture. The enemy will always attack when we seek to do God's work, so let's keep praying!"
He then listed the NDOP website: http://nationaldayofprayer.org.
During the NDOP, Laurie is scheduled to participate at the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill, with Dr. James and Shirley Dobson, Congressman Robert Aderholt, Vonette Bright, Pat Boone, Congressman Frank Wolf, and others. Prior to the Capitol Hill event, Laurie is scheduled to appear at a prayer breakfast at the Pentagon.
Earlier this year, homosexual activists also put pressure on the Rev. Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Roswell, Ga., for a more than 15-year-old sermon in which the pastor said that homosexuality is a sin and that there is an aggressive agenda against the traditional family. Giglio ended up withdrawing from President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony, where he was scheduled to perform the benediction. Giglio publicly said that he withdrew because he did not wish to be part of a debate on homosexuality at a time when America is deeply divided.
The Human Rights Campaign, the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) advocacy group in America, contends that Laurie has a history of speaking out against LGBT Americans. And OutServe-SLDN, an association of actively serving LGBT military personnel, is calling on the Pentagon to remove the pastor from a scheduled prayer breakfast Thursday, citing "his blatantly anti-LGBT message."
Other gay activist groups have joined the campaign since HRC and OutServe-SLDN voiced their protest over last weekend.
"Pastor Laurie's message is out of step with what the majority of people of faith across this country believe," said Dr. Sharon Groves, director of HRC's Religion & Faith Program. "In greater numbers than ever before, people of faith are feeling compelled to speak up and organize for equality – because of their faith."
Laurie, who is the founder of Harvest Crusades and the lead pastor at Harvest churches in Riverside and Orange County, has not talked to the media, including declining a request for comment from The Christian Post, about the protest by gay groups. The Southern California pastor preaches that the Bible is the inerrant word of God and that the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin.
Seattle megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll also asked for prayer leading into Laurie's participation as Honorary Chairmen of this year's NDOP.
"Please pray for my friend, Pastor @greglaurie, who is under heavy fire leading the National Day of Prayer. [link to CP story]," Driscoll tweeted on Monday.
Driscoll has chosen to not add any additional commentary to his tweet and stayed away from any added "heat" that might happen from making any additional comments about the controversy, said his spokesperson when asked by CP for a comment from Driscoll.
However, hundreds of people have come to Laurie's defense through comments posted underneath the CP story about the gay activists' demand.
"Pastor Greg preaches only what is in the Bible," commented Kathy Villanueva. "Nothing more, nothing less. He often says that if he says something that you question, go to the Bible to check the truth of it. Now, if this truth of homosexuality hurts, so be it. Don't shoot the messenger. And Pastor Greg will not compromise. And I will back my pastor and my Lord and King. That being said, I will not turn my back on a homosexual person. I will love the sinner, hate the sin."