Louis Giglio, the pastor of Passion City Church and the leader of the highly popular youth-oriented Passion Conference that regularly features people like Christine Caine and John Piper, says that making everything about God puts you outside of God’s will.
Giglio posted his quip on his Facebook page where it received thousands of likes and tons of affirming comments.
His comment appears to be a rewording of the old adage, “don’t be so heavenly-minded that you’re of no earthly good.” Of course, he’s attacking a straw man and that is certainly no biblical adage. It’s really an attack on the sovereignty and supremacy of God in all things. To translate what Giglio actually means when he says this, he’s essentially saying that if all you do is think about God all the time, you’ll wind up with a theology that doesn’t take into account social justice and commands to love your neighbor, and so on and so forth…
Nobody who is actually heavenly-minded by the Bible’s definition is outside of the will of God. Whatever earthly good they may be is a result of their being truly heavenly-minded. It’s not that we shouldn’t be of any earthly good, it’s a matter of which one governs the other.
The problem today is people devising self-righteous and self-satisfying ways of being what they think is earthly good while abandoning heavenly-mindedness according to the word. The principle in the Lord’s words of seeking first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) and his righteousness goes beyond simply earthly provision.
If we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, everything else will take care of itself. This is not to say that we should sit in meditative inaction. It means that we will have taken every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and be walking in his mind instead of our own bleeding heart inventions. Along these lines is the biblical command to pray without ceasing. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we walk around the world on our knees and never cease to be in a state of direct prayer. It’s another way of commanding the taking of every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
The foundational error here is having a standard of good and evil that is independent of God and his word. People have in their mind what they think good must mean because that’s what makes them feel good, and then they interpret the Bible in light of those that are to them self-evident presumptions. Atheists do this all the time. How can you worship a God that would cause the Jews to eat their own children according to the book of Jeremiah? Obviously, that is wickedness and your God is worse than the devil if there were one.
That’s because they have a self-erected standard of good and evil, in the only context they interpret it through is their own self-exalted mind. Social justice dolts like Giglio do the same thing from a different angle. Here’s what good must look like in the culture, and then I’ll go to the Bible and find that there because obviously, that must be good because I think so.
Jesus said to feed the poor! What’s the matter with you idiots, what could be more plain than that?!
Without taking the time to realize that he was preaching to his covenant people about how they should treat each other. Not that he was commanding Christians to feed every poor person in the world under all circumstances and that the failure to do so is somehow sinful. These Bible-twisters really mangle the Old Testament doing this. Let Justice roll down like a river! Again, God is commanding his people to treat each other justly, to do justice. Not to go on a campaign to make sure that the Babylonians are just.
All of this is at the bottom of this man’s error. It’s a way of thinking about things that makes them feel good. I’m a good Christian, look at how I’m working for social justice. It’s not faithfulness to God, it’s self-service that disguises itself as faithfulness to God.
Of course, none of this means that we shouldn’t confront the evil in our culture, shouldn’t vote, or shouldn’t be politically active. It means that we always keep all of that surrendered and subsumed under biblical principles. Political engagement is a means to the ends—God’s glory. This is exactly the thing that Giglio is denouncing.