Pastor, author, communicator, founder of the passion movement and scheduled to speak at the upcoming 2018 Thrive Conference, Louie Giglio is the engine behind Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He has authored several books. Furthermore, his most recent Passion Conference in 2017 had over “55,000 18-25 year olds from 90 countries and all 50 states” pack the Georgia Dome. In fact, the 2018 Passion Conference is already sold out as of October 28, 2017.
Obviously, Giglio has quite a following. As a result, it would be well to examine his teachings against God’s Word to see if those following him are following one who rightly handles God’s Word.
PASSION CITY CHURCH
The following screen-captures that describe Passion City Church come from the church website, found at https://passioncitychurch.com/us/.
I am not so sure what “Jesus church” means. Furthermore, whoever wrote the above obviously did not have an editor proofread it, given the clear fragment in the second sentence. Vagueness and grammar error aside, I find nothing really wrong with the above.
It appears this part of the website has gotten a makeover; this website’s take on Giglio’s statement of beliefs looks much different than the one above. However, no less than one commonality exists; no Scriptures are used to support any of the statements. I once stated here that it was possible for a good church to not have Scriptures to support one’s statement of beliefs. However, a lack of Scripture in one’s statement of beliefs results in its being both incomplete and prone to Scriptural refutation.
Below is the church’s history.
Below are thirteen points that seemingly are the engine of Passion City Church. I will not nitpick each point to death. Instead, I will offer commentary on some things.
Above, the site gives clarity on what it means to be a Jesus church. I find nothing really wrong with the above with the exception of the lack of Scripture. Given the above states that Jesus’ “name is the only name that saves”, I will give this a pass given salvation is indeed found in nobody else but Jesus Christ (Acts 4;12, John 14:6). However, the lack of Scripture in the above is still a tad bothersome.
The above could use a bit of fine-tuning. In point #2, it says, “Jesus came to bring us from death to life.” While that sounds good, it is not entirely accurate. Scripture says He came to seek and save that which was lost (Matthew 19:11). Furthermore, the apostle Paul considered it a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance that Jesus came to seek and save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). Finally, John referred to Jesus as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
In point #2, it also states, “Jesus did what we could never do to allow us to experience what we could have apart from him.” That word “experience” is a popular buzzword that I hear often in churches, sermons, etc.. One website gives a biblical criticism of experience here. Berean Research also posted an article debunking the concept of experiences here. In fact, Bud Ahlheim wrote about the Passion 2017 Conference’s emphasis on experience (as opposed to Gospel Truth) here.
In point #3, it says, “…God wants more than a song.” What does this even mean? I thought he wanted everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
For point #6, the terms “me-ism” and “we-ism” are vague. I had never heard or seen such an “ism” until I came across these points.
Point #8 has arguably the most alarming thing worth noting.
Language is essential. With our words we create the world in which we live.
That’s why we try not to use cliches and do not feel bound by standard terminology. We seek to create and shape our culture by using words and phrases that accurately reflect the people we want to be and the things we endeavor to do.
The above phrase simply oozes of the Word of Faith heresy. At this point, the statement of beliefs has lost its credibility. As a result, one would be wise not to attend this church. A church cannot simply recover from promoting or endorsing a heresy the way Passion City does here.
I offer no commentary for the following four points, Instead, I simply list them for the sake of listing them all.
As shown, the thirteen points are essentially a combination of little truth mixed with errors, heresy, ambiguity, and easily refutable stuff.
There are many existing critiques on the sermons Giglio has given. Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio has done no less than nine updates on Giglio. I list these in order from oldest to newest, as follows.
- January 7, 2013: Beginning at the 40:41 mark of this episode, Rosebrough notes Giglio’s twisting of Ezekiel 37 at the Passion 2013 conference. Rosebrough also notes how Giglio’s message is a “a counterfeit, false message, false gospel.” While the words are strong, Rosebrough does give a good review here.
- January 10, 2013: Beginning at the 14:05 mark of this episode, Rosebrough does not hold back in his criticism of Giglio. During this time in history, Giglio was asked to give the benediction at (then) President Obama’s inauguration for his second term as president. Apparently, a past message of Giglio’s on homosexuality upset some. As a result, Giglio withdrew. Giglio gave an explanation for why he withdrew (part of the explanation included his stating that preaching on homosexuality has “not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years). One noteworthy quote of Rosebrough’s describing Giglio’s actions was, “He put his tail between his legs and scampered off the battlefield. These are the actions of a liberal and a coward.”
- January 11, 2013: This essentially piggybacks off of the 1/10/2013 episode. Rosebrough admits to standing by what he said in that episode. Furthermore, he says Giglio is not a Christian martyr (supposedly some people were calling Giglio a martyr over this issue, which is just insane). Rosebrough repeats his “coward” assessment. Furthermore, Rosebrough explains why it is necessary for a pastor to preach on homosexuality much more frequently than Giglio claims to do.
- July 28, 2014: Beginning at the 39:25 mark, Rosebrough notes Giglio’s being a tri-theist, which contradicts what the Scriptures say. In fact, this tri-theism of Giglio’s makes sense given the fact his own website endorses the Word of Faith heresy, which has connections to tri-theism.
- January 20, 2016: Beginning at the 36:54 mark, Rosebrough notes both Giglio’s strange doctrine and attempts at emotional manipulation.
- April 28, 2016: Beginning at the 58:05 mark, Rosebrough’s analysis here shows Giglio’s time at a conference for Phil Pringle, a heretic. Rosebrough states Giglio was “whoring for Phil Pringle and twisting God’s Word in order to do it.” Specifically, Giglio was twisting Matthew 27 in this instance. The fact Giglio was not only twisting God’s Word but “whoring” for a heretic in the process should definitely be cause for concern.
- July 12, 2016: In this brief update at the 54:26 mark, Rosebrough notes how Giglio mishandles God’s Word by his drawing an incorrect conclusion in how Christians are known.
- September 22, 2016: At the 52:20 mark in a message from the 2016 Code Orange “Revival” (an evening featuring a who’s who of false teachers, including Steven Furtick, Levi Lusko, Craig Groeschel, John Gray, Joyce Meyer, Christine Caine, Dharius Daniels and Carl Lentz), Rosebrough notes how Giglio teaches the heresies of pelagianism and synergism. Giglio twists Psalm 23 in the process.
- September 11, 2017: Beginning at the 1:17:55 mark, Rosebrough notes how Giglio botches the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17). Furthermore, Rosebrough notes how Giglio promotes the Word of Faith heresy.
Rosebrough is not the only person to note Giglio’s gross errors. The late Ken Silva agreed with Rosebrough’s assessment on the 2013 fallout from Giglio’s withdrawal from the inauguration. Silva also noted how Giglio does not have a problem with women “acting as elders” since Giglio let the false teacher Beth Moore preach at his church once. One website rightly notes how Giglio’s Passion Conference lacks “a passion for the truth.” One individual for the American Family Association slammed Giglio for allowing Carrie Underwood, a popular singer who supports gay marriage, to sing at Giglio’s Passion 2017 Conference. Finally, no less than one former attender of Giglio’s Passion City Church is speaking up; a lady details why she never returned to Passion City Church in her testimony here.
LIMITATIONS TO THIS POST
As informational as this post is, this is not an exhaustive “be-all, end-all” post on Louie Giglio because it never took into account any of the books Giglio has authored. Furthermore, it did not give an exhaustive look at his Passion Conference. Instead, it looked at Giglio’s own church (specifically the website and what the church claims to believe) and some sermons/actions of his. Future blog posts may be dedicated to either his Passion Conference or some books of his (which, on the surface, already look like something I would not recommend).
I find it hard to argue against the “coward” labels for Giglio. Furthermore, it is clear Giglio has no problem associating with a plethora of false teachers. Finally, both the lack of Scripture on his church’s website and his inability to rightly handle God’s Word is alarming. He essentially teaches for shameful gain what he ought not to teach (Titus 1:5-16). For those reasons, it would be wise to mark and avoid Louie Giglio (Romans 16:17). Chris Rosebrough said years ago, at the conclusion of one of his updates on Giglio, that Giglio needs to repent. Given Giglio’s plethora of false teachings and horrible associations, I pray Giglio does do such a thing.