DISCLAIMER: This is one of those posts that has to be removed from Pastor Brad Shimomura, and attributed to Brad Shimomura, regular guy. The opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any church or organization that I am or have been affiliated with. In other words, don’t hold any opinion against anyone else, but me. Thanks and happy reading!
Christian music artist Jennifer Knapp made a startling announcement concerning her sexuality. She has announced that she is a lesbian, and been in a relationship with a woman for about 8 years. I have been thinking about this for about a year since Ray Boltz also announced his divorce from his wife and gay lifestyle.
First of all, I believe that homosexuality is a sin. It is on the same level as gossip, lying, cheating on your taxes, heterosexual sex with someone who is not your spouse, murder, overeating (gluttony), and anything else you want to put in here. These are against the nature of God, yet forgivable because of the cross. God does not rate sin. He does not say that homosexuality and murder are one type of sin that requires one punishment while slander and overeating are another type that requires different punishment, and are forgiven easier. He sees all sin the same, and it is all forgivable.
Having said that, I am not in favor of her lifestyle, any more than I am in favor of someone living a lifestyle of lying. I don’t think its is healthy or good, but it is what it is. At the same time, she has a new album coming out, for the first time in a long time. I’m not really a big Jennifer Knapp fan, so the likelihood of my purchasing the album in the first place was slim to none. This announcement really has no bearing on whether or not I would purchase her new album or any of her albums in the first place. I say all that to say that a question was asked of me, “Will she continue to sing Christian music?” with the implication, “while she is living a lifestyle that is contrary to our beliefs?”
I believe that we all live a lifestyle that is contrary to our beliefs. We are inherently sinful… we sin (by we, I mean I but assume that I am not abnormal) daily. I am not excusing sin, but simply saying that we are all sinners saved by grace. Knowing the lifestyle that Ray Boltz and Jennifer Knapp have chosen, if their music glorifies God, and inspires me to worship, or to live a better life, I’ll be a fan of it. My opinion of Ray Boltz music has not changed since finding out that he is gay. I still enjoy the songs that I liked before, and still don’t like the songs that I did not like before.
You see, it is wrong for us to throw the baby out with the bath water and say that because of their lifestyle we should not have anything to do with their music. Kirk Franklin had a period where he stopped recording music and went into rehab for an addiction to pornography. Afterwords, he wrote a new album, and told his story. I hold nothing against him, but I do have a greater level of respect for Kirk because of his honesty. I have the same respect for Jennifer Knapp for admitting to what is taboo in Christian culture, and being true to herself (and to Ray Boltz also). I lose respect for them if there were rumors around about their sexuality that they never addressed that were later found to be true.
I guess what this all comes down to is be true to yourself and your struggles. God does not want for us to live in a state of sin and rebellion, but wants us to overcome it and help others.