Jennifer Knapp and various Christian responses to human depravity

This week has created a bit of a stir in the Christian music scene. Jennifer Knapp, one of my absolute favorite Christian artists (even though she’s just now stepping back into the spotlight after 7 years) is gay. She announced it this week in several publications, including the interesting combination of Christianity Today and the Advocate.

Obviously, people’s responses have been varied.  Some are angry and cruel.  Others speak and respond as though this is no big deal.  I’ve read twitters and blog responses where the discussion immediately goes to unwavering support for her and her music, others that immediately jump to judgment and condemnation.  And while I affirm that the Bible unmistakeably teaches that homosexuality is a sin, I still can’t find it in my heart to go to either of these extremes.

Perhaps, what breaks my heart is that as soon as someone stands in the gap, they’re attacked by both sides.

Several have tried.  I’ve read several responses to this news that attempts to display Christ-likeness and show affection and grace toward Jennifer (the person), while being offended by her sin.  They don’t do this blind to their own depravity.  They don’t “call her out” and command that she repent, but simply state the tragedy that someone who played such a prominent role in music that probes the heart would fall prey to a lifestyle-sin.

And really shouldn’t that break all of our hearts?

Shouldn’t something within believers rise up and get offended when sin takes over someone’s life and they choose to live “in sin” rather than “in him?”  And that goes for so much more than just those who practice homosexuality.  That goes for addicts, alcoholics, abusers, adulterers, cheaters, liars, gluttons, etc.

So how do we respond?  What is the proper response for a believer in Christ?

We seek Christ.

We pour our hearts out to him.  We praise him for the sin that has been forgiven us.  We beg him to reveal the darkness in our own hearts and our proclivity to love sin.  We celebrate the grace that has been granted us.  We cherish the gift of the Holy Spirit that has taken residence in us to lead us, guide us, and to sanctify us.  We refuse to buy the lie that sin is worth giving into.

And when others fall, we remember that we are just as sinful as they.

“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”Romans 3:10-12

Jennifer needs our prayer.  Your anger should be directed at the deceiver and the sin that has entangled her… and it has entangled her.  James writes that “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.James 1:20 Your indignation will not draw her to repentance.  Neither will your empowerment and blessing of her chosen lifestyle.  God changes hearts, we can’t.

We can only repent personally of the sin that deceives us, pray that God would do a transforming work in her heart, and teach and instruct others in truth and love.  So if you’re carrying a banner – whether it says, “God hates fags,” or “God gave us the rainbow” – put it down and take up your cross and get to work living the life you’re called to.

  2 comments for “Jennifer Knapp and various Christian responses to human depravity

  1. 16 April 2010 at 9:20 am

    Ooh, good post David. It’s been an equally odd week for me as well concerning this news from JK, but I am pretty sure it would be an over-reaction on my part to grab all of her CDs from my shelf and light ’em up.

    Sin is sin. It all puts us at odds w/our Father. We insist on making 1 sin greater than another, but I do not find this to be confirmed in God’s Word. You said it best in the last line; “If you’re carrying a banner…put it down & take up your cross…”

    Good stuff, bro!

  2. 16 April 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Great thoughts.

    I would question something though— As with many other thoughts I have read concerning Knapp, you say that our response to her admission should be equal to those who fall into other sins, such as addiction, abuse, gluttony, (and I would add greed, love of money, etc…) I hear this a lot, but I am having a hard time believing that any of us actually believe this, because how much Christian ink has been spilled over gluttony and greed as opposed to homosexuality? There is no doubt that the Scriptural witness is that a homosexual lifestyle is far from God’s ideal, but there is also no doubt the the amount of Scripture devoted to that particular sin is miniscule in comparison to the other sins you mentioned.

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