Un-Friending Jennifer Knapp

It’s true. Jennifer Knapp is a lesbian.

As someone who listened to her music during college, I immediately took an interest in this story for various reasons:

  1. At one time, Jennifer was the shining star of the contemporary Christian musical world. For an older generation, this would be like Amy Grant coming out of the closet.
  2. The social and relational implications of her admission have sent a shockwave through the evangelical world. She will lose most of her remaining fans, and more than likely lose any sort of Christian recording contract she’s maintained during her hiatus.
  3. As an amateur social scientist, I want to observe how people react. It is fascinating to watch the way people–namely Christians–have reacted to this news.

Jennifer did a few interviews, one for Christianity Today and another for The Advocate. I read both of them and I’d encourage you to do the same. Here’s a few few tidbits that really struck me:

Christianity Today

“I’m certainly in a same-sex relationship now, but when I suspended my work, that wasn’t even really a factor. I had some difficult decisions to make and what that meant for my life and deciding to invest in a same-sex relationship, but it would be completely unfair to say that’s why I left music.”

“It never occurred to me that I was in something that should be labeled as a ‘struggle.’ The struggle I’ve had has been with the church, acknowledging me as a human being, trying to live the spiritual life that I’ve been called to, in whatever ramshackled, broken, frustrated way that I’ve always approached my faith … So it’s difficult for me to say that I’ve struggled within myself, because I haven’t. I’ve struggled with other people. I’ve struggled with what that means in my own faith. I have struggled with how that perception of me will affect the way I feel about myself.”

CT: Have you ever felt like you had to choose between your faith or your gay feelings?
Knapp: Yes. Absolutely.

“The Bible has literally saved my life. I find myself between a rock and a hard place—between the conservative evangelical who uses what most people refer to as the “clobber verses” to refer to this loving relationship as an abomination, while they’re eating shellfish and wearing clothes of five different fabrics, and various other Scriptures we could argue about.”

“I have a lot of fans who live in real-life scenarios, not just live within the walls of their church. They aren’t surrounded by Christians all day long; they don’t just listen to Christian music. I have a lot of critically thinking fans who are trying to sort out their lives as Christians as best they know how. I think as a result of that, a lot of them have been marginalized; they’re still seeking to be Christians but not always measuring up to the marketed idea of who they should be.”

“It’s not on my agenda to convert the world to a religion, but to convert the world to compassion and grace. I’ve experienced that in my life through Christianity.”

The Advocate

“The rumors dogged her then as they dog her now. They said Jennifer Knapp canceled all her gigs and sold every inch of gear save one acoustic guitar because she was a lesbian. She stopped answering her e-mail, going months without talking even to her mother or her manager, because she was a lesbian. She dropped out of sight because she was a lesbian. And now, poised to release her first studio album in years, Jennifer Knapp is ready to face those rumors.

Turns out they’re true: Jennifer Knapp is a lesbian.

Kind of. She resists the label, insisting that it feels unnatural and foreign, that she’s just the Jennifer Knapp she’s always been, just with a significant relationship with a woman … She fell in love with her girlfriend (whose name she chooses to not reveal), and after eight years together, there’s no denying that anymore.”

“And then there was the rift between her faith and her sexuality. ‘I thought I had to exchange one for the other,’ she says.”

“Knapp no longer feels like being gay and being Christian are in opposition, even if others do. ‘I’m quite comfortable to live with parts of myself that don’t make sense to you,’ she says. She acknowledges that such peace is hard-won in her community. ‘I keep running across people living closeted, who have literally chosen one or the other,’ Knapp marvels. And she knows she risks losing some of her biggest fans when word of her sexuality goes public. ‘I think it’s going to be shocking and feel like a betrayal to some people who live their spiritual lives through the music they listen to,’ says Knapp.”

“But then there’s the e-mail Knapp receives from a young fan asking, if she is a lesbian, to please come out: ‘That would help me feel less alone.’ Over the free-ranging hour we’ve spent together, it’s the first time Knapp’s voice cracks. No matter how personal her transformation might be, telling the world is inescapably, publicly important.”

We can see that Jennifer is not wrestling with the issue of being gay, but wrestling with how the Christian community will treat her. That seems backwards to me. That doesn’t seem right for some reason. It feels “off.”

Not a Debate

My purpose in sharing this is not to debate the Scriptural positions on homosexuality. My point is to highlight the fact that Jennifer seems to be “bracing for impact” from the Christian community rather than running into the arms of the Body of Christ. Is this a case of shooting our wounded?

For many Christians, this “coming out” will put a very real face to a very controversial issue. Previous fans of Jennifer will chastise her, berate her, unfriend her, call her unfaithful and declare her hell-bound. Sadly, the impact that Jennifer is bracing for will hit hard and fast and leave her feeling alone and rejected.

Can I ask you, follower of Jesus, to not be one of those people? You don’t have to agree with her lifestyle, but you do have to treat her with the honor that is due to one who bears God’s image. Prove Jennifer wrong and suspend judgment… Just for a minute. See if you can use this as an exercise to love someone who you don’t agree with. “Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Please? Let’s be the type of people that Jesus dreamed of.

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51 Responses to “Un-Friending Jennifer Knapp”

  1. donovan April 14, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Once again, more proof that you do NOT choose your sexual orientation. You would think after Ted Haggard people would have figured that out.

  2. macsworldlive April 14, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    Jennifer has ALWAYS had my support.
    Our Father God teaches us to not judge unless we want to be judged.
    She has a pure heart and her music in inspiring! I for one will NOT abandon a fellow Christian because of their Sin…if that was the case, we would ALL be alone without ANYONE in our lives. Thanks Justin for the words on encouragement. Bless you.

  3. brent April 14, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    Good thoughts, my friend. This is going to be fascinating to watch.

  4. Ryan Brancheau April 14, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    Jennifer's sin is no less or no greater than any of mine. Sin is sin. Here is a great article from Jonathan McIntosh on “How Paul Addressed Homosexuality.” It has changed the way I look at and treat this subject. http://bit.ly/cTlY3j

  5. Alex B April 14, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    There's a tension here Justin. You don't seem to want to take a stand on the essential sinfulness of an active homosexual lifestyle, but at the same time you encourage us Christians to open our arms and hearts to Jennifer.

    You say: “You don’t have to agree with her lifestyle, but you do have to treat her with the honor that is due to one who bears God’s image.”

    Now IF one is convinced that practiced homosexuality is sin, then treating her with the honor due her may well include the very chastisement you seem to be cautioning against. For example, the if the Pope took part in covering up the sexual abuse of children, part of our honoring God's image in him would seem to be calling him towards repentance. If the Pope starts to feel alone and rejected throughout the process, perhaps it will spur on a reevaluation of holding to sinful and destructive ways. Say the Pope felt it necessary to continue to affirm, in the face of all admonishment, that it is for the good of the Church that sex abuse is covered up. Frankly, I would be compelled to part company with him (where I in his company, that is).

    So it seems to me, if willful sin is present, then condemnation is warranted. If this is right, then if condemnation is not warranted, then willful sin is not present.

    You appear to be affirming that condemnation is not warranted. Do you follow the logic? Or do you see a flaw?

  6. Joshua P. April 14, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    I think we should show grace to everyone, believers and unbelievers. What I see so often is younger folks (i am 33) handle this topic very carefully. On one hand they don't want to hurt someone's feelings who may be in a gay relationship, but they also want to come across as not condoning the relationship, but almost always they want people to be sensitive to them which I am not disagreeing with. Where is the same grace and sensitivity when it comes to the way they talk about other believers? “christians are the worst tippers” or the “church people are bad” folks who just bash the way church was done, or what the church has become. They don't seem so graceful then? Why? They seem more interested in bashing the church rather than standing up for the church? A well known mega-pastor gets caught in adultery, are they graceful then? When a prosperity preacher preaches a message that does more harm than good, where is the grace then? It seems to me we pick and choose where we are sensitive and I don't agree with that. If we are going to be graceful to Jennifer Knapp which we should be, we should be graceful to the 60 year old pastor who may not understand social media or relevant topics that are hurting the church today. Let me ask this, would they be as graceful if it turns out Joel Osteen has been embezzling millions of dollars over the past 3 years? (not saying he has). I don't believe they would be. I could be wrong, what do I know?

  7. jbonewald April 14, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Alex, I don't know what Justin's position is on homosexuality, and I don't want to put words in his mouth, but all I think Justin is asking for is for us to first put aside our assumptions and commit ourselves to treat Jennifer as a child of the living God.

    Personally, I think that one of the grave problems of Christianity today, is that everyone IS running around totally convinced that homosexuality is a sin, without really doing the hard work of examining the evidence or especially listening closely to the stories of those who are homosexual.

    You can't listen to those stories and you can't try to do the difficult work of balancing those stories with the biblical record if the first response is to unfriend.

  8. admwynewhte April 14, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    After reading all of this, I became sick. Almost a vomit-like type of sick. I was asking God to reveal to me in a Biblical way why all of this is not right. I wasn't sick because of Jennifer Knapp as a person, as a human being. My love for her is still of that in a Christ-like way. That won't change regardless of her status quo, sexuality, etc.

    I came across Romans 1. Paul writes first about this Good News. That through faith, the righteous may know God in this personal way. That we can be in communion with Him. I then came to the last half of this chapter and have a hard time relating Jennifer's story to that of this passage. Pretty direct, if you ask me.

    This is what I am saying, even asking…How do we as “the church” walk in the ways of the Word and allow to become weak to our knees with something that this passage so obviously and precisely deals with?

  9. Wayne Larson April 14, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    There are a host of interesting angles in which to look at this. Apart from considerations of sin and traditional Christian morality, there are issues of the public/private nature of this along with how Christians and the church relate to “celebrity.” One also is forced to consider the nature of art and its interpretation vis-a-vis the artist. What constitutes “Christian” art? How have the consumer habits of American Evangelicals contributed to these sort of dilemmas? Interesting grist for the mil.

  10. Mike Jackson April 14, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    I see a flaw. Your argument hinges on the fact that you are or anyone like you are perfectly capable of being a good judge. Practiced homosexuality is a sin. That's not the point here. Are you saying that you have no practiced sin in your life?

  11. Alex B April 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Thanks jbonewald,
    And for the record, I'm presently at a place where I affirm that there is nothing inherent to homosexual relationships that necessarily mark them sinful. My point is that those who advocate not condemning what they see to be persistent and willful sin out of concern for honoring the image of God in them are being inconsistent. If there is persistent and willful sin in the life of a brother or sister, the very love we have for them ought to compel us to confront them. The fact that many sensitive people feel that such a confrontation is, in this case, uncalled for suggests that perhaps she's not living in the state of sin so many think she is.

  12. Mike Jackson April 14, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    There's something I've been pondering for awhile that I would like response when it comes to this…I appreciate homosexual people. I see them of someone more than homosexual as in there are aspects of who they are in the eyes of God that should be honored and appreciated, sexual orientation aside. Therfore I support JK and would continue to enjoy her music and her expression as person, all in grace and love. I often don't understand why some choose to define themselves holisitically by their sexual orientation that composes maybe ~3 percent of who they are. I don't go around telling people I am heterosexual and in a heterosexual relationship with a woman. Key point…I don't define who I am by my sexual orientation but by who God says I am and I can be at times confused about who I am in other arenas of my life even though I know who God says I am as a sexual being, therefore I know who I am as a sexual being.

    Key point two: I do not believe God creates people with a homosexual orientation. I think people think they are homosexual but God does not think they are homosexual. I think people are confused at who they are and what God says. God is not the one telling them they are homosexual and should embrace it. Proverbs 23:7 in some translations says “As a man thinketh, so he is.” I believe this to be the key to understanding homosexuality. Key point three: Homosexuality is nothing more than an identity crisis that's no different than yours and mine in other areas of who God says we are (Greed/Giver, Lust/Lover, Proud/Humble). Anytime there is an identity crisis, its seems real to the person believing the deception of who they really are, so there is a tenderness in approaching relationship with those individuals.

    To Jennifer, Ellen, and any of others who believe they are homosexual by God given design, if I treated you with respect, honor, dignity, and showed you the love and compassion of Christ, and enjoyed you as a unique person would you be okay being my friend if I think you are not homosexual even though you think you are?

    Could homosexuality be only a stronghold of the mind? I'd be willing to bet that everyone in this comments field has some strongholds of the mind that put a little funk in your theology. (start playing “play that funky music white boy”)

  13. Mike Jackson April 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    And my concern is whether your confrontation looks like Jesus or a devil. I think you could be on to something, however its not clear that your confrontations are genuine compassion or a messiah complex with built in control spirits sent to cleanse the world of unrighteousness. Since you, like me, are taking an interest in this post, would you clarify how someone should approach a confrontation with a follower of Christ who thinks they are homosexual and are acting on it?

  14. jbonewald April 14, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Ah…cool, I totally mis-understood the direction of your post. Thanks for the clarification.

  15. Rev Nick April 14, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

    We may not agree with her lifestyle, but Jesus asks us to love.

    We all fall short, we all sin, yet God still loves us.

  16. Alex B April 14, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Hi Mike,
    I'm not sure I understand your concern. Since I don't see homosexual relationships to be sinful as such, I would see no need to confront them.

  17. Alex B April 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    No prob man. I was purposely being a bit coy with my initial post. …though I can't quite remember why. Force of habit? :)

  18. Julia April 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Thank you Jennifer Knapp. I am praying for you. I am praying for peace and that people will trust God enough to let you live out your own life without judging you. You relationship with Christ is between you and him. May God give you strength as you face Christians who will not love and embrace you in the way they have been called to.

  19. Tracy Fitzgerald April 14, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Good post, thoughtful, compassionate, yet somehow in the end it just feels off. Why do we keep defining homosexuality as a “lifestyle” and/or a “sin?” It isn't. It's a sexuality. That's it. And why is she “our wounded?” If she is wounded, the wounded was done by her community, and now she braces for at least some in her community to “shoot her.” I think we are wrong if we see this as anything other than a faithful person being faithful to her calling as a child of God. End of story. Listen to the music. Praise the Lord.

  20. Joshua P April 14, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    It looks like to me many of the readers are affirming homosexuality. Can anyone point me to scriptures that affirm homosexuality? Or gay marriage?

  21. tonysimoncini April 14, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    Wow, this is a loaded post with a lot of really good comments already posted… I would like to add something to the love conversation however. I think we can be so “loving” that we operate in a way that is not loving at all. It's NEVER wrong to confront a way that is different from the way of Jesus, and the way of Jesus is not only about “love” but its about living as we were created to live. There are a host of things we should be confronting as a church and challenging everyone to live the way of Jesus. We challenge churches and ministries that seem more concerned with their image and their prosperity than caring for the least of these whom God mandates his Church to help. I believe as a married man I have NO right to cheat on my wife and kids with other women just because I have the occasional lustful thought, and yet I would hope that those people who say they LOVE me would confront me if I was engaged in an extra marital affair… because its not part of the way of Jesus! If they accept my sexual sin and just LOVE me through it, they don't really care about me, my wife, or my kids do they!

    My point is this… I don't judge people, but we are to examine sin and deal with it biblically. Judging sin is biblical… however as a church we have become very good at judging the people engaged in what we see as sinful and most of the time it turns out pretty bad for everyone. But the argument that we are not to judge people's sin because we are not perfect either is not a biblical concept and not the correct way to look at Matt 7. Biblically here is our mandate…

    Step 1, Go to the person and talk to them about the situation (assuming a relationship prior to any confrontation)
    Step 2, Bring someone along if they don't recieve your words
    Step 3, Bring them in front of the church and deal with the situation as a community
    Step 3, If they refuse to repent and ask the community for help, Put them outside of the community and treat them like an outsider once again compelling them to join the way of Jesus.

    I know this seems extreme and to see it work would be a miracle only God is capable of… but I think simply accepting and loving without the talk of the apparent sin is not really loving someone at all. The question is can we do this born out of a relationship that breads discussion and community about the behavior rather than self-righteousness and condemnation of the person!

    Peace
    Tony

  22. Alex B April 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    No, but I can point you to some that fantasize about killing the children of Israel's enemies, condemn men with long hair as being against nature, recommend women shut their mouths in church, and demand that those who worship any God but Yahweh be put to death.

    Point is, theologizing from the Scriptures is not a straightforward affair. The Scriptures are silent about many things and everything it does speak on is contextually embedded. Those who argue for the compatibility of some forms of homosexual relationships and Christianity tend to privileged the major and clear theme of love of God and others, while emphasizing how an ancient cultural context produces relevant disanalogies between contemporary homosexuality and the six or seven passages that seem to speak to homosexuality. They further feel justified since Jesus himself had a habit of overturning culturally encrusted use of Scripture to the preference of doing good.

  23. Joshua P April 14, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Funny I actually talked about the women keeping silent in the church and what it meant and why it was said this last week. Anywho, if homosexuality and homosexual marriage is so good and so godly, shouldn't the bible affirm it? Shouldn't there be somewhere in the bible that affirms it? And if not, shouldn't we ask why? Jennifer Knapp says she loves God and she is gay. I know people who are sleeping with their girlfriends, commiting adultery and embezzling money from their businesses who believe they are solid with God. Does that mean they are just because they think they are? Was Jesus silent on beastiality? He must be for it then I take it? Weak argument that Jesus was silent on it. (homosexuality, therefore it must be right and God must be for it)

  24. Alex B April 15, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    “if homosexuality and homosexual marriage is so good and so godly, shouldn't the bible affirm it?”

    Is treating people as if they were your property is so evil, shouldn't the Bible condemn it?

    “If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property.” (Ex 21:20-21)

    If vengeance and infanticide is so horrible, would we expect the Bible to glory in it?

    “blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones Against the rock.” (Ps 137)

    As best I can tell, what you are (somewhat hesitantly) suggesting that “if something is good, then the Bible affirms it.” This falls down with the examples I have provided above. If you want to cry foul with some appeal to reading these within their historical/cultural setting, then I will suggest that such attention also be paid to the issue of homosexuality.

    “I know people who are….Does that mean they are just because they think they are?”

    No, but in every single case you mention there exist clear features of their behavior which frustrate love of God and others (as is true with all sin). It is not clear to me that such is the case with committed homosexual relationships.

    “Was Jesus silent on beastiality? He must be for it then I take it? Weak argument that Jesus was silent on it.”

    Yeah, that's a terrible argument.

  25. Joshua P April 15, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    Ok Alex, Focus, Focus, got it? Where does the bible affirm or promote homosexual relationships? That's what I am asking. Forget everything else. Where does it affirm it? Or talk about what happens in the marriage between man and man. What about divorce and remarrying in a gay marriage that doesn't work? Ok focus, got it? Ok post those scriptures. Thanks

  26. Alex B April 15, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    Hi Josh,
    I think you're missing my point. The passages you are asking for don't exist in the straight-forward way that you seem to want, but such a point is obvious and uninteresting. Neither do passages exist to support adoption, marriage as between only one man and one woman, the use of drugs to cure disease and ease pain, etc.

    You might be interested in some of what is said here. As for me, I think I'm going to try and let this sit.

    Peace.

  27. Jason April 15, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    Does it necessarilly follow (logically/hermeneutically speaking) that if we do not affirm homosexual behavior in the church that we must tell women to not speak in church, that we shouldn't eat shellfish, that we shouldn't wear clothing with mixed fibers? I think that the Bible has various theologies contained in it. Are all of these Scripturual/theological issues connected as if they were dominoes? If I knock over, or disavow one, must all of them crumble? Or is it possible that as we go through Scripture that we are met with a variety of theological positions about various issues–that they may not be connected in the way that many of us seem to be suggesting. For example, I could, given an examination of the text and relevent background material hold to a view that homosexuality is not within God's plan and still say that women should speak in church. I guess i am reacting against a lot of the conversation because i don't feel that a lot of the leaps we are making are warranted, helpful, or theological constructive.

  28. Jessalyn April 16, 2010 at 2:28 am #

    -round of applause- I would have to agree. Even if I didn't agree with her lifestyle choice (which I have no issue with, no do I think God does), I simply do not think that she should be berated like she will be for it. I mean really, people speed everyday. That in God's eyes is as much a sin as anything else. Why certain things get picked on more than others boggles my mind.

    And there is no 'gay lifestyle', we are people just like you. Our lifestyles are no different than the rest of the world, despite our orientation, which should be between us and God, not you, your signs, and your rudeness (yes, I am talking to the silly people who picketed recently in Iowa, combining their hatred of Gays with their hatred of Jews. because jews killed jesus…. lets ignore the part where jews are still God's chosen people, and that Jesus himself was one….)

    I am glad for her, and sad that she has to brace herself for the storm we all see coming. I will deff. continue to support and listen to her music.

  29. Justin Wise April 16, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    Jessalyn … Thank you for being brave enough to comment on this site.

  30. Jim Henderson April 16, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Alex B

    I certainly admire your committment

    Are you just as consistent with your friends (or yourslelf) when they/you willfully overeat, horde money, refuse to feed the poor., get divorced or lust?

    Will you part company with them on principle?

    Since the bible clearly identifies these behaviors and practices as sin you undoubtedly agree with me (and of course will remain friendless your entire life)

  31. Dawn Bryant April 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    This quote rocked me:

    “It’s not on my agenda to convert the world to a religion, but to convert the world to compassion and grace. I’ve experienced that in my life through Christianity.”

    I'm so thankful that grace has a name….and His name is Jesus. Jesus is the point of it all…everything else is ancillary.

  32. Alex B April 17, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    Hey Jim,
    Aikes! I hope I didn't come off as suggesting that! Here. Let's try this:

    IF

    1. person X is living in willful and unrepentant sin, then our love for person X ought to compel us to confront them on the issue (as humbly and gently as the situation warrants, of course).

    Two basic responses from person X are possible:

    2 a. person X says “you're right, I've really been struggling with this. Come along side me and help me to change.”

    OR

    2 b. person X says “you know what, I rather like hoarding money, neglecting the poor, getting divorced and lusting. Further, I'm not so sure it even IS sin. So thanks for your concern, but I'm happy to carry on as is.”

    If, even after a close inspection of our conviction on the matter, we are still firm in our belief that such actions are sin (and of course after a weighing the seriousness of the sin [there is after all a relevant difference between unrepentant jaywalking and unrepentant racism]), then I think we are in a position to evaluate how close of company we wish to keep with person X. To merely carry on business as usual in the face of serious unrepentant sin does not seem to be doing anyone any good.

    In any case, I'll acknowledge that I'm not putting this out there as a universal immutable principle. The only such principle I assent to is that of the love I see in Christ. Everything else finds need of qualification in light of the complexity of reality.

  33. Bill B April 18, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    Thanks for sharing. I am grieved by the hostile response of so-called 'Christians'. Where is the love and compassion that so exemplifies the God they claim to serve??

  34. Justin Wise April 19, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    Ditto. Jesus is a plus. Trying to figure this out on our own would be the worst.

  35. Adam April 21, 2010 at 4:18 am #

    Thank you for this post. Also, check out the post titled “People Matter” at Faith.Life.Media. I think that you will enjoy! http://www.faithlifemedia.blogspot.com

  36. Steven April 21, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    “Is this a case of shooting our wounded?”

    Just because Jennifer is a lesbian does not mean she is “wounded.” Being gay is a sexual orientation, not a “wound” you can put a band-aid on and “heal.”

    Mainstream professional and scientific groups understand being gay is not a “choice” and has biological determinants.

    Conservative political Chrisitans refuse to understand this on a deeper level because it would cause them to re-think their preconceived dogmatic and legalistic views of homosexuality. It would challenge the old ways of thinking about sexual orientation that they grew up on.

    How long will you choose to maintain this ignorance? When will you open your heart and your mind and LISTEN to people who are gay, not just preach at and condemn them?

    Some day you may understand the only “wound” associated with Jennifer's sexuality is the emotional stress of being judged and rejected by “friends,” “fans,” and family.

    The idea that Jennifer's being gay is a “wound” that needs healing is the root problem here.

  37. Justin Wise April 21, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    “Shooting our wounded” was more metaphor than anything else. It was actually an attempt to be sympathetic towards Jennifer.

  38. dannyjbixby April 24, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    Good for her.

  39. dannyjbixby April 24, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    I think I interpreted that statement a bit differently than you did, Steven.

    I didn't read the “wound” as being a lesbian, but rather the struggle that she's having with the expected response from the Church.

    As you said, “The idea that Jennifer's being gay is a “wound” that needs healing is the root problem here.”

    I do agree with that, but I really don't think that is the wound Justin was referring to. The wound is the vulnerability, imo.

  40. NJBeliever May 6, 2010 at 4:29 am #

    “Previous fans of Jennifer will chastise her, berate her, unfriend her, call her unfaithful and declare her hell-bound. ”

    He who asserts must prove. The overwhelming response by Jennifer's Christian fans has been support, love and encouragement. And neither of the articles you cited criticized Jennifer at all. You provide zero evidence whatsoever for your blatant stereotype.

    So was Jennifer born gay or choose her sexuality? It really doesn't matter. What matters is that when one chooses to follow Jesus, they be ready to take off their old ways and put on their new ones. It's about surrendering “what feels right” to you and doing what is right in the eyes of God.

    “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. — Matthew 16:24

    Please note I am only saying this with respect to Christians. If someone is not a Christian then they are certainly free and 100% has the right to live how they so choose to. But a follower of Christ is not interested in her own desires. She is interested in the desires of Jesus Christ and His law. And we find His Will in the Bible.

    Just because a Christian disagrees with someone does not mean that we hate that person. I have no problem with a Muslim who thinks I am not going to Heaven or that my eating of bacon is a sin. That is their belief system. In the Bhagavad Gita, eating beef is a major sin. If a Hindu person thinks I am morally wrong for eating it that does not make them a bigot. I respect their faith even if I disagree.

    Maybe Justin, you will one day start giving us Christians the same love and compassion you encourage your readers to share. –NJBeliever

  41. NJBeliever May 6, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    What has been the hostile response?

  42. Rebekah Maddox May 22, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    I believe that part of our inheritance in Christ is freedom (“sin shall not be your master, for you are not under law, but under grace”), so I would never allow a brother or sister struggling with homosexuality to settle for defeat. I'm thinking about it in the context of alcoholism, for example. “Can someone be an alcoholic and be a Christian?” I think the obvious answer is yes. They may be struggling with addiction and longing for freedom, but God doesn't kick them out of the kingdom temporarily until they find total victory over it. 2 Cor. 5:21 teaches us that His imputed righteousness covers us (ALL of us) while the weaknesses of our sin nature are being exposed and defeated. None of us can claim to have the absence of sin. So how do we harmonize the presence of sin with the promise of salvation when we know that “the wages of sin is death”? We trust in the cross and that grace redeems us from the curse WHILE we are being sanctified.

    To those who can't seem to rid themselves of homosexual desires, I would remind all of us that God, in His wisdom, sometimes allows “a thorn in the flesh” to teach us His sufficient grace. In the same way that someone who struggles with rage should not give in to the impulse to kill, the one struggling with homosexuality shouldn't feel permission to practice a gay lifestyle simply because the presence of desire remains. It needs to be seen as a tool to drive us toward trusting God and learning the great lesson of “abiding” (John 15): obeying in the absence of feelings. That one should practice abstinence, let some brothers/sisters know about the struggle, remember that there is no condemnation in Christ, and cease to make their struggle the center of their lives.

  43. Alex May 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Hi Rebekah,
    A friend of mine recently made a thoughtful comment that addresses the line of reasoning you present here. I offer it as another angle to consider:

    “Although frequently used, alcoholism does not work as a moral analogy to homosexuality. The problem is the alcoholism does not reach as deeply into the human personality as homosexuality does. Andrew Sullivan wrote, “If alcoholism is overcome by a renunciation of alcoholic acts, then recovery allows the human being to realize his or her full potential… but if homosexuality is overcome…the opposite is achieved: the human being is liberated into sacrifice and pain, barred from the matrimonial love that the Church holds to be intrinsic, for most people to the state of human flourishing.”

    I think that many gay men and lesbian women in monogamous, committed relationships would testify to the myriad goods that such relationships provide: pleasure, communication, emotional growth, personal stability, long-term fulfillment, and intimacy. Sexual and physical affection is an important element in the cultivation of these human goods and is thus clearly a component of happiness and flourishing for gays and lesbians. For an alcoholic, renouncing alcohol leads to a more full and complete life; for a [homosexual person], as most other people, renouncing (sexual) relationships need not do this.”

  44. Mesky222000 June 22, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

    Thank you for your post. While I can't fault discerning parents for keeping their impressionable kids from supporting this artist, I agree that some will see this as a field day to launch every vile attack they can conjure. They will only resonate in harmony with what the enemy seeks to inculcate into the mind of any believer who finds him/herself ensnared by sexual sin. With statistics showing that most of the professing Christian church is plagued with divorce, pornography, etc. we would do much better to capture the heart of our Savior , Who with eyes of restoration, not condemnation peered into the soul of the woman and declared ” Go and sin no more” ( John 8:1-11)

  45. Mesky222000 June 22, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    We are all in the process of sanctification. Jennifer is just a “diamond in the rough” and I believe God's grace is big enough that her testimony can be one of total healing and deliverance from anything that doesn't align with God's word and His calling and destiny for her life.

  46. Mesky222000 June 23, 2010 at 4:32 am #

    Thank you for your post. While I can't fault discerning parents for keeping their impressionable kids from supporting this artist, I agree that some will see this as a field day to launch every vile attack they can conjure. They will only resonate in harmony with what the enemy seeks to inculcate into the mind of any believer who finds him/herself ensnared by sexual sin. With statistics showing that most of the professing Christian church is plagued with divorce, pornography, etc. we would do much better to capture the heart of our Savior , Who with eyes of restoration, not condemnation peered into the soul of the woman and declared ” Go and sin no more” ( John 8:1-11)

  47. Mesky222000 June 23, 2010 at 4:45 am #

    We are all in the process of sanctification. Jennifer is just a “diamond in the rough” and I believe God's grace is big enough that her testimony can be one of total healing and deliverance from anything that doesn't align with God's word and His calling and destiny for her life.

  48. Cass September 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    How is homosexuality really that different than lusting after someone you shouldn’t? I also don’t believe God made certain people to be homosexual; I think perhaps someone’s “draw” to homosexuality is the same as the person who looks with lust in his/her eye at someone he/she shouldn’t be. When we cannot control our simply human nature to look at another in a way we shouldn’t, then we are sinning. This goes for homosexuality, too, I believe.

    So if this is the case, I do wish Jennifer would continue seeking out why she feels in love with this other woman. To not do so and simply resolve to be gay would be like a married woman simply resolving to continue lusting or cheating. I can understand a person falling – and some falls last longer than others – but do wish that instead of bracing for our reaction, she would begin seeking out how to remedy or resolve this sinful nature. I’m sure we can all relate to her situation – of being trapped in a sinful nature that is too comfortable, fun, enjoyable, easy, nice, etc, etc. to want to get out of. But the simple fact remains we should at least try. That is where my problem lies – when she stops trying to resolve the behavior.

    • Cass September 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

      and let’s be honest: even though we all say the PC thing, which is “this sin is no better or worse than other sin”, we all know what we REALLY think. but then our society is so ready to accept or even celebrate and lift up affairs when one could argue if we are to assign weight to sins, the cheating is a far “worse” offense than the homosexual. i guess i just dont get why we get so up in arms about the gay thing when we openly accept affairs as everyday occurrences. im not saying everyone supports or condones affairs – im saying rarely do you see this kind of reaction or backlash when an artist or celebrity cheats. let’s check our judgment at the door!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks:

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