I recently read an interview with Christian artist, singer, songwriter Jennifer Knapp in which she not only announced her comeback to her music career after a seven year hiatus, but that she’s “come out of the closet” as a lesbian who has been in a same-sex relationship for the last eight years. This may come as a shock to Christian music fans, but this news is actually a few months old and is all over the internet.
I am not writing this post to condemn Knapp or spread lashon hara or to gay bash. The reason for this post is to show how traditional Christian interpretation of the Bible can be used to justify any sin, behavior or lifestyle. The traditional Christian perspective on the Bible and its focus on grace being opposed to the Law has provided the ammunition for tens of thousands of people around the globe to justify sinful lifestyles (not in the least bit limited to homosexuality).
Over the last decade I’ve heard of many Christian musicians “coming out of the closet,” (many of which hit you out of nowhere), many scandalous lifestyles, many countless adulterous relationships, divorce, drug addictions, etc. Why should one more be newsworthy? The reason Knapp’s confession makes the top of my news is because she was honest. What do I mean by that? Let’s listen to her own words.
Have you ever felt like you had to choose between your faith or your gay feelings?
Knapp: Yes. Absolutely.
Because you felt they were incompatible?
Knapp: Well, everyone around me made it absolutely clear that this is not an option for me, to invest in this other person—and for me to choose to do so would be a denial of my faith.
What about what Scripture says on the topic?
Knapp: 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’m not capable of getting into the theological argument as to whether or not we should or shouldn’t allow homosexuals within our church. There’s a spirit that overrides that for me, and what I’ve been gravitating to in Christ and why I became a Christian in the first place.1
Notice her reference to Torah (the Law given to Moses):
“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.”
This is where she’s completely honest. If I were to put it in more plain terms, she’s saying, “If you can pick and choose what you want to obey in the Bible, so can I.” There it is. Hypocrisy in full swing. Unfortunately, the Evangelical Church has so much demonized the Hebrew Scriptures and their application to the Believer, that we no longer have a moral compass by which we are directed. We have reverted back to the days of the Judges in which “every man did right in his own eyes.”
What Jennifer Knapp is saying here is the truth of the matter. If we can justify living lives contrary to the directives of Hebrew Scriptures, saying that they are no longer authoritative, why should the New Testament Scriptures be any different? The Hebrew Scriptures were valid for the world for around two thousand years until Christianity decided they were no longer valid. Now the Christian Scriptures have had their fair shake for the last two thousand. Why should they be relevant any longer either? If God can abrogate his Word once, why can’t He do it again?
What makes a Christian any different from a “moral pagan” these days other than a creed? This is why Torah is invaluable, and the missing component in our walk of faith. If we want to stop justifying our sins, and truly become the people of God by which the Scriptures speak, we need to wake up and smell the coffee and allow the whole of Scripture to inform our life of faith.
- This interview with Jennifer knapp can be found on the Christianity Today website: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/music/interviews/2010/jenniferknapp-apr10.html ↩
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