Jennifer Knapp Comes Back and Comes OutIn April 2010, new music came out (Letting Go will hit stores on May 11th) - and so did Jennifer Knapp. In an exclusive interview with Christianity Today, on April 13th, Jennifer Knapp confirmed the rumors that she is in a lesbian relationship and has been with the same woman for the past eight years.
Comments have ranged from outraged and disappointed to supportive, and opinions vary as to where we, the body of Christ, should fall on the issue of Jennifer's sexuality and her acceptance of it.
For me, one of the saddest aspects of it all is that another Christian "star" has fallen off of the pedestal ... the pedestal that WE put her on. (This is where I step up to the podium so I will forewarn you that if you are easily offended by the spotlight falling on you and your own walk, rather than the person who got "caught" and is easily kicked because their sin is so much more public than your own, stop reading.)
It seems to me that we, as the body of Christ, tend to put people in leadership up on a pedestal. We know that they are as sinful in nature as we are because they are human, yet we ignore that fact so we can look up to them. (You can't admire sin, therefore people we look up to have to be blemish free.) But in the real world, it doesn't work that way. We had perfect once and we nailed Him to a cross. Jennifer Knapp, Ray Boltz, the pastor down the street, you or me ... none of us are without sin and every single one of us falls short of the glory of God.
The Bible and SinIn 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul is pretty clear on God's stance on homosexuality but here's the thing ... Paul doesn't JUST single out homosexuality. He covers fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers as well. While sexual sins are easy to jump on, they are far from the only sins that will keep us from inheriting the kingdom. Have you ever taken an ink pen from work? A notepad? A tool or any other supply? Guess what? You became a thief at that moment and fell into the list in 1 Corinthians! Have you ever had one glass of wine too many (drunkard)? Spread a rumor that you figured was true but didn't know for a fact that it was (slanderer)? Shortcut on a job to get paid in less time (swindler)? The list of folks that won't inherit that kingdom just got a lot longer and if anyone falls on that list, then they are hardly in a position to be pointing a finger at Jennifer Knapp while patting themselves on the back!
Now don't get me wrong here. I am not saying that I believe that sexual sins are OK because we all sin in some way. I believe wholeheartedly that God created sex to be a beautiful thing between a husband and a wife. Period! Yes, it's a narrow parameter but it's one that I've comfortably lived in for 17 years with my husband. Does that make me perfect? Not by a long shot! All of us can avoid certain sins because they're not "hot buttons" the enemy can push, but none of us have managed to avoid all sin.
To me, sin is sin - sexual or not - and we should try our very best to avoid it. Will we always succeed? Nope! The question isn't "Will we fall?" because we all will fall short; the question is "What will we do after we fall?" Temptation of some sort is a daily battle. It's life. It's hard to fight and it's a battle that we won't always win. Honestly, if we could completely overcome any and all sin in our life and never fall, then why did Jesus have to die on the cross?
Jesus Loves Us AllThe thing is, while I don't believe for a minute that Jesus loves everyone but the folks who commit sexual sins, I do believe that people with any sin in their lives (sexual or not) should really strive to walk away from those sins. To me, that is what being Christ-like is about. I hear/read about people who struggle with their sexuality for years before finally "coming out" and then, once it's public knowledge, it's as if the battle is over and they've admitted defeat. Yet rather than call it defeat, they do the "this is who I am" dance and get upset that some people won't accept them "as is." Jesus himself said that the greatest commandment was "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'There is no commandment greater than these." Loving people despite their sin doesn't mean accepting their sin.
Bottom line for me is this - while I don't personally agree with Jennifer Knapp's choice of sexual partners, it's her decision to make (and answer for) and not mine. If I focus all of my energy on the twig in her eye, while ignoring the plank in my own, I'm not striving to be Christ-like at all. I'm going to stick to praying for her (and the rest of the world) to overcome any sin in their lives while I try to walk out my own path - and fight my own sinful battles and sinful nature as best I can. I'll leave the judgment part of up God because He is so much more qualified to do it than I am.