December 4, 2018 • Adam Wyatt
Last week, popular Christian recording artist, Lauren Daigle responded to criticism of her appearance on the Ellen Show. In her interview on the “Domenick Nati Show,” the host asked her a very pointed question. He asked her “Do you feel that homosexuality is a sin?” For most Christians, or at least those holding to a Christian worldview, the answer should have been a very simple one: “yes.” However, she responded with a very politically correct one: “You know, I can’t honestly answer on that, in the sense of I have too many people that I love—that they are homosexuals… I don’t know. I actually had a conversation with someone last night about it. I can’t say one way or the other. I’m not God,” she continued. “So, when people ask questions like that, that’s what my go to is. Like, I just say, ‘Read the Bible and find out for yourself. And when you find out, let me know because I’m learning too.’”
In other words, she either does not know what the Bible clearly states about the issue or she is too concerned with making a decisive statement on the issue. More troubling is that she is stating her answer based upon her own personal circumstances rather than the biblical witness on the issue.
Now, there is much to be applauded in her understanding of the issue. First, she clearly understands that it is not our place to judge the world. That is clearly the Lord’s job as the righteous judge (James 4:12). Additionally, Daigle states of Ellen, the popular daytime show host, who is an ardent lesbian, that she is a “beautiful person.” In this, we can also agree because
every person, LGBTQ or not, bears the image of God and is worthy of value, dignity, and respect and we are called to love our neighbors (Galatians 5:14 and others). However, her value as a person is not really up for debate. What is up for “debate,” at least in her comments, is whether
or not homosexuality is a sin.
The biblical witness is clear: homosexuality is a sin. This is not to say that other sexual sins are not sins, but Daigle’s comments point to a prevalent issue among many prominent Christian leaders. Many, in order to be seen as politically correct, or as “loving” and “nonjudgmental,” fail to call homosexuality and the LGBTQ movement as a sinful lifestyle. This is problematic.
What’s the Problem
First, we must see the LGBTQ movement as one that is a multifaceted one. All people within the LGBTQ movement are worthy of value because they bear the image of God. However, this does not mean that their worth is intricately connected to their sexual orientation. This is extremely flawed logic. To say that a person’s identity and value is tied up in their sexual orientation is wrong. People’s worth and value is tied to their identity that is given to them by they creator. God places value in people because he is good. To state that people are living a lifestyle that goes against their nature is not an unloving thing. Rather, it is a noble one.
Second, to say that we are not to judge others is correct but it is not as simple as that. According to a biblical worldview, Christians are to be “salt and light” in the world (Matthew 5:13-16). We cannot be salt or light if we lose our saltiness in order to come across as nonjudgmental. We speak out against racism because it goes against the command to love our neighbors and because people are made in the image of God and to treat someone in an evil way goes against this created nature. We speak out against injustice because God is a God of justice and desires that we treat people fairly. We speak out against violence, again, because God has created people in his own image. Accordingly, we should speak out against the sin of homosexuality because it too goes against the very nature of creation that God has created humanity with.
Third, we, as pastors, should be careful to let too many contemporary Christian leaders speak into our flock. One dangerous issue with the Daigle comments is that she is such a popular Christian artist. Her newest album, the one she was promoting on the Ellen Show, debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts. To say she is popular is an understatement. Her lyrics,
voice, and content are a valuable blessing to the church and to be people who like good, Christian music. But because of her popularity, pastors must be careful that we act as a corrective for our flock because artists with this type of popularity do speak truth to our congregations because they do not always speak it with a consistent Christian worldview. Additionally, popular Christian music stations and their music are not always filled with consistently biblically based music.
A pastor must understand that music, especially music that is sung in a corporate way in church, is a source of theology. A pastor must understand that what is sung in church should be based in Scripture.
Now, I am not trying to assassinate Daigle’s character. Let’s be honest: many times we all answer questions in a way that does not clearly articulate biblical values. And again, I am glad that she has friends that are in the LGBTQ community because they need to have friends with a Christian worldview. However, for those of who are not popular Christian recording
artists with millions of followers, we must always be prepared to love our neighbors in a way that points them back to the truths of scripture.
My hope is that Daigle will continue to produce great music but I also hope that she does not slip down the slope of a postmodern worldview like one of my favorite artists in college: Jennifer Knapp. She was also a great prophetic voice among young evangelicals over 10 years ago. She came out as a lesbian. But, who am I to judge?