After over a 7 year break from music, Jennifer Knapp announces the release of her new album, and reveals her same sex relationship of 7 years in an interview with Christianity Today. (full article)
What will her fans do? How will she be treated in the Christian community?
Here’s my proposal:
Let the Judgment Begin!
Ask yourself a few important things:
What in your life should you look at more deeply?
If you like to come up with decisions about people, is it to make you feel better? And what other ways could work better?
What is your hidden payoff for taking the focus off your growth to focus on someone else’s shortcomings?
Are you hospitable?
Are you welcoming?
Are you loving?
Are you gracious with the same amount of grace you’ve been given?
Could these areas improve?
Let’s get serious, and List a few ways how we could work toward our own improvement, through God’s grace.
What does speaking any ill of Jennifer Knapp do for our practice of hospitality?
Or, for our Christ-likness?
Or, for our growing in the Love of Christ?
Do Christians HAVE TO be the best at shooting our own wounded ones?
Please, I beg you, no.
Let us enter into a concerted time of Spirit-led introspection, discovery, confession (to both God and each other), repentance, accountability, and ongoing, loving discipleship–in unity.
Sometimes these types of personal revelations seem interesting or fascinating–along the lines of scandal, intrigue, and excitement. Yet, it’s dangerous to fixate with our idle curiosity on public figures, like Knapp, or the ordinary people we know. It’s distracting. It misses the lesson. It skirts the point of the Kingdom.
The truth is, men and women like Knapp are in pews, or they are afraid to be, and they are on the fringes. They feel like they have to choose between being secretive, or being pushed out of the church community. If we had Christ-like hospitality, we would know about them. We would walk *with* them, not just talk *about* them.
But more importantly, if we weren’t so concerned about Knapp, in a judgmental way, we could do the deeper, and far harder work of looking within, and allowing God to work his sanctifying agency.
I pray no one vilifies Jennifer, rejects her, or condemns her. But, I think it will happen. The temptation is just so irresistible. Laying waste to those anything like Knapp is so common, that it hardly seems wrong to our conscience, in general. We have this corny idea of righteous indignation, to give us motivation. But guess what? It’s more irresistible to gossip under the cover of righteous indignation, and far more common than same gender attraction! If we only had righteous indignation for our own problems, first, or ever! Imagine the spiritual growth then.
I don’t think we should applaud her, or marginalize her, but rather know that her journey is neither yours, or mine, directly. When I think of her, I think of the words Jesus said.
Matt.9:11-12When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
BUT-Here’s the distinction. I know this verse is about me. If you don’t realize you need God, and you need help, well, you won’t get any.
Besides that, It saddened me to read that in the article with CT, Jennifer said she was not involved in a church family now. We all need community, to be our best. What could be more beneficial to her than to be surrounded and supported by brothers and sisters in the faith? She dearly loves God. She continues to sing to him, and seek him, unabashedly. Now is not the time to focus on her particular statements, though. We have greater work to do. It’s the kind where personal change is truly possible–the kind within ourselves.
Let us love one another, for everyone who does not love, does not know God.