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When faced with the daunting task of “dealing” with gays, many Christians will tell you they “love the sinner, but hate the sin.” Some have gay friends whom they apply that phrase to, while others are so uncomfortable around gays they “love from a distance” and opt out of being friends or even associating with…the homosexuals.
Then there are those Christians who are no longer buying that mantra and are asking more pointed questions on this controversial topic. One such person is Dan Haseltine of Grammy award-winning Christian band, Jars of Clay.
The singer started a firestorm on Twitter a few days ago with a simple tweet, asking a simple question:
Arguably one of the most popular and successful bands in the industry; Dan’s tweets were obviously met with a backlash that is typical of the Christian community. The whole “Hide yo kids, hide yo wife” mentality where nobody actually knows what they are talking about results in them deleting Jars of Clay out of their iTunes queue and petitioning their local Christian station to stop playing the group. Heaven forbid they listen to what he has to say and engage in an educated conversation about it.
Whether or not you agree, communication about these things is crucial to understanding; no matter what side of the fence you’re on. Refusing to discuss just because you “know you’re right” because of what the “Bible says” doesn’t work for me. Most Christians have so earnestly adopted the opinions and beliefs of others, whether or not they even truly know why, that they have closed themselves off completely to new perspectives or open conversation.
Anti-gay writer Michael Brown took to his blog to call Dan’s support of same-sex marriage “The “Shattering of Jars of Clay
“This really boggles the mind,” Brown wrote. “When you’re sliding down a dangerous slippery slope, you don’t say, ‘Give me one good reason we’re in danger, other than the fact that we’re careening down this deadly slope.’ No. You grab hold of something to stop your fall and then figure out how to climb back to solid ground. Does this gifted artist not realize that the only reason we’re talking about redefining marriage today is because we are well down that slope already?”
So, does this come down to personal belief and individual interpretation of Scripture?
When Grammy nominated Christian artist Jennifer Knapp came out
, following her hiatus from the industry, the church was up in arms; as they were when Ray Boltz came out
in 2008. And I remember allegations that DC Talk’s Kevin Max was gay when I was growing up (he isn’t), and there is still speculation that fellow DC Talk member Michael Tate is gay or bisexual.
Does the fact that these artists are gay (or may be gay) mean their ministry is void? Does their music no longer hold the power of THE anointing? Are they unable to reach souls with the message of God’s love? Is God unable to use them?
Are they...wait for it...going to hell?
“…If you remove the social problem that homosexuality brings to the church—and the debate as to whether or not it should be called a 'struggle,' because there are proponents on both sides—you remove the notion that I am living my life with a great deal of joy,” Jennifer Knapp told Christianity Today
following her resurgence into the music scene.
“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 ram shackled, broken, frustrated way that I've always approached my faith. I still consider my hope to be a whole human being, to be a person of love and grace.
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.”
I know all about churches that claim to “accept” everyone. Urging congregates to invite their friends and neighbors; gay, straight, purple hair and tattooed…"we love them all.” But the next week those same people will stand in the pulpit and say “God save the gays…they're so deceived.” If in fact being gay is a sin, why do churches glorify it above the rest?
Props to Dan for taking a wildly brave step and putting that question out to the world; he had to know it would cause a stir, but he still gave people the option to communicate. He created a conversation.
Sometimes it all a matter of perspective. While growing up in the church it’s easy to adopt the beliefs of the people around you as Gospel truth, mainly because that’s all you know, and what you “know” to be truth because you’ve never had to think about it any other way. How much research have you actually done to know that you know what the original scriptures were saying? How many gay people have you talked to about their life? What do YOU actually KNOW?
Do you really believe gay people would choose a lifestyle that is condemned by the masses? If they did "choose" that, do you really believe it can be prayed away?
Food for thought...what do you think about all of this PopWrappers?
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