Friday, April 23, 2010

Can you be a Christian and gay???

Matt and I just finished watching Jennifer Knapp on Larry King Live. The premise of the show was "Can you be Christian and gay?" Jennifer has recently revealed publicly that she has been in a serious relationship with a woman for the past 7 or 8 years - confirming rumors that have been swirling about for the better part of the last decade.

First, I want to say that I have LONG been a fan of Jennifer Knapp. I remember seeing her for the first time many years ago when she opened for DC Talk in Indianapolis. I had never heard her music before, but as soon as she came on stage, I was instantly taken. Her music is powerful, but her lyrics are even more so. That woman can really string some words together! Her sound is raw and soulful, and her songs have always seemed to speak to my life in a very real and authentic way. I always get the feeling that Jennifer is who she is - no apologies. Through her music she seems to be so honest in both her praise of her savior and her questions about her faith. It's a beautiful thing...

I am surprised to see her on Larry King Live. I know her public revelation about her sexuality has really become big news, but I guess I always feel as though "Christian" artists are quickly disregarded by the mainstream. I suppose it's a good thing that this topic is becoming more and more prevalent though.

I have never watched Larry King before, and let me say this: I WILL NEVER WATCH AGAIN. He is so bad about interrupting people! It was really frustrating to watch. Plus, how many breaks do we really need in one hour? I joked with Matt that he must be having prostate issues because of all the potty breaks he was taking. (That's so mean...but it's funny, right? Just kidding...prostate issues aren't funny.) Besides the interrupting and the breaks, he really seems to only hear what he wants to hear. He would totally twist people's words into something dramatic to try to cause conflict. I'm sure that stirring up drama is good for his ratings, but it's rude and dishonest. I felt like a skeez just watching that show (and I watch some crazy TV people!).

I became a Christian when I was 16 years old, and have been struggling with the issue of homosexuality ever since. Someone who I love very much is gay, so right away the question of whether homosexuality is a sin was addressed in my soul. I have to say that 14 years later, that question remains unanswered. Now, I have not spent scads of time debating and researching and praying about this or anything. It's just always something that's in the back of my mind, and it comes out to stretch its limbs once in a while. As I have continued in my life as a Christian, I have met and loved others who are gay or who question the sinfulness of homosexuality. I have had some really enlightening, inspired conversations with these people, but I still have yet to make up my mind about it. The question still remains for me: What does God think about homosexuality?

The question I want to raise tonight is this: Can you be a gay Christian?

I am a follower of Christ. In an attempt to be totally open and real with you, I will tell you that I sin in a myriad of ways. I could list them, but I won't. These sins are either being dealt with now or have been already. The victory has been won either way, and that is between me and God. What I will tell you is this: My sins - past, present or future - do not keep me from loving God or receiving his love, grace, mercy or salvation. I fully understand that sin separates us from God, but I also understand that Christ came to bridge that gap my sin created. By accepting Christ into my life, and by continuing to seek forgiveness and redemption every day, I now enjoy an awesome relationship with my creator.

I am a heterosexual woman, married to a man. Not once in my life as a Christian (or before for that matter) has it occurred to me that my sexuality has anything to do with whether or not I can give love to or receive love from God. I know that God has created marriage, and that he created sex within marriage to be a gift. Trust me - I appreciate that on a fairly regular basis! ;) I don't know that if I were a homosexual woman in a serious relationship with another woman that my relationship with God would be much different. I just don't see how my sexual orientation blocks out the love and salvation that God has for me. Obviously I am only speculating. Maybe things would be totally different. I will never know.

What I do know is that GOD LOVES US ALL. Gay or straight. White or black. Male or female. American or not. Let's not get all caught up on who is a sinner and who isn't, because WE ALL ARE! Instead, let's get caught up in loving one another and supporting each other in our walk. There's so much more that needs our attention folks. Satan is at work among us, and he's using crap like this to divide us even more. Kick him in the face and love the crap out of each other!

What do you think?

(P.S. Jennifer? You are FABULOUS! So glad you're back!)

6 comments:

Karen said...

I think you've articulated the questions, doubts, and uncertainty that a lot of Christians (or at least me, anyway) feel about this topic, especially when they have friends, family, etc. who are gay. It's a tough one to wrap your head around -- but I will take on your challenge to "love the crap out of each other" :) No problem.

Jamie said...

Katie, I'm so glad you blogged about this. I hadn't heard about any of it, and I love Jennifer Knapp! She comes back during trying or sad times in my life to encourage me and make me think. I've always struggled with this issue, too...I just can't see it in black and white like a lot of people do. I think the Bible is clear it's not God's ideal, which is sin...but so is that second strawberry shortcake I ate last night, am I right? Can I get an Amen? =) Now, I haven't heard about this or heard Jennifer speak out, so I don't know her attitude, but I'm guessing if she's been in a relationship so long, she's not feeling guilty about it, right? It's just hard for me to see someone in Christian leadership (a role model in the Christian marketplace, at the very least) being okay with something the Bible clearly defines as sin. I, as a Christian leader, should never be okay with sin in my life, whether I consider it big or little. God wants me to be holy and connected to Him, His Church, and His creation. I can't do that wholly with sin in my life.

Okay...just thinking. So glad you wrote this!

Love you! Jamie

Rick Brentlinger said...

There are plenty of excellent reasons to believe that God loves, saves and blesses individuals in the GLBT community in precisely the same way He loves, saves and blesses folks who are not gay.

My website and book provide reasoned, thoughtful arguments against the goofy arguments people are making because Jennifer Knapp came out.

GayChristian101.com deals with all of the clobber passages in detail.

Janice said...

I don't know you, just happened to be reading through a bunch of blogs that are linked from a good friend of mine. I hope you don't mind if I answer your question. Quick comment first: I REALLY like Karen's answer about loving the crap out of them. :) I think we all have someone in our lives who are gay.

Of COURSE you can be gay and be a Christian. And of COURSE God loves all of us alike. Being gay isn't the issue. It's what gay people DO with what they believe they are that is the issue. If they want to please God and love Him back, do they follow through on their homosexual desires or not? If you believe the answer is "yes" then you are also going to have to re-evaluate what you believe about marriage and what that means. If living a gay lifestyle is ok, then having sex outside marriage must be ok too. So then, you're going to have to decide what you believe the definition of marriage is.

For you in particular the FIRST question you answer should be, do I believe the Bible is ALL true or am I going to pick and choose which parts to believe? Whichever way you answer that question will determine how you answer this question in your post. You have some heavy thinking to do.

drursd said...

it is the best go christ off, christ is one marketint of love, realy is una bad idea - this persons think they are specialy, escolhidas, by god... irc!

Ima Hogan said...

Katie, I actually had a very lengthy conversation about this with Pastor Kim. Of course you can be gay and be a Christian. Everyone has the ability to love and believe in Christ. To say that because someone is gay that they cannot be Christian is to judge them on a level that we are not capable of. "Judge not lest ye be judged" is the saying. As a Christian, it is our job to love all and to do everything we can to bring others to Christ. If we start determining who is fit to be a Christian,and who is not, we are doing a great dis-service to our cause. It is not our mission to change others. Our mission is to bring others to come to know Jesus and love him as he loves us. When judgement day finally comes, God will look into our hearts and souls and He will make the final decision. The rest is just nonsense we place in our lives. I choose to love and accept all and share His message to anyone that will listen. Sin is sin no matter how "big" or "small". Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.