Jennifer Knapp is fairly well known as that rare contemporary Christian music artist that is actually an artist. Her debut album, Kansas, is not only one of my favorite Christian albums, it’s one of my favorite albums. Period. Her voice is gentle, content, yet confident and emotional. She is a powerful musician that was rescued from alcoholism (if I am remembering her story correctly) by exposure to Christ and his bible and has been a successful Christian performer ever since.
Jennifer Knapp has also, just recently, revealed she is gay and sees no contradiction between this and a biblical, Christian lifestyle. She was on Larry King Live a few days ago and I thought it would be interesting and hopefully beneficial if I interacted to some of her statements on Larry King had I been there to deal with the questions and issues.
For the second segment in the show Knapp and King tag-teamed Pastor Bob Botsford, Senior Pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego.
Knapp: If I am a sinner and homosexuality is a sin, let’s just go on that premise for a moment. But what separates that particular sin out from the fact that I’m angry or mad at someone or that I cheat or maybe, you know — what separates that out as so grievous to you that we have to sit here and have this type of conversation?
What I Would Say: It’s true that it’s awful we are even having this conversation. It’s not easy for either of us. It’s true that all sins are rebellion against God and lying is as damnable in God’s sight as forbidden lust or murder. But I wouldn’t say that’s the issue. Everyone is a sinner, we both agree on that. The issue is repentance.
It’s been wisely and rightly said, I think, that,
“The difference between an unconverted and a converted man is not that the one has sins and the other has none; but that the one takes part with his cherished sins against a dreaded God, and the other takes part with a reconciled God against his hated sins.”
So, this discussion is not about whether or not we’re both going to struggle with sinful desires or not. The issue is whether or not, once repenting and being reconciled to God, will we take sides against our hated sins. In my own life, I simply cannot deny that the central message that Jesus preached when he came to earth was “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
King: Pastor, I’ll have her respond and we’ll let you talk it with each other. But a question that puzzles, you said choice, that she made a choice. Did you make a choice for heterosexuality?
What I would say: Once again you’re missing the point. No one has a choice not to be a sinner. I didn’t have a choice to be redeemed when I was living in unrepentant sin. Larry, the Bible says in Romans 3 that,
“none is righteous, no, not one. No one understands, no one seeks for God.”
It says again in Romans 8 that the
“mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Ephesians 2 goes on to say that we, as unrepentant sinners are, dead in…
“trespasses and sins”… “carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and [are] by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ephesians 2, however, also says,
“God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
So, Jennifer, you’re right. You don’t have a choice. You’re doing what your flesh has compelled you to do, but this conflict between us and between you and God does not have to persist. God has given us his gospel and his Spirit in order to free you and regenerate you for repentance and faith. Jennifer, your greatest joy will come from trusting Christ to give you the power to choose and change so that your life can be a reflection of his character in every area of your life.
Jennifer, your identity is not wrapped up in or defined by your sexual urges, desires or instincts. Jennifer if is there is any genuine faith in God in you or any desire to obey the Word of God I would beg you to be true, be authentic to the redeemed and reconciled Jennifer and take issue with your sin and repent of it. Your Father stands ready, arms wide.
If you would like a far more thorough and insightful response Trevin Wax has a great one on his blog HERE.