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August 16, 2011

Gay Musicians Struggle to Find Audience

Jennifer Knapp just one of several who have 'come out' to find decreased receptivity

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More than a year after announcing that she is gay, Jennifer Knapp tells NPR that she was "very hesitant" about coming out in the first place.

"Knowing that I was going to have to publicly deal with my sexuality — it really made me consider how much I wanted to participate in music," Knapp says of her decision to suddenly stop making Christian music in 2002. But after a seven-year hiatus, she returned, not as a CCM artist, but as a secular folk-rocker who still identified herself as a Christian. She told NPR she was "very hesitant to get back up into the public level, knowing that there would be discussion about my sexuality on the whole."

Other Christian musicians who have come out also shared their stories with NPR. Read the full story here, or listen here.

Comments

Why should this surprise anyone that a gay christian musician might have trouble being accepted by christians?
What surprises me more is how many Christians do accept them.

In the ministry of Christ, he was always accepting of the person; however, he was never accepting of the sin. Our reflection of the heart of the Lord should, likewise, strive to minister and support the individual, while pointing out and standing against sin. This approach should be applied to persons caught in all manner of sin, not just a certain type or class.

Sad news considering vile people were to knapp. I loved her new album especially in regards to being out and proud. I hope she inspired others to admit what is inside of them. God bless Knapp for that as it led to me coming out within the same time frame. You can be a christian and gay and Knapp inspired many to realize that the yelling and the name calling that comes from many christian circles should be ignored. If you read this Jennifer know that your openness gave me hope and courage to be open as well.

The saddest thing is not the reception Ms. Knapp received from Christians, but the evil within the church that refuses to acknowledge homosexuailty as sin. That is nothing different than going to a doctor and having him tell a patient there is nothing wrong with the cancer that is ravaging their body. I see most people in church who are not mean to gays at all.

What is sadder still is the reality that the church has forgotten both the call to minister to the sinner as a sinner, sharing with the them the truth of Scripture as the basis for revealing their sin and plainly drawing the line as to what a "Christian" is and is not according to the same Scripture. We are all sinners in the sight of God and have sinned regardless of the degrees we may attach to it, some more repugnant than others. However, it is the grace of God that not only saves us, but transforms us by His power into "new creatures in Christ, the old passed away". This transformational experience precludes someone from taking their past practice of a sinful life as one who lies, cheats, steals, commits adultery, homosexual behavior, murders, etc. into their new life in Christ (rf. I Corinthians 6:9-11). It may not PC and may be more feeling-oriented to widely apply "Christian" as a tag broadly to anyone who wishes it, but the Scriptures reserves it only to those whose faith and follow-ship in Jesus has produced a changed life that exudes holiness and a desire to reflect Him, His Word and His teaching in every aspect of their lives, including their sexuality.

I thank Knapp, and God's inspiration of her, that she has brought to the attention of Christians a doctrine that is not only false but harmful to her and many homosexuals. (Few of the others have Knapp's talent and consequential celebrity; their sufferings tend to be ignored.) The false doctrine is that there is one Christian morality for homosexuals and another for heterosexuals. It is founded entirely on the Levitical purity commands, one of which prohibits physical expression of homosexual love under any circumstances. Although Jesus showed that the purity commands are obsolete (by touching a leper and defending his disciples' failure to wash before eating) and the Apostles taught that we should respect purity taboos only when necessary to avoid offense to a Christian with a "weaker" conscience, many Christians since then have believed that the prohibition of homosexual behavior still stands. This is indefensible. (It may be excusable, because heterosexuals naturally find homosexual acts disgusting. But disgust is not a good sign of immorality. And I am told that homosexuals find heterosexual acts disgusting.) If, as seems clear, homosexual orientation does not prevent anyone from living up to the ideal of Christian marriage -- loving one's spouse as Christ loved the Church, giving one's life for her -- then what justifies the refusal to give Christian homosexual couples the Church's blessing of marriage? Nothing except some NT verses that inveigh against homosexual behavior necessarily adulterous, i.e., outside marriage. Let us marry homosexuals and hold the behavior of all Christians, homosexual or heterosexual, to the same moral standards. Then, if Knapp or any of the others is willing to confine the intimate physical expression of her sexual desire to her spouse and to repent of her failure to do so, let her (with regard to her sexual orientation and behavior) be as fully accepted by Christians as anyone else is.

It sounds to me like some of your responders missed the point. Accepting a person, does not mean approval of their life style, or any other sin that a person commits, Jesus befriended the woman taken in adultery, while the religious leaders were ready to stone and kill her. Why can'we as Chrisians follow the example of Christ. Or, are we going to be throwing verbal stones at others and drive them even farther from Christ. The church should welcome all people regaredless of their orientation. Again this does not mean approval. Sounds to me like the first writer of your comments has some real issues within his own life if that is the approach he takes. I am sure their are people who come to church who are blatent hypocrites, let's ask them all to leave and we may find a church of empty pews. How sad to set ourselves up as judges. wvm

Some of the comment above is both interesting and provocative. Unfortunately, there is an mix of opinion and perspective present that makes useful conclusions difficult.

First and foremost, it should be clear, that no where in the Bible does it say, teach, or state, "Be Gay". To assert that there exists biblical support of the gay life style is simply mind boggling fantasy. Should we haters? No, and overwhelmingly Christians are not. To this I can be completely clear. My life has benefited overwhelmingly from Christianity and Christians. This is not something I read on the Internet, I lived it and am better for it. The Bible states clearly our responsibility and obligation to love, forgive, to be generous, patient, and to be good to those around us. It states, very basically, that we make good choices.

Homosexuality is not a good choice.

I'm actually getting tired of homosexuals and their pushing their lifestyle in my face. The reason why the churches are backing away from them and leaving them behind is because they want the churches to let them continue doing sex their way,and the churches are feeling they're being sidetracked by these people from doing the business of Jesus. They are wasting our time deliberatly because they figure sooner or later Christians will tire and give in to them as some churches have already done. They want the respect of the churches without them committing to what the churches believe. Hollywood and the media sholve them in our faces figuring normals will accept them. I think I'm not the only one getting tired of them. The letters in the papers for the homosexual lifestyle aren't getting answered any more. The silent majority is too silent. The last time that happened, Reagan got elected. What's the expression, "payback is a .....".

Anyone who thinks that homosexual acts are only a matter of purity in the Levitical sense or who does not see the clear New Testament condemnation of homosexual sex acts is not reading the text fairly. Two other things are important, however. First, Jesus and the NT writers, such as Paul, condemn many things, including many kinds of sexual immorality. They do not make homosexual acts center-stage but these are included. TO deny that simply is to reject what Jesus and the NT writers said and wrote. Second, and this is really the important point, people who commit other sorts of sin do not demand having that sin accepted as good and proper for a Christian. What if a male CCM artist "came out" by announcing that he spends ten hours a day looking at pornography on the Internet. There's no specific biblical condemnation of that at all, but he should probably not be surprised if that makes him less popular. What about adultery? How about incest? Kidnapping? Murder? Those who diss' Leviticus must, to be consistent, accept rape because only the Mosaic Law condemns rape. Only Leviticus condemns incest. Heteroxexuals have urges just like homosexuals, whether for pornography or alcohol, or adultery, or any number of other urges. Just because someone has an urge does not make that urge good. It only makes it an urge. Christians who are addicted to pornography could likewise talk about their pain after their sin is discovered. Pain alone does not validate an action, but people, including many pastors, do not go on marches or parades to celebrate pornography or adultery or getting drunk daily or incest or pedophilia, etc. I don't have any specific thoughts about Jennifer Knapp as a person except that she was naive if she thought that coming out would not be an issue for her. Coming out should be done by people trapped in a specific sin to those who need to know or can help them. The rest of us do not need to know, and they should not expect to be validated nonetheless. I wouldn't allow a pastor caught in adultery keep his/her position. Why would I want to buy the albums of a CCM artist who announces (not confesses!) a specific sin as though that was a badge of honor????

My love for God alone compels me to make the hard choices and flee from sin with every opportunity. I pray that people like Jennifer Knapp and "Richard" get this. Our identity is in Christ, not our sexuality, race, ethnicity, gender, hair color - whatever you value about yourself above your life in Christ is an idol, plain and simple.

Of course we must know that we hate the sin but the not the sinner. At the same time, while I sin I tend to feel bad about it and think about repenting, but most gay people are very unapologetic and brazen(being public about it...if you felt bad about your sin are you going to go tell the whole world about it, the Word says to discuss you sin with a few brothers in order to figure out how to take care of it.) In Romans it describes people being given over away by God to their lusts for each other and never describes a Christian struggling with it. I agree with KimC about this being a badge of honor and quite bluntly it is a victory for Satan.
ROMANS 6 all gay people who consider themselves Christians read this.

These sins that are being discussed are forms of idolatry. We have replaced God in our hearts and placed these sins on pedestals to be worshipped and served.

We try our hardest to try to normalize sin by twisting or completely ignoring the fact of scripture and the demand of God to be holy because He is holy.

We reject Godly counsel when confronted and are easily offended by the truth without regard for repentance. Christ is coming for a bride without spot or wrinkle and He won't tolerate anyone who embraces and worships the lust of the flesh instead of Him.

It's time to cast aside these things that so easliy trip us up and repent for He is at the door.

A lot of hate and frustration here man (in the comments). Cool that she is still a Christian in spite of the way she was apparently treated.

"Cool that she is still a Christian in spite of the way she was apparently treated."

If she is a practicing homosexual she is not a Christian. Gal. 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Some say Jesus hates sin. I don't recall Jesus every saying such a thing. Do you have a scriptural reference? A reference to Jesus' words, that is, not something from the OT or the later books of the NT.

For those of you who claim that Jesus sanctioned homosexuality, you need to read this whole chapter.

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

Jesus clearly said reinforced the truth of why God created a man and a woman. He quoted genesis by reminding people that for this reason, what reason: marriage is the reason: why, so man and woman would reproduce!! For this reason, man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.why, so they can become one in MARRIAGE WHICH WILL PRODUCE BABIES!!

In verse 11 he clearly says that the only people who do not have the privilage of marriage to a WOMAN, are the eunuchs.He then says clearly that SOME ARE BORN THIS WAY, WHICH WAY? THE EUNUCH WAY. NOT THE HOMOSEXUal WAY. Then he says some make themselves eunuchs.while some are made that way by others.There is nowhere in the bible where it says some are born Gay. nowhere. if anyone has that scripture, please share it with us.please

This scripture alone has the power to diffuse any argument that one would say about Jesus ever sanctioning homosexuality.

Jeb, you right, there is no where in the 4 gospels where Jesus came out and said the words, " I hate sin". He did not have to. Why? Because he CAME TO SAVE THE SINNERS!!
for God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only begotten son. That whosoever believed in him should not perish but have everlasting life. He did not come to condemn the world, but to save the world. he didn't have to condemn the world because the whole world was already under the condemnation of sin. His mission was to save mankind from sin.

In other words,he did not come to point out the sin in man because he knew that all men men have fallen short of the glory of God. He knew that we are born in iniquity. So his focus was not on the sin in man, but on the solution to the problem.

John the baptist had already come as a for runner who exposed the sin in man's hearts through his preaching. for the bible clearly says that God sent john the baptists, who The cousin to Jesus by the way,to clear the way by warning the people of the wrath to come.

With that being said, Jesus however, did address sin.E:g In John 8:from verse 1 through to 11, he dealt with the woman caught in adultery.The last words he told her were: Neither do i condemn you. GO AND SIN NO MORE!!

Another example is from John 5.In verse 14, Jesus warns the man who had been healed from his infirmity not TO SIN NO MORE OR ELSE SOMETHING WORSE CAME UPON HIM.

These two examples are enough to give a clear picture on how where Jesus stood concerning sin. HE KNEW IT WAS DEADLY. And the fact that he said, "Sin no more or a worse thing come upon you" is a clear indication that sin can also result in sickness and disease, e.g STD'S, AIDS,ETC.

So, Jeb, Yes Jesus did hate sin.That's the reason he cam in the first place.

Lastly, I Know you said you did not want any scriptures from the OT and the other books of the bible but the I will still end with Hebrews 1: 9 which reads: Though have loved righteousness and have hated iniquity. Therefore, God, even thy God has anointed thee with the oil of Gladness.
This scripture is talking about Jesus. read from verse 1 and you will clearly see that,
i have added this scripture because the bible in 2 Timothy 3:16 says that ALL scripture is inspired or God breathed!!

Jennifer Knapp is a wolf in sheep's clothing. you shall know them by their fruit. I pray she repents and I pray her example will not influence the pure and holy daughters of Zion to accept this wicked lifestyle as honoring to Jesus. You cannot be a homosexual Christian. you are either homosexual or Christian. Yeshua came to set us free, to destroy the works of the evil one, to translate us out of the kingdom of Darkness in to the Kingdom of His Glorious Light. You should toss out her music and lovingly try and get in touch with her to plead with her to repent. Let her know she can be free, she can be born again and defeat homosexuality in her life. Do not be deceived by this. Her offering of praise IS NOT RECIEVED BY GOD. How do I know this, because our sins separate us from God and anyone living in open, unrepentant sin cannot bring an offering pleasing to the Lord save an offering of contrition, repentance, and a desire to see herself set free agreeing with God that her ways are contrary to Him and wicked. yes, we all fall short of the glory of God, but we should never settle for sin in our life. We should repent daily and ask God to give us the victory. Where is the attitude of Paul, where we are so cautious of our life that the ministry of God not be blamed of any evil. Repent Jennifer and believe the gospel. Jesus loves you, I love you and we can both be free..together.

It is sad that we are forced to feel sorry for people who are doing the wrong things. Being gay is your choice, but not the path for a christian, right?

Major Ross

The Old Testament says that God detests/intensely hates homosexuality (Leviticus 18.22), and the New Testament says that it's a perversion (Romans 1.26-27). And that means to distort the original intent. And that's exactly what they are doing. It was God's plan for ONE male and ONE female to become one. Jesus said it in Matthew.

Just stating the facts.

Why would Knapp be surprised that Christians--followers of the light and truth of Jesus Christ (who calls us to DENY ourselves and follow him)-- might disapprove of her music and lifestyle?

We're in slippery slopes, folks, with evil being declared as righteousness, and the great "gospel" of relativity taking over our faith.

I have listened to Ray Boltz newest CD and it has ministered to me on a level very few CCM songs ever will. Ray - in my humble opinion, it is the best songwriting of your career! It is honest, full of hope and does not downplay the reality of life in our present world and church.
For all those Rich Mullin lovers out there - Let mercy lead Let love be the strength in your legs And in every footprint that you leave There'll be a drop of grace If we can reach Beyond the wisdom of this age Into the foolishness of God That foolishness will save Those who believe Although their foolish hearts may break They will find peace And I'll meet you in that place
Where mercy leads...

"Homosexuality is not a good choice"?

Homosexuality is not a choice at all.

It is brave Christians like this that helped me come out. When someone, in the face of all their religion, shows their innate self, regardless of how they will be jeered at, it is most courageous and virtuous.

Homosexuality is a choice to SIN. I sincerely pray that all homosexuals will repent before it is too late. 2Peter chapter 2 addresses this sin so directly, along with those who are dealing with the sins of adultary or pornography, and they know in their hearts, no matter how much they try to deny it, that the Lord is speaking to them. However, there are those who have denied it so much, that their hearts have become hardened. The Lord may be coming soon for believers, leaving those on earth to go through the tribulation (see Rev 3:10). Like it says in 2Peter, Noah and his family were saved, and Lot and his wife were allowed to leave, before the wrath of God. Rev 3:10 says that believers will be spared the trial that comes upon the whole world, and just like happened in the past, the homosexuals and the other sinners who were unrighteous (they practice their sin and deny that it is evil before God, and refuse to repent) will see the wrath of God. Here is from 2Peter chapter 2:

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.

Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.

These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved. For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”

And from Hebrews 10: "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God." Hebrews 10:26-27

If these speak to you, please repent!

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