Former Christian music star Jennifer Knapp announced her homosexuality on Larry King Live last week. She says homosexuality is not a sin or is at least no different from any other sin.
She said the church tends to pick out some sins (specifically: homosexuality) to make a big deal out of, and lots of other sins to leave alone. There is truth to that complaint.
The problem is that people who are in bondage to all those other sins aren’t usually found on network television arguing with preachers that their lifestyle is compatible with biblical Christianity and that nobody has a right to censor them.
Because this has become so public a story, I want to use it to get to the real foundational issues involved. This is not an attack on Jennifer Knapp.
This issue reveals part of the rotting foundation of contemporary evangelicalism in America. We do not understand repentance.
Is it possible for repentance to be compartmentalized? Can someone be said to have experienced true biblical repentance when they insist on their own right to pick and choose which of their particular sins they want to turn away from and which they must be allowed to embrace?
King David was confronted for his sin by the prophet Nathan. If you read the testimony of David’s repentance (Psalm 51), you will see that his heart was broken for all the sin in his life, not just adultery and murder. There was this deep-hearted brokenness and crying out to God for total cleansing from all sin. This is the fruit of true repentance. It is not compartmentalized. It’s a heart yielded to all the Light it has. When we pick and choose which sins we want to nurture and which sins we want God to deliver us from, then we are hating the Light and loving the world. We’re still in darkness.
Let’s use a man whose marital infidelities have come to light as an example. Let’s say that he has had several affairs which have recently been exposed to the public. The man apparently confesses his sins and openly apologizes to his wife and his adoring fans. But if he secretly continues to see yet another mistress, one who has not been found out yet, could we say that his heart has really changed? Has there been any repentance at all?
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ ” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Jesus shows us what will become of many people who supposedly served Him on the public platform. These people confused enjoying the limelight for walking in the light of Life. Performing on stage can feed the ego. And it’s almost guilt free if you remember to put Jesus’ name on the concert poster!
The false converts embraced what they perceived as “God’s will”, because it conveniently served their self-determined ends.
At the end of the interview, Ms. Knapp speaks of recently being inspired by watching secular gay music stars perform on stage (very erotic shows), saying that, “she had a burning in her belly” to get back on stage and felt inspired by these acts to do so.
She longs to get back on stage. She seems to be brazenly willing to sacrifice the honor of Christ and the integrity of His word as she seeks to return to the limelight.
This is not Christian. This is the beast of Christian entertainment we’ve created America.