Yeah, I know, I’ve already stirred up a lot of Christians with that title but here’s my balanced response to Lauren Daigle’s recent comments on whether homosexuality is a sin or not.
She recently appeared on the Domenick Nati show and before you continue reading I insist you listen to all of the interview below so you’re not listening with a predetermined outlook on it all. Please listen to it with an open mind.
Let’s start off by letting you know where JesusWired stands on this subject. Homosexuality/being gay is a sin. We will still love those people but the Bible is quite clear about that. A man lies with a woman. There is no middle ground on that, no grey area and no blurred lines. If a Christian artist claims to be gay, we do not (knowingly) promote them. A few months ago we had a Christian rapper submit his ‘coming out’ song to us. We didn’t post it (worryingly we seemed to be the only Christian media site it was submitted to not to post it) and stood firm in our stance during a “difference of opinion” email exchange with them. On a slightly different topic, after I’d shared a couple of Lindsey Stirling’s videos on the site earlier this year a reader alerted me to the fact she is a mormon. He’s right, she is, and as that directly conflicts with our beliefs I removed those popular articles instantly and apologized to God. I also found out we’d shared another mormon’s music very early on in my time here and, despite it being our no.1 most popular article/drawing tons of people to the site daily, I removed that article too. A “page not found” article then very quickly rose up our most popular articles!
I say all that to say, we stick by our beliefs. No matter how popular an artist may be, if their music or stance directly conflicts with our faith we do not promote them. We’re going to make mistakes though and if one slips through the net we’ll hold our hands up and say “we got that wrong. We didn’t know at the time but we got that wrong.” And swiftly apologize to God and remove the article.
So on to what Lauren Daigle said.
Is what Lauren said worrying? Yes, of course it is. At least on the surface. However, I want to ask you 2 questions before I delve into them a little deeper…
1. why are we as Christians so quick to jump down a fellow Christian’s throat as soon as they make a mistake? (if indeed this was a mistake)
2. If you were metaphorically in Lauren’s shoes, how would you have answered that question?
Over the weekend this story broke and then, predictably, it started to spread like wildfire around the Christian world. It will spread quicker and quicker over the course of this week. It will be huge. The ‘world’ will use it to attack Christians and Christians will continue to condemn, attack and ostracize Lauren Daigle. Now, is it just me or did the latter part of that sentence sound wrong? While we are supposed to keep each other accountable, as Christians we are supposed to love others and yet the moment a ‘popular Christian figure’ slips up we constantly jump straight down their throats. We instantly judge them, cast them out as a “fake Christian”, we viciously attack them (just read any of the comment sections on posts about this) and don’t give the artist/person even a second’s worth of the benefit of the doubt. Especially in this social media driven world we now live in where people share and comment on stuff without looking.
The way we attack other Christians, and constantly judge them, makes me sick. The email exchange I had with that artist about his ‘coming out’ song I mentioned before left me deeply saddened, depressed and sincerely worried for the future of Christian music. Despite always responding in love and carefully considering each and every word, the moment they saw our stance they personally attacked me, the site and our belief in a very unchristian like way. Honestly, if I wasn’t a Christian and I saw even a tenth of the way Christians treated each other, I wouldn’t want anything to do with them and have zero interest in God/being a Christian. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to have a disagreement with a fellow Christian and help set a fellow brother/sister in Christ straight in love, without attacking them. We have to do better.
On this point, let me leave you with this thought. If a Christian artist was to do a mainstream interview and not mention their faith once, they’re considered by fellow Christians to have “sold out” and turned their backs on God. However, if those ‘fellow Christians’ go an entire week at their jobs, meetings, interviews, social gatherings etc without mentioning their faith once, that’s apparently fine. There is no such thing as a perfect Christian and remember what Matthew 7: 1-5 says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Now let’s put ourselves in Lauren Daigle’s shoes. You’ve got to remember that this is the question that is going to be used by ‘the world’ to intentionally trip up any Christian, let alone those artists who are called to step outside the church’s four walls and take the message to the people (contrary to some Christians’ beliefs, that is what the bible encourages us to do). Why else, other than maybe for higher views, would the Domenick Nati show have entitled their YouTube video of the interview clip “Lauren Daigle Doesn’t Know If Homosexuality Is a Sin”?
The most worrying part of her answer for most Christians is where she says she “can’t honestly answer that.” Did that part worry me? Yes, yes it did. But let me ask you a long question…
If you could sing really well like Lauren Daigle (and boy do I wish I could sing at all!), were a Christian and having breakout success/you were suddenly thrust into the mainstream limelight where everything is completely different to what you’re used to and, like Lauren says in the interview, you’re only just starting to face actual criticism…how would you deal with it? How would you impact the world for God without alienating the world…and keep Christians happy? It sounds absolutely impossible doesn’t it? That’s because it pretty much is. The only possible way to tackle it is in close proximity to God and if you’ve followed Lauren at all during this “mainstream breakout” process you’ll know it’s clear she’s been called to do this, to “step out” into the world, and is trusting in God as she goes.
Her response to criticism for performing on the Ellen show was as close to perfect as you can get without being God. It clearly showed off her faith, so kept Christians happy, but also was perfect from a PR point of view and didn’t alienate the world.
PR speaking, her response to Domenick Nati’s loaded “Is homosexuality a sin?” on the spot question followed suit, it was very good. Obviously it’s upset Christians, so it could have been better, but it didn’t alienate the world and encouraged people to pick up the Bible, thus displaying her faith. So while her answer could have been much better, it was still pretty good…especially considering she would have been caught out by the question. Listen to her voice while she’s answering that question compared to the rest of the interview and you’ll hear the change in it. She’s suddenly under a lot of pressure but she also can’t take the time to formulate a perfect answer, she’s doing an interview and dead air isn’t good! You can hear her fumbling around for the next words. While she should have perhaps have had a default answer prepared for that question in advance, she obviously didn’t and gave the best answer she could at the time.
How often have you been asked an unexpected loaded question on the spot, given the best answer you could under pressure, and then afterwards thought of many, many better responses which more accurately conveyed your viewpoint? I’d wager quite a lot! We have all given what we thought was a good answer at the time, in the moment, and then realised, or been criticized for, it being a bad answer. I have plenty of times. (Perhaps more than ‘regular’ people considering my verbal dyspraxia/other disabilities but that’s another story!)
I’ll ask another question after my earlier point (I’m not a quiz-master I promise!). How often have you denied Christ/your faith? Again, I’d wager a lot. I’ve denied my faith in the past to avoid yet more bullying. Almost all of the time I stood up for my faith despite that threat but once, maybe twice, I crumbled. Remember also that one of Jesus’ own dedicated followers Peter denied he knew Jesus THREE times while among unbelievers, despite Peter saying there was no chance he would do so. That’s 1 of Jesus’ handpicked 12 disciples denying he knew Jesus…in the ‘world’…in the Bible.
That last question is not to say Lauren did deny her faith, as she didn’t, but it is to point out that we’re human beings, we’re inherently flawed. That’s why Jesus died upon that cross for us! Proverbs 24: 16 says, “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” That says when a righteous man falls, they rise again. As followers of Christ, no matter how many times we fall, and we do so on a daily basis, we will rise again (as long as we repent of our sins each time). Even Peter, a righteous follower of Jesus who was handpicked by Jesus himself, fell, but he was forgiven and rose again.
Please also remember that as of yet Lauren Daigle hasn’t responded to all this criticism. A response may not come but we expect it will and we’d ask that you at least give her the chance to respond and explain her comments before making your minds up on this, let alone commenting about it and bashing her for this. Please give her the benefit of the doubt, at least for now. Oh, and as she correctly points out in her answer, she’s not God, she’s human, and humans make mistakes!
Make no mistake about it, if it turns out that she doesn’t believe homosexuality is a sin, or if my holy spirit filled gut feeling tells me she doesn’t believe that, we will stop promoting her music on the spot (no matter just how many social interactions/website visits we’d lose out on!). For now though, we’re definitely giving Lauren Daigle the benefit of the doubt. We’re also praying for her. Hard. I’d encourage you to do the same, whatever your viewpoint is.