Who is Wrong – the Media, Christians, or Lauren Daigle?
Recently, the conservative media and social networks were filled with articles about Christian singer Lauren Daigle not giving a definitive answer on whether she thinks homosexuality is right or wrong. As with actor Kevin Hart’s recent Twitter retraction of remarks which he made ten years ago, the criticism of Daigle has reached the level of today’s cut-throat political commentary. Guilt is assigned to people with no questions asked and with reckless abandon, in the Christian sphere as in the secular. Is this fair?
As far as becoming a Christian artist with crossover appeal, Daigle had a terrific couple of months in Fall 2018. She appeared on The Ellen Show and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, singing Christian music on both. Previously, she had appeared on various shows like Good Morning America with no backlash.
Then, as happens to celebrities most often these days, her outstanding reputation was dashed across the rocks by a simple answer she gave to one reporter: “I don’t know.”
In an interview for The Domenick Nati Show on iHeart Radio, she was asked for her stance on homosexuality being a sin. The host has denied that he was setting a trap for Daigle with one of those “I’ve got you now” questions that can completely ruin a person’s reputation.
But it was too late. The damage was done. The Christian community was astonished by Daigle’s seemingly neither here-nor-there response. This woman, whose songs include the immensely popular “You Say,” and “Trust in You”– How could she not defend the biblical position?
-Does she not know the Bible verses?
-How can she be a public figure and not believe or know how to express the Christian viewpoint?
These questions have every appearance of being baseless and unfair accusations. First, do all of us really know how we would react in the secular spotlight, or even on a show that “claims” to be conservative or Christian? We’ll get back to that in a minute.
Second, when reading Daigle’s entire statement on the program, it is clear that she wasn’t avoiding the biblical position. To say “I don’t know, people need to read the Bible for themselves and decide”… “I am not God” is not exactly a denial of the Christian viewpoint on homosexuality.
What Daigle did right
The singer was right in two respects: First, people do need to read the Bible for themselves – in context – to see what it says. 1 John 4 says, “Test the spirits.” How do we test the spirits, and know what is truly said in the spirit from what is not? Merely listening to the din of public voices or a sermon from the pulpit is insufficient. We must read the Scriptures for ourselves. This is what opens many peoples’ eyes to the truth – unless they are remaining willfully ignorant.
Second, and most importantly, she was right in saying she is not God. Such a statement is simple, but profound in its expression of humility.
What she could have done differently
Many people, even Christians, resort to citing the Old Testament verses, Leviticus 18:22 or 20:13, condemning homosexuality. This is because they lack knowledge of the references to homosexuality in the New Testament. The examples from Leviticus have limitations. The Hebrew people were still under the books of Law and could take punishment into their own hands, thus making the verses very harsh in nature. The New Testament brings us Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice and states many times we can be saved by God’s grace and only He can say who deserves discipline or punishment.
Had Daigle been given more time to gather her thoughts, perhaps she could have added: "Everyone in doubt about this issue should read Romans 1:25-32 if they read nothing else. It is a passage in the New Testament that is clear enough for anyone to decide for themselves." Then she could have continued with her conclusion, "I am not God."
There are also other verses in the New Testament that can be given about homosexuality: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, and yes, Jesus did say something about it in His own words, as attested by Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9. But the end of Romans 1 makes it abundantly clear, and why it happens (please see the Bible passage at the end of our text).
What would each of us do in that situation?
Although Daigle, as a Christian knowingly entering the secular spotlight, should be well-prepared for any faith-related question from a reporter, who's to say what any of us would do when put on the spot like this? Are we all absolutely, positively sure that we would word-for-word stand up for the Bible on such a hot topic?
In addition, she was in a position where she couldn’t have won for trying. Maybe she didn’t use exactly the right words, but imagine this – the immense backlash if she came right out and said “it is wrong.” She may have been cut off without being given a chance to give verses supporting her declaration, and then people would have accused her of not knowing what she was talking about. She could have been thrown to the wolves this way too – which, although Christians are to expect that – maybe something inside of her, that still small voice of God, was saying, “this is not the time or the venue to do it yet.” How do we know? Sometimes we want to say something and God says, “Not now.”
One thing is for sure. Daigle doesn’t deserve the backfire from the Christian community. She deserves our encouragement and prayers. Too many media articles in conservative publications are making a big deal about this, and we would all be better off without such criticism. We aren’t supposed to be back-biters like the rest of the world. Let’s allow this difficult and very public event to provide Christians with two important reminders:
First, all Christians must always be ready to provide answers to difficult, socially relevant questions (I Peter 3:15-16).
Second, when any one of us falters, we should immediately seek unity, not division. And encouragement, not criticism.
Romans 1:25-32 (NIV):
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
(Photo Credit: Official press kit for Lauren Daigle's album, "Look Up Child.")
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