Lauren Daigle catches heat for punting on LGBT question

Lauren_Daigle_leading_at_NPM_TLR,_2015
Lauren Daigle’s new album “Look Up Child” has been incredibly poplar. It’s been a #1 album on Christian charts but the incredibly talented singer has also been achieving mainstream success with her album reaching as high as third on the Billboard Top 200, a rarity for a religious album. She’s even appeared on the Tonight Show, Ellen, and Dancing with the Stars.

On a recent interview with Domenick Nati, Daigle was asked if she believed homosexuality was a sin. The singer responded: “You know, I can’t honestly answer on that…too many people that I love (that) are homosexuals.”

Within Evangelical circles, Daigle has been heavily criticized this week.

She did have an opportunity to publicly defend the sanctity of marriage.

But I can also appreciate that it was a difficult situation to be in. Because it’s an issue where it’s hard to disagree and not be viewed as hateful or bigoted. It’s an issue that warrants individual conversations rather than broad commentary.

I do think she could have handled that question better than she did, but she was basically put in a no-win situation.

I know many Christians would disagree with me.

But I think we can make a mistake of weighing homosexuality ahead of other areas of sin, as if it’s preeminent. We can put it on a pedestal.

Don’t misunderstand me. I do believe it’s a sin.

And if you’ve ever listened to my preaching, I don’t think I’m someone who would be accused of taking sin lightly.

All sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). All are equally dead in sin apart form Christ. The gospel is not saving someone to heterosexuality but it is saving people to Jesus. The gospel is not “get straight and then get saved,” it’s to come to Jesus where you are. The starting point of the gospel is not to try to change a person’s orientation. It’s to love people unconditionally, and invite them into a relationship with Jesus.

The Bible is clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. The Bible is clear that the only framework by which a sexual union can be morally engaged in is through marriage. The Bible is clear that anything outside of that is sin.

But someone want people beating their chest in the public arena on this issue.

It’s true that in the Old Testament, there were prophets who warned Israel of divine wrath and judgment. In the New Testament, Paul called out those who were distracting people from the gospel. Jesus railed against the sinfulness of the moral teachers. But these were groups within the Jewish religious communities.

I’m not arguing for cultural relativism. God is righteous and God has a righteous standard to approach him: Jesus. My point is that in the Bible, within the faith community, because it was a faith community, there was a common and agreed upon standard to which to hold people accountable and question people for disregarding.

God’s moral will is still righteous, and holy, and good. And immorality should be addressed. But in the context of desiring to build relationships, does calling out everyone’s individual sins need to be the starting point? Or is the issue not about one particular sin but a sinful nature and a life that is sinful and opposed to God apart from Christ?

The disease for all of humanity is sin and the cure is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I have no doubt that she does have relationships with people who are homosexual that she genuinely loves. It’s a complicated subject. It’s a hard balance to maintain relationships and to hold to fundamental Biblical truths which many dislike. Because those relationships are important. And publicly coming out with a hard line position against homosexuality could be harmful to relationships. She’s a singer not a theologian.

I can appreciate not wanting to alienate a lot of people (not just in terms of record sales and popularity), but also not wanting to turn people away from a message.

Much of our society has made up its mind on this subject and so a traditional Biblical view will make a person seem hateful and homophobic. The idea that you can “love the sinner, not the sin” has been rejected by much of the culture.

However we love the sinner, not the sin in all sorts of other areas of life. Why is there no room to love people while morally disagreeing on this issue?

I know some are extremely critical of Daigle. I don’t see what that really accomplishes. Frankly, the vast majority of people will never be in the position she’s in with the platform she has. I’ve heard people say that she’s not even a Christian based on her response. That seems a bit heavy handed. The Apostle Peter denied even knowing Jesus on Maundy Thursday.

The starting point needs to be the gospel.

Since she was asked, I do have criticism that she basically avoided the question. If she doesn’t have an opinion on that issue, she needs to study the clear Biblical teachings on the matter. If she does think it’s wrong but didn’t want to say it, she should have more backbone than that.

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear what you think, and don’t forget to subscribe! 

Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.

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Categories: Bible, Christian living, Church, Commentary, Culture, Faith, Gospel, Politics, society, Theology

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