Last week, controversy erupted over comments by Lauren Daigle to a secular interview. In it, she was asked point blank if she felt homosexuality was a sin. She said she didn’t know but directed people to read their bible and find out for themselves. She also added that they should get back to her because she’s still learning. That wasn’t the response most Christians were expecting. To make matters worse, many of her recent interviews are void of reference to God or Jesus. To top it off, she claims it has been music that changes the lives of people, all the while ignoring Jesus in the conversation.
The response has been all over the board with some saying that she isn’t who we thought she was to others saying she is just a kid and should give her a break. This is kinda important on many levels but also because I have tickets to see her in March. You’ll have to decide for yourself what you think about her. I would like to talk about something else. In my opinion, her response didn’t really satisfy people. Certainly, Evangelical Christians weren’t satisfied, but neither was much of the culture around us. They would have preferred a straight-up answer that embraced homosexuality. Her wishy-washy answer reminded me of what Jesus accused the church in Laodicea in Revelations 3. Remember that? He said that they were lukewarm and that he would spit them out because they were neither hot nor cold. I don’t know if this a fair comparison, but Jesus calls on that church to repent. I think Christians are looking for just that.
Yet, all things considered, what should she have said? What is the right response, one that promotes truth yet is seasoned with salt?
Here’s the bigger question. Why are we even asking what is the right response?
1 Peter 3:13-17 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hears regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who ask you for a reason for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
This passage would require us all to know responses to common, hot-topic questions like homosexuality. This is spiritual warfare, and we are in the arena of the devil. We are commanded to put on our full armor of God and to stand firm. When we fail at a predictable question, it proves that we are unfamiliar with our weapons. “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” (2 Cor. 10:3-5). We don’t want to be left with our sword laying on the ground before the battle even begins.
Where do we get these answers? Our bibles, of course. But, is that the only place? Certainly, homosexuality is a complex topic. The enemy has a whole book of plays around this topic. Do we have a playbook? Where do we find it? I’ll tell you where I find a good portion of it – Christian radio. I listen to KTIS AM900. It is talk radio that has a whole slew of biblical preachers who buy air time. It also has several of its own talk shows. It is NOT one of the angry, ranting stations that are besides themselves at every single news item. It is a station that teaches how to live spiritually in a dark and dying world. They spend all their time on applying biblical principles to our everyday lives. I am grateful for this station, which, incidentally, was founded by Billy Graham.
However, I would imagine that a far more common source of training on tough topics like this is Facebook. Through it, we can find the whole range of ideas and answers to any question we may be presented with. Spend enough time and one can find the perfect response to anything! Right?
I’m afraid that this is a problem for our churches. Do our churches train, educate, and coach us on hot topics like this? Do we prepare our members to “make a defense to anyone” with regard to hope concerning sin? Do our churches send us out into the world with our armor on so that we may stand firm? If someone asked you, out of the blue, in a crowd with no “safe” friends, if homosexuality is a sin, how would you respond? Did your church prepare you for this? If so, does your church have “practice” so that you can stay familiar with your weapons? Do you “spar” with each other to simulate hand-to-hand combat? Or, does your church leadership know the right answer but avoid the topic at all costs? Does your church leave you on your own to train yourself, ultimately giving you a template by their own example?
“Ok, smart guy,” you might say, “What’s your answer?” If I was in Lauren Daigle’s shoes, I might have responded something like this:
Interviewer: “Do you feel homosexuality is a sin?”
Me: “First, let me ask you this. Will you respect me if I say, “Yes,” or will your attitude and opinion of me turn negative because of it?”
Interviewer: It doesn’t matter what he says, it’s more important to reveal his bias, if any. Incidentally, this was a male interviewer.
Me: “The Bible is clear about sin. Homosexuality is one of many sinful lifestyles. Can I share with you the hope I have through Jesus?”
Is that the right answer? Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. I do believe that few of us are qualified to follow the Spirit’s leading while on this hot seat. Why do I say that? Because we aren’t familiar enough with our weapons of warfare. The internal voice we hear will likely be to capitulate or fight ferociously. That is our internal voice. It is loud. Can we hear the Spirit over that?
We have plenty of work to do. Folks, how about if we ask our pastors to guide us in this?
Father, teach your church. We don’t want to be lukewarm. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers