Monday, April 26, 2010

Jennifer Knapp and the deeper issue

By now you've probably heard about the contemporary Christian singer Jennifer Knapp who has publicly announced that she is a lesbian. Not too long ago Ray Boltz also "came out" that he was a homosexual.

Today the point of my blog is not really to address them and their sin; for what the Bible teaches about homosexuality is very clear. What I want to address in this post is what I think is a deeper issue. If you watch the video above you will see that Jennifer defends herself by questioning why, if homosexuality is a sin, is it any worse than any other sin? It is true that sin is sin. But, what really bothers me about episodes like this is that those condemning them never have a real answer to their argument about what makes their sin any different the one "coming out." The reason they don't have a good answer is because of their theology. Almost without fail those who respond in situations like this believe that everyone sins every day in word, thought, and deed and that "once you're saved your always saved." So when a preacher, such as the one in this video, goes on air condemning homosexuality it seems so hypocritical to the world because he too "sins every day in word thought and deed."

It seems to me that the bigger issue at stake here is about what sin is and what happens if a Christian sins. I believe the Bible teaches that sin is a willful violation of God's law (1 John 3:4) and if a Christian commits a willful act of sin they are no longer a Christian (1 John 3). God gives the Christian the power to say no to willful sin and live a victorious life without committing willful sins. Yes we still make mistakes and are human, but there is no excuse for willful sin! If a Christian commits willful sin they must repent and confess that sin and turn from it immediately and get back up and keep "running the race." If they do not they are no longer a Christian and in danger of judgment.

According to the Word of God, Jennifer Knapp is committing willful sin and is not a Christian. It's time for the Church to get a proper understanding about what sin is and what sin does if a Christian commits it. When we do then we will have a real answer to people like Jennifer Knapp when they commit sins such as she's committing. The real answer to her in a situation such as this would be to lovingly say to her: "Jennifer, because you are living in willful sin you have forfeited your relationship with Christ and you need to repent and turn from your sin so that you do not face judgment. Jesus loves you and died for you so that you could have victory over all willful sin." Then when she would ask, "What makes my sin any different than yours?" You could answer (if it's true about you), "Jennifer, God gives me the grace daily to overcome temptation and by His grace I do not commit any willful acts of sin. With every temptation He makes it possible for me to avoid sinning and live victoriously and He can for you as well if you will repent of your sins once again and trust in Him to save you and keep you."

I think the deeper issue here is a proper theology of sin.


  1. On the money. Of course, the present tense in Greek in 1 John indicates that the Christian does not "continue in" or "practice" willful sin. Even this is in direct contradiction to those who would believe that we sin daily, even hourly, in "word, thought, and deed."

    It is not that sin never happens at any time, but if convicted, we quickly move to an attitude of repentance & renewed faith. 1 John 1:7 indicates what should happen any time a Christian falls into sin... walk in the light!!! Jennifer Knapp has not, it is apparent.

  2. I agree completely Darrell.

    The fruit of this view of sin (as mentioned in my post) is shown in Ted Haggard's response His response was, "We all sin all day every day..." It is this view that has led to so many "Christians" having such a flippant attitude about sin.

    Now of course the strong Calvinist's response is to say that someone like Jennifer Knapp was never really a Christian in the first place which may or may not be true (she may not have been a Christian - I don't know). However, even the strong Calvinist's still say that we sin every day but as long as we're repentant about it we're demonstrating that we're part of the "elect."

    Of course we who are Wesleyan-Arminian believe that God has the power to actually deliver from sin in this life. "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world." (Titus 2:11-12)

    Yes, if we sin we repent immediately and walk in the light - but that sin never had to happen because God enables us to be free from willful sin.