Listening to Jen [my response].

Last night I posted about Jennifer Knapp coming out – as well as returning to music.  Naturally I have mixed emotions.  I do not agree with where she stands, but then again, I love her music.  It is raw, energetic, passionate, and honest.  I like that in a singer.  In fact, I need to remember that she is a person who plays great music, and not just some Christian lesbian.  Does her sexuality determine her talents?  Does her being gay suddenly now make her music suck?  As she said in her interview with Christianity Today, she was gay when her first album came out.  So what is changing?

If you know me, you know that I love Queen.  I have always liked them, and I continue to buy their current projects and listen to their old ones.  Are they Christian? By no means.  Wasn’t Freddie Mercury gay? Yes, he was.  Don’t their lyrics corrupt you?  Aren’t you supporting heathen music? Nope, because I am firm in my faith and I don’t believe listening to “secular” music makes you a heathen, much less a bad Christian.  It’s just music.

Yes, some music can lead people to do dumb things, and some should not be listened to by Christians (death metal and such).  But not listening to some one just because they live a different lifestyle than you is not right.  If you have a different conviction, then by all means, listen to that rather than me.  But if you don’t, then please listen up.  If you were to go and buy Jennifer Knapp’s new (or old) albums, listening to them WILL NOT make you gay, pro-gay, or the like.  It just means you have great taste.  It means that you are choosing to look past her sexuality and seeing her for the talented artist that she is.

I am asking Christians to support Jen.  You don’t have to agree with her, but listen to her music.  Go to her concerts.  Support her in Love.  Boycotting her just proves nothing.  Picketing her concerts will show our ignorance.  Banning her from the radio will prove that we are in fact anti-gay.  Responding to her in Love, however, will show her (and the world) that we are in fact followers of Christ.

Jesus still loves Jennifer and I believe that she still loves Jesus.  Aren’t we called to love both?


7 responses to “Listening to Jen [my response].

  1. Agreed Shawn. It is the same principle with Tiger Woods. I enjoy watching him play golf. His personal life is between he, his family and his God. Similarly, I listen to music because I enjoy the music. I do not listen based on their personal life, nor does their personal life invade mine by listening to the music I enjoy.

  2. I agree: music is music, and talent is talent. And then lyrics are lyrics. I must admit I’ve never heard of Jennifer Knapp, so I’m in no position to say anything about her one way or the other. All I can say is that in principle the only reason to avoid the work of a talented singer who performs good music is if his/her lyrics promote evil. And even then, I think it should usually be a personal decision. Organized boycotts and demonstrations aren’t the way to go. Calmly telling people what one finds objectionable in the message of a particular song is preferable.

    For example, I dislike the John Lennon song “Imagine” objectionable because of the anti-faith, anti-religion, utopian message which Lennon cleverly combined with a feel-good vision of peace and harmony (as if one could only have peace if one did away with faith, the state, and private property). So when somebody posts it on the internet, I try to point out that “imagining” something like no heaven, no religion, no nations, and no property is not necessary for peace. Most of the time, people say, “It’s just a song,” to which I reply, “Fine, as long as you don’t get taken in by its false message.”

  3. Thanks again, Shawn, for making us sit back and think about what we are doing to those that don’t AGREE with us. I definitely think that homosexuality is a sin just like gossiping, overeating, murder, stealing, lying, pride (thinking that we are better than others), affairs, should I go on… Is there anything in that list that you or I have done? I know there are things in there that I am guilty of, even today! But isn’t that exactly why Jesus came to earth and conquered death?!! I know that I don’t deserve His love, but He loves me anyway! Just like He loves Jennifer, Tiger and everyone else! We definitely are not going to win people over to Christ if we keep shunning them and thinking that we are some how better than them! We just have to keep loving them and loving them and loving them! Just the way that Christ loves us and loves us and loves us! That’s what makes Him such an Awesome Savior, Jesus Christ, MY LORD!

  4. OK, so someone commented on John Lennon so I find myself wanting to say something. I was actually going to make a Beatles-related comment here after reading what Shawn wrote. If you know me, you know that I love the Beatles. They were the epitome of “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.” From a Christian standpoint, their lives were atrociously filled with sin. Tours that were continual drunken orgies (who knows how many little Lennons, McCartneys, Harrisons, and Starrs there are out there today?), home lives interrupted by drug binges, homewrecker Yoko Ono…..haha…OK. You get the point. But I love their music. I don’t have to be influenced by the people that they WERE in order to enjoy the music that they MADE.

    Anyways, Lennon wasn’t particularly religious, and, though he’s my favorite Beatle, I often find myself annoyed with his inability to pick a cause and stick with it. Did he pursue peace? Sure, but he was just as into “fads” as the rest of the world. With “Imagine,” a song I happen to really enjoy, I think John just picked out various things that have caused general disputes in the past and wanted people to imagine what it’d be like without those things. What would it be like if we had nothing to fight about? Would we “live as one?” It’s certainly something to ponder.

    I love Knapp’s music, too, Shawn. She’s extremely passionate, and she has one of the most beautifully interesting voices I’ve ever heard. I’d love to sound like her. I’d love to hear her new album…..I hope that as a Christian community we can love and accept her….but without condoning her actions. I’m a little nervous to see what will come of this….

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