Jennifer Knapp announces she is a lesbian, what does that mean to you?

Jennifer Knapp has been AWOL for around 7 years now. Her new album, Letting Go, drops in May and apparently she is gay (please keep the jokes about how you saw that coming to yourself). Speaking to the Christians who read this blog; what are you prepared to do? How does this make you feel? Does it matter?

My worry is that there will be Christians with big platforms that will say things that will hurt the global cause of our faith and/or statements will be taken out of context that will also hurt our cause.

While you’re at it, watch this conversation on homosexuality from Gateway Church

*due to the domain restriction settings on this video, it won’t play in your reader. If the video doesn’t load right, refresh the page.

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Vince Marotte is a communicator, futurist, speaker and consultant. He dwells in creative spaces and lives with ideas. Never satisfied with the status quo, he is always looking for a better way to do things. He recently wrote Context and Voice—communication design in our new media culture and also contributes regularly to Outreach Magazine.

40 thoughts on “Jennifer Knapp announces she is a lesbian, what does that mean to you?”

  1. There are lots of different stands on the issue, even from within the Christian community. I don't think her sexuality has any bearing on her ability to make great music, and I'm looking forward to the new album.

  2. ^^^^ What Lisa said. Regardless of different stands within the Church, she's loved by Jesus just as much as you or I or anyone else, and His grace covers every single aspect of our life. I'm looking forward to hearing her new material.

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  6. Jennifer Knapp was my favorite Christian singer-songwriter of the late 90s, and her music has ministered to me in a powerful way over the years. When she suddenly left the scene I wondered where she went & why, and I've been waiting to hear from her ever since. So, while I'm delighted to hear about the new CD (which I just pre-ordered on iTunes), the news of her same-sex relationship breaks my heart.

    As I read Jennifer's interviews with Christianity Today and The Advocate I felt the intensity, the discomfort, and the pain of her struggle. Having been at a similar crossroad myself–conflicted by the incompatibility of my faith & my sexual desires–everything about it hit close to home. I can't imagine what it would feel like to have that magnified by celebrity status, especially within the Christian music industry. Yikes!

    There's so much more to say, but truthfully, I'm still processing the news (which stirred up a lot in me because of my own path). For now I will commit to praying for her, just as I pray for other believers in that place. I pray that the truth of scripture on this matter will be revealed, and that loving Christ-followers will walk alongside her. May her fear that coming out will cause people "to chew me up and spit me out and tell me that I’m worthless" never be realized. And may she find a church home–as I have in Gateway–that will be a place of refuge & of grace.

    1. I, too, have been a Jennifer Knapp fan and I am interested to hear her new stuff. Learning of her same-sex relationship, my first response was "how horrible" for her to sin "like that." Then, after thinking a bit and with the help of the awesome Holy Spirit, I realized that it is not my place to judge, and that I need to look at the sin in my own life as what keeps *me* from having a pure relationship with the Lord. All of our sins grieve God, and I hope that the community of believers does not "excommunicate" her, but lifts her up in prayer and love. I remember the video shown at Gateway for the "same sex" series that Renee spoke at,interspersed with the question "WHERE IS THE LOVE?"… and then I remember how John Burke opened up his message with "I'm sorry…" It really hit me. I will continue to lift Jennifer Knapp up in prayer, that the Lord would give her unrest until she reconciles with Him. He is the only place where we find true joy and peace!

  7. Since I didn't meet Jesus until later in my life, I had no idea who this woman was that everyone was talking about yesterday. There sure seems to be a lot of buzz about this story in the Christian community right now and I'm trying to figure out why. I read the interview that Vince posted and I wondered why her story was any different from anyone else's? Why does her coming out invoke such emotion in us as followers as Christ? I try to ask myself how I would feel, if say, it were Chris Tomlin or someone I worship to coming out as gay. While I can see where it would hurt your heart, I can't imagine that I would feel betrayed or lied to about his faith. Don't we all have something that keeps us a the throne of grace? Doesn't scripture beg the question, "what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" (ps. 8:4).

    No matter what your views are about this issue, the fact remains that we are taught, no commanded to love. We don't love because of the "goodness" or "righteousness" of others because we ALL fall short of the God's glory. We have to stop loving people based on who we think they are or even who they think they are. We should love because He first loved us. We should love from the well spring of overflowing love that fills our own hearts. Isn't it the kindness of the Lord that leads to repentance and aren't we ambassadors for Christ? And why is her faith journey different than my own? I'm trying to reach the same finish line she is. I'm trying to die to myself and my selfish needs, and some days are easier than others. This road is long and full of turns, but we serve a God who always corrects are path in his perfect timing and ways.

    I pray for Jennifer not because of what she says about herself, but because of what God says about us all. I pray that she will be overwhelemed by God's love and kindness. I pray "the Spirit of the Lord will rest on her – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord – and she will delight in the fear of the Lord" (Isaiah 11:2-3), just as I pray for myself.


  8. As a thought/discussion-provoking comment (and because I don't know)…does she go out there promoting the gospel, or as the article suggests, just a singer who is gay? I have no clue if she will draw on her gospel catalog or not, but love her or not, I'm not sure what the impact of someone who is openly gay acting as an advocate for the Gospel would be… or should be.

  9. This is a tuff one… We must love and love we shall but the bigger picture is here is, "what is sin and do we confront it or not?" The Bible is very clear, painfully clear on the matter of homosexuality and before you say anything the Bible is also very clear on sin period! All "sin" is bad! I watched the first half of the video from the gateway church and it sounds really good and I mean really good but there were somethings that I find alarming and somethings I agree with. I agree that because of the "fall" everything has become distorted and gone astray from God's original plan. But sir that is not an excuse to say that living this lifestyle, choice or non choice is acceptable inside the church. Again also a man cheating on his wife or some teenagers having premartial sex is just as bad in God's eyes! All sin is bad… The pastor went on to say because of the fall and this distortion its some how ok to be gay… How is that? If the Bible is our handbook for everything and even from the very beginning it was God's Plan for Man and Woman to be together and also throughout scripture it clearly states that this is sin and how can this and other sin be acceptable… It goes back to what is SIN? Its a rebellion against God! If God says sin is bad and do not sin and if we do we deserve death- but then we have Grace and thank God for Grace. But if you know its wrong to cheat on your wife and keep doing it over and over again one would have to wonder is there true salvation… So if I am gay and openly live in a gay relationship, am I not choosing "my will" over "God's will"? That is sin…

    Can a cheating husband/wife be a Christian? YES! can a Gay/Lesbian be a Christian? YES! but if you are living in defiance of the WORD you should be held accountable for that and not applauded or say its ok to be gay and God understands you cannot choose to be Gay and live in that lifestyle like the pastor makes it sound.

    I mean if i was cheating on my wife and doing it openly and yet and still went to church- I would hope that my loving Christian brothers and sisters would be like what the heck man and hold me accountable.

    Yes, Love Jennifer and Pray for her but to say its ok for "her choice" especially when she is choosing over God's Choice is just wrong and that is the wrong message to send.

    If you are attracted to the same sex don't act on it, do not partake, do not put yourself in a situation where you might be tempted to act out on "your desire" and its like for me cause I am a straight male so I dont hang out at strip clubs! duh its common sense!

    1. I think it's important to be clear that there is a difference between 'same sex attraction' and 'same sex eroticism'

      I am attracted to every beautiful woman I see, because I'm a heterosexual male with eyes that still work…is that a sin? no. putting intent and/or action to that attraction would be a sin.

        1. So I add that when someone says that they are gay, I assume they mean that they are attracted to the same sex and nothing more. We make a mistake when we read into the statement "I'm gay" that it means the individual is acting on their feelings. No more than it isn't fair to assume every hetero man is acting on his attractions.

      1. To add to what Vince said, and for the sake of clarity, Matt. 5:28 (ESV) says "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

        Thanks for understanding that I don't desire to beat anyone over the head with God's Word, but desire to clarify. xoxo

  10. As this all developed, I thought of another musician. He put out a huge volume of material, somewhat distanced yet was still part of the "Christian Music" scene. (that label, in itself, is worth debate). I drove hundreds of miles to see his concerts, bought every one of his band's albums, etc. Then, all kinds of drama went down. He left his wife (that's always a two-way street, but there were stories of him having an affair), treated his band members & fans horribly, and acted like a jerk in many public forums, showing no remorse at all. It got to the point where I couldn't stand listening to his music.

    I wish I could say that it didn't affect me, but it did.

    I wasn't bothered previously, even when this musician occasionally admitted his own temptations or remorse over something he had done. But, I was bothered by this, which I saw as someone who was knowingly continuing a pattern of sin.

    A few years have passed, and I can listen to his music again. I can, once again, find truths about the human condition in the lyrics. Yet, every once in a while, I still feel for his family.

    I'd LIKE to say that finding out about ANYONE's sin — whether that is an addiction, acting on a sexual attraction (as Vince put it, so effectively) outside of marriage, being greedy, jealous, etc. — wouldn't really affect me. That I could still respect the work they'd done (music or anything else), but, I know from the past that it does! What's wrong within me that wants to judge this other person, when I myself have more than enough faults to work on (which I actually blogged about today).

    I don't really know Jennifer Knapp's music, so I can't predict how I'll respond. But, this past situation makes me examine myself. Who in the world am I to throw the first stone?

    (And note, I'm not talking about thinking any differently of Jennifer merely because she admitted a same-sex attraction, but because the interview makes it seem that she is acting on the attraction.)

  11. @Vince

    Spot on bro!


    Good add.

    To be transparent, this news would have had me jumping on the Christian hatred bandwagon years ago… many years ago. I'm sorry if that offends anyone. Truly. It's part of my past and the redemptive part of God's story in my life.


    I had a conservative upbringing within Church world that failed to ever answer how to "love the sinner, hate the sin." Man did that phrase get pounded into my head when I was a kid. But here's the thing- no one ever did it. I never saw that demonstrated by any of the conservative "professional Christians" that were telling me how to vote and who deserved love and how to picket. They were GREAT at lip service but then slandered others, gossiped constantly, were raging alcoholics, cheated on their wives… you get the idea. They were broken and in need of a Savior just like me.

    What's my point? Good question!

    The more I explored The Scriptures and discovered Jesus the more I saw God doing something amazing that looked nothing like anything I experience in all of humanity. Jesus always did the unexpected. He loved the people the religious loved to hate. He touched the diseased outcasts. He was willing to have his reputation as the Son of God, the Christ become tarnished because of the company he kept and the people that he loved.

    That utterly compelled me. I wanted to be like Jesus but that meant giving up my preconceived notions of who deserves love and who doesn't. Jesus' command (as Karin put it) is to love but that made me uncomfortable. How do I love the marginalized, not-good-enoughs, and "outcasts" without condoning nor condemning? That was the crux of my dilemma- how do I love without condemning nor condoning?

    Ready for my epiphany? I don't have one. Jesus is still developing that in me. Here's what I do know. News like Jennifer's makes me look inward and ask God some hard questions about my own heart and my own capacity to love her the way Christ loved her. It brings me right up to the edge of my faith; it brings me to a point of provoking my comfort. In my own flesh and by my own efforts, I do not have the capacity to love well enough to handle new like this. However, news like Jennifer's makes me rely on… scratch that… makes me trust more fully in Jesus to love by His Spirit. Only then can I get out of God's way to allow Him to love through me as I am willing.

    Thanks Vince for posting!

    1. This is good… and it's because we in the Christian world for the most part have matured and actually have read our Bibles! lol

      Jesus loved baby!

      Gay/Straight/liar/Murderer/saint/sinner/theif/mom/dad etc… love your neighbor as they self!

      Just love but and there is always a but… God cannot go against Himself… God cannot go against His Word…

      Hating the sin and loving the sinner is easier than you think… you just always have to remember we/you/i are worthless and need a savior, are sins are just as bad as the next guys. God doesn't put a weight on sin… we do… thats the problem we always think were better than the drug dealer or the prostitute because thye do the big sins!

      Love one another!

      1. "you just always have to remember we/you/i are worthless and need a savior, are sins are just as bad as the next guys. God doesn’t put a weight on sin… we do…"

        That's good stuff right there. :-)

        God continually amazes me by showing me just how scandalous Jesus' grace really is and just how far His love does extend. After all, if he can save me, a recovering, Christian-atheist Pharisee, it is proof that He is mighty to save anyone… one heart at a time as we are willing.

        BTW- I have had several friends share Jennifer's struggle. Their passion to pursue Christ and honor God with their sexuality have been an inspiration to me in my own hetero-oriented struggles (which is the same root sin, lust). Honestly, I think some of them do a much better job at giving it up to Christ than I do.

    2. You're not alone in that journey. A lot of people who have grown up in the church in America in the last 50 years have had to re-learn a lot of things.

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  14. When are we all gonna figure out that we are NOT the Messiah? Why and when did it become my job the beat someone over the head with bible passages to get them to turn and repent? It seems silly to think that I have the power to do something that only the Holy Spirit can do. Now I am not saying that the Holy Spirit can't use me to speak God's Word and truth, but there is a difference in speaking truth in love and withholding the love of God from someone because they are just as jacked up as I am. Because my sin looks different.

    It's not my job to fix you or even myself, really! Sure there are steps I have to take — repent of my sin and turn back to God, but then it's the power of the Holy Spirit, the love of Christ, and grace of God that steps in. And if truth be told, healing DOES happen when we love others the way God teaches us to — organically. We can be supernaturally used by God, in His timing, for those He puts in our path, but it's not "Karin's job" to heal. It's my job to stay connected to Jesus and to love. To serve and follow His direction. Jesus only did what He saw His Father do. There will be fruit in that and I will do even greater things through Christ.

    Christians, even if we don't know it, and even if it's the faintest part of ourselves, we give off the, "I'm better than you" vibe. The, "I know more about God/Christ/suffering/grace/etc." vibe and it bugs the heck out of the rest of the world (and our spiritual brothers and sisters, too!). Most of the time, we aren't coming at issues like this with our hearts open and in humility. We don't seek the kingdom of God first. We seek being "right" and "better than". Love has to be the answer not just 90% of the time, but 100% of the time.

    Just my extra added 2 cents!

  15. So, I was re-reding my last post and I thought maybe I came off a little hard. It's not that I don't want to see people free from the pains and struggles of this world, or not honoring our God, I totally DO, but I just feel like we are putting too much pressure on ourselves and trying to live out of a place that we weren't meant to be in.

    I am all about people living in the freedom of Christ, I just know that it's not a one time deal. I need to be redeemed & restored all the time! One step forward, two, sometimes 4, steps back. It's a process and none of us have arrived.

    1. Karin you are fine and I truly for one value your opinion. I disagree with you on something. At times it is up to us to go to a brother or sister in Christ and discipline them/call them out… Thats biblical… Now if you or I need to go to a brother/sister in Christ it better be out of love and our hearts better be in the right place and also we better not be doing the same "sin".

      I am a youth pastor or ex youth pastor and I have to deal and have dealt with all kinds of these topics and man do you learn the hard ways sometimes but each time we do God shows us something new and a better way to show Love.

      It's like with the Jennifer discussion were all having here its a great thing because its like Vince said so many people are having to relearn -rethink how we deal and discuss matters. This is a tuff subject and its getting harder because we as Christians we have become more tolerant and when that happens we lose some ground but we need to be firm but loving.

      It's like the reason I am an "ex youth pastor" right now is because I am having to learn to love and forgive some things that have rocked my families world. My 13 year old daughter was raped by one of my high school youth this year so even by this discussion God has shown me somethings and used this forum which I found because someone I was friends with 20 years ago posted it on their facebook and i was bored and clicked it! lol So God is using you and everyone here today to show and teach me somethings and I thank you all.

      1. Jon,

        As I read your reply about your daughter, my heart broke. I took some time to pray about how to reply and I want to say first of all, how deeply sorry I am that your family is having to go through this. I am so sorry for your sweet daugther, and for everyone else involved. I can see where my "love at all cost" mentality could be hurtful in a situation like what you are going through and I want to be clear about one thing, what happened is NOT ok and you have every right to be pissed about it. To be angry and hurt by the brokenness of our fallen world.

        I don't think it would be fair for me or anyone else here to say you need to just get over it and love them. There is no use in giving you passages about suffering and wrestling with our faith — I think it's good to wrestle by the way. I think God can handle it and reveal so much about himself when we are in the lowest of the lows. This is where you find yourself, but I am thankful now more than ever for all your insights and comments. There is a huge amount of hope & faith in your expressing your thoughts and heart here.

        I don't have any pearls of wisdom for you only to tell that I mourn with you & that I am truly sorry.

        May God bless you and keep both you and your entire family.

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  21. I still can't believe that you work at this Church. I'm sooo jealous.

    I love his book "no perfect people allowed". If anyone hasn't read it, they should. He has a great section on this very topic in which I believe he shares the heart of Christ. Great stuff!

  22. As part of an emersion event to better understand a community that was very foreign to us, the ministry majors at my Bible College visited some gay bars in Chicago simply to witness the environment.

    We were blown away.

    It wasn't some sexed up club where people were just looking to fulfill some pleasure of the flesh. Actually, it was just a bar – full of guys – where lots of guys were simply looking for connection. There is an innate human desire to connect and these men were just pursuing that.

    I think that too often we simply look at a gay lifestyle as one that is all about physical satisfaction. While that may represent a small part of the gay population (and maybe a similar percent of the straight population), it isn't indicative of the whole.

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