I don’t get out much, so it came as no surprise that I didn’t recognize the name of “prominent” Christian recording artist Jennifer Knapp, who confirmed last week the long circulating rumors that she is a lesbian. I hold strong convictions about the gay and lesbian lifestyle, so it does come to me as a surprise that Ms. Knapp plans to continue performing in Christian venues. I can imagine the introduction, “And now, ladies and gentleman, singin’ about what she doesn’t know, God’s plan, please welcome Jennifer Knapp.”
To be fair, Knapp is not the first well known Christian artist to “come out”. Ray Boltz decided to leave his wife of over 30 years in 2008, deciding that gay was the way. I’m not sure what scriptural passages he cited when attempting to explain his new life to his four children. Perhaps, his revelation occurred to him while visiting “the city of brotherly love?”
Lest you think this writer is out to slam only same sex lovin’ Christian performers, let me acknowledge that a rich tradition of heterosexual hypocrisy also exists within the Christian music industry, sometimes very heterosexual. The Sandi Patty/Don Peslis connection comes immediately to mind. What’s a good Christian girl to do with herself on all those long and lonely nights on the road, right? Apparently, the cure to the Christian touring blues is good old fashioned romance. This one led to divorce, at which point the two love birds were free to join in holy (?) matrimony.
Then, of course, there’s Michael English. His is a wonderful tale of Weebles, that is, he wobbles but he doesn’t fall down. Alright, I guess a history which includes infidelity, divorce, alcohol and other drug abuse, relationships with strippers, theft charges, and the obligatory affair with another married Christian recording artist, Marabeth Jordan, qualifies as actually falling, repeatedly. Mr. English didn’t let the devil keep him down, though, instead singing and writing about God’s redemptive plan and, only coincidentally, making some cabbage in the process.
Amy Grant admits to no infidelity, but does admit the “lights were comin’ on in the house of love” when she got together in the mid ‘90s to record with the mega-talented Vince Gill. Although both claim to have not acted on the mutual attraction at the time, Gill had filed for divorce by ’97 and Grant in early ’99, the two making it official by tying the knot in 2000 and leaving many people to speculate, which qualifies as evil surmising, I suppose. Assuming they are innocent of infidelity, as they claim, the Gills have learned a lesson which we should all remember. That is, sometimes the appearance of impropriety is as damaging as the impropriety itself.
Being human, Christians will sometimes let us down. Hence, the greater lesson of keeping our gaze upon Him. Aren’t you glad He will never fail us?