Jennifer Knapp Comes Out

Jennifer Knapp Comes Out

About Richard Clark

Richard H. Clark is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture. He has a Master of Arts in Theology and the Arts from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He lives in Louisville, Ky. He is also the managing editor of Gamechurch and a freelance writer for Unwinnable, Paste, and other outlets.
E-mail: clarkrichardh [at] gmail [dot] com.
Twitter: @deadyetliving

  • http://hesonlychasingsafety.wordpress.com Kiel

    Wow, that was a very honest and genuine interview. I look forward to hearing her new music.

  • http://spoonfulofhahne.com The Dane

    Regarding the format: six pages? Perfect lesson in how to lay out your website if you don’t want people to finish your articles.

    Regarding the Knapp: I’ve never heard her so I don’t have anything much invested in her life choices (e.g., reasons for hiatus and justification for homosexual activity). Still, this interview is the perfect example of why we don’t look to entertainers for good arguments on just about any topic. They’re passionate and sometimes honest, but they’re just generally missing that thing we call intellectual rigour. But that’s fine. I don’t look to sushi chefs, golfers, or bus drivers for cogent theology either.

    Regarding the interview: While her light attempts at justifying her relationship fall flat, the interview is worthwhile if only to see how those unconcerned with biblical ethics that run counter to one’s feelings might treat the issue of homosexuality and the church. She’s certainly not your average person (as most of us don’t have the opportunity to trade celebrity for a life of travel and play), but there’s something real about her struggle with the world she was a part of.

  • http://talkofsummertime.blogspot.com Devon

    I have always enjoyed Knapp’s music–in fact, it’s pretty much the only Christian music I’ve listened to regularly since high school and, in the last couple of years, I’d count her among my favorites. I always found her lyrics theologically interesting and beautiful. So, I guess I’m just looking forward to finally hearing some new stuff from such a talented artist.

    As for her “justifications,” I don’t think she was trying to justify her relationship in that interview–in fact, she specifically said that she wasn’t willing to get into the debate. Given what I know about her songwriting, I suspect she has thought much more deeply about this issue than she indicated in this brief interview. Naturally, I’d love to hear some of those thoughts, but I can fully understand her desire not to offer up any more of her private life to such a volatile audience as the Christian church.

  • http://chasebook.wordpress.com Chase

    I would like to see some sound, courteous discussion on her sentiments (which are noticeably more common) regarding shellfish, mixed fibers, etc.

    “The Bible has literally saved my life. I find myself between a rock and a hard place—between the conservative evangelical who uses what most people refer to as the “clobber verses” to refer to this loving relationship as an abomination, while they’re eating shellfish and wearing clothes of five different fabrics, and various other Scriptures we could argue about.”

  • http://spoonfulofhahne.com The Dane

    While I find it unfortunate that people think the shellfish and mixed fibers have anything to do with the matter of NT sexual ethics, I also find it unfortunate that people think the passages in Leviticus inform the discussion in any helpful way. I discussed the mosaic covenant a bit on CAPC a little while back.

    Knapp’s position has a tougher problem dealing with the New Testament than it does with the Old. I’m certainly sympathetic to her plight, but her chief arguments seem to be a) that love is good and b) that her natural affection for the same sex renders it either good or, at worst, innocuous. Those aren’t particularly sea-worthy arguments. After all, I’m supposed to love your wife but not have sex with her and I have a natural affinity for harems (a proclivity which I’m certain we can all agree is something best kept out of the realm of reality).

  • http://pos51.org Charles

    Wait, I can’t have a harem?

    I’m with you on your point about NT sexual ethics, Dane. She talks about her “critically thinking” fans and the wrestling they do, but fails to engage her critically thinking opponents on this issue.

    I do enjoy getting an honest look into a celebrity from time to time, though.

  • J Keeven

    I am having trouble picking my jaw up off the floor.

    Appreciate her honesty, but disappointed on a number of levels, including that she feels it unnecessary to engage issues of faith on a theological level.

    Moreover – “It’s not on my agenda to convert the world to a religion, but to convert the world to compassion and grace. I’ve experienced that in my life through Christianity.”

    Would have rather heard her say she was interested in reconciling the sinful world to their holy Maker. Otherwise X’y is just A way to find the nice fluffy feelings that people experience when they encounter compassion and grace. It seems a far cry from the person and character of God.

    I won’t shun her music, but I am left wondering at what level she actually understands The Way and what it means to walk in it.

  • http://electexiles.wordpress.com Drew

    Interestingly enough I have never heard a heterosexual person defend their sexual relations based on the same “mixed fibers and shelfish arguements.” Young men and married men for that matter struggle with “feelings” for women not their spouse on a daily basis at times, but that in no way makes that a morally right thing to do.

    I don’t doubt that Knapp was dealing with some deep desires that were very real and a very real struggle for her. I am not unsympathetic to that, but that says nothing about the nature of her relationship being right or wrong.

    Surely her church or some people who go to church have probably wronged her in the way that they have interacted with her, but she hasn’t come out with any cogent arguement to justify what she is doing biblically by throwing out the shelfish and mixed fibers arguement as the Dane has shown. I suppose what worries me is that if we grant that she has a point simply because she has felt a certain way for so long then that would call into question just about every ground we have for determining the rightness or wrongness of just about any action.

    When someone feels strongly a certain way, I feel for them–I want to respond to them with compassion on some level, but their feelings don’t challenge my moral standards because if my moral standards were based on feelings they would be all over the place.

  • Adam Carrington

    Dane and Drew,

    I think you both hit the nails on the head. I really enjoyed Knapp’s music back in the late 90s/early 00s. Thought those albums were catchy, thoughtful, and overall well done and saw her live a couple times, too. Now, we certainly need to ask tough questions about how to show the love of Christ in situations like this. Hopefully there are people in her life that can show it and thread the fine needle that loves one where he/she is but also seeks in them the joy of holiness. Necessary to know but not always easy.


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