The recent backlash against Lauren Daigle for her comments on homosexuality has sparked debate amongst Christians who both defend and critique her.
John Crist, a Christian comedian, recently posted a video on his Instagram feed condemning those who judged her for her comments. Crist seemed to be unaware that he himself was judging other Christians for their behavior. The thing is the church should make judgments on truth. The New Testament constantly warns us of false prophets and teachers. The apostle Paul tells us that "We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ". If a brother errs, we take them aside lovingly to correct them. But what about someone like Daigle or Crist? Do Christian celebrities have a larger responsibility to adhere to sound teaching or to speak the truth? First, we should make a sober judgment against ourselves to see if we were in the same position, would we do any different. Secondly, we shouldn't confuse the act with someone's salvation. Each of us are a work in progress and the point of the Gospel is that we as human beings are constantly missing the mark. This is why Christ came and died on a cross.
That being said, we can rightly judge actions that have larger impacts on public perception of the Gospel and the Church and correct those actions if need be. When Jesus warned us "not to judge lest you be judged", He wanted us to not judge hypocritically. Paul put it this way in Romans "Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?....While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?" Romans 2:2-3, 21&22
We tend to look to the famous for our theological marching orders. However, this is a mistake. Those like Daigle should be careful to place themselves under authoritative teachers, but we should be doing the same. Celebrities can fall into the popularity trap and so begin to follow the path of Progressive Christianity
We must strive as the Church to read the Bible, understand it's history, proper hermenuetics, orthodox theology, and a good apologetic. We also must not set up celebrities to fulfill a role they never were meant to. If we show a brother their error, it is out of love and their edification and shouldn't be to tear someone down. But we shouldn't look to a celebrity for our biblical instruction as they are in the entertainment business which is always a dangerous road for anyone to navigate and it shouldn't surprise us when one fails in some fashion but rather we should respond in prayer, grace, and truth. Not every so called Christian celebrity fails in this fashion as there are many who have a solid biblical understanding. But we should be able to rightly divide the truth for ourselves by delving into God's word and putting ourselves under solid, orthodox teachers and allow the truth to change us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
To fail to exhibit that we take truth seriously at those points where there is a cost in doing so, is to push the next generation into the relative, dialectical millstream that surrounds us. ~ Dr. Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There
Most have heard about Lauren Daigle's interview on iHeart radio when asked about homosexuality. When pressed as to whether it's a sin, she responded "I can't honestly answer on that, in a sense, I have too many people that I love that they are homosexual. I don't know. I actually had a conversation with someone last night about it. I can't say one way or the other. I'm not God."
This is not uncommon in the church today - especially amongst "Christian Entertainers". But it speaks to a larger problem in the world. "Hatespeech" is the buzzword of our culture. People are labeled as hateful simply for disagreeing with someone's perspective or lifestyle. For Christians, the temptation is to not be seen as a hater or a bigot. But this is not how Jesus taught us to live. The Gospel message is offensive at it's core. It tells us that we are evil at heart, beyond all hope. The love God shows us is in coming down as a man and dying a horrific death on a cross - a symbol of all the evil within us and what it takes to be declared righteous in His sight. People do not like to hear they are evil, that they are subject to God's wrath.
Sweet Jesus who loves everyone is the image the world likes. They don't care for the Jesus who whipped the money changers or who spoke of God's judgement. Christ came to seek and save the lost. But, just as the prodigal son, it's only after we realize how far we've fallen that we turn around and come home to Him where He is waiting to welcome us with open arms - rejoicing in our repentenance. When the spotlight is on, many who call themselves Christians compromise Jesus' message in order to maintain a popularity and to be seen as tolerant.
But Jesus said "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you." - John 15:18-25
We are meant to be offensive because we follow our master. They hated Him and nailed Him to a cross. We must remember that the most loving thing we can do is tell someone the truth in love. When we compromise the Gospel message, we are doing more harm.