If you’re a professing Christian who has spent any time on the internet this month, I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the issue regarding CCM artist, Lauren Daigle. While I don’t want to beat the dead horse that is the controversy surrounding her, I feel slightly alarmed at the response from professing Christians supporting her decision to evade a hard question regarding the sin of homosexuality. Don’t get me wrong, the question was an absolutely difficult one to answer— but not because the Biblical truth is blurry.
It’s difficult to answer because of the division that claiming that truth would cause. That division is exactly what Jesus warned His followers about in Mark 13:13, You will be hated by all for My name sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. I don’t believe Jesus meant that the world will hate us because we evade hard truths, only when we stand firm in them.
Jesus does not call Christians to evade truth. If we back-track a few verses in Mark, we find the preface to v13 supporting that claim. “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Some found Lauren’s response to the question of homosexuality being sinful in the eyes of God to be loving. “Who am I to judge?” Daigle responded. The fact is, we as Christians are commanded to judge. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. (Ephesians 5:11) I realize that Lauren is certainly capable of getting it wrong like the rest of us. There is surely grace to be found for my sister in Christ. However, my hope in the outcome of this situation is that instead of defending her actions, we learn from it. It’s ok to get it wrong, as long as we can admit that we got it wrong.
The reason that neutral approach to sin isn’t loving is that there’s no call to repentance. There’s no exposing of sin. How can we, as believers of the Gospel, bring something into the light if we are unwilling admit that it’s in darkness? The analogy couldn’t be truer—It’s like watching someone walk towards the edge of a cliff while you cheer them on by only tell them God loves them.
True love is sacrificial. In John 13:34, Jesus gives a new commandment to love one another just as He has loved us. Christ loved us by laying down His life for us. His ultimate sacrificial love for us was displayed on the Cross. Following the commandment in v34, how can we claim to love others sacrificially when we are unwilling to lay down careers, relationships, and possessions (much less our very lives) for sinners? I pray that we are given the boldness to speak truth in the face of difficult and divisive questions. I pray that we don’t retreat and hide behind a false notion of love disguised as cowardice. When we’re asked to give an account for what is true to the Father, I pray that it deeply offends, and that the Holy Spirit convicts through the Biblical truth we speak.
Repentance is what sets Christians apart from the world (Matthew 3:8). If we do not call sinners to repentance, who will? We cannot buy into the lies from satan that it’s unloving to do so. Jesus did not anoint His church to fall into an attitude of indifference towards the sins He died for. The truth of Christ divides. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39)
Perhaps if we actually believed the Gospel, we would be eager to proclaim the truth of it rather than searching for a loophole to remain on neutral terms with the world.
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)