Popular podcast Bad Christian had ex-Christian artist Jennifer Knapp on for an interview where she spoke about being a gay believer and some of her thoughts on the future of homosexuality in the church.
She said a common misconception was that she left the Christian music industry because she is a lesbian. In all actuality, she left in 2002 due to stress, and did not comeback until 2010 when she came out as a lesbian and released a secular album.
However, just because she is not doing Christian music, Knapp maintains she is still a Christian and just chooses to not express that through music anymore because it "isn't professionally my market place. It's not the conversation I'm having."
Her sexuality was always something that was kind of secretive as she herself was unsure and did not feel any particular way. She knew something was up when a fan came up to her after a show and said, "'Thank you, your music saved me from a life of homosexuality', and I said nothing," Knapp admitted.
On coming to terms with who she is, Knapp said "listen, this is me. This is who I am" and told God He would have to take her as she is. "God, this is what I got, so you love me with this from where we're starting today or you don't."
As far as the sin portion of homosexuality, Knapp said she likens to Paul who said, "What's good for me may not be good for you."
She continued, "I don't think homosexual orientation, whether you're lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, I don't think sexual identity in anyway is a sin. I understand where the teaching [that says] homosexuality's a sin comes from. However, in understanding that teaching, it's not one that I feel is one that I could back."
Knapp told the BCP guys that people have to be given their freedom to explore their faith. From there, she thinks having dialogue on the matter is most important.
"I do think the conversation is important," she said, "It's not only one in terms of social consciousness, I think it's an opportunity for the church to be really receptive to what it means to be kind and to be compassionate to the real life goings on and the spiritual of every one of its people."
Knapp stated she once felt a "gay Christian" had to wash their hands of being evangelical because they could never be excepted. While she thinks times are better for the LGBT Christian, she feels that "ideology will never be eradicated from the Earth."
Knapp said LGBT people are now being found in positions within the church, leading worship, becoming deacons, and even preaching. So now, more than ever Knapp feels people need to be engaged in conversation.
Another interesting aspect brought up in the interview was it is felt a "major hang up" for Christian people regarding homsexuals is the "sexual" portion of it, meaning the act itself. Bad Christian host Toby Morrell even feels the church would not be so hard on homosexuality if the "sexual" nature was left out of it. Knapp agreed somewhat but said the entire package of homosexuality turns Christians off.
"None of us doubt your salvation/relationship with Jesus, I mean you nailed it...I think all three of us have really wrestled with this topic," host Joey Svendsen said toward the end of the interview, "I think all of us at a different degree lean a little more towards thinking I think maybe it's a sin, but for us the big thing is it just doesn't matter as much as the church makes it an issue."
Knapp was able to respect the decision and harbored no ill will against the BCP guys and said it was something that can be "worked" on.
Listen to the podcast in its entirety here.
Read about Knapp's new book and music here.