Lauren Daigle and the Uncertainty of Evangelicalism

The Christian Post dropped an article recently entitled, “Lauren Daigle on homosexuality: I can’t say one way or the other if it’s a sin, ‘I am not God.’” The quote embedded in the title came from an interview the artist recently did on “The Domenick Nati Show.” Now, the quote is troubling to say the least. However, the headline is not all that shocking. Most headlines regarding Christian artists and leaders with the phrase, “What so and so says about homosexuality,” are now all too predictable. You can almost fill in the blanks for yourself. High profile figures do not make headlines for affirming the biblical and traditional understanding of human sexuality and how it relates to homosexuality. Not in today’s culture. Now, you grab the headlines of the world because you have lost grip on the Bible’s clear teaching.

Daigle has apparently had recent success in being featured on mainstream entertainment platforms. Her appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show prominently demonstrates that. The stage she is being highlighted on is no small stage and many fans are taking notice. Fans are also taking notice of the context in which Daigle is gaining traction as an artist. And they too, understand the reasoning behind appearing on Ellen’s show. Christians can and should ask the questions: Should a Christian artist go on a show like Ellen and perform? Should Daigle perform on a show where the host is a lesbian and so publicly affirms a worldview contradictory to that of the Bible? Is her appearance on mainstream entertainment an example of her being effectively salt and light or a sign of her losing her Christian roots?

Those questions are important, but for another post, at another time. For the purpose of this post, I want to focus on the comments Daigle made in “The Domenick Nati Show.” What should concern Christians in the immediate aftermath of the interview is the nebulous nature of her comments. Why? Daigle’s music and talent aren’t the only thing the big stage has shined light upon. Now that this Christian artist has broken out of the bubble of the Christian world, the big stage is calling her Christianity to testify. Yet, instead of the spotlight exposing what the Bible says, it has only revealed a nebulous cloud of confusion. And herein lies the problem. The nebulous and naïve script has been the tune many others have sung, many others who’ve gone before and who’ve capitulated to the culture on the issue of homosexuality.

 

Why sing this tune? It’s a means to an end. It’s a song of acceptance by the culture. Their religious rite of initiation. It’s title? “The Ever-Growing Stance.” It’s price? Capitulation. It’s reward? Acceptance. Or to translate that into Christianese for you, it is “reaching the culture.” This is the problem. It goes beyond a simple case of an ingenuous Christian artist. And it isn’t a problem unique to Daigle. The author of Hebrews sums it up well,

“He [Moses] considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasure of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward” (Hebrews 11:26).

 

I fear the only reward being sought by Daigle and many other Christian celebrities is the treasure of Egypt. Rather than considering the reproach of Christ as greater wealth, they have counted the world’s approval a greater treasure. If this problem is left unchecked, the result will be the demise of many more in evangelicalism. More of that to come.

Daigle’s uncertainty regarding Christianity and homosexuality seems to be the only clear thing for her regarding the topic.

 

Nati asked Daigle at the 8:23 mark of the show, “Do you feel that homosexuality is a sin?”

 

Stop. Let’s not quibble about the way the question was asked. Obviously, asking how someone feels about a topic is about as good as asking how someone feels about gravity.

 

But let’s stay focused. In light of Daigle’s performances on mainstream platforms, like the Ellen show, the ensuing controversy surrounding that decision, and the dominant, popular cultural position on homosexuality, the question should be expected. “Daigle, what is your stance on homosexuality?” To make the question clearer, “You are a professing Christian artist with a supposedly Christian worldview. How does your Christianity influence how you think about homosexuality?” That’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask Daigle. That’s what Nati should have asked her, instead of throwing a softball question about her feelings. Unfortunately, what should be asked and what the answer should be are the only clear things about the episode. Daigle opens her mouth and foggy haze descends.

 

Daigle answers, “I can’t honestly answer on that, in the sense of I have too many people that I love and they are homosexuals. I can’t say one way or the other, I’m not God.” Daigle cannot honestly answer the question. That’s a massive problem. Why? Because the Bible, the very thing that defines Christianity, is crystal clear. Yet, she seems to be completely clueless about what the Bible says on the issue. She states, “When people ask questions like that, I just say, ‘Read the Bible and find out for yourself. And when you find out let me know because I’m learning too.’’ And whether or not the Christian Post intended to reveal that glaring naivety, they indeed did so by quoting several relevant passages of Scripture in their reporting of the interview. I won’t quote all the verses that they did. But just so you can hear the clear testimony of Scripture on the issue:

 

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, emphasis added is mine).

 

This is where Christians need to start asking serious questions as to the genuineness of Daigle’s response. Are we really expected to simply roll with the idea that a Christianartist, writing songs from a supposedly Christianworldview, and representing a Christianmessage in those songs, is totally unaware of the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality? Are we really to suspect that the seasoned Christian artist has had such a hard time finding where the Bible speaks to the issue? At best, Daigle is seriously naïve. At worst, this is a form of false piety used as a ploy to dodge the issue when she clearly knows what the Bible says. It’s lying under the pretense of niceness.

 

Now, let’s say, for arguments sake, that Lauren Daigle has not studied the issue and has not read what the Bible says, uniformly, on the matter. Let’s just say she’s wrestling with that and therefore could not give a definitive answer at the time. What on earth is she doing putting herself out there as a Christian artist, writing content that is to be filled with a Christian worldview? Is that too hard to ask? Are we really being overly critical and callous to have such basic expectations?

 

I fear there is far more at play than a simple naivety on the issue. Daigle’s lack of an answer is all too characteristic of a growing evangelicalism that is willing to capitulate to the culture for the sake of “reaching” the culture. Evangelical celebrities on a mission to reach the culture never do. That is, what is said will happen actually never happens. What begins as a mission ends in an armistice. In most cases, it is not the culture that declares a cease-fire and lays down their weapons. It’s the Christian. The weapon the Christian sets down is the authority and clarity of Scripture. Then, what is called “reaching the culture,” is in reality a retreat into uncertainty, a gelding retreat into oblivion. A retreat the all too often is compromise for the sake of safety.

 

And while Daigle and other prominent evangelicals may feel safe in their new-found uncertainty, an uncertainty they think to be a secure shield, they’ve really crossed over into enemy territory with arms raised.  They may not know it, but they have. Nevertheless, acting as if the position of uncertainty is valid and somehow makes the issue just go away is akin to my two-year-old standing in front of me, covering his eyes, and pretending that because he cannot see me I must not be there.

 

Simply put: the problem is still there.

 

Daigle’s new-found mainstream fame requires a price, bowing at the homosexual altar, sacrificing on that altar Scripture’s truth and clarity. I can’t but think what sort of reaction the media and mainstream platforms would have had, had Daigle clearly said, “Yes, homosexuality, it’s desire and practice, is sin.” The hazy substance of the nebulous cloud would then roll away, but then so too would her fairytale in the spotlight.

 

Now, there was one thing Daigle got right in that interview. She correctly said, “I’m not God.” She definitely isn’t. But her Christianity should remind her that the God of the Bible is her God, and that her God has said one way or the other whether homosexuality is a sin: It is. God has given the final word on homosexuality. She should have no problem saying one way or other when asked because the Bible has no such problem.

 

God is clear. And so must be Christians.

 

Lauren Daigle and all Christians must count the cost of being a disciple of Christ. The cost can sometimes be…well…costly. If a platform on the mainstream puts Christian belief and teaching into the corner, then one’s true allegiance has made itself known. And one cannot serve two masters.  Daigle’s own words in an interview with the Christian Post, several months before her appearance on Ellen and the subsequent radio interview, is nothing short of ironic. The Post writes, “the 27-year-old Louisiana native said she’s not afraid to appeal to the world with her message of hope, which some fear might lead her astray and to abandon her worship roots to become a secular artist.” The Post quotes her saying,

“[My music] is having crossover appeal, but it doesn’t mean that I’m leaving one for the other or that I’m going to be swept up by one thing or the other.”

 

Whether Daigle recognizes it or not, her embrace of uncertainty on what the Bible says is unquestionably leaving one thing for another. Uncertainty is not neutral. Nor is it pious. Failure to speak clearly when God speaks clearly is making one’s allegiance known, whether you know it or not. It seems that the fear of her abandoning her roots is not as far-fetched as we have been told.

 

Yet, what she is abandoning is not her worship roots. What she is abandoning is the very hope and truth she thinks she is spreading in her music. What hope could she possibly offer to people if the very thing she thinks people need hope and rescue from is not clear in the Scriptures? This is not simply an issue regarding homosexuality. It’s an issue far beyond it. It’s an issue of how we can know and define sin. It’s an issue of how we can know and define the human condition and problem. It’s an issue of how we can know and define the good news God offers to us in his Word. It’s an issue of life and death.

 

The mainstream spotlight has its price. And when Caesar beckons for a song and dance he dare not hear any of that Christian drivel that would offend his honor. So, act pious for Caesar. Give the impression that you really do not know what the Bible says nor if the answer can be found. I mean, it has a nice religiously relativistic ring to it. And watch as Caesar and the elite applaud such grand religiosity, such enlightened love.

 

If Lauren Daigle and other evangelicals wish to remain in the hazy fog, in the nebulous cloud labeled, “Ever-Growing Stance,” on homosexuality, if they wish to sing the song of capitulation, if they wish to continue the dance of submission, if they wish to bow low and kiss the mainstream media’s feet, then they may do so.

 

But they will emerge as something other than Christian.

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