Thursday, April 15, 2010

An "I Love You" to the Jennifer Knapps

Jennifer Knapp recently came out as being in a same-sex relationship in an interview with Christianity Today. Rumors had swirled around Jennifer for a really long time, and when she left the business in 2003 the whispers were that she was gay and that she had left to pursue a relationship with a significant other who happened to be another woman. Turns out all the rumors were justified.

In the interview, Jennifer talks about being a believer and a lesbian and feeling as though Scripture backs her up, using such outdate Old Testament laws as eating shellfish and being around a woman when she is menstruating to show that as believers we have double standards...we hold up one outdated law while letting go of others (2 Levitical laws - seriously, you weren't allowed to be around a woman menstruating...seems like God would want you to avoid the 3-4 days before menstruating, for the good of everyone...but I guess it had to do with some kind of picture of "unclean").

The problem is, sexual sins are talked about in the New Testament, too, when grace had come into the picture.

But this post is NOT meant to be a debate on whether or not homosexuality is wrong or right.

This post is meant to spur a discussion on what our reaction should be - not only to Jennifer, but to other believers who inevitably will begin to admit their sexuality as it becomes more and more socially acceptable.

The album I am furiously working on finishing has a theme. The theme is brokenness mirroring redemption. It can be broken down to this: when the world around us screws up, how do we react.

But I think that Christians, for the most part, "get" the fact that we can't expect unbelievers to live by the same set of rules as those of us who believe. I think most of us Christians understand (for the most part) that we need to love our co-workers as they are and pray that they come to salvation, that they possibly see a light in us that sparks a question that leads to the answer. And I think most of us understand that love is to be pure, not condescending. We are to love the broken and dirty with sin, because WE are broken and dirtied by sin. The only difference is that our sins have been covered by the blood of Christ.

But here's where we miss it, I think:

When a believer "falls", we treat them differently. To a certain extent I get why. We view other believers as "knowing the truth" so "living in sin" they KNOW they're doing wrong.

This goes so much further beyond Jennifer Knapp coming out. This goes to the Sunday School teacher in your church that has an affair. This goes to your son's friend who believes he might be gay. This goes to the child molester in your neighborhood who you realize happens to go to your church. This goes to the believers who fall in a very public way.

We are called to love because we were first loved. We are called to give because God gave to us. But for some reason we separate it in our heads to loving the world while waiting to pounce on other believers when the dirt comes out.

Ted Haggard fell in a huge way. His life will never be the same. He was making 6 figures or more as one of the most powerful pastors in America. He was and is an incredibly dynamic yet basically lost everything when he fell. And why? Because he lied to cover up his sins before coming clean, making the church look bad. We pounced on him like a tiger when the dirt started flying and a man's life will never be the same.

I just heard you say: "but there are consequences for sin". Yes. There are. BUT - the consequence for sin should NEVER be loss of communion with other believers. You can bring up Matthew 18: you confront the believer in sin, if he doesn't repent you go back with 2-3 other believer, and if he doesn't repent, then you treat them like they are unbelievers. So, basically we go back to where we started. We love the world because they don't know the truth. When a believer falls and doesn't repent Scripture tells us that we begin to treat them as the world again.

We love the sinner unconditionally, without consequences and without condescension. It is clear in Scripture that a true believer can not live in a constant state of sin. Honestly, I don't understand that, but Scripture says it, not me. I feel as though I live in a constant state of sin. I'm sick with it. I'm sick with self, I'm sick from pride, I'm sick of all the times of lied, I've struggled and I've tried to be all right. But I'm never all right. I fall and I fall again. I think too much of myself, I get angry at the stupid drivers in front of me, I treat my wife without the respect and love she deserves. Granted I'm not doing one of those things all the time, but in a day my sin adds up.

And so does yours.

Is Jennifer Knapp gay and a believer? She says she believes and she says she's gay. it is not my place to make the judgement - ultimately her salvation/sanctification is between her and God alone. I hope there are people in her life he gently confront her in love and tug at her heart, trying to pull her closer to the picture of a believer we see in Scripture. But ultimately I believe we have to take a person's word at face value.

What the point of this whole post is this: calling believers to step up and love. A lyric on my new record says this:

We are, we are
We are all broken people
But we've been set free and loved
We are, we are
We are the chosen people forgiven much
So where's our love?

Another lyric says this:

I wanna love because you loved
I wanna give because you gave

We're all messed up. As believers, we're dirty and broken and ugly and trashy and nasty...yet God loved us first. How can we do anything but do what Jesus told us are his greatest commandments: Love Him with all our hearts and love people.

So to the Jennifer Knapps of our world; to the fallen and the broken and messed up people whether they believe or not, I say this: I love you. Without condescension. Without judgement. I love you.

Because God loved me in my filth.

133 comments:

Anonymous said...

I personally found the article very gossipy, inappropriate, and badly written with too many leading questions. I don't know if the truth ever "validates" gossip, Chris. But I appreciate what you say.

Samuel Sutter said...

I don't think that it's if it's information that is self-revealed in interviews lol

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/music/interviews/2010/jenniferknapp-apr10.html

Samuel Sutter said...

sorry, i can't type... i don't think that it's GOSSIP if it's information that is self-revealed in interviews lol

HstryQT said...

That was beautifully written, Chris.

Emily said...

My friend asked the question on her Facebook (in response to the Jennifer Knapp story): "'The Christian Church is no place for people who are openly gay.' Agree or disagree?"

This was my response:

There are 2 goals that are KEY to situations like this and must be remembered:
1. Salvation
2. Restoration....

If the person who is openly gay or is an unbeliever, the goal is salvation. Period. The goal is not to make them change their ways. Welcome them. Encourage them. Be a friend to them. Love them. Show them God's love. Share the gospel with them.

If the person in sin professes to be a believer, our aim as fellow believers is found in Galations 6:1 "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness."

Someone who is openly gay or is always welcome at church. AND should be treated with love and compassion. You can't share the salvation message or encourage restoration if you freeze them out or if you treat them as if they're diseased.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in 1 Corinthians 6. Verses 9 and 10 talk about those who will not inherit the kingdom of God (sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, etc...). Verse 11 says "And such _were_ some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." No matter what the sin, your relationship with the Lord CAN be restored.

Kevin said...

Not sure what "Anonymous" is referring to, but well written and well communicated, Chris. It think it is totally about how we, as Christians, react. My pastor recently spoke on that same passage of scripture and came to the same conclusion. We are to love them and show them Jesus in our actions. As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Emily said...

FYI: My comments also apply to any unrepentant sin, not just homosexuality. I think for some reason, homosexuality is elevated as worse than other sins far too often.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of whether something is gossip or not, if the party involved in the gossip confirms it's truth...then no matter how you look at it...it's still truth.

We (I) can treat her with love, regardless of what I believe or think of her choices and actions. However, I can still treat her with love and choose not to support her ministry/music/career if she's living her life in a way I think is not appropriate for someone who says they are a believer.

Thanks Chris...eloquent as always!

AlissandraM said...

yes we must hate the sin love the sinner. but like the Bible says, if the church confronts them and they know they're sinning and doing wrong but continue to live in their sin, we should reject them and treat them as the unsaved. we must still be kind and loving, but no longer consider them one of us.

Calulu said...

...and this is where the Church universal fails mightily most of the time. Love. Simple love. Loving others. Not just gays but even other Christians, people in the world, whoever. If you don't line up with their narrow vision of what is 'right' then you'll be marginalized without any love at all.

And we wonder why the world avoids Christians like the plague.

Julia said...

I'm a believer. I happen to be straight. I agree with everything in this post and everything in these comments, save one very important thing. I do not believe homosexuality is a sin. I believe there are ways that acting out sexuality can be sinful; when it hurts others, when it is not faithful and bound in love. But a loving, committed relationship is not sinful in the eyes of God.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu says: "It is a perversion if you say to me that a person chooses to be homosexual. You must be crazy to choose a way of life that exposes you to a kind of hatred. It's like saying you choose to be black in a race-infected society."

It is not a choice to be gay; it is rather a full expression of one's self.

I also believe that the bible contains all things necessary to salvation. And I acknowledge that there are (very few) references to homosexuality as immoral in the New Testament, and it is not only an issue of outdated Levitical laws. But I do also believe that the bible is a living text, one that must be put in the context of its time and its authors. It is important to unpack the "why" of St. Paul's letters and not only the facts. We are not the Corinithians; we are a different, broken people.

Our issue here today, our social justice, is to love, support, affirm, and accept gays and lesbians into the church, as believers, as fellow sheep in His fold. Jesus would do so; Jesus does so.

I know not everyone agrees with me; but there are many Christians who do. And I want the world to know that we are here.

Hischild said...

Amen, Chris. You have eloquently spoken words that I wish would be on the lips of more Christians out there. Less judgement and more understanding of the human struggle for us extrememly flawed humans to ascribe to and be held to Jesus' teachings - which are perfection that only HE can fulfill.
We are all on a growth journey in regards to our Biblical exegesis and living that out and none of us at the same stage at any one given time.
I have always found JK's lyrics spiritually deep - as one who has experienced serious battle between the flesh and the spirit. Her music moved me greatly as a result. As one who believes she has misinterpreted scripture in the area of sexuality, I do not question her salvation theology. The living out of her salvation is a matter between her and the Holy Spirit. I only pray she will be open to whatever it is He speaks to her on any and every matter of life.

cleanaturalady said...

I am also a straight Christian and I agree with everything that Julia said. Ironically, I have found myself condemned by other Christians simply for holding these views.

Anonymous said...

I've heard the whole no one would choose this life style. That's crazy. People choose to do and participate in bad choices all the time. People choose to smoke with little to no benefits and yet is self destructive. Anyway well spoken Chris. AlissandraM i wish you would have put in a scripture reference. Julia read Romans 1:18-32. Christianity is not about how we feel or our opinion. It's about how God feels and his word has alot to say about that. Love you guys. Chris you are saying what I've been saying for a long time. We don't know anything about Restoration.

Hischild said...

I know no one asked but...

I believe it takes only ONE clear reference in the Bible of an action being a sin, in order for it to really BE a sin.

I also believe that human nature hasn't changed ONE TINY bit from Adam to now. Truth is always truth and ancient people are the same as 21st century people - prone to evil but called to purity.

Anyhow...welcome to the blog ALL you new faces. Keep coming back for stimulating discussion. :o)

DJ in AL said...

Chris,

As a Blogger Girl I've been following you for quite some time and have enjoyed many of your posts for either comedic value, insight into the music world or for sprititual interest but I have to say unequivocally this is one of the most relevant, powerful posts you've ever written and it hits me squarely in the heart.

I have struggled mightily with this concept/question for most of my adult life and have as yet not been able to reach an understanding that I am comfortable with. I'm still filled with questions.

I, like you feel as though I live in a constant state of sin for the very reasons you outline. I believe most Christians experience this every day. Every single day.

That said, where does that leave us with God? Are some sins bigger than others? Do some sins keep us from receiving God's love? These are the questions that bother me. Why am I more inclined to love a gay person than I am say a child molester or a murderer? My Christian friends will tell me it's appropriate to love the murderer but not the gay person. I don't understand why, isn't all sin the same in God's eyes?

I was raised to believe that God loves me. I'm inclined to believe that God loves me no matter what I do. Is that wrong?

These are the questions that conflict me.

I'm very interested in reading the posts you get on this subject.

Kacie said...

Loved this post. If Jennifer Knapp were my friend, it'd be one thing. I'd want to sit down and have a long chat to understand how she was coming to an understanding of scripture that is different than the one I see when I read it. But she's not... she's not accountable to me... thus, as you say, this is between her and God, and it is my responsibility to show grace and love.

cleanaturalady said...

I know that this is not a debate about whether homosexuality is a sin or not, but I just have to respond to anonymous in regards to the Romans 1 passage. Here again (as he does in all of his letters) Paul is speaking to a group of people who have a specific problem. The problem is not homosexuality in this case. The problem is idolatry. Paul is illustrating what happens to us when we put other things before our relationship with God, which we all do in one form or another DAILY.
As Christians we should strive to be more like Jesus who, when asked what the greatest commandment was, answered to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. That is what I can away from Chris's post with. I saw neither approval nor condemnation in his blog. It doesn't really matter whether we approve. It is our job to see others through the eyes of God and to love them like Jesus.

Anonymous said...

INCREDIBLE post Chris, I am simply blown away.

I have been a big supporter, and looking forward to the new album.

Todd Agnew's album "Better Questions" really spoke to me after MY fall from grace along with Casting Crown's "Slow Fade."

I am a registered sex offender, and thank goodness no child was hurt in my crime. But I spent several years in therapy with others whose victims were children.

I am also a "Preacher's Kid"... raised in the church, was active in my church when I committed my crime, and my church supported me and helped me on my way back to grace.

I can tell you, we cannnot outsin God's grace... WOW. But we certainly can cross lines that many of fellow Christians will not forgive.

I am that guy you mentioned, the one that goes to your church... for now.

In NC they actually passed a law that makes it illegal for me to attend CHURCH!! Yes, here in the United States of America, you can google that and find two men who were arrested for attending.

That law appears to be on its way to be overturned, but I am just glad that I never had to "sue" God to get him to let me back in...that he was willing and waiting for me in my brokeness.

Your servant...DC

Kimmy said...

Great way to get your thoughts down about this topic Chris. I got you 100%.

I won't judge another person's walk from God, even if I believe she is not walking down the right path. That is between her and God.

God loved me when I was in SIN, DIRT, and FILTH too.

AMEN!

Kimmy

Anonymous said...

Hey Kevin,

Anonymous here. Sorry! :) You wrote..."Not sure what "Anonymous" is referring to, but well written and well communicated, Chris."

I'm referring to the Christianity Today interview with Jen Knapp. I'm talking about personally being a part of the Christian music community back when rumors were flying about Jen, and how pitifully her brothers and sisters in Christ behaved. This article validates all that sordid, nosey, inappropriate speculation into "SEE? I WAS RIGHT." The gossip part isn't that she's gay--it's that the interviewer asked and in doing so, validated all of the gossip. Which absolutely sucks. It was absolutely wrong for all that speculation to go on about it.

There are NT verses that say if a brother is walking in sin we shouldn't even eat with them. That's my only point of disagreement here.

JDog said...

As believers we have to follow the guidelines set forth, the commands set forth in scripture. Biblical church discipline would have us disciple those who have wandered. When they do not come to repentance then we are to consider them as unbelievers. I really feel that the phrase, "A Christian cannot sin successfully" would fall in line here because as a believer we have the Holy Spirit as the convicting arm of the Trinity indwelling in us. I agree with Chris in that you can't take a passage that seemingly justifies one action and let it override another scripture that condemns that action. Scripture supports scripture.
I do not know Jennifer's heart, but I do know biblical characteristics set forth by the and that is of one who is convicted of sin of commission and prayerfully repentant of it as well as sins of omission. God forgives both as He knows we're gonna screw up, but too many times (as Chris gave Ted as an example) that it is OUR responsibility to call a fellow believer to repentance when we see them in blatant sin. If we don't then shame on us for not loving each other enough and caring for each other as the church should. Sin is sin. No one can question that. In God's eyes, sin is sin . . . none greater than another. We all mess up . . . I mess up continually, but the conviction that I messed up . . . and His forgiving me in spite of me . . . that makes the difference. Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Most of the time "gentle" confrontation does not work. Most Christians these days are afraid to "offend" a sinner who is in unrepentant sin. What they need is the truth. No need to sugar coat the gospel, and what scripture says about sin, etc. Jennifer Knapp doesn't really say she is a believer. She says she's more focused on "loving her neighber" love, love, love. The gospel is more than "love" there IS love involved, however if you just preach love, and nothing else, no repentence of sin, no hell, etc..then it is a false doctrine and is therefore heresy. She is in unrepentent sin...is we really want to "love" her...we need to help her realize that homosexuality is a sin, just like any other sin, but if it is unrepentent, she can not have fellowship restored w/ her Creator. This is truly very sad...believers need to stop being so afraid of confronting someone. Stop sugar coating things...get down to business.

JDog said...

I also must note some instances within the CCM industry that happened when I was in the industry.
Michael English . . . but not the female vocalist from First Call.
Gary Chapman . . . but not Amy Grant.
Sandi Patti . . . but not her husband. And I could go on, but let me tell you . . . the church loves to eat its own. Saddening, and one of the many reasons I quit the CCM industry.

Anonymous said...

"As a Christian, I'm doing that as best as I can." Jennifer Knapp says, while speaking about her "coming out"

There is no repentence, and she is definitely NOT doing the best that she can...

Also, she doesn't know scripture that well.

"I've found no law that commands me in any way other than to love my neighbor as myself, and that love is the greatest commandment. "

"Love" in itself is not the greatest commandment. It's loving the LORD thy God w/ all your heart, mind & soul.

She is not choosing to love God more...she's loving her neighbor more. I know as christians we do this all the time when we sin. We love the sin more than our God. But she is completely unrepentent...which is the problem at large.

cleanaturalady said...

Actually, anon 3:26, love is the overriding message we should live by as Christians. If that were not so, then Jesus would not have said that all the law could be summed up in a word - love.
Jesus' whole life was about love. He came here out of love. He traveled around and demonstrated love, grace and mercy everywhere he went. Ultimately he died for us out of love.
We have to be very careful when calling out a fellow Christian on their sinful behavior. We have to be motivated purely by genuine love for the person. We don't point out the sins of another in order to feel better about ourselves because we think "At least I haven't done that". Plus, that scripture is talking about people within you church family, not random people about whom we know next to nothing. Even if they are a fellow Christian, I don't think it is up to me to admonish them unless I know them well and have a relationship of love and trust with them.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written Chris. What happens to a person who is gay, not a Christian (Jewish by birth), says they are spiritual not religious, very promiscuous but does believe in a higher power? This person is loved by a lot of people and I'm concerned for their redemption.

risalea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
risalea said...

Deb, per your comment: I don't think God ranks sins as we Christians might: gossip is a 2 while homosexuality is a 9, just under ax murderer. However, because of the Bible's emphasis on loving your neighbor, I'm inclined to think that sins against the ones we are supposed to love more than ourselves are judged more harshly, i.e. Gilda Gossip who is spreading the word about Phil Philanderer at church.

The only thing that separates us from God's love is our sin. He never leaves, He is steadfast. We are the ones who turn away. I don't think God is happy when we turn scripture to suit our own situation, as Jennifer appears to be doing, but how many of us do the same thing in our lives, from forsaking attending worship for whatever reason when scripture teaches us to assemble with the saints, to the guy who justifies cheating on his wife because she is so cold, in his mind, God just couldn't be talking about him.

In conclusion, we all sin...some sins, like living a homosexual lifestyle. are just way more public. We may not condone someone's actions, but we have no choice but to love them, because as stated so eloquently by Chris and others here, He loved us first.

Bully said...

Chris, this was a beautiful post.
((Hugs)) I know you do NOT want this post to be about whether being gay is right or wrong or whatever, so I will say that I think you being willing to tie it into the theme of people's "Brokenness" is really true. So true.

I think the thing that matters most is the commitment of our heart to believe even when believing is hard, and to know who our Maker is regardless of our personal challenges. If God only wanted "perfect" people, the churches would be darned empty.

Personally, I think that who we love is not the problem(same-sex or not). I think it is a LIFESTYLE choice that is the problem. The lifestyle of peddling yourself like a piece of meat, or taking advantage of other peoples, it is wrong whether you are gay or not. Secular music is so much about that these days, it turns my stomach. It actually pains me to think young people are being told it's okay to just view the world as a meat market. That is not true, and not-right thinking. It doesn't make it okay, just because they are straight.:-(

I don't actually know who Jennifer Knapps is, but I know she's going to have a long row to hoe, getting her fans to stand behind the concept of unconditional love. In the long run tho? It's better to be honest. She'll be happier, and life will be better for lots and lots of people by her standing tall.

Your single hit WAYfm this week, and my girls say they like it pretty well. I haven't heard it yet, but I'm excited to catch it on the airwaves myself. Christian music is a powerful tool, to reach the hearts of so many people. I like that the message is of understanding, and encouragement.
Keep going on, leading with your big heart.

Bully said...

Hischild-- You are my age so maybe you'll get this.

Do you remember back in the 80's when Melissa Etheridge hit it big, and started opening for concert acts? She had like one big song then, but she was interesting. I remember listening to her play, singing her guts out, and thinking "Jeez-- this person has so much pain..." I really had to wonder just what it was she wrestled with, not only to sound the way she did, but to have the lyrics and emotion behind it.

She said later, after she came out she did a concert in her hometown, and she was scared to death. But by then she was a big star, and people loved her-- and she felt SUCH RELIEF. She said, not being hated-on for finally being honest and being herself in her music was incredibly freeing, and the best concert of her life.

Isn't that amazing? That story of her finding love (from people)and release from the pain that was eating her up is just as uplifting, as hearing about other people being castigated and shunned is sad, to me. These songwriters, they have something to say and something to share. We shouldn't shoot the messenger.

Thanks for making that really sensitive comment, about JK's lyrics. I appreciated that. :-)

Noheadwinds said...

Chris, well said...I am one of the Sunday School teacher types who fell into sin...The Lord delivered me from that sin in a miraculous way...throughout the time I was doing it (my besetting sin of adultery), I was a believer who turned his back on God. I fell out of fellowship for a long time leading up to my besetting sin...when my bomb went off, I was delivered from other habitual sins, and given the charge of saving my marriage. To do so, I have to give up my idols and my functional saviors. Just as Nathan rebuked King David, I received rebukes that woke me up from spiritual slumber, and was able to confess and eventually repent.

I am convinced that there are believers with a besetting unrepentant sin who are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that their acting out is not sin because of how the enemy deceives us into various interpretations of God's Word. The enemy knows the Word better than we do. At the same time, God will give us over to our sin so that we eventually become broken through the law of sowing and reaping, and we are eventually drawn back to Him in His timeline.

As you say, we are all sinners, but if we fail to take our sin to the cross constantly, we must deal with the consequences of our decisions not to follow God and then follow the great lie that the enemy tries so hard to sell to us.

God Bless you man!

Terrie said...

Chris, I love your post for many reasons, but especially because it gives believers a chance to examine our reflexes about certain sins and not others.

I find that many believers are especially uncomfortable with homosexuality as a sin, reserving a special scorn for it. Scripture certainly is unambiguous about its sinfulness and I don't need to add to that. Sometimes I think that believers consider homosexuality the "cooties" of human sin, based on my experiences evangelizing and generally sharing the word. When there is distance between believers and certain sinners, those sinners feel convicted by the law but are rarely told of grace.

A clarifying moment for me was when I read that Jeffrey Dahmer, an infamous cannibal and murderer, may have accepted Christ as his savior near the end of his life. How do I feel about spending eternity with Dahmer? Hopeful! God's grace is sufficient for all sinners who want to be reconciled with Him.

We are not called to judge fellow sinners, but we cannot sugarcoat or dilute His judgment, either. I find a balance between the law and grace by sharing testimony of my sin and how incredibly blessed I am by His forgiveness. I am a stage 4 cancer survivor abandoned recently by my husband (a former ministry student who fell away from God into adultery, lying and murdering in his heart) and I am spending what are probably the last months or years of my life trying to forestall homelessness. God calls me to forgive my husband and I pray for him daily. I am as contented as I have ever been, thanks to the peace, joy, hope and love of God.

Gette said...

I can't really say anything on this topic that hasn't been said already here, but I want to thank everyone for being so civil. It's so hard to have a meaningful internet discussion about topics like these without flaming and nastiness. Everyone here has behaved well, and no-one has compromised their principles to be polite. Hallelujah!

risalea said...

A few pics from tonight...more tomorrow!

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=55509&id=1111018038&l=23c45a7924

Bully said...

Idol Gives Back this week, and it is always my favorite thing, besides the awesome finales. :-D I think the more the Idols are shown being compassionate, and caring about their world, the better we all are.

The goodness however, it comes from Inside. I think Chris has got lots of good stuff Inside. That's what makes me like him so, and cheer him on no matter where his beginnings. His future is bright, and lit with good intentions.

Enjoy the ACM awards tonite, you all.

Sallie Putnam said...

Amazing post. You should write a devotion book.

risalea said...

Just a quick note, as I should already be out the door, heading to south Arkansas for a class visit, but wanted to thank Chris, Tommy Lee, Clint Milburn, Jon Skaggs and Andrew Witt for an amazing show this weekend and to Greg Lee for making the planning so painless (well, as painless as it can be for a worry wart!) Stellar performances! I'm posting a youtube vid below...Harry got much more and no doubt much better!, but this will give you an idea of what we enjoyed.

Words cannot express my appreciation of the friends from this blog who came and gave their time, money and moral support. I could not have done it without them. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart! Thank you also to those friends who couldn't make it but acted as supporters with their underwriting donations. Heaven's Loft will benefit from your kindness.

And now for your listening and viewing pleasure...."Catching Up," which is probably one of my new favorites I've ever heard Chris do live.

Love y'all! Risa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6trHWJHovRE

Cathy Storms said...

Risa, I want to thank you for the most amazing weekend. You and Gaylon's hospitality is such a blessing.

And yes, a very special Thank You to Chris, Jon, Tommy, Clint, Andrew and Greg. You guys rocked my face off. The show was awesome and I love the new songs. Can't wait for the new CD.

And also to my blogger family. You all made this weekend so special. It still amazes me how we all became a family because of Chris and this blog. I miss you all so much already and can't wait for the next trip.

DJ in AL said...

* Long Post Warning *

Awesome AR trip! Chris, Tommy, Clint, Jon and Andrew made us proud and killed on stage! The band was awesome and the Fro's voice was spot on! Andrew is still a cutie-patootie (though I guess he'd probably prefer I not call him that). It was nice spending a little time with the boys at Risa's- what a nice bonus!

Sista dear, as usual, thank you so much for your gracious hospitality. Your kindness never ceases to amaze me and I adore you. Special thanks to Gaylon for the most excellent birthday cake and thanks to all for helping me celebrate the upcoming dreaded
50th.

A special War Eagle to Tommy! and anyone else who thought the Roll Tide comments were humorous. So not. You SO don't get AL college football:)

Sending love and hugs to my beloved Blogger Girls. I can't spend enough time with ya'll and miss you already. To our honary Blogger Girl across the pond wish you had been there too.

Hugs to my boyfriend Harry. Rosalee thank you for sharing your man with me, LOL, you are very tolerant of all my nonsense.

Candyland, girl, what can I say, you are a "trip" all by yourself. I'm still processing all the things that came out of your mouth. P.S. Never want to get in a car with you again. Ever. Very surprised Chris didn't share my view on your driving:)

To all the Fro Patro who couldn't make it, you were missed but there in spirit!

Ok, you'll be happy to know I'm done. I know I'm gonna get heat for the length of this post, LOL. You know it's hard for me to remember that ya'll aren't interested in hearing every little thought I have:)

Back to the real world, sigh................

EmilyBoo said...

Risa, thanks for posting the video! I loved all the pictures, too. I'll be in those pics one of these times!!!

There's a band called Revive up for the new artist of the year Dove Award. I don't know much of their music yet; they were part of winter jam, which I went to, but they went on before I was able to get in the building! They made this fun video asking for votes! It's worth watching. Unfortunately, I think voting is already over.

http://bit.ly/c3H7cu

rosalee said...

Risa, I wanted to thank you and Gaylon for the fabulous weekend we had in Arkansas. I'm surprised that you were able to find the time to entertain us while at the same time throwing the whole concert event together. Harry said he really enjoyed the mini-vacation, too.

From the samples that I've seen, Harry's videos came out well. Be patient and we'll get them out to the attendees. The videos cover all three acts.

It was great seeing Cathy, Carmen, and DJ and meeting Candy and Carmen's son, Michael, for the first time. It was fun taking the trolley tour around the area and shopping.

Chris and his band (Jon Skaggs, Tommy Lee, Clint Milburn) did a great job in concert, as did Andrew Witt, who performed an solo, acoustic set. Chris's set list
included "Naive", "Sunny", "Catching Up", "In the Weak", "Only You Can Save", "Potential","Empty Me", "Somewhere/Livin' on a Prayer", "Broken/Beautiful", "Something", "Our Love", "Here Comes Goodbye", "Something Beautiful", "Cry Tonight", and "Vessel".

Now I'm exhausted from the traveling, but it was well worth it!

chamilton said...

Finally a minute to catch my breath!!!
Okay it has been said before and I will say it once again...the weekend was awesome!!!!! I am really hoping that Risa and Gaylon will adopt me (c'mon instant grandsons)Risa, It was really wonderful to meet your sweet husband no wonder he is sister girl's boyfriend.I can't thank you enough for letting me a part of your crazy busy world for a couple of days. Just a heads up to the rest...trips to North Little Rock ARE NEVER BORING!!!!!
Rosalee and Harry, I am thrilled that I got to meet you both. I think you may be the most interesting and just truely nice people I have have ever had the oppertunity to meet. I am thanking God for the special gift of meeting you. And by the way DJ.. Harry liked my driving skills.
Cathy it is always a pleasure to see you and I am glad we got to spend some time together this trip..You give me strength which I need to deal with DJ. Just Kidding you know you are my sister from another mother.DJ I am sorry if I scared you.I was not aware you were taking this induction to the senior set so seriously. Next time we will get you tokens for the senior bus and you can ride safe and sound with your peoples. FYI I drive good. Cathy had no complaints...You know I love ya...
Carmen didn't get to see you much but the time we had I enjoyed and I am looking forward to next time. Good luck to Michael in school and to you dealing with Michael being in school.

The boys all did a great job and Jon was especially hot with all the drum stick spinning tricks. Yea. Can't wait 'til next time...
Take care all.

CANDY

DJ in AL said...

Candy, LOL, you are SO wrong for all of that old people stuff you know that right? Seriously I told Chris that I'm pretty sure I drive just like you but it's different when you are in the passenger seat!

You know I love you more than my luggage! (you may be to young to get that but it's from Steel Magnolias).

Many thanks for calling me during the long drive home, you easily killed an hour:)

chamilton said...

and you are too twisted for color TV. Have your roots done...Favorite movie seen it more than Chris Sligh

DJ in AL said...

LOL, Candy, I knew I liked you so much for a reason....here's one more.......:)

rosalee said...

Chris was honored yesterday at the BMI Awards:

http://www.examiner.com/x-11989-Nashville-Gospel-Music--Entertainment-Examiner~y2010m4d20-BMI-Music-Awards-honor-gospel-musics-finest

There's a slideshow under the article.

DJ in AL said...

Thanks Rosalee!

Chris, dude you didn't tell us about your award, what's up with that? Congrats! I'd like to add Sarah looked hot, she changed her hair and I LOVE it. Cutest Mom-to-be though you can't tell she's pregnant at all yet:)

Congrats again Chris!

Cathy Storms said...

Thank you so much Rosalee for posting the article and the pictures.

Chris, Congrats on the award. That is awesome. You didn't say anything about it.

Sarah looks beautiful. Love the new hair color. But then Sarah always looks beautiful.

risalea said...

I think he was afraid we'd show up, and do our Sligh shout-out we did at the Doves last year. ; )

Here's a video of one of Andrew Witt's songs from this weekend:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFuizTNFSZ8

risalea said...

Those of you who have had the opportunity to attend Chris's shows may have met Tommy Lee. His brother-in-law passed away in a car accident today. Please keep Tommy's sister, her kids and their whole family in your prayers. These kind of sudden deaths are so hard.

chamilton said...

Pictures downloaded. Added three to Oklahoma album too.

Hischild said...

Boy! Lots happening here while I've been too busy to read. :o(

Congrats to Chris on BMI recognition! I had not heard!

Condolences to Tommy and family. Very sorry to hear the news.

Glad you all had a great time in AR and it was fun reading your reports (even the long ones, DJ) :o)

SimpleTruth said...

Chris, this was perhaps the most words written that I have read lately. It is so very true that God loves us in spite of our filth. The fact that you are so open about volitional sinning everyday and the raw honesty about how you view yourself in that sin is really inspirational to other people like me.

I have told my wife many, many times that truly, 'the only good in me is Christ', beyond that, I am without worth or value.

I struggle DAILY with some of the sdame old sins; I suppose in that regard I could not be considered truly repentant but the only hope I have is that God knows my heart and loves me in spite of my filth, just as you said.

Thanks for a great, transparent blog entry. Although its my hope that all people would daily grow closer to Christ, it is in a strange way comforting to see another christian hoenstly admit that they struggle in the same way that I do. The commonality that you exposed is what made me stop and think; I had to immediately reevaluate how I had been living my life of late and I had to examine my own Walk. Bless you brother!
BTW, you were our fav pick for AI in your season. Keep up the good work.

Hischild said...

Bully,

Funny you should ask me about Melissa Etheridge. Was just reading a mag article on her in dr office today. I'm really not too familiar w/her having checked out of pop/rock music in the 80's for Country and CCM. But, the article was about her coming back from cancer and talked about her bald- headed performance at the Grammy's, I believe. That took a lot of guts and she talked about how freeing THAT experience was.

I gotta agree wholeheartedly w/Noheadwind's and Terrie's posts. Speaking as one who has spent a few years of my life as an unrepentent sinner AFTER becoming a Christian, it is not a pleasant place to be at all. I SO highly respect the Christians who confronted me in love. I did not heed them at the time but now I appreciate their love SO much.
I cringe when I hear Christians speak ugly about homosexuals, singling their activity out as an abomination that is somehow infinitely worse than all others. I usually bring up Proverbs 6:16-19:
There are 7 things that are an abomination to God - haughty eyes (pride), a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness and one who spreads strife among brothers.
Hm...I find myself in that list daily and am thankful that God's grace is sufficient for me (one of my most favorite Jennifer Knapp songs, BTW).

DJ in AL said...

Chris please pass along my condolences to Tommy. I'll be praying for his family.

Cathy Storms said...

Please let Tommy and his family know that my family has them in our thoughts and prayers.

Brad said...

Chris Sligh said: "But ultimately I believe we have to take a person's word at face value."

Matthew 7:16 begs to differ, Chris.

rosalee said...

My condolences to Tommy and his family.

I've got Harry's videos from the Sherwood, AR concert up on Youtube.
My user id is whatgoeson516. Every song is there, except "Naive", which wasn't captured:

Chris Sligh:

In The Weak:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfqItCKl5Ho

Only You Can Save:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMKOg5hdLc4

Cry Tonight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eatuhLngjFc

Something Beautiful:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2gW4mdKABY

Sunny:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnwJJGAEyIw

Here Comes Goodbye:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OXNWTjT6Mk

Broken/Beautiful:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YSThGHBQnU

Potential/Empty Me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PczhevsNYuo

Vessel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVo1JvmXOQc

Something:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeMbIdZNj1I

List continues...

rosalee said...

Our Love:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTja73qjy8c

Catching Up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQFebf4_5B0

Somewhere/Livin' on a Prayer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIs_ZqWcaxQ

Andrew Witt

Compassion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AuMrunGw0Y

All:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFhSlH1Qr3Q

New Song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ol254_tDkJg

Britton Wesson

Song 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ5PWRWp3pg


Song 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFeThgzTG3Q

Song 3:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUO8-NRth_o

End of video list

EmilyBoo said...

Praying for Tommy Lee's family.

Rosalee, thanks for putting up the videos.

risalea said...

Rosalee, you and Harry are beyond awesomeness! : )

DJ in AL said...

Harry & Rosalee,

What Risa said! Thank you SO much!
Harry you did an amazing job!

Cathy Storms said...

Happy Birthday to Miss DJ...
Hope you have an awesome day and I know you miss me soooo much and wish I was there to help you celebrate....

risalea said...

Happy Birthday, Deb, one more time! Though it is going to be hard to top a birthday with cake by Gaylon and a happy birthday serenade that included Chris Sligh in the chorus, I know you're going to have an awesome day. Have fun, friend, and WELCOME TO THE CLUB!

rosalee said...

Happy Birthday, DJ!
Enjoy your day!

DJ in AL said...

Risa, you know it! Thanks for kicking off the 50th celebration for me! Gaylon is the sweetest boyfriend eva and I know, the first year I don't have a Chris Happy Birthday song is really gonna suck!

Great day so far.................thanks ya'll...

DJ in AL said...

Thanks Fro Patro for the B'day wishes here, FB and Twitter! Love ya'll! Off to PF Changs with my BFF...the B'day marathon continues, LOL!

Hope everyone has a fab weekend!

risalea said...

Have a lettuce wrap for me!; )

Amy's Purple Poodles said...

Happy B-day DJ-hope you got the message from me I left at your work number. You lucky dog, you got to celebrate your b-day with Chris and the other blogger girls-how cool is that?!

Chris-Please tell Tommy Lee I am sorry for his loss of his brother-in-law. He and his family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Rosalee-Thank you for putting up the concert videos. I'll have to listen to them.

I'm glad everyone had a great time in AR.

Amy

P.S.-Chris, congrats on your BMI award.

DJ in AL said...

Risa I had a lettuce wrap for U and though you didn't tell me to, I had a piece of chocolate cake!!!!

Amy I left work early today, I'm sorry I missed your call. I'll listen 1st thing Monday! Thanks girl!

Hunkered down for the night waiting for the bad weather!

Anonymous said...

DJ,
Best wishes for a Happy,
Happy, Happy Birthday !
Shalom

Aspiegirl44 said...

I am gay. I want to know why you all hate me. I love God. I believe in Jesus. I pray every day and try to know Him so much. But I could not learn about Him with all of you. You did not let me be with you. I did not let the Church who hated me stop me though. I still love God. I wont let man take that from me. But I was alone. I want to know why you did that to me. I want to be in Church maybe even more than some Christians. We are all sinners. Why could I not be with all of you. But God taught me. Homosexuality is a sin. Masny gays wont say that but I will. I know. I feel my sin like you feel yours. But I could not even tell you that. You would not even see me. I told God though. He never left me. You did. The condemers did. I am saved because I asked Jesus to save me. I repent every day just like you all do. I hope one day you see how much the same we are in our sins and the pain of the sin but it is worse to suffer alone. Why did you do that to me.

The Only Churches I can get in are the ones who are the bad Churches. I did not want to deny what God said in the Bible to worship Him. So I did it alone. I have grown and I have changed but it is not like you all think. Its struggle daily just as you do in any sin. I think we are closer to the struggle of sin than we think we are. I am just expected to be better at not sinning than others.

I am the prostitute and some are the teachers of the law who judged her. But Jesus pointed out the sin in ALL of them.

I never hid my sins from God. I know he sees them. The Church was who I hid from but I dont know why other than they hate me more than the rest of the sinners in the world. I have sins like this blog says too that have nothing to do with homosexuality. I carry them too. I struggle with ALL of them just like you all share. I get jealsous, I envy, I struggle. But you have each other. I dont have that.

I want you all to know that pain. But I do have faith. I wont let you take that away from me. I did the best I could by myself and in prayer. To be hated and called names I could not face that in a Church. Have any of you ever been called an abomination for your sin? I think all sin is that to God.

Sorry if this is mean but i want you to know what it was like for me to be so alone and have no one to learn of God with or to pray with.

Thank you for this blog. Mr. Chris.

Aspiegirl44 said...

I want to say. I was not born gay but I think some are. I have autism. I psychiatrist told me I was gay. A Dr. Maybe if the church let me in. I would not have been buried so deep. The Church did not let me in. I never had a chance to tell anyone. No Dr.should do that to someone. I am not judging other gays. I just got to the gay community a strange way.

You (meaning the church) called me an abomination. But did not know my story.

That was over 20 years ago.

I just want someone to know how it all started. I was diagnoses in a Drs office. That is how it started for me. Others may be different but that is my story of my introduction to homosexuality.

Everybody has a story. Dont stereotype. You dont know what is really going on to them. God does.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be some confusion here regarding homosexual feelings and homosexual acts. Feelings are not sins. All sexual acts outside of marriage are sinful--no where does the Bible indicate otherwise. No where. As a single woman I can't find any scripture to suggest that a sexual relationship is God's will for me or that he would in any way condone or allow it. So then, why suddenly in these times is homosexual behaviour ok? Has God changed his mind? No. Loving people does not mean that we tell them every thing they are doing is fine. It's so much easier to just nod and smile and agree but it's wrong. No one ever said this would be easy. Jesus warned us that the way is narrow, that we would face tribulation and that since the world hated him it would hate us also. Take up your cross and follow him. Our lives here are short and eternity is long.

DianaDS

ChrisSligh said...

I've kinda let this run it's course...but I did want to comment on a couple of things.

1) I think it's a pretty extreme form of Christianity that would say that God or they themselves "hate" gay people. I think most would say they love the sinner, but hate the sin. Unfortunately here on earth it is sometimes tough to delineate the hatred of a sin and hatred for a person. We become passionate about trying to help the person in sin see the problem that the person who is being confronted ultimately feels as though they are being attacked. It is the nature of the beast. That is why I honestly believe that the person who confronts the Jennifer Knapps of the world should be someone close enough to these people that the person being confronted isn't confused. When we confront those in sin, love should be the defining motive. Our motive can NOT be to have a success story. It can't be to have an excuse to cut someone out of your life. It can't be because of anything other than love. And the person being confronted has to know that love is driving it...they sniff it out. Every time.

2) We are all born in sin. That's the point. Having the temptation of sin is different than sinning. Does that make sense? If Jennifer Knapp came out and said, "You know what? I'm gay. But by God's grace I am overcoming the need for a same-sex relationship, and I want to be an example to girls struggling with this as they grow up" then the churches reaction should be to gather around her, support her, cheer for her and aid her in staying on the path that God calls for us. But, as someone mentioned, sex outside of marriage is NEVER condoned in Scripture. It doesn't matter if it's with the same sex OR opposite sex. Sex outside of marriage is considered an abomination. The person committing the sin is NOT an abomination...but the sin is. So, when you sleep with your boyfriend before you are married, you are in sin. When you have sex with that woman you met at work because your marriage is falling apart you are in sin. And when Jennifer Knapp sleeps with her same-sex partner, she is in sin. Period. There is no question in Scripture. But the thing that is important to remember is that you and I don't know Jennifer Knapp. We aren't in her life. She doesn't know that we love her. If you or I write a blog or post or article calling for Jennifer's repentance, all we do is re-inforce in her mind and in the world's mind that Christians are all jerks who overstep their boundaries to make a point. And in this case they'd be right. Confrontation is supposed to be a private matter any way. All we are doing when/if we write open letters to the public calling for someone's repentance is gossiping

So, love the people around you. Love the world. And pray for those in public life who are in sin.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Hello Chris,

As I'm not a Christian, I obviously cannot comment with any knowledge on what is right or wrong - from a Christian viewpoint.

I do have to open my tiny mouth to say this : 'overcoming the need for a same sex relationship' is highly unlikely, based on an enormous number of studies exploring a myriad of aversion treatments.

In my experience, both on a clinical level, and as someone who has more than a few lifelong friendships with persons who are gay,it is not an optional / changable life choice.

For me, simply loving people with all of their amazing human propensity to be diverse makes my relationships rich and illimitable.
Shalom

risalea said...

Hey, Shalom. I understand what you're saying, however, I think the problem in this world is that we humans think we are compelled to act on every desire in our hearts. I hope that we're better than that. I can understand that overcoming homosexual desires is difficult and for many, might never happen, but the type of life one leads is definitely a choice. I may desire the cute man who lives across the street, but I don't have to carry through and start an affair with him. (only a hypothetical example, of course!) : )

And echoing what someone said way farther up the comments, isn't it wonderful that we can come here, and agree on some things, and agree to disagree on others. And that, friends, is love in action.

Anonymous said...

So Risalea, have carefully considered your example ...and have decided that spouse is the cutest guy in the neighbourhood. :)

Seriously,thank you for your respect and thoughtfulness.I hope I offer the same.

I purposely used ' For me ' on my last post, as this is such a personal issue for me.

I cannot see homosexuality as a conscious choice, because regardless of the religion, the culture or the times, to come out to your circle almost invariably results in some loss, often forever, of those who loved and supported you.

I've seen too much heartache to believe a choice to be or not be homosexual exists.

To act on homosexuality or not is a choice.

With respect. Shalom

ChrisSligh said...

Shalom,

Thanks so much - as usual - for stopping by. Your posts are always well-informed and kind.

I'm not sure that you and I can have a discussion about whether it's right or wrong. You have a different standard than I do. My standard isn't based upon logic or what I think (or what any man thinks). As much as sometimes I wish it wasn't (If I'm being honest) my standard is what I find in Scripture. As an unbeliever, obviously your standard isn't found in Scripture. I can respect your opinion and respectfully disagree.

I believe in something I feel is a moral standard. I have to give you (and anyone else) the benefit of the doubt that you, too, hold your world to a moral standard (i.e., we all can agree that to kill a person in cold blood isn't right) - but your standard is simply different than mine (and other believers).

You and I can talk about how I came to the place of holding the Scripture as my moral authority, if it is something you would like to discuss. However, until we are using the same starting point, it's a pointless "argument" (I put quotation marks since obviously we aren't angry at each other).

The difference between you and Jennifer Knapp is that Jennifer and I are supposedly starting at the same point: Scripture is our moral guide. She, however, comes to what I believe I can truthfully and steadfastly call a wrong conclusion.

Hope that makes sense.

Chris

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Chris. I understand. Our points of reference would make engaging on this nearly impossible.

That's o.k. It wasn't a right or wrong to me , more my observation that choice doesn't seem to be the case.

Now that I've discussed religion and sexuality, I only have politics left...what to say - what to say.

Have you heard that some Canadians consider President Obama to be the reincarnation of our much loved Pierre Elliot Trudeau ?

With warm regards, tiny mouth now closed and tongue secured back in cheek, Shalom

gdahimself said...

I love complicated topics, there's so much room hypocrisy, divisiveness, and intolerance.

Which line of prohibition to do you want to draw to stay behind?
Homosexual couples having sex is a sin and/or abomination.
Heterosexual sex outside marriage is a sin, not usually regarded as an abomination.
The tradition Roman Catholic view, even in marriage, abstaining from any sex practice that precludes or prevents reproduction.
If everyone abstains from being sexually active, does it really matter who you’re romantically involved? Apparently not, the whisper campaign is on and rumors fly if to two people of the same sex seem to be a little cozier than most people think they should be as co-workers, and the social ice curtain drops. I’ve seen it happen to a couple of people I know, it didn’t matter one iota that they were married and only associated at work.

Is it better to be in an unhappy camouflage marriage trying to live Scripture to the letter with a confused and unsatisfied spouse than to be a in homosexual relationship?

Where does this leave “the sinner” if homosexuality is proved to be a flaw or difference in brain development not merely be a behavior problem? I cannot believe one would actively choose to be a social pariah.

Can't test any of this as what I know is what I've read and learned as part of psychology course.

Any way, I don't accept being a believer and being homosexual is mutually exclusive.

risalea said...

Shalom: "To act on homosexuality or not is a choice."

That's what I was trying to say, and you said it more succinctly.

GDA: Rumor mills = gossip, also a sin. One that tends to be overlooked too often or not even recognized as such.

Oh, my, Shalom...if you throw Obama in here, Chris better change the topic quickly...the politeness may disintegrate quickly! LOL

Bully said...

Well, I believe that God is Love, and because of this Love, we are saved. God loves us all. This is the one Truth that we All can lean upon, IMO.

Chris, boy, you seriously need to keep us better updated on the events ongoing in your life! The BMI recognition is really wonderful.

The DOVE Awards footage has been fun to watch, and I was very glad that my favorite KJ-52 won the hip-hop/rap album section. I feel for him, and what his story has been, and find his music uplifting. I really dislike the prejudice that says someone does not deserve something because of one's color or because of the way they express themself or because of their demographics. "More" holy, or "Less" holy, that kind of discussion turns me off big time. If people gain from what is being offered from an honest heart? What can be the downside to that? So rock on, all you CCM peoples who are making music we all can enjoy!

Music is a medium that reaches all kinds of people, because of common feelings like pain, remorse, sadness, or loneliness. I don't think we should worry about limitations, just keep reaching out with Love.

Cathy Storms said...

Such wonderful discussions on such a really hard to understand topic. I have been thinking about this post for some time now. I struggle everyday to live my life in a way that God would want me to. We all do. As far as Jennifer Knapps lives her life, I wonder if God loves me more because of her lifestyle. I doubt it. And personally, I don't really care how she lives her life. She will have to answer for her sins just as I will have to answer to mine.

The thing I have the most trouble over is, if we're supposed to love everyone, how do you love or even pray for the man who murders 2 teens. Or the neighbor who kidnaps and murders a small child. As hard as I try, I can't do it. Is this wrong?

Anonymous said...

Risalea, I've drawn my head back into my shell... but is it fair for Chris to have all the fun throwing out controversial subjects...just because it's his blog ? Will we ever learn to not be reactive ? :)

We generally have boring political figures in Canada, Trudeau aside, so need to borrow yours.

Hello GDA. Best to all. Shalom

Bully said...

Cathy-- I think it is easier to pray for the lost souls, just as we do for the sick,for the infirmed, for the ones who lead us, for the ones that need His grace. It's up to God to use the grace then, to touch the lives of those who will use it.

I don't think we can stand in judge of who goes to heaven or hell, who has a Free Pass, and who has a Go Directly to Jail card. I know my own feelings (which are NOT christianly) in regards to the kind of people you mentioned, so maybe somewhere, someone is praying for ME, eh? hee!

If you can offer a prayer for grace for those who need it, I think that it will be made to fit. That's why we pray for strangers, for accident victims, for lost children, for families like Tommy Lee's. We hope somehow, it will help.

Hischild said...

Cathy,

Good questions about us loving the murderers etc. I have contemplated these things too. And to answer your question: I think God understands the heartbroken cannot pray FOR the perpetrators. Because our sense of justice (not to mention grief) is overriding our ability to love. (There is a time to love and a time to hate). It's OK not to pray FOR some people sometimes.

I have been thinking lately about Ted Bundy, Carla Faye Tucker, their victims and their families. James Dobson reported Ted Bundy accepted Christ just prior to his execution. JD believed it to be a genuine conversion. Of course none of us have any way of knowing - either he TRULY repented and came to believe Jesus to be sufficient substitute for his awful sins or he was just hedging his bets for eternity. I take great comfort in knowing that God had perfect knowledge of Ted's heart. He is not fooled.

Carla Faye Tucker: Became a Christian in prison, I think and had time enough to demonstrate works that would indicate a changed, repentant heart. She, too was executed when then Gov Bush refused to stay her execution in TX.

I believe both executions to be righteous and warranted as was needed to carry out justice on this earth. I believe God required their lives for the lives they took. He is a God of justice. If He were not, he would not/could not be a God of love.

I am sure the victim's family's hated them and w/good reason. They could pray for justice to be carried out (which in effect, would mean their execution or life in prison). It would be a prayer God would want to honor. And He also honors the prayers of the sinner who call out in faith for repentence and forgiveness no matter HOW wretched they are.

He is indeed a GREAT God, who can fathom Him completely? Surely not I.

To my blog said...

I have to say I agree with Cathy. Very well said. I am against the death penalty (oh dear, another debatable subject), but I still think God is a God of justice as well as love. His ways are higher than our ways and there is no way for us to know the heart of each person. That is why we are called not to judge others.

This has been a great conversation. I have posted a couple of times, but I always lurk and read all responses. I love that God has made us each unique people and he meets us each where we are.

To my blog said...

Oops, I said i agreed with Cathy and I actually meant, Hischild. Duh.

DJ in AL said...

To my blog...welcome to this Blog, LOL! Tried to post a comment on yours but for some reason couldn't get it to work (operator error no doubt). Like your blog BTW!

Happy Tuesday Chris, Fro Patro, and Blogger Girls!

DJ

Cathy Storms said...

To My Blog~Welcome and I'm so glad you decided to post.
HisChild, you are so right. You always put things in perspective for me and I thank you for that.

God works in such mysterious ways. The conversation this morning at work started out with just these topics and I didn't start the conversation.

Happy Tuesday to you also DJ, I miss you so much already...

DJ in AL said...

Cathy, love ya girl! And miss you too!

Hischild what Cathy said. You do have a way of putting things into perspective for me as well. And you do it in such an understated way.

That's what I love about this blog so many perspectives,opinions and views. I need that because I often jump too fast in forming my own opinions. I do however try to keep my mind open. I never want to be too set in my ways.

Chris good job posting a subject that lent itself to a good debate. I like that. And everyone behaved themselves too. That may be a first!

Kim V. said...

Thanks for the welcome Cathy and DJ in AL. I had to do a double take to make sure you were talking to me. For some reason my comments were posting with To My Blog as the display name. Don't know how that happened, lol. I changed it to just post my name.

Anyway, thanks.
Kim

DJ in AL said...

Kim, LOL thought that was a little weird but we've seen it all around here:) Welcome again! We love new posters as we hear from each other all the time.

Julia said...

Hi all,

I have enjoyed keeping up with the comments on this blog post-- agreeing and disagreeing, learning and listening.

I just came across this and highly recommend it to us all: http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2010/04/christian_love_and_sex.html

This kind of reflection is what I was going for when I referred to reading the bible in context in my first comment. Not to make excuses for our actions or to separate our humanity from that of those many years ago -- rather to see the text for its purpose and not just its semantics.

I do feel I can engage in a discussion of personal moral code with all Christians, as a fellow believer, and I write here to represent a liberal, justice-oriented, Christian faith.

Hischild said...

Thanks Kim, Cathy and Deb. It has been great reading and discussing this stuff of life here. Have been missing that since I haven't been in a small group Bible study lately.

Kim, I checked out your blog and LOVE your entry on Christians judging. Agree wholeheartedly w/you. You're a very good writer.
Please post here more often. You bring a lot to the table.

Good night dear bloggers, I am whooped!

Kim V. said...

Thanks, Hischild. Writing is like therapy for me. It helps me to get things straight in my head.

Cathy Storms said...

Happy Birthday to my sweet grandaughter Deliah who is 7 today. She is Chris's best friend.

Also to my wonderful son Cody.

Happy Birthday

risalea said...

Welcome, Kim, Julia and all the other folks who have found the blog.

Happy birthday Delilah and Cody!

Would appreciate prayers for my mom. She got a Parkinson's diagnosis today, kind of rough, as she just had her 83rd birthday. Really glad to have a definite diagnosis, and the neurologist was very optimistic about the medications now available. Hopefully, she'll some improvements in her quality of life and diminishment of some of the symptoms she's been having. Thanks, friends!

Kim V. said...

Julia, I missed you comment from yesterday. I consider myself a liberal Christian as well, and have encounter an awful lot of resistance from moderate and most especially from conservative Christians. It was a breath of fresh air to leave my comments here and find that although not everyone agreed with my stance in the matter, I was treated respectfully.

Cathy, Happy Birthday to your grand daughter and to your son. rislea, I will keep your mom in my prayers.

EmilyBoo said...

Risa, praying for your mom, as you know. :)

Cathy, happy birthday to your granddaughter and son. I have to ask though, since I've seen it written both ways many times, is her name Deliah or Delilah?

EmilyBoo said...

Oh, and welcome Kim. :)

DJ in AL said...

Risa, you know I'm praying for your Mom and your whole family. Chris has got me addicted to Twitter now so I forget to come over here and post too..though I will never forsake the blog that brought us all together!

Cathy I sent birthay wishes to your sweet Granddaughter on FB. Hope her day was special. Your son's too.

So it's Thursday which means tomorrow's FRIDAY!! Hope everyone has had a wonderful week. We've had fabulous weather in B'ham this week but rain is moving in just in time for the weekend. Bummer.

Sending my love out to the Fro Patro, Blogger Girls and the head Fro himself!

Cathy Storms said...

Thank you all for the birthday wishes for Delilah and Cody. It is spelled this way Emily. I seem to always spell it wrong. Bad Grandma. We always call her Lilah.

Risa, praying for your mom.

risalea said...

I am looking forward to the weekend, rain or shine. My plate has been uber full as of late, and I just got the last obligation done (for awhile!), so now it's all about ME!

Thanks for the prayers for my mom...she's in good spirits.

Everyone enjoy your weekend! Oh, Chris, are we getting close to finding out whether we should be buying pink or blue? Risa

Bonnie Muchacha said...

Hello Blogger Girls / COMMENTERS/ other Visitors- Dropping in / And A SPLENDID FRIEND_iDLY ( AMERICAN IDOL_Y ) HEY! DUDE ! SHOUT OUT TO BRO' FRO PATRO -The MAESTRO and Author OF THIS BLOG- !
Well... Does Anyone <>
know if ... the GMA that produces the DOVES AWARDS > TV SHOW , makes copies of their PROGRAM TO SELL ? Please let me know ! I'm trying to get a FEW COPIES ! A poor woman that is dying with CANCER ASKED ME FOR A _DVD_ OF THE BROADCAST ! I didn't know what to tell her. So many very gravely ILL_PEOPLE missed it ! Could anyone send me a COPY - if they MADE a HOME-MADE VHS OR DVD of this INSPIRING & ANOINTED TV-SHOW ! ?
This Poor Woman's Brother is DYING FROM LEUKEMIA , BESIDES ! PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM .They BOTH went TO M. D. ANDERSON Hospital in Houston , Texas for TREATMENT. And everyone, here , PRAY for Risalea 's MOM ! Yes , I'm Bonnie - the GIRL >>> that just talked to Gaylon & Risa BY PHONE - Late APRIL ! Hello ALL- AGAIN ! I promised Chris Sligh A COMMENT > HERE ! Congratulations - on the Coming New Baby ! And Warm Regards & GOD'S Best BLESSINGS To Your ENTIRE FAMILY !

Cathy Storms said...

Welcome Bonnie

I am also so glad it's the weekend. It's been a crazy couple of weeks here also.

Risa, get some well deserved rest.

Hope y'all have a great weekend.

Bonnie Muchacha said...

Risa ,

I'm SooOOOOOooo Glad for the FRiendliESTChristian- FOLKS - EVER ! That have gathered at THIS BLOG SITE... for 2 whole Years ... I was READING THIS BLOG... All ALONG !
But never Figured out how to PARTICIPATE ! I took 5 YEARS of LEARNING SPANISH - and my Best FRiEND LABELED ME, with the Nickname

of ... " MUCHACHA "...
But, Really I'm a BURGH GIRL from PittsBurgh - Pennsylvania ! I ATTENDED One of C.Sligh's "Back TO School Tours" where I was Amazed by the Awesomely Talented Performers there !!! I will PRAY FOR GOD's WILL TO BE Accomplished in their LIVES ! God Loves Jennifer Knapp no matter- what ! And God will LEAD HER TO HIS TRUTH ! He looks out for the lost sheep ,so PRAY for her !

Bully said...

You all may have heard, we got some rain this weekend. 15 inches in two days creates a bit of a problem, yup. We are good here at the house, but Spouse works in Nashville, and so he was pretty worried about what he'd find this morning.

Some of Opryland is damaged, being so close to the river, but the most of it is high-- and luckily it has a backway into it, that is fine. Spouse's work is Good. They have power and everything. But Gaylord Hotel? The water is up and over the fence, at least 4 ft high. They say it has been severely damaged.

Lots of people are landlocked right now, and they keep showing rescue stuff on TV, getting people out of different places. Some roadways and highways are completely under water, so that is a wierd sight to see. Keep those people dealing with this stuff in your prayers.

Antioch, Bellevue and even Franklin having some serious water issues.:-/ Hopefully where Chris is, all is well.

Bully said...

Here's a stat for you-- The Cumberland River is normally about 19ft, but today it is 50ft and rising. Just saying.

Kim V. said...

I am praying for the safety of everyone affected by the flooding in TN.
Kim

DJ in AL said...

Risa heard from Sarah, and Chris twittered they are ok. The pics coming out of Nashville are crazy. Jon and Tommy are ok, don't think we've heard from Clint tho. And Andrew twittered this a.m. so assuming he's ok too.

Prayers going out to those affected in Nashville.

risalea said...

Just got this video of the Opryland Hotel on my twitter: http://tinyurl.com/25w6v7d

Unbelievable, and I can't even imagine the amount of money it's going to take to clean that up. Makes me sad...spent some time there with some of the Blogger Girls in 2008 and 2009. Please pray for the victims and consider giving--The Red Cross and several churches are raising money to help.

Bully, hope your husband made his way around town safely.

I think Andrew is back in CO, so he's ok.

When you hear this, it's so scary not knowing who's affected. I know I had some good friends looking out for me when the tornadoes were dancing all around us this weekend. Magnus's parents are coming from Sweden in a week, and had planned a side trip to Nashville for part of their time in the States. I guess it will depend on how fast it dries out, and how long clean-up efforts take.

risalea said...

Just heard (again via twitter) that the Grand Old Opry has flooded.

DJ in AL said...

Nashville is a beautiful city and holds a special place in my heart because of the time I've spent there with all those I've met because of this blog. I am profoundly sad and hopeful that our govt will step up and do what is necessary to help the clean up efforts. So many news stories taking the limelight right now, terrorism in NY, oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Good grief. So much to pray about.

Kim V. said...

It's really sad. I have a good friend who lives in a Nashville suburb. She has been giving us updates via Facebook since Saturday. I just hate it when these things happen. I am praying for comfort for all those affected.

Bully said...

Update-- Spouse's work had power, and the water is staying at bay, but the Opryland Mall is flooded. Like, several inches, all the way. He saw the opryland Hotel, and the awnings on the front of the building looked like eerie lilypads floating on the water. People there are pretty traumatized. The only thing to compare such widespread area damage to is New Orleans.

People in NYC office were nagging him for work, wondering just what the problem was. Spouse told them, "Turn the News on. WeatherChannel has pictures too." People unless they are there, or seeing the live feed on TV? They just don't get it.
:-(

Glad that Chris and others you all know are doing okay. When the Coast Guard get called out, and are ferrying people from big Hotels to safety in boats? One does worry.

Cathy Storms said...

Nashville holds a very special part of my heart. I have nothing but wonderful memories of the times I have spent there with my blogger family and Chris and the band. I fell in love with the city the moment I stepped off the airplane. My heart hurts so much seeing the pictures and video of some parts of Nashville that I used to only dream of visiting. This is such a tragedy and I also hope the government steps up and helps the people of Nashville recover as quickly as possible.
I will keep everyone in Nashville in my prayers.

risalea said...

Brian Mansfield has been tweeting some things worth reading:

http://www.section303.com/we-are-nashville-4366

So Nashville Is Flooded… How Can I Help? [Flood 2010] | Nashvillest http://bit.ly/cuMGEJ

Crosspoint Church at www.crosspoint.tv has donation opportunities and info on what is going on. The Churches of Christ Disaster Relief provides supplies to people in disasters all over and is now concentrating efforts in its hometown, as it is based in Nashville. I'm familiar with their work through my church.
http://www.disasterreliefeffort.org. There are many good organizations and opportunities to help.

This has just hurt my heart and as DJ said, this story is being given short shrift behind the NY bomb story and the oil spill. My best source of information through this has been twitter!

chamilton said...

Hello all,
Risa, I haven't had time to make friends with my facebook yet but it is on my ever growing to do list. I knew you would all be here so... Update. We made it to Washington and must have brought the bad weather with us because it has been cold even for here. Our stuff should be here on Sat. hopefully and I will be glad to see it. I have found out that I could never be a rock star. Besides having no talent, I hate living in hotels and having to eat out all the time. Crazy huh. So far everything is going pretty well just looking foward to getting a routine and getting the kids settled. So, all that said, it is really beautiful here and if you have to live in a hotel it is good to be on the sound and surrounded by mountains and water. So take care all and I am thankful that everybody is safe there in Nashville and the south. Take care all and I'll try to get the hang of the facebook thing soon.

Candy

DJ in AL said...

Candy, dude!!!!!! I've missed you girl! Glad you are safe and sound and it's beautiful there, that's an upside right?

Get your FB going and I'll find you over there.

I owe you a phone call....take care friend, more later!

Hischild said...

Candy,
I hadn't heard you were moving. Big change from OK, huh?
Hope you get settled soon and start LOVIN' it there.

Facebook is SUPER simple. Takes a minute to sign up and is very easy to figure out. Looking forward to seeing you there soon. :o)

~clearsa

Hischild said...

National Day of Prayer today. I feel like never before has there been SO much to pray about as far as our nation is concerned.
We are in great need. May this nation realize it's DEpendence upon God like never before.

Cathy Storms said...

Candy..so good to hear from you. Glad your safe

risalea said...

Candy, good to hear from you! Praying for a smooth and easy settling into your new home for you and the fam! It meant so much to me that you took the time to come to AR right before your move. Yes, you must get the FB thing going and post some pics for us.

I see Anderson Cooper is having Brad Paisley on AC 360 tonight on CNN to highlight the Nashville disaster. Finally! Truly, the lack of coverage has been a travesty.

Chris, saw where Phil tweeted his roof was ruined and he had water damage upstairs in his house. Have you done a roof examine on yours? Don't know if you had hail with your rains, but it does a number on your roof...all of Sherwood, literally, qualified for a new roof through the various insurances cos. after a hailstorm we had last summer.

OK, got to get work paperwork in the mail. Y'all be safe out there!

carmen said...

Happy Mother's Day to all the blogger girls!

DJ in AL said...

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms of the Fro Patro! Enjoy your day!

Kim V. said...

I hope all you moms have a wonderful and blessed day today.
Kim

Mavie Anne said...

The point that got me in this was "we should treat fallen Christians as non-believers." I never thought of it this way, but I believe you have an interesting point. Sin is sin, we all have it. It's not for us to judge the sin. It's our job to love the sinner, pray for them, and let God do what he does best... restore.

gdahimself said...

"we should treat fallen Christians as non-believers." Sounds like good way of shutting out people who could be re-educated by those who aren't quite as soiled.

"We're all messed up. As believers, we're dirty and broken and ugly and trashy and nasty...yet God loved us first."

Bethany and Isaac said...

Hi, Chris! How I found your blog is a semi-long story, so I'll skip it. BUT. This post is beautiful. This is exactly my thoughts on the issue. Praise God for His amazing grace. You should look up "A 21st Century Parable" by Alan Chambers in his book God's Grace and the Homosexual Next Door. It really helps people understand.

Totally OT: the chorus of your new song, "Only You Can Save", sounds so much like Jordin Sparks's "Battlefield". Did your AI season make a pact to all make similar-sounding songs? ;o) Good thing I love both songs! =o)

Oh, and congrats on the baby! My husband and I just brought home our 2-year-old son from Ethiopia. Kids rock. =o)

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