It is now one week since the controversy erupted over the tweets of Dan Haseltine, the lead singer of Jars of Clay, regarding same-sex “marriage.”
Since then, Dan has issued an apology for his poorly worded statements, for his lack of wisdom in raising such critical issues on Twitter, and for dragging the rest of the band into the controversy, while some radio stations have pulled Jars of Clay music and the internet has been abuzz with the story.
In fact, to illustrate just how much coverage the story has received, my own article entitled “The Shattering of Jars of Clay” was shared (not simply read) more than 187,000 times, including more than 177,000 shares on Facebook alone. This is completely off the charts.
I only learned about Dan’s tweets after some gay activist websites began posting articles with headlines proclaiming things like, “Frontman for Christian Band Jars of Clay Speaks Out for Marriage Equality."
Some of these websites are militantly opposed to evangelical Christian beliefs, frequently mocking our faith and labeling us “anti-gay crackpots” or “anti-gay monsters” (to cite those descriptions that are not mixed with vulgarity). Yet it was sites like these that were celebrating Dan’s remarks and then lamenting his subsequent apology.
That’s why I reached out to Dan and Jars of Clay directly via Twitter, asking them to post a simple, clear statement affirming their unequivocal support for marriage as intended and ordained by God (which can only be the union of a man and a woman) and their recognition that homosexual practice is always sinful in God’s sight, also affirming His deep love for every human being, which includes the fact that Jesus shed His blood for heterosexual and homosexual alike.
Is this too much to ask?
Within two days of World’s Vision’s disastrous move in March in support of homosexual “marriage,” they issued a comprehensive apology, reiterating important biblical truths and reversing their decision. And while that alone did not mean that full trust was restored, it did mean that this massive social relief organization recognized that it had betrayed much of its constituency and recognized the seriousness of the matter.
Cannot Jars of Clay do something similar? With so many people looking to them, with such a blessed platform given to them by the Lord, and with so many believers richly ministered to by their music all these years, can’t they just affirm the most basic aspects of marriage, sexual purity and morality? Wouldn’t this be a great proof of the depth of Dan’s apology? And wouldn’t this allow them to get on with their calling without distraction?
Just because left-wing “evangelicals” and liberal Christians claim the issues are not that simple doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to be partners to this deception and error.
In 10 years’ time or 10,000 years’ time, two men or two women joining together will never be a marriage in God’s sight, nor will their sexual union ever be blessed by Him.
Why not state the obvious to remove the specter of doubt that is hanging over Jars of Clay right now?
This can be done with compassion and with a heart to reach out to all those who identify as LGBT, since God’s ways are best for all. (For my free online lectures addressing these subjects, go here and here. To watch a free, online, civil debate between a gay activist, who professes to be a born-again Christian, and me, go here. For those wanting to invest in a full-length study, my new book is highly relevant.)
A woman from West Africa name Caren posted a comment on my website, copying the comments she had previously posted on the Jars of Clay blog. I believe she has articulated the real, deeper issues, and so I reprint her letter here in full. It deserves to be shouted from the rooftops.
“I believe that the battle for marriage equality is not the problem, but the symptom of a much greater issue. It is the uninformed and on-going debates over scripture, the lack of holiness, the considerable compromise of trying to follow Jesus and the world’s ways. It is the overwhelming need for people to satisfy their every desire, follow ever whim, quench every urge and appetite and having the monetary means to do it. Our world is not a world of Godly reverence and submission but of sensual pursuits and intellectual conquests. God is still God and it is by His mercy and grace that we can come before Him and call Him, Father. Where is the fear of the Lord?
“My prayer for you, as a believer that is called to reach so many, is that your heart be enlightened and filled with the truth of God’s word. That you experience true and lasting spiritual revival in Christ. I pray that your heart will burn with the power of God’s love to reach, nurture, and transform lives that are lost and in sin to ones that are free in Him. It is in Christ that we are free, it is in total surrender to Him whatever the costs. My prayer is that you seek Him to ask your questions, in your quiet place, on the floor, on your face in true hunger for more of what only Jesus gives. My prayer is that you spend more time in prayer, than in song. My prayer is that you spend more time in the Bible than on the Internet. My prayer is that you make your calling and election sure.
“I live in West Africa where many Christians are losing their lives for the faith, where infants are starved to death because their family believes they have a curse on their lives, where women who lose their husbands often have only prostitution or destitution as their means for a future. Through it all God is present to meet the needs of those that call on His name…. I have seen the blind see, the sick healed, and the demonized delivered! It is the poor in spirit that inherit the Kingdom!
“The world is not our home and we are not called to follow in it. We are called to preach the gospel, make disciples of all people, lay hands on the sick and watch them recover and cast out demons….that is our calling!
“May He say to you….the great day when we all will stand before Him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful son!’
“Blessings and Peace!”
Dan and Jars of Clay, we are praying for you to honor the Lord, to honor the blood of Jesus, to honor His Word, to honor the beauty of holiness, to honor the sanctity of marriage, and to your honor your many thousands of listeners by standing up for what is right in His sight without ambiguity, equivocation or apology.
The Lord will support you if you do (2 Chr. 16:9), and none of us can live without His support.
Michael Brown is author of Can You Be Gay and Christian? Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or at @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.