Another Lauren Daigle article? Yep. We have so much to learn from this.
It's really simple. Lauren Daigle was attempting to live in peace with all men without pursuing holiness. She is to be commended for seeking to reach out with love to her audience and show hosts (Only God knows her true heart's motives, but I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt), but with so much pressure to conform and please man, she fell short of presenting clear truth.
"Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14, AMPC).
Here are the arguments the love advocates are making on Lauren's behalf:
- Stop being a hypocrite and get the plank out of your own eye.
- Stop identifying her sin and identify your own of not loving the poor, the widows and the orphans.
- Stop condemning her because you've never been in her shoes.
- Stop treating your brothers and sisters like this.
- We are not called to identify people's sin but to be salt and light.
Here are the arguments the truth advocates are making:
- Sin is sin, hell is hot and homosexuality is an abomination in the sight of God. She needed to say that.
- She claims to be a Christian singer who wrote all those songs, and has fellowship with other Christians in church, but then says she doesn't know what the Bible says about homosexuality? Hmmm ...
- Lauren bowed down to the world and the fear of man in a cowardly way. She should have stood for truth and righteousness.
- What was she even doing on Ellen DeGeneres' show? She should never have been doing an interview with one who is in that lifestyle.
- She ashamedly denied Christ and His Word.
The Combination of Love and Truth
Christians are clearly divided over Lauren Daigle's words and actions. Some are calling for love. Others are calling for truth. What we need to see and understand is that both are right. Our constant squabbling and rhetoric are useless and unproductive. It divides us and makes us look foolish to the world.
Love spoken in truth is the combination of wisdom that we need. Compassion blended with conviction is the most effective way to present the gospel. Mercy and might will make things right.
Lauren Daigle fell short of finding this combination, so she lied. Yes, it is shameful, cowardly and grievous, but could you have done more? Considering the limelight, the platform and the large audience she was speaking to, considering the pressure she was under to want to say the right thing and not be misunderstood or misinterpreted, are you sure you could have done better? Do you know the terms of the agreement she probably had to sign to even be interviewed? This does not excuse her failure to clearly present truth, but before passing judgment on someone, we are to consider ourselves lest we also be tempted, and we judge unrighteously (Matt. 7:1-2, John 7:24, Gal. 6:1).
The Bigger Issue
This incident, however, speaks to a larger and much deeper issue within the church today. What about Lauren Daigle? What if she was your daughter or wife? The biting and critical response of many Christians to Lauren's interview could affect her negatively for the rest of her life. Here's what an older friend of mine had to say:
"I have never heard of her before, but this is clearly a media attempt to get a 27- year-old Christian woman to make a comment on a very socially sensitive subject. Whatever her answer was, she would have been fried. For a 27-year- old, knowing the heart and wisdom of God would be near impossible and would depend greatly upon the teachers and mentors she has had. She should not have been exposed to the media feeding frenzy that could embitter her and cause her regret for the rest of her career."
"Therefore, everything you would like men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets" (Matt. 7:12).
If we just obeyed that one verse, it would solve at least 90 percent of our squabbles and rid the church of 90 percent of its strife. Let us do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
Lauren was clearly unprepared for her interview and for the platform she enjoys. Who is responsible to prepare her? Is it not the Ephesians 4:11 ministry gifts and the shepherds of our local churches? And what does this say about the lack of true Christian mentors in much of the Christian music industry?
This brings me to another great point made by another friend:
"I think this is more the fault of the Christian music industry machine. I think that Christian artists need to be vetted personally and songs should be assessed theologically before they put this stuff out there. These artists have greater influence than preachers in 'sentiment,' theology, and reach. So they need to meet that higher standard. I can tell you that there are many wildly popular Christian artists who sing songs that contain many false ideas about God. What does that say about them? They need strong spiritual mentoring, teaching and coaching."
In a way, Lauren Daigle is the poster child of what modern preachers, churches and the Christian music industry have become.
Not many pastors are educating and equipping their people thoroughly in social issues and true morality, and teaching them to always be ready to give a defense of the hope that is within them. Notice how we are to do this.
Sanctify the Lord in Your Heart
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. Always be ready to give an answer to every man who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, with gentleness and fear: (1 Pet. 3:15).
We are to do this "with gentleness and fear." The New American Standard Bible says, "with gentleness and reverence".
What if Lauren Daigle was so prayed up and filled with God that she began to weep as she told her audience of the dangers of sin, including homosexuality? Do you think many more people in the world would be touched in a godly, positive way? Do you think Christians would be bickering so much over this interview and what she said or didn't say?
And what if we demonstrated the same broken and caring attitude toward Lauren?
Too many Christians are advocating for love while watering down the truth, while others are calling for straightforward truth without a proper attitude of love.
Much of the time, combining love and truth has to do with our approach, our gestures and disposition—our hearts and attitudes. The stronger the truth and the harder the message, the more broken the vessel needs to be that it is being spoken through. Excessive zeal for truth without love shining through a broken vessel is abrasive. It's like fingernails scratching a chalkboard.
What is emanating from us when we speak? The bigger issue is not so much our words, but what spirit is transmitted through our words? That's a big part of what it means to sanctify the Lord in our hearts.
And this is what the American church needs to learn to do.
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, has authored several books with an emphasis on helping to restore the true spirit of Christianity in the Church today, including his latest book, Passing on The Move of God to The Next Generation. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook and @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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