Calvary Church

4216 West 204th St, Matteson, IL – 708-481-8300
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    jennifer

      Jennifer Knapp has been one of my favorite Christian singer/songwriters for a number of years, although she has taken a long leave of absence from the Christian music scene.  From her CD, Kansas: 

    I come into this place,
    burning to receive Your peace      
    I come with my own chains
    from wars I’ve fought
    for my own selfish gain        
    Your my God and my Father
    I’ve accepted Your Son  
    But my soul feels so empty now 
    What have I become?

    Lord come with Your fire
    Burn my desires, refine me      
    Lord, my will has deceived me
    Please come and free me, refine me            

    My heart can’t see,
    When I only look at me   
    My soul can’t hear
    When I only think
    of my own fears         
    They are gone in a moment
    You’re forever the same   
    Why did I look away from You?
    How can I speak Your name?

     Lord, come with Your fire
    Burn my desires, refine me      
    Lord, my will has deceived me
    Please come and free me
    Come rescue this child
    For I long to be reconciled to you

    It’s all I can do,
    to give my heart and soul to you
    and pray, and pray, oh I will pray    

    Lord, come with Your fire
    Burn my desires, refine me      
    Lord, my will has deceived me
    Please come and free me
    Come rescue this child
    For I long to be reconciled to you
    Refine me, refine me     

     (Refine Me, Jennifer Knapp, c. 1997 Gotee Music/West Hudson Music – BMI)

     Recently, Jennifer has decided to get back into the music scene, but has also let people know that she is a lesbian.  

    Knapp is very clear that she is not marketing herself as a Christian artist, a term with which she said she has never been comfortable. She’s no longer on a Christian-based record label, and her new album of folksy rock songs is described as being about “inner-conflicts, spirituality and life lessons.”  (http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Music/04/16/jennifer.knapp.gay/index.html)

    I end up here feeling very sad for Ms. Knapp, that she has fallen into a lifestyle which is contrary to God’s Word.  (That was PC for “sin”.)  I am disappointed that ability to reach folks musically within a Christian context is on an indefinite hold.  I wonder if I will buy her new CD.

    I anticipate that the “God hates fags!” force will attend some of her concerts now, just to heckle her in the name of the Jesus that they define.  The press will run some segments on how evil the Christian community is toward those who have “come out.”

    I am not disappointed in Jennifer, though.  She fully understands that her choice has consequences and she seems able to accept them without attacking those who feel that they must write her off.  A appreciate her honesty in her confession, and that she withdrew from the scene when she was struggling with a lot of issues in her life.

    I hope that all of us who have treasured the music from her former career will pray a lot for her, and her partner, that they will be brought, through the grace of Jesus Christ, into the kind of ‘lifestyle” that they were designed for.  I hope that we, in full obedience to Galatians 6, seek to gather around her that she might be restored, rather than declared to be ‘unclean.’

    David fell deeply into sin in the matter of Bathsheba.  He had her righteous husband, Uriah, one of the Mighty Men, killed off even though he had been with David in the early days, as they ran from Saul in the wilderness.  David became a murderer, an adulterer and a deceiver, even bringing others into his sins.  Even though David fell to such a despicable level, no one has tried to throw out the Psalms he wrote, even though his sins were “worse” than Ms. Knapps. 

    I wonder how many preachers have preached their best sermons while in the middle of “non-Biblical lifestyle choices” of all sorts.  If the books were opened about any of us, which of us would dare to boast of our worthiness to speak of Christ.  We must be very careful to be as gentle with those whose sin is known as we desire to be dealt with ourselves for those sins which have not been brought to light.  I fear that this is not the track record of the Church in general.

    I think that the norm is that those who confess “big” sins are shunned for life, while Scripture speaks of restoring them, being careful that we ourselves are not caught up in the same temptation.  We too often desire to see the sinner punished for their sin, while we understand theologically that the punishment for all sin was laid upon Christ.  Maybe it makes us feel a little more righteous about ourselves to do this.  Perhaps we are just relieved that the light of scrutiny is occupied with others for the time being.

    If we are to be like Jesus, then we are required to hang out with all manner of “sinner” that they might see the evidence of Christ in us.  Jesus did this as a lifestyle, not that he affirmed sin in the least.  He just wasn’t grossed out by the sins of the folks that he came to die for.  The “sinners” were already fully aware that they did not meet the standard, and that they needed Jesus to have any hope of meeting it at all.  He accepted them, without condoning their sin, but rather calling them from it to himself.

    I saw Jennifer in concert some years ago and she was awesome, although she did not seem comfortable in front of the crowd.  He music was written out of the struggle that we are all in all of the time.  I am glad that she shared her heart and will pray that she returns fully and completely to a Christian context.  I would love to sit down with her and hear her story.  Perhaps it will be on the new CD.

    Lord come with Your fire
    Burn my desires, refine me      
    Lord, my will has deceived me
    Please come and free me, refine me

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