Thoughts on Jennifer Knapp’s Interview

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There has been a lot going on in my heart since I read Christianity Today’s interview with Jennifer Knapp. I have felt sadness, compassion, anger, confusion, and disappointment. One thing that I can’t escape thinking about is a question that Matt Chandler asks in a lot of his interviews and sermons: “Where is the fight against sin?”

I think we often forget that we’re in a battle against our own flesh. Not just the world and culture, but the sinful lusts and desires that rage within us. Francis Chan has also spoken lately about the “middle road” that so many Christians have created, neglecting to follow the narrow road of Christ… “If I can just follow some of Jesus’ words, then I can do whatever else I want…”

As followers who love the Lord, we’re called to follow even the HARD words of Jesus like denying self and getting rid of the sin and filth within us (James 1:21). We can’t lie and say that his words are easy, and we don’t have the right to pick and choose what we want to follow.

Will we struggle with sin? As long as we’re breathing we will, but our desire won’t be to live in that sin as a continuing lifestyle void of confession, repentance, or “struggling well.”

There is so much to Jennifer’s story than I will ever know or need to know, but from what I do know that I did not see in her interview with Christianity Today, is a fight against that sin. There was an acceptance of it. And that makes me sad. I want to see her make war with it.

So I guess my next response in all this is to look in the mirror and make sure I’m really engaged in the daily battle against my flesh.

Did you read the article? What are your thoughts on the recent news?

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  • http://www.brandyreneebruce.wordpress.com Brandy Bruce

    Sam–I think “sad” is a good way to describe how I feel about it, too.

  • http://samanthakrieger.wordpress.com/ samanthakrieger

    Definitely. I have a few friends who said they have pretty heavy hearts as well.

  • Abby

    I’m feeling a couple of things, and I’m bummed to report neither of them is sadness right now. I feel both betrayed and then simply frustrated. Music has a huge impact on me and hers has always just really connected deeply with me. I’ve even used one of her songs to pretty much sum up myself when giving my life story. To know that she no longer sees the same truth in her songs that I’ve always found makes me feel abandoned in them. Though I’m glad that the truth remains the same, it feels tainted now that she has decided to alter its meaning.

    I also feel really frustrated because she is living out our generation’s approach to Christianity by picking and choosing the truths she wants to believe, making her faith conform to the life she wants to lead, and defending herself by calling me judgmental. She’s more interested in expressing herself in her faith than letting her faith define who she is, and it’s just so frustrating that this is now how we young folk live out our Christianity – no conviction, no repentance, and like you said no battle with sin.

    Ok, nevermind, I am sad.

  • http://milefromthebeach.wordpress.com Andy

    Abby, you’ve got a good point about picking and choosing the truths – but sad to say, it’s not just limited to your generation. It’s a battle I see in Gen X, in the Boomers, and in many seniors where most of their lives are behind them. Whether it’s Knapp’s situation, or our own inability to see the logs in our own eyes, our selfish nature leads us to pick and choose.

    We want God to conform to us, not the other way around.

    And we exhibit how little faith we really have. So it’s my prayer that each of us surrenders to His Will daily.

  • http://samanthakrieger.wordpress.com/ samanthakrieger

    Abby- thanks for sharing your heart. I had never bought any of her CD’s or was really that close to her music, but I have friends that were and are now devastated. I totally understand where you can feel “abandoned” in those songs. I absolutely adore Chris Tomlin and Laura Story both as musicians. Their music has spoken to me so much on a deeper level.

    I have felt the same way about our generation and I think Andy brings up a good point that it’s every generation. The real deal is the matter of the heart and our stinkin’ selfish nature. But I do also believe that churches (more and more pastors) are backing away from a gospel-centered message so with that comes no talk about sin or repentance and that is really sad too. I respect the Matt Chandler’s out there who speak the truth.

    Andy- do you mind sharing more about what you mean, “We want God to conform to us, not the other way around.” Would love to just hear more into that. It’s my prayer too that all of us would surrender to His will and fight our flesh with HIS strength.

    • http://milefromthebeach.wordpress.com Andy

      Samantha, I think we try to make God into our own image, and “humanize” him in a way that reduces Him to be less than the God that He really is. We want God to do our bidding, not the other way around. We believe in God – but only to a point that makes us comfortable. We choose to live the way we want to live, and call upon God only when things don’t seem to work out, then get mad when He doesn’t do what we think He should do.

      We really should be doing His Will, surrendering control to Him, but instead we do our will and try to control God.

      And we know what usually occurs then!!

      • http://samanthakrieger.wordpress.com/ samanthakrieger

        Yes and somehow he gets us back to His will, even if it’s the hard way.

        I think that was said perfectly. Thanks for unfolding it more.

    • http://chrystalf.wordpress.com Chrystal

      That statement of Andy’s impacted me as well. Wow!

  • http://thegoodservant.wordpress.com thegoodservant

    Hi Samantha,
    Pardon my intrusion. I’m new to WordPress and to your blog but I wanted to tell you what a blessing it is to stumble upon this site! Sometimes I can feel like the Lone Ranger when it comes to being a Christian. It is indeed comforting to know other young women and men are taking their walk with Christ serious. It gives me such hope for all of my children. The subject of this post is all too common in our church culture these days. Sadly we’ve allowed sin to take us farther than we want to go, keep us longer than we want to stay and it is costing more than we want to pay. Again, thank you for this blog. I will be a regular visitor from now on. With your permission, I’d like to add your site to my blogroll.
    Kindest Wishes

    • http://samanthakrieger.wordpress.com/ samanthakrieger

      Hi Dean (I found your name on your blog). No intrusion here. Thanks for your encouragement. I’ve been excited that we’re all a community on here. I hope you’ll find some other great people as well and be encouraged that you are definitely not alone.

      Go ahead and add the site to your roll.

      Thanks again.

  • http://www.kochlifeeveryday.blogspot.com Megan

    i feel like i have emailed you before, but i can’t find your address! so you got a new camera (i see via your sidebar tweets)? what’s the scoop? :)

  • http://martyrpriest.com sgrusendorf

    Hey Samantha,

    Wow, I had not heard about Jennifer’s decision. This is certainly tough, but not unprecedented. More and more Christians are doing exactly what Andy spoke of. It’s a shame. I think one of the key reasons that this is so is because there is a mortal fear in many Christians of being wrong. The thought goes like this: “what if I am wrong about the whole homosexuality thing, I better just let it slide”. This of course is a symptom of post-modernism. Where there is no central truth, only my version of it. But deeper is the fact that many of us have a hard time exercising faith. Faith is not just belief in an invisible God but it is also the practice of visible attributes. For so many Christians faith is taking a stand on what the Bible clearly teaches no matter the consequences. It doesn’t mean we need to crucify others who struggle, but it does mean we call a spade a spade. We must start putting our faith on display by asserting the truth of God’s Word with humility in an effort to accomplish the task that Christ gave His followers: seeking and saving the lost. If the one who is lost is never told there lost how can they find the way? Isn’t this what it really all about?

    My prayer for Jennifer is that she would stop assigning the conviction of God the title of “judgment of Christians” and that she would find her way back to the loving Father. Her current music reveals to us a hurting and hungry heart. May she find the true peace as only God can give.

    For those of you who are big fans of Jennifer my encouragement to you is don’t stop. Apparently she does not have it all together, but pray for her. If she is a child of God, then she is wayward and needs all the prayer she can get. If she is still seeking God her music certainly tells you where she is in the searching process. Either way as her fan you can be the light she needs to find the way home.

  • http://samanthakrieger.wordpress.com/ samanthakrieger

    Great thoughts Steve. I appreciate you articulating that so well. Agree with you completely.

  • Jeremiah Krieger

    Great conversation guys. It is an encouragement to walk in humility, confess struggles, and pray for each other. We all battle together. I still like Jennifer and her music, and if I knew her she would know that my heart grieves for her decision. She is missing out on God’s best for her life- and so often we all give up the feast on the table for the scraps that fall beneath. Pray for Jennifer. There is a seat at the table open for her, and it would be wonderful to see her enjoy the feast of God’s goodness by living according to his truth as it relates to how people are intended to relate to one another.