Can You Cast The First Stone?
It never seems to fail that the world of Gospel music is regularly plagued with an issue that just will not die. For the last ten years, there's been a seemingly endless saga between contemporary and traditional gospel music. Though we as a community have appeared to have dealt with this issue, there is a far darker cloud that hovers over our industry. This issue has been recurrent throughout the century and is rarely addressed. However, we felt the need to tackle the issue and, prayerfully, start on the road to healing. The issue? The presence of homosexuality within gospel music.
Recently, there has been a plethora of discussions and conversations regarding this issue on the GospelFlava.com message board. Many believe that this genre is filled with artists who live this homosexual lifestyle. These same readers believe that their lifestyle makes their respective ministries ineffective. While it is not my job to investigate the lifestyle of gospel artists, I can address this belief.
It is safe and accurate to state that the Bible does not support the homosexual lifestyle, for the Bible clearly states, "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination." [Leviticus 18:22 NKJV] It is also safe to say that to achieve the maximum use by God, one should live a sin-free life. However, homosexuality can pollute your ministry just as any other sin can. For one to say that the ministry of a homosexual is less effective than one of a liar is indeed inaccurate. The Bible also clearly declares that, "...knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death..."[Romans 1:32 NKJV] In the verses immediately prior to this, a number of sinful offenses are cited. The reality is that all sin can pollute your vessel.
The other reality is that we all, at some point, have sinned. The Bible lets us know that. Sometimes, we, as saints of God, feel that we no longer have the capacity to sin and we've yet to receive our glorified body. However, the Bible tells us, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.…If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us." [1 John 1:8, 10 NKJV] We have to be careful that we don't fall into the judgmental category of the Pharisees and Saducees. We cannot afford to be self-righteous and self-serving. For many of us, we sit on our seats of complacency and arrogance merely because we have not yet been exposed. However, should we continue in our detrimental lifestyles, we too will meet a less than favorable state.
However, God, in His infinite wisdom and grace, has provided a way of escape for us. He has been thoughtful and gracious by offering the power of His forgiveness to us. The Word says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." [1 John 1:9 NKJV] God is willing to forgive and restore His people. We, as a body of believers, are also called to do the same. The Bible tells us, "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you are tempted." [Galatians 6:1 NKJV]
The body of Christ has a job to do. Those who we may see or even hear of being caught in a sinful act, we have a responsibility to forgive and restore them. Chat sessions and gossip time about an artist's hang-ups should be done away with. We must remember that artists deal with the same temptations and situations as the everyday Christian. We need to spend more time praying for our artists instead of criticizing them.
The reality check for the church is this….business as usual must change. In order for us to seize the moment and be effective in 1999 and beyond, we must realize that we are nothing without Christ and His Spirit. When we become self-righteous and independent, we lose sight of God and His plan for us. This makes us vulnerable to the move of the enemy. If there are artists who are homosexuals or living any other sinful lifestyle, God has the power to change you and make you more effective for Him. As Christians, we should strive to live a life that is pleasing to God so that He can get the maximum use of us for His service.
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