Generally speaking, I tend to not engage about current events and controversies on my page. I tend to stick to the wisdom of the Scriptures and avoid the fray, because Titus 3:9. Today, I am going to dip my toes in the conversation pool. A different perspective needs to be addressed.
In case you have been under a rock, here is a brief timeline of events: Lauren Daigle rises as a Christian artist with crossover merit. As she gets more accolades, so come more opportunities. Daigle performs on the Ellen Show, which comes with accolades and criticism. Accolades acknowledge the opportunity Daigle had to give a glimpse of the Gospel to a huge audience. Criticism was the choice to perform on a show hosted by a Lesbian. All of which culminated in what everyone could see coming down the pipe… someone was going to out right ask Daigle to draw the line in the sand. Does she believe homosexuality is a sin or not?
I really don’t believe that there was anyone who didn’t think that this question was going to come up in an interview. We have enough experience by this point to know that it was bound to happen. I, for one, was caught off guard by how it happened. My expectation was that the question was going to show up in a secular interview. After all, is that not what we tell ourselves to expect of “the world”? The world is going to try and trip us up, discredit us, diminish us, shut us up, and shut us down so that we can not share the Gospel. That nefarious world, the world we are told to be nothing like.
And, yet, it was not the world that struck the first blow at Ms. Daigle. In an interview, with a fellow Christian, is where she was asked to draw the line in the sand and make a definitive statement. Daigle didn’t need to fear the world, the trap was set among her own family of believers.
Yes, I said it. It was a trap. In the majority of conversations regarding Daigle’s answer is a missing element of accountability. Who is holding the interviewer accountable for putting her in that position in the first place?
The interviewer framed the question with a caveat that interviews are ended with a controversial question. This means that the interviewer knew, before the question was even asked, that it was going to stir up trouble for Daigle. Those very words betray the heart of the interviewer. From the beginning, the interviewer had every intention of creating drama, stirring up controversy, and creating trouble for Daigle.
There was no single answer that she could have given that didn’t have a consequence. If Daigle said firmly that she believed homosexuality was sin, it would probably secure her with her conservative audience that criticized her performance on Ellen. It also would have alienated those whom she was trying to reach, as they would turn a deaf ear to her music. On the other side of the coin, if Daigle said with conviction that she did not believe homosexuality was sin, it would have cost her even more criticism among her conservative critics, and had a major impact on her career. Just look at what happened to author Jen Hatmaker after her affirming statements. There is a third option, which is to say nothing. At which point Daigle still would have been criticized for not making declaration one way or the other. She could not answer this question unscathed.
Daigle was asked a question that was a trap.
Now, you may be pumping the breaks and feel like throwing scripture at me (just as people have done to/about Daigle) related to speaking hard truths, not being lukewarm, or watering down the Scripture in order to appease people.
I would ask you to simple open your Bible and take a look at how Jesus would answer questions. Jesus was Truth. He spoke truth. He didn’t mince words. He called a spade a spade. If we are to be like Jesus, then so should we. Right?
Jesus was also incredibly wise and discerning. When Jesus encountered a person with less than pure intentions, asking questions in order to trap Him… Jesus didn’t fall for it. Who were the ones who liked to ask trap questions? Not the world. Not the multitudes. The religious leaders. They would come and listen to his teachings, then ask him questions in order to make Jesus stumble. To discredit Him.
When the Pharisees and Saducees would ask Jesus a trap question, He didn’t answer. In fact, His response was to answer their question with a question. Examples: Matt 15:1-3, Luke 20:1-4, Mark 12:14-17, etc.
If we are to be like Jesus, and answer questions like this as Jesus would:
- We must be wise enough to recognize a trap question when we hear it.
- We must be wise enough to know how to answer (or not answer) the question.
In Mark 12:14-17, we are told directly that Jesus recognized what they were up to, outright asking the leaders why they were trying to trap him. He didn’t fall into their trap.
In her interview, I believe Daigle recognized that she was being asked a trap question. There was no answer that was not going to stir up controversy. She answered the best she could, in a way that pointed listeners to the Scriptures to read it for themselves. Could she have worded it better, probably. For a young woman, starting the rise to fame, she was very wise to not stumble in to the pit a fellow believer set before her.
Jesus wouldn’t have fallen for it either.
Before we prosecute Daigle for her answer (or non-answer), perhaps we should also be discussing why she was asked that question in the first place? What kind of accountability falls on the shoulders of the interviewer to put her in that position? What was their intention behind asking the question? What was the expected gain? Should any of us set out in conversation, interviews, or blog posts with a heart of discrediting or maligning the heart/faith of another believer? For what ends/purpose?
The truth is, we don’t need to worry about the world trying to discount us, discredit us, or destroy us… when we seem to be doing a good enough job of it within our own ranks.