[Image: © Nicholas Dawkes Photography 2014]
There are no easy answers sometimes. Our fallen world twists things up into knots so tight that only the return of Jesus will untangle the mess. It’s little wonder that early Christians used the word “maranatha” (come, Lord) as a greeting. And with all that mess, we’re left with some tough choices as followers of Jesus.
Today, those tough choices revolve around the announcement by yet another Christian music star of a secret double life. This time, it’s singer/songwriter Vicky Beeching, who told The Independent that she has had same-sex attraction since she was 13:
“I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people.”
If you’ve followed Beeching’s career and comments, this should come as no surprise. The artist-turned-TV-commentator recently expressed her support for gay marriage, and her blog has featured messages about Christians needing to “understand the context” of what Scripture says about homosexuality. (That’s almost always code for “read it how I wish it to be.”)
The problem with Beeching’s comments, though, is that she, like so many others, has placed her identity above God and His commands. We’re born with a sin nature that bends us away from God (Romans 3:9–18), and we cannot please God without being reborn with a new nature (Romans 8:8; John 3:3). If we embrace our fallen condition and promote the effects of it (e.g., same-sex attraction), we’re idolizing ourselves. We’re saying that our sinfulness is more important than our obedience to God.
Sam Allberry, a pastor who has long suffered the impact of the Curse in his own same-sex attraction, realizes that Christ is greater than our struggles. The difference between him and Beeching is in his willful surrender:
“Yet this is not to say that it is not possible to be a Christian and experience homosexual feelings. We should expect a number of Christians to experience forms of same-sex attraction. We live in a fallen world. Creation has been subjected to frustration (Rom. 8:20), and so there is sickness and disorder. Christians succumb to the ravages of this fallen order as much as anyone. It is not unchristian to experience same-sex attraction any more than it is unchristian to get sick. What marks us out as Christian is not that we never experience such things, but how we respond to them when we do.”
In other words, we’re all sinners, but we must not elevate our desire to sin above our submission to God.
So, that brings us to an important question. Many of Beeching’s songs show up on the top 100 songs that Christians sing in worship, including her biggest hit, “Glory to God Forever.” In fact, you’ve probably sung it in your church:
Before the world was made
Before You spoke it to be
You were the King of kings
Yeah, You were, yeah, You were
And now You're reigning still
Enthroned above all things
Angels and saints cry out
We join them as we sing
Glory to God, glory to God
Glory to God, forever
Glory to God, glory to God
Glory to God, forever, yeah
We could align almost every line with Scripture, and there’s nothing in there that would cause us to reconsider the meaning now that we know her lifestyle. Also, expecting any Christian artist to live a perfect life before singing their music would leave us with a pretty bare collection of songs.
On the other hand, singing Beeching’s songs when we know she’s committed to teaching biblical error would support her in her efforts. Her songs net her profits. Her profits net her record deals. Her deals allow her to reach farther. If our goal is to see her repent and turn from her error (as it should be), supporting her seems like an odd way of doing so.
So, we’ll open the floor to you on this difficult question. Do you think churches should continue singing Beeching’s songs?