Dissent of the day

From regular reader Joe, who takes issue with my link to Jennifer Knapp’s Christianity Today interview:

If there is anyone, anywhere, claiming to be a “Christian,” who “comes out” and declares this sinful lifestyle publicly and proudly, you will probably read it here first.

So let me get this as straight as I possibly can: This woman came out a week ago on probably the most popular Christian periodical online, yet my link to a week-old story that’s gained widespread attention all over the interwebs – including on blogs with a focus much further afield from CCM than Avery’s – proves I’m out to throw the gay in your face and thereby advance the homahsexshul agenda’s master plan for world domination by one insy teensy step (Infiltrating southern gospel blog hyperlinks? Check). Royght. I mean, I don’t think you’re even allowed to join The Homosexual Agenda, much less undertake highly specialized psyops like this, if you listen to southern gospel music. Tres, tres gauche.

Back on planet earth, if this same link about Knapp had appeared the same day on other sg sites a few doors down and had framed the presentation of Knapp’s coming out in more condemnatory terms that accord with the commenters’ own beliefs and values, the blog and the blogger would have been praised for being vigilant against the coming night of sin’s darkness on earth.

Ah, solipsism. Not only does it give Avery readers Joe’s brand of xray vision; it also evidently allows them to read minds too.

Remember, dahlinks: Sometimes a link is just a link. And just because this blog may be the gayest in southern gospel doesn’t mean it’s a gay blog (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).

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  1. Joe wrote:

    Doug-thanks, I think, for the publicity, but I’m really not after that. I think you missed my point entirely. I was not saying AVFL was the one to first broadcast this sorry news…But rather (I guess), the first to broadcast it to SGM fans.

    My second point intended was that if there is ANY “coming out” in this manner that in ANY way remotely possible can be used to further YOUR agenda on your blog, we will be certain to read it. Here.

    And that brings us back to the incredible paradox that is AVFL. The ‘G’ in SGM stands for gospel. Wanted to make sure you knew that. The gospel is “Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures. He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”

    Those positively affected by the gospel for time and for eternity renounce, forsake, and shun the sins of their past, whatever they may be. A true Christian is a new creation.

    And yet, here, publicly, and championed by yourself (and you are free to do and say on here whatever you wish- it IS your site…), is the homosexual lifestyle. This “coming out” represented one more chance for you to link this lifestyle with Christian music, and once again, there it was for us to read. Again. And again. And again.

    The paradox? The gospel washes sins away, and changes a person forever. It does not give them license to live any life of sin they so choose.

    And you made one more fatal error in this lead article, that underscores your complete misunderstanding of why I and so many others write here every chance you will let us, to give the opposing point of view to that of your own. It is not, as you said, that we are writing “in more condemnatory terms with (our own) beliefs and values.”

    Our beliefs and values mean absolutely nothing, in the presence of God. Please go back to the definition of the gospel I quoted above. The only thing that counts is, “according to the Scriptures”.

    You will do everything you possibly can to try and justify your lifestyle any way you possibly can. The sad endpoint is this…it is yourself who is operating contrary to what the Scriptures say.

    And that is what makes your professed love of the gospel, such an impossible paradox.

    And I say this as sadly and as kindly as I can.

  2. Wade wrote:

    Said it before and will say it again. If you took gays outta SGM it would cease to exists. ANY form of music for that matter.

    Love GOD and The Message and do not invest so much in The SINGER!!!

    Some of you would have a OLD FASHION Record Burning like they did DEVIL MUSIC ( rock & roll) if you were silly enough to throw out James Cleveland or Ray Boltz if it were fully disclosed.

    The SPIRIT is in your heart & with God… NOT THE SONG.

    There are SOOO many married with Children ppl who get on that LONG METAL Tube we call a bus and BECOME a different person.

    Not hatin’ anybody on either side of this but more and more are going to come out and just trying to save ya heartache.

    On my way to hear The TaRanda Show known as The Greenes. Will give a full report on the OPEN Thread!!!

  3. Joe wrote:

    Wade- 2 points only.

    The end never justifies the means. Never.

    And…a clean thing cannot come out of an unclean.

  4. Bobby wrote:

    I wrote about Knapp’s problems and made a historical reference.


  5. Randy wrote:

    Ray Boltz keeps being brought up because of the gay thing, but are people seriously still into his music. Not to put it down, but it’s seriously dated and pretty cheesy. But so is SG, so go figure.

  6. art wrote:

    A few points come to mind after reading the previous comments:

    1. Avery seldom if ever mentions his lifestyle. Commenters on this site often do.

    2. As far as I know, Avery has never used this site to declare his theological position. It seems to me that he simply loves southern gospel music and the culture that surrounds it.

    3. I’ve been reading this site for a few years now, and I don’t get the impression that Avery is using this site to push the homosexual lifestyle onto the masses. Instead, he seems to explore southern gospel music from the perspective of someone who lives in the contemporary culture. Homosexuality is part of the conversation in contemporary culture, and it has cropped up in SG culture as well. It’s legitimate and interesting to discuss what happens when the paths of homosexuality and Christian music sometimes cross.

    4. Many on this site and on the SG stage are eager to point fingers at homosexuals as sinners. Few are willing to point fingers at practitioners of other kinds of sin: gluttony, greed, jealousy, envy, etc. (A couple of years ago, in fact, a particularly unforgettable thread popped up here that called out SG singers as a group as being conspicuously gluttonous. Response to the criticism was defensive, as one might expect.)

    Have a good day, everyone!

  7. quartet-man wrote:

    #6, Art, Homosexuality is called an abomination. However, any sin without the blood of Christ is enough to send us to hell. However, I am not so much getting into a which is worse argument. What I am trying to do is respond to your #4. I don’t recall the glutton thread of which you speak. However, I think part of the reason (at least) homosexuality is singled out is that it comes up so much. Of course if it is brought up, it will receive comments. Also, so much in the world it is pushed as okay, and at times flaunted (gay pride parades etc.) or attempted to force others to accept it and even to force pastors to marry same sex couples.

    I am sure that some people jump on that and not ones such as gluttony, opposite sex lust etc. because homosexuality isn’t something they struggle with so it is easier to say it is wrong without feeling hypocritical which might be another reason others aren’t met with as much gusto because people know they have struggled (or maybe are struggling) with the others. They might not do so not so much because they don’t think it is wrong, but because they feel hypocritical. However, others such as myself do it because it is brought up. I will tell you that gluttony, lust, lying, stealing, etc. etc. are wrong too. If someone gets on here and says they are good, or should be accepted etc. myself and others will disagree as well.

    Lest anyone think I am mean to homosexuals (we’ve been through this before), I am not. I just saw one today whose father worked with my brother years ago. If I was only civil or semi-nice to him instead of super nice, it is because he is a bit of a jerk, not because he is gay. ;-) I also have sung with a couple in a local secular group. One was a music director at a church out of town (he later died of aids) and his partner lived with him. His partner needed a ride home one night, and I gave it to him. He would tell you that I was nice to him and didn’t treat him poorly because I disagree with his choices. I also don’t think Doug / Avery would tell you that I have ever been mean to him. We may disagree on many things, but that is different than mistreatment.

    I am also not perfect (Big surprise.) In my life I have had struggles with lust for the opposite sex, temper, language, etc. So, I am not speaking as holier than thou either. However, even sins I have committed will not be stated as okay by me.

  8. art wrote:

    #7. Thanks for your post. Very gracious, as usual.

  9. Bob wrote:

    Come people, everyone who reads this Blob..I mean blog knows the guy is Gay. Every word out of his mouth with respect to Homosexuality is in defense of it. Plain and simple. We’re all sinners to some degree. But he’ll see the truth one day when he stands before God and gives account for his disgusting life style. That of course will be just before he is shot out of heaven on the ” Bullet Train ” to Hell. I know that sounds cocky but I really mean it. It also does not give me any pleasure to say that. I don’t want him or anybody to to go to Hell or even try to be like me. Just stop trying to change the word of God to justify our sick life style.

  10. RDB wrote:

    I show up and read this blog because it talks about southern gospel music in an intelligent and interesting way. If we shunned all gays, I wouldn’t listen to either Talley or Tchaikovsky. Ultimately the connection between artist lifestyle and art is incomplete. The nature of music - its abstract essence - makes all connections happen in the mind, not concretely. As far as this blog is concerned, the connection between Doug’s gayness and his writing is pretty tenuous when he’s going nuts over convention style music. How do you write about convention style music in a gay way I wonder?

    That being said, I don’t approve of Doug’s lifestyle. I wish he would recognize its sinfulness and repent of it, and not hide behind the “scientific” justification that it’s how he’s wired, or whatever. All of us are wired to sin, go figure. But I’m not going to stop reading this blog because of it. I find this blog worthwhile for its good discussion of southern gospel music. So maybe I can learn a thing or two from Doug. Maybe he learns a thing or two from us. Who knows?

  11. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:

    When we all get all over the sin of morbid obesity like we get all over the sin of homosexuality, southern gospel practitioners and fans will really need to run for cover.

  12. Joe wrote:

    Soli Deo Gloria- that was a purely ridiculous comparison, and I hope you know it.

    As a physician, I can tell you that not all morbid obesity IS the fault of the individual.

    While many do dig their graves with their teeth, many do not. Many medical conditions predispose to this, and are notably difficult to tret.

    Sadly, many of the current medications we regularly use, cause incredible and frustrating amounts of weight gain.

    Thirdly, many patients gain 25-50 libs, just from stopping smoking.

    Fourthly- does God ever call obesity an “abomination”?

    And finally, please show me any two cities in the entire history of the human race, where the Lord, from Heaven, annihilated them with fire and brimstone, because they were overweight.

  13. Joe blow wrote:

    Show me two cities that were annihilated because of homosexuality~

  14. Randy wrote:

    For the record, gluttony and obesity are two different things. You can be a skinny glutton. High metabolism can counteract overeating and over indulgence. However, I say this in view of the obviously obese generation of SG music, ridden by the effects of gluttony.

    Everybody deals with stuff. It is okay to point out problems within the body of Christ, but you better be looking at your own problems first. In general, everyone is tempted with something. If you’re not, then you are obviously too sanctified to even be here. It’s okay to be tempted. Even when we give in, we have a Savior. But He has called us to pursue holiness. Bottom line: We are all sinners, but the ACCEPTANCE of a certain sin, whether it be homosexuality, drunkenness, gluttony, adultery, or whatever, is a VERY dangerous place to be. Unless, of course, your doctrine does not believe you can lose your salvation. In that case, be gay! Living in your sin is covered eternally, apparently! HOWEVER, if you believe sin leads to spiritual death, we need to help each other by confessing our own dirty works and sinful nature and realizing not one of us is any better. Homosexuals: Admit that you are wrong. Alcoholics: Admit that you are wrong. Fatties: Admit you have a problem. Let’s deal with it together in unity! When everyone’s dirty laundry is exposed, our soapboxes get smaller and we can help ourselves and each other in a humble manner.

  15. art wrote:

    #7 and #12 brought to mind a theological question: Is an abomination different from a sin? Does the Bible describe anything else as an abomination? I’d be interested in knowing. Thanks in advance.

  16. Randy wrote:

    #15 One Bible dictionary defines an abomination as an “unlawful” action. Other dictionaries cite an abomination as a “vile action against authority”. So, in definitive terms, an abomination would be going against the law in a twisted fashion. In OT, going against the law would be going against God, since He created law. So, an abomination would be sin. There are other forms of abomination paired with the term “wickedness”.

    Abominations were also referred to as sharing meals with strangers of other countries, popular among Egypt and the Jews, which was going against their law.

    Personally, I would define an abomination as a sin comitted in an unnatural fashion in direct opposition of God AND man. I would also consider child molestation or bestiality an abomination.

  17. Randy wrote:

    #15 One Bible dictionary defines an abomination as an “unlawful” action. Other dictionaries cite an abomination as a “vile action against authority”. So, in definitive terms, an abomination would be going against the law in a twisted fashion. In OT, going against the law would be going against God, since He created law. So, an abomination would be sin. There are other forms of abomination paired with the term “wickedness”.

    Abominations were also referred to as sharing meals with strangers of other countries, popular among Egypt and the Jews, which was going against their law.

    Personally, I would define an abomination as a sin committed in an unnatural fashion in direct opposition of God AND man. I would also consider child molestation or bestiality an abomination.

  18. Lewis Wells wrote:

    #15 - Proverbs 6 mentions some things that are abominations to God.

  19. Wade wrote:

    Hey Dr. Joe…

    First want to be real clear I was NOT Joe Blow.

    2nd… Many things clean comes outta unclean things. If what you said where true what would be the point of worship cause we are all sinners???

    3rd… Love Ya Brother

  20. Joe wrote:

    The word is used 76 times in the Bible. Here are just a few.

    1. Sacrificing to a pagan god (Ex.8:26)
    2. Homosexuality (Lev. 18:22; 20:13)
    3. Sacrificing children to pagan gods (Deut. 12:31)
    4. Divination, magic, communicating with the dead, wizardry/witchcraft (Deut. 18:11-12)
    5. Cross-dressing (Deut. 22:5)
    6. Dishonesty (Deut. 25:16)
    7. The 7 found in Prov. 6
    8. The way/thoughts of the wicked (Prov. 15)
    9. The proud in heart. (Prov. 16:5)
    10. Those who condemn the just, and justify the wicked (Prov. 17:15)
    11. The man who turns his ear away from hearing God’s law (Prov.28:9)
    12. Those who are wicked, but seek to justify themselves before men (Luke 16:15)
    13. Any who works any kind of abominataion will be excluded from Heaven (Rev. 21:27)

  21. JR wrote:

    Joe briefly brushes past something in his seventh point there. A word called discord: somebody saying something divisive that creates disharmony in the church. That is a true abomination in God’s eyes.

  22. Soli Deo Gloria wrote:


    You sound like the Pharisee in Luke 18, thanking God he isn’t like others.

    This is the quintessential problem with southern gospel theology. It’s always justification by something other than Christ. Justification by Straightness. Justification by Voting Republican. Justification by Singing/Writing/Listening To Southern Gospel Songs, Justification by Bus Purchase…

    WE are the abomination, Joe. And it only by Christ’s righteousness imputed to us that we become justified before God. And we are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

  23. art wrote:

    Another theological question then: God tells us that sin is bad and certain actions are sins. Are there degrees of sin? That is, are abominations real, real bad sins?

    Or does God view all sins as “real, real bad” but we trivialize the word “sin” by using it so much while the word “abomination” is striking because we common folk don’t use it very often?

    I’m sincerely interested in Bible-based answers to this. Personal opinions — not so much. Thanks in advance.

  24. art wrote:

    Oooh. In that list in #20, that part about the “proud in heart” hits a little close to home for me. I’m going to have to look that one up.

  25. KC wrote:

    #23 - you may get something out of this link:


  26. Joe wrote:

    Soli #22- not sure how you could have so badly mis-read me. I am justified by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ;
    redeemed/ransomed by His precious blood; and saved by matchless grace. I have no righteousness whatever apart from His.

    Joe blow #13- Sodom and Gomorrha. You can find this in Genesis 18 and 19.

    art #23- All sin is against God. Any one sin, if unforgiven, will keep a soul from Heaven forever. Your question is an excellent one. It would actually seem, from reading Paul’s treatise against sinful mankind in Romans 1, that homosexuality represents the furthest step away from God, ie, to the place where the creation values himself over the very Creator. To a degree, this may be true.

    But an interesting study is all of the things in Scripture that the Lord hates. A number of specific things are mentioned. I believe that the one that is repeated 2 or 3 times over, is the sin of pride.

    If you read Ezekiel, where he is railing against Israel because of her spiritual adultery with pagan nations and gods, he actually links them in the wickedness of their sin, to Sodom and Gomorrha (16:46-50). He mentions the sins of the cities of the plain. He lists their abominations (homosexuality) last. As the first sin of record, he mentions their pride.

    This may be the most heinous sin to God, along with that of unbelief; purposely rejecting God and His gospel.

    Also interesting, that the human emotion most universally linked with the homosexual agenda, is that of pride.

  27. J. Bazzel wrote:

    RE: Bob #9
    “He is shot out of heaven on the ” Bullet Train ” to Hell.”

    I know that’s a song lyric. Is it AC/DC or Gretchen Wilson?

  28. Randy wrote:

    My basic teenage definition of an abomination: A sin that makes God go “Okay, seriously?” In layman’s terms, of course.

  29. art wrote:

    #25: That link was very thought-provoking and entertaining.

    #26: The conclusion seems to be that, yes, there are degrees of sin. I’m not sure I buy that theory, but I don’t want to test it either.

    Seems to me that a pertinent question is, how do we respond to an unrepentant homosexual who is not seeking our input or guidance?

    In #7, quartetman described his amicable encounter with a gay guy as one of tolerance and kindness, without accepting or condoning the sin. That made sense to me.

    So are we supposed to preach a small Bible-based sermon to every homosexual who has not sought our guidance?

    Do we similarly bend the ear of every unrepentant glutton in the buffet line?

    Or do we simply tolerate the sinner (without accepting the sin), treat them the way we would like to be treated and let God deal with their homosexuality or gluttony?

    I do appreciate the thought people have put into this discussion.

  30. quartet-man wrote:

    #28 Art, I don’t know that there is one way all of the time. I certainly wouldn’t want to NOT address their sin and have them go to hell because they never heard or thought it was being condoned.

    However, hitting them with it as a stranger or nearly a stranger or in an abrasive way will not likely work either. (Although there MAY be times that is warranted (maybe for instance if they blatantly and rebelliously say it is fine and should be accepted and maybe try to politicize things etc.)

    I would say the best way is to pray and ask God to lead us in each individual situation with the right approach and try to be sensitive to the leading.

  31. quartet-man wrote:

    My previous post should be #29 Art. It also applies for other sins, not just the one we are talking about. I should also say that it isn’t a matter of enjoying telling people or being disingenuous.

    Actually, it wouldn’t be pleasant to tell people in the same way that it isn’t pleasant in disciplining a kid and yet, if we think of them we should be more concerned in doing what is best than what feels good. In the comparison to kids, too many parents want to be their kids friends or seen as cool instead of doing what is right.

    So, although being nice is easier and preferable, it may not be nice in the long run, but once again each situation may be different.

  32. oilinmylamp wrote:

    With the antics of Tiger Woods and Jesse James and Larry King it baffles me that people in loving Christian long term same sex relationships are the ones who are villified.

  33. KermitTheHermit wrote:

    Good grief. I remember being called to love one another. If we forget that, I hope we all go to Hell. Doug, I love you. I am ashamed of my fellow man for such stone throwing. Now, if you all will excuse me… I have to dig a grave for this dead horse.

  34. Glenn wrote:

    Aw, Quartet-Man was nice to a gay guy. How very Christian of him.

  35. quartet-man wrote:

    #34, what’s up with the sarcasm? My point was that just because I disagree with their behavior and will stand up for God’s word doesn’t mean that I am mean to them or hate them. Too many times we get blamed for being homophobic (ah no, we don’t have an irrational fear of them) when we disagree just like we get accused of being racist for disagreeing with the president.

  36. quartet-man wrote:

    #32, just because there are heterosexual failures (bear in mind that there are several more heteros than homosexuals) is no cause to justify wrong behavior. God is the measuring stick, not man, and His standards do not change just because of the failure of some to keep them.

  37. art wrote:

    #34 and #35: I agree with you, quartetman. Your story was part of a sincere discussion of how to apply teachings of the Bible in the course of our lives. As I said before, I’ve been pleased by the positive, thoughtful chat, and I thank everyone who took on this topic in this vein.

  38. bob wrote:

    Hey everyone, Why is there not one reference in the bible about Homosexuality being good, proper or natural or being represented in any kind of a recommended teaching? If God smiles upon it then why? I’d love to hear some of you happy boys explain that directly.

  39. quartet-man wrote:

    #34, BTW, I am naturally nice to people. It was no chore or took no effort. My reasons for stating such was to show that I am not mean to them nor hate them, or for that reason afraid of them (as the term homophobic literally means.)

    #32, weak argument. Just because there are those in heterosexual who do not do as they are supposed to do and commit adultery or even fornicate (both of which are sins and spoken against in the Bible) is not to say that being an active homosexual is ok.

  40. bob wrote:

    Didn’t think any one would answer my question.

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