Jennifer Knapp, Fallen
I emailed Bill Bohline (lead pastor at Hosanna) this past week, not all that hopeful that we'd reopen the dialog we'd begun last October but more-so just to let him know that what concerned me then still concerns me now.
Is the time-out over? Am I allowed to speak again? A lot has happened since you stood before us on that Sunday in October and encouraged us to vote for the amendment to deny same-sex marriage...the amendment put forth by the guy who himself was divorced, making somewhat of a mockery of the entire proposal for those of us paying even the slightest attention.
My wife and I lead a small-group at Hosanna even though I've left the church after our last exchange. Tammy still regularly volunteers on Tuesday nights painting the nails of little children whose parents visit the clothes closet. I would often be there to put 'Jesus' tattoos on little arms but that no longer happens for me.
My wife and I were talking tonight about the same-sex marriage legislation that passed in Minnesota. I wondered out loud if you would speak to it this weekend and what you might say considering how you weren't shy about stating your opinion last fall. My wife wondered how it is that we can be accepted into leadership positions at Hosanna when our marriage is clearly a sham in the eyes of the church. You see, Tammy left her first husband but she didn't leave him for the right reasons. She didn't leave him because he was being unfaithful to her. What are we to do? Neither of us has any intention of changing the way we live much as homosexuals likely have no intention of changing the way they live. Should we step down from our roles as small-group leaders because we're living in sin?
We either embrace all that the bible teaches or we just look at it as a kinda-sorta good words to live by manual. Right now Hosanna is clearly picking and choosing which rules it feels comfortable cozying up to. Hosanna lacks consistency and that is what is so troubling to me. I'm reaching out to you as someone who has never been more adrift in his walk, in his faith and has never been more in need of help in sorting this all out.
Ignore me if that's what you want but know that I'm reaching out to you.
It seems clear to me, Kevin, that your tone and attitude have not changed. So the answer to your first question is NO.
I'm certain that's not the answer Jesus would've given me.
No, I wasn't being as respectful as I could have been in the opening line of my email to him but to be honest, I have very little respect for the guy anymore. I sense such disdain toward me from him but why? Because I'm asking some really difficult questions that are causing him to question the comfortable arrangement he has for his own faith and the church? If he could only for just one minute put himself in the shoes of one of those his policies are marginalizing.
I would think that I'd at least sense a drop or two of the outpouring of the love of Christ from him in this stalemate we have but I get none of that. None. Is this guy really a man of God or just a businessman posing as one? Does anyone on his staff ever question him about such things, about the hypocrisy of it all or do they fear the wrath of Bill Bohline and quietly follow along instead?
If you clicked on the song that opens this blog post you're listening to Jennifer Knapp, a woman who made a career of singing for the Lord until she came out to the world some 10 years ago and admitted that she is a lesbian. Her telling the truth about who she is led to no embracing of her by the church. The exact opposite in fact. They shunned and scorned her. There was no love of Christ for her from too many who are supposed to exemplify grace and mercy in the way they treat others.
In the song above she sings of her love for the woman in her life. It's such a beautiful song. I have to wonder if God would rather she simply deny her feelings and lie to herself so to speak?
Considering what my Christian faith teaches am I to believe that God approves of people killing one another over some boundaries on a map (no lack of examples of this in the Old Testament) but then frowns on a same-sex couple in a loving relationship? What pieces of the puzzle am I missing that will bridge this gap?
I really want to understand this faith I've been so accepting of until now. I think what's making it especially difficult for me is the way the church has been using a magnifying glass to make some sins appear larger than others while ignoring sins that the rest of us routinely indulge in. Can we please not do that? Can we please agree that we're all sinners and that none of us is any more deserving of being able to serve the Lord in whatever capacity we desire? Please, let's stop denying people in the GLBT community the freedom to serve, a freedom that the rest of us take for granted despite our sinful lives.
Does this make sense, Bill?
Mom had a bit of a scare Wednesday night. We'd been over at her house helping her with her flower gardens and spending some time chatting. After we left she noticed some dark streaks in the vision of her right eye but she was reluctant to say anything to anyone. She woke up the next morning unable to see out of it. She called and Tammy told her to get to the emergency room without delay. Tim drove her. It turns out she had a detached and torn retina. The doctor was able to use a laser to tack it back into place and says the prognosis is for a full recovery. She goes back in one week for a follow up.
Joe and his crew made lots of progress on our sun-porch and deck project this past week.
I was out doing dog do-do patrol in the yard a few days ago when I came across a baby snapping turtle struggling through the tall grass that was in need of a cutting. I couldn't for the life of me figure where this guy may have come from but he'd been on a journey. I picked him up and cleaned off several strands of dried grass that had worked their way into the folds of his skin and were likely slowing him down and then I went about finding him a new home...