I know there are some well-meaning Christians who seem to be a bit confused as to why a Christian artist like Lauren Daigle would go on the show of a “Godless sinner like Ellen.” Sadly, that was an exact quote from a preacher’s wife who called me after we talked to Lauren Daigle about her performance on the Ellen Show.
Those words reverberated in my head, and I found myself both flabbergasted and frustrated. The not-so-subtle context of this statement is that it attempts to magnify the sins of others and minimize the sin in our lives by labeling people we do not agree with as “Godless sinners.”
The truth is, we are all Godless sinners, and the Bible is clear on that when it says, “For EVERYONE has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (Romans 3:23)
Struggling to Love
Lauren talked about her time on the Ellen show and how Ellen ends the show by saying to the audience, “Take the same great feeling of joy and acceptance you felt here today out into the world with you.” If a pastor closed his sermon on Sunday with this, it would be met with a resounding “AMEN!” So why do we as a church struggle so hard with loving people who are different than we are?
Maybe we don’t know how, or maybe we simply pick and choose who we love and how we love them. That seems to be the case based on a few of the email responses I got following our Lauren/Ellen segment:
“Ellen brings absolutely no glory to God. I don’t see the significance to the kingdom of God by using her as any kind of example on your show. Consider this: she will most likely never discuss you and WAY-FM on her show, so don’t give her that much power.”
I truly think that Ellen is a kind person who sadly comes off more like Jesus than the angry Christians who are emailing me about the interview. I don’t think it sends a bad message to appreciate people who are doing good things, even if their lifestyles don’t match up with our beliefs. Somehow, we have gotten confused and think that kindness toward people who do not believe like we do somehow equates to condoning or endorsing their lifestyles. I don’t think that is the case at all, personally.
Leading with Love
As for Ellen not ever talking about me or WAY-FM on her show, this lady is right. That will probably never happen.
But what DID happen is Ellen DID have a Christian artist on her show who sang about God. So Ellen made the first move toward a group of people (Christians) who, at times, have shown her hate. I think that is awesome and that God can use that.
Ironically I could see Ellen taking heat from her group too, saying things like, “Why would you have a Christian on your show? You know they hate us, right?” There is a narrative on both sides that needs to change.
Here is another email gem I received:
“Many of us in ListenerLand tune in to WAY-FM so we don’t have to hear about gay people in any context. The homosexuals have an agenda: to tear down our Judeo-Christian society. I hope this email helps clear up any fuzziness as to why listeners of your show are really irritated whenever gays are mentioned in any fashion. Unless you want to broadcast that homosexuality is merely a symptom of those who have utterly rejected God, that would be acceptable.”
Loving Like Jesus
I think Lauren said it best: “It is not up to me to choose who I am supposed to love.” When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment is, that was His moment to say that without a doubt, we should judge the sins of others, especially that of the homosexual. But He didn’t.
He said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)
How have we misunderstood the simplicity of these commandments? The beauty of this, too, is that it absolves us from having to be judge and jury. That is God’s job. Mine is to love people like He loves them.
Jesus showed us time and time again how we are to love. People who were nothing like Jesus….liked Jesus. The people with whom Jesus had the biggest problems were the overly religious people. He never called people who were broken and caught in sin a “brood of snakes.” He reserved that for the religious folk. (Matthew 12:34)
My goal someday is to not be lumped into the brood of snakes category by Jesus, but rather to hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You loved the people I love well.”
Check out our FULL interview with Lauren Daigle about issues like identity and pop culture! She has incredible insight on our country’s identity crisis and shares why knowing who she is has changed her whole life.