John the Baptist on the Ellen DeGeneres Show

A Spiritual Hunch

Lauren Daigle is another unfortunate (though not surprising) case study in compromised Christianity. Not long ago, Daigle appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show.

Many Christians took issue with this, but failed to articulate why in an appropriate way. I think this is evidence of how Christians find difficulty putting into words the convictions of the Holy Spirit. In other words, many Christians took qualm, but could not express specifically what they were feeling. They were going off a hunch, a God-given hunch.

Ellen hosts one of the most watched television shows in the entire country. However, Christians still expressed disapproval of Daigle’s appearance on the show because Ellen is a known lesbian. But, simply saying, “but she’s gay!” is not a good reason for a professing Christian like Daigle to reject a platform of that notoriety. Personally, I took no issue with Lauren going on the Ellen show. I would love that kind of opportunity. However, I would never get the opportunity, and that is not because I am not famous.

Daigle did not belong on Ellen as a Christian representative because her worldview is too similar to Ellen’s. The Christian’s worldview should not mirror the lesbian’s. Ellen does not welcome folk like us Christians on her show. The fact that Daigle was allowed on the show says she’s not like us Christians. Many people defended Lauren’s appearance on good grounds: to be “a light.”

For a Christian to take advantage of a platform like that, in order to be a light, is a righteous thing indeed. The debate is over how bright Daigle’s light actually shines. Christians are the light of the world, but we are expressly reminded not to hide that light under a basket. Lauren’s light seems to be playing hide and seek with the world it’s supposed to be illuminating.

Bubbling with Smiles

Daigle’s music is so void of anything substantial that Ellen and her ilk can love it. In fact, many people in the secular world love her music as she climbs the charts. But, for many Christians, that’s the problem.

The cross is a stumbling block and offense to the world (1 Corinthians 1:20-25). If large swaths of people outside the faith listen to my sermons and podcasts for a long period of time but never stumble, never get outraged, and are never offended, the logic is simple: there is no cross in what I am serving to them.

Daigle was not a sanctified guest; she was not unique. She was no different than any other talented, pretty woman who has appeared on Ellen’s show, bubbling with smiles and hugs.

 The Proof is in the Pudding

Those of us who expressed concern over Daigle’s debut on Ellen were jarred with familiar jeers of judgmentalism and hypercticism. But now we are secretly sneering behind our computer screens since Daigle vindicated our concern. She recently went on a radio show to discuss the Ellen backlash, and at that point, she stated clearly what many of us knew: her Christianity is compromised.

Daigle, when asked whether or not homosexuality was a sin, responded,

“I can’t honestly answer on that, in the sense of I have too many people that I love and they are homosexuals, I can’t say one way or the other, I’m not God. When people ask questions like that, I just say, ‘Read the Bible and find out for yourself. And when you find out let me know because I’m learning too.'”

There it is. Daigle was welcome on the Ellen show precisely because she would not be a light. A light would tell the truth, and defend it with grace and love. Instead, Daigle implicitly (and now explicitly) commended Ellen for her sin, and in the process, communicated to the world Christians are free to do such a thing. This is all the proof we need to know Daigle did not belong on the Ellen show, at least not as a Christian representative.

She added in the interview,

“[My music] is having crossover appeal, but it doesn’t mean that I’m leaving one for the other or that I’m going to be swept up by one thing or the other.”

The problem is, she has been swept up. The tide of cultural pressure has come on shore, and carried her deeper into the ocean of the secular worldview than she even realizes.

She justifies it this way,

“For me, it’s like, ‘Oh, everything just got even more clear.’ Everything just got clearer as to why it is that we go and love people who are outside of the walls of our church, outside of the walls that we’re comfortable with.”

That sounds great. She should let us know when she plans to begin loving Ellen. So far, she hasn’t even started.

Love like John the Baptist

Why was John the Baptist killed? Here’s a hint: it was not for Gospel preaching.

John the Baptist was killed for thinking sexual morality mattered, and it mattered enough to say so. John the Baptist got his head cut off for preaching against public sexual sin.

Matthew 14:1-11,

“For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John had been saying to him, ‘It is not lawful for you to have her.’ And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod, so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, ‘Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.’ And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.”

John the Baptist ended up in prison, and his head ended up on a platter, not for preaching the Lordship of Christ, but for telling a civil magistrate to repent of his wicked sexuality.

Can you hear all the evangelical scorn now? Listen closely. Can you hear the voices telling him that he isn’t going to win Herod that way? Can you hear the voices telling John just to spread love, hope, and positivity? Can you hear them telling John to stop cramming his sexual ethic on Herod? After all, he isn’t even a Christian!

The really loud voices are the ones giving important pragmatic advice about how John needs to be concerned with the Gospel and not be so distracted with politics.

The modern evangelical world would throw a fit, and tell John to just win Herod with love and kindness. And John would reply “that’s what I’ve been doing this entire time.”

Christians need to love people like John the Baptist. You’ll never find John saying something close to what Daigle said,

“It’s so sad that people think because Ellen’s gay (Herod practices incest) she’s (he’s) bad.”

You will also never hear John the Baptist commit to thinking that standing up for God’s Law in public is never a Gospel issue.

John thought calling out a public figure’s public sin was important enough to die for. Daigle, with her pillowy evangelicalism, can’t even make up her mind on God’s Law, let alone stand for it.

Hypothetically speaking, what if John the Baptist resurrected from the dead, and was invited on to the Ellen Show? What would he do? How would he love?

I think it’s safe to say he wouldn’t sing Still Rolling Stones.

I think it’s safe to say he wouldn’t be asked to return.

But I think it’s safe to say that John the Baptist would never be allowed on the Ellen show in the first place.

And that’s kind of the point…

Pity and Prayer

How then should we respond to Lauren Daigle? First, we must pity her. This was not a helpful move to make. on Twitter, Pastor Jared C. Wilson shared some of the best commentary in regards to Daigle’s statement I have read,

“The strange thing about this is that it even stinks as a [Public Relations] move. The people she wants to please with this cop-out answer to ‘Is homosexuality a sin?’ don’t want to hear ‘I don’t know’ any more than evangelicals do. They want to hear ‘no.'”

This is exactly right. Daigle has failed to understand the true nature of the progressive movement in America. This is an insatiable movement. Progressives are not interested in coy Christianity. They are not even interested in tolerance. They demand celebration; they demand acceptance. Lauren’s answer might be sufficient for Ellen, but as a whole, it is still a cultural blunder in the eyes of the secular world. She hesitated, and you can’t hesitate.

This reminds me of something Douglas Wilson preached in a sermon on the offense of the Gospel,

“The world will not be content with us until we join the crowds outside of Lot’s house. It doesn’t matter how compromised we are inside Lot’s house, as long as we’re in the house, they will demand what they demand.”

He went on to speak about how, because of this, compromised Christians have the worst of both worlds because “[T]hey live in such a way as to incur the enmity of the world, without living under the favor of God.”

Lauren’s answer will offend the world, the church, and the Lord. She has no allies in this fight. Her non-answer puts her at odds with the culture and with God.

Do not underestimate the severity of Daigle’s actions.

Luke 9:26,

For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

James 4:4,

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Because of this, I pity Lauren Daigle, but may pity lead to prayer. Will you spend time today, as I am, praying for Lauren Daigle?

Lastly, how do Christians respond to Ellen? How do we respond to a homosexual, or anyone promoting homosexuality as an acceptable sexuality? By reminding them that although their sin is great, Jesus’ power to save is greater. We remind them that we too were once enslaved to sin, justifying it and indulging in it, but we have been washed, sanctified, and saved. Like us, Ellen can be forgiven of her sins.

We must tell her she is in sin, we must call her to repentance, we must be gracious when telling her this truth, and we must comfort her with texts of forgiveness. Here’s a good one.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11,

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.


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