Why Do So Many Christians Care What Pop Star Lauren Daigle Has to Say?
Christian recording artist turned crossover pop star Lauren Daigle has found herself in the midst of controversy. The rumblings of discontent from within evangelicalism began as Daigle set out on a promo tour for her new album that included appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. It turns out the grumblings about her promo tour were mere appetizers for the full-on fury the singer has evoked with recent comments she made defending her appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The outrage ball really started rolling after she told a radio host:
I think the second we start drawing lines around which people are able to be approached and which aren’t, we’ve already completely missed the heart of God. … I don’t have all the answers in life, and I’m definitely not gonna act like I do, but the one thing that I know for sure is I can’t choose who I’m supposed to be kind to and who I’m supposed to show love to and who I’m not, because that’s the mission right?
However, a week later, after radio host Domenick Nati asked Daigle if she believes that homosexuality is a sin, the singer replied, "I can’t honestly answer on that. In a sense, I have too many people that I love that are homosexual. I don’t know. I can’t say one way or the other. I’m not God."
Writing for The Atlantic, Jonathan Merritt reports:
When the clip of her interview was posted online, it drew condemnation from conservative Christians. A writer at The Christian Post said Daigle had been tested by God and “failed,” choosing instead to “fraternize” with the devil by not condemning homosexuality. A Townhall columnist argued that Daigle had given into “the temptations that come with fame and influence” and called on Christians to pray for her to change course. Conservative Christian author John Burton claimed Daigle’s ambiguity compromised biblical truth and now “millions are at risk of deception.” Many on Twitter quickly declared that she can no longer be considered a Christian.
Culminating with the report by Merritt, the criticism of Daigle has poured out of people over the last couple of months. Condemnation has been heaped on her for failing to talk about Jesus on national TV, lyrics that are less overtly Christian than her past music, and for wearing revealing clothing during her TV appearances. Writers have been parsing out whether the criticisms are valid or not. Of course, some of the criticisms are valid and some are not. For me, the more important question is whether the valid criticisms have been delivered in fruitful ways or not. To answer that, I'm going to share a personal anecdote.