“I can't honestly answer on that,” Daigle said in the original interview when asked about homosexuality. “In a sense, I have too many people that I love and they are homosexual. I don't know. I actually had a conversation with someone last night about it. I can't say one way or the other. I'm not God. So when people ask questions like that...that's what my go to is. I just say, ‘Read the Bible and find out for yourself. And when you find out let me know, because I'm learning too.’”
"These things aren’t always cut-and-dried," Pastor Idleman said in an editorial addressing Daigle's answers, as well as her recent appearance on the talk show of open lesbian comedienne Ellen DeGeneres.
"For example, if I was asked to appear on Ellen to share my faith in God via repentance from sin to millions of people, I would jump at the opportunity. But if I was told I cannot talk about difficult things, then I may need to turn it down," Idleman explained, noting that a Christian in the public square may find themselves "muzzled" in our paradoxically intolerant culture.
"The former would be an incredible opportunity; the latter would appear as an endorsement if I was muzzled," Idleman continued. "People will have different convictions, not unlike when John MacArthur turned down an opportunity to speak at the Mormon Tabernacle, but Ravi Zacharias embraced it. In this case, would the speaker be allowed to lovingly yet boldly speak about the massive difference in Mormonism and Christianity, or would they be muzzled?"
The inability or refusal to stand firm on Biblical truths, however, is a whole other matter.
"This trend to embrace homosexuality is actually not surprising," Idleman says of teachers and Christian influencers. "Yes, some are not true believers, but that’s not always the case." Instead, he suggests that many of such people simply have not surrendered their life to the work of the Spirit with the life-changing intensity described in Acts 1:8.
"When a person truly experiences this infilling of the Spirit, there is a transformed life resulting in a love for God, His Word, and His Truth," he explains. "We’d rather please God than man."
"I too know people who struggle with homosexuality, but that should not shape my theology," Idleman says, unequivocally. "To truly offer hope we must speak the truth in love."
Many Christians hold this conviction, yet lack the spiritual maturity from steadfast communion with God through his Word to articulate it, let alone give a defense for it, Idleman laments:
"Sadly, we often pray on the run, scurry through a quick devotional, and rarely read through God’s Word, yet we devote hours to television, movies, and the internet, and we wonder why we know little of the Spirit’s power. We are filled with the world more than the Spirit of God. I sincerely believe the greatest need in the church today is to confess our sins, pray often, obey the Word, and be filled with the Spirit."
"Am I saying that many who waiver on the difficult truths are not mightily filled with the Spirit? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Some are not genuinely converted, and others default to passiveness in moments of weakness, but what we are seeing today is a lack of spiritual power, a quenching and grieving of the Spirit," Idleman proclaims.
Separating himself from those who would lob pitchforks at Daigle for her comments, Idleman clarifies that his statements are not a rebuke, but a "tear-stained plea" that all Christians, especially those of such widespread and weighty influence as artists and popular preachers, would return to total surrender to God.
Instead of giving an ambiguous or incorrect answer when cornered with a hard question about faith or what the Bible says about controversial issues, Idleman strongly encourages readers to take time to study and become deeply rooted in God's word before even putting yourself in the position of public speaking and influencing, something many wish Lauren Daigle had chosen to do:
"I wish she had simply said, “The Bible appears to be clear on this issue. I'm learning too, but I don’t want to minimize God’s truth. I love people enough to tell them the truth.”