Something in the water
The heading above is the title of a song by Carrie Underwood that reached the top of both the country and Christian charts. It is also a song she, in a surprise appearance, sang this past week at the Passion Conference in Atlanta before around 50,000 young Christians in the 18-25 age range. You can read the lyrics of the song here. From the reaction of the crowd (there will be a link to see that below) it was a huge hit. Many were delighted that a big star would support a Christian outreach so openly.
But…the American Family Association was not happy that she showed up. In fact, they were feeling “Frustration…disappointment…sadness.” I know this because they published an open letter to the organizers of the event on their website. Why were they upset that they dared let Underwood sing to 50,000 Christians? Apparently because back in 2010 she said this:
“As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry. I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.” In other words, she was empathetic to same sex couples. You can hear her song and the audience reaction, as well as read more of the AFA frustration, disappointment and sadness at this link.
It is ironic that Rev. Louis Giglio, who lead the organization of the event, was the focus of the AFA wrath for letting Underwood sing a song that had nothing whatsoever to do with same sex marriage but was about being “washed in the water, washed in the blood and now I’m changed. And now I’m stronger.” He is the same guy who was booted from Obama’s inauguration for not being supportive enough of same sex marriage.
To me this is the culture war at its worst. To begin with, the open letter is a crass political stunt. It directly contradicts the biblical injunction to go to your brother privately. The AFA clearly was appealing to its donors, not Giglio. Their screed was for publicity only.
Second, if you want to sway people to what you are sure is a Bible-based opinion, do it in the same way you try to win people to Christ; personally show them the love of God through you own love for them. Introduce them to your loving Savior, not your list of things they are doing wrong.
Third, like it or not, same sex marriage is the law of the land. Having lost the legal battle to enforce our marital beliefs on those who do not share them, the AFA is trying to use shaming tactics to express disapproval. The AFA attitude could not be more unlike the attitude Jesus showed to tax collectors and sinners.
Finally, the AFA gives all Christians a bad name. There is nothing in their letter that shows AFA cares about anyone but themselves and their agenda. The language shows they don’t care about Carrie Underwood, Rev. Giglio, or the young people at the conference. They certainly don’t care about their LGBT neighbors or anyone who has ever said something kind to them. They have given yet another pile of ammunition to those who say “you Christians hate everyone.”
Yes, there is something in the AFA water – bitterness and disapproval for all who differ.