Winning the Debate


I wrote recently about Jennifer Knapp, a professing Christian musical artist who has come out as a lesbian—but who wants to still claim the name of Jesus.  Now, Trevin Wax has posted an excellent piece on why, when we evangelicals debate this subject, we almost always seem to lose, not because the truth isn’t on our side—it is, so long as our source of truth is the Word of God—but because we are arguing on the wrong playing field.  Ms. Knapp appeared, apparently, on Larry King Live recently, debating a Christian pastor, and she skillfully “defended” her position because he apparently played to her hand.

And the larger point is almost always true: when we cede the playing field, we will lose the debate in the public arena.  This is why, for instance, when we are asked, “should gays be allowed to get married”, the answer is, “of course!”  This is not, of course, what they want; they want to redefine the entire subject of marriage, but we aren’t against equal rights when it comes to marriage; we are against giving away the right to define the entire institution in a way contrary to the overwhelming majority of human history and against the disapproval not only of Christian faith, but every major faith.  Don’t cede the playing field!


  1. Derlin on April 29, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    The same could be said for Ray Bolz who came out a few years ago.

    I’m not sure I follow your second paragraph. Are you saying gays should be allowed to marry individuals of the opposite sex, whereas redefinition would allow two people of the same sex to form a union called marriage? Or am I completely missing what you want to say?

    • Byron on April 29, 2010 at 4:48 pm

      You got it…but your almost “missing it” I would submit as proof that the whole climate is such that we speak of “gay marriage” as though it were a natural-born fact/right, and that “denying” it is discriminatory. Either that, or I was just clear as mud…actually, I was trying to provoke a little thought; that’s why I was a bit ambiguous.

      Look, rights inhere to the individual, not to groups. Every man in this country has always had exactly equal rights when it comes to marriage, right (well, before 6 states went nutso)? So has every woman. Always been that way; to suggest otherwise, as the gay lobby is doing in trying to make this a “rights issue”, is disingenuous, and the fact that any judge in America has bought this specious argument is evidence of the muddled reasoning that inhabits the brains of a lot of liberal-types.

      And yeah, I knew about Boltz; is he still trying to perform as a Christian, and/or arguing for the Christian acceptance of homosexuality?

  2. Laurie on April 29, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Good point; the real issue here is that marriage has already been defined and should not be redefined to suit certain individuals.

    If gays want to create an institution that allows them to commit to each other or enter into civil unions, that’s another matter.

  3. Laurie on April 29, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    My heart sank when I heard about Jennifer; I love her music but I have to admit I always had a funny feeling that something was “off” about it – I just didn’t know what. A sense of something not quite right.

    Thank you for the article by Trevin Wax; he is so right about not focusing on homosexuality as being a “bigger” sin than any other, but on the fact that those who practice it are unrepentant.

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