Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jennifer Knapp: thoughts, ponderings, musings, and what-have-you

One of my longtime favorite musicians has returned to the music scene after 7 years. Jennifer Knapp, feeling burned out on music and all the tours she was on, abruptly left the Christian music industry for the outback of Australia. She never considered that she might pick up her guitar again for an audience, yet here she is, with renewed passion and a realization that no matter how far she travels and how long she stays away, music is still irrevocably in her bones.

She isn’t hiding anything. She is who she is and is determined not to let the world pressure her into being something other than herself. That much is sure. Last year, Jennifer announced that she is a lesbian. She appeared on Larry King Live and even had interviews appear in such publications as Christianity Today, discussing her decision. Yet, she still holds her faith in God and claims she is a Christian. I am sure many Christians can hardly wrap their heads around this one. In many perspectives, it’s downright blasphemous. Jennifer had (and has) a lot of courage, revealing such a “secret” and knowing how the Christian community and many of her fans would take it; perhaps rebuking, condemning, attacking.

There once was a time when I would have had the same reaction. I used to think that people who chose such a lifestyle were doomed. Simply, it was the way I had been taught. But I am different now. Surely God would not have us hate, exclude, belittle. Much has been revealed to me, to open my mind and show me that God’s love is wider and deeper than our small minds can conceive, and His ways are not my ways, in ALL THINGS.

Anyway, Jennifer Knapp’s first three albums have continuously inspired and encouraged me throughout the years. Her songs are very open, honest, and full of originality. They push me to examine my own self as her words point to God over and over again.

Her most recent, fourth album is different in that it is not geared or marketed solely to a Christian audience. On her web page, Jennifer says, “There is a strong sense of community that has been in the back of my mind throughout this whole process. I want my core audience to find something familiar, but refreshed, on Letting Go. At the same time, I am so happy to throw off any cloak that has been put upon me that would make any music lover hesitate to listen to my music. I am so excited to bring all different types of people to my party. I’ve written this for them.”

Perhaps God’s Kingdom is less like a judge’s court and more like a party…

Here’s to throwing off the cloak…

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