Christianity,  News

Lead singer of Jars of Clay comes out in support of gay marriage

From Metro Weekly:

Contemporary Christian music isn’t a format where one might think to look for vocal supporters of same-sex marriage, but as with anything else times are changing. Dan Haseltine, front-man for the popular Christian band Jars of Clay, yesterday took to his Twitter account in a series of posts supportive of same-sex marriage, posting “Not meaning to stir things up BUT… is there a non-speculative or non ‘slippery slope’ reason why gays shouldn’t marry? I don’t hear one.” He went on to write “I’m trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But it doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women’s suffrage. I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone?”

Read the rest here. Read Haseltine’s twitter feed here.

UPDATE: Dan Haseltine provides some context for his Twitter remarks in a blog posted this morning. Read it here.


      • Jackson

        Wow didn’t know that or even this story until now… What a shame and to think this was the first Christian band I was introduced to back in 1995 and had become my favorite band. I thought their songs were very much of a Christian world view, especially Art in Me, Worlds Apart, Love Song for a Savior, and Faith Like A Child. I knew Dan’s social views were moving more to the center/worldly but I never thought down right unbiblical. It’s a shame that it seems like a majority of contemporary Christian bands are just out there for the fame and fortune rather than a realistic worship of Christ, especially with me being a drummer who is a truly devoted follower of Christ. I still like Jars of Clay’s music though, especially their older stuff but as far as their ministry goes, I can no longer support them other than with prayer that they may truly see the light someday before it’s too late.

    • Jackson Lawton

      Hmm Derek Webb is a solid friend of Dan’s and so I doubt he would be kicking himself about not being first. I like Derek Webb’s Christian work, especially his stuff with Indelible Grace but he’s just one of those guys using it as a way to be out in the spot light. I hope that someday he sees the light before it’s too late.

  • pauljacobsblog

    Sadness that we have reached a point in our society where even Christians will not endure sound doctrine. I fear that this war has been lost. I worry about which battle we will surrender next. We have reached a time when right is wrong and wrong is considered to be right.

  • Esther O'Reilly

    Not surprised, I got a sense that Haseltine was probably pretty liberal quite a while back. People seem incapable of thinking critically, especially in the entertainment business. Got an especially big chuckle out of his saying that the Bible isn’t that clear on much of anything about morality. Son, have you READ your Bible lately?

    • Ian Shaw

      “I don’t think scripture ‘clearly’ states much of anything regarding morality.”

      “I don’t particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is ‘wrong.” He goes on to write that “I think the vast interpretation has left room for people to deal inhumanly and unlovingly toward others that don’t fit their guidelines” and that I care more about how it says we should treat people.”

      So he’s decrying people taking things out of context so it can be up for interpretation and yet he’s doing the exact same thing by saying he doesn’t give credence to what the bible says is wrong, only how we should treat people. Wonder what he thinks about biblical authority then?

      Sounds a bit universalistic, taking the “morals” and how people should be treated, but yet completely ignoring the brokenness of mankind and the need for a savior. Because if you ignore how broken we are, there’s no need for a personal Savior.

      You’re either:
      -Fallen Christian
      -Walking in the Spirit

      It’s up to him.

      • Esther O'Reilly

        He’s tweeting a series of “clarifying tweets” right now as we speak. Memo to Dan: It’s time to put down that shovel and stop digging:

        Dan Haseltine ?@scribblepotemus 1m
        Those who have engaged their gay friends while disapproving of their lifestyle. Have you asked them if they feel loved or understood by you?
        Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

        Dan Haseltine ?@scribblepotemus 13m
        I also believe in order to truly love someone we must love the fullness of who a person is. Sins and failings and dirt and evil and all.
        Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

        Dan Haseltine ?@scribblepotemus 17m
        Also… The bible may be infallible, but mans finite understanding and human, short-sighted interpretations are quite fallible.
        Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

        Dan Haseltine ?@scribblepotemus 26m
        All of it meant to show us an example of how to love (cherish) each other. What do we give up in order to love (cherish) those around us?
        Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

        Dan Haseltine ?@scribblepotemus 29m
        The Bible is a story of God’s relentless love, Gods pursuit of people in the midst of sin, even unto death. Told thru prose, poetry,song…
        Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

        Dan Haseltine ?@scribblepotemus 32m
        those asking what I think of the Bible. I think it is an oft misused, misappropriated, misquoted, book. We are human…some more than others
        Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

        Dan Haseltine ?@scribblepotemus 34m
        I understand this topic holds a great amount of weight which is why I have lingered in it. Now a few comments about the Bible…(fun times)
        Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

        Dan Haseltine ?@scribblepotemus 36m
        It is not my intention to shame anyone. I do hope to come away with a better understanding of the arguments on both sides.
        Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

        Dan Haseltine ?@scribblepotemus 43m
        Could there be something to learn from them? Or are we passed the ability to learn?
        Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

        Dan Haseltine ?@scribblepotemus 44m
        So many gay couples display more loving characteristics and healthy relationship practices than most traditional married couples….
        Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

        Dan Haseltine ?@scribblepotemus 51m
        …another persons sin? What if we didn’t play the role of judge or investigator w/ others? Does a persons “sin” determine how we love them?
        Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

        Dan Haseltine ?@scribblepotemus 54m
        …meant in the context of how does God desire us to act/love those around us? What does love look like freed of the burden to point out…
        Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

        Dan Haseltine ?@scribblepotemus 56m
        With regard to my original tweets: wasn’t meaning to imply that I didn’t care at all about what the bible says is wrong….

          • Chris Ryan

            Yeah, I don’t think its a mea culpa…I’m not sure where he’s going with his discourse, but if I read between the lines I think he’s frustrated like many other Christians are that some ppl have chosen to use the Bible to justify homophobic bigotry. That’s how I read his tweets. Now I’m not abt to change my theology but I feel much the same myself, and am quite weary of ppl using the Bible as sword instead of staff–to attack instead of support.

            • Garth Madden

              I don’t buy it, Chris – the vast majority of christians are AFRAID of saying anything that will offend anyone on this topic and many other like it. I don’t see this so-called army of evangelical christians walking around waving a metaphorical sword in “homophobic bigotry”, to use your terminology. Instead, I see many who are buying into this false narrative that the media and gay marriage advocates are painting. It is a bogeyman, plain and simple.

          • Esther O'Reilly

            And now he’s wondering why Christian radio stations are pulling him from their playlists…

            Personally I still like some of JoC’s stuff and I won’t stop enjoying it just because the frontman is a political/exegetical patzer. I am disappointed though.

    • James Bradshaw

      Esther, are you saying that issues of ethics are self-evident in Scripture? You’ve been reading this blog for a while. Do you not recall numerous mentions of the fact that the entire Southern Baptist denomination was founded based on its firm belief that human slavery was morally licit? How many times have we discussed what should be considered valid grounds for divorce? Have commenters also not disagreed on the validity of the use of any contraception (even in marriage)? Is torture permissible? If so, on what grounds? What about targeting civilians in wartime? Are women permitted to teach or hold authority in secular positions?

      I get tired of bringing these facts up, but some of you have apparently very short memories.

      • Esther O'Reilly

        Just because a lot of people have wangled themselves into an exegetical pretzel in order to squeeze something out of the text that they would really, really, really like to squeeze from it doesn’t mean that it’s in there. Just like there are many atheists who claim that “the evidence for Christianity just isn’t there,” when they haven’t really examined the evidence with an unbiased eye.

  • Ian Shaw

    Wow…….just wow.

    Is there a non-slippery slope reason? Umm, son, how much time you got and do you like to read the bible?

    Pray for this guy.

  • Karen Twenhafel

    A personal warning signal that I’ve likely wandered from God’s way is an abundance of “I” statements and a corresponding deficit of “God says” statements. Most dangerous spot in this broken world is the space between our ears.

  • andrew alladin

    You’ve arrived a bit late to the party, haven’t you, Dan? For a couple of years now all of the A, B,and C list celebrities have been celebrating all things gay and now you want a bit of the leftover adulation that has come their way. In fact even some Christians (like Rob Bell) have been there long before your coming out. You’re too late to be a trailblazer, and gay marriage isn’t even controversial anymore. All of your theological musings are beside the point. As if you arrived at your conclusion after studying ancient Greek and Hebrew, ancient Roman and Greek cultures, early church fathers, etc. This is something you needed to do in order to distinguish yourself from the Old Hidebound Fundamentalists that you’re so ashamed of. .

  • James Kirksey

    I think it is a sad thing that so called “Christians” are standing up for what is clearly against nature and the Word of God! Follow the teachings of Christ and look at the writings of the Apostles and you will realize quickly this is wrong! God is a God of love but He is also a God of standards and morality.

    • buddyglass

      For what it’s worth, its possible for a believer to hold that “gay marriage” is a spiritual impossibility (since God doesn’t recognize such unions) while simultaneously supporting public policy that would allow same-sex couples access to the basket of legal rights and obligations currently referred to as “marriage” in the civil sense.

      • Lindsay Parks

        buddyglass- you could not be more wrong. RC Sproul said this; “Change marriage, and you change the world. Convince people that government, and not God, lays down the rules for marriage, and they will believe more strongly that THEY determine right and wrong, and that not even the world’s rulers are subject to a higher authority”. God’s word to Adam, in Genesis 2:24, and Jesus’s reiteration of these words exactly to the Pharisees in Matt. 19:4-6, shows that in the eyes of God, the ONLY sexual activity allowed by Heaven is that between a married man, and his female wife. ALL other is forbidden in Scripture.

        • buddyglass

          “you could not be more wrong.”

          So you would content that anyone who supports “allowing same-sex couples access to the basket of legal rights and obligations currently referred to as ‘marriage'” is not a believer?

          Must I also be circumcised in the flesh?

          “Convince people that government, and not God, lays down the rules for marriage…”

          But, in one sense, government does lay down the rules for marriage. Otherwise we would never have had to litigate anti-miscegenation laws. In another sense, though, government can do nothing to change the nature of marriage since marriage was established by God and is extrinsic to the authority of human governments.

          Flash back to 1950s Virginia where blacks and whites were forbidden from marrying. If I, as a white man, wished to marry a black woman, and she wished to marry me, and we participated in a marriage ceremony before our families and friends, officiated by our pastor, in which we solemnly pledged our vows to each other before God and man, would we be “married” in the truest sense of the word?

          I say yes. It doesn’t matter what the state does or doesn’t recognize; God see us as married, and that’s ultimately what matters. But we still live in the world, and in the world we depend on the state to safeguard our rights. Including the rights of married couples. In this hypothetical, despite the reality of my marriage in the eyes of God, in the civil, legal, sense, I would not be married and I would lack the legal rights (and obligations) thereof.

          With respect to the current debate over same-sex marriage, my preference would be for the state to accommodate same-sex couples not by extending the definition of “marriage” but by geting out of the “marriage” business altogether. Recognize “civil unions” and let “marriage” be the purview of the church(es).

          • Lindsay Parks

            Buddy- 2 huge problems. In condoning “same-sex” unions if any kind, you are condoning same sex relations. So YOUR stance is diametrically opposed to the Lord’s, Who condemns it throughout Scripture. Secondly, it is not me who says homosexuals are not believers. Please read 1 Cor 6:1-10. These people will NOT “inherit the kingdom of God”. That makes them unbelievers.

              • Lindsay Parks

                Well, you want the state to “accommodate same sex couples…”. I assumed that included “condoning”. Please tell me how it does not.

                • buddyglass

                  I can view it as “fair” for same-sex couples to be given access to the legal rights and obligations of civil unions without also regarding their relationships as morally neutral.

                  “Viewing as morally neutral” is how I’m defining “condone”, but I realize you may have a slightly different definition. That’s why I asked.

  • Layne Ihde

    Meanwhile, Dan is saving literally thousands of children each year from drinking bloody and muddy, parasite riddled water in Africa through Bloodwater: Mission, being a loving father, and showing love to the unloved that actually may draw them to God while we sit here in our comfortable, (by in large) white, middle class, Republican suburbia in our cookie cutter churches which are really legalistic social clubs, tisking someone who has ‘walked away from the truth’ wondering why people are leaving it in droves (I’ll give you a hint, it’s not because of sin). We’ll see which version of love wins out.

    And it’s ridiculous some of you calling him ‘son,’ he is a 40 year old, approaching middle age man, and a wise one at that.

    And as James referenced, it is mind boggling this is the same denomination that used scripture a scant 50 years ago to justify keeping blacks subservient.

    • Esther O'Reilly

      Dan’s work through Bloodwater: Mission is noble, and nobody here is denying that. But let me ask you something: What should we fear more—that which can destroy the body or that which destroys the soul?

    • Paul Reed

      Sorry Layne Ihde, but Esther O’Reilly is absolutely right. God isn’t going to kill someone and send them to hell because they drank parasite-riddled water. Practicing gays on the other hand are a different story. It’s people like me and Denny Burk who are the really helping people. Denny Burk and his blog will mean far more in the eternal scheme of things than saving someone from bad drinking water. Like Esther says, see what Jesus says about what you should fear.

      • Esther O'Reilly

        Which, obviously, is not to say that we shouldn’t be helping impoverished children get clean drinking water! However to say, “I’m digging wells in Africa, what have YOU done to make the world a better place lately besides argue over petty theological details” is horribly disingenuous. We’re talking about human beings who are sending themselves to Hell here. Even if you’ve convinced yourself that they’re not, at least recognize that we are standing athwart the path of history crying “Stop!” for a reason.

      • James Bradshaw

        I’m beginning to think, with comments like these, that Paul and Esther are actually trolls attempting to make Christians look like buffoons.

  • nikki lemmon

    None of us truly know Dan’s heart before God, but we know that from his mouth, his heart speaks. What he is speaking is not the truth; it is actually turning many away from the Truth to a god of their own making. God’s over-arching attribute is His holiness. And with it come His holy love, holy mercy, holy grace, holy righteousness, and, yes, even His holy wrath against sin. To ignore that is ignoring God’s revelation of Himself in the word. Professing christians would do well to remember what the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, says, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you”. To please God trumps pleasing the world. As for his good deeds that he is getting accolades for, they do not justify a man before God. The bible gives us a right view of God and we would to well to get our thinking in alignment with His.

  • Lindsay Parks

    Mr. Haseltine wonders, in one of his tweets, “how does God want us to act/love around those around us?” I think it would be FAR more important for him to ask himself “how does God want me to act around HIM, and His Word?” This is horizontal thinking at its worst. Jesus asked once “Why do you call Me Lord, Lord…and don’t do what I say?”

  • Nathan Cesal

    You guys are funny. One can allow for non Christians and their activities and keep personal convictions about God’s (clear or otherwise) prohibitions against those activities.

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