Amy Grant will host a same-sex wedding, Franklin Graham objects, and where does that leave Michael W. Smith? – Baptist News Global –

Amy Grant hosts Her niece’s same-sex wedding took place on her farm, and Franklin Graham wanted everyone to know he disapproved.

Of course, this should come as no surprise to Graham.

in 2013 interview Through LGBTQ news outlet PrideSource, Grant said she knew she had a gay fan base when she was 18. “Even when I found out about my sexuality and met people with different experiences, I didn’t categorize then and I don’t now. It made me realize that I don’t know every moment of my life to go somewhere and What it’s like to feel judged.”

The former contemporary Christian music star has stepped into the mainstream, still maintains a healthy churchgoing appeal, and has moved from cautious to open about her support for the LGBTQ community.

Back in 2013, when asked about the politics of same-sex marriage, she said, “I never talk about things like that.”

At the time, Ross Murray, senior director of the GLAAD Media Institute, thought Grant’s interview “was a little cautious. Throughout her music career, she spoke in general terms of loving and accepting everyone.” He concluded, “If Amy Grant continues her journey advocating for the LGBT community, and she will be in good company.”

Grant’s journey did continue.

in 2021 interview Joining Hannah Juanita on Proud Radio, Grant said, “Who loves us more than who made us? … None of us is a surprise from God. It has nothing to do with who we are or what we have done. This That’s why, for me, having a welcome table is so important. Because I’m invited to a table and someone says, ‘Don’t be afraid, you’re loved. … Gay. Straight. It doesn’t matter.”

“Who can love us more than the one who made us? … We are not God’s surprise.

She added: “It doesn’t matter how we connect. We are our best selves when we firmly believe that ‘I am loved.’ Then our creativity will flourish.”

experience of being judged

Grant personally knew being judged.she 1999 divorced This piece from Gary Chapman has people talking. Writer Jonathan Poletti said of Grant: “If she were Cinderella, this would be her midnight.”

Contemporary Christian music stars should not be divorced. They certainly shouldn’t remarry as quickly as she and Vince Gill did.

Most of her Christian fanbase has abandoned her, and she is ashamed of the evangelical world that made her a star.

Yet she kept going. Her accolades now include six Grammy Awards, 26 Dove Awards and inductions into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Music City Walk of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Grant becomes first recognized contemporary Christian music artist this month A lifetime of artistic achievement Presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, it is often referred to as a Kennedy Center Honor Award.

fully out now

Just a month before that party, Grant accepted Washington post There she discussed an upcoming wedding at her farm. A decade after she conducted discreet interviews in support of the LGBTQ community, she fully supports what evangelical Christians fear most: same-sex marriage.

this postal “In recent years, she has expressed support for the LGBTQ community, where she has had a huge fan base for decades,” the report said. Her family’s “first bride” wedding. Grant recalled her reaction when she learned her niece was coming out: This was a gift for our whole family that broadened our experience as a family. “

“Jesus, you just narrowed it down to two things: loving God and loving each other.”

grant told postal: “Honestly, from a faith standpoint, I always say, ‘Jesus, you just narrow it down to two things: loving God and loving each other.’ I mean, hey — it’s that simple.”

franklin graham warns of hell

When evangelist and culture crusader Franklin Graham heard about Grant’s decision to officiate her niece’s wedding, he let everyone know on Twitter that he disapproved.

“Amy Grant Announces She and Her Husband Vince Gill Will Host a Same-Sex Wedding for Her Niece at Their Farm,” Graham tweeted”Yes, we are to love God and love one another. But if we love God, we will strive to keep his word. Jesus told us, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15 verse). God defines what is sin, not us; His Word is clear that homosexuality is sin.”

Billy Graham, who leads Billy Graham Evangelical Society and Samaritan’s Purse, is outspoken critic progressive christianity and LGBTQ people. He has been particularly outspoken in his condemnation of same-sex marriage.

So, fittingly, Graham uses Grant’s welcome to her niece as a warning of eternal hellfire: “To me, loving others also means caring about their souls and where they will spend eternity. It means enough Love people and tell them the truth in God’s Word. The authority of God’s Word is something we can never compromise.”

leave that alone How the Bible Defines Marriage Its alleged claims about same-sex relationships were nothing like what Graham was preaching.

For Franklin Graham, this is all normal.

The Graham family’s contempt for Amy Grant is nothing newIn 1997, after confiding to Billy Graham that her marriage was in trouble because her first husband was addicted to drugs and cheated on her, she was never invited to perform with the evangelist again.

Where is Michael W. Smith?

Now it’s more interesting to wonder what this farce did to another contemporary Christian superstar — Michael W. Smith.

Franklin Graham pitted himself against Grant, which put one of their mutual lifelong friends in a rather difficult situation. Back in the early ’80s, Smith became friends with Grant and Graham.

Grant first met Smith in 1980 when then-boyfriend Gary Chapman introduced Smith to Grant. Grant was a student at Furman University at the time.

She was drawn to the contrast between the energies Smith embodied. “As slow as I am, I like a bit of chaos,” she later admitted interview”I thought it was a really good combination. I remember asking (Smith), ‘Have you ever woken up in a bad mood, once in your life? ’ He said, ‘No. It’s the truth.’”

The two superstar singer-songwriters became lifelong friends. “She’s probably the sweetest soul I’ve ever known,” Smith told Washington post Their interview with Grant.

Their friendship continues to this day they travel together Every year during the Christmas period – a 16-city tour is currently underway and ends three days before Christmas.

But Smith was also a good friend of the Grahams.he met Billy Graham Played piano for Grant in the 1980s. After joining Graham & Grant’s crusade in 1994, Smith went on to sing for Billy and then Franklin Graham for the next few decades.

smith’s friendship with graham led to Embrace Christian Zionism and Christian nationalism—a far cry from the image of Grant’s plan.

fire that needs attention

In 2021, Grant and Smith join forces as executive producers of the documentary jesus music This tells the story of how Christian music evolved from the Jesus movement of the 1970s to where it is today.

Near the end of the movie, there’s a scene where Smith joins Grant at her farm. The two walked side by side on a gravel road—Smith in a camouflage cap and plaid shirt, Grant in a plain T-shirt—to a group of three cottages that Grant explained had been moved there in 1896. As they approached a camp a fire was lit between the cabins and they sat down on a pair of wooden chairs to chat.

“Seven years ago, I wanted the farm to be more than just a personal retreat. It’s beautiful to own a place, but it’s even more beautiful when you share it,” Grant said. “So, this is the fifth year we’re doing this, it’s called ‘Keep the Fire going.'” In 2017, we lit a fire on January 1st, and I created this invitation that said, ‘Hey, we Wanted to see how long we could keep a fire going. ‘”

Smith moved closer as she spoke.

She explained the invitation: “Would you like to come and keep the fire for 48 hours? Just pack a sleeping bag, a two-day picnic, and keep building the fire. But maybe look at life from a different perspective and remind yourself A fire that needs tending.”

As the two of them sit on Grant’s farm reflecting on their friendship and tenderly reminding them of the fires in their lives that may require tending, one can’t help but wonder what wasn’t said between the two of them, and what both of them said considering How their paths diverged, we are thinking.

That was before her niece had a same-sex wedding on that land.

Somehow

One of the most powerful duets Smith and Grant wrote and sang together was released on Smith’s 1992 album Change Your World, titled “Somehow”

In the second stanza, Smith sings: “There is an unspoken love deep within us. But I’m going to tell you anyway, love will fan the fire. That fire will warm the heart that waits.”

Smith had to know what Grant thought about LGBTQ people. He had to know how she felt about her niece. Are they talking about these differences?

Now, 30 years after writing those tender words, he and Grant sit by the fire on her farm while she talks about a fire that needs tending.

In the 1992 song’s bridge, Grant sings, “A place alone, and I’ll pray for you to come home,” Smith chimed in, “Pray for me to come home.” Then the two of them sing together, “I know our love will Somehow bring me into your arms.”

there is one youtube video They sang the song together in 2011, and Smith began, “It’s kind of awkward. It’s a love song.” Then Grant responded, “You’re a beautiful person. But I never felt that way about you.” The audience burst into laughter. She then turned to the audience and added, “But he’s beautiful.” The laughter then turned to cheers from the women in the audience.

Regardless of the relationship dynamic between Smith and Grant, what if the love song they’ve been singing together all these years is actually in some ways a song that shows how love works when people disagree?

What if they really meant the lyrics: “Love is real” and “When this is over, love will be there…even if it takes a lifetime”?

Smith and Grant, now in their early 60s, lived most of the period of their lives they sang about. Like the train leaving in the song’s first stanza, their paths have parted in many ways, politically and spiritually, despite their friendship and touring. What if “somewhere beyond today” was Grant’s farm in Franklin, Tennessee?

Perhaps it was there that she shed light on Smith’s darkness by celebrating love and hosting her niece’s wedding. Perhaps it was there that Smith would be drawn to Grant’s inner peace and consider tending the flames of his own life by distanced himself from the threats of Christian Judaism, Christian nationalism, and Hellfire Graham’s edict.

Could it be that Smith is heading toward the quiet slowness of love that Grant reminds him and us: “Love God and love each other.” I mean, hey — it’s that simple. “

Rick Pidcock Graduated from Bob Jones University in 2004 with a BA in Biblical Literature. He is a freelance writer in South Carolina and a former Clemons Fellow for BNG. He recently completed a Master of Arts in Worship from Northern Seminary. He is a stay-at-home father of five and produces music under the artist name Provoke Wonder.follow his blog www.rickpidcock.com.

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