Jennifer Knapp, the Christian music artist who announced this month that she is gay, recently questioned the authenticity of Bible translations on the issue of homosexuality.
During her appearance on CNN's Larry King Live on Friday, Knapp pointed out that believers rely on a text that is not in the original language. She said scholars have questioned the interpretation of the original Greek words that have been translated to homosexuality.
Though acknowledging that she is by no means a scholar or theologian, Knapp brought up the Bible translation issue to challenge those who cite the Bible as stating that homosexuality is a sin.
"Well, I think there is plenty of evidence in my exploration of my faith through the sacred text of the Holy Bible that I have definitely recognized that we are somewhat at the handicap of our own interpretation of a sacred text," responded Knapp to King's question on if she feels the Bible speaks against homosexuality.
"In the long run I don't have the greatest deal of problems with it because I'm not the only person in the universe that has ever looked at a different interpretation," she said. "We have advocates on both sides. It doesn't make the truth any less the truth or love less love."
The issue of Bible translation came up twice during the LKL show that featured Knapp, Pastor Bob Botsford of Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego, and former evangelical leader Ted Haggard, who was involved in a gay sex scandal in 2006.
Throughout the show, Botsford pointed to Scripture, which he believes to be inerrant, to argue that Knapp has succumbed to sin. He said while everyone is a sinner, the difference is that some people allow the sin to rule over their life and others try to overcome the sin.
"Allowing that to continue to reign over your life is not allowing Jesus Christ to be Lord," said Botsford. "My role is to die to sin not to justify it."
Knapp at one point during the show said she is not there to justify homosexuality, but to talk about her personal choice and path. She resisted the role of a gay activist and said Botsford has the right to teach his church his interpretation of Scripture on homosexuality. But she asked that he leave her out of it.
"I will repeat to you what I said to you backstage. That the next time that you want to talk about an example of what you mean to teach to your followers, please use the words this is the way this congregation and how we're going to talk about homosexuality within our community, within our church," said an apparently frustrated Knapp toward the end of the show. "And don't use my name. Do not use my name as a substitute for the word homosexuality."
Botsford said he felt compelled to speak out publicly about Knapp's choice because she's a person of influence in the Christian community. He said he does not want people to mistaken that what Knapp is doing is right.
Knapp recently revealed she has been in an eight-year relationship with a woman.
She has won four Dove awards and was nominated for a Grammy award. Her three albums combined have sold more than 1 million copies. She said she remained celibate for ten years while working in the Christian music industry.
But now, after a seven-year hiatus, she said she is "very comfortable" with her sexuality.
"I feel blessed to fully be who I am. I love being able to be a musician and part of that process of being a musician is being open and honest and to not feel like I have to lie or hide anything," she said. "I don't necessarily want to talk about it all the time, but I don't have to hide it either."
Knapp was diplomatic in her answers and appeared to restrain her emotions for the first half of the show. But toward the second half she expressed her frustration at Botsford, particularly when he said humans have perverted the love created by God.
"How am I perverted?" Knapp shot back.
At another point she told Botsford that he does not have the right to speak about her in the way he has publicly.
"I have spiritual leadership in my life. The pastoral counsel of those who are dear to me, who understand the scripture as sacred text and, Bob don't interrupt me," Knapp said. "And you are not that man in my life."
Throughout the show, Haggard took a vague middle ground and refused to answer questions directly. He refused to give a clear answer when asked if homosexuality is a sin and whether it is a choice or not. The disgraced former megachurch pastor said both sides have valid points and that the most important thing is for people to have a personal relationship with God.
Knapp will release her new album in May. The album will not be marketed to a strictly Christian audience as her past works had been.