(broken) jars of clay.

mjkimpan  —  April 30, 2014 — 9 Comments


‘but we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always caring in the body the death of jesus, so that the life of jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. for we who live are always being given over to death for jesus’ sake, so that the life of jesus may also be manifested in our mortal flesh.’

— ii corinthians 4:7-11

sometimes i fear rather than being seen as jars of clay containing the treasure of the abundant life giving message of christ, many within the christian community instead look like a bunch of crack pots.

earlier this week, the frontman for the band Jars of Clay posed some good questions via his twitter feed about a christian response to the LGBTQ community – a move he later apologized for, acknowledging that the venue of 140 characters or less allowed for a misinterpretation of his intended queries. as his blogpost explained, the line of thought was prompted from dan haseline watching the film 12 Years a Slave on an international flight following his sitting on a panel which was pummeled with questions surrounding gay rights in australia. admittedly, he said, he hadn’t given the question much thought, even of his gay and lesbian brothers and sisters in the states.

even still, what follows are a few examples of what i suspect are incredibly well-formed, thoughtful, provocative, poignant and important questions from the lead singer – of both himself and others ::











these and other tweets created quite a stir.



as the firestorm in the interwebs increased, he continued ::






he then turned his attention to address comments and questions he’d received about his view of scripture ::







and then, the World Vision treatment ::


good question(s).

i recall when the band released their Much Afraid album while i was studying at my alma mater – the album was condemned by many as ‘not christian enough’ for a ‘christian band’ and the debate raged on about whether or not the band had ‘sold out’ their christian faith in order to be accepted within a secularized society(on the subject of christian music, i’d point to my friend derek webb in his articulation of the term ‘christian’ being used to describe anything other than a person – pretty insightful stuff from derek here).

looks like history continues to repeat itself.

on that aforementioned album there was a track entitled crazy times. it certainly seems we’re in the midst of some crazy times of our own, as the fallout and even venomous attacks of individuals like dan (or organizations like world vision) who are merely asking questions or suggesting a better way forward than we’ve seen thus far are practically crucified for their willingness to stand in solidarity with the gay community…or even ask questions of the evangelical community.

makes me wonder how my forthcoming book on that very subject will be received…

as i asked just a few days ago, is not our fear refusal to entertain question and doubt merely an exercise in dogmatic propaganda?

 what do you think?



  • Sarah Marie Dillard

    (especially as a musician)
    (and especially as a christian musician who is often told i should only perform “christian” music or pursue a career in the “christian” music industry – – which by the way is exactly that, an industry)
    i love switchfoot’s response to being questioned about “christian” music.

    you can read it here:

  • michaeldanner

    Thanks for passing on Dan’s tweets here. I’d heard a bit of the rumblings, but not much. I see a guy asking good questions. I suspect it is far easier to kill the messenger then try to answer the questions honestly. I’m looking forward to your book – when does it release? MC USA is embroiled in this “dialog” once again.

    • good to hear it. i found myself in the same circumstance, and hoped embedding the tweets would be helpful.

      the book release date got pushed back to sometime in march – i’ll definitely post it once we secure a date. glad you’re looking forward to it; i am as well!

      • Next march? We can’t wait that long!

        • ha! i’m sure you’ll survive…it’s taking some time to take out all the foul language and make me sound much less heretical. errr….subversively controversial. 😉

          • That’s a tall order. I hope your editor has the patience of Job.

            • haha! indeeeeeeed. the first ‘report for revision’ was 20 pages long, plus an hour and a half conversation. 😉 i’m fortunate to have an editor so invested in the overarching message of the work, and simultaneously knowledgable about the consumer base of IVP.

              i also had a pretty wise friend as an early reader for my first draft. 🙂

  • Noremacam

    There’s a few issues here. Notably how much of the church expects you to be lock-step with them at all times, or else you’re not Christian. The answer to gay marriage is not simply a few bible verses away, and takes time and energy and study and asking uncomfortable questions to reach a conclusion.
    Naturally, any famous person who asks uncomfortable questions publicly must must be accused of having abandoned the faith for fame, money or some other reason. Anything really, but fostering healthy dialogue.