Gaither's fame and influence has increased exponentially with the incredible popularity of his "Homecoming" concerts and video reunions. On these occasions, he manages to get the best and brightest in the Souther Gospel industry to gather and soulfully sing everyone's favorites. Anyway, we've all heard of Bill Gaither and those he sings with, such as comedian/singer Mark Lowry.
You might not have heard of Marsha Stevens. The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music says “If Larry Norman is to be called the father of Christian Rock, then Marsha Stevens certainly deserves to be known as the mother of contemporary Christian music, a title that Christian Century and others have bestowed upon her. She was the leader of what is considered to be the world's first contemporary Christian music group, Children of the Day.”
Where Marsha Stevens really became famous was a decision she made - Stevens became the first (and as of 2002, the only) major singer in the contemporary Christian music subculture to identify herself publicly as a lesbian…Christian Century Magazine has said that Stevens became "conservative Christianity's worst nightmare - a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, God-fearing lesbian Christian."
Someone will have to explain the multiple-level oxymoron in that description. If you can, I'll explain to you why that is no nightmare to me! Such a creature does not exist!
David Cloud (and I am no big fan of David Cloud and his KJV-Only & Anti-Reformed Theology screeds) but let's not fall prey to the genetic fallacy here - consider the argument as presented, not the presenter of the argument) wrote the following: (You can read Stevens' own version of the night HERE: (http://www.christiangays.com/news.shtml) - just do a page search for "Gaither" or scroll down til you see it (near the bottom as of Jan 27)).
In late 2002, Bill Gaither and Mark Lowry met with and encouraged Marsha Stevens, the lesbian author of the popular gospel song "For These Tears I Died." Stevens, who has a ministry called BALM (Born Again Lesbian Music), attended the Gaither Homecoming concert in
in December 2002, with her lesbian partner. (NOTE: Here's a picture of Stevens with her "bride" at their "wedding.") Phoenix
Mark Lowry, who has sung with the Gaither Vocal Band for many years, approached her and said that he was proud of what she is doing. Surprised, she said, "You know what I'm doing now?" He replied: "I sure do and I wish the fundamentalists would find Jesus. They're going to have a lot to answer for, leaving out people that Jesus died for" (Marsha Stevens, New Years Eve 2002 with Bill Gaither," www.christiangays.com).
Bill and Gloria Gaither then came over and told her that they, too, appreciate her ministry today. A photo at Stevens' web site shows her and her lesbian partner with Bill Gaither and Mark Lowry.
In the last part of the concert later that night, Gaither invited the crowd to sing along to "For Those Tears I Died." He then said: "You know, the young woman who wrote that song is here with us tonight, and maybe you're like she was and you've heard about a God who would reject you for who you are or who might turn you away for something you've done or where you've come from. Well I want you to know that I don't know that God. The only God I know is the one in this song that she wrote. The one that says, 'I am right here for you.' The one who sent His son. The one who says, 'You are my child, I love you, come stand by my side.' So sing with me again!"
I am stunned! Gaither and Lowry might think they are doing what Jesus would do - the whole "judge not" thing. But this is not showing Christian love to these two women. These two men are giving tacit approval and are outright condoning their sinful lifestyle. That is not presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When Christ crossed paths with individuals engaging in open public sin, He told the woman caught in adultery to "go and sin no more" and confronted one woman with the truth that she was living in sin with another man. Jesus sure didn't just idly hope the fundamentalist Pharisees would find Him! Jesus would have told these two ladies that what they are doing is wrong and they need to repent!
I tried to verify this story. A friend of mine contacted Mark Lowry Productions and received an answer that this episode occured several years ago and has been retold and changed so much that it is hardly accurate anymore. The answer further revealed that they no longer respond to this issue (and did so this time only because of a common bond with this friend). That is amazing to me - if this event did not happen the way the gay community thinks it did, I would want everyone to know the truth and would place a permanent link on my website and have a form letter/form email at the ready for each and every inquiry.
With all that being said, I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt. But, on the chance that this is true at all - shame on Lowry and Gaither for bowing before the politically correct throne of the world and allowing their ministries and thoughts to be governed by a worldly anti-biblical tolerance for evil.
Shame on Lowry and Gaither for compromising the gospel of Christ. You can talk all you want about "not judging" and "loving the sinner and hating the sin," but sin is sin. Just because many don't call out divorce or other such plagues in the church is no excuse to let slide another sin - especially one that is so public.