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Brandi Carlile's 'Spiritual Shift'

In an interview with Terri Gross, Grammy Award winning songwriter/singer Brandi Carlile was asked about her church’s refusal to baptize her when she was a teenager. The host, Terry Gross asked, “How were you told that you weren't going to be baptized?” Carlile responded,

I was doing the things I thought I was supposed to do. But on the day of my baptism my friends and family had all been invited to the church to see this go down. I got there and was taken aside and told that unless I declared that I intended to no longer be gay, that I couldn't be baptized that day. And it just came as such a shock … it was a big shift in my life spiritually and musically and emotionally.

Gross then asked, “What was the shift spiritually?” Carlile replied,

Well, it made me rethink, where God was in this church? Was God in these people? Was God in these displays of piety, like this grandstanding of baptism, and these testimonials? Or was God maybe in places I'd yet to go, like in music or outside of my town on out on the road out of my house?

At that point I had never even been on an airplane before. So, it's when I knew that it was time for me to seek beyond my station. ... It gave me a sense of a faith in God that's an unshakable by the whims of culture, by politics, by people or by organized religion, and by (the) church specifically.

Currently, Carlile and her wife have two children and they live on a compound in the state of Washington with their extended family. The singer/songwriter she idolized, Elton John, has become a friend.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Carlile turned away from her church and her evangelical faith because she would not give up her homosexual identity. Redefining church, the Bible, and God to fit one’s choice of lifestyle is extremely dangerous and an example of false postmodern religion.


Host Terry Gross, “Singer Brandi Carlile Talks Ambition, Avoidance, and Finally Finding Her Place,” PBS Fresh Air (4-5-21)

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