I’m doing something I rarely do. (I think I could say “never”, but since I’m doing it, I’ll stick with “rarely”.) I’m calling her out. By name. Because the thoughts keep coming to my head and heart. I have prayed for her first. And for those she influences. And THAT is why I speak out.
I love so much of her writing. I love much of what she says about motherhood – no helicopter parenting, just good mama care. I love that she stirred within me years ago to consider simplifying my life and ridding our lives and home of the excess of stuff. I love that she has compassion and mercy for “the least of these”, unlike many who are in a prominent position as herself. I love that she’s a pastor’s wife trying to serve her community and church well. I love that she’s willing to be courageous in the midst of rejection.
Oh, Jen. I read your recent blog post. I realize you are hurting and feel left out. But the way I see it, you have left us. Well, I should clarify: I mean me.
So many questions. I’m baffled and discouraged. Actually I’m broken-hearted.
Why have you chosen to embrace and even celebrate a lifestyle clearly condemned in Romans 1?
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.
Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!
For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. They are filled with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents, senseless, covenant-breakers, heartless, ruthless.
Although they fully know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them.
I have waited. I was hoping. I thought she would keep searching for the Truth, based on the authority of God’s word, and I was sure she would find it. And maybe she will. If He has started a good work in Jen Hatmaker, He will surely complete it.
I speak out now only because of the slippery slope … that downward spiral away from the gospel that is the only hope for mankind. I’m no more condemning unrepentance from the homosexual lifestyle than I am gossip or greed or arrogance. They are all reprehensible, according to scriptures. Forgiveable, yes. But the gospel message is so clear: Repentance is part of the process of salvation. After His resurrection, Jesus continued with the very same message He had from the beginning:
Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24)
I realize that there are people who claim to follow Christ but not Paul. And yet, when Jesus met with His friends on the road after His resurrection, He wanted them to get it. He reminded them of the very thing that John (the Baptist) had preached and that Paul would continue to preach. He emphasized again how resurrection and repentance were part of the gospel message they would take to the world. So, I don’t reject Jen out of some loyalty to the “Christian machine”. I haven’t taken time to write a blog post just because she and I disagree on some points of interpretation. I learn from lots of bible teachers with whom I have differences of opinion and interpretation on unclear or minor issues in scripture. What I do reject is the more recent interpretation that she and her husband have taken that denies or attempts to edit the verses that they do not like. I have concluded that this approach begins to erode the authority of scripture. I can’t reconcile their view with what I’ve come to believe about sin and repentance. I can’t in good conscience continue to recommend her books and her blog. Not because she’s so evil. In fact, just the opposite. She’s right on so many things. And that’s what causes me such angst.
And though my heart is heavy, I am thankful for the many women that God is raising up in these days. There are some great women of influence who are not compromising Truth, but who speak and live in a compassionate way. So, as Beth Moore recently tweeted: Onward.
Yes! I’m praying for you, young woman. Come forth. Speak up. As an “older woman” I am praying for more women in the next generation who will speak with humor about life but with a healthy reverence toward God and His Word. For women who will write with grace and truth. For women who will radically love others, with genuine sensitivity to the marginalized. I am willing and eager to learn from you.
I am ready.
And I am very hopeful.
Older women … are to teach what is good … that the word of God may not be reviled. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2