Jen Hatmaker, the Austin, Texas native, is known as a conservative author, blogger and speaker. She’s been popular in evangelical circles and widely used at women’s retreats and conferences around the country. Until recently.
Last Fall, Hatmaker publicly admitted that she had been rethinking her position on homosexual relationships and decided they could be holy. On her facebook page she stated that she came to her conclusion “with prayer and careful study and deliberation.”
“Our view of the Word is still very high, as it is for the hundreds of thousands of faithful believers who believe likewise,” Hatmaker wrote. However, she suggested that one can be an evangelical, holding Scripture as the authority on all matters, and affirm same-sex relationships.
True Bible believers, even in her own fellowship, have rejected Jen Hatmaker’s conclusions. Not surprisingly her reputation has taken a big hit in the evangelical community. Lifeway Christian Bookstore has discontinued selling her Bible studies and books.
However, not everyone in the religious arena agrees with Hatmaker’s treatment. Religious News Service columnist Jonathan Merritt wrote a blistering denunciation of Christians who’ve condemned Jen Hatmaker’s position. His May 2, 2017 commentary was entitled “Why I’ll take courageous Jen Hatmaker over her cowardly critics any day.”
Merritt charges that conservative Christians have engaged in “the nastiest character assassination.” As a part of his defense of the popular author, he says there are many in the Christian community “who secretly agree with Hatmaker but are too afraid to say so.”
As further justification Merritt points out some of the inconsistencies and sins of nationally known evangelical leaders. And condemns the “evangelical aristocracy” that condemns same-sex marriage and Hatmaker’s new view.
I suppose it’s too convenient to say that Jonathan Merritt’s arguments lack merit. But it’s true.
ThePreachersWord opposes same-sex marriage and homosexual relationships. But not because of the dictates of some church. Or religious leader. Or ecclesiastical institution. We oppose it because of what the Bible teaches.
Hatmaker claims to hold the Word in regard. Well, here’s what it says.“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
Given today’s moral climate, it takes more courage to teach the Truth about morality and marriage than it does to cave in to our politically correct culture. Furthermore the hypocrisy of Tele-evangelists, Protestant and Catholic leaders as well as evangelical writers does not excuse the error taught by others.
There was a time when there was general consensus among religious groups regarding basic moral principles and God’s mandate on marriage. Even if we disagreed about some doctrinal positions, we believed that marriage was between one man and one woman. Sadly, that day is quickly passing us by.
Hatmaker is not the first so-called conservative evangelical leader to condone homosexuality. Nor will she be the last. But in spite of this moral shift, Christians must remain vigilant. Steadfast. Faithful. And committed to the divine, never-changing principles of God’s Word.
It’s not courageous to capitulate to our immoral culture. It takes courage to stand for Truth. The call “to be strong and of good courage” is never more needed than it is today.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman