The Bible does not contain God’s Word.
It IS God’s Word. All of It.
This is often not an easy, palatable, reconcilable Truth. But it is the Truth nonetheless. Truth that is not always easy to swallow.
I remember when my children were toddlers. Feeding them anything new meant being prepared for tightly closed mouths, turned heads and the dreaded, “I took this in . . . but it’s coming back at ya!” You know, the forceful spray of half-gummed food that can hit an unsuspecting mother at anytime and anyplace.
Jesus said we are to come to Him as little children, I fear we too often reject and expulse some of God’s Truths. His design and laws don’t always make sense . . . nor are they popular . . . especially in today’s culture. But they are His Words. And this is His world. And, for those of us who confess Him to be our Lord and Savior, we are His children.
A good parent doesn’t only dish out sweet candy and ice cream so that the child will eat without rejection. No! That would be neglectful. We set before our children the things that will protect their health, build up their bodies and encourage growth into strong maturity. True parenting mixes love with discipline. To not discipline and allow children to pick and choose their rules and food would make for sick, anemic kids living in dangerous situations.
To create a strong family, a parent needs to love . . . but also instruct, set boundaries, and (I was terrible at this) follow through with correction! When our children love and fear us, they in turn respond with respect, love and obedience. They look for approval. The more they obey, the less correction they will need, and the love bond grows that much stronger.
So what does this have to do with you, Jen Hatmaker?
Jen, you love people. And you have a wonderful zest for life with a super sense of humor. I also believe you love Jesus. But like many of us, I sense you are struggling to reconcile a loving Father who limits the permissible behavior of His children. In your interview with Religion News, you replied:
“And how would you respond if one of your children were gay?
I think we would parent that child exactly the same as the rest of them. Which is to say, we would always be on their side and in their corner and for them and with them. We want for all of our kids the same thing: faithful, committed marriage and a beautiful family that is committed to God and the church. I would have the same standard across the board, no matter what.”
I commend you on your love and commitment to your children – regardless to their lifestyle or decisions – but dear friend, you stumbled when you said that an active, gay lifestyle would somehow allow them to be ‘committed to God and the church’.
Because as children of God, we are not just to bask in His love . . . we also are to obey, revere and fear Him. To be committed to God . . . means to be dead to self and to live obedient lives. To be truly born again and dedicated to the Lord means a life that is repulsed by sin, not habitually engaged in it.
Oh how hard it is when we see those we love make decisions contrary to God’s Word. They will suffer painful consequences and all too often face rejection and discipline. It is so uncomfortable to witness. I know you’ve witnessed this as you were quoted in Christianity Today:
“Hatmaker even said she would attend the wedding of a gay friend “with gladness” and “would drink champagne” because she wants the “very best for my gay friends.” But out of all the statements made by Hatmaker during that interview, it was probably her belief that an LGBT relationship can be holy that earned her the most criticism. “My views here are tender. This is a very nuanced conversation, and it’s hard to nail down in one sitting,” she said. “I’ve seen too much pain and rejection at the intersection of the gay community and the church. Every believer that witnesses that much overwhelming sorrow should be tender enough to do some hard work here.”
I appreciate your heart . . . I do! My husband and I have two dear gay friends who formalized their relationship years ago. They love and respect us. We equally love and respect them. They are tender, sweet, talented men. Yet, with that mutual admiration, all of us accept each other’s convictions and beliefs. We don’t expect them to fall into line with us nor do they expect – or ever ask – us to compromise our beliefs in order to embrace their lives. They know we love them, but they also know we believe that their lifestyle is sin in the eyes of God; they know because we have talked about it. We meet for dinner (far too infrequently) and pray for them when they share their struggles. Their union was officiated years before we met them, but if they were going to celebrate today, we would not attend because that would be endorsing a relationship and lifestyle contrary to God’s will. As hubby says, we care more about their eternal lives than their earthly one. Besides, our friends would probably not invite us anyhow. They love us too much to ask us to go against our convictions.
You see, Jen . . . the very best for our gay friends is for them to know God and His Word. On our part, it means we need to walk uncompromising lives before them. To reflect the love and boundaries of a loving Father. To exude an example that would entice them to come to Jesus as little children themselves. To see them begin to devour the Word in all its entirety – even if it meant them spewing a bit as they chewed – until the Grace and love of Jesus, infused by the Power of the Holy Spirit, caused them to fear, obey and fall at His feet. We don’t need to heap sugar onto the Word to help it go down. We just need to live and love It ourselves.
This is love.
This is what is the very best for our gay friends.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 emphasis mine).
By Lori Dixon | Writer/Speaker/Servant of Christ
Lori is an author, speaker and servant of Christ. You may also follow her ramblings which vary from humorous to hard hitting at www.LovingKindnessMinistries.ca or email her at Lori@LovingKindnessMinistries.ca to say hello.