To be transparent, I hate the conflict that happens around the topics surrounding faith and sexuality. The recent announcements of well-loved Christian authors/speakers Jen and Brandon Hatmaker, and well-known blogger and speaker Glennon Doyle Melton announcing she is in a same-sex relationship, have left me grieved and frustrated. The issues surrounding faith and sexuality are deeply personal to me and over the course of the last eight years I have walked a hard and costly journey to resolve my faith and sexuality.
At the heart of my own personal journey I have been challenged to make a choice between the truth of God’s word and my own orientation/identity, which had primarily been defined by sexual attractions and desires. The fact of the matter is that when I gave my life to Christ, I honestly believed that my faith and sexuality could co-exist and the label that best fit me was “gay Christian.” In the early stages of my journey if I had read and listened to Christian leaders like Doyle-Melton and the Hatmakers it would have given me ample justification to continue to live life on my terms, to not ask myself the hard questions, and to be driven by my feelings rather than Truth.
Please hear me: I believe people like the Hatmakers and Ms. Doyle-Melton are social justice-minded and care a great deal about others. I would go so far as to say they have stirred the Western Church to become proactive toward people who are different from themselves and to care about those on the earth who are less fortunate than ourselves. The Hatmakers both stated that the Church has not done a good job of understanding the gay-identified people or loving them well; from personal experience, I would agree that is true. That said, I believe their new view of sexuality and gender is misplaced.
By affirming happiness and pleasure in this life for LGBTQ people, they ignore the fact that same-sex relationships (SSR) are not God’s intended best for our lives. Furthermore, their new point of view implies that God’s word is not absolute Truth, with the authority to evaluate, inform and guide our lives. Their ideology advocates for people to embrace their “authentic selves,” which allows them to live life on their terms—do whatever they want to do, be whoever they want to be, love whoever they want to love. Which denies Jesus’ mandate to surrender the most important things in our lives to Him, pick up our cross and follow Him.
Their misaligned theology implies that God made a mistake when it comes sexuality, gender and marriage. In turn, it causes one to question if God is good and can be trusted with our humanity, needs, wants and desires. Foremost, it rejects the responsibility of Christ-followers to be transformed and restored into the image and likeness of God in every aspect of our lives, to align our thoughts and desires to God’s word and intent for our lives. I am grieved to hear Jen Hatmaker thinks that a same-sex relationship can be “holy.” It makes me question if we are even reading the same Bible. God calls all who follow Him to be holy, as He is holy.
Leviticus 20:26 (NLT) “You must be holy because I, the LORD, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.”
1 Peter 1:15 (NASB) “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;”
To be holy means we live a life conforming to God’s character and nature, and His intended purpose and design for our lives. Not our own desires and wills. If we have a relationship with the living God, then we must daily live a set-apart life, not trying to “blend in” with our culture, but instead living according to God’s Word as we study the Bible and grow in it.
Sadly, those who promote the Hatmakers’ new point of view give people like Doyle-Melton permission to feed her personal desires. In doing so, Melton demonstrates it’s okay to pursue what you want and be true to yourself—even if means breaking apart a family in the process. Again, hear me: there are plenty of ever-straight people out there doing the exact same thing, pursuing adulterous relationships and leaving their families behind to deal with the aftermath. Neither is acceptable or aligns with God’s truth.
Sadly, the issues surrounding faith, sexuality, gender and marriage continue to create conflict. Now more than ever, those who are committed followers of Christ must understand what God’s word has to say about these issues. We must learn to effectively converse about the topic of sexuality and the gospel. We must be diligent to pray for our friends and loved ones who are gay-identified and offer the hope of Christ within us as the only one who can truly satisfy our deepest needs and desires.
Thanks for following my journey. I welcome your questions and comments.