Jen and Brandon Hatmaker are popular and influential evangelical Christians. Jen gave an interview to Jonathan Merrit at Religion News Service where she affirms her support of gay marriage and insists that an LGBTQ relationship is holy.
Not only are these our neighbors and friends, but they are brothers and sisters in Christ. They are adopted into the same family as the rest of us, and the church hasn’t treated the LGBT community like family. We have to do better.
Jen followed up with a Facebook post, wisely calling for the conversation about this to be imbued with grace and respect.
...all around you, the LGBTQ community is watching. They are listening. They are watching how we respond, how we talk about them, how we actually feel about them in our churches. They are your neighbors, your colleagues, they are in your churches already, some of them are in your homes, some of them are your children and you don't know it. Most of them are quiet because they are scared. With good and obvious reason. But they are beautiful people loved by Jesus and no matter what, we should speak in a way befitting the way of grace...
These comments seem very reserved, but are radical in the evangelical world. She simply believes in the human dignity of those who are LGBTQ and affirms that their relationships are of equal value to those who are not. In reality these beliefs aren't radical; they're just not bigoted.
LifeWay, a popular Christian bookstore chain, apparently prefers bigotry; they banned Jen Hatmaker's books after her comments. Shame on them.
Today, Jen's husband, Brandon Hatmaker, published his own Facebook post, throwing his support behind his wife. It describes the long and difficult process of prayer and rigorous study they went through to arrive at their position on LGBTQ equality.
We started with scripture (Again, please assume a ton of prayer). For more than a year we studied every version of every verse in the Bible that appeared to discuss “homosexuality”. We studied the Greek. We studied the Hebrew. We read every commentary we could find related specifically to the related passages.
Every verse in the Bible that is used to condemn a “homosexual” act is written in the context of rape, prostitution, idolatry, pederasty, military dominance, an affair, or adultery. It was always a destructive act. It was always a sin committed against a person. And each type of sexual interaction listed was an abuse of God’s gift of sex and completely against His dream for marriage to be a lifelong commitment of two individuals increasingly and completely giving themselves to one another as Christ did for the church.
In other words, the Bible never condemns having sex, being married, or existing merely because the participants are LGBTQ. There's always another source of the sinfulness.
At a time when most of the evangelical church is fervently supporting the abomination that is Donald Trump, it's heartening to see loving leaders like the Hatmakers rising out of the burning rubble.