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What Jen Hatmaker Gets Right about Christian Love

Reactions to her message to LGBT people highlight how confused we are about love and repentance.
What Jen Hatmaker Gets Right about Christian Love
Image: Dennis Burnett

Religion News Service writer Jonathan Merritt recently noted an apparent “shift” in stance from popular writer and speaker Jen Hatmaker. Hatmaker is best known for her wildly popular books and her and her family’s home-renovation reality TV show. After a speaking event in Raleigh this weekend, she wrote the following post on Facebook:

. . . So whatever the cost and loss, this is where I am: gay teens? Gay adults? Mamas and daddies of precious gaybees? Friends and beloved neighbors of very dear LGBT folks?

Here are my arms open wide. So wide that every last one of you can jump inside. You are so dear, so beloved, so precious and important. You matter so desperately and your life is worthy and beautiful. There is nothing "wrong with you," or in any case, nothing more right or wrong than any of us, which is to say we are all hopelessly screwed up but Jesus still loves us beyond all reason and lives to make us all new, restored, whole. Yay for Jesus! Thank God he loves us. He is not embarrassed of any of us. I am not a scandal, you are not a scandal. We are not "bringing down his brand."

Anyhow, my message to you today is simple, LGBT gang and all those who love you: You are loved and special and wanted and needed.

The end.

The post quickly generated more 35,000 likes, but it also somewhat predictably drew consternation from both the traditionalist and progressive ends of the broader LGBT debate. One commenter, representing the progressive side, asked if the post meant that Hatmaker had come around to an affirming position since 2014, when Hatmaker stated her traditionalist position amid the World Vision story. In that post, Hatmaker wrote:

I want you to know that I land on the side of traditional ...
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