After writing the booklet about IF:Gatherings, I received numerous complaints and rebukes. My detractors had nothing but glowing praise for the IF conferences and their speakers. None of them appeared to understand why it is important that the IF speakers are influenced by notorious heretics. Perhaps that factor will come into focus now that a popular IF:Gathering speaker, Jen Hatmaker, has declared her support for LGBT “Christians”. [i]
Along with the contemplative mystics, Hatmaker, apparently prefers inspiration from at least one atheist. According to a friend, Hatmaker declared that she would be the result of a procreative union between George Carlin and Beth Moore. [ii] Carlin, a professed atheist, left no doubts about his utter scorn for Christianity and religion in general. Carlin stated, “Religion is one of humanity’s greatest swindles and created nothing but lies, conflict, and suffering”, and that he was “not impressed” with God. He compared the idea of God as a Supreme Being as the “the kind of (expletive) you’d expect from an office temp with a bad attitude.”
Beth Moore, a contemplative heretic, has made numerous bizarre statements. She claims to have had a vision from God of ecumenism that includes the Roman Catholic Church. In her hairbrush video, Moore relates a conversation with God during which she displayed a cavalier disrespect for God. Similar to the flippant attitude of Jenny Allen (founder of IF:Gathering), she afterward manifested disrespect for Christ by stating that Jesus is “the bossiest thing”. (From Moore’s online videos)
Hatmaker apparently believes LGBT individuals are consigned to bondage with no hope for God’s deliverance. Her answer to the problem of deliverance is to embrace the sin, thereby abolishing its stigma. She declares to LGBT individuals, “…there is nothing ‘wrong with you’”. In classic Carlinism, she also proclaims the weakness and defeat of all Christians by stating that “we are all hopelessly screwed up”. [iii]
I commend Hatmaker’s love and compassion for LGBT individuals, but reject her solution of embracing their bondage. Additionally, unless she is referring to professing Christians that have joined the great apostasy, I deplore her assessment of God’s people. If Christians are all “hopelessly screwed up”, then they are either not Christians or else God and His word, the Holy Spirit, and sacrifice of Christ, is ineffective. Such a flawed assessment not only distorts and defeats the Gospel of Christ, but condemns practically the entire New Testament.
Hatmaker further accuses Christianity of causing suicides by “rejecting” LGBT “Christians”. Clearly it is not rejecting the sinner to reject their sin. Further, while some reports may claim religion as a factor, no scientific study proves that Christianity is the cause of such high percentage of suicide in gay youth. A high rate of suicide is recorded among youth that have no religious affiliation. Some studies reveal that adolescent gays who experience rejection by their parents are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide. However, there are other dynamics contributing to that heartbreaking statistic. Suicide is the 11th in causes of death in the U.S. It is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people ages15-24. The primary risk factor is mental illness. [iv] Other contributing factors include depression, substance abuse, inability to cope with the challenges of adolescence, and possibly AIDS, but not Christianity.
The fact is that many gays are not actually gay (by the historical definition of the word), but depressed. It is a sordid lifestyle void of true love and rife with numerous conflicts and rejection. The idea that abolishing faithfulness to scriptural standards will remove their depression is completely unprovable. However, it is provable that their bondage and depression can be removed by the power and mercy of God. Hatmaker seems to believe that her unproven claims are sufficient to undermine the authority of God’s word.
To be honest, numerous churches today are incapable of ministering to anyone regardless of his or her sin. A huge number are meeting-focused with no passion for ministry. Additionally, the majority of professing Christians do not pray, study the Bible, witness, and have never won a soul to Christ. It is a given that the Seeker-sensitive and Emergent churches cannot set the captives free. As many other churches and even denominations, they have become heresy-ridden and apostate.
None of those issues lend credibility to the notion that LGBT should now be accepted as valid Christian lifestyles. Instead, it indicates that a “great awakening” with universal repentance is long overdue. If it does not occur soon, other individuals like Hatmaker may insist that even more perversion to be accepted by Christians. What’s next? The suicide rate for “sex-only” pedophiles is 183times the general population. [v] Will Hatmaker and her ilk, and possibly IF:Gathering(s), throw open their arms and the church doors to suicidal pedophiles?
[i] Religion News Service, Jonathan Merritt, April 25, 2016
[ii] Brandan Hines, Pulpit and Pen, April 25, 2016
[iii] Jen Hatmaker, Facebook post, April 23, 2016
[iv] American Psychological Association, Teen Suicide is Preventable, 2016 online article)
[v] Differential suicide rates in typologies of child sex offenders in a 6-year consecutive cohort of male suicides, C. Pritchard, E. King.