Affirming Hatmaker’s Gospel: A Respectful Call to Beth Moore & Max Lucado

Recently Jen Hatmaker had Max Lucado and Beth Moore on her “For the Love podcast”. Both can be found here: “Beth Moore Guides Us Through the Rocky Soil” and Max Lucado: “The Beauty of Disagreeing Agreeably”. For those who may not be familiar, Jen came out in 2016 denouncing the teaching of Jesus. Jen claims marriage is not reserved only between men and women but also available for same-sex relationships. You can find one quote here in this article, “Progressively Pseudo Christianity”. To be clear I appreciate both Beth and Max.  Often when Beth is critiqued many accuse those doing the critique as having it out for her. I assure you; nothing could be further from the truth. I offer these two links. In them I wrote two songs meant to bring humor and highlight the logical inconsistency of those attacking Beth, both can be found here: “Brad Paisley Tune for Beth Moore” and “Beth Moore Go Home”.

What’s the Big Deal?

So, what’s the big deal? After all, it’s just a podcast, right? Not quite. I mean it is a podcast, but the issue isn’t the podcast. The issue is the affirmation by Max and Beth of someone who teaches the opposite of what Jesus taught. If you listen to both conversations, you will see both Moore and Lucado affirm Jen in all kinds of ways. My ask of them is to reconsider affirming those who preach another gospel.

Here are a few of the affirmations offered to Jen.

Max had this to say, “Oh, you don’t know how honored I am. I’m just so thrilled. I think so highly of you. You energize me, to listen to your podcast…And your heart and you know what else I like, Jen? You bring me in touch with a circle of believers that I might not typically have contact with, you know?”

After the podcast Beth offered this, “It was a blast and an honor to be a guest on my beloved friend, Jen Hatmaker’s “For the Love” podcast… if you don’t want to love her, do not ever ever ever ever ever ever ever get to know her.”

Jen had this to say in promotion of the podcast, “The one and only Queen is on the pod today. Let me tell you something about Beth Moore: she is in possession of every single secret, heartbreak, and raggedy mess of drama I have ever experienced… I have mountains of texts, emails, videos, and notes she has sent me.”

Well what is wrong with affirming Jen like this? Sounds like both Max and Moore are loving a friend, and are we not called to love our friends? The answer is of course yes, we are. The problem comes when Scripture informs how, in certain situations, love is to be shared with those friends. Sometimes the Gospel calls us to true love and that is helping others see their sin and encouraging them to repent.

The Truth of the Gospel

When leaders like Max and Beth affirm Jen, and others like her, they say Jen is OK. That is, her ministry is Christ honoring and worthy of others to listen to what she has to say. But this is not true. Jen is in need of guidance from people like Beth and Max. She needs to feel their love as they instruct her and plead with her to return to Christ honoring love. Of course, many take a dismissive stance like, “Hey we don’t agree with Jen on everything, but hey, I don’t agree with anyone on everything.” However, the problem is the Scriptures are clear how to interact with those who claim Christ but promote anti-Christ ideas. Though not popular, the clear language needed to explain is this—Jen Hatmaker teaches that which is evil and wicked, that is literally against Christ. That is, people who call that which is evil good and that which is good evil. The loving teaching of Jesus about marriage is found in the beginning of Genesis when there was one man and one woman.

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:4-6

Jen discards this teaching from Jesus and offers a separate plan and rejects the plan offered by the creator of all. Jesus said, let no one separate, not even a great human like Jen Hatmaker.

So, what does the Scriptures have to say?

The Authority of Scripture

In 1 Cor 5 there is a man who is in a sexually immoral relationship and he claims he is a believer. The key to understanding is remembering this is someone who claims the name of Christ, but lives against those claims. Paul says,

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.”

What does Paul say to do?

“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—” and

“Expel the wicked person from among you.”

Paul gives those two instructions to deal with someone who claims to be a believer but is involved in the promotion and/or participation of unrepentant sin. Of important note, Paul clarifies he is only speaking of those who claim to be a Christian.

But why does Paul give this instruction?

“hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord—” and

“Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”

Paul explains severing the relationship is the most loving thing to do. Further, without the covering of the community, he hopes the person will experience such devastation to their flesh that they turn and are restored to the church and God. Because of the rebellion at work, this drastic measure is the only hope of their soul being saved.

The second reason Paul provides is protection of those who are part of the community. Paul uses the example of leavened bread to describe what sin does. A little sin pollutes the whole community, just like a little leaven, leavens the entire loaf of bread. Paul grounds this command in the death of Christ. You were bought by the sacrifice of Jesus, dying on a cross for sin, so now live as what He purchased on your behalf—a life not infected by sin.

Three Misplaced Responses

As I have interacted on this topic with others, three claims arise. The first one is the most honest and revealing. It is the belief that what Paul said does not apply today. It often takes awhile to get people to admit it, but with some patience I got more than one to do it. I have no further commentary here. If one doesn’t believe all Scriptures are true and apply in context to the church today, then own that argument that the Scriptures are the opposite of what 2 Timothy says:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

The second argument is something like, “This is a non-essential matter, so we can agree to disagree.”

The problem with that argument is, yes you guessed it, Scripture. Paul is clear on the matter of those who practice homosexuality and other soul damning sins.

“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men” 1 Corinthians 6:9

The third and most bizarre response goes something like this, “Jen only teaches that same-sex marriage is Holy before God, she doesn’t actually participate in that activity.”

Instead of giving counter arguments which are many, I will offer the reality that is true, if that argument is also true. It would be true that Jen could promote, advocate, preach, help arrange, train, encourage, any and all things which lead to “others” practicing homosexuality and they be eternally lost, separated from God and she ushered into the presence of God, forever enjoying Him. I find that an impossible reality, if God is just, and my guess is those who are honest also feel the same.

My Request to Beth and Max

To all leaders in the church, but specifically Beth and Max. Please, for the honoring of Christ and for the love of the souls of those in rebellion and the souls of those watching; love Jen and others like her the way Scripture calls you. Be there for her, pray for her, be her friend. That of course requires a very hard thing, separation so that Jen’s soul may be saved. As Jesus said”

              “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15

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