In the Basement
by Jen Hatmaker on July 27th, 2012

I lived in Kansas from 8th-12th grade. In that time, I became well acquainted with Mr. Tornado and all his little friends: Siren, Tornado Watch, Basement, and False Alarm.

In April of my junior year, our house was hit by a tornado. The end of our street was flattened; we lost our fence and roof and trees. And evidently I lost my sense of security (21 years later, and I still have a tornado nightmare about once a month).

The most visceral memory of that day was crouching in the basement with my family and friend, Andrea, as we heard the tornado approaching. Everything started shaking, and the sound grew until it was deafening. I remember looking at my sister, both our mouths open, screaming, and we couldn’t hear each other. We were inside a train engine.

I’ll never forget hunkering down in the basement while the storm raged overhead.

This is precisely how I feel about the Chick-Fil-A debacle and all the other accouterments of the culture wars. I am so over it. I’m so over the fear mongering and hate propaganda. I’m over the political posturing and power plays. I’m over the finger pointing and name-calling. The storms are raging overhead, and let me tell you something:

I’m going to the basement.

This is obnoxious. So a business leader is no longer entitled to an opinion, even one that roughly half of America shares? Is that where we’re at? Now the mayors of Boston and Chicago and San Francisco are suggesting Chick-Fil-A be denied permits in their cities, and just like that, a hot-blooded difference in personal opinion – not lewd remarks, not discriminatory actions, not company policy – has turned into punitive legislation.

Mayor Bloomburg, also a supporter of gay rights, condemned the statements, saying “cities should not ask about political beliefs before issuing a permit.” Of course they shouldn’t. Where would it end? The CEO of the Phoenix Suns is gay; shall we all boycott their basketball games or deny their right to play in the public sphere? Is it time to quiz small-business owners on their positions on gun control, abortion, and immigration reform, and decide if their companies are “welcome in our cities”?

Because this will swing every way, you know. Perhaps Chick-Fil-A is banned in Boston, but we will also stand by if a Muslim business owner is banned from operating in Huntsville, Alabama? Mark Zuckerberg is an atheist; should Christians all delete their Facebook accounts? This affront to democracy is infinitely more dangerous than a CEO with an opinion, which, if you’ve ever paid attention, we are supposed to have the freedom to hold and express in this country without threat of commercial retribution.

Truett Cathy is a citizen; he has a right to an opinion. He gets to have that. He isn’t peddling theology…his currency is the Spicy Chicken Sandwich. There are certainly tens of thousands of gay folks who work for and patron CFA. No one has ever been asked to procure proof of their heterosexuality before dipping into their Polynesian sauce.

If you don’t like his personal policy, don’t eat there. Problem solved.

And lest you unfairly brand me as a mouthpiece for the right, I hate the culture wars on both sides of the party line. Christians, do you really think posting pithy statements on Facebook about “standing firm in our values” and “resisting the liberal media” is helping? The lines we draw in the sand do absolutely nothing except assure everyone else: YOU’RE OUT. When we turn to politics and power to legislate our brand of morality, we take the opposite approach of Jesus whose power was activated in the margins with the outcasts...humbly...peripherally.

I’m sick of the Jesus forwards and judgment. Sick of majoring on gay marriage. Enough, everyone. With every hate Tweet and finger jab and Bible bludgeon, you are telling my gay friends they are indeed unwelcome, unloved, unvalued, and uninvited. If your agenda is to battle homosexuality, how’s that going? How many gay folks read your Prop 8 yard sign, knocked on your door, and said, “Thank you for voicing your opinion to the neighbors in this manner. Would you kindly invite me in and teach me how to be straight? And do you have a Bible study I can join?”

When we resort to the same tactics being leveled at Truett Cathy, we sink to the least common denominator and – this is important – we make everything worse. How are these culture wars working out for us? Well, the church is losing around 50K folks a week, and the next generation downright refuses to come. The gay community is ostracized entirely (oh, they’ve gotten the message alright), and Christianity has turned into white noise.

Digging our heels in even harder is the problem, not the answer.

Love is, if you believe anything Jesus ever said or did.

Everyone is screaming and swearing at each other, pointing fingers and posting clichés on Pinterest. The storm is out of control. What happened to civil discourse? What happened to basic human respect? What happened to good men and women pulling up a seat at the table together and navigating differences with dignity and regard? What happened to listening? What happened to humility?

I'm done. I’m going to the basement, and I invite you to join me. Here is what we hate down in the basement:

We hate injustice.

We hate our own sin and pride and arrogance, and we grieve at how it has wounded, sliced, slashed, and humiliated.

We hate that 25,000 people will die today of hunger and we’re arguing gay marriage again.

We hate how the Gospel has been turned into a bludgeoning tool.

We hate pointless arguments that widen the gap and devalue real human people.

We hate abuse and violence and crowded orphanages and trafficked sixth-graders.



And it’s not all hate, lest you imagine the Basement Dwellers are a sorry lot indeed. We love some things down in the basement, too:

We love people. Because Jesus does. All of them.

We love grace, because it rescued all of us sinners.

We love healing and redemption, and we get to be a part of that every day, if we are brave enough to say yes.

We love that Jesus uses broken people, because that is our zip code and He chooses us anyway. Mercy is our only sane option.

We love the Body of Christ, when she isn’t being a bully or a tyrant or trying to take over the Oval Office and the Red Carpet. I swear, she can be beautiful.

We love Jesus, who was always in hot water with the religious folks for eating with sinners and offering scandalous grace not just to the leper but to the tax collector.

We love love, and we believe in its power.


If you are weary of the storm, come on downstairs. We’re going to get on with the business of loving people and battling real injustices and caring for the poor and loving Jesus. We’re going to go ahead and offer mercy to one another, even if it is viewed as “soft” or “cowardly” or “dangerous.” (But once I conquer all my own demons definitively, I’ll be happy to turn a critical eye on everyone else’s. Good?) We’re going to trust that Jesus is actually at work in this world like He said, and when he promised that “His kindness leads us to repentance,” we’re just going to believe Him.

Sure, the storm will rage on up there. But you can find refuge just down the stairs. We have a whole thing going on underground. Gay friends and family, you are welcome down here. Marginalized women, come on down. Isolated and confused by organized religion, afraid your questions aren’t welcomed? Join us. Activists and bleeding hearts, you are our heartbeat. Plain, old, ordinary sinners saved by grace, you belong here. Misfits, ragamuffins, and rebels, bring the party. Reformed legalists, you are my people. Pastors contending for God’s glory and people, help lead us. Dissenters, dreamers, visionaries, we need you.

Come on down to the basement. I ordered a Chick-Fil-A nugget platter.

[FOLLOW UP: "The Basement Manifesto"]


You want to join me in the basement? You are loved down here. Kindly do not turn my comment feed into a culture war. I'm not here to argue issues, only the love of Jesus which has netted infinitely more converts than judgment. Tell me why you're retreating from the storm.


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862 Comments
displaying most recent 100 comments

Erin - August 2nd, 2012 at 9:20 AM
Thank you for sharing and Amen! I first heard this read on the bert show this morning here in Atlanta. This is my heart as well and makes me smile.
Marci Potter - August 2nd, 2012 at 9:42 AM
Excellent, cogent, reasonable. Thank you and God bless you! This was a great read.
Kristen - August 2nd, 2012 at 10:02 AM
Amen
Francis - August 2nd, 2012 at 10:14 AM
Wonderful. I have not much time ( I am at work )
The problem is, the true message of Jesus is SO radical and SO uncomfortable that very few churches really teach it.
Lynette - August 2nd, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Amen. :)
Amanda - August 2nd, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Thank you so much. I am a young Christian who has been really struggling through political identity lately. I lean left, but find none of my brothers and sisters on my side. I see TONS of believers spewing the hate propaganda from the right, or keeping their mouths shut about all social issues. I agree with everything you said. I am not the only one. Thank you.
Denise McCaskill - August 2nd, 2012 at 11:12 AM
That is the most well spoken, well written piece I have read in a very long time. Congrats to you. I am going to share this with my friends and hope that they will enjoy the content as much as I did.
Beka - August 2nd, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Amen
Mechelle H. - August 2nd, 2012 at 11:20 AM
I could not agree more with her summary of how Christians are to behave and treat others. My problem is with the basement. If all Christians, those who live in step with the Spirit, and are known by the fruit of the Spirit that is demonstrated evey day, if we all go to the basement, the only Christ the world will know is a false one. We are called to be salt and light, not to hide in the basement and wait for the world to come to us. We have to be "in the world but not of the world" so the world really sees Jesus. True love, real love, doesn't always mean saying what everyone wants to hear. Real love is honest and gentle and kind and still honest. Don't stay in the basement too long. The world needs the light of Jesus Christ and they don't even know it.
Bill Pendley - August 2nd, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Great words.

It's so weird that I am reading your comment because I walked into work with so much anxiety about this, and what people are saying. I am really trying to process the whole thing. One thing I thought about this morning was the fact that whenever church and state cross paths it becomes an immediate debate.. I think of Jesus standing in front of Pilot being accused of a crime.. Pilot couldn't find fault but the mob began screaming to the point of him giving in.. The more I read God's word not only do the positive things strengthen my faith, but the sin of the world strengthens it to the same degree..
Tim - August 2nd, 2012 at 12:15 PM
I find it interesting how many people believe they know what Jesus would say on this and many other topics. When I read the New Testament, it always seems to me that those people are the ones who found themselves quite surprised by what Jesus had to say. Of course we always want to be like Jesus and follow his example, but the reality is we are far more like Simon Peter -- we deny Jesus every day. There is the friend that needs to hear from us but we were too busy to call. There is the kid at practice that needs encouragement but we are too busy trying to win the game. There are the people who need to hear the Good News and need to hear it from us but it is okay that they don't because we put money in the offering plate. And we need to be involved with a group of Christians that can help us when we stumble and help us share the burden of our own journey, but we can't because the kids have music practice and we're busy with work and the big game is on TV, and and and ...

We all sin. The Jesus I read about cannot be so easily put in a box. How can we dig in our heels on this argument when there are so many other things in the world that we fail Him at -- miserably -- every single day? If we put half energy into what we're FOR as we put into what we're AGAINST, the world would be a lot closer to achieving His Kingdom on Earth.

Blessings upon everyone.
Elaine Carty - August 2nd, 2012 at 12:39 PM
I went to Chickfila yesterday to support the right for free speech not to condemn or try to change anyone's mind. How well you put everything that has been brewing in my heart. I have many friends and family members who are gay/transgender. Do I agree with their lifestyle?No, but I didn't always feel that way. It was only the Lord Himself Who caused me to see truth, but He did not tell me to go beat them over the head and transform them. He is the transformer of hearts. Bottom Line---His Goodness leads us(All of Us) to repentance. As Christians, we are to let Him live in us, through us and touch others with Love. Faith Hope Love and the greatest of these is Love. We all are here to show the world Jesus, not to show what we are against. My trip to ChickFilA was to support a man who spoke his heart and I don't believe he spoke against anyone(as the media is reporting). Thank you Thank you Thank you for your eloquent, loving words of truth in love.
GAdams - August 2nd, 2012 at 1:39 PM
My sentiments exactly. Thank you for posting this.
Ashley - August 2nd, 2012 at 1:50 PM
I love everything about this post! Thanks so much for writing this
Nancy D - August 2nd, 2012 at 1:52 PM
I love you and this post and Chick-Fil-a nuggets.
Aaron - August 2nd, 2012 at 2:05 PM
if this was about women's lib, you wouldn't be in the basement. And why is it I have posted twice to see neither one of them. You talk about freedom of speech, but your monitoring what is seen on your own blog! bigot!
Jen Hatmaker - August 2nd, 2012 at 2:54 PM
I haven't deleted one single comment on this entire thread, Aaron. But you can take your name-calling and hit the road.
aaron - August 2nd, 2012 at 5:17 PM
Oh, I'm not name calling. Just telling it like it is.

Maybe it hasn't sunk in...NOBODY cares that this man says what he wants, freedom of speech, and I feel that's whats "taking you to the basement."

I'm, as well as many others, are more concerned with the MILLIONS of dollars that has been spent with religious organizations which actively lobby for legislation against not only gay marriage, but equal rights and homosexuality in general.

So as I mentioned in my first response, that somehow didn't make the cut, your idea of "going to the basement" is immature and cowardly. This is an issue of equal HUMAN rights, and as a women reveling in the freedom created by generations before, you should be on the front lines fighting for those without. Not in the basement eating CHICKEN with your other cowardly friends. Gay, straight, woman, man, race or otherwise.

Quite bluntly, grow a pair!


...And I did post a response yesterday, not in favor of your blog. I have no reason to lie!
Name - August 2nd, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Maybe you forgot to send it! I'll see you in the basement...
Steve Saenz - August 2nd, 2012 at 2:13 PM
Nice thoughts but what if the people who need your help the most are above ground, caught in the storm?
Patty - August 2nd, 2012 at 3:48 PM
Steve, great question.
Sue - August 2nd, 2012 at 2:28 PM
thank you!
Donna - August 2nd, 2012 at 2:28 PM
Thank you SO much for your thoughtful commentary. It is exactly what is in my heart. I will be there in the basement with you all.
Shaun - August 2nd, 2012 at 2:53 PM
Just wanted to throw out that the current CEO of the Suns is not gay. His name is Rick Welts and he resigned with the Suns and took the same job with the Golden State Warriors.
Amy - August 2nd, 2012 at 2:58 PM
Beautifully said!
Tara - August 2nd, 2012 at 3:04 PM
This post is great, and I will be sharing it with a lot of people I know who need to read it.

I do just want to clarify one point that was missed in this post, and I have not seen it in any of the comments above (unless I missed it): the original reason people wanted to boycott CFA was not due to an opinion or stance on homosexuality or same-sex marriage; it was the action taken behind it, including the choice to fund anti-homosexuality "resources" and what some would consider hate speech.

I don't know the full extent of it, and I would never trample on someone's beliefs or opinions just because they are completely different than mine (if anything, it's about guiding, not forcing/hating). I found some information here, among many other places: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-badash/chick-fil-a-5-reasons-it-isnt-what-you-think_b_1725237.html

I'm not condoning homosexuality by any means. I am for promoting the love that Jesus shared with us, and hate speech is not a part of that.

With that being said, I'll meet everyone else in the basement.
nat - August 2nd, 2012 at 3:09 PM
This is a great post.
I still can't get behind Chick-fil-a though. Not because of words spoken - they can think and feel however they want.
The issue for me is that they donate *millions* of dollars to groups whose sole purpose is stop gay marriage. I hate the idea of my money trickling to these groups just because I want to eat a tasty sandwich. I won't fund hate.
Rita - August 2nd, 2012 at 3:53 PM
Hate the sin, but LOVE the sinner.....I am a Christian who sins daily. God loves me, but despises my sins. Everyone is allowed their on opinion, I think it's called FREEDOM OF SPEECH! Thank you for this post!!
Jessica - August 2nd, 2012 at 4:09 PM
A few quick comments:
Truett Cathy is a citizen; he has a right to an opinion. He gets to have that. He isn’t peddling theology…his currency is the Spicy Chicken Sandwich. There are certainly tens of thousands of gay folks who work for and patron CFA. No one has ever been asked to procure proof of their heterosexuality before dipping into their Polynesian sauce.

Truett Cathy is no longer in charge of CFA. His son, Dan, has been running the business since 2001

Second, the uproar from the civil rights activists have little to do with Cathy's opinions-- I don't care for them myself, but the fact that CFA is a corporation based on Christian values never deterred me from eating there before. The actual problem is that CFA is donating money through its charity, the Winshape Foundation, to fund groups like the Family Research Council (a group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group) and Exodus International, one of the major "pray-away-the-gay" groups in the US. (see http://equalitymatters.org/factcheck/201207020001)

Everyone, including Dan Cathy, can believe whatever they want. Call me a sinner if that's what it takes. However, the right to swing his fist ends where my nose begins. It's not his opinions that I dislike, it's the groups that are being funded with the profits from his company.

Lastly, I take issue with this:
We hate that 25,000 people will die today of hunger and we’re arguing gay marriage again.

You may not think marriage is worth arguing over anymore, but I do. And so does my wife. I've faced discrimination on the job and been fired because of who I am. I've been unable to insure my wife through my employer's health insurance plan because we're a same sex couple. (If we were a straight couple, it wouldn't have been an issue at all.)

When you've lost your job, been behind on your mortgage, and faced homelessness because you don't have the legal protections that can help keep your family stable and secure (things as simple as being married and not being fired for being gay), you can't stop worrying about whether you'll go hungry tonight yourself. It's not that easy to just forget about your own problems and focus on the other people who are starving. Statements like the one I've quoted above tell me that even here in the basement, people like me aren't welcome.
Jessica - August 2nd, 2012 at 4:16 PM
Oh drat. It looks like the html didn't do the blockquote correctly. Apologies for the trouble that will cause for anyone that reads.
Jen Hatmaker - August 2nd, 2012 at 6:28 PM
The sentence read "We hate that 25,000 people will die of hunger and we're arguing gay marriage again." And what I meant (aimed at my general readership) was: "...and we're arguing AGAINST gay marriage again." I do care about your civil rights and about your security. You are wrong. You ARE welcomed down here. And I completely understand your issue with CFA funds headed toward anti-gay orgs. I totally do. My point was that the place for dissent is not at the government level through punitive commercial restrictions but through public consumer power.
Lynn - December 20th, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Yikes, Jen. You are trying to play through both ends of the recorder here. What you say here is much more one sided than what you present above. You claim that you are upset that people are against homosexual marriage and say we should respond with consumer choices. Yet above you choose CFA chicken in the basement (consumer choice against homosexual marriage). If you are above (or below, in the basement) the fray touting Love, please don't insult and disappoint us by mincing words.
S Lowry - August 2nd, 2012 at 5:40 PM
In 1971, I married a bisexual man who later became all out gay. This in an era when gays were still in the closet. I did not know what gay was, nor bisexual. But this man showed me in horrendous ways. When gay was still in the closet it was brutal and violent. He and his boyfriend beat me up one night and left me on the streets of San Francisco, this after multiple rapes, tying me up and leaving me in closets for full days. A Priest found me the last time (1974) and he and a nun ministered to me. I did get out, but it cost me over 20 years of my life before I was able to turn my life around.

The brutality and violence have grown to be an attack on society and business and Christians...we are experiencing it now in this country and it may just divide this country. There is a reason we stand up to it. Imagine now, that your daughter or son was me 40 years ago but going through this same anguish now? Would you stand by idly and let it happen if you knew?
D - August 2nd, 2012 at 5:52 PM
I was married for 20 years to a heterosexual man who was unfaithful to me repeatedly and led our family to bankruptcy due to his addiction to crack cocaine. He also sat next to me in church and was admired by those around us who didn't know what I knew.

Please don't imply that homosexuals are more likely to be abusive.
Hope - August 2nd, 2012 at 5:40 PM
Can I bring the chips and lemonade. I want to be in your basement.
Allison - August 2nd, 2012 at 6:26 PM
I have no doubt Jesus would be hanging out with every one of us if He were still here - loving us despite our differences and going to both the straight and gay parties. He calls us to do the same. I just don't think He would be performing the wedding ceremonies of gay and lesbians. We can not pick and choose from the Bible. It is possible to share different views and still love one another. It seems everyone has forgotten that. Standing up for your morals and values isn't hate - it's a freedom this country was built on. One we should be proud of. When my children do something that makes me angry or a friend hurts my feelings I don't stop loving them. I have gay and lesbian friends, rich and poor friends, liberal
Another sinner in the basement - August 2nd, 2012 at 6:45 PM
I was getting agree all over again reading Facebook when I should be reading the Bible... then I had to re-read this. Thanks for saying it correctly, Jen.
If you're looking for me..I'm in the basement with Jen - August 2nd, 2012 at 7:10 PM
Jen,
Thank you so much for your beautifully written sentiments. The last couple of days I have felt just heart sick at some of the things I have read and heard, I truly felt sick to my stomach. I have been thinking just how sad Christ must be at all that is said and done in his name, and the overall lack of tolerance in our society.
I don't care if your basement is dark and damp, your kind and loving spirit will make it bright and welcoming...I'm coming down! ;)
Ally - August 2nd, 2012 at 7:12 PM
Oh good grief- Jen, I like you, but you are doing a disservice to women with your rant of "my brain is so fragile that I can't handle current events!" Do you think if more Christians were involved in Media and Communications, in government... in the Mayor's office of Chicago an Boston, that maybe these things would be different? Go ahead and hide in the basement and gripe about the causes being "ignored" while the rest of us are trying to be light in the world!
SoSIA - August 2nd, 2012 at 8:58 PM
unfortunately Chick-Fil-A does discriminate when it comes to employment and they have over a dozen suits against them currently. not only do they "favor" married people because they work harder, but they ask about churchgoing habits and have a woman suing them now that was let go because she should be a "stay at home mom". i work for an order of Catholic Priests and have never been asked about my religious views. it may be working in my favor since i am an atheist, but i have a distinct feeling that, based on my performance, it would not be an issue.

it is illegal to consider someone's sexuality or religious beliefs during the hiring process or during evaluations in the public sector and there is a Supreme Court ruling that says local government can bar businesses that might cause harm to the citizens (commonly used to close down strip clubs or adult oriented stores).
Amy Tilson - August 2nd, 2012 at 9:31 PM
Scooch over and pass the honey. There's so much plankeye going around - I'm sure I've probably got a bad case of it myself. I bet there's some pretty harsh lighting and lots of mirrors down in there as well. Oh well, a little reason and some good ole self-examination might do us all some good. I once heard a saying that seems to work in almost any situation: you have 2 ears and 1 mouth, use them in that proportion.
Paula - August 2nd, 2012 at 9:58 PM
If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything
Matt S - August 2nd, 2012 at 10:19 PM
I have no desire to depart to the basement (and I do not believe you do either). No man is an island, after all. We need you up here, in the midst of the chaos offering grace and peace and love to the rest, to the gay and gay-haters alike.

The voice of mercy is needed above ground (and it rung true in this post!)
Abby Mills - August 2nd, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Jen,

I truly appreciate such wise and loving words. We have been bombarded with such negative discourse from both sides, and it has been disheartening! This is a message that everyone should be listening to. I don't understand why people feel as though they need to point fingers and blame, or draw lines in the sand and then stab everyone else with the stick. It's time people started asking appropriate and respectful questions, instead of demanding answers. Then we can get to the deep heart talk, a new discourse, that will allow us to see each other with more loving and compassionate eyes.

THANK YOU AND WELL SAID!
Jason S - August 3rd, 2012 at 3:07 AM
Maybe it is possible that Jesus loves gays AND Chick-fil-a.
Deb - August 3rd, 2012 at 8:38 AM
http://thecripplegate.com/love-hate-and-homosexuality/
Dave - August 3rd, 2012 at 8:56 AM
That's great! However, if you ordered a Chick-Fil-A nugget platter, you'll be labeled a "hater" just like everybody else and won't have an opportunity to share that love!
Lisa - August 3rd, 2012 at 9:05 AM
I'm retreating from the storm because I have my own demons to worry about right now. The amount of grace that has been extended to me in the past 4 months is changing my life. I am a sinner, undeserving of God's grace, but alas, grace is being heaped upon me in buckets. I will gladly join you in the basement and simply be kind to everyone there.

Thank you for your post!

Melanie - August 3rd, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Thank you! This is what my heart has been screaming!!!!
Name - August 3rd, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Great post!.... I'm coming for the Chicken nuggets!!! Are there any left???
Blake Spencer - August 3rd, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I'm not retreating or hiding. I did that for 48 years of my life. A high school friend snipped back at me that her corner of the church (the conservative evangelical kind) has taken too long to show up and speak out. And yet, I hid in the darkness of the basement because of so many words hurled at me through out my life. In the dark, you could pretend that no one else saw you our noticed that you were different. In the dark it seemed safer.

It took years for me to understand that life in secluded retreat for whatever reason isn't really life at all. Oh sure I lived life in those 48 years. I was married, had children....have children....I loved and was loved. But I was secluded and ultimately lonely and afraid and could not find the space enough to love myself.

I took the first steps out of the basement...out of seclusion because of a direct revelation from God...an invitation. Come out Blake! It's time. I trust God's invitation now...more than I trust any other words.

I can't go to the basement. I just stepped out of it....into life.
I can't go to the basement. I finally have courage and joy enough to live.

I so understand the desire to go into the basement. But trust me....life is limited down there. And yet....in the same breath....I invite you to go down into the basement. There you will find many who are hiding....and who are hurt. There you will have the opportunity to offer ministry....to listen and to love in more profound ways.

I learned how to love in profound ways in the seclusion of the basement. You just helped me to understand this. Thank you. I'm able now to live in the open.....this is the blessing God has showered upon me.

Stephanie - August 3rd, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Thank you for this post. If only more people understood this, the world would be a much better place!

Laurie - August 3rd, 2012 at 3:16 PM
AMEN!!! Let's start loving people more unconditionally and hating less.....
Lindsey McLain - August 3rd, 2012 at 4:45 PM
Thankyou for a beautiful, humble and humanely written article that is not left, right or advancing a platform. . If only I would have been so talented to have written!!!!!! You truly have a gift and struck a perfect chord in my soul!

Lindsey McLain
Sarah - August 3rd, 2012 at 4:50 PM
Amen! I haven't read the comments, and almost didn't click over from Joy's Hope but I'm SO glad I did. This touches a tender spot in my heart and I'm glad someone else feels the same way.

If we put as much time and energy into loving as we do hating and judging, imagine what we could do! All the money spent on the negative put twords feeding and clean water - what a difference it would make!

Thank you for taking the time to write this!

Kim - August 3rd, 2012 at 6:31 PM
God help us if Bible believing Christians hide in the basement when difficult Biblical principles are questioned. I am tired of the persecution that comes from other believers. I am compassionate, I believe that I do represent the hands and feet of Jesus, but I also know the God of the Old Testament. The one the burned Sodom and Gomorrah for the sin and wickedness that had taken over. I wonder, if in that case, there were obedient and believing people who thought it would be EASIER to "hide in the basement" while others disobeyed God. And maybe, over time, they became so berried under their cowardice that Abraham could no longer find them when looking for Godly people to spare the cities. I wonder what our nation's history will be? Will God destroy this nation because believers hid in the basement while we, as a whole, turned our back and mocked him?
Bert - August 3rd, 2012 at 7:36 PM
Joe/ 29 July is correct abt Mall taking a portion of a stores profit ...also if profits are not high enough YOUR SPOT IF IN HIGH TRAFIC AREA W / HUB ETC / will be given to someone else
These agreements do exist in some large mall lease agreements
BUT LETS ALL GET ALONG
keight dukes - August 3rd, 2012 at 10:45 PM
i'm coming down to the basement because i'm hoping to get to make out with you down here.i was pointed to you twice this week: once from a facebook friend reading your book who declared us "personality soulmates," and again by my husband who said, "wow, this chick's CFA post is really amazing too." i finally had to send up a carrier pigeon from my own basement of moderation/frustration/embarrassment last night when a gay friend on facebook tagged me in her "im quitting fb post because of the vitriol" post. so yeah, youre a freaking awesome writer and i might be willing to put aside my pursuit of tina fey in favor of you...but only if youre down to play spin the bottle....in some figurative emotional sense that still lets me keep my hot hubby..
keight dukes - August 3rd, 2012 at 10:50 PM
aaaaaaaand holy frig. make the 3 times this week. my friend troy livesay (tara is another of my violent lady crushes) sent me to your hilarious olympic tweets and my ovaries clenched and andrea "notmitchell" kramer eviscerated phelpsiepoo.
Richard J Lester - August 4th, 2012 at 12:29 AM
I en wonder why people of 'faith' argue so much?
Walt Heinecke - August 4th, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Thanks, Jen, for this. So much tiresome heat these days, so little light, and zero progress on real issues. Save me a place in the basement!
Dunri Palmer - August 4th, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Thank you for effectively voicing what has been swirling about my brain! Can we have lunch?
Daniel - August 4th, 2012 at 2:16 PM
Jen, I liked the post. I'm not so sure I want to go down to the basement. I think I will remain upstairs so that I can continue to be salt and light as the Bible has instructed me to be. I trust the Hols Spirit to give me the wisdom, the compassion, and the direction when needed. I think a lot of this on the Christian side got out of whack is because we strayed from God's word. No, I will stay upstairs and fight the good fight, run the good race, with love and most of all, the glory of God.
Phil - August 4th, 2012 at 3:02 PM
XXXXXXXXX



Jen: (May I call you 'Jen'?) I moved from Kansas (where I had lived all of my 61 years) to Florida about eight years. I have enjoyed living here in Florida, except for this nagging feeling that something was missing. And (other than the fact that they don have dirt [real dirt] down here...) your words made me realize what that missing piece is.... Basements! There are no basements!

But, of course, there is no need for basements down here. The tornadoes, which do show up, once in a while, are approximately 23 ½ inches wide, travel about seven feet, and, occasionally, knock down a mailbox, or two. The hurricanes, of course, are a different matter. However, there is usually enough time to get in your car and drive north, playing chicken with Albert, or Beth, o Charlie, etc., until it runs out of steam.

The point being: I would love to join you folks in your basement! I would love to listen to why you feel like you do and would love to say why I agree, or disagree. Without being told that I am going to Hell. Without being told that Jesus love me (but not really).

Uh, but I hope it's okay if I bring KFC. (I really don't care for Chick-Fil-A. Not because of any disagreement with them. I jest don't care for their chicken. [shrug])

Peace
Rita White - August 4th, 2012 at 11:18 PM
I totally agree! Thank you for writing this... I had a similar post on FB about it using the scriptures I found in the bible about love. It would be great to know more ppl with such an open mind and heart. Thank you again for your loving approach to this over publicized topic.
Dusty - August 5th, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Wow, can't believe what I just read! Christians in BASEMENTS!!!

Homosexuals come out of the closet and yell at Christians and the Christians go into the basement? What happened to the great commission? What happened to the greatest commandment? Love God. If you love God, you will share His love to others.

What about second greatest commandment, love your neighbor as yourself. If you love yourself (Christian) then you have told yourself that there is a hell and that without Christ, your SIN, any and ALL sin, has separated you for the heavenly father. You love yourself so much that you have learned what sin is and repented from it.

Are you loving your neighbor by hiding in the Basement? Are you loving your neighbor by not sharing the truth of the Gospel? That ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? If you continue in your sin, you have not repented and the light of Christ is not in you, and you condemn yourself to hell.

If you Love yourself so much to learn about your sins, repent from your sins, and turn to Christ, are you not called to do the same to your neighbor? I maintain that you truly do not love your neighbor, nor God, if you do not share the Gospel to them and help them to understand sin and how their sin will eternally damn them to hell.

Christ pointed out to the rich man his sin.
Christ pointed out the sin of the woman at the well.
Christ pointed out the sin of the Pharisee when they were going to stone the woman who was caught in the act of adultery.
Christ tells the invalid in Bethesda to "Sin no more".
Zacchaeus turns from his sin and Christ says "Salvation has come to this house."
The list goes on. Christ helped people understand their sin so they could repent.

So, all Christians reading and agreeing with this "blog"...

Stand UP for Christ. Share the Truth in Love. Help your neighbor to see that their sin, ALL SIN, will send them to hell. If they do not repent, AND TURN, from their sins, they are going to hell.

God has not called us to be in a basement, but to be in a world and not of the world. We are sent out as sheep among wolves, but fear not. Christ has overcome the world!

Christians, it is time for us all to be the salt and light we are called to be. Share the gospel, call for people to repent, help your neighbor to escape hell in Christ's name!
Dusty - August 5th, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Where is the basement idea biblical? I thought that to myself and realized that it is biblical. Or at least there is a biblical account of this sort of thinking and action.

I found this account in the book of Jonah. God calls Jonah to witness to a group of people and he runs from the Lords calling for him and he finds himself in the belly of a great fish. Only after Jonah repents and does what the Lord has called him to do, witness to the people of Nineveh, Jonah is spit out of the great fish.

Now, Christians, it is better to be spit out of the great fish and do what the Lord has called you to do, go out and make disciples of all nations, than to have Christ spit you out of his mouth.

For those of you who agree with this blog, now is your time for you to be like Jonah and heed the Lord's calling to be His witnesses to all nations.

Witness to ALL SINNERS and share the Gospel in Love.

Be like Jonah, all you Christians, obey the Lord and help others escape hell!
Phil - August 5th, 2012 at 2:35 PM
Dusty: Where, in the Bible, do you find blogs (and yet you're here)? The Bible says to 'witness' not 'witless, which is the way you are coming across... As Jen says, regarding converts into Christianity: "How's that going?"

















Dusty - August 5th, 2012 at 8:54 PM
Phil, it is actually going well. The more you share the Gospel, and the truth about sin, the more people hear and the more people come to Christ. Interesting how you throw jabs at me but actually say nothing. Everything I said is backed by scripture. Show me how I am wrong. If you are a Christian, then read the scripture and bring some substance next time you share anything. If you are not, then my words about the bible don't really mean much to you, so I will not waste any more time with you.

For everyone else, here is a fantastic ministry: http://www.exodusinternational.org/
Misty Gilliland - August 5th, 2012 at 10:08 AM
Dusty, you've missed the point entirely. The writer isn't backing down or hiding, she was drawing a comparison to something she understood firsthand. What I glean from this writing is we can have this basement mentality and share it with the world. I agree with your gusto and heart, Dusty, but your battle isn't here because we already agree with you.
Dusty - August 5th, 2012 at 8:59 PM
Misty, would you please summarize what you think being in the basement means to you? What does it mean to have the basement mentality? Thanks!
Rachel - August 5th, 2012 at 12:55 PM
love, love, love this post. thanks so much for writing it so beautifully!
Sherry L. - August 5th, 2012 at 4:40 PM
Count me in, there is no way I would ever give up loving my gay friends, I mean come on people! What ever happened to the majority rules? Now we are a nation to where the minority rules, tells us who what when and where to believe, who you can be friends with and so on. what are we doing? My husband keeps saying we are one more step closer to communisum, not sure if I spelled it right but I think you get my drift. I just wish we could just stop, look at what we are doing and just love one another for the fact that we know God created us! As you said in your post he loves the sinners, tax collectors, all the ones that this world has basically turned its back on, Jesus shared his word with, he ate as they ate and drank out of their cups.
I say lets all get in the basement and let the tornado take the rest.
Thank you Jen for putting this out there! I am with you, I just wasn't quite as loud as you, lol. Thank you for being the voice I didn't have.
karen - August 6th, 2012 at 4:51 AM
Edmund Burke. "The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing."

http://www.owldolatrous.com/?p=288
K - August 6th, 2012 at 9:41 AM
Here's the thing: people who hide in basements lose their influence on society.

Of course we should never bludgeon people with scripture in the political arena. Of course we should never stoop to ad hominems or sweeping generalizations. Our political message should come with the same gentleness and love that Jesus showed.

But some things are worth standing for. If the only answer to societal decay Christians can offer is retreat to our basements, we will lose the battle for this nation and ultimately the battle for the souls of the very people we're trying to remain relevant to.

I grant that this is an unpopular sentiment and I might be labeled a judgemental right winger and a homophobe, but courage comes from doing what is right no matter how despised you may become, even from those who share the name of Christ with you.
Melissa - August 6th, 2012 at 1:16 PM
This is the same tune I have been singing! Nobody is going to be won over in a bitter arguement, ever. It is true whether you are talking religion, politics, life, etc. Love is what makes all the difference. Thank you! Joining you in the basement.
Caitlynne - August 6th, 2012 at 2:18 PM
This is beautiful and perfect. I wish everybody could read this and live it. The basement sounds like a great place.
Zac - August 6th, 2012 at 8:34 PM
Thank you for putting into words what I have been thinking!
immaccon - August 7th, 2012 at 3:11 PM
A generation ago, the church capitulated on the issue of divorce. Marriages come and go with a fluidity that has rendered the institution nearly meaningless. And it is no different amongst Christians as it is among anyone else. The divorce rate within the church mirrors that of society at large. We threw in the towel and conformed to society.

Now, the battle is homosexuality. It is a lifestyle that has effectively been normalized and accepted by society; the only holdout has been the church. But, it is a battle that the church is losing the will to fight. Liberal denominations are already ordaining gay ministers and performing same-sex marriage. While, at the same time, the more conservative (read: scriptural) churches are being silenced by the cacophonous cries of “hate speech” and “homophobe”. The battle is pretty much done and, again, the church is becoming less of a seasoning to society, but rather being seasoned by it.

The next battle, which has been underway for some time, is abortion. It started with birth control to prevent “unwanted” births and the debate will work its way through the public square until it is nothing short of unhindered abortion as a means of birth control and to preserves one’s standard of living. The taking of a life will become nothing more than a lifestyle choice. The church is again the only barrier between the sanctity of God’s law and moral mob rule. Whether or not we throw the towel in on this one will have huge consequences.



The church capitulated on divorce and is the process of capitulating on the issue of homosexuality. How can we not believe that abortion won't be next? How long before the church comes to define sin by societal norms or simply by what is illegal? How long before the church is simply a mouthpiece for the government, echoing what lawmakers (based on public sentiment) define as "evil"? Sin is well on its way to becoming less about falling short of God’s standard and simply being defined by an American Idol-style contest of ideals. That’s a contest that we will all lose.

Ramsey - August 7th, 2012 at 5:12 PM
I found this post from Lexi's site and I LOVE it. I wish I belonged to your religion in the basement. :)
josh - August 7th, 2012 at 7:55 PM
Totally awesome. Jen, there is a group of people that are in the basement and hard at it in Boise, Idaho. Love it! AND (side note) I get to hang out with your husband and Hugh Halter for a day on the 22nd! We're soooo pumped!
glenn - August 7th, 2012 at 9:33 PM
Jen,
I hear you. But I wonder . . . how you would handle what was going on in the pagan world if you were living in the first century, as the Jesus movement was just getting started. They had a politically correct agenda as well. And that agenda was "you could worship anything you want, just as long as you proclaimed Caesar was Lord." If you dared as a follower of Jesus to say that Jesus, instead of Caesar was Lord, then you were ostracized from society, from participation of it at every level. Just for being an unashamed Christian, you were killed. Would you be able to stand and say, without apology that Jesus, not Caesar, was Lord?

I think, no, I KNOW that the name of the game today is that God is defined one way--love. Well, take a look in the Bible and see that the essence of God is not love but holiness. In fact, He is not holy, but holy, holy, holy. Remember also, Jesus told us that we were to rejoice WHEN we were persecuted for the sake of RIGHTEOUSNESS (perhaps as Mr. Cathy is?). We LOVE people, but we are called by God to call sin what He calls sin. And homosexual behavior, just like any sexual behavior outside of the bounds of marriage AS GOD DEFINES IT, is sin. The church is NOT being a bully when she stands for marriage as God defines it. The church is NOT hating on people when she boldly but humbly calls homosexual behavior sin. My challenge--will you call it the way God calls it? I pray you will
glenn - August 7th, 2012 at 9:35 PM
Jen,
I hear you. But I wonder . . . how you would handle what was going on in the pagan world if you were living in the first century, as the Jesus movement was just getting started. They had a politically correct agenda as well. And that agenda was "you could worship anything you want, just as long as you proclaimed Caesar was Lord." If you dared as a follower of Jesus to say that Jesus, instead of Caesar was Lord, then you were ostracized from society, from participation of it at every level. Just for being an unashamed Christian, you were killed. Would you be able to stand and say, without apology that Jesus, not Caesar, was Lord?

I think, no, I KNOW that the name of the game today is that God is defined one way--love. Well, take a look in the Bible and see that the essence of God is not love but holiness. In fact, He is not holy, but holy, holy, holy. Remember also, Jesus told us that we were to rejoice WHEN we were persecuted for the sake of RIGHTEOUSNESS (perhaps as Mr. Cathy is?). We LOVE people, but we are called by God to call sin what He calls sin. And homosexual behavior, just like any sexual behavior outside of the bounds of marriage AS GOD DEFINES IT, is sin. The church is NOT being a bully when she stands for marriage as God defines it. The church is NOT hating on people when she boldly but humbly calls homosexual behavior sin. My challenge--will you call it the way God calls it? I pray you will
Immaccon - August 7th, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Well said, Glenn!
Immaccon - August 7th, 2012 at 10:23 PM
When I consider a Christian thinker, website, church, or whatever, one of the first questions that I seek to have answered is this: Where do they stand on the issue of homosexuality? Why? Is there something special, or especially bad, about homosexuality? No. But, I do think that, for our culture and our point in time, that homosexuality is something of a litmus test for how seriously one takes the Word of God. No issue is as hotly contest within the church as this and no issue has prompted so many self-described Christians to either ignore or essentially rewrite sections of the Bible in order to make scripture conform to their own political ideology. If you know where someone stands on the issue of homosexuality, you can almost certainly deduce whether or not they place God's word above their own opinion.
Now, it must be said that God does not place homosexuality above other sins as being worse but, for some reason, WE have placed it beyond the reach of divine morality. It is a sin that is justified, celebrated, taught in schools, promulgated through popular culture, established as a protected class. We have chosen to take this sin, separate it and place it above God's authority. Its bad enough that the secular world has done as much, but the fact that many in the church have done so as well, is flirting with disaster.
In Romans, Paul gives us one of the clearest condenmations of homosexuality, but what many miss is his further warning to those aren't gay but justify those who are:
"who, knowing the righteous judgement of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same BUT ALSO APPROVE OF THOSE WHO PRACTICE THEM.
As it says in The Four PIllars of the Kingdom: "To condone, to tolerate the sins of others, to justify it is just as sinful as actually doing it. Loving the sinner and hating the sin is not the same as loving the sinner and turning a blind eye to their sin. Tacit complicity in iniquity is no less damnable than being an active participant."
glenn - August 8th, 2012 at 10:36 AM
Immaccon,
That, also, is well said. Let me dovetail on this with what Luther said: “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.

“Wherever the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that one point.”

This area, along with a few others, is precisely the point at which the battle is raging. If we flinch here, we are disgracing the holy name of Jesus. He died for SIN, as He defines it, not as we have. When I taught ethics at a Christian university some years back, my supervisor summed up modern thought: "The issue is not whether there is right or wrong; the issue is whether there is shame." In other words, the worst "sin" is not proclaiming whether something is right or wrong, but whether it causes shame (i.e., making someone feel ashamed).
Immaccon - August 7th, 2012 at 10:38 PM
I guess Jen and her followers thought Christ was being facetious when he said:

Matthew 10: 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Dustin - August 17th, 2012 at 4:28 PM
Exactly right Immaccon.
Jackie - August 8th, 2012 at 3:26 PM
This is excellent! Thank you, thank you, for writing this.

Immaccon - August 8th, 2012 at 7:16 PM
A generation ago, the church capitulated on the issue of divorce. Marriages come and go with a fluidity that has rendered the institution nearly meaningless. And it is no different amongst Christians as it is among anyone else. The divorce rate within the church mirrors that of society at large. We threw in the towel and conformed to society.
Now, the battle is homosexuality. It is a lifestyle that has effectively been normalized and accepted by society; the only holdout has been the church. But, it is a battle that the church is losing the will to fight. Liberal denominations are already ordaining gay ministers and performing same-sex marriage. While, at the same time, the more conservative (read: scriptural) churches are being silenced by the cacophonous cries of “hate speech” and “homophobe”. The battle is pretty much done and, again, the church is becoming less of a seasoning to society, but rather being seasoned by it.
The next battle, which has been underway for some time, is abortion. It started with birth control to prevent “unwanted” births and the debate will work its way through the public square until it is nothing short of unhindered abortion as a means of birth control and to preserves one’s standard of living. The taking of a life will become nothing more than a lifestyle choice. The church is again the only barrier between the sanctity of God’s law and moral mob rule. Whether or not we throw the towel in on this one will have huge consequences.
The church capitulated on divorce and is the process of capitulating on the issue of homosexuality. How can we not believe that abortion won't be next? How long before the church comes to define sin by societal norms or simply by what is illegal? How long before the church is simply a mouthpiece for the government, echoing what lawmakers (based on public sentiment) define as "evil"? Sin is well on its way to becoming less about falling short of God’s standard and simply being defined by an American Idol-style contest of ideals. That’s a contest that we will all lose.
Kim - August 9th, 2012 at 3:33 PM
Tears. This is it. This is what my heart has been screaming. Thank you for posting and giving those of us who don't want to continue this fight a voice. I have felt so squeezed by friends and family on both sides of this war. I stand squarely in the middle trying to calm the storm and love both, trying to get both to love eachother and stop the yelling. I am worn out, no one wants to listen, they have dug in and want to fight. At least I thought, now I know, there are more of us out there. Those who are ready to live in the basement. When you don't belong on either side, it feels so lonely. So much like there is no point to trying anymore....it is such a relief to not feel all alone in this madness. Thanks so much.
sara @ it's good to be queen - August 9th, 2012 at 4:12 PM
oh my word Jen, this is so good. exactly what i would want to say if i knew how to say it. i just bawled through the whole thing. i love Jesus and this whole thing has broken my heart. i want to love like Jesus loved (full of grace and compassion) and i have not been seeing much of that lately. thank you so much for this. i'll join you in that basement and i'll bring my buffalo sauce with me.
Kay Allen - August 12th, 2012 at 3:08 PM
I am joining you in the basement because my daughter and several others I love are gay. I am sick of 1. defending them to the homophobes
Kallie - August 12th, 2012 at 9:25 PM
Hi! I am a twelve year old girl. I agree with you and what you're saying. God loves all people. Don't you guys remember the song "Jesus Loves the Little Chilldren?" Don't you guys remember the lyrics? Jesus loves people who are yellow, black and white. Yes, we have a right to say what's on our mind, but it doesn't help by tearing the gay people down. They're people too, you know? What if your father was gay, or best friend, or anyone close to you that you love? Would you shun them just because of that? I have a gay friend. He's nice. I don't shun him. Why do we tear them down? We can help them. Wake up! The way I'm seeing the world today is scary! Teachers that are not allowed to preach about God in the classroom, kids getting shunned because they're different, gay people not being loved, kids hating on God, and war. This generation is horrible. Even some of my friends say this kind of stuff. I live in the Philippines and all of my friends here are saying, "Wow! How wonderful America is. I want to go there one day. I bet it is nice." Well, the way I see it right now...not so much. Just because one dude said that one little comment, he didn't mean to hurt you guys. He was just simply expressing his feelings. He is a person! He has the right to say what he feels, Yet, everyone took it the wrong way that he's trying to be all mean and stuff, but he wasn't. So, I'm out. Peace!
Linda - August 13th, 2012 at 7:07 AM
I don't eat at Chik-Fil-A because it's fast food and just as unhealthy as most other fast food. Hope there's better provisions in the basement.
Tiza - August 14th, 2012 at 10:23 AM
I'm not a Christian and I prefer homemade food. Will you still welcome me in your basement? It sounds like a much more lovely environment for my family and I than up here most of the time.
VERY WELL SAID!
Thank you :)
Shannon1981 - August 20th, 2012 at 6:24 AM
For whatever reason, I can't reply to individual comments. To the person above who wanted to connect- proudgenderqueerdyke@gmail.com
Buffy - August 22nd, 2012 at 8:43 PM
Amen. I am so IN the basement.
gqm - August 24th, 2012 at 9:36 AM
AGREED! Although I'll pass on the Chick-Fil-A simply b/c I don't like their food. XD
Miriam - September 4th, 2012 at 3:03 AM
love this metaphor - although much the cultural references don't make sense to me as a New Zealander these are great, great challenges you are issuing to all of us who claim to be trying to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. I am so pleased to have found this blog and I kind of hate shredding cheese too - I often find myself caught between the serious and the hilarious!
lfrlegal - September 4th, 2012 at 5:08 PM
Some people don't realize that there could be various types of people in the "basement" too. Representative of the world and it's various people. Shining the light in your corner is also OK. It doesn't mean you are hiding in the "basement" out of fear.
Repent - September 9th, 2012 at 7:40 PM
This basement is a wonderful utopia of inclusion that is leading this country into it's destruction and God's judgment. There's a different between the love of the world and love that comes from God. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. These days people are shunning the love that rejoices in the truth while calling it "love" when people delight in "evil" in which they call good. Lord come quickly and rescue us from this basement of superficial harmony that glosses over sin and celebrates the fruits of darkness instead of the fruits of the spirit found only in Christ.
Just me - September 9th, 2012 at 9:18 PM
I had a basement conversation with a coworker Friday and it was beautiful. No feelings hurt or defenses raised. Walked away and realized the power of the Spirit speaking truth in love. Humbled to be used by God in such a revolutionary way.
Beesnbugs - September 10th, 2012 at 6:55 PM
I love debate and I used to really enjoy an engaging discourse of differing opinions. Now, what used to be an enlightening exchange of differing views has become, no matter the topic, a war in which only one side can be "victorious". I believe I will join you in the basement for I am weary.
Sarah - September 19th, 2012 at 7:54 PM
Wow...just came across your blog and this post. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Lately, we have become weary of trying to un-do the ideas that our kids hear about politics from other Christians...full of judgment and anger. Love is absolutely the answer...yes, to every single problem. After a recent conversation with our daughter, we found a letter that she had written to President Obama (http://davidandsarahb.blogspot.com/2012/09/dear-mr-president.html). We're so proud of her heart. Our whole family is ready to join you in the basement!
Daniel Blair - September 21st, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Jen, I love this article. A dear female friend of mine and I bonded over this blog when all the insanity was going on a few weeks back. This friend of mine, she's an incredible...the most incredible Christian woman I have ever met. She's just recently found her way back to God in the past few months, but you have served as a huge role model, both in your books and blog, but also in your indomitable attitude. She thinks the world of you.

So I have a favor, if possible. Her birthday is coming up, and she is not at all a materials type of woman (love that), but in trying to come up with something truly special, I was wondering if I could get a copy of your book 7 (she absolutely loved it) signed for her? I'm sure this is very very out of the ordinary, but if you see this and would like making her basically explode in excitement, please let me know. regardless, please continue to ignore the naysayers. We need more women (and men too) like you to take a stand openly. Thank you for your courage in that, and inspiring her.
Scarlet Lencher - October 29th, 2012 at 2:41 PM
Hi Jen,
Thanks for this wonderful article! I am currently basement waterproofing in provo and was wondering if you had any recommendations on product? I don't want to make any mistakes so I come to the professional!
Thanks so much, Scarlet
Nikkip - December 11th, 2012 at 3:52 AM
We would gladly accept gay people into our church. I don't agree with them but, I love them and so does God. If they truly seek God and his purpose then they will be saved. I don't preach hate. We live in a very small racist community. They the "racist" have threaten to burn the church down because they don't like the way God made some of our church goer's. Jesus would proudly have come down to the basement. I'm tire of people being mean to each other. You can disagree with people without hurting them. I believe in meeting people where they are. I'm supposed to tell people how to get saved and; how to listen to the holy spirit when its telling them something. If you ignore the holy spirit it wont abide where its not wanted. Each persons walk with God and Jesus is unique. God will handle their walk you just have to lead them to God. He will get the rope and lead the horse to water if he has too. He had to get the rope with me why should they be any different? The rope and the horse are a metaphor I use sometimes. I was the horse and the hardship I had to endure to really walk with God was the rope. I'm sure I haven't seen the last of that dang rope. I'd rather have the rope that leads me to the water then the fire that only consumes me with my thirst. See God made us all with a hole something missing so that we would all try to fill it up. He knew we would eventually find him and find that hes the only one that can fill us up. His presents in our life is the water. The hole is the fire that consumes us till we fill it with him; or we don't and the fire just consumes us. Well I think I have next Sundays sermon. God Bless you all
Stacy Kid - March 27th, 2013 at 2:04 PM
Thanks, Jen, for speaking sanity. I'll be down in the basement w. you... and I'll invite my wounded friends to come with me - no matter what color their ballot, no matter who they love, no matter what they got wrong or right... you are a prophetess to our generation. Thank you for speaking truth and good sense. I won't eat the Chick-fil-a - MSG makes my tummy hurt. I'll bring the veggie tray for the gluten-free/vegan crowd - cause being thoughtful about what effects others is what it's all about.
Jacqueline Gray - March 28th, 2013 at 5:31 PM
Hi, Jen. A friend posted your In the Basement blog on her Facebook wall. I read it as my heart shouted "Yes, yes, yes" and "Amen." I have lamented for years about how we have lost our focus as Christians. You have said it beautifully. Thank you.
Suzanne - April 8th, 2013 at 1:26 PM
ugh. thank you.
Meg - June 28th, 2013 at 5:28 PM
Jen, I think that some people might have taken your 'in the basement' metaphor the wrong way.......

I'm from North of the Border so I can only watch the culture wars that exist down in the US and it seems to me that everyone is just really struggling with these issues and they want a black and white solution. I grew up in the Church and while I don't attend now I remember that Jesus himself was a shades of grey guy.......he sat with the most cast off of his generation and broke bread with them. I appreciate greatly that this is what you are trying to engender with your blog.

The more that I read your blog the more impressed I am. You believe wholeheartedly in Jesus and yet you're not smashing people over the head with that in a bitter "I'm right" kind of way. You're out there in the trenches trying to live your life with grace and with humour and you're trying to make the world a better place to live in. You're doing a far better job of 'loving your neighbor' than I am. But your blog inspires me to be better. It inspires me to continue to stand up for my gay brothers and sisters but also to reach out beyond my own city, country, nation and look to see how I can help my brothers and sisters internationally. It is unacceptable that 6th graders are being sex trafficked. Perhaps here in my own country and abroad. I need to start doing something about that - even if it's small.

I know that liberals can be just as tiring in their rhetoric as conservatives. Sometimes I wish that we could all just makes signs that say "We are the Champions", march around a bit, and then go home and get on with the real work.

Do I like the Chik-Fil guy or his statements or the organizations that he chooses to fund? Not really but it's still his right to fund them. Just like it's our right to fund the organizations that WE believe in. That's called democracy. So - is it my opinion that he is an **#@hat? Yes. But that is just MY opinion and at the end of the day what really matters is whether I'm doing my part to make this world better.

Thank you for continuing to remind me that I need to be making a difference.

I'd come hang out with you in the basement anytime............I'd bring the party and the subversive ideas too :). We need more of those.
Val - August 27th, 2013 at 11:04 AM
I love you Jen Hatmaker!
Alex Fittin - October 8th, 2013 at 3:10 PM
I love your blog so much that I am going back and reading ALL OF THEM! Hence why this comment is over a year late. I am so sad to see so many people missing your point about the basement. Anyone that knows you via your well-written words should know that you are the first in line to actively love and care for all people because THAT'S WHAT JESES DID. Keep on keeping on and I'll be sharing this (yes, late) with a "get over your metaphor blindness" disclaimer to readers. :)
Jennifer - December 20th, 2013 at 11:22 PM
I love this idea. I get it. Sometimes you need to gather strength during a storm so that you can go out and fight another day. Taking a moment with supportive influences isn't hiding, it's smart. Love. It is ALWAYS the answer. Especially when it's hard or uncomfortable or easy to excuse our desire to not love. That's when love is most necessary. I struggle with this so much. But this blog post? Lovely. And so welcoming and inspiring. Thank you.
donna - April 14th, 2014 at 12:00 PM
I can witness to the gay but I don't have to.agree with that lifestyle, God gives us that spirit of convictio when one is saved they learn Gods word and know those sins are wrong from murder to adultery, ALL SIN IS BLACK I know we are all sinners saved by.grace wie are to turn from that isin and we are to repent of that sin whatever it imay be if we don't feel guilty of that sin then I don't believeone is saved God put those commandment.In the bible for.a reason out of love for.his children not to be,mean but for our wellbeing sin n destroys people yes that's why those that'll shall notes are in the good book letting people know how to live right is not hate it is so they can be with our LORD and Savior light and darkness cannot mingle, when you tell people about not living in that sin then they say it is hate a lot of people think that God is being mean and they refuse to live by Gods rules they refuseto see the wholep
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