The Duck Thing: Is There Another Way?
by Jen Hatmaker on December 21st, 2013

I know. No one needs to spill any more ink over the Duck Dynasty Debacle. I’m barely online these days, and even I was saturated with the crazy. A quick scroll through Facebook revealed about an 85% DD preoccupation in my feed, whether it was for, against, or that uber cool other response: “I don’t even care.” (But I will go ahead and make that my status...sic.)
 
Maybe just bear with me for five more minutes, mkay?

As many have mentioned, this is clearly not a First Amendment issue. Phil had every right to say whatever he wanted. He could take issue with any people group or demographic on earth, right into a microphone. This isn’t North Korea where the wrong public statement lands you in prison. Or dead. Freedom of speech means you are free to speak. The end.
 
It does not mean you are free from consequences. Isn’t this obvious?
 
This swings both ways, folks. I’ve been unhired from an event for things I’ve said publicly, because they made a Christian organization uncomfortable. Those things were well within my rights to say, and that group had every right to can me for them. That’s how things work. If you are getting paid to represent a church or network or brand, then the First Amendment does not protect your contract, only your freedom to speak your mind.
 
In light of this Duck stuff, here is my little hope for our Christian tribe: May we be peacemakers, because Jesus cast blessings on that role. To me, that means making peace within the church and making peace with those outside of it. I think folks will know us by the love we show others, because the Bible is OBSESSED with that concept apparently. I hope we use our public words to build bridges, not reinforce caverns, because peacemaking is truly a blessed business, my favorite thing.  
 
Specifically with issues that have caused such heartache and damage already like gay marriage and racial inequity, we should refuse to contribute to someone’s pain by speaking about them abstractedly, distantly, as if they aren’t real human beings whose lives bear actual repercussions of our casual public conversations. The sterile public sphere outside of the protective confines of relationships is not a safe place for such weighty discussions, and we should not add to the pile of condescending, degrading comments about real human people. These precious, fragile conversations belong among people who love one another, who've earned the right to be heard, who can look each other in the eye and listen with grace and humility.
 
We are not judges, because how could we possibly be?? How dare we? What right do we have to cut someone to the quick when we are nothing but sinners saved by grace? Sanctification is Jesus’ territory, and we can safely leave Him to it; He can handle the human heart. Our only sane offering to our fellow man is mercy.
 
Why are we here? I teach often about the Last Supper in Luke 22, when Jesus broke the bread and poured the wine and commanded: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” A close study of the original language reveals a better translation: “Constantly make this real.” This sacrifice, this gospel, this love that saves the world…make this real for people.

Do you know how many people are starving for real love? Real hope? Real mercy? This world is dark and lonely and suffering, and Jesus seemed to think the best course was to send disciples out who were willing to constantly make the kingdom real for people who were searching for something true.
 
Jesus didn’t tell us to make the gospel right.
 
He didn’t tell us to make it law.
 
He told us to make it real.
 
For me, this is the most extreme obedience to “biblical truth” I can imagine. I think of my gay and black friends watching the outcry this week, and I can’t help but think the gospel yet again feels like a bludgeon to them, not a real balm, a real grace, a real sanctuary. And the tragedy is, Jesus is the most real source of mercy in the history of time, and He loves us all with a fierce, indescribable love, and none of us deserve it any less than anyone else, and THAT is the shocking headline we should be proclaiming.
 
I don’t think God needs any of us to defend Him…I believe we are here to represent Him. I’m not worried about the kingdom, since Scripture seems to think it is “unshakeable.” God has managed to stay on his throne all this time, so we can go ahead and just let him be God. (For the record, I don’t think Phil fancied himself some valiant defender either…I think he was just being Phil. And these were just a few sentences taken out of a greater context, but in a viral world where every word matters, well, every word matters.)
 
As for me, I care deeply for all the watching eyes, waiting for something real, something that heals instead of wounds. I dream of a faith community that demonstrates a love so scandalous and embarrassing that only the foolish and the rejected and the misfits and the cynics will find any solace in it. My heart’s cry is that someone far outside the sphere of Christian endorsement might whisper, “Even me?” and be stunned by Jesus’ answer: “Always you.”
 
Because if we are only good news to each other, where will that leave the gospel in our generation? I know exactly what moral issues to declare so Christians will take up my cause and Defend Jen, but I don’t want your spiritual energy…I want us to care about this suffering world more than we care about our Christian rights. Our rights were secured on the cross; the discussion is over. No one can steal from us what Jesus already won for us. Rather, let’s take all our victory, our hope and love and share it. That’s the hill I’m going to die on, friends.
 
I’m going to choose love.
 
This is not a gray area. I’m telling you now that I will find a way to preach the scandalous love of Jesus in the face of any issue, demographic, or debate. I will insist on jerking a door open for dialogue with people who’ve been previously maligned by my faith. I will not reinforce the notion that anyone is less than, condemned, or left out, because if that is true, then my salvation is a lie. Because I love mercy for myself, I can’t help but love it for everyone else, and I won’t cheapen it by imagining that my grace is free but someone else’s must be earned. Jesus is the best news in history.
 
Not one heartache on earth will be solved with more judgment; this world needs more love. It is what saved us and still sets us free. It is the magic balm that soothes tensions, crosses divides, and creates safe spaces. Love is the only answer. May we become beacons of it, Church.
 
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~Jesus



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1134 Comments

Peggy Sue - December 21st, 2013 at 11:14 AM
AMEN!
Becky - December 21st, 2013 at 11:14 AM
AMEN!
Charissa - December 21st, 2013 at 11:15 AM
Amen.
Heidi Milton - December 21st, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Amen. And thank you.
Mel - December 21st, 2013 at 11:17 AM
"Specifically with issues that have caused such heartache and damage already like gay marriage and racial inequity"

I love you Jen, but let's not compare these two. Biblically, they're not the same. Not anywhere close. And if in an interview I'm asked how I feel about homosexuality, I'm not going to lie and say it's ok.
Lora D - December 21st, 2013 at 11:23 AM
True,true

Dave - December 21st, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Poignant and relevant.
Amber - December 21st, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Agreed!
Elizabeth - December 21st, 2013 at 11:26 AM
But it was the crudeness in which he said it if you ask me...not that he said it is sinful.
Michael - December 21st, 2013 at 11:41 AM
I agree it was crude in the way he said it. It was a poor choice of words. If you go and read the whole article (written in a similar style by the writer-I assume a GQ style as I am not a regular reader) the writer really appreciates Phil's way of life and the life he leads. I also went expecting to read an interview and it is really just a sort of look at the writer's experience on a visit to the Robertson's place. It gives no context for the quotes. We dont know what the writer said before Phil made the quotes or anything like that. But that gives no excuse for Phil's way that he put things. I just wish we had more context.
AWT - December 21st, 2013 at 11:54 AM
I'm not sure he was so crude. He used medical terms. If he would have used the P-word, that's nasty and disgusting. He meant God made vagina and penis to go together. In my spiritual immaturity or even worldly immaturity, I'd have found that uncomfortable maybe. But once you become a married woman and believe that God designed marriage and sex; and experience the miracles of birth... You can't hep but appreciate that it is a miracle. God designed it and it is a miracle how our bodies work together. He was saying same-sex don't make sense- they don't make miracles- that wasn't His design.
He didn't say I like P-word not A** as we allow millions of celebrities to use that language ... He claims to be a Christian and we hold him to a standard; I don't think medical terms are crude.
Allison - December 21st, 2013 at 1:30 PM
A sin is a sin- they are all the same in the eyes of God. One is not greater than the other...
Tara - December 21st, 2013 at 11:29 AM
I totally agree with you Mel. He was asked a question in an interview and answered it honestly, then backed up his feelings with scripture. If that scripture causes someone heartache, that is not in any way Phil Robertson's fault.
nkeely - December 21st, 2013 at 11:29 AM
I thought the same thing when I read that.
Kelley - December 21st, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Yes!
Kait - December 21st, 2013 at 11:32 AM
How are they not the same?

I'd wager to say the difference is cultural expectations over time. How long was slavery and 3/5ths laws enforced and encouraged because of biblical "understanding"? How long were women treated as property because of biblical "understanding"? Will our great grandchildren look at this as we look at slavery and say "How could they use Jesus to make such hate okay?" I think they will. I hope they will.

I hope future generations are as ashamed of Christians using the word of God to enforce hate as we are ashamed of our ancestors owning slaves.
Nicole - December 21st, 2013 at 12:00 PM
They are not the same because it was never Jesus who made distinction among races. It is not stated n the Bible that being a certain race is sinful. However, the Bible, and in turn God, has always made a distinction between homosexuality and heterosexuality in that one is sinful and the other isn't. I agree wholeheartedly with what Jen is saying about demonstrating the scandalous live of Christ but that does not mean we are to condone all actions as a manifestation of that love. Believing that a certain action is sinful does not make Christians hateful. Somehow the statement that homosexuality is sinful has been equated with hatred and that's simply not true.
Ketra - December 21st, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Amen Mel! The issue here is not that most christians do not feel loving toward gays it is that we are judged so harshly when we speak the truth in love. Phil is not being unloving. Truth = Love. The world desperately need the love of Christ but that option to follow Him encompasses His truth. To follow Him is no easy task. I always say that mercy and grace will always win more to Christ than judgement but in this case the truth is offensive because it is shedding light on what they already know somewhere deep within. I also pray people are gracious and kind without having to pick and choose what parts of the bible they will believe.
Ien - December 21st, 2013 at 1:37 PM
"The world desperately need the love of Christ but that option to follow Him encompasses His truth." I believe that by "His truth," you mean something along the lines of homosexuality being sinful and that salvation is not extended to practicing (i.e., unrepentant) homosexuals. Ketra, please correct me if I've misinterpreted you.

Now, I am no scriptural student, but can anyone tell me if Jesus actually ever said anything at all about homosexuality?
Hbw - December 21st, 2013 at 11:33 AM
The bible says "slaves, obey your earthly masters...." At one this was used to justify slavery and racial inequality. It's just a new generation of the bible being used to justify judgement. Change takes time for small minded people.
Mich - December 21st, 2013 at 11:34 AM
I believe in love, I believe in truth too. We can certainly afford both :)
shanna - December 21st, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Agreed. I whole heartedly agree with this write up, but that part doesn't sit well with me.
Michelle L - December 21st, 2013 at 11:35 AM
Amen. I would love to know how you would respond to the same questions? Because its so easy for those on the outside looking in to say, "I never would have said that". But you just don't know. I think we need to be very careful about drawing a fine line in saying certain sin is OK, because after all God loves us all. We shouldn't condemn people to hell either but we don't get to rewrite the bible either. I am all about grace, love, mercy, etc. But lets not forget here. The lamestream media blew most of this out of proportion. When the Pope said something similar, he was praised and made man of the year. Why because his conviction was so vague that the homosexuality community jumped on it as an endorsement of the lifestyle or at least an acceptance in the Catholic church--which ISN'T What he said. He was just loosey goosey about how he said it and got the opposite affect. Praise! Phil on the other hand made no bones about sin. I don't necessarily agree with his choice of words, but in principle he said nothing unbiblical. But he is BLASTED!

Jesus offended people because he told the truth, and he was the only perfect and the most loving man on earth. And if HE offended people, so will we.

Soon if we are not careful, Christians will be so afraid to defend the word of God, we will live a life that anything goes. Oh wait,. we are already there.
Julie Pope - December 21st, 2013 at 12:16 PM
Amen! My thoughts exactly!
Debbie - December 21st, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Amen. One is a choice, the other a race. Why are they often brought together, as some social problem?
me - December 21st, 2013 at 11:51 AM
I find it sad that people still think it is a choice. Who would choose to be hated for who you love?
Sarah - December 21st, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Debbie, it is not a choice. You will find if you research it, most conservatives will even admit that it is NOT a choice.
Darcie S - December 21st, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Because we believe in chromosomal abnormalities that cause Downs Syndrome, but not in chromosomal disorders that might cause sexual confusion? These black and white statements about choice cause lots of hurt in families who deal with children who have these types of issues. I think even the most conservative interpretation of the Bible could only be used to say that the act of homosexuality is a sin- not simply being one. There are a lot of celibate Christians who would affirm that they don't feel they have a "choice" in their sexual preferences, but they have made a "choice" not to act on them.
Kathy H - December 21st, 2013 at 11:38 AM
I wholeheartedly agree, I too love you Jen, and YES we have to let them know we love them and that Jesus loves them BUT we also have to let them know the truth. What about when Jesus got in their faces and called them liars, blasphemers, hypocrites?? Uh...I don't think making peace was on his mind then...the church needs a backbone, SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE!! And racial inequality and homosexuality are worlds apart....
Lisa - December 21st, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Yes!
Danni - December 21st, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Amen! I think Christians are so worried about the "image" of Christians more than what Christianity actually is. We can still love others while saying a particular behavior is not biblical.
Deann - December 21st, 2013 at 11:40 AM
AGREE!
Shelley - December 21st, 2013 at 11:45 AM
I realize you are saying that one is behavior (sin) and the other is physical appearance, but they are the same in that they define a set of people who are marginalized - made to feel insignificant or peripheral. Jesus was inclusive in his approach to people, regardless of their behavior or appearance.
Dave - December 21st, 2013 at 11:48 AM
I'm not exactly sure what you mean here, Mel. Yes, there are specific scriptures that say that God is not pleased with homosexuality. It is sin. Are you saying that racial inequity isn't sin? There are also specific scriptures that teach about being just, fair, no respecter of persons, etc. To violate any of those is sin as well. To God, it's all sin, and He sees it all on a level playing field. As humans, we seems to really struggle with the concept of the equality of sin. I would hope that we, with love, would speak out against sin in all of its forms in an equal way.
Jess - December 21st, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Agreed, I thought the same thing!
amber - December 21st, 2013 at 1:54 PM
I think it's possible that she linked the two because Phil made comments about both in the article.
Jeanine - December 21st, 2013 at 2:44 PM
I don't think she was comparing them. She was merely using two current themes from the original interview to illustrate her point.

Dayna Bickham - December 21st, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Thank you and yes.
Esther - December 21st, 2013 at 11:18 AM
Love, love, love, love!
I want to be someone known for their love, a love incomparable to those around me!
Sharon - December 21st, 2013 at 11:18 AM
Amen.
Jessica Patay - December 21st, 2013 at 11:18 AM
All I can say is thank you, Jen.
You speak truth, wisdom, and love.
If the Church could just focus MORE on love and mercy than RIGHTS, maybe the world would know that Jesus is for real.
pepe - December 21st, 2013 at 11:18 AM
Your writing makes me happy happy.
Suzi Kennedy - December 21st, 2013 at 11:19 AM
Thank you and Merry Christmas!
Sue Hunt - December 21st, 2013 at 11:19 AM
I love you so much! Even though you did make me cry :-)
Misti - December 21st, 2013 at 11:19 AM
I should be doing homework right now...but when I saw you posted this, I knew I had to read it. Stop what I was doing and garner from you some sane, loving perspective. I sit here in tears and with a renewed sense of purpose in showing Jesus' love to the world. Thank you for writing this so beautifully, so eloquently.
Erika - December 21st, 2013 at 11:19 AM
Thank you.
Camilla - December 21st, 2013 at 11:19 AM
The most cogent, Christ-following remarks I have read on this whole kerfuffle. Thank you, Jen!
betsy - December 21st, 2013 at 12:09 PM
I agree. I'm right there on that hill w/ you Jen. With tears. . .
Tracy - December 21st, 2013 at 11:19 AM
Wow. Thank you.
Jessi - December 21st, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Yes!! That. Exactly.
Lisa - December 21st, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Thank you Jen, thank you. Praying God's blessings over you, preach it sister!

Name - December 21st, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Amen!

raquel - December 21st, 2013 at 11:20 AM
I love this so much I cant not even begin to tell you!!!
April - December 21st, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Thank you and Amen
Barb - December 21st, 2013 at 11:20 AM
May it be so.

Kari - December 21st, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Thank you for saying so well the sentiments that have kept me from jumping on this "bandwagon". This post is the only thing I have read regarding this issue that was worth the time it took to read it, quite honestly. If it looks like hate, it probably isn't love. Let's just err on the side of love.
Sam - December 21st, 2013 at 12:09 PM
Yes! If it looks like hate.......
Beth - December 21st, 2013 at 11:20 AM
You express exactly what my heart feels. Thank you.
Megan - December 21st, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Yes! Thank you Jen for your words of truth.
"Jesus is the most real source of mercy in the history of time, and He loves us all with a fierce, indescribable love, and none of us deserve it any less than anyone else, and THAT is the shocking headline we should be proclaiming."

Couldn't agree more. Merry Christmas!
LH - December 21st, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Jen, I have had your blog posted on my page for some time now. I really never gave much thought, as I really enjoy your posts. I have become a very real fan of yours with this post. Thank you for putting into words exactly how it is. I have tried to figure out how to post something like this...being as Phil does have the right to his opinion and voicing it, however his employer did not think it appropriate. Morality clauses in contracts. People are not fully aware of how this affects your freedom of speech. Thank you for your kind words.
Kim Nothdurft - December 21st, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Oh how I love thee. Thank you for these beautiful words. We serve a mighty God and he covers all. Thank you Jen. You are a beautiful soul.
Honeybee Mama - December 21st, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Very well said, Jen!
Cindy Hayden - December 21st, 2013 at 11:21 AM
BEAUTIFUL!!!!! So very well said! Thank you for sharing!!!!
Myrna - December 21st, 2013 at 11:21 AM
AMEN and AMEN!
Dana - December 21st, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Awesome. Love this.
Melissa Howard - December 21st, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Well said.
Sherrieb - December 21st, 2013 at 11:22 AM
THIS is my heart. I think my heart has been the heaviest because of this. These conversations do not belong on social media. They belong in living rooms and over shared meals, with people I love - even when we don't agree. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Kathryn - December 21st, 2013 at 11:22 AM
As an African American Christian, it's hard to listen to other Christians rush to defend his comments about Jim Crow. We were second class citizens in our own country. We were subject to unimaginable brutality and violence. Absolutely there were moments of happiness and grace, but to suggest anyone was actually happy about the way our own government betrayed us is hurtful. It hurts that my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ would be blind to that hurt, and just reinforces the idea that evangelical Christianity is really just the religion of the white, middle class. Thank you for your blog post! I was happy to read just one more Duck thought piece.
Bryan - December 21st, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Please read Phil's comments .. not the journalist comments who inserted the Jim Crow language.Phil was giving a personal experience of the black people in his life. The people he worked with on their family farm, the people he said were Godly, happy, singing people. He NEVER claimed that they were happy with the govt, or Jim crow laws. I feel you are mis-informed on hwhat he actually said. Thank you.
Kristi - December 21st, 2013 at 11:55 AM
People don't take the time to read the entire article. They just assume from the media interpretation.
Jill - December 21st, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Phil's comments were the ones that included the phrases, "pre-entitlement, pre-welfare", and were applied to an entire racial group. Just sayin'. The GQ article in its entirety speaks for itself, I think.
Shannon - December 21st, 2013 at 12:26 PM
And his comments likened 'black people' to 'white trash'. Not ok.
Connie - December 21st, 2013 at 12:17 PM
I agree with you Brian and the activist in me says that smoothing everything over in the name of love and peace is like beautiful icing on a maggot cake. Though I believe that love covers, something is amiss in this country and the passive quiet posture of many Christians that are to be the light to the world and the salt of the earth is stifled. Recently, I posted a question on facebook as to if the gospels are being read. Jesus is the Sword of the Spirit, the Living Word, rightly dividing truth. Truth doesn't change and it cannot be put under a bushel. and remain a light. I am not saying to openly declare to a blinded nation every truth. Standing for a man who spoke a preference in an interview and admitted that he didn't understand the choice to others is not what I would consider outspoken Christian lawlessness. "Count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience. Let patience have that perfect work so you can be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
sandy - December 21st, 2013 at 12:28 PM
the passive "only love and show grace" approach sounds wonderful, but it's not how our "Godly nation" was formed, but I believe it's how it will die.
Judy - December 21st, 2013 at 12:21 PM
He also said some very ugly, vile and malicious things in the name of being a "Christian". I am not saying he is not a Christian, but perhaps prayers for others instead of jabbing them might be a better way than blabbing his true feelings about others.
Mrs. Palermo - December 21st, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Kathryn, as a white, Christian woman married to a Latino, Christian man with two bi-cultural children, I could not agree with your comment more. Oppression is an ugly, constant streak in not only our country's history, but in the present as well. My children have been called vile racial slurs and my parents, who are Deaf, have been discriminated against to this day. Until a person *lives* in a minority culture or loves someone who is in a minority culture, they are completely blind to the sufferings therein, just as you mentioned. I love the show and believe that their faith is genuine, but none of us is perfect. Do I believe Phil Robertson is a racist? No, but he, along with so many white, middle class Christians, is grossly ignorant. And in ignorance, oppression thrives. My heart hears and hurts with yours, sister. It truly does. I've been standing on this promise: "For the LORD loves justice and does not forsake His godly ones; they are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off." (Psalm 37:28) We serve a Jesus who loves justice. Imagine what would happen if the church did as well.
Katie | Healthnut Foodie - December 21st, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Absolutely perfect!
lynmote - December 21st, 2013 at 11:22 AM
and this is why we love you so. . .you put our own thoughts into words that make sooooo much better sense than we could have ever come up with. thank you for your Voice and speaking LOVE that covers a multitude!
Amy Hafele - December 21st, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Thank You, Jen! Thank you!!!
Ally - December 21st, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Yes - this is the church I need to be a part of!
Kayla - December 21st, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Thank you for not leaning left or right of the issue but instead leaning on the cross. If you're going to pick a hill to die on, it might as well look like Calvary.


Susanne - December 21st, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Wow, I love this comment! To the point and absolutely on point! Thank You!
Christine - December 21st, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Kayla...I love your comment so much! That should be blasted all over social media, not just today but every day. :) Thanks for your brilliant and to-the-point two sentences.
Sabrina Harnish - December 21st, 2013 at 1:37 PM
I love this thought...well said.
Dallas - December 21st, 2013 at 11:23 AM
I absolutely love this. This is my stance. Love - the only answer.
Katie - December 21st, 2013 at 11:23 AM
Pretty much obsessed with every word of this. Thank you, as always, Jen!
Sabrina Harnish - December 21st, 2013 at 11:23 AM
#speakonit! I cried a bit when I read this. I'm not gay or black or red neck or any label, really. Just a woman who loves Jesus and wants everyone, EVERYONE, to know about God's never ending love for us. When you wrote you words "My heart%u2019s cry is that someone far outside the sphere of Christian endorsement might whisper, %u201CEven me?%u201D and be stunned by Jesus%u2019 answer: %u201CAlways you.%u201D I can say nothing but AMEN!
Erin - December 21st, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Amen.
Mende - December 21st, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Did y'all hear me yelling out woohoo!!!, Amen!!!!?? Cuz I certainly did!! Love is the only way to reach others for Christ!!! I need Him, You need Him, they need Him, too!! I'm no more loved by Jesus than anyone else!! And His grace, mercy and love is for each and every one of us!!! Love, y'all, just love!!!
J - December 21st, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Absolutely one more AMEN
Karen Lambert - December 21st, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Well Said!!! I pray that all who read these words know that they come from a loving God who hates all sin and LOVES all sinners.

THIS is the SMARTEST, MOST COMPASSIONATE think I have read on this subject.
These precious, fragile conversations belong among people who love one another, who've earned the right to be heard, who can look each other in the eye and listen with grace and humility.

THANK YOU!!!!
Jamie - December 21st, 2013 at 11:24 AM
This sentence is haunting my soul. Love.

"My heart%u2019s cry is that someone far outside the sphere of Christian endorsement might whisper, %u201CEven me?%u201D and be stunned by Jesus%u2019 answer: %u201CAlways you.%u201D"
cindy smith - December 21st, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Wow. Perfect. JUST perfect. All is grace!
Stephanie Boudreaux - December 21st, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Beautifully said! So deeply thankful for the mercy Jesus has given me and wish for all to experience it....it is the balm that heals all wounds.
Deborah - December 21st, 2013 at 11:25 AM
YESSSSS!!!
Diane - December 21st, 2013 at 11:25 AM
AMEN!


Lea - December 21st, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Oh Jen, EXACTLY!! In our quest to show love - we (Me!,) can jack it up well.....why is focusing on love the hard part?

Love your points here!
Christy - December 21st, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Thank you for writing what I am feeling!
Laura - December 21st, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Thank you for this refreshing take on the matter.
Sarah - December 21st, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Wow. Thank you! So eloquent.

The Beatles (and you, Jen) got it right. All you need is love.

Looking forward to seeing you speak in person in Woodbridge VA in January! Merry Christmas
Heather - December 21st, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Thank you!!!
Julie - December 21st, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Love this love. Thank you.
Debbie - December 21st, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Love it! Keep It REAL! As a Christian, and a person who has friends and family members who are gay, I believe God has placed these people in my life to teach me how to love. It is not their burden, but mine. "Love one another, as I have loved YOU!" Amen.
Angie - December 21st, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Thank you for putting into words what my heart has been silently screaming every time I see a side taken on this issue, or any other that hurts the heart of others.
Julie - December 21st, 2013 at 1:02 PM
Ditto!!
Dawn - December 21st, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Thank you, Jen. Love these words.
Shauna H. - December 21st, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Praise Jesus for gifting you with such words of wisdom.
Jen Cox - December 21st, 2013 at 11:27 AM
Preach.
Ellis - December 21st, 2013 at 11:28 AM
So disappointed in this response. It's a nice message, and would be a fine little women's brunch/tea/luncheon lesson. But I thought you had more spunk and courage. Did you read his comments - the whole thing? Yes it is Phil, being too coarse, talking conservative traditional values, and sharing some memories, but he also said it is not our place to judge, we need to show them Jesus and love. Why is everyone exploding?
RN - December 21st, 2013 at 11:41 AM
"would be a fine little women's brunch/tea/luncheon lesson"- Really? No words...
Hope - December 21st, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Wow. "Fine little women' s" topic. I would ask you to rethink how others might view that statement.
kathy - December 21st, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Yes.
Liz - December 21st, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Because he DID judge. He made crude comments that make others feel like less. He's reducing people to a sexual act and we are all more than that. She's right...how can I think that my salvation is free but someone else's should be earned? We allow gossips, cheats, drunks, and others to marry and to live without labels. Why not move past the gay label and allow them the same freedoms and grace. Let's love & leave the rest to Christ.
William - December 21st, 2013 at 12:30 PM
He judged by stating his beliefs? Really? What he has literally read in the bible he has read all his life. He even said he was a sinner. He didn't say they can't have the freedom to do what they want. He only stated that it was a sin. He even said God himself will make judgment and he wouldn't mistreat anyone. Like I tell everyone...I'm freaking atheist. yet this man is being told he can't say what he believes because it is offensive to someone. Well heck..if you think disallowing Phil is just some little thing then wait till its something you believe in and some organization tells you no..no. You can't do that are we will make a big fuss at your job. I'm pro message...I don't give a fuck if your gay..lesbian or redneck. If you believe it and want to say it. Then say it. We can at least then discuss it instead of being being hush hush behind closed doors.
Nick - December 21st, 2013 at 12:35 PM
Actually he didn't judge. He quoted scripture or at least quoted in his own words. Maybe he did it too coarsly but all he did was point out something that according to scripture is sin. We as Christians are not to support acts like gossiping, cheating, drunkeness, or homosexuality because it is sin and according to God moves people away from His love. Now the problem many Christians face with this is they tend to label gays evil and sinners as a group without ever stopping to realize we all are equal in sin apart from Christ. So there is a fine line we need to walk. Homosexuals are people and we are all sinners so there is no need to treat them unlike anyone else. We also cannot pretend homosexuality is not a sin.

To answer your marriage question situation though is different.
1. The church should not condone or be a part of gay marriage. It is a sin and the difference between normal marriage between sinners and gay marriage would be that normal marriage would not be promoting an act that the bible calls sinful. It is inherently not the same as two gossips marrying.

2. The government should not prevent homosexual marriage. As said above, we should not make a church issue a legal one. Sin is a heart issue. We cannot force people to love God by making it illegal to do any sinful act. That's not the point and it wouldn't work anyway.

I hope the distinction I made makes sense.
Missi - December 21st, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Good word, Nick!
Jess - December 21st, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Amen Nick! Well said!
Jocelyn - December 21st, 2013 at 1:01 PM
You said everything I thought. Thank you.
Bekah - December 21st, 2013 at 1:03 PM
Where in the bible did you read that gay marriage is a sin? Cause it's not there. It says that 2 men should not lay together, a lot of very smart bible scholars believe that is in reference to 2 heterosexual men having a homosexual relationship with each other, which If they are truly heterosexual, that act goes against their nature. People are born gay, get over it, there is so much scientific proof of that, it's ridiculous that people are still arguing it. And guess what, most gay couple don't give two cents if the church cares about there marriage, they want the government to acknowledge it, and we as a country are heading that way. So those of you who so strongly disagree with 2 people who love each other getting married, either need to drop it and move on, or move away!
Jen is so right on with this blog post. We need to show love, to everyone. By outwardly stating that people are sinners and that Gid doesn't love them, you are no better than the sin you believe they are committing. Stop judging and start loving!
Lori Fulton - December 21st, 2013 at 1:15 PM
Thank you for this. Very important distinctions have been made that are an important addition to the original post. Although I can understand Jen's approach and learn from it, I feel she failed to address the central portion of the issue. This is such a difficult issue to confront as a Christian with gay friends who is also trying to raise children who ask questions.
dj - December 21st, 2013 at 12:50 PM
how dare you judge his judgment of others...lol
Diana Lowery - December 21st, 2013 at 7:07 PM
He did NOT judge he spoke the truth and that upset people!!!
j - December 21st, 2013 at 12:23 PM
Totally agree..
Sherrie - December 21st, 2013 at 12:36 PM
So agree with you Ellis... It totally saddens me how Christians want to say we are not to speak to sin. Funny how we can read the Bible and only use the verses we want and leave out all the things we don't like. Gods qualities include love, long suffering, Patience, mercy and judgement. To deny his judgement against sin is to deny our need for salvation. If everything is okay then what do we need saved from? No one was spouting hate and I'm sure if you would have asked Phil about adultery, lying, stealing, murder, slander, disobedience to parents, fornication, polygamy, gossip, murder Ect he would have said those were sins also but no one gets in an uproar about that. The questions were asked to draw him out and he had the guts to state the truth as Gods word says it. With grace and tact, maybe not. But as a whole the G,L & B society can spout their own share of gracelessness. As individuals, those that practice homosexuality are no different then the rest of us...fallen people. Some kind and grace filled and some hateful and looking for a battlefield. Christians are not perfect nor do they claim to be. The world wants us to sit down and shut up and I respect those that don't. It is not hate to say what you believe no matter how much the world lies to us and wants us to believe it is. As far as course ness I think almost any movie, song or television show produced today is much more so and those are embraced by society. Not buying that he did anything wrong and I'm saddened by those that are too afraid to speak up. But, it's your blog and your opinion which you have every right to even if it's wrong.
Dawn - December 21st, 2013 at 1:02 PM
Well said, very well said!
Tray - December 21st, 2013 at 1:03 PM
Here's a tip: when you think you should apply more TRUTH...apply grace.

Jesus, in kneeling down with woman caught in adultery, took a very strong stance FOR that woman. He advocated for her. He loved her. He didn't stand off at a distance and shout for her to repent, he didn't Tweet that she was a 'whore', that she was a sinner, that she would face God's judgment soon after these guys finished chuckin rocks at her...so she better repent. No....he knelt down by her. He protected her. He loved her. That's strong. That's theologically correct. That's grace.
Cathy - December 21st, 2013 at 1:10 PM
Ellis, talk about condescending, "fine little women's brunch/tea/luncheon lesson", that should cause an explosion!
constance - December 21st, 2013 at 1:11 PM
Since the sixties my dad, a committed man of God, has been declaring that we are loosing our rights. As time passes this is confirmed. Have we not seen in the media what turns a country around, it is an all out act of the people. Jen, you fed the egos of all the little Christians who want to sit back and do nothing to declare what God has said. It is this attitude that has gotten us here today to our freedom being squelched, God removed from schools and government and an attempt from this government to silence the righteous living in this nation. The countries that are dictated, which we are we are not quite termed under a dictator as of yet, show up on the lawns in multitudes declaring the return of their freedom. The courses of history for those countries are changed. I can guarantee that many did not read the article. They do not know who this man is. Though he is rough on the edges, he is a righteous man and God is using him. How dare some to want everyone to look like them. There are Peters and Pauls as well as Johns out there and they all have a place and a function in the Body of Chrust. What you choose to do is not necessarily deemed what is right for everyone even though, Jen, it may be right for you. We are responsible for walking in the gifts and anointing given to us from one higher than all! Some are light bearers, some are called to be something else. No one is asking you to be like him, and I myself were not aware that you should try to dictate to him how he should be. I see that as a huge problem because if you are wrong, you are leading many in the same direction. I have read many things by you that I have agreed on. Your take on this, I can not agree. The church is too social, and though we are to welcome all and be a hospital for those who are seeking, I don't think that his stand was towards them at all. Our country colleges are being effected by homosexual activity at an alarming rate, and it is touching all our lives through our children and grandchildren. Someone needs to speak the words of the epistles that are there for exhortation, correction and comfort to the lost and dying world!

Amy - December 21st, 2013 at 2:11 PM
Thank you Ellis! I agree 100% Loving peolple means telling them where they may be straying away from Gods law. You can't say your a christian and be in favor of the gay lifestyle and if you're not alarmed about Christians being silenced, you're living in La La Land. True Christian love is helping someone live the way Jesus lived and He with no uncertainty said homosexuality is wrong and not of God. You may be keeping people that you "love" right out of an eternity with God. Thats NOT love.

Jenny M - December 21st, 2013 at 11:28 AM
A million thanks goes out to you this morning for helping me see that I do not need to publicly "take a side." But that it is more important to act with love and make peace because others are pained by these additional statements. It is always better to choose love. LOVE ALWAYS WINS!!
Ann Voskamp - December 21st, 2013 at 11:28 AM
Tears falling.... Jen Hatmaker? You're a grace one. A gloriously grace one.

This:

"This is not a gray area. I%u2019m telling you now that I will find a way to preach the scandalous love of Jesus in the face of any issue, demographic, or debate. I will insist on jerking a door open for dialogue with people who%u2019ve been previously maligned by my faith. I will not reinforce the notion that anyone is less than, condemned, or left out, because if that is true, then my salvation is a lie. Because I love mercy for myself, I can%u2019t help but love it for everyone else, and I won%u2019t cheapen it by imagining that my grace is free but someone else%u2019s must be earned. Jesus is the best news in history."

This has me weeping absolute joy this Saturday at the end of Advent. Yes, Jen --- Jesus is the absolute best news in history... lavish mercy and grace for everyone... the greatest gift.

I love you and Jesus in you more than words can ever say... WWJHD :) ;)
All's grace,
Ann
Prissy Wilson - December 21st, 2013 at 11:29 AM
I'm going to share this blog with all of my friends, Jen. Lots of layers can be peeled away by just reading this. I love you!
Shannon Fox - December 21st, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Yup!
Sherry - December 21st, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Boom. Nailed it.
Kersta - December 21st, 2013 at 11:30 AM
What about the love for the homeless man that was obviously intoxicated but knew the Christian Woman speaker that was in his town? He asked for a word of what was going to be spoken about and the answer that he received was certainly NOT LOVE, let alone Christ's love.
Kayla - December 21st, 2013 at 11:39 AM
We don't get it right every time. Maybe we can just love her and forgive her? There's grace and mercy and God's bigger plan for that man's life. His salvation is not dependent on Jen Hatmaker. Believing God will send someone his way who can meet him right where he is and form a lasting relationship- not just a Christian Woman speak who is passing through. Believing God is just that big and that good and He loves that man that much... that He isn't a one-shot-at-grace kind of God.
Amanda - December 21st, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Beautifully written and exactly what I felt in my heart but couldn't put into words myself. Thank you.
Amanda - December 21st, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Love others!!!
Jaque - December 21st, 2013 at 11:32 AM
I have to say that this post for me just brings it all back together, back to the center of everything which is Jesus Christ. You know sometimes you can get so caught up in defending God, that you loose the attributes of him and what he honestly represents. Its says that he did not turn away any, no one. You know so I think this is a great reminder and direction to go as well as see. ~Writerscomposition
Jess - December 21st, 2013 at 11:32 AM
I love this. My only real question is this, "Should we never personally and lovingly address those that "shall not inherit the kingdom of God" and just choose love and acceptance instead, even if it means that person is never awakened to the death that awaits them in their sin? This is the grey area that I always worry about. I trust God to do the work of changing hearts, but I also believe Jesus confronted sin in a loving way because sometimes being confronted with the true weight of our sin is the only way we ever see the light. Is there such a thing as being too "soft" as a church? Is it possible to love and confront sin/death or must we choose one or the other? These are real questions I have.
Leigh - December 21st, 2013 at 11:49 AM
If you are willing to confront sins in others, are you willing to confront your own sin? Because if my gay brothers and sisters won't inherit the kingdom of God" for their "sins", then I (as a heterosexual) definitely won't inherit the kingdom of God because of my sins. Fortunately, this is not the case. I am confident we will all rejoice in Heaven as children of God.

Terry - December 21st, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Sin repented is sin forgiven and forgotten - that is the confidence we can have, and Christians must confront their own sins and be willing to cut them out of our lives.

A life lived in defiant rebellion against God and His teachings is beyond His outpouring of grace and mercy. We must love one another enough to proclaim that. We must do it in love, but we must do it, just as much as we need to constantly tug on the plank in our own eye.
Sherri - December 21st, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Leigh, I always thought that, as my sin is revealed to me by the Holy Spirit, I am to forsake it and ask God for forgiveness and He gives me the grace to live free. Of course this is continual...I often sin and fall short and God forgives again and again. But I think what Jess is talking about is this...if the homosexual act is a sin, then do we never share that truth with someone we know and love? Or with anyone? Or does everyone on here believe it is not a sin? I can't really tell from the comments. It IS true that we don't have to judge. So very true.
Jess - December 21st, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Thank you Sherri. There is a big difference in unrepented and repented sin. The Bible is very clear that unrepented sin is not forgiven and those living in unrepented sin will not inherit the kingdom of God. Those of us who have accepted Christ, ask for continual forgiveness and desire to live in accordance with his will and commandments need not worry about whether or not we will dance with Jesus in heaven some day. My question is directed towards those who are "lost" and living apart from God in their sin.
Jess - December 21st, 2013 at 12:39 PM
There is a ginormous, monumental, and life changing difference between repented and unrepented sin. I speak of those living in unrepented sin which means that they are separated from God. Jesus didn't die a torturous, bloody death on the cross so that we could all live in our sin, remain one with God and live happily ever after.
Lynn - December 21st, 2013 at 1:32 PM
Yeah, Leigh. That is the gospel.
The judgement for your sin is that you will never inherit the kingdom. You are eternally separated from God.

Thank God (literally) that Christ's love is so great that He was willing to suffer that judgement for you. Christians "confront" their sin on a daily basis and rejoice that those sins have been exchanged for Christ's righteousness.

But if one is never convicted of their need for the Savior and forgiveness, maybe because they've been told they are already a child of God who doesn't need to "confront" their sin, there has been no reconciliation. I don't find where a source of your confidence can be found anywhere in God's Word.


Gillian - December 21st, 2013 at 3:43 PM
Well said, Leigh.

Lisa - December 21st, 2013 at 12:12 PM
I think Jen addresses this in her post. These "fragile conversations" are held, face to face, among people who've earned the right to be heard with one another. NOT via an anonymous vehicle like the interwebs where people can "speak the truth" with little to no consequence (it's much more difficult to say these things to someone's face and be required to actually engage in a dialogue). Additionally, I believe that the focus on specific, more "public" sins such as homosexuality is such hypocrisy. We ALL have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. My selfishness this Advent season in not giving everything I can away is sin. LOVE came down at Christmas. I'm working hard to remember this during this last week in Advent. Christmas blessings:)
Amy - December 21st, 2013 at 12:14 PM
Amen. The Bible does not only speak about love. It says God hates sin and clearly lists many as an ABOMINATION to Him. So why are we so afraid to speak up about TRUTH? And how grieved must God be that proclaiming Christians are trying to soften and hide the truth, which in the end will only lead others to death instead of life? God's TRUTH is what people need, not just love. Certainly we can speak truth with love, but without truth we are not loving people as Christ loved at all.
Chery - December 21st, 2013 at 12:27 PM
This is so important.
Jess - December 21st, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Amen.
Sarah - December 21st, 2013 at 12:23 PM
I have those same questions. I do love the heart in this post, but there's a difference between sinning and celebrating our sinning. We would point out a drunkards sin by helping him get sober, BECAUSE we love him too much to watch him wallow in it. But with this particular sin, we smile and love and celebrate. I'm not trying to be divisive or hateful. It's hard to have a real discussion on the internet because you can't hear my tone or see my face to understand where my heart is in this. But, those are my questions too. I don't want to love someone to hell by misleading them that unrepented sin is ok. As if we accept the sin and love them anyway, only to draw them closer so we can then tell them we think their lifestyle is a sin - it's that deceptive and hurtful, too? I don't know. All of this leaves me with more questions than answers.
david - December 21st, 2013 at 1:21 PM
The irony is that the passage Phil quoted (1Cor 6) was being written by Paul to the church in Corinth specifically because they had begun to allow sexual immorality to creep into their fellowship (and were proud of their tolerance.) We dont get to vote on what constitutes sin, and in many areas God is pretty clear on it.
Suzie - December 21st, 2013 at 12:31 PM
Two thoughts on this, if you'll allow?

One, I think she addresses this when she says that these questions should be dealt with relationally... one-on-one after trust has been built and the other person genuinely is in a place to receive... not Christians blaring words into open spaces with no regard for who is listening. Personally and lovingly, led by the Spirit, yes. Publicly? Shamefully? Hatefully? Judgmentally? Absolutely not. I think the Church has done a pretty good job of making sure the world knows what we are against. Maybe we have not done such a good job of telling the world what we are for.

Two, You're right- Jesus did lovingly confront people in their sin. Because He's the only one who can. I think what Jen is implying here is that corporately, broadly, locally, we need to stop "yelling" about what God hates. Lead them to Christ in love, and HE will, as you said, change hearts. At least, that's how it happened for me. Many Christians TOLD me that I was living in sin... and so I avoided church altogether. It wasn't until other Christians LOVED me as I was that I found Jesus. And HE literally flipped my life upside down. I've never met anyone who found Jesus because of confrontation. Maybe that is just me? Maybe that is a strategy that has worked for you before?
Jess - December 21st, 2013 at 12:47 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with your perspective. Thank you. I do worry that this message isn't quite clear enough in Jen's post but I trust that God will handle that. Speaking truth is too important to be less than clear. It is our responsibility to be speak truth but as you said so well, "personally and lovingly, led by the Spirit." Maybe I've underestimated the power of loving people to God.
Mel - December 21st, 2013 at 1:21 PM
I agree with what Jen says, but I also believe that if we are asked about our beliefs, as Phil was, we should speak the truth. What he said was complete scripture, and yet we are offended? We can't be afraid to speak up if asked, but of course all of us should always speak the truth out of love.
Samantha - December 21st, 2013 at 3:50 PM
Suzie I think that you are spot on about the relational message versus a public platform. In terms of a salvation message as well, I think that loving people and letting them see Christ in you is what is brings the gospel message most powerfully to those that need it.
Isis - December 21st, 2013 at 1:16 PM
I think that if we really do God's work of loving people fully without judgement and with our whole heart they will see God and be drawn to Him and then He will do his work on their hearts and convict them of their sin. I think we forget that He is in control of "saving" people we just need to love them and show them God's love.
Christy - December 21st, 2013 at 1:22 PM
That is exactly what she refers to here. She said there IS a place for it, in the confines of a loving relationship with that friend, family member, coworker. Not a blanket statement that seems cold, rude, hurtful outside of relationship. It's such a serious matter, it needs to be discussed with mercy and love within a relationship.
Katie - December 21st, 2013 at 5:24 PM
I think we can and must talk about it in a personal, loving way. That is for individual members of the church to do in loving, personal relationships. I don't think the church is right to approach it as a war, us vs. them. We should be out loving people personally, being salt & light. If we don't know anyone struggling & hurting and aren't getting to know them & comfort &eventually challenge them, we are locked inside the church & not going out into all the world, telling the good news of salvation.
Heidi - December 21st, 2013 at 8:52 PM
My thoughts/questions exactly!
Lisa Owen - December 21st, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Jen Hatmaker, this is perfect!
Kelly - December 21st, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Beautifully written. Thank you for writing it!
lori - December 21st, 2013 at 11:34 AM
The mercy of God is scandalous.
Mari - December 21st, 2013 at 11:34 AM
Love.
Jenise Johnston - December 21st, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Thank you for writing what my heart has been trying to say for days. Authentic, powerful and compelling are the words that come to mind. You have captured exactly what I was thinking and just could NOT express quite as eloquently. Yes we have our beliefs and yes we ALL have our opinions but WE are not the judge in anything in this world. Mercy. Grace. Love. Thank you Jen. Thank you.
Lonnie - December 21st, 2013 at 1:52 PM
I do agree, but...

In this case I don't feel that Phil was acting as judge or trying to sound judgmental. I agree we are not to judge, but I'm not sure that was Phil's intention. A pastor should speak the word of God as it comes straight from the Bible. He is a minister & that's exactly what he did. I agree with the statement that we should always speak the truth out of love. The pastor of my church often speaks the same words that Phil did but he also states that it's our job as Christians to love sinners. We can't push them into The word of God but we can speak it many times so that maybe someone will be saved. I have a family member who is gay and it has been a struggle as my children grow to explain the situation. How can our kids continue to grow in a world where most of society turns a blind eye to relationships that are against Biblical teachings?? I think we have to speak up in a loving way before it's too late. Stating Biblical fact is not being judgmental.
Christine - December 21st, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Bravo! Well said.
Betty - December 21st, 2013 at 11:36 AM
No truer words "ever spoken " Jen! You took them right out of my heart! But expect some "flack ",it comes with the job! As you well know..Even as Jesus walked on this earth, he was the most ridiculed and rejected for his uncompromising "love of ALL mankind "....peace and love to you and your Family!
Jeane - December 21st, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Yes and Amen. I am so so so so tired of camps quickly constructed and whiny, bratty Christians sniveling about their rights as they hashtag their tattling. Thank you, sister.
Jeanne (At A Hen's Pace) - December 21st, 2013 at 11:37 AM
Yes. Finally! I've been waiting for a link worth sharing. There is another way to talk about these issues that is not so divisive. Christ never allowed himself to be pulled into debate. Look at the woman caught in adultery--clearly guilty by Scripture but did he bludgeon her with it??
Harry - December 21st, 2013 at 1:46 PM
There is a difference here the woman caught in adultery, she was about to be stoned. Jesus told her go and sin no more and confronted her about her other sins. We are not here to punish or condemn, that is Gods job. That is not what Phil did he pointed out what scripture states about certain behavior. That is important for the world to know the good and bad news God has for all people. We are not to coddle people but tell people the truth in Love. If someone is doing something that has eternal consequence it is the believer job to warn and help.
Mjay19 - December 21st, 2013 at 11:37 AM
Well said! I often think of the log in my own eye....and sin is sin. Not to excuse it, but rather not to fly "certain ones" up the Christian flagpole. So often people glibly say "love the sinner, hate the sin", but that is not what happens as there is a whole of of not loving the sinner, and just what would that look like? I often think Jesus Followers do more to keep others away from Him than drawing them toward Him. I have no solution. You spoke clearly and I appreciate it.
Christy - December 21st, 2013 at 11:39 AM
I have read many many comments regarding this Phil's comments. Jen your comments are the most loving, rational, and true of all. Thank you fir such an intelligent piece. My favorite line is "I want us to care more about this suffering world than our Christian rights." Thank you!
Jenn H. - December 21st, 2013 at 11:41 AM
I agree with everything you say. {so eloquently, by the way} (not that I'd expect anything less!) ;)

But...

I'm not sure how exactly this plays out in a real life circumstance like a reporter asking you specific questions about your personal beliefs on homosexuality, sin. Are we not called to speak truth? Was Phil not speaking what he knows to be the truth of God's word? {Fully agree he choose a rather crass way to deliver it.} But should he have dodged the question?? Should he have "chosen love" over truth? Or perhaps the bigger question, how does one deliver the truth in love, especially when the truth is offensive and painful for some to hear?

I'm genuinely curious about this, not trying to play devils advocate. You've stretched my thinking in some of your previous articles about homosexuality and how the church should respond. But I always leave troubled.... Because I my feeble mind doesn't really know how love and acceptance of THE PERSON doesn't get misinterpreted as acceptance of THE LIFESTYLE/choices.

We are called to live like Jesus-- and he definitely befriended sinners. (Myself included, GLORY hallelujah!) But he didn't shy away from the truth. He called them (and us) to "Go and sin no more."

Ugh, all of this makes my head {and heart} hurt. Sin is so ugly, in all shapes and forms.
Bethany - December 21st, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Excellent, well thought out comment, and I am feeling the same way. How do we live this out?
Jay - December 21st, 2013 at 10:08 PM
I often think that we single out sexual sin and label it was a Big Bad because we're pretty sure we can tell who has and has not transgressed and can put people in little boxes: 'You're in', 'you're OUT', 'But of course repent etc etc...' If you look at the Bible, there is more than one sin. Gluttony is just as big a sin, for example, yet a startling number of Americans are morbidly obese. I very much doubt that there are altar-calls inviting people to repent of their gluttony and nobody gets denied from starting or joining a ministry because they are fat.
I think you have to look at Jesus as your example of how to 'live it out.' He hung out with all kinds of unsavoury characters, and it gave him a bad reputation with the religious elite. If you pour on the love, and leave the conviction up to God (look it up: it's even biblical :) ) then God can use relationship and fellowship to heal hearts, and a lot of that stuff can fall away. Even if it doesn't, though, God is still absolutely knocked-out about all of us, and we're ALL sinners.
Please consider this, also: Telling someone that the way they were born (gay people, in my experience, believe they were born that way, so it doesn't matter what we think) is a sin and they must repent comes across about as ridiculous as telling someone that being born Irish is a sin and they should repent and God will heal them and make them not Irish any more. Our job is to LOVE PEOPLE-- not to decide who is in and who is out and which special sins disqualify people when all the ones that apply to us are covered by the blood of Jesus- Which was Jen's point about our salvation being free but certain others having to earn theirs.

I hope this has been a bit helpful, anyway....
Kelly Mac - December 21st, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Jenn H.
This is where I sit, too.

Jen...you always make me think. Always encourage me to love in a crazy (well, what the WORLD would say is crazy) way. And that's a good thing!

Thank you for mulling over your thoughts and then always using God's expectations of us as your yardstick to measure how you should respond.

In this instance, though, I'm still wondering if he was just answering a question...and didn't want to water down the truth about sin. I wonder myself what could have been the "correct" answer. One that was full of God's truth AND His love.
Casandra - December 21st, 2013 at 12:34 PM
I absolutely agree with your statement. Jesus showed us how to love, be compassionate, and have mercy on others. None of us are good. We are all sinners. But He always spoke the truth and it wasn't sugar coated. We love the person. Not the sin. True love is caring about someone's eternal life. Not their short life here on earth. Their ETERNAL life. If a plane were going down would I not offer you a parachute? Then why would I not tell you where sin leads and what sin is?
Matthew 10:34 %u201CDo not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.


Camille - December 21st, 2013 at 3:47 PM
Jesus reserved his harshest words for the religious people of the day...he was often seen with the oppressed, unloved, unaccepted of the time.
Why is is that people so quickly want to point out the sin of homosexuality? Do you go around to your friends pointing out every time they speak to their kids harshly, treat their spouses poorly, eat too much food as a substitute comfort to that which only God can provide? Do you point out to your friends every time they lie or gossip? I doubt it....those are things which can only be done in the context of a safe, loving relationship. You earn the right to speak into people's lives.... I am pretty sure that loving a person does not illustrate acceptance--it illustrates love. It's God's kindness that leads people to repentance. It's not my job--God's got his own back. My job is to be good news, bring good news and love. Good news isn't judgement or a protected love that never really invests because they are sinning....right?
Love the blog and that people are able to actually have a real conversation here....it's safe :-)
Beth - December 21st, 2013 at 12:39 PM
My struggles too! I constantly feel torn on issues like these. My gut reaction is love & acceptance yet then I worry My reaction is a product of a secular society that God calls me not to conform to. It's confusing and I feel like it shouldn't be.
Emmett - December 21st, 2013 at 12:41 PM
The pattern of Jesus in the New Testament was a constant reprimand of the religious establishment. Also a constant outreach to the maligned, lost, disenchanted. He told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more *after* he said that he didn't condemn her. When I was saved I was a fornicator, liar, drug user, thief, proud, arrogant, none of which are any more virtuous than homosexuality. The knowledge that I was doing bad things wasn't the impetus of my salvation. It was the love of Jesus and his promises combined with my complete emptiness. That was the impetus of my salvation. Love should be the first step

I think Phil did the Matt 7:6 in this interview. Can a pearl be "truth?" I think it is. It's useless to address that issue in the forum that Phil did. Radical quote by Jesus, made in the context of the beam and the speck teaching. Very compelling and thought provoking. What do we share and not share in public forums?

The fact that I think homosexuality is a sin is of no use towards any homosexuals salvation. The love of Jesus and his promises is and are.
Kellie - December 21st, 2013 at 1:31 PM
This. Is there a gay person in America that doesn't already know that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin? Of course not. So what exactly is our purpose in "lovingly confronting them with the truth" when they surely already know it?? All it does is pile on and shame, widening the space between us. Love is what builds bridges, NOT confrontation. Also, it is the Holy Spirit's job to convict, NOT ours. Do we not trust that the Holy Spirit knows what he is doing? Truth is we our uncomfortable with other people's sin and far too comfortable with our own.
Mindy - December 21st, 2013 at 1:50 PM
Ooooh Kellie, I LOVE the last thing you said "truth is we are uncomfortable with other people's sin and far too comfortable with our own." Very true and steps on my toes! (
Gina - December 21st, 2013 at 1:15 PM
Yes, I keep thinking these very same things. I would love for there to be more dialogue about it.

Erin - December 21st, 2013 at 1:42 PM
Great blog article, but great point, Jenn H. Jesus was the full embodiment of both truth and grace, and I believe it's one of the most difficult tasks to mature to this model. Scripture tells us to be prepared to give a gentle answer. I think we, as believers, should look to Phil's answer to see if we would have tweaked it a bit had we been in his place, but to say that he shouldn't have given it at all? Not sure I would agree. We all have different spiritual gifts, and I believe that some of us are called and gifted to speak the truth to a Biblically illiterate society. Otherwise, who will? Faith comes by hearing...
Amy - December 21st, 2013 at 1:51 PM
Yes, I love what i read here in the post but I had the same thoughts as you Jenn H. Hope Jen responds!
Keri - December 21st, 2013 at 1:54 PM
Exactly what I was struggling with as I read. Wholeheartedly agree with your post & the heart behind it, but Jesus was the most merciful & loving person in history & not all were drawn to Him. I have such a hard time when directly questioned about certain lifestyles because I know that no matter how gently, humbly or lovingly I answer, the truth is going to draw a line & I am going to be the one cast as judgmental & unloving & my favorite, narrow-minded & intolerant. Help! Should we just refuse to engage in such conversation?
Amy - December 21st, 2013 at 2:04 PM
I want to say that I LOVE that you asked this question, because this is where my journey about this topic started. I wanted to suggest that the answer isn't a blanket one. I don't think that God gives us an answer in Scripture that says, "When asked this question, you answer this way." The words God calls us to speak, will be different in each situation. The balance of truth and love (because there should always be some of each) will look different each time. I think the closer relationship you have with the person you are speaking to, the more truth you can speak. The foundation of love you have built protects from the harsh edge of truth. In public where you have no relationship, I think we should always ere on the side of love.
As to worrying about accepting the person vs accepting the actions, I don't know that you need to worry about that so much. And that's something that I've had a difficult time deciding. Jesus is more than capable of changing hearts and changing lives at the right time. The conclusion I have come to is that if someone close to me is struggling with this, and they invite me to struggle with them, I will. We will learn together, and pray together, and hope together. We will talk and ask hard questions and talk about the possible answers. But if I cannot hurt with them in their hurts, I will not preach about their shoulds and should nots.
Stacey - December 21st, 2013 at 2:37 PM
This is my hang up here as well. For Phil to answer any way other than how he did would have been impossible without betraying his beliefs. Are we not called to rebuke those who sin (Luke 17:3)? If we give way to the polluted views of this world, are we not polluted ourselves? (Proverbs 25:26). I would like to know how Jen would answer the exact questions that Drew Margary asked in his interview.
Sarah - December 21st, 2013 at 3:07 PM
I so hear you!

How do we handle these situations on the day to day? Especially when it's our friends and family members.

For this particular situation, I believe Phil was very coarse and insensitive. He sounded like he was talking to a buddy rather than who he was really talking to...a journalist, hanging on his every word. I think there was a more loving delivery of the message of the bibles teachings. Phil chose a crude way and apparently forgot who he was talking to. I think it's easier to give a general statement of your opinion rather than having an intimate talk about it with a person you love in your life who your heart breaks for.

Specifically, he could've said, as he knew it would be blasted to the world, "I believe homesexuality is a sin. As a heterosexual man, I do not understand the desire for it, but I understand brokeness. My heart breaks for a community who I believe to be living in sin, but I love them anyway."

He could've said more and gotten more in depth or just went to the heart of it. He did not choose a kind delivery for his belief about such a sensitive, suffering community.

I think we are called to love on them. When there are moments to preach the gospel, you do. When the Lord gives you a moment discuss your belief in their sin, you discuss it. It's a moment by moment process that God is working through. I do not think we "accept". I think we just continue in a relationship with a person we love who is struggling and we find moments to change their hearts and be a blessing to them. We encourage them and believe that the Lord is faithfully doing his own work and creating moments that will bring you opportunities to share the healing power of Christ. That's it. That's all it is.
Gretchen - December 21st, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Thank you for sharing! This is what my heart feels, but my mouth and words cannot express with so much love.
Julie - December 21st, 2013 at 11:43 AM
I don't fully agree... Phil was stating the truth of what the Bible says. There was no judgment, no speaking lies...he was quoting the Bible. We are not to sugar coat the gospel. I am sorry that your gay friends might feel bludgeoned but that wasn't the point of Phil's response. And, response it was...he was asked a question and he answered in truth. He hasn't backlashed b/c of A&E's response to his words. The Robertson family has said that they are in prayer. I don't think peace is the main thing here...it's truth. We have to speak truth in love.
Beth - December 21st, 2013 at 1:13 PM
please read the text of his interview -- HE WAS NOT QUOTING THE BIBLE!
Carl - December 21st, 2013 at 2:06 PM
Correct. He was not quoting the bible. In the 39 translations I have, I didn't find that quote. Maybe I should get a copy of Phil's translation. Then I can have 40 copies. My opinion is that the bible has been mistranslated so many times that it is no longer a viable source for the true word of God. I think the only thing we can bank on that is absolute truth is love God above all things and love your neighbor as you love yourself. That last part being part of the problem. People don't love their selves so they can't love someone else. They look at their own sin and don't love their self so they look to other people to see if they feel like their sin is worse so they can feel better about their selves. Love is what it is all about. The rest will follow. And very well said Jen. I'm glad my friend shared this so I could find it. I will share too.
Marcopodo - December 21st, 2013 at 2:01 PM
EXACTLY.... Well stated.
I'm curious if Jen thinks its ok for that minister to officiate the wedding of his gay son - you know, in a way to show love & acceptance and all.
Love the sinner - not the sin.
Speak the-Truth in love. Which is exactly what Phil did.
Carl - December 21st, 2013 at 4:43 PM
What about what he said about black people?
aE - December 21st, 2013 at 11:43 AM
I don't think the actual article was read before this post was written.
Amy - December 21st, 2013 at 11:43 AM
Lovely and truly oozing the gospel.
Sue - December 21st, 2013 at 11:45 AM
No. We have only tidbits of an interview from an author making a baised opinion piece on GQ. He did speak God's love and truth in love. He said these things are sin and God is offended. He said he use to be in the same boat until he came to Christ. What love Is that to share truth. God also says that if we do not stand up for Him in love and truth then the earth will cry out.

Sometimes, my sin is offensive to me. Well, it should always be offensive. He was not wrong or unkind in his words. He was also speaking to another MAN about attraction. For him, he cannot comprehend a man liking to have sex with the anus. The audience was for other men. Sorry, ladies, but it is true men speak to each other differently. Just like the female focused blog by Jen is sappy and girly to a man.

Jesus and God in scripture never sidestep. They do not leave truth (what He says) and love (God's idea of love - not our worldly view of love) apart from each other.

Not did The Duck Commander in question. Quotes to verify this could have been omitted from the GQ author. So, don't take what is in print after author and editor have slice and diced what an individual has said. Also, I sure the author recorded the entire interview because there is no way he would have written all quotes accurately and efficiently as he wrote in this article. You see, I know from experience because I did that for my job before becoming a stay at home mom. I know what happens during and interview and afterwards.

Robertson stated what te bible said. Black and white, clear as day. The author then added Robertson stating God loves people and he is a forgiving God. He then spoke about how he was wrong and lived a life as he had quoted. He then added he changed due to God's love and grace.

Jen, hope you actually read the article four times before stating he had no love. Also, since you have big time connections in this world of media, maybe you can ask the author for his recording of the interview so we can all hear what was left out? I'm serious... Lets pull some strings and hear what is omitted before stating that he was wrong in truth and love.

And, if you read the end of the article, the author states he has contemplated Robertson's words and thought about what he is dying about Christ. That is the kicker right there. Robertson planted a seed!!!!!

Dana - December 21st, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Thank you. I read the entire GQ article when all this brouhaha began, and I agree with your assessment. Was a self-proclaimed redneck a little coarse? Yes. Were the words he spoke reflective of the love of Jesus Christ, and the truth of his Word? In my opinion, YES.
Annie O - December 21st, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Thank you. As Christians we have to address the gray area between love and acceptance and loving people enough to share the truth about Christ--his grace is sufficient for all, but that is just it--we all need grace to cover our sins. At the end of the day people who love you push you in directions to help you.

Also, everyone is freaking out about what was printed in this GQ interview--but no one seems to be excited that they actually printed what Phil said to the interviewer about how he could become a brother in Christ! That is printed in GQ!!! That's a huge audience that has heard part of how to become a brother/sister in Christ now!
debbie - December 21st, 2013 at 12:42 PM
I so agree with you Sue!! I was thinking the same thing as I was reading this blog post (I've never read/heard of this post before). But it was 2 MEN talking. It was to be printed in a MEN's magazine. Yes! They do speak differently about pretty much EVERYTHING than women do. I read the article GQ printed. And I also wondered what else was left out....

But, my first thought was ... how scandalous!! What a scandalous love Phil has for God! He wasn't "crass" .... he used anatomically correct / medically correct vocabulary. He stated it so plainly ... it was obvious to me that he struggles with what men "choose" to do. Sin is a choice. I do not wish to start the whole "homosexuality is/is not a choice" argument!! I have had this discussion with my gay brother and a former partner of his to the moon and back. The only answer I come back to is, sin is a decision. No matter if it adultery, stealing, lying, murder, homosexuality. How bold of him to stand there and say the right thing. FULLY KNOWING there would be reprisals.

Yes, Jesus did welcome everyone. The rich young man. The woman caught in adultery. The tax collector. The uneducated. The educated. The religious. The anti-religious. But, to be sure, He did NOT welcome their sin to come along with their hearts. "Go and sin no more." And sometimes He was not all that gentle about it!

You know, I am so very grateful that my God is a loving God, rich in mercy, not wanting any to perish, but for all to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Sometimes I feel like Paul - I am the chief of sinners! But I also know that my God fights for me!! He has promised that nothing can separate me from His love. And He has proven it all thru history .... utterly destroying nations that would defile and destroy His chosen ones. Using beasts of the earth, the earth itself, and .. I think when He absolutely has to .. using other people, to make His will known. He is a God of love. And it is up to us to make His love known. Phil did that - he does that on nearly every show. And in nearly every aspect of his life (that he and his family have allowed to be very public! I wonder how we would all stand under such scrutiny!) Yes, seeds were planted ... in that reporter to be sure. But how wide a net did Phil really cast with his scandalous love? Many dialogues like this one are taking place. When the media is finally done, and the Robertson's emerge from this as victors, then what will be our response? Do not jump on his "bandwagon" then, if you felt you could not stand with him in the fire.
Sophie - December 21st, 2013 at 6:51 PM
Terrific blog! Debbie.. Key word is "choice"... Every sin we commit is one we have chosen to commit. It's just that simple. God brought us all into this world free of sin. He gave us a brain to decide between right and wrong. It's up to us to choose which path.
Cindy - December 21st, 2013 at 2:05 PM
Why are Christians so hung up on homosexuality? That's my biggest angst w/Phil's response to the interviewer's question, "What is sinful?" He wasn't asked about his beliefs about homosexuality. He was asked for his definition or beliefs on sin. And he begins with this, "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there." Really? Why? I wouldn't even put homosexuality in my top ten...and apparently, neither would God, if you've read the Ten Commandments. Not sure it would be in my top 50 or 100. It just doesn't concern or threaten me. And yet many Christians act as though world peace and world salvation hinges on the eradication of homosexuality. There are horrible sins against mankind, that actually harm others. There are also lesser harmful sins that we commit nearly everyday. Any of us could look inside ourselves and find grievous sins we need to work on...unless you're perfect, maybe? Why not start with our own "plank" and then "morph out from there"? Phil's statements were crude and unnecessary. How do his words bring the unrepentant homosexual to Christ? Do you think that there's a single homosexual out there that hasn't heard that (many) Christians believe homosexuality is sin? This isn't news, people. We don't need to remind them. We need to love them with the same grace God loves us. We need to start to look at what is sinful in US. We don't need to inform people of their sins. If you're struggling with your weight, would you love for your spouse or family to remind you that glutiny is a sin and you're going to hell? Before you were a Christian and you would (gossip, lie, hate, fill in the blank with a sin), would it have wooed you to Christ to have others crassly tell you you were going to hell? When you sin now, do you like others to remind you of your sin? Occasionally we all need a gentle reminder from a close, loving friend, but no one needs a public condemnation. That's never well received.
Donnie N - December 21st, 2013 at 11:46 AM
I generally agree with the things you say and appreciate all the little laughs along the way too. While your response is awesomely describing a grace based approach to loving people, I agree with that fully. Phil was asked(baited by GQ since A&Es handler was absent) what he thought about homosexuality. Explaining biblically why he feels it's wrong is the right response. He is obviously curmudgeonly in his speech but he appeals and reaches many people who are not otherwise easily reached. Everyone cannot be proper and elegant and PC correct at all times. We should always speak truth and he did. Before this issue everyone knew Phil and loved his spicy nature and now everyone wants a piece of Phil. Truth is truth and by saying we should show grace to all (which I agree with), the truth must never be sacrificed. That's what the world does by massaging the egos and minds of the ones who want a free for all. Nicely written blog though and much respect for what you do for the kingdom.
Cici - December 21st, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Yes. YES!!!

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.
shandy stogsdill - December 21st, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Thank you for speaking such a beautiful truth and representing all the Christians who can't put our thoughts so eloquently. Just this week I had a good friend turn her back on me because I have gay friends that I love dearly. It was hurtful but I pray for her that she will allow Christ to show her how he calls us to love. We are the light of tje world and the salt of the earth now lets act like it.
Helen - December 21st, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Love it Jen!! I totally agree! Jesus was, and is, love and we need to represent that as best we can to ALL people, not just those who agree with us.
Adam - December 21st, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Jesus said "Love your neighbor. Not love your neighbor if he or she is the opposite gender and then just be friends."

Well put Jen.Well put. As was said earlier, per the Beatles: "All you need is love."
Jennie - December 21st, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Thank you!
Pamela - December 21st, 2013 at 11:48 AM
I disagree Jen... Read his entire statement. Yes, it was somewhat crude, but His comments were taken out of context... He plainly stated that he wouldn't judge, and that he would show love and compassion. He just stated what the bible, as the inherent Word of God, plainly states. That is his belief. And mine. Some of my best friends are gay. The bible said homosexuality is a sin. Therefore I believe it is. But I still love my gay friends. But I continue to love them, and show them love just as they do me, in spite of my many sins. He was asked a question and he answered it honestly. If he had "rode the fence", and answered in a way that denied the biblical truth...even if it saved the "feelings" of others, then he would be guilty of compromising his belief in God and His Word. (By the way, I've never watched the show, and am not considered a "fan"... But I respect him for not compromising his values in believing that the bible is The Truth).
Kim - December 21st, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Jenn -- I love you like crazy, but I have to agree w/ Pamela here...
Emily - December 21st, 2013 at 1:28 PM
AMEN, Pamela! Especially as a Duck Dynasty watcher, Phil's comment made total sense when referencing HIS personality and opinion. He comes across as crude, but his heart is precious.
alex - December 21st, 2013 at 2:26 PM
The bible says homosexuality is "out of tradition" if you really study it properly, that's what abomination refers to in that passage. The problem is not that some Christians believe this to be a sin but rather that they can't see that not every Christian agrees and also that not everyone is a Christian. You're all fighting so hard to prove you're right you have forgotten to turn the other cheek.
Freda - December 21st, 2013 at 2:20 PM
Pam I agree ..... If we deny Christ he will deny...If people was as worried about God as they are about stepping on toes could you only imagine! Gods rules and love never changes just because society does
Denise - December 21st, 2013 at 2:20 PM
Pamela., I agree with you and have struggled this week with the proper response. There has been a lot of talk about guarding your tongue and I believe we need to do that, but when asked about sin, we should call it what it is SIN. I desire to love people as Jesus commanded but some reject that love because the bible has told me and therefore I believe their lifestyle is a sin.
Alicia - December 21st, 2013 at 2:24 PM
Where does the Bible say that homosexuality is a sin? So is eating shellfish, so is not subjugating yourself to men. Come on. You can't pick and choose, you can't say that some of this applies and some of it doesn't. It isn't up to you to decide what is sin and what is not. Your task is to LOVE. That is all that you are called to do.
Paul - December 21st, 2013 at 2:25 PM
And I have to disagree with you, Pamela--If you read Jen's comments as well, she said that all he was doing was being himself, but it's the understanding that whatever we say, particularly someone in Phil's position, is going to be magnified and dissected. Therefore, every word matters more.

Because of that, if he wanted to speak what he thinks is the truth about scripture in an uncompromising but respectful way, he would have said, "I believe homosexuality and/or homosexual relationships is a sin." Done. But then he goes on to call anyone who is homosexual "illogical" and gets graphic--that was completely unnecessary. You can defend him standing up for his conviction, but you can't defend him going beyond that. And Jen here isn't criticizing Phil; she's begging for us to consider a way that clings to truth but doesn't alienate people unnecessarily because of our carelessness and lack of grace and mercy.
AJ - December 21st, 2013 at 2:33 PM
Well said Pamela. VERY WELL said.
Helen - December 21st, 2013 at 2:45 PM
He did not just quote the Bible. He said some crude and ignorant things as well. I agree with Jen. This is not about free speech, DD's beliefs or even persecution. This is about consequences for crude and ignorant words used. Even a Christian business owner should fire someone if they spoke that way about other human beings. We should be disgusted about the way he compared male/female organs, not defending him just because he believes in the Bible.
Shay - December 21st, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Yes we need to love and part of love is telling the whole truth about sin. Even Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more in John 8:11. We can love, not judge, and the key part is to repent of our sins. That is why Jesus died on the cross... For our sins. So it is two fold because at some point we have to deal with the issue of sin so people know why we need a Saviour.
Sabrina Craig-Boyd - December 21st, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Thank you. With tears in my eyes, I've read this article twice. I am one of those people whom Mr. Robertons words have hurt. I am both a Christian and a lesbian and I constantly feel pulled by both groups to choose. I have no doubt of Gods love for me and I will not be convinced otherwise by either side. Love is the only answer.
Scott - December 21st, 2013 at 2:15 PM
There is no doubt the love that God has for you...for all of us. Sending His son to die for our sins is proof of that. The question then becomes do we love our sin more than we love God? I have heard it said that the greatest act of worship is obedience.
Richard F - December 21st, 2013 at 2:26 PM
Scott, It comes down to this. You live your life they way in "your" view God wants you to live it. It is extremely disrespectful to God to ordain yourself as "A GOD" and dictate your fascist views on others. So please act accordingly or your disobedience will condemn you to hell. God Bless!
Dee - December 21st, 2013 at 2:35 PM
Yes, Jesus created the verb, Love. He said we are to love righteousness, and flee from unrighteousness. You know very well His viewpoint on the act of homosexuality. Who, or what then, do you really love?
Rachel - December 22nd, 2013 at 11:54 AM
Hey there, Sabrina. I just wanted to give you the link to a website. Are you familiar with Canyonwalker Connections and Kathy Baldock? If not, go on over to her website and explore a bit. She is an amazing woman with and incredible heart for LGBT Christians. You'll be blessed!
http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/magazine/
Blair - December 21st, 2013 at 11:49 AM
We are all sinners and Phil is too. I agree perhaps Phils words were a little more crude but society loves crudeness when it comes to MTV, Miley Cyrus, and thousands of other things!! But our society's dominating force to always attempt to weaken, ignore or destroy biblical truths is so evident. I can barely stand it. I love others and I try my best to always be kind as Christ was but Christ also sent those disciples with a message. They weren't sent to have coffee and play cards. They were sent to love and spread the good news....not everyone will see the news as good. So be compassionate, love another, but that doesn't mean total acceptance of lifestyles and choices. God have mercy on us. We need Him and Thankfulky He is here for all who humble themselves and call on His name.
Marci - December 21st, 2013 at 11:49 AM
I LOVE THIS!!! LOVE IT!!!
Way to put it in words...
Quinn - December 21st, 2013 at 11:50 AM
I think love is only truly real when it consists of both truth and grace equally. I wholeheartedly agree that we are not to judge people but to just ooze acceptance and grace, isn't truly love. If we just sit back and watch people continuing to live in their sin and just love them through it, is this love? Is this a slippery slope? Definitely! Do most people fall either too much on the grace side or too much on the truth side? For sure! I think if we live every day and every moment in the Spirit and in open communication with our heavenly Father, then we will give the exact right amount of truth and the exact right amount of grace every time. Sometimes the Lord has called me to speak harsh truth with someone and it was the most loving thing I could have done in that moment so I think to put a rule down that says we must be accepting and fully gracious in all moments, is misleading. God alone knows what each person needs in each moment so I think the only rule that should be created in moments like these is to ask, "Father what will you have me say?" Did Phil do this? That's not for us to judge and is between Him and the Lord but it something we need to be judging for ourselves for sure.
Sarah - December 21st, 2013 at 12:41 PM
I agree with this 100%. Yes, we need love, but preaching the gospel also includes truth. We must find a way to balance them both! Thank you for saying that!
Jason - December 21st, 2013 at 2:37 PM
And this is why the World hates Christians. It's sadly not because of Jesus. It's because we think we're the arbiters of all that is right (Jesus is, not us), and we think because of that we have earned the right with millions we'll never meet to tell them Hell is waiting unless they completely change their lifestyle. Hell is waiting for all who don't know Christ as Lord and Savior, period. If we're truly seeking Him, he'll make or sin plain to us. If your friend asks your opinion, by all means speak the Truth in Love. If a magazine does, speak the Truth that anything "good" or "bad" done in the name of anything else besides God is sin, and that the Lord can work out the details with each person.
Heather - December 21st, 2013 at 2:33 PM
Perfectly stated! I too agree 100%!
bec - December 21st, 2013 at 2:50 PM
Thanks Quinn
Jaime - December 21st, 2013 at 3:00 PM
Could not agree with you more, Quinn. I went through a phase in college where I believed that showing someone love was more important than speaking the truth to them. Very dangerous. I was so wrong in doing that. I have to say I was afraid to speak the truth about certain sins because I didn't want to "offend" someone. I was using love as a cop-out for speaking truth. And speaking truth is NOT the same as passing judgment. The world today wants people to fall for that lie. Through the truth comes conviction. We have to remember that Jesus not only showed people love when He walked the earth but that He also spoke truth. People were so offended by His truths that he was nailed to a cross. And with truth comes freedom and experiencing God's unending love.
Julie - December 21st, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Amen and Jen, and I don't know you but I am reeeeally starting to like you. ;) So much the heart of the gospel written here!!!
Tanya Burnette - December 21st, 2013 at 11:50 AM
AMEN AMEN AMEN!!!
Mollie W - December 21st, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Well said - thank you!
Terrie - December 21st, 2013 at 11:51 AM
I read this with tears and conviction. For me I have a strong sense of justice, but I realized it is not for me to hand it out. Love and mercy is the example that Jesus gave us. He had no use for those religious leaders who deemed themselves judge. We can not expect the unbeliever to act, speak and understand our beliefs and even scripture. We need to show the love that was poured on us by our precious Jesus. We are all a work in progress and by the grace of God and conviction of the Holy Spirit, let us go forth in unity and the love of Christ. Thank you Jen.
Heather - December 21st, 2013 at 11:53 AM
I completely agree BUT Phil Robertson's comments were taken out of context and because of that he is being blamed for things he didn't actually say.

His comment did not equate homosexuality to bestiality. His comment equated it to sin. The writer asked him what he considers a sin and Phil answered by quoting scripture. He wasn't even pinpointing homosexuality. He was simply quoting 1 Cor. 6: 9-11, 18. Since when is quoting scripture being unloving or intolerant (unless someone is screaming it from a street corner). He was asked. If I was asked, I would quote scripture too instead of just listing my opinion of sins. But, what people are not reading is his comment that basically says we are all sinners. That is the point and Jesus died for all of us. People love to leave that part out.

As for the racial comment. That is so out of context it actually makes me mad. Anyone can go on Youtube and find all sorts of videos where Phil tells the same story. I have no doubt if the writer of the article printed the WHOLE conservation, Phil's story would be much clearer like it is in other videos. What Phil has always said has NOTHING to do with civil rights or race. What Phil was saying is that he was considered white trash and at that point in his life, he did not have Jesus or God in his life. Here he was working in fields with other black people (none of which were slaves but yes, there were all poor). He describes how poor and dire all their situations were and yet here he is working along side people who should have been just as miserable and just as angry as he was. Yet they were not. They were joyful. They were happy and he makes a point to say they were Godly. They had God in their lives and THAT sustained them beyond their meager circumstances. Phil noticed that. It made an impression on him and he respected them for it. It wasn't until years later when he became a Christian did he really understand where their joy and happiness were coming from (because it wasn't working in a field). His story was never about race or equality. It was about faith and how the people he worked along side (who happened to be black) had such a strong faith in the Lord that their hearts were full when their pockets were not. That is a beautiful story that uplifts the spirit of the African American people who are by and large a very religious population of people, particularly in the south. Their life testimony and attitudes made a positive impact on Phil. That is what that story was about.

This is a situation of taking things said out of context. Having said that, I completely agree that it is our job to love and not judge so I don't think we should judge Phil Robertson either especially for things he didn't actually say.
Mary - December 21st, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Very well said, Heather!
Heather - December 21st, 2013 at 1:27 PM
Thanks!

Some Christians seem to be trying to find a %u201Cbalance%u201D between God%u2019s truth that homosexuality is wrong and God%u2019s grace. In attempting to find a %u201Cbalance%u201D between grace and truth could it be that both are diluted?

In response, I often borrow the term %u201CWhere Grace Abounds%u201D: %u201C100% Truth / 100% Grace%u201D. In other words, each principle is completely true, God unequivocally prohibits homosexual acts and condemns them as sin but at the same time, God has an unquestionable unbounding love of homosexuals enough to send His Son to die to pay for their sin of homosexuality. God%u2019s prohibition of homosexual acts does not at all diminish the love and grace He offers them and the love and grace He offers to them does not at all excuse or diminish the sinfulness of the acts of homosexual offenders.

What I think is at the heart of all the outrage isn't actually Phil Robertson's statements. He never said what people are accusing him of saying. It is the fact that many in society no longer want to accept homosexuality as a sin and they want society to find it offensive if one does view it as a sin. That isn't an attack on Phil Robertson, it is an attack on God, Jesus and the Bible.

As Christians, we should not waiver on what is truth (or water it down) but we should always teach that grace covers all sin for those who choose to ask for and accept it. God does not discriminate on which sins are forgiven and which are not. He died for each and every person because each and everyone of us are sinners.

There is no need for a savior if there is no sin. That is where we are headed if much of society gets their way. We can't forget that God is grace AND truth.
David - December 21st, 2013 at 2:35 PM
You can love all you want, but in a darkened world where we as Christians are to be the light "There is no need for a savior if there is no sin"
Heather - December 21st, 2013 at 2:54 PM
Yes, we are to be the light showing that we are forgiven and God's grace is sufficient. We are to be the light shining toward Jesus and his truth. Not a light that highlights ourselves and how loving we are.

In order to be forgiven we must admit we are sinners. That means we must admit when a sin is a sin. Too many in society don't want to admit that homosexuality is a sin. Just admitting and acknowledging it is a sin does not mean we are passing judgement. We are all sinners and we all need a savior.
Jacqui - December 21st, 2013 at 1:02 PM
Thank you for saying this. I am pretty tired of hearing how Christians should "just love". All we NEED is JESUS, not "love". (I'm pretty sure it was the Beatles and the 60 movement that brought in the, "all we need is love" attitude, where has that gotten us?) Praise the Lord, Phil quoted the word of God when the writer was clearly fishing for Phil's obvious Christian views on the world we live in.
Tiffiney. Hill - December 21st, 2013 at 2:21 PM
Thank you Heather for your post! I am an African American woman and my heart goes out to Phil. I, in particular, am not moved by the thoughts of what others believe about our people. I'm saddened by Christians who simply won't allow God to eradicate the constant divide between all peoples that satan continues to perpetuate! Race is a construct and until we all begin to operate in a way that helps all humans walk in their true identity which is found in and through Jesus Christ then Woe unto us the Church that is.
Gwen - December 21st, 2013 at 2:36 PM
Thanks

Tarrah - December 21st, 2013 at 2:51 PM
Heather-That's exactly how I took the article & explained it to fb friends. Seemed pretty cut and dry to me.
But thank you to Jen for her words too.
Jason from Fort Worth, Texas - December 21st, 2013 at 3:24 PM
Yes, Phil Robertson was asked what he considered a sin. If we as Christ followers cannot quickly and easily answer that question, then there's a huge problem. Also, another thing Phil is being raked over the coals about is a video of him speaking at a church. From the way he answered GQ, and what he said to a congregation of Christ, he was quoting directly from the Apostle Paul in the first chapter of Romans. Phil is being persecuted (Matthew 5:10) because he answered a question. His response did not separate himself from being a sinner saved by the grace of our God through Christ. He simply answered the question.

Today, we are seeing people wanting not just 'tolerance', but really approval of what they do. Just as Christ did, we love people, but we do not approve of sin. One of my favorite stories is of Christ showing love and mercy to a woman caught in adultery thrown before HIm to be stoned. However, his response to her was "go and leave your life of sin". Jesus knew the difference between love and approval. Even within our own lives, we do not approve of sin. We earnestly desire to follow Christ and repent (change) of sin committed.

Therefore, do we love God and love people? ..."YES!" Do we approve of our sin or others' sin? ..."NO!" The answer said so many times over and over throughout the entire Bible for the Church and others is ..."REPENT!" *smile* Repent isn't a bad word. *smile* It simply means "change", "turn away", "go the opposite direction." Christ's Church should be daily repenting and changing into the image of Christ. But many people don't like to hear "repent" or "sin", because it means what they are doing is wrong...that they are in need of a Savior ....and many times they don't want a Savior.

Dee - December 22nd, 2013 at 1:03 PM
You are absolutely correct Heather, I could not have said it any better than you. I wish I could be as graceful and as tactful as you. May God continue to bless your heart with the grace of speech. Pax
Catherine - December 21st, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Preach it, in Jesus' glorious holy name. And all the people said (with hope in their hearts): Amen.
Donna - December 21st, 2013 at 11:55 AM
They will know we are Christians by our love......the greatest of these is LOVE....That is our great calling every day..to be filled with His love and to love others with it...
Amen to all you wrote!
Leigh - December 21st, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Amen, Amen, and Amen again. Thank you for sharing. Absolutely beautiful. I have many gay and African American friends that have been deeply hurt over the past couple of days. Oddly enough, it hasn't necessarily been over what a bearded reality star said in an interview. Their hurt has stemmed from the hateful response in a rush to "defend Christianity" by their so-called friends. My heart has hurt over and over again for my friends who have had their hearts crumpled and stomped on by folks claiming to do so "in Jesus' name".
Stacey - December 21st, 2013 at 1:25 PM
That is exactly what I was thinking - this article is not so much about Phil and his comments, but about the response to them. So hurtful...
Laurie - December 21st, 2013 at 11:59 AM
The gospel message is a story of love. However, LOVE without truth is no love at all. For without Truth, how would we recognize our need for a Savior? How would we recognize the the greatest act of LOVE, the sacrifice God made by sending his Son to bear the penalty of sin for us all. When we fail to recognize sin, we cannot fully appreciate love.
Andrea - December 21st, 2013 at 3:03 PM
So so sooo very well said.
Waylon - December 21st, 2013 at 3:28 PM
Maybe I'm missing something. What I took from the blog was that the truth can be spoken in love and respect, without mocking or using crude terms to describe others. I love the Robertsons and would never want their show to end over this, but can't we all agree that the way he got his point across is not going to help reach the lost??
Natalie - December 21st, 2013 at 3:06 PM
Amen Laurie.
Taryn Hofert - December 21st, 2013 at 3:08 PM
Jesus himself was the truth: not a doctrine to which we adhere.
Jan - December 21st, 2013 at 3:10 PM
Amen. Well said, Laurie.
Charlotte - December 21st, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Phil was a little blunt in what he said, but he wasn't just talking about homosexuals, he was talking about all sin, and in the end he said that he would leave this up to the almighty.... it seems like the whole story isnt read or taken into account. I believe he spoke the words with love, he said he didn't understand it, it wasn't for him to judge, he would leave that up to the almighty. seems common these days to only read part of the story, but I think we need to read it all to have an understanding about what we are defending or persecuting.
M - December 21st, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Somehow people have the mistaken idea that Phil climbed up on a platform at a Gay Rights Rally or at the door of one of his gay neighbors and blasted them with his "hateful" words. When in fact this was a small part of a larger interview. The man who interviewed him said in his article that Phil was welcoming and gracious, a man who preaches the gospel of the outdoors and, to my great envy, practices what he preaches.

So, with that as the backdrop, it is my understanding that Phil was asked in an interview what he considered "sinful"... which came on the heels of him saying %u201CYou put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let%u2019s get on with it, and everything will turn around.%u201D Even earlier in the article he said %u201CWe never, ever judge someone on who%u2019s going to heaven, hell. That%u2019s the Almighty%u2019s job. We just love %u2019em, give %u2019em the good news about Jesus%u2014whether they%u2019re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort %u2019em out later, you see what I%u2019m saying?%u201D and then at the end of the interview he shares the Gospel with the interviewer, asking if him and his woman are Bible people- and then clearly laying out the Gospel... the article closes by saying that Phil is hosting a private Bible study with a woman who, according to him, %u201Chas been on cocaine for years and is making her decision to repent. I%u2019m going to point her in the right direction.%u201D

Seems to me that he is a man making the Gospel real in his life, and doing it in love.
norma - December 21st, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Well you are entitled to your opinion just as Phil is. I know you have good intentions and want to love the sinners and so on...But the truth is the truth....
ndh - December 21st, 2013 at 3:17 PM
Yes. And so is 1 Corinthians 13:1: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal."
Donna - December 21st, 2013 at 12:02 PM
I love you, Jen Hatmaker. I'm so thankful that God brought you to me with your words, to walk along side of me. You say the things that churn in my head... the things I can't to make this kind of sense when I try to get them out. thank you!
jenn - December 21st, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Yes! Yes! LOVE this!
Christopher Sanchez - December 21st, 2013 at 12:05 PM
So I am curious. Is it the crude words Robertson used that is offensive to your mind only or is there more? Is the problem with Robertson paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 or is it the existence of that passage and others like it in Scripture?

I applaud you for your willingness to proclaim the scandalous love of Jesus in the face of any issue, demographic, or debate. Will that be all you proclaim? Will you also with equal force proclaim the rest of the counsel of God as Paul did (Acts 20:17-36)? You see, all of it matters, not just the parts you want to focus on.
ndh - December 21st, 2013 at 3:21 PM
If all he did were paraphrase 1 Cor 6:9-10, we would not be having this debate. As anyone who has actually read Mr. Robertson's article would know, he went far above and beyond that.
Kevin - December 21st, 2013 at 3:36 PM
Christopher please know, that scandalous love of Jesus is ALL THAT MATTERS. The rest is important - but unless you get that love, the rest (which are descriptions of what keeps us from drawing nearer and nearer to that same love) doesn't matter a hill of beans. Jesus describes the hierarchy when asked what is the greatest commandment (and here that word, "greatest" really means GREATEST) - LOVE the Lord your God....second greatest is to LOVE your neighbor as yourself.

In this world, we usually only have one shot. And that one shot has to be to proclaim LOVE. Otherwise, the rest will never, ever matter.
Karrilee - December 21st, 2013 at 12:06 PM
You are my kind of people Jen... And that is the Community I am searching for! Speak Life. Be Love. Shine On.
Keri - December 21st, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Wow. This post speaks to me where I am, but so do some of the comments. Thankful for it all.
wendy - December 21st, 2013 at 2:52 PM
Agreed!
Lulubelle - December 21st, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Jess, the Scriptures say: "Do we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid!" Look it up. Clearly, the love of Jesus will bring us to teach the truth of sin, and in so doing "save someone from a multitude of sins." Showing HIs love to others is teaching them error and then repentance will follow. Yes, His mercy and grace cover us, but we have to change. We cannot continue in sin with no repentance. Jen's article, while comforting, gives sinners false hope in believing they can continue their lifestyle safely with God's grace and mercy covering them. It just isn't so. That belief nullifies sin and makes it completely nonexistent. And, of course, we know that there is a Hell provided for those who do not repent. That's the truth! The truth, taught in love will show the love of Jesus Christ in that he wants all to be saved,( "not willing that anyone should perish, but all would come to repentance".) Look it up.. Teaching others the Gospel of Christ in kindness and genuine caring, is showing the greatest love to one another we can show. As Christians, we should never allow those we love who are openly sinning against God's Word, continue in that sin. Helping, correcting, guiding, sharing burdens, and calling for repentance shows the greatest love any of us can EVER show another.
MC - December 21st, 2013 at 2:06 PM
Lulubelle, well said. I could not think of a good way to put it but you have echoed my thoughts exactly. This article, while nice, is skirting over the fact that SIN is SIN and homosexuality is included in a list of sins in the Bible, God's Word. Not our word, HIS WORD.
Samantha - December 21st, 2013 at 2:41 PM
"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

Everyone is a sinner. Who are you (or anyone) to decide which sin is worse than the other? Leave that up to whatever higher power you believe in. Live the life you want to live, and let's not worry about someone else's lifestyle.
Jim - December 21st, 2013 at 3:17 PM
The problem is, Samantha, that God does not give that option to the believer. We are commanded to speak the "truth" in love. And let me disabuse you, and others of some wrongheaded notions or assertions. None of us who truly proclaim the Word is making one sin more egregious than any other. What Phil said, and what I would say, is that any sin, no matter how small or large that it may seem to man, is large enough to cause separation from God and eternal torment. That includes the sins that I have, and will in the future commit. The Good News is that God made a way through the blood of Christ to restore that relationship. However, if we do not tell people of their need - by identifying sin - then how can they know of their own need. Love does not mean to remain silent and let people live their lifestyles in any way they choose. It means reaching out in a spirit of love and mercy, identifying their need, and pointing them to the only one who can meet that need. And for those that quote the Scripture that says not to judge - you need to put that back in proper context. The Bible does not tell us not to judge another person's fruit. Rather we are told to examine it and if we find another in a fault to confront them with that fault thereby saving them from death. What we are not supposed to judge is another person's ability to be saved, or whether they have been saved by the blood of Christ. It seems to me that every time that the conversation gets a little too close to someone else's pet sin they always want to pull out either the "love" card or the "do not judge" card. Both cards are in the deck, but are being used wrongly. I try my best to love all people that God brings into my life, but part of that love is to share with them my very deep concern for their eternal condition. The Bible says "...how can someone know unless someone tell them, blessed are the feet of them that bring good news." It seems to me that the only thing Phil was trying to do was to bring the good news.
Derek - December 21st, 2013 at 3:54 PM
The problem with you is your proud heart. You think you are better. Look at you. You "figured" out the truth out of all that is out there. Never mind the 40,000 different denominations, but all the different religions. You figured it out by yourself. Then all by yourself you "reached out" and "accept" Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, which in your eyes makes Jesus your saviour. Jesus is just a "potential " saviour until you do your part. Now that you "saved" yourself you live such a better life then those around you. You "never" break the law anymore. But guess what? You break anyone of the commandments in the bible you're a lawbreaker. So in fact we are all lawbreakers. God turned us all over to sin that he might have mercy on ALL. You're the first son i the prodigal son. You're the hard worker in the Vineyard and are angry that the got youre one coin but God in the end will give all there one coin. This pisses you off the mercy and kindness of God and you should really stop to ponder why.
Nikki - December 21st, 2013 at 2:54 PM
The problem is WE ALL SIN... and there's a huge focus on homosexuality right now because of our culture, but to point out one person's sin over our own is hypocritical. Our concern should be the fact that someone does not know Jesus as their Savior, that they do not seek God, love God, or desire to obey God. Once they repent and submit, we can challenge them in their other sins. It's when they desire to obey God that they will care about what God says about the subject (other than to attack it). The condition of their heart - broken, lacking saving grace - is the real issue. Everything else follows later.
H - December 21st, 2013 at 3:30 PM
I think you are completely right Lulubelle. I think people are so concerned about being politically correct that they disregard part of the bible. A sin is a sin no matter what it is - murder, stealing, lying, homosexuality, etc. and if you don't repent and change your ways then you will never inherit the kingdom if heaven. God is the only one that can judge us, but he gives us clear instruction on what to do to receive eternal life - admit you are a sinner, ask for forgiveness and change your ways. As a church we should be caring and loving. We should welcome all sinners in to our churches because we ourselves are sinners but you cannot allow people to continue openly sinning. Look at Levitivus, Judges, 1 Corinthians, 1 and 2 Kings, etc. As James Dobson says: Immorality is immoral whether it occurs between people of the same sex or those of the opposite sex. In both cases, our responsibility is to call sin by its name and to admonish men and women to live in purity and holiness.
Stephanie - December 21st, 2013 at 3:32 PM
I don't think Jen is condoning the sin of homosexuality at all. If I understand her clearly, she is saying that we are to love others (everyone) with the same love that Christ gives us freely. As we begin to build relationships and trust with those that are struggling with different sins, then, and only then, do we earn the right and freedom to speak truth into their lives. It does no good to speak it until we have earned their trust. Until they know we truly care about them. Until then we are that "noisy gong or clanging cymbal".
Jenny Duffy - December 21st, 2013 at 12:07 PM
"I choose love."
I choose love too, and sometimes the most loving thing we can do is to point sin out as sin. Our society has become so accepting of homosexuality and I'm grateful for figures like Mr. Robertson who are bold enough to speak truth (brash or not), and to firmly remind society that we (Christians) do indeed still view the life style as sinful. THIS is love. When my children sin, I let them know. It's the most loving way to get them to turn from the behavior. I pray that there are some out there who have heard Phil's comments, have questioned their eternity, and will turn from their sin. This is my greatest hope in all of this.
Steve Dorris - December 21st, 2013 at 2:52 PM
Just curious, Jenny, who points out the sin in your life and do you prefer it with grace and mercy or with righteousness?
Josh - December 21st, 2013 at 3:18 PM
I'm guessing she'd prefer it with both grace/mercy and righteousness, I know I would. Doesn't really seem like it should be an "or" question, they ought to be working in tandem instead of opposition to one another.
Angela - December 21st, 2013 at 12:07 PM
This is a subject I have struggled with for a very long time. Long before Phil Robertson ever said what he said. For the record...I am a DD watcher. I enjoy it, and yes, I watch it because it is a family of faith outwardly claiming Jesus in their mealtime prayers each week. It's funny and entertaining to me as well.

But when I say I have struggled with this, it's because I have a sister who is a lesbian, in a long time relationship, with 2 adopted children. I love her and her family dearly! They are precious to me! For many years I worried about her salvation. Did she understand the weight of her "sin?" Here's my conclusion:
I believe the Bible speaks very clearly to homosexuality being a sin. But it also named A LOT of other things as "sin" too. And many of those, I battle in my own life. So if GOD sees no sin greater than another, who am I to question her decision? Is it that I acknowledge my sin and am repentant of it that makes the difference? I honestly don't know. What I do know, is GOD is BIG. And He's loving, and merciful, and GRACE-FULL. He would have to be to love me the way He does, knowing the dark places in my life.

Now, I don't think it's our place as loving Christians to JUST love. We can speak truth, if it is in fact truth. Isn't that why we are here as well. To help people not stay "stuck" in their sin. I fell in love with Jesus in my early 20's, I didn't really grow up in church. If it had not been for a dear, and honest, truthful friend, I may never have experienced Jesus at all. And it's been that way throughout my life, TRUTH TALKERS talking when I most needed them. Always loving, not condemning. My sister knows my beliefs, but she also knows I love her, unconditionally.

All of that to say, I agreed, kinda, with what your saying. I do feel Jesus wants us to make the gospel real. Loving is never wrong, and God is big enough. But we should also love people enough to speak truth with them. Then let God do the rest.

Heather - December 21st, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Yes, repentence makes the difference!
M - December 21st, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Which, incidentally, sounds very similar to another thing Phil said in his interview, "We never, ever judge someone on who's going to heaven, hell. That's the Almighty's job. We just love 'em, give 'em the good news about Jesus, whether they're homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort 'em out later, you see what I'm saying?" I think God is big enough, and gracious enough, and loving enough to save the glutton and the gossip and the lesbian and the alcoholic, and the....

M - December 21st, 2013 at 12:56 PM
"You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and lets get on with it, and everything will turn around." - also from Phil in the same interview!!!

Neil - December 21st, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Thank you for saying this.
Jacqui - December 21st, 2013 at 1:17 PM
Yes, thank you!
Karin - December 21st, 2013 at 1:17 PM
Just saw that Heather already said it before me but it bears repeating: yes, your acknowledgment and repentance of your sin is the step that makes you different from your sister. Only she can sort that out within herself and the Lord; she really is in the driver's seat on that one, Christ is waiting with open arms. But that doesn't mean he will scoop her in against her own stated will. She must turn to him and in doing so, from all other stuff that will no longer be compatible. That keeps a lot of people away from the Lord. It's a process that is more brief for some and longer for others.








Alison - December 21st, 2013 at 3:00 PM
When I think of this issue I think about Jesus' teachings and the woman at the well. Jesus called her out as she had multiple husbands and was living in sin. He had compassion on her, forgave her sins and then said the most important part of the story - "Go and sin no more." Unequivocally, homosexuality is a sin, but so is greed, lying, jealousy, lust, murder, gluttony and a million of other things that God condemns. The Bible teaches that no one sin is greater than the other in His eyes. So, in that sense, we are all on equal playing field. I am no "better a sinner" than any one else. The heart of Christianity is a relationship with a loving, forgiving God. That doesn't mean we keep on sinning to keep on being forgiven. It means Jesus' sacrifice wipes the slate and our relationship with Jesus is meant to move us closer to the man or woman that God create us to be. It is not up to me to decide if a person is "saved" or decide if others are living in "sin." That is God's job and I will gladly leave him to it. Our job as Christians is to love God and love others. As my pastor always used to say...We are all just beggars at the feast - pointing others towards the food.
Brian Burkett - December 21st, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Jen, thank you for sharing this. You are spot on in so many ways, and more Christians need to hear this!

I take a slightly different track, but I have similar thoughts over at my blog: https://brianburkett.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/my-thoughts-on-the-phil-robertsonae-situation-and-commentary-on-christianity-in-todays-culture/

Blessings,
-BB
Heather Bailey - December 21st, 2013 at 12:08 PM
Bravo! Amen! Bravo!
Janice - December 21st, 2013 at 12:08 PM
Amen.
Becky - December 21st, 2013 at 12:09 PM
wow. I know you are kind of busy and all, but could you maybe, possibly, think about running for President? Thank you for expressing my feelings way better than I could. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
tiffany - December 21st, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Thank you.
Adam - December 21st, 2013 at 12:11 PM
So is it loving people to not call sin sin? Is it loving someone who if they don't repent of said sin and turn to Christ will spend eternity in hell to remain silent about said sin? I believe you have confused the words of Christ on the sermon on the mount. Christ did not say blessed are the peaceKEEEPERS He said blessed are the peaceMAKERS, there is a huge difference. To keep peace is what the enemy would love for us to do just silently go about our lives never taking a stand never speaking Biblical truth out of fear not of God and His Biblical commission but out of fear of man and his opinion. The idea that love = tolerance and silence is to say I love my daughter by not telling her to get out of the street because a car is coming.
Becky - December 21st, 2013 at 12:23 PM
Thank you Adam. I agree. Love wins is not the only part of the Gospel message. In fact, I think it is also the title of a heretical book. Yes, Jesus DOES LOVE--in spite of all of our sins. Yes, Jesus will forgive. If not, then all of us are doomed. But, Jesus also judges. It is very clear that judgment day WILL come for ALL. It is actually UNloving, I think, to NOT speak the truth about sin--all sin. Phil gave a Biblical response to sin and now even Christians are falling into the moral relativism trap. Jesus ANGRILY threw the money changers out of the temple. He did not allow His Father's house to be violated. I applaud Phil Robertson for standing up for what he believes to be truth--homosexuality is a sin. He did NOT say it was an unpardonable sin. But what he said was truth.
Joe - December 21st, 2013 at 4:08 PM
Yet our father said that WE shuould not judge!!!!!!! He is the judge that we all are going to answer to but yet, here WE are all judging.... I wish that this crap would all just stop! We need to worry more about ourselves, our country and ask God to heal it and to take care of those of us in it. Our country is so lost and in need of help that I trust that only God can make the correct changes in it. Phil spoke what he felt truth and we are all (or should all) not be so freaked out about it. We that know the Bible know it is written but instead of turning our cheek and moving on to our worldly troubles we just on this Phil crap! Let's all wake up.... DROP IT and look for healing, for love, guideance and lets start healing what is left of what we have!

Momma - December 21st, 2013 at 1:45 PM
wow, it'll never stop, will it?? You people really do think it's your job to judge/critique absolutely everyone, absolutely, All the time, don't you?!?

Must be so rough....
Jen - December 21st, 2013 at 3:29 PM
Thank you!
Josh - December 21st, 2013 at 3:31 PM
Well said Momma. Glad to see you rising above all that judging and critiquing...

P.S. In the event that your comment was actually intended as a joke instead becoming one accidentally, I applaud you on your skilled use of irony in humor. Bravo.
Jo - December 21st, 2013 at 3:50 PM
It's called dialogue... Same thing you did when you typed a reply!
another momma - December 21st, 2013 at 3:53 PM
"You people".... that is all I have to hear to know where you come from.
Kevin Jandt - December 21st, 2013 at 4:20 PM
Momma, you don't understand the gospel. Christians don't judge, but we must point out sin, to be loving. All mankind is under the wrath of God. Only by repentance and faith in Christ will you, me and everyone else be saved because Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost. If you don't think you're lost you don't understand your sin. I beg you to repent and turn from your sin and place your trust in Jesus Christ. It's the only hope you have.
Name - December 21st, 2013 at 3:38 PM
Wel said Adam!!!

Rebecca - December 21st, 2013 at 4:03 PM
Adam, I agree with you 100%. Love is a sacrifice. Jesus did it for us. We should be willing to speak truth in love in order that others may repent as well. The gospel is offensive to sinners. And that includes every one of us. Even now, my spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. It is not love to give only the good news of the gospel. Why does tolerance equate to love? Who defined that? The bible couldn't be more clear about the eternal future for those who give in to same sex desires. I'm not saying it's sinful to feel those feelings, but acting on them, yes. Just as it is in every other sin. If we see a brother standing on a cliff, ready to jump, will we stand there and support them? No way! Jen, I'm often confused by you. I find myself reading your posts and longing for you to take a stand for something. This post leaves me feeling like you are the gray area.
Sam - December 21st, 2013 at 4:18 PM
Jesus taught that judging another's sins is tricky business. Sin is personal and is revealed by the Holy Spirit. Keeping a list of 10 things, or 100 things, or 1000 things that you think is sin is a sure-fire way to turn yourself into a pharisee. You will become immediately blinded to your own need for improvement as you compare others against your personal favorite top 5. This is what everyone does, and they pick the top five based on what makes them look the best. In America practically everyone I know is greedy and gluttonous: eat insane amounts of food, waste insane amounts of food, buys way more things than they could ever need. Yet fat Christians are everywhere judging homosexuals for their sin while being entirely blinded to their own. It's laughable. And Sad. Repenting and "going and sinning no more" is about an ongoing relationship between you and the Holy Spirit where the Holy Spirit reveals to you over your life new sin you never saw before. You have zero chance of being aware of your unknown sin while you are busy worrying about others. Further, you aren't going to change anyone's mind by standing on the corner and yelling at them. I could stand on the corner of my nearest mega-church and yell at every mercedes that drove by or every overweight Christian that waddled by and not a single one would feel convicted by words, only angered. Those people have at least as much sin in their lives as any homosexual and they are just as blind to it. Yet many Christians think yelling at homosexuals is going to somehow be affective. It isn't. That's why Jesus told us to simply love.
Lorraine - December 21st, 2013 at 12:14 PM
This is a beautiful blog post. Thank you.
Manny - December 21st, 2013 at 12:15 PM
It would be amazing if A&E would do an episode with Phil and various leaders and have a conversation around the dinner table.
Joy - December 21st, 2013 at 12:15 PM
I am going to take my lead from Jesus who out of love when He saw someone leading a sinful lifestyle told them to repent and TURN from their life of sin. How is a message of the church ignoring a sinful lifestyle in the name of "love" what Jesus taught?
It seems to me that the "religious" people who found what Jesus was doing was wrong were the very ones that Jesus called hypocrites.
Not endorsing a choice and not saying it is okay if that is how you feel you must live is not HATE!

Stacey - December 21st, 2013 at 7:56 PM
I do feel Jesus had way more right to point out others sins than I do. Love thy neighbor as thyself would not seem to indicate we are to judge one another. Not saying I have to agree with what others do, just that it is not my place to judge them. None of us are without sin, but God loves us all and he wants us to love each other the same way he loves us.

Cathy - December 21st, 2013 at 12:17 PM
I am not a Christian. I follow your writings. I've bought your books. Your message is pure and real. There is room in your discussion for everyone. You are an embodiment of
The teachings of The Christ you follow. You live and write by your faith. I admire your example and message.
I thank you for this message of tolerance for The Other and The marginalized.
Cindy - December 21st, 2013 at 3:11 PM
I am a Christian, and I agree with Cathy and with you. Jesus had some choice words for the Pharisees. Too bad they aren't listening.
Sam - December 21st, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Amen! Thank you, Jen!
Let's just not say "[Phil] could give a crap...as for me, I care deeply..." I think since Phil has been to the lonely desolate deserts of sin, he certainly must care as much as anyone about others. He knows God's beautiful mercy more than most. We aren't to judge his heart, as your post says so beautifully. I'm sure you didn't mean it judgementally. Those lines just don't sit well.
Love you, Jen!
Jen Hatmaker - December 21st, 2013 at 12:37 PM
You are totally right. I'm going to change those. I have no right to project that onto him. Unfair.
Kathy - December 21st, 2013 at 1:59 PM
Jen, I appreciate your willingness to change that . . . I think Phil must care a lot since he's been preaching it for several years, but he expresses it differently than you or I would (he IS a guy and we're not, after all). I just never felt like he blasted any person in this interview . . . he blasted sin (more than just homosexuality) . . . and he was answering a question! Failure to answer would have been blasted by some as well, so I for one am glad he spoke the truth. BUT . . . I am like many above . . . I would love for you to expound on HOW we find the balance as Jesus did in proclaiming both love and truth . . . "truth in love." I am a proponent of the "need to earn the right to be heard" set (I'm a Christian counselor and have to practice this daily), but it's difficult. I think the relational one-on-one you refer too and the public discourse (such as preaching) are both useful and necessary. I myself don't want to run anybody off from the kingdom by my words, but don't want to water things down and promote an easy believism or "no change required" mentality either. The "how to" is hard.

I read all your stuff and love it, and am about to teach "Interrupted" to our women. Because three of us heard you speak and met you at Lifeway in Nashville last year (and you turned us on our heads), you are coming to do our women's conference next year, and I think the stuff you have to say is absolutely what we need to hear (that's why we booked you!!!). But help us flesh this out if you can . . . it's right where we live.

Blessings to you! Can't wait to see you in person and on HGTV!!!!!
Kim Ponce - December 21st, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Thank you for putting into words how I felt about this whole matter.

Sincerely,

The Queen of Lemonade
Quinn - December 21st, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Homosexuality is a sad substitute for what God created. God spoke His will LOUDLY when He designed our anatomy. We can pretend that having anal sex is natural, but it is not. It's destructive. People have always lived short of God's perfect will, but that doesn't mean we have to call homosexuality "good". The Bible is clear about female and male being created for each other. Yes, we need to show grace and mercy, but why do we have to deny the Truth?
Sheri - December 21st, 2013 at 4:33 PM
To insist over and over again what "the Bible says" is just such a waste of digital bytes and server space. Anyone who has truly studied the Bible knows that it does not "say" just one thing about anything other than loving thy neighbor. Between translation issues, cultural and historical issues, the fact that a word for "homosexual" didn't even exist in either OT or NT writing periods, etc. etc etc., we really should just stop with this nonsense. Why on earth would I turn to a book that calls Lot "righteous" - the man who offered his daughters to be gang raped and that had incestual sex with them, but curses Ham for multiple generations for seeing his father naked - which was really probably not so impressive anyway - and that displays polygamy, concubinage, and rape as allowed and called for - for any authoritative word on sexual morality?? The ONLY word we need to worry about from the Bible is the Word - our relationship with the living Christ - who said "LOVE ONE ANOTHER" and "Love your God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself." THIS is what is TIMELESS in the Bible, most of the rest is timely, and there is a big difference.
M - December 21st, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Somehow people have the mistaken idea that Phil climbed up on a platform at a Gay Rights Rally or at the door of one of his gay neighbors and blasted them with his "hateful" words. When in fact this was a small part of a larger interview. The man who interviewed him said in his article that Phil was welcoming and gracious, a man who preaches the gospel of the outdoors and, to my great envy, practices what he preaches.

So, with that as the backdrop, it is my understanding that Phil was asked in an interview what he considered "sinful"... which came on the heels of him saying "You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and lets get on with it, and everything will turn around." Even earlier in the article he said "We never, ever judge someone on who's going to heaven, hell. That's the Almighty's job. We just love 'em, give 'em the good news about Jesus, whether they're homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort 'em out later, you see what I'm saying? Then at the end of the interview he shares the Gospel with the interviewer, asking if him and his woman are Bible people- and then clearly, lovingly lays out the Gospel... the article closes by saying that Phil is hosting a private Bible study with a woman who, according to him, "has been on cocaine for years and is making her decision to repent." I'm going to point her in the right direction.

Seems to me that he is a man making the Gospel real in his life, and doing it in love.
M - December 21st, 2013 at 4:16 PM
I'm now thinking that maybe (hopefully) the heart of your message wasn't for Phil- because clearly his life reflects God's non-judgmental love and mercy- and sharing the Good News of Jesus... but yes, for those of us who are tempted to pass judgement and Facebook comments of hate- we certainly need to step it up and speak and act as representatives of Jesus!!!!!
Amy - December 21st, 2013 at 4:26 PM
Amen.
Robert Carroll - December 21st, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Thank you for your eloquence! I also feel for my gay friends, and pray that when things like this arise my faith does not create a wedge between us, but that my faith is an example of the Christ that so desperately wants the world to know love. I always refer to the Beatitudes as the true essence of Christ, and in those words, I find my place in the midst of things.
David - December 21st, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Could not have been better said. THANK YOU!!!
Karen Fohn - December 21st, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Amen!
Mel - December 21st, 2013 at 12:22 PM
"Specifically with issues that have caused such heartache and damage already like gay marriage and racial inequity"

I love you Jen, but let's not compare these two. Biblically, they're not the same. Not anywhere close. And if in an interview I'm asked how I feel about homosexuality, I'm not going to lie and say it's ok.
Melanie - December 21st, 2013 at 3:35 PM
But the Bible has been used to justify hating gay people, calling them an abomination, just as it was used 150 some years ago to justify enslaving those with darker skin, who were also called an abomination. So why not compare the two?
mammajean - December 21st, 2013 at 4:14 PM
because you are mistaken - just as those who call any person an abomination - what IS an abomination are choices that are harmful to oneself and others. Choices in BEHAVIOR. I don't think anyone's skin color is a matter of their "choice" but living a homosexual lifestyle IS a matter of choice, no matter what one's proclivities are or why. Just as choosing to misuse food, drink, drugs, or any other God-given provision for life is wrong, so are choices to misuse our sexuality. Humans are simply "sexual beings" - neither hetero or homo or any other prefix, except by CHOICE.
Jj - December 21st, 2013 at 4:29 PM
So when did you CHOOSE to be heterosexual?
lol - December 21st, 2013 at 4:46 PM
Bada BOOM.
RL - December 21st, 2013 at 4:46 PM
The CHOICE to be heterosexual is the choice that glorifies God. It's the choice that aligns with God's biblical standard of marriage and sex. What mamajean is saying is that we all CHOOSE these things, but only one choice is what is right in the eyes of God when it comes to your sexuality.
aw - December 21st, 2013 at 4:56 PM
Being a heterosexual isn't a sin. CHOOSING the homosexual lifestyle is.
Audra - December 21st, 2013 at 4:42 PM
How many abominations are in the BIble? If you read the book you will see that homosexuality is only one of a many. One abomination is a proud look, a haughty spirit, etc...Basically, everyone sins...salvation is not earned, it's a gift. No one is entitled, we are all blessed to have the option of salvation, gay or not. And yes, you can be a saved and gay....and I love DD.
Amy - December 21st, 2013 at 4:57 PM
As a gay person and a Christian, I have searched and searched the words of Jesus for a sin beyond His power, or a single mention out of Jesus's lips of the issue. On the other hand, I hear plenty about Paul (a sinner like you and me) and his condemnation. Yet, even Paul says "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." So, if Jesus won't see me (or my female partner) as a woman, I'm at a loss about what is putting me beyond the love and mercy of an all-powerful God. Believe me, I've prayed about it for 23 years since I accepted Christ, but His voice keeps whispering "I love you." I've lost friends and been unwelcome in churches, but I try to keep the faith that even if those who believe in Him don't think He can love me or find worth in me, that keeping my eyes on Jesus and my ears on the words that He spoke will be my church in this life. And I pray that we'll all be there to see Him together, even the ones who don't think I'm earning my salvation. May you and yours have a Merry Christmas.
John - December 21st, 2013 at 4:47 PM
I don't think he said anything about "hating" gay people. He said that according to him it's a sin. Please don't lump me in with him simply because I think he should be allowed to say things that even I don't agree with.
Stacie - December 21st, 2013 at 4:36 PM
Well said!
Heather K. - December 21st, 2013 at 12:23 PM
Beautifully written. I hope you don't mind if I quote you (I will definitely give credit)!
Sharon Anderson - December 21st, 2013 at 12:23 PM
I could not have said this any better. My thought exactly, if I could express them as beautifully as you do!! :) Thank you- a fellow peacemaker.
Kim - December 21st, 2013 at 12:25 PM
I actually opened this thinking "Oh no, here we go" - prepared to be irritated by another stance on the Phil vs. first amendment rights issue and not only did you surprise me, you wrote so lovingly, so eloquently that I want to share quotes from your blog (but too many to just pick and choose) on my social pages. Thank you for adding your lovely voice to this discussion!
Heidi - December 21st, 2013 at 12:29 PM
Jen, thank you for this.
There is a reason why people think Christians are sanctimonious, mean and judgmental, because there are a lot of sanctimonious, mean and judgmental people parading as Christians out there. Jesus%u2019 message of mercy and grace has been twisted so often that Christians are giving Christ followers a bad name. Some people will refer to the bible in a rant against homosexuality or racial inequality, but then neglect the true message of the Gospel. Jesus came for ALL of us and his blood was poured out as payment for ALL of our sins, forever. We are all sinners and we are saved only by his grace. The parts of the bible that discuss homosexuality and slavery are also laden with animal and child sacrifices. So, tell me, how Christian would it be to build an altar and sacrifice your first born or an unblemished calf as an offering to God. Obviously, it wouldn%u2019t. That would be labeled as demonic cult worship and murder. The teachings also say that it is not our place to pass judgment on one another. We should love one another as Christ loved us. So, hug your family, whether they are gay or straight. Love your neighbor. And, turn off the TV and go serve those in need.
Traci - December 21st, 2013 at 1:27 PM
Heidi, I just had to comment because God's word never promotes child sacrifice as He Himself finds it abhorrent.
Heidi - December 21st, 2013 at 1:44 PM
Did he not ask Abraham to sacrifice his son? Unfortunately, this was not unheard of in the time that the writings of the Old Testament occurred.
Jamee - December 21st, 2013 at 2:18 PM
Did God actually have Abraham sacrifice Isaac? No! His initial request was a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Christ and evidence for the need of the restoration of the seed.
Lynn - December 21st, 2013 at 2:35 PM
The society Abraham lived in, as well as all the surrounding civilizations, practiced child sacrifice as part of their religious worship. God asked Abraham to show that he would be willing to do for the One True God what others did for their idols. And then He supplied the sacrifice....as Jamie said, as a foreshadowing of Christ's redemptive sacrifice.
Teachings regarding sexual immorality are found in the New Testament as well, after the animal sacrifices were no longer required.



JennMcMaster - December 21st, 2013 at 1:59 PM
Yes, the Gospel offers mercy and grace for those who repent, but not for those who choose to remain in sin. And it's not true that only the Old Testament Scriptures on law condemn homosexuality. There are many Scriptures in the New Testament (which puts Christians under grace, not law) that denounce it. (Romans 1:18-32 ; 1Cor 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19 ; Ephesians 5:3-7; Colossians 3:5-7; 1 Tim 1:10 are a few)
D.L.S. - December 21st, 2013 at 5:20 PM
Thank you, Jenn, for spelling this out so clearly, which is what I believe Phil was trying to do. Nothing he said promoted hate against homosexuals, only love. It is not for us to judge others - they judge themselves when they knowingly continue in sin and try to make excuses for why they do it. They don't understand that, try as they might to justify their sins to humankind, only God's opinion counts in the end.
Merlinda - December 21st, 2013 at 12:30 PM
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K.C. - December 21st, 2013 at 4:54 PM
Absolutely ignorant and disgusting. Trying to change what God made...smh...so He made a mistake? When are they going to help people from making heterosexual choices? I really cannot for the life of me believe these places still exist. It has NEVER worked. It will NEVER work. Any minister involved in this must know his words are not anointed. They are taking advantage of people and should be ashamed. You too should be ashamed! Sick sick sick!
Lokken - December 21st, 2013 at 5:15 PM
"we offer the power of God%u2019s forgiveness and grace to heal the deep woundings of relational brokenness resulting in same gender attractions."

you have no idea what you are talking about. Homosexuality is biological, and to grant someone a condescending forgiveness because they are gay is extremely damaging and arrogant. People in biblical times did not understand that. That's why I do not take the Bible literally.
Betty - December 21st, 2013 at 12:30 PM
No truer words "ever spoken " Jen! You took them right out of my heart! But expect some "flack ",it comes with the job! As you well know..Even as Jesus walked on this earth, he was the most ridiculed and rejected for his uncompromising "love of ALL mankind "....peace and love to you and your Family!
Kristi - December 21st, 2013 at 12:31 PM
First off, I do love your posts and I'm not trying to oppose the above. I think most everything is fine and true about the above post. The only thing that bothered me a little was that in Phil's final statement over the whole thing, He DID say, we'd all be better off if we loved God and loved others. Your post made it sound as though your philosophy of peacemaking, was not also his philosophy. What Phil shared was biblical truth, that homosexuality is a sin, as is this, this, and this.......homosexuality just happens to be a "hot topic" currently, so it was met with much opposition. People don't like absolute truth, (we always hope there's a little "wiggle room") so this is a tough subject for some. He was asked these questions in an interview, not standing on a corner somewhere protesting homosexuals. I agree, our God does not need us to defend Him, but we also shouldn't try to "lighten" the severity of sin to make the gospel sound more gentle. Peacemaking doesn't mean we don't speak the truth, and when you're living in sin, rarely does the truth sound "loving".
speak the truthof the bible - December 21st, 2013 at 4:12 PM
Amen!!
Joanne - December 21st, 2013 at 4:23 PM
Agreed Kristi!! Us not wanting to offend someone, does not change what the Bible says. We don't get to cherry pick which parts we would like to follow and leave the rest. We love the sinner & hate the sin. But the Bible is very clear on what God considers sin. On judgement day, I would much rather be able to say 'I followed Your Word' instead of 'I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings'.
Miss Curmudgeonly - December 21st, 2013 at 6:32 PM
"Dear Dr. Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted disciple and adoring fan."
Hma - December 21st, 2013 at 4:30 PM
Agreed!!!
Linds - December 21st, 2013 at 5:24 PM
AMEN! IT is not "unloving" to say that homosexuality is sin. It IS sin. If asked point blank, whether homosexuality is sin or not, no qualifiers or side-mouth answers... yes or no, what would you chose to say? Would you speak truth? Or would you save someone feelings condemning them to a life thinking that they are "o.k." in God's eyes? Phil spoke the truth in an interview where he was asked his view. He was not witnessing to one specific person, nor was he speaking to a group of people where children and women were mixed in. HE was speaking to G.Q. magazine... a MENS magazine. He spoke to that audience with terms and words that they understand.
SJ - December 21st, 2013 at 5:07 PM
Well said...I totally agree.
Heidi - December 21st, 2013 at 5:10 PM
Agreed!
Cathy - December 21st, 2013 at 5:12 PM
Well said, Kristi. We can love and extend grace to everyone AND not shy away from sharing what Christ also says about sin.
Nana - December 21st, 2013 at 5:19 PM
Amen! He wasn't representing A&E at the time either. He said nothing offensive unless one was looking to be offended. We MUST speak the Truth. The reason we're in this mess is because we've been told to "turn the other cheek". "Don't judge." "just love them". Well, I'm tired of being silent. The entire Gospel is offensive to a sinner. Shall we be quiet and not share it? That's what most people are doing because we're told that we're judging and not loving by sharing the truth. Yes, there are ways to do it WITH LOVE and that, my friend, is where the church is failing....we're not being taught HOW to share the Truth WITH LOVE. So, y'all can get off Phil's back because he did NOTHING wrong.
TJL - December 21st, 2013 at 5:20 PM
My thoughts exactly. Loving your neighbor is very important, but you cannot gloss over what God warns against for the sake of peacemaking. Jesus was highly controversial in His day because He called sin "sin". Never once did He stroke the egos of the sinners with pretty words. Did He love them? Absolutely! But He was not here to sugarcoat anything. Time and again, He warned of the dire consequences of sin. Jesus set the example for us. We are not to judge, but we are absolutely called to speak out against sinfulness. And my belief is that Phil understood that, and that is why he did not shy away from such a hot-button topic. He could have just as easily refused to answer the question altogether to save face, but he, instead, chose to speak truth, knowing full well what it could potentially cost him. In my book, he's a humble hero. God most certainly is love, but the bible is quite clear that He is also judgement. And to leave that part out is not just to do Him a disservice, but those who were not warned and wake to find themselves in eternal flame.
Ash - December 21st, 2013 at 6:12 PM
I agree. I don't think he was saying beasteality = homosexuality. I think he meant it as you stated above. BUT, I also do not fault people for getting a little touchy over it because when you start lumping beasteality and homosexuality in the same sentence, it may raise some hairs since people like to equate the two quite often. That being said, do you think his comments regarding race and blacks back in the day were absolute truth? That is a side of the interview I won't defend him for, and ironically, is not getting as much attention as the comments with regards to homosexuality.
Sharyl - December 21st, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Jen...I love you...that is all :-)
jbd smiths - December 21st, 2013 at 5:17 PM
yes to all the above...sometimes the teaching is hard for us and our particular area of sin....but we need to surrender...come out with your hand up and nail it to the cross. I have known and loved many gays and I pray at that hour of parting they said yes Jesus, save me!
ryan - December 21st, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Disagree. I know it is not a legal issue. It's a cultural issue. And that's why people are fighting it culturally on social media. Culturally, you can have Black Awards shows and not White Awards shows. GLAAD can scare all advertisers into being "champions" of gay rights but no large business would champion Christians. It's cultural and that's why people are rightly crying "foul" on social media. Because it is a double standard. Secondly, you only speak of Jesus and mercy. But you do not speak of God and justice. As Christians we are not only members of a church doing ministry. We are called to work, make art, nurture our children, and to uphold justice. You are confused between judgement for salvation and the forgiveness of sin which is only God's job, and upholding justice in our community so that the weak and vulnerable are not oppressed. We are Biblically called to this as Christians. Again, not fighting for a religious message, but protecting the innocent. It is a cultural issue that Christians are being marginalized for what they believe and people are rightly saying that is unfair. You don't seem to understand God's proper use and application of justice.
Sam - December 21st, 2013 at 4:33 PM
Interesting. Yes God was clearly for the proper application of Justice. That's why he became man and let his creation crucify him. I'm pretty sure you're supposed to emulate the life of Christ as a Christian which pretty much means not taking offense and loving those that offend you, and arguing with them and insisting they treat you fairly.
H Kendall - December 21st, 2013 at 4:56 PM
THANK YOU! Well said!
Will - December 21st, 2013 at 5:48 PM
Well said. God is love but also justice. Saying an act, a choice, a behavior is a sin doesn't mean you are judging someone as you aren't talking about the person.
And even being love and mercy Jesus ALWAYS said what He had to say. He wasn't fooling people, He went there and told God's word as it is and many times people wanted to kill Him or got mad at Him.
We have to see Jesus example and do the same. Love others? Yes sure. But always alert them about what they are doing, always use the oportunity for this and don't let the "you are judging me" argument shut you as long as you speak alerting the sinners that they have a wrong idea about the sin, as Jesus said.
I'm honestly surprised by the amounf of Christians who are being silenced by the "judging" argument. People tell God's word how it is, say that people NEED to change their lives, you aren't judging anyone when you do it!
Charlie - December 21st, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Jen, are you saying that in a one on one interview you would not be comfortable saying that those who are greedy, adulterous, and engage in homosexual behavior are living in sin? I agree that we are called to love, but also to speak truth. I don't think anyone can be upset with Phil for quoting the bible and reiterating it's truth. Majority of the disciples were murdered for speaking truth. I would gladly give up my job if it required me to be politically correct and to censorGod's truth. So let's love but also speak truth as Phil has done.
Theresa - December 21st, 2013 at 5:26 PM
If you read the entire article you will see that there was scripture mixed in with non-scripture. Jesus, also said "He without sin, may cast the first stone." Please, please please church you are wielding a sword that cuts off peoples ears. How on earth will they hear? Lead them to Jesus and leave them at His feet. He is more than enough.

Colin - December 21st, 2013 at 5:41 PM
Beautifully said!
JessieMomma - December 21st, 2013 at 5:43 PM
You take this out of context of the verses preceding and following. At the end of verse 11, Christ tells the woman to "go and sin no more." Yes, adultery is a sin, but she had repented and was not condemned - but the important council was to go on through life truly changed and end the sin for good. In my opinion, Mr. Robertson was not condemning anyone. He did not name any particular person, he did not single out one particular group, he stated his personal stance on the matter, as response to the question asked. He ended the matter with a statement that our position is not to judge, but to love people in spite of their sin - and go and sin no more ourselves.
Marc - December 21st, 2013 at 6:14 PM
Theresa, the scripture you're quoting, you're actually quoting out of context. I'm assuming next you will quote the famous "Plank in the eye" scripture as well. Which is not uncommon for people to do since they only take a few sentences out to shape their point. The bible was not written in stanzas and verses. To understand scripture you have to understand the context and culture of the day. In John chapter 8 the woman that was about to be stoned had broken the law. Her punishment was lawfully to be stoned for her adultery. When Jesus was questioned about what to do he bent down and wrote in the sand...Then He said "He without sin, cast the first stone". In that crime it meant for the person who had nothing to do with that particular sin to chunk it. Because the man or men she'd slept with were most likely the men grabbing rocks. They were trying to catch Jesus not following the law of Moses so they could apprehend Him. He turned it around with a technicality. So, your scripture is not contextualized to this matter.

The bible is clear on sin. No one is immune from it. The bible is also clear on how we should judge. Jesus doesn't teach us not to judge, but how to judge correctly. This is also a twist of biblical truth that "Christians" and nonbelievers also cling to. There is nothing wrong or unloving about publicly stating you align with biblical truths. Certainly there are ways and people who use the bible to try and back up their hate for a particular sin. But, just because you bring it forth from your lips doesn't mean it's hate or discriminatory. In fact, back lash is what we can expect most of the time. Jesus said the world will hate us because they hated Him first. The best thing for Christ followers to do is to learn biblical truth and what Jesus actually taught and then place that into practice...You can't share the gospel without the truth of Salvation from sin. Period.
Shannon - December 21st, 2013 at 5:38 PM
Well said, Charlie!
Kim - December 21st, 2013 at 12:39 PM
I love what you have to say in so many of your articles and this one too. I do disagree about some of your thoughts. I think Phil spoke truth indeed. It wasn't eloquent by all means but often times Christians want to be peacemakers but can be peace fakers. We are in a world where things are shoved in our faces disregarding what are beliefs, feelings, emotions...etc. etc. We are to speak truth in love and his words were urbane by some but others might need to hear truth in its harshness. I did. Fluffy stuff doesn't appeal to me the present day, reality. I wanted to know how can the bible be reality for the present day we live in it now, how do I live as a Christian in this present day, how? All in all, god used him for a reason and he still Lets not cast him out because he said what we all think but don't ever say because we want to be peace fakers. Lets leave at the foot of the cross.
Joyce - December 21st, 2013 at 6:19 PM
Continuing in this same vein. Paul wrote to Titus, For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you. Titus 2: 11-15. Some people just need to hear the truth in harsher words than others. In this day and age, most people won't respond to a weak and watered down version of Christianity. I believe in walking in love and sometimes that love is tough.
Victoria - December 21st, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Jen I've read 7 and now after reading this post I see a theme in what you have to say. While I agree with you in so many ways, your sweeping judgements of other believers who don't do things exactly like you would do is so off putting and concerning. You speak of love and in the same breath condemn your brothers and sisters in Christ for attending a large church, dressing too nicely, participating in too many programs or saying something publically that you don't think is loving enough. I want to continue reading your work because it inspires me in many ways, but I wish you would show more love to your brothers and sisters, even if you don't agree with everything they do.
Debbie L - December 21st, 2013 at 2:33 PM
This is exactly how I've felt about her writing as well. I too often sense judgment from Jen on Believers who don't practice Christianity as she does. I feel like she wants to make me feel guilty for not adopting. I just echo what so many others have said above - love without truth is not complete. Phil was paraphrasing Scripture. He was not judging. I think why this has turned into a bigger deal is that Christians feel like they are persecuted, penalized, hated for their beliefs and when they speak based on Biblical truth. We're getting weary of it. I, for one, do not feel the freedom to speak what I believe for fear of reprisal. But, I don't think things are going to change - it's only going to get worse. Check out a column by Alfred (Albert?) Mohler.
Keli - December 21st, 2013 at 5:04 PM
I can tell you with absolute certainty, after meeting Jen and attending an adoption family camp with her, she does not think everyone should adopt and she certainly would not want you to feel guilty for not adopting. I can't put thoughts into her mind or words into her mouth, but I do believe she would agree that true religion is caring for the widows and orphans. We are called to that... How that looks for each of us differs according to the spirit's leading.
Lisa Armstrong - December 21st, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Peace makers and peace keepers are two different things. Being a peace keeper will not save their souls from hell. But, if you are a peace maker then, there will usually be concequences. All in love, for love. But, if we don't stand behind Phil while he speaks truth FROM THE BIBLE, then we as Christians are failing those he has offended.
Hannah - December 21st, 2013 at 6:04 PM
Yes, yes, yes! Thank you for putting that into words.
Rich - December 21st, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Jesus said to His disciples 'love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you' (Luke 6:27, 28), do this to the very ones who align themselves against Christ and His kingdom. When Paul told the Corinthians 'not to associate with immoral people" in 1 Cor. 5:9-13 he was not speaking about the people of this present world (vs.10) "if it were we would have to go out of the world" (vs.10) but he was speaking to the church, those who are confessing followers of Christ to the very ones who He commands to "flee immorality" 1 Cor. 6:18, He goes on to say, "For what have I do do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. (vs. 12, 13). To those who follow the sinful inclinations of the heart we are: love, do good, bless and pray for; so that God can replace a heart of sin with a 'new heart', with a passion for Christ and His Kingdom. Isn't that what He has done for us?
bob g - December 21st, 2013 at 6:39 PM
According to the Bible there will be two types of response to the gospel...

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

%u201CI will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.%u201D

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things%u2014and the things that are not%u2014to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God%u2014that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: %u201CLet the one who boasts boast in the Lord.%u201D

i guess "the question" is how long do true disciples of Christ continue to share the GOOD NEWS (in love or bluntly depending on your point of view) with those who are so hostile and unashamedly/unrepentantly against The One True God of the Holy Bible and His truth found therein? is there ever a point of "shaking the dust off?"

Nikki - December 21st, 2013 at 12:45 PM
Thank you Jen, your words and thoughts have increased my perspective. Just curious. How do we share the gospel without revealing the need for repentance? I agree this world needs love and as Christians we should model that and point others to the source-Jesus. But how do we lovingly give an offensive message? God doesn't need us to share His message but He tells us to, so how do we tell people God has commands and He wants us to obey them although we will and have failed? I believe love is one of the greatest attributes of God but it's not the only one. He is Holy, Holy, Holy and if not for Jesus we would never know Him.
TracieClaiborne - December 21st, 2013 at 3:55 PM
Well said Nikki. Sharing the truth of God's Word to homosexuals is the hardest thing to do because they feel they are born that way and I'm inclined to agree with most of them on that. We are between a rock and a hard place with gay people. But I do think that Phil could have shared his beliefs more gently because the Bible does say always be ready to give an account of what you believe but do it gently. We will never win anyone to Christ by making them feel condemned. Even if it is truth - we have to find the right way to say it.
Leah - December 21st, 2013 at 5:57 PM
You do not in fact need to say anything. As Jenn says "who are we to judge". Does anyone really think that anyone in the LGBT community needs to be told, repeatedly, that many people disapprove of their lifestyle? Christians are not under attack, but bigots may be, and probably should be.
Therese - December 21st, 2013 at 12:45 PM
AMEN... I could not have wrote it better...
Jennifer - December 21st, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Why do you lump gays and blacks together? What does one have to do with the other? One is a choice and the other is the way God made them. I think when people do this it is beyond offensive!
Debbie Atteberry - December 21st, 2013 at 4:26 PM
perhaps Jen was referring to the comments that Phil made re: blacks in the GQ article vs. comparing race to sexual orientation...
Lynn - December 21st, 2013 at 6:21 PM
I agree. I mean I get that the writer is referring to the comments Robertson made, but why lump the two together. As a black person who is a Christian and believes all of God's word why should I feel bludgeoned by the gospel. I still support him and many others do because he took a stand on God's word. I'm not going to let anything else bother me. He is still my brother in Christ. I know the writer didn't mean any harm, but it can be read differently than what she intentionally meant.
Ellen - December 21st, 2013 at 9:39 PM
Google "Justine Sacco" -- I think that's why she referred to blacks.
debbie - December 21st, 2013 at 12:51 PM
I so agree with you Sue!! I was thinking the same thing as I was reading this blog post (I've never read/heard of this post before). But it was 2 MEN talking. It was to be printed in a MEN's magazine. Yes! They do speak differently about pretty much EVERYTHING than women do. I read the article GQ printed. And I also wondered what else was left out....

But, my first thought was ... how scandalous!! What a scandalous love Phil has for God! He wasn't "crass" .... he used anatomically correct / medically correct vocabulary. He stated it so plainly ... it was obvious to me that he struggles with what men "choose" to do. Sin is a choice. I do not wish to start the whole "homosexuality is/is not a choice" argument!! I have had this discussion with my gay brother and a former partner of his to the moon and back. The only answer I come back to is, sin is a decision. No matter if it adultery, stealing, lying, murder, homosexuality. How bold of him to stand there and say the right thing. FULLY KNOWING there would be reprisals.

Yes, Jesus did welcome everyone. The rich young man. The woman caught in adultery. The tax collector. The uneducated. The educated. The religious. The anti-religious. But, to be sure, He did NOT welcome their sin to come along with their hearts. "Go and sin no more." And sometimes He was not all that gentle about it!

You know, I am so very grateful that my God is a loving God, rich in mercy, not wanting any to perish, but for all to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Sometimes I feel like Paul - I am the chief of sinners! But I also know that my God fights for me!! He has promised that nothing can separate me from His love. And He has proven it all thru history .... utterly destroying nations that would defile and destroy His chosen ones. Using beasts of the earth, the earth itself, and .. I think when He absolutely has to .. using other people, to make His will known. He is a God of love. And it is up to us to make His love known. Phil did that - he does that on nearly every show. And in nearly every aspect of his life (that he and his family have allowed to be very public! I wonder how we would all stand under such scrutiny!) Yes, seeds were planted ... in that reporter to be sure. But how wide a net did Phil really cast with his scandalous love? Many dialogues like this one are taking place. When the media is finally done, and the Robertson's emerge from this as victors, then what will be our response? Do not jump on his "bandwagon" then, if you felt you could not stand with him in the fire.
DeAnn - December 21st, 2013 at 5:54 PM
"I sing because I'm happy...I sing because I'm free..His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me.." I love my Lord and I have seen his works in my life. My Mother and Father love me,and that's all I need. I was born gay and assure you NO ONE chooses this burden. No one.
Andy - December 21st, 2013 at 8:55 PM
When did you choose to be straight? At what moment in your life did you consciously choose your sexuality?
Clark - December 21st, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Suppose I have a loving wife and 2 adorable children. But I am sleeping with 2 or 3 other women on the side and selling cocaine on the streets for extra spending money on my lovers. If you were my friend, do you not feel duty, loving bound to tell me I am living in sin, even though I love you? Isn't that about what Phil was saying? You are living in sin, but I love you and Jesus will forgive you, as per the Bible?
Holly - December 21st, 2013 at 1:58 PM
Yeah to your face if I'm your friend. In an interview, telling an interviewer that adultery or selling illegal substances is a sin is going to cause ZERO people to quit committing adultery or quit selling illegal substances is my guess. Lead people to Jesus who takes them to the Bible and uses the Holy Spirit to convict you of your sin.
Linda - December 21st, 2013 at 5:04 PM
Oh! Maybe thats the part I havent been understanding about this new move of Christianity - where it seems one is expected to accept everything and not say anything about it? I TOTALLY agree we are to love and accept everybody - but we are to hate the sin. Love the sinner - hate the sin. And I am finding less and less said about what "sin" is. So ... is this new "wave" thinking that we should not say anything about what God says is "sin" ... but just let the Holy Spirit show them and correct them?????
Hmmmmm.
Sam - December 21st, 2013 at 5:22 PM
But the interview was not intended to stop people from sinning... Phil was asked his position on the issue and he didn't waiver... He stated his beliefs and gave his reasons for his stance on the issue...if you don't want the hard truth, DON'T ask the hard questions. Shame on all the mainstream media and bloggers who left out the part where he said if we all loved like Jesus, the world would be a better place. Shouldn't that be the message we take from all of this???
Pete - December 21st, 2013 at 5:51 PM
Jesus didn't answer every question asked of him....nor should we answer every question asked of us. Phil lost all his leverage, what ever cultural leverage he had with unbelievers, by being right. Christ didn't ask us to be right, but to love one another.
Lynn - December 21st, 2013 at 5:42 PM
He was flat out asked by the interviewer "what do you consider sin?" Did you expect him not to answer?
Tamra - December 21st, 2013 at 6:13 PM
Jen, I too respectfully add to your commentary that Phil was questioned directly. Yes he has to be ready for the consequence - absolutely. But you seem to imply a person shouldn't state clearly their belief if it offends another. This is sticky ground - and itself judgemental. I can't form an opinion of any more than the words you penned- and altho you make points I agree with you seem to leave out the historical truth that neither Jesus nor his disciples shrunk back when asked what teu believed truth to be. Phil is a ragamuffin and verbalized in his "style" (coarse as it may be) many ears listen to your voice- it's a great responsibility I know you take seriously.
Jeanne - December 21st, 2013 at 6:31 PM
No, Jesus very carefully did not answer the accusers who sought to stone the adulteress. Instead he held his tongue and did not answer, then finally told the one without sin to cast the first stone. He would not fall for their trap.
Mark - December 21st, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Careful Holly! Preaching is often (especially in the office of evangelist) shared with people who don't have a relationship outside of the pulpit, street corner, etc. The Law leads to Christ. The Law confronts us with our sin and the need for a Savior. I think relational witnessing is very important but don't discount what the Holy Spirit does in the ears of an unbeliever when they are confronted with the Gospel (we are sinners because of this, this and this, we need a Savior and His name is Jesus). "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe." (1 Corinthians 1:21)
Tari Sander - December 21st, 2013 at 12:57 PM
God bless and thank you!

Greg - December 21st, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Normally enjoy what you write, but disagree with this post. Don't think Phil was being judgmental, crude maybe, but truth is sometimes blunt. If we Chistians keep trying to be inoffensive we are the ones in the wrong. We must err on the side of the truth even if it offends others.
Katie - December 21st, 2013 at 1:00 PM
Bravo Jen! The definitive comment on this topic. Let's put it to rest and get back to the business you suggest above. Merry Christmas!
Dan - December 21st, 2013 at 1:02 PM
God DID NOT tell Christians not to judge; he tells Christians to judge Rightly.

John 7:24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.

Luke 7:41-43
%u201CA certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?%u201D 43Simon answered, %u201CThe one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.%u201D And he said to him, %u201CYou have judged rightly.%u201D

Christian do fear to point out sin but when doing so make sure their is not a log in your own eye and make sure to do so with grace;
always with the intention of pointing towards a loving and forgiving God.
Trey - December 21st, 2013 at 2:31 PM
Finally, someone shows depth in Scriptural knowledge beyond what "seems fair and right" by human standard. We are indeed commanded to judge a tree by the fruit it bears. Anyone ever actually read the interactions between Jesus and Pharisees? Jesus and Peter? Granted, judgment is required inside the Church, not outside. That's where the confusion lies. We can't hold the world to standards of the Church. However, sects that cater to and have rewritten standards to be all inclusive without pointing toward sanctification, need to be held accountable by believers. However, the overarching theme from Old Testament to New is NOT grace. It is NOT love. It is NOT truth. It is NOT judgement. It is the spirit-led balance of grace and truth. The completion of law and grace that is united and found complete in Christ. Unfortunately, too many people lean to hard into one or the other. It's a rarity to find someone that is wrestling with the balance of the two.
Diana - December 22nd, 2013 at 6:27 AM

I am wondering why people such as you are not speaking out about all the other sins committed in the world. It seems that there is an overabundance of judgement on sex and not enough, maybe not any on greed which causes more pain in the world than anything mentioned. What seems to be lost here is that we are all sinners, so what makes any of us qualified to judge what is in another man's heart?
boonlai - December 21st, 2013 at 1:04 PM
I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home and grew up in a very harsh Christian church for 18 years. I have tried to run as far away from people who wear Christian labels because they say mean, hateful, degrading things to me on behalf of God. As someone who the world calls gay it doesn't matter what else I ever do in life, I will only be known as a sub-standard human being in a community of people that I just wanted to love me. The closest I have ever come to feeling God's love by a Christian is from Jen Hatmaker and I don't even know her outside of Facebook. Social Media does not make you anonymous if you say you're a Christian. Social Media can hurt or heal and let me tell you from someone who daily hears how crappy of a human being I am from Christians, whether you use your name or not - if you call yourself a representative of God and you say those things to me, you are killing me with those words. God is love? Really? I'd rather die and face those consequences than keep living in a world filled with "Christians" who can't see me as a real human being.

Thank you Jen Hatmaker - your love for me, the faceless human surfing Facebook, has saved a life today.
amilousmom - December 21st, 2013 at 5:35 PM
Oh, your comment here just kills me. There is room for all of us in His church and it breaks my heart that you feel you have been driven from it. You were made in the image of God and are His beloved. HIS BELOVED. Read it again. God claims you as HIS. Every single bit of you...and there is nothing about you that surprises Him. I am so sorry for your pain and suffering at the words of others. Know that there are plenty of Christians out here who are waiting to welcome you into the church and who need the unique gifts and talents God has blessed you with in order to further His kingdom. Find them. We're here!
leslie - December 21st, 2013 at 7:02 PM
Let me tell you right now I am a Christian and I love you. I totally accept you, you don't need to change. I am sorry and very sad so many people who call themselves Christians have hurt you. Please know God loves you, just and he loves me no more and no less. Please forgive them, I know it is hard, it's hard for me, that's what God asks of us to forgive those who sin aganist us. Again, not easy. Please don't run away for God this isn't about the harsh church and harsh people who think they are doing God's work this is about your relationship with God not your relationship with others. (This took me a long time to figure out, about 40 years).
Karin - December 21st, 2013 at 1:05 PM
Ok, so it's all about love, but what does love look like? Constant agreement, all the way, all the time? Silence for fear of hurting feelings? I wish Christians could stand as one but far too many of us don't even know our Bibles and care way too much about that applause from the world. If you love your gay friends, why are you ok with letting them perish? There is another way this Duck thing could have gone: A&E could have stood by its star's right to say what he thinks and told GLAAD sorry, we're not going to spank him for you. You Jen have your own reality show coming up; does this make you wonder if you might find yourself embroiled in a similar tempest in a teacup, concocted for you by others? Christians aren't really the problem, not always, not automatically. The Apostle Paul did stand on his rights as a Roman citizen in at least one case we know so it's not wrong for us to go, um, excuse me, also still a human being with rights over here. ?
Hopw - December 21st, 2013 at 1:05 PM
People who claim to be christian...which by the way should not be a generic name people use that believe there is a God; but to those who have a personal relationship with Christ and believe the whole bible as the inspired word of God. These people are not doing a service to those who live a lifestyle that is contrary to what the bible declares to be right and sugar coat it. Yes, we are to love everyone. But that does not mean that we give everyone the impression that their lifestyle is ok in Gods eyes.
momma - December 21st, 2013 at 1:24 PM
Why do 'christians' (especially "those who have a personal relationship with Christ and believe the whole bible as the inspired word of God") so often seem to think it's their job to judge everyone elses 'lifestyle'?!? Quote that verse for me, will ya'??
candice - December 21st, 2013 at 5:44 PM
why is stating a different opinion always judging? so by your thought, anyone who doesn't agree with my opinion in life is judging me? I thought we were allowed to have our own opinions
Marsha - December 21st, 2013 at 6:01 PM
The following is NOT JUDGING their lifestyle, this is God telling what WILL HAPPEN to these people.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11
New King James Version (NKJV)
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Also, 2 Timothy 3:16 says "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Michael Casazza - December 21st, 2013 at 7:17 PM
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (King James Version)

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1 Corinthians 6:9-11
King James Version (KJV)
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. FOR THE RECORD this is how it goes. so where does it say homosexuals!!!!!!!!


11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
sherri smith - December 21st, 2013 at 8:06 PM
There are ten types of sinners listed in the verse above who will not inherit the kingdom of God....why do we zero in on homosexuals and ignore all the others? Could it be because that's the ONE sin with which we are least likely to struggle? How about we give it a rest on using this verse to condemn homosexuals and use it, instead, to JUDGE the fornicators (sex before marriage=almost everyone), idolaters (the worship of money, fame, beauty, fashion, etc) adulterers (divorce? ever looked on someone lustfully?), thieves (ever stolen office supplies from work?), the covetous (ever wanted something someone else has? keeping up with the Jones), drunkards (addicted to anything?), revilers (abusive people..read boonlai's comment above), and extortioners who sit next to us every Sunday and who look back at us every time we look in the mirror. Yes, I know these other sins are condemned by the Church, but these sinners still feel comfortable coming to church every Sunday. Most homosexuals don't, and there is something wrong with that!
Timmy Turbo - December 21st, 2013 at 7:23 PM
Here is an interesting thought, I see "Christians" (those who claim to have a personal relationship with Christ and believe the WHOLE bible) constantly picking and choosing what part of the scriptures and what footsteps Jesus left behind that they will step in, Jesus would be abhorred by many of these "Christians" behaviors, in fact he would call them "workers of lawlessness" Matthew 7:15, 21-23
Jesus said that his followers would be hated, because he was hated... if you profess to be a "Christian and you do not feel hated for your beliefs then you aren't doing something right!!! You can't make up your own Christianity, Jesus made one way and anything different IS NOT Christianity... (Romans 10:2-3) Jesus did not hold with the traditions nor should we if we profess to be his followers. Perfect example is Christmas!!! It is a pagan holiday... look it up it is a common held fact yet because it is tradition billions celebrate it. Jesus would be disgusted! So why all of a sudden are one particular set of sinners being singled out??? Seems hypocritical!
Molly - December 21st, 2013 at 1:07 PM
Thank you for speaking our heart so eloquently. We have just moved to Elgin to plant a church and I read your blog the other day and saw that your heart and calling is exactly why we came here. I would love to chat with you. I have not been able to find an email address for you so I thought I would leave a message here. Your words about the duck dynasty controversy is exactly what my husband and I talked about last night.
Darryl - December 21st, 2013 at 1:08 PM
Thank you so much for this post. I especially love the point that we should care more about the suffering in the world than our rights. The rights we demand are pure USA culture. The first century Christians did not demand their rights. Instead, they loved and served. 1 Peter is a great commentary on this.
Karin - December 21st, 2013 at 1:23 PM
"Pure USA culture" - amen, I am thankful for it, I am an immigrant from former communist Eastern Bloc in Europe and implore, you please don't spit or tread on the precious gift your founding fathers gave us all in godly wisdom and foresight. Many flock to these shores because of it. We have brothers and sisters perishing in other countries who look to this country as a blessing and a hope. The Apostle Paul invoked his rights as a Roman citizen in one instance we know of; so it's not a stupid or arrogant or sissy thing to do. Everything has a beginning, persecution doesn't start with imprisonment, it ends with those things. Just a 2 cents from a broader international context.
Greg - December 21st, 2013 at 5:20 PM
Actually Paul claimed his rights as a Roman citizen multiple times. Remember when he was arrested and put in a Roman prison and they wanted to release him quietly but he refused that because they had mistreated him as a Roman citizen. He quite loudly stood for his rights as a Roman citizen in that case. There are also other times he claimed his rights as a Roman citizen. We do not always need to place our rights aside as Christian, there are times when that is the best thing to do (I.e. Turning the other cheek) but there were also times when Jesus went on the offensive. Being followers of Jesus does not require that we accept every attack against us and simply lay down so that peace can be achieved. Capitulation to our enemies only leads to more attacks not peace. Not everybody is our enemy but many are under the power of the Adversary and there is no hope for them, they tend to be the ones who are unmoved by our capitulation.
W - December 21st, 2013 at 1:16 PM
Two quick things: the truth sets people free. his comments on the African American experience were what he saw specifically. This is for accuracy's sake.
Adrienne - December 21st, 2013 at 1:17 PM
Jen - I don't know if you read all of your comments....

I love this perspective. It is really beautiful and I could not agree more that we have much bigger things on our plates as Christians. But I think it is missing one thing: the foundation and acknowledgment that Phil Robertson is also just human. He is just a person, imperfect, in need of the grace of God like the rest of us. I honestly didn't read his statements as judgmental. I read them as a flawed, indelicate way of admitting what so many Christians do not want to admit, especially in public%u2014that they think homosexuality is a sin. The words came out through the lens of backwoods Louisiana duck hunter but he gave an honest answer.

I also agree that it is expected to have consequences for these types of things and I don't necessarily think it is a first amendment issue, like you said. If he was being arrested, that would be a whole different story. But I think Phil Robertson is a great example of "making the Gospel real". He is who he is, and he is not afraid to give God the glory He deserves, and he is not afraid to talk about his own need for God.

Yes, let's be sensitive to the masses and use wisdom in our words. But let's also be careful not turn on and judge the Christian man that handled the situation less than perfectly. Based on what I've read in your blog, I don't think this is your intention. But I do think the article came off that way a bit.
K Archer - December 21st, 2013 at 1:37 PM
Agreed. I basically said the same below ... but not as well. :)
Michele - December 21st, 2013 at 7:24 PM
Yes, agree!
Kelly Kroeger - December 21st, 2013 at 7:34 PM
I really appreciated what Jen shared. I needed a reminder and she so eloquently has a gift of speaking to us. However, I really was thinking just the same thing as you shared, Adrienne about Phil Robertson. He is in turn being judged rather than people considering the source. He should have perhaps chosen better words, but my sense of Phil, is just the way he portrays himself. I think all of us at some point in our lives have been hurt or affected by something said about us. We all have the ability to forgive and practice grace.
rosie - December 21st, 2013 at 8:54 PM
Agreed! %u2665
pawleys - December 21st, 2013 at 1:18 PM
well said sister. i didnt detect judgement in Phils words. it seemed a warning to avoid his own desperation. he told his defeat and despair. we are starving with directions to the Bread













Laura - December 21st, 2013 at 1:21 PM
Beautifully said Jen. Choosing our words carefully is such a small sacrifice, challenging at times, but always worth it.
I adore this sentence of yours..I want us to care more about this suffering world than our Christian rights.
Leaves me pondering deep, wonderful things...
Skye - December 21st, 2013 at 1:22 PM
Thank you so much for this. I'm going to share as well.
Shelly - December 21st, 2013 at 1:23 PM
Jen, you hit something key that resonates with all Christians ... we want to be known as loving and peacemakers. Ultimately, I think that is what Phil is also about as are the majority of his supporters. Personally, I don't think this firestorm has anything to do with an opportunity to jump on a bandwagon and bash the gay community. I have read hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of the posts on the 3 major FB paces supporting Phil and largely, the comments are civil and loving. The issue that has everyone riled is the extreme backlash by A&E and the over the top response by GLAAD. I have gay friends and gay supporters who stand with Phil on this issue! Yes, you are right that there are consequences for exercising our freedom to speak out, but certainly you understand that things are completely out of hand. Disagreement has moved to becoming labeled as "hate speech" and all honest dialogue is quickly being shut down as people and businesses cave to the fear of financial loss or other retaliation. Christians who want to be perceived as loving don't say anything at all when the topic comes up or when they are asked point blank about the issue. How loving is our silence when people are in danger? A man watching a group of sightseers on a river raft may not have a chance to establish a close and personal relationship with the people on that boat before crying out to them that they are about to go over a perilous cliff. Truth tellers come in many forms, some with hugs and listening hearts, some with loud voices of reason. (I Corinthians 12). Phil's stance has proven to challenge a lot of us to not be cowards, whatever our gift or approach. I feel God has actually used this to unify much of the Church and even open new and honest modes of dialogue between opposing sides. I hope you can see and celebrate that.




Kerry - December 21st, 2013 at 6:38 PM
We'll said, Shelly! Thank you for speaking out ... There is a huge difference between hating the sin and hating the person! Can't you hate drug addiction and love the addict at the same time? While I may have a different personal style, I find it very loving to tell someone that a behavior is not what God intended for us (the truth) and love them despite it (hard on the sin, but not on the person). I think it takes maturity to see the difference! Phil talks about his own sin on www.iamsecond.com, I find his honesty refreshing.
Amber - December 21st, 2013 at 7:32 PM
Agree...& very well said!
Heather - December 21st, 2013 at 7:41 PM
According to the latest statement issued by A&E's CEO it all boils down to Phil classifying homosexuality as a sin. He could have said it with sugar on top and it would not have mattered. He said it along with a lot of other things listed as sins because he was asked and he made sure he included himself but that doesn't matter.

Sadly, it wasn't actually Phil's words but THE Word of God that he was quoting and he said it in love (if anyone bothered to read the article). So at the end of the day, the issue is what Jesus says in the Bible. They just don't want Phil talking about it.

Next thing you know, they will be listing the Bible as hate speech because of all the sins it lists and it actually calls people sinners... how offensive and inflammatory.

We should just allow the progressive, feel good, politically correct police to re-write the Bible so that it is less offensive (you know, take out all that sin stuff) and then Phil will be safe to quote it and all is love.


Sheryl - December 21st, 2013 at 7:56 PM
Superbly and lovingly stated.
Cassi - December 21st, 2013 at 7:59 PM
Well said!
Holly - December 21st, 2013 at 8:02 PM
Agree more with this response than Jen's article.
Dale - December 21st, 2013 at 8:10 PM
Shelly, well thought out and well stated. Dialog today has so often degraded to the "Scorched Earth" or "Nuclear Option" so as to shut down any view that might smack of disagreement %u2014 even constructive criticism.
Bless you for your loving words.
Caitlin - December 22nd, 2013 at 1:12 AM
"A man watching a group of sightseers on a river raft may not have a chance to establish a close and personal relationship with the people on that boat before crying out to them that they are about to go over a perilous cliff."

He may be yelling the truth at them, but if all they hear is an angry man shouting that they're gonna die a terrible death, they're probably less inclined to listen. Without love (genuine concern and relationship), we are clanging symbols that no one wants to hear.
Kristi - December 21st, 2013 at 1:24 PM
Yes. My seven year old boy, home 18 months from Lesotho, wrote me this note yesterday: "Jesus love everybody hou ever. Jesus love peple ho ever skin. wite. broun." I blogged this in connection with the vitriol on both sides of the Duck Dynasty fiasco: http://thompsonfamilyfour.blogspot.com

Amanda - December 21st, 2013 at 1:25 PM
Hmm. Here's my thing. I have read tons of your blog and I GREATLY admire your willingness to fulfill the gospel as it pertains to loving the unloved. To following Jesus's example of living life with the masses and realizing our sin is no less tragic to Christ than any others. You preach love as the true way to reach people for Christ and I wholeheartedly agree. But true love, does not just stop with unconditional acceptance. True love in Christ also has accountability and truth. And while I see yoiu espouse on scripture talking of love, mercy, and grace to the unbeliever, I never see you talk of God's judgment. His wrath towards sin. Paul's scripture talking about us needing reconciliation as enemies of God. You see..you talks about Jesus being "dangerous" because of who He hung with (undesirable, the common man) and the people He shunned. (church leaders at the time.) But you know what really made Jesus dangerous? The fact that He had all these people who followed Him, who loved Him and He loved them enough to risk losing their goodwill by telling them they had to change. That their sin was keeping them from the kingdom of Heaven and they needed to repent and lean on Him for understanding and guidance. They had to "sin no more." THIS IS THE GOSPEL TOO!! And if you only preach the love and mercy, without the repentance and need for change, then you are 'loving people into hell" and just as bad as the judgmental, accusing Christian who shouts them there. We must be willing to befriend those who think differently from us. We must be willing to be servants to them and see them as we were -lost sheep in need of a shepherd. We must be able to look beyond prejudice, pride, and arrogance to recognize we are no different than they and that our sin was just as bad in God's eyes. (and still is.) We must accept them into our homes, church, lives and allow them to see our vulnerabilities and struggles. And we must also be willing to lose all we've gained, to lose their friendship, to love them enough to tell them that they must repent. That they are enemies of Christ as we once were. And because we want their eternal future to be w/Christ, we must tell them truth. Truth in love and truth in humbleness. But truth nevertheless.
Becky - December 21st, 2013 at 7:27 PM
She doesn't say we shouldn't speak the truth, she says we should speak privately with a person with whom we have earned trust and the right to speak freely. Person to person instead of broad generalizations of whole groups of people.
DeAnn - December 21st, 2013 at 7:58 PM
So what should Phil have done when asked those point-blank questions - not say he thought homosexuality was a sin?
Janelle Tiegen - December 21st, 2013 at 7:31 PM
very well said...thank you!! Janelle
hannah - December 21st, 2013 at 1:25 PM
I love and agree with most of what yousaid. However, please do not compare black people togay people. Being gay is a choice to live in a way God has condemned. Being black is not a sin. I don't know why people compare the two.I love gay people just likecyou, but people have to realize we can love and have tolerance while disagreeing with a person's sin.
Kim - December 21st, 2013 at 4:23 PM
Everyone I've ever met who was gay, including some loved family members, says that it was tye way they were born, not something they chose. Behavior may be a choice, but attraction isn't. Most recent scientific research says the same. If you thought that being gay was inborn, not a choice, how would you feel?
Shari - December 21st, 2013 at 7:27 PM
Satan attacks everyone in different ways. When God's Word specifically spells out what is a sin, I believe it. These people who believe they were born that way were not. God would not create someone to go to hell. It is temptation, plain and simple. There are numerous studies that show people are not born homosexual. You can believe the lies of the world, or you can believe God's Word. I choose the latter.
Carolyn - December 21st, 2013 at 7:30 PM
Kim, we are *all* born with the possibility of "being" gay, because we are all born as sinners. Some of us are seduced by gossip, others by adultery, others are seduced to steal, and others to murder. We are *all* "born that way." The point is that God's design is for something different, and if we act on our temptations and commit sin, then we are trying to act as our own God, and we are breaking our relationship with our true Creator. Hannah is right, being black is *not* the same as being attracted to a sin and acting on it. The colour of our skin does not destroy our relationship with God, but sin does.
Robert - December 21st, 2013 at 8:14 PM
I agree 100%
Maybelle - December 21st, 2013 at 8:14 PM
I am gay. I have always been, as long as I remember, attracted to the same sex. I am not attracted to the opposite sex even though I am married to one. I choose to not act upon my attractions, however, I am as gay as I am light skinned. I am as gay as I am a female, I am as gay as I am a mother because it's in my frabic. Do I choose this? Are you kidding? Do you believe I want to have these attractions? Do you believe God changes these attractions in all gay Christian people? Nope. He doesn't. It's also not a mere physical attraction. It's deeper and more profound in as much as your heterosexual desires are. I am white and I am gay. There is no condensing view towards these comparisons for I am not ashamed of either.
Jean - December 21st, 2013 at 8:13 PM
Kim the new research is only theory right now it has not been proven.
michaeldanner - December 21st, 2013 at 8:03 PM
Hannah, she only mentioned that because the two areas Phil Robertson talked about - which got him in trouble - were homosexuality and black people being happy under Jim Crow.
Credit - December 21st, 2013 at 8:06 PM
People don't choose to be gay just like they don't choose to be straight. Please, educate yourself.
Sarah Garrett - December 21st, 2013 at 1:28 PM
Let's get it correct....Phil said he could not understand why a man would want another man, that in the Bible it says that it's a sin. He also said he loves everyone just the same. He wasn't Judging anyone.
Angela Johnson - December 21st, 2013 at 1:28 PM
Crying my raw, broken heart out. Thank you for your wise words.
Heather - December 21st, 2013 at 1:34 PM
I don't think Jen is discounting confronting sin by this post. There have been numerous articles defending Phil. Yet, as Christians, we can get caught up in defending each other, and lose site of a real hurting world. Yes, sin needs to be confronted. We will all face judgement. Homosexuals are people. These people have a desire for the same sex. Many people with that desire are hidden within the church. We need to preach the love that has come to overcome our sins, not continue to add to the pain. I do not think Phil meant any harm by what he said, and I stand beside him as my brother. Yet, his words did cause pain to others. We can speak love and truth. It will still offend others. The gospel will be loved and hated. We are not in control of that, but we can chose our words more carefully, in respect for real people with real hurts.
Heather M - December 21st, 2013 at 3:36 PM
I agree. Nowhere did I get that we should just sweep sin under the door mat. We must choose the right way and method to confront sin. Jumping and posting on the Phil bandwagon really isn't the best way.
K Archer - December 21st, 2013 at 1:35 PM
Given that we're all sinners, I've never thought that people who identify as LGBTQ should be set apart as especially bad or weird or dangerous. It hurts my heart in a very real way to hear that that is the message some homosexuals, bisexuals, and transexuals have received from the Christian community (though, speaking generally and not just about the issue of homosexuality, there IS sometimes a disconnect between what Christians say and what non-Christians hear).

The truth of the Gospel sometimes involves messages that are "offensive" or difficult to hear, and that's okay. Christianity is not a religion of teddy bears, rainbows, and kitten whiskers. Still, those truths can always be delivered in a way that is loving and non-judgmental, in a manner that does not single out sins and sinners but joins people together in brokenness and grace. It is difficult to find that balance between truth and love and mercy, and Christians will only continue to get it wrong in the future because we're imperfect.

Perhaps we can extend a little grace both to people who err too often on the side of love and those who err too often on the side of truth, recognizing that (hopefully) we all seek in our imperfect ways to serve a perfect King and to spread a truth that is Good News and much-needed.
Kelli Alseth - December 21st, 2013 at 1:38 PM
thank you

JW - December 21st, 2013 at 1:42 PM
I see a lot of you talking about "the truth." You must remember that this is a plural society and many don't follow your beliefs. It is only the truth to you, as Christians. Therefore, it isn't your place to point out who is sinful and who isn't. I believe Jen is right. You can't go wrong with love.
Jamee - December 21st, 2013 at 1:55 PM
This discussion is about a Chistian man who was asked about his Christian beliefs. He is not saying everyone has to agree with him, he is saying what he believes. Christians have every right to state what they believe is sinful when asked.
Lisa - December 21st, 2013 at 3:02 PM
JW - that is exactly what is wrong with this plural society as you call it. truth Is truth - You cannot have two truths with Jesus, one is truth, one is not. You may "believe"
2 2 = 5 with all your heart, but the Truth is that it = 4 You don't have to follow my beliefs but you need to seek the Truth in what Jesus says - Jesus said in John 14:6 "I am the way and the the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Seek for yourself if Jesus is telling the truth here and if you discover he is, then ALL he says is truth if he in fact called himself truth. I pray you find THAT truth
Chris - December 21st, 2013 at 8:39 PM
On minor flaw there Lisa... 2 2=4 to anyone of any religion, race, gender, or nationality whereas Jesus being the "truth" only applies to one specific group. Nice try though comparing a belief to a mathematical fact. Just a minor flaw though ....
Jamee - December 21st, 2013 at 1:42 PM
Your response is premature (as I feel you didn't read the whole article, and simply based your response on quotes), and attacks a fellow Christian for responding to a question about sin with a Biblical quote. I agree love is #1, but disregard of sin undermines the entire Christian belief system, and makes salvation through Christ pointless. Noone has a problem with Phil stating a list of sins, only that homosexuality is included in the list. The issue then is obviously whether one believes homosexuality is a sin. Again, I would like to reiterate that Phil is quoting the Bible. I feel you would have been better off not addressing this subject at all. I love most of of your blogs, but this particular response is disappointing. Noone needs to go around pointing out anyone's sins. but when you are asked directly what you believe on a specific topic, I would hope that your response would be based on Biblical truths.
*The fact that many comments have compared your stance to that of The Beatles should be a huge red flag.
Amber - December 21st, 2013 at 7:44 PM
Amen!!! And very well said!!! I've been saying the same...thank you!
Janie - December 21st, 2013 at 7:58 PM
Torally agree with you Jamee, they did ask for Phils opinion and he did back up his opinion with God's word. If you dont want someone 's honest opinion don 't ask for it . I believe "free speech" is still one our Constitutional rights. It may not be for long but is still is as of today! . I think you missed the mark on this one Jen.
SherrieB - December 21st, 2013 at 8:09 PM
Great response.
Rebecca - December 21st, 2013 at 8:13 PM
What Jamee said. If you are asked point-blank by producers or other writers about your beliefs, I pray that your responses will be based on Biblical truth.
DeAnn - December 21st, 2013 at 8:19 PM
This. Right here.
Sarah - December 21st, 2013 at 8:24 PM
I also agree with you Jamee. How can Phil be chastised for quoting Scripture? Should he have lied or cowardly avoided the topic? He was asked that because the interviewer knew he was a conservative fundamentalist Christian. Since when is quoting Scripture within the correct context lack of love? Lack of love is trying not to hurt anyone's feeling by speaking God's truth while they walk straight to the gates of hell. Phil wasn't mean-spirited at all. If anything CHRISTIANS are discriminated against all the time. It has caused so many to feel the need to feminized and water-down the Word of God. Jesus said we would be hated and persecuted. Even a mild version of that shouldn't come from our own brethren.
LU - December 21st, 2013 at 8:30 PM
YES!

Cher - December 21st, 2013 at 8:32 PM
Jamee, this is exactly what I was thinking as I was reading this. I have been saying for days that Christians need to handle this situation lovingly; pointing fingers and making accusations is not going to show anyone who Christ is. But, we cannot disregard what God has called a sin. And we all do it. This is the beautiful thing about accepting Christ AND his teachings. Christ, as he was showing love to the Samaritan woman at the well, accepted her confession and told her to sin no more. He did this with love and without a condemning judgment. We should show love to all sinners, but not imply that it is okay to keep sinning. We must be repentant and do our best to be followers of Christ. Love is most important. But grace does not mean to keep doing what you've been doing all along. It means knowing that we have freedom from our sins while in Christ, but that we do our best to not be liars, idolators, drunkards, adulterers, or participate in any of the other sins listed in the verses Phil was quoting.
I almost feel that this situation is being used by God to force all Christians in the US to make the stand we have been needing to make. We need to acknowledge that homosexuality is a sin. Political correctness has made us all silent on the issue in the name of love (or out of fear of being called haters). We can love ALL people. But we can also know what sin is and hopefully love people into understanding the teachings of Christ.
JB - December 21st, 2013 at 8:40 PM
Agree, Jamee. No offense to Jen, but Jamee is right on this one and states it well.
Maria - December 21st, 2013 at 8:42 PM
%u201CIt seems like, to me, a vagina -- as a man -- would be more desirable than a man%u2019s anus," Robertson told GQ. "That%u2019s just me. I%u2019m just thinking: There%u2019s more there! She%u2019s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I%u2019m saying? But hey, sin: It%u2019s not logical, my man. It%u2019s just not logical.%u201D

Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality..

REALLY??? IS that Matthew 75:4?????
I missed the biblical "truth" here
If you cannot see the disrespect here.. Then the church has bigger problems than I thought

Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality,

Pam - December 21st, 2013 at 10:17 PM
I totally agree. It seemed a little wimpy and like
the above person said we do have a right to state
our opinions. Whether you like it it not, that right
is trying to be squashed. God does not need us to defend Him
but he does call us to speak the truth and that's
what Phil did.
Amy - December 21st, 2013 at 1:47 PM
Thank you so much for this Jen. It makes my heart so happy and I wish more people lived this way. I grew up in a Christian community and you can guess the responses I kept seeing on Facebook. I happen to be gay myself and it just left me so defeated, unloved and like an outcast. People like you give me hope, so thanks.
Christina - December 21st, 2013 at 1:52 PM
I have never commented, thought I follow your blog. But%u2026I think you are POINT ON with your message and how we are to treat ppl%u2026.However, I wholly disagree with your takes on what Phil said. Yes, he was crude, Yes, he could have not used certain language, or even avoided the subject%u2026.BUT%u2026he just shared what is biblical truth. There was no judgement. In fact, if you read the ENTIRE GQ article, he does the opposite of judge, he is literally inviting the cussing crass writer to get to know God as well.
Jamee - December 21st, 2013 at 2:01 PM
Exactly my thoughts. but better put.
Andrea - December 21st, 2013 at 1:55 PM
I respect your opinion and I understand what you're trying to convey, but even Jesus had righteous indignation. It's ok to be scandalously loving as well frustrated and upset over A & E's decision to pull Phil from the show. That's most people's heart here. Yes there are a few hateful moron's that the world will always point at as an excuse not to believe in Christ. It doesn't matter how much we love the world.....they will always hate us. It's OK to take a stand in love.
Deborah - December 21st, 2013 at 1:55 PM
It's never a sin to love and if that is true, then we can all stop worrying what color someone is or what gender they have sex with or who wants to say Happy Holidays - all we have to do is LOVE. That. Is. All. We. Have. To. Do to follow CHRIST
AC - December 21st, 2013 at 3:48 PM
What about dying to self? Christ himself says we must bear out crosses daily. love is important. loving the Lord your God, then loving your neighbor as yourself are instructed by Jesus. but we're not called to idly watch and accept. Christ discipled world changers...and the world hated them. yall the world killed Jesus..but His radical love knows no bounds...it pursues us relentlessly...but loving is not the ONLY thing we do. we cannot pick and choose what aspects of faith to follow...too many of us do this. and guess what...I'M GUILTY TOO! but I strive every day to be more like Christ...who loved and SHARPENED with correction. just some food for thought.
Lee Ann - December 21st, 2013 at 1:59 PM
Yes indeed the Gospel is good news for all of us. Having said that I get very uncomfortable when Christians say I am going to love and never judge. So we are never to give an opinion? Are we never to discipline our children? Are we not to say what is right and wrong? There is such a thing as right and wrong.
Please don't get me wrong. It is not up to me to decide someone's eternal salvation however am I going to be "judged" by the same people who are "judging" Phil Robertson if my opinion is different than theirs?
Tolerance is supposed to be a two way street. I'm finding out that my friends, a lot of whom, differ from me, are way more tolerant of me if I agree with them. But the moment I don't, then I'm the bad person.
OH goodness...............
Stephanie - December 21st, 2013 at 2:01 PM
Bless you, sweet sister. I'm tempted to read through the comments but I'll refrain b/c I'm afraid there is too much, blegh, and that misses the point completely. I love that you continue to preach the love of Jesus no matter what. It's not our job to cast stones. It's our job to toss those stones into the deep well that is the limitless understanding of Christ's love.
Walter Edward - December 21st, 2013 at 2:03 PM
This is the first time i have seen your blog. I am not a Christian but I appreciate your attempt to move past a religion of hate and employ your faith in a way the makes life for others better.

As for the majority of your friends that have commented on this post, they are reinforcing the arrogant Christian obsession with proving they understand the "absolute" or "inherent" truth about god and scripture and human nature and sin and right & wrong.

If more Christians spent spent less time worrying about what the lost sinners of the world were doing they would actually have time to make a better world. The Christian faith as it is, is destructive and hateful - as evidenced in your readers comments.

Thank you for your compassion and your attempt here to understand and love those around you!

Dena - December 21st, 2013 at 8:18 PM
Walter, I am a Christian and agree whole heartedly with what you say and have become so discouraged with, as you say, the arrogant Christian obsession of proving their interpretation of scripture and their way of worship is the "right" way instead of taking that time used to tear people down and again as you say make a better world with love, compassion, and service.
Jen - December 21st, 2013 at 2:05 PM
Love does not mean saying sin is ok or right in God's eyes. Anyone who has watched the show knows Phil is blunt, they admitted he was blunt in one course of the conversation, but not on the quoting of a scripture. At some point Christians have to either be with the word of God, or they are not. There is no hate in standing with the word of God. I am so over people saying that if you say what the Bible says then you are not showing love. Love died to free me from sin, and I would like to see those in sin freed just like I was. If no one ever told me my actions/attitude/behavior was sin I would not have been encouraged to become more Christ like. Especially in this instance with Phil, he mentioned other areas of sin and pointed out that he was no better than other sinners.
David Weber - December 21st, 2013 at 2:07 PM
It is always interesting (see the above comments) how most of us read through the lenses of who-we-already-are.
Harry - December 21st, 2013 at 2:07 PM
We are not to punish or condemn, that is Gods job. That is not what Phil did he pointed out what scripture states about certain behavior. That is important for the world to know the good and bad news God has for all people. We are not to coddle people but tell people the truth in Love. If someones behavior has eternal consequences it is cruel for believers to be silent we are not here to punish but to share with others the truth
Debby - December 21st, 2013 at 2:11 PM
Thank you. I have been frustrated by all of this. I am choosing not to read others comments anymore. I will share your comments in order to temper the other posts that keep infuriating me. Again, thank you.
Lee Ann - December 21st, 2013 at 2:14 PM
I think part of the problems sharing our opinions can be in the way we share them. No one is obviously going to listen if you act holier than thou and come across as a know it all. The way we deliver our message is important but we must not water down our responses simply to not offend someone. That really isn't love when you do that.
Lisa - December 21st, 2013 at 2:17 PM
Agree with so many points in your post. "May we be peacemakers, because Jesus cast blessings on that role. To me, that means making peace within the church and making peace with those outside of it."

Might I also suggest this should include ceasing with the constant "calling out" of our brothers and sisters in Christ as "judgmental and unloving" in the public realm? Which, by the way, is a judgment itself. This seems to be an increasing trend. I get it, I totally do, because it is sometimes true...but I believe it is true of a small minority of true Christ followers. Might this be doing harm to the gospel? Why would others want what we have if we are constantly insulting our family members and bickering? As a very middle-aged person I can understand both sides of our current generational/cultural tug of war. The only thing I know for sure is that nobody has it 100% right. Maybe if we showed a little more love for each other (and not just the ones that always agree with us) the love we extend to those outside the church would be more authentic.
April - December 21st, 2013 at 2:19 PM
Reading these comments has been my first intro to the debate....because I'm 1. off Facebook for December and 2. not living in the USA where this kind of discussion is so totally polarised and emotive and can only be described as basically a total freak out on both sides.
I thought his comments, although obviously edited were crass and cringe worthy, and generally not helpful.
I think those getting in a twist about "but we need to speak the truth" need to go back. to. Jesus. that is all. When we look at his rather harsh truth speaking....it was to the religious elite....who thought they were righteous and who thought they could be good enough.
Moral teaching found in the letters is written to churches who needed teaching and discipleship.....so suggest post salvation teaching....suggesting that there were people in those churches who were doing those things....who were still on their journeys...as we all are.
So there are my two pennies....from my outside the USA perspective.....Jen..move to England!


Mel - December 21st, 2013 at 2:23 PM
Amen!!!
Lucinda - December 21st, 2013 at 2:23 PM
I left the church a few years ago. I didn't stop believing in Him, just the church. Your words remind me why my faith brings me such joy even if the church no longer does.
Michael White - December 21st, 2013 at 9:26 PM
I left the church in 1995 with the same frustration but, you know, the church is only filled with forgiven sinners just like me. They WILL ALWAYS let you down but not Jesus Christ, our God and Savior. Still we are told to forsake not the assembling of one another. We should always be willing to edify others whether we are being edified or not. I encourage you to find a church or start one of your own as we need others to help us carry our heavy burdens. Pray about it.
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