The Danger of Jen Hatmaker Hermeneutics

Hermeneutic: the art and science of studying God’s word.

Here is what Jen Hatmaker said about same sex marriage recently.

“Politically speaking, do you support gay marriage?

From a civil rights and civil liberties side and from just a human being side, any two adults have the right to choose who they want to love. And they should be afforded the same legal protections as any of us. I would never wish anything less for my gay friends.

From a spiritual perspective, since gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, our communities have plenty of gay couples who, just like the rest of us, need marriage support and parenting help and Christian community. They are either going to find those resources in the church or they are not.

Not only are these our neighbors and friends, but they are brothers and sisters in Christ. They are adopted into the same family as the rest of us, and the church hasn’t treated the LGBT community like family. We have to do better.

You mention faithfulness and God. Do you think an LGBT relationship can be holy?

I do. And my views here are tender. This is a very nuanced conversation, and it’s hard to nail down in one sitting. I’ve seen too much pain and rejection at the intersection of the gay community and the church. Every believer that witnesses that much overwhelming sorrow should be tender enough to do some hard work here.”

The full article is here. Brandon Hatmaker’s statement of how they came to the conclusion that same sex marriage is biblical is here.

I don’t know the Hatmakers. I barely followed them only because of a few ladies in my circle who follow them, especially Jen Hatmaker. I have no personal beef with them. I could be friends with people like the Hatmakers. Yet I say that to say this. The Hatmakers have a poor skill of biblical hermeneutics and an excellent skill of cultural hermeneutics. In Brandon Hatmaker’s statement, he gives no scriptural evidence for their conclusion. He gives an explanation of how they came to their conclusion.

The sad part is they abandoned the word of God.
The sad part is they influenced many to follow their poor hermeneutic.
The sad part is they will get a pass by some because they have such a great following.
The sad part is they (or us) don’t have to ditch truth to love all people.
The sad part is they leverage loving gay people against God’s word.
The sad part is they say if you really love gay people, then you will say same sex marriage is ok.

I love all people. I have friends who are gay. I would never be mean or rude to them, but I don’t agree that same sex marriage is biblical. It’s not. Jesus spoke directly to the matter in Matt. 19:4-5.

“Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female,” and He also said:

“For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,

and the two will become one flesh?”

 

My point here is not to prove biblically that same sex marriage is not God’s design. I’m sticking with the word of God and the design of God (Gen 1-2). My point in this point is to make a public stand and comment on the hermeneutical movement that leaves the word of God for cultural acceptance. Many are leaving the word of God. When we leave the word of God we leave and at least limit the authority of God.
The Hatmakers are good people I’m sure. They are just wrong on this and it has big impact. Lifeway stopped selling their books. Many stopped following the Hatmakers. yet many will still follow them. I wish the Hatmakers well. Yet I warn anyone listening to not use the Hatmaker Hermeneutic. It’s flawed. You don’t have to leave the word and design of God to love all people. You don’t have to let biblical context have so much weight that it flattens the obvious meaning of God’s word.
We have all followed leaders only to have them disappoint us. It comes with life and ministry. There’s a time when I can love all people but stay with God’s truth and design. This is one of those times. I would not recommend the Hatmakers ministry at this point to anyone. There are many other great ministries that can and do what the Hatmakers do.

My position on race, police and life.

I posted on Facebook a couple of days ago about the shooting of a Black man in Tulsa by a White officer. The video of the situation looked bad. Even after discussion and reflection, while I have a greater understanding of what Police Officers walk into and up on every day, I still think “that” situation in Tulsa at the very least does not look good. It’s sad all the way around.

I’m waking today thinking of mistakes we make in trying to interpret race, police and life.

The most glaring mistake we all make right now is this: we make it about taking sides. 

Just because I comment on one situation where I question the Police handling of a situation, that doesn’t mean I am anti Police. Or support the Black Lives Matter Movement.

And just because I don’t support the Black Lives Matter Movement doesn’t mean I don’t believe in justice. I do believe in justice.

Etc.

I greatly value the Police, of course. Are there issues? Of course there are issues. Just like the military there are some who don’t handle situations correctly. And they have their own justice system inside, and sometimes not.

I greatly value the issue Blacks face here in the US. Is there history? Yes of course. Are all White people racist? No. Of course not. Are all Black people anti White? No. Of course not. Are Blacks disenfranchised? In some ways yes. Of course. Is there White Privilege? Of course! And the stakes are higher for Black people. Why?

  • They are 10-12% of the population.
  • They have baggage from the 1800s slavery and Civil Rights Movement.
  • Their areas in the inner cities are dangerous and violent.

Blacks don’t need hand outs. They need a hand up at times. And I think that is what most are saying.

We often define a person’s position by what video he/she “likes” or “comments” on. We wage position wars by video. I’ve done it. I’m not saying it’s all wrong. It’s the way we communicate now. But we need to be careful not to define someone by what the culture shoves us into. The world segments. I don’t segment. I think it’s a mistake. And I’ve lost friends who think I have to fall into a “category.” Or I didn’t fit into theirs because of one statement or comment. Or they don’t fit mine.

We must not define each other by one incident. I look for patterns in a person’s life. If there are patterns, then I can make a pretty good decision.

I wonder how we would have responded if the officer in Tulsa had been Black? Someone would say, “well, it would have been like Charlotte.” We don’t know that actually. Tulsa is Tulsa. Charlotte is Charlotte. Would White culture look at it different? If the officer in Tulsa was Black, would the Black community look at the Tulsa situation different? We don’t know. Whites are sometime in a hard place. They are the majority. It’s all their fault is the claim, but that is not true.

The situation is complex. Being a person who cares for all cultures I’m empathetic to Blacks and Police. We ask the Police to police our streets and cities, yet everywhere can be a war zone these days. I could never be an officer. It’s asking too much. They have to play to rules. In the Army, the rules were different. I’m very thankful for our Police officers. It’s the best system in the world that has the population the US has.

The situation is complex. Yet let’s keep having the courage to risk safety in conversations. It’s a path forward. Whites, Blacks don’t understand each other because they don’t talk these issues with civility. We talk at the worst of times. And our politicians chose politics of governing rather than healing the wound of a nation.

I’m not judging anyone based on what side they are on. That is a mistake. Let’s unify where possible and move forward.

What do you think about what I am saying? 

The remedy for the arrogance of politics and race.

I have never seen the political scene as bleak as it is now in my adult life. When I was a boy I remember the resignation of President Nixon. It was sad. Today, we have two pretty bad candidates. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We are in a bad place as a nation. We are bad on race and bad on politics. And our approach to both is sad. Many are seeking answers for complex problems with worldly means. Many Christ followers are doing this also. I’m tempted to do it. However, it’s a dead end road.

Police shootings of Black men. Sharp shooting Police officers at rallies. Black lives Matter. All lives matter. The aftermath of slavery into the civil rights movement up into our day. The situation is complex. What’s the answer? I thought race relations would be better under President Obama. they’re not. They are worse. Why? Because he never made it an early priority. He was forced to address it after a litany of Travon Martin type episodes.

We have complex problems. There are two approaches to finding answers. God and the gospel or the ways of the world. The ways of the world: legislation, laws, norms, hopes ands dreams of finding the answers. During the civil rights movement Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was able to leverage the heart of God against the conscience of our nation. Those days are past. Those victories are won. Now our culture has changed. It’s eerily brazen without conscience. What’s the answer to the issues of race and political wars? The other approach is God.

God and the gospel. These are the only ultimate ways to fix the complex issues we face. The world does its thing, but we followers of the King must not trust the world’s method. The gospel is the only hope. It can’t be mixed with culture. Jesus alone. The gospel alone (1 Cor 15:3-4; Gal 2:20) is the only answer. Our elected officials only use God when convenient. Our churches are not preaching Jesus is the answer to our issues because race and politics as application are risky. Yet Christ, and Christ Jesus alone must be presented as the only alternative to our issues.

Trump. Clinton. I laugh at the idea that either of these two are good. They are not. They are both lost. I have no biblical indication either is saved. And they don’t have to be to be president. It’s not required. It’s also not required for me to use their methods. At some point, supporting either is a compromise of the soul. I’m not saying don’t vote. I’m saying when you do, you’re not clean. I’m always amazed at those who act as if there is moral high ground in their candidate. People who act is if they are not biased, but they are.

I vote for Jesus Christ. He is the answer to our problems. The church needs to preach this radically in the next three months. Encourage people with the hope of Christ.

It’s arrogant to assume we can fix the complex problems of our culture by siding with human means to the extent of leaving God out. Let’s avoid that. Humility is a friend. James 4:6 says, “But He gives great grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but give grace to the humble.” And James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.” Stay on your knees. Pride is the enemy. Humility provides the victory.