Jen Hatmaker’s Millstone: Evangelical Reality Star Favors Gay ‘Marriage,’ But Former Lesbian Objects

Jen Hatmaker and Rosaria Butterfield.

By The Stream Published on October 31, 2016

“If I were still in the thick of the battle over the indwelling sin of lesbian desire, Jen’s words would have put a millstone around my neck.” So says Rosaria Butterfield, speaking about evangelical reality TV star Jen Hatmaker. Hatmaker recently told Religion News Service that she supported same-sex marriage because “any two adults have the right to choose who they want to love.”

This was true, she said, “from a civil rights and civil liberties side and from just a human being side.” She added that such couples “should be afforded the same legal protections as any of us. I would never wish anything less for my gay friends.”

Hatmaker, author of a Christian bestseller titled For the Love, starred with her husband in an HGTV reality show called My Big Family Renovation. She is currently on a “Belong” tour and writes a blog that her Amazon author profile describes as “a tightly knit online community where she reaches millions of people each week.”

With same-sex marriage legal in every state, she adds, churches “have plenty of gay couples who, just like the rest of us, need marriage support and parenting help and Christian community.” These couples are “brothers and sisters in Christ,” she said, adding that she would attend a same-sex wedding “with gladness” and believed such relationships could be holy.

Reaction in her circles came quickly. Many criticized her while some friends publicly explained that they still held to the traditional teaching.

LifeWay Christian Resources, a Southern Baptist agency that’s published her books, immediately pulled her material from their stores. In the interview, she “voiced significant changes in her theology of human sexuality and the meaning and definition of marriage — changes which contradict LifeWay’s doctrinal guidelines,” said the agency’s spokesman. The agency had previously stopped stocking authors like Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer and pulled Mark Driscoll’s books for doctrinal reasons.

Hatmaker defended herself in her official Facebook page, headed with a picture of the products in her “New Jen Hatmaker Collection.” She came to her position, she wrote, through “deep discussions with people we trust and respect, with prayer and careful study and deliberation moved into this space. We wrestled with and through Scripture, not around it. Our view of the Word is still very high.” She warned her critics that the “LGBTQ community” is “watching how we respond, how we talk about them, how we actually feel about them in our churches.”

Rosaria Butterfield’s Response: Love Your Neighbor Enough to Seek the Truth

She would once have felt Hatmaker’s words were “a balm of Gilead,” writes Butterfield, a one-time lesbian and leftwing professor. Writing on The Gospel Coalition website, the author of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert explains that she would have loved to have someone like Hatmaker make her think, “Yes, I can have Jesus and my girlfriend.”

But the Gospel says something very different. When she met Christ, she says, “I didn’t swap out a lifestyle. I died to a life I loved.” She found that even though her lesbian life felt “right and good and real and necessary,” that only revealed how “our sin natures deceive us.”

How I feel does not tell me who I am. Only God can tell me who I am, because he made me and takes care of me. He tells me that we are all born as male and female image bearers with souls that will last forever and gendered bodies that will either suffer eternally in hell or be glorified in the New Jerusalem. Genesis 1:27 tells me that there are ethical consequences and boundaries to being born male and female.

We still struggle with what she calls our “choice sins,” she writes, as Paul describes in Galatians 5:17. “Victory over sin means we have Christ’s company in the battle, not that we are lobotomized. My choice sins know my name and address. And the same is true for you.”

Christians have failed homosexual, bisexual, and transgender people in two ways, she concludes. “We have all failed miserably at loving fellow image bearers who identify as part of the LGBT community,” she writes. “We have failedto offer loving relationships and open doors to our homes and hearts, openness so unhindered that we are as strong in loving relationship as we are in the words we wield.”

But that’s not the only failure in loving them, she continued. “A hateful world applies the category mistake of sexual orientation identity like a noose,” telling LGBT people that how they feel tells them who they are. Christians had failed by not telling them “that sin and Christ cannot abide together, for the cross never makes itself an ally with the sin. … We also have failed to discern the true nature of the Christian doctrine of sin. For when we advocate for laws and policies that bless the relationships that God calls sin, we are acting as though we think ourselves more merciful than God is.”


For more by Rosaria Butterfield, see this interview with Ligonier Ministries and this interview with the Wheaton College student newspaper. See also the videos collected here.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Gary

    If Hatmaker is a Christian, then the term has lost ALL of its traditional meaning. Hatmaker is a lost, Hell-bound sinner who is playing the hypocrite and pretending to be a Christian. Cut her off completely. Boycott everything she says and does. Don’t buy her stuff and don’t watch her TV shows.

    • jackson

      If you’re a christian, then it has lost all meaning. All of that hate must take a lot out of you.

      • Mr Cleats


    • Paul

      In this we agree Gary. 2 John, Eph 5, Rom 16, 2 Thes 3, Titus 1 & 3 comes to mind.

    • Charles Burge

      Gary, that is completely out of line. Yes, she’s wrong. That she doesn’t understand scripture is clear. But to say that she’s “lost” and “Hell-bound” isn’t any human’s prerogative. Only God gets to determine that. If she believes that Jesus died to take away her sins then she’s a Christian. That’s what the Bible says. I know from personal experience that you can be a Christian and still commit sins. If she refuses to repent, *then* we should turn our backs on her. But our first action should be to pray that she will return to a correct understanding of God’s Word.

      • Gary

        She has proven that she is not a Christian. She has furnished the proof. Christians NEVER endorse homosexuality. They never do. What YOU want to do is unbiblical and will only encourage her hypocrisy.

  • Jim Walker

    Jen, its never about the legality of living together as a same sex couple, its always about what God approves.

  • Commentor

    This women must be counseled by Christian leaders if she refused to repent she must be stripped from the Christian community publicly She is very dangerous. This might seem tough but it is critical that it is done. I just wish more would come out with back bone and speak this.


    Stand firm LifeWay! The principle & practice of marriage, between a man and a woman, has been in people’s mind across ALL cultures since the creation time of Adam/Eve. It has nothing to do with Christian intolerance. I never forgot the 3 core principles taught in the first class of engineering economics: supply/demand relation, monopoly/anti-trust, and fake dollar bills driving out genuine bills. It is the world operating order and that’s the reason Secret Services is constantly sampling to inspect dollar bills under the microscopes across the nation to ensure the integrity of currency in circulation.
    Two, three, or more same-sex adults in love have their free will to do whatever they want in this “free” nation, but do not redefine it as ”m-a-r-r-i-a-g-e”. LLC, partnership, or corporations are all legal entities under protection. LBTG already got own “partner” title. The ramification and repercussions in terms of adoption, surrogation, parenting, genetics, disease, and blood transfusion are too huge. Ultimately they will have their own world – bakery, photographers, …. worship “place” (do not call it church) with 5-color flag hanging outside so that I do not step into the wrong place. Jesus is the only Savior! It is the works of Holy Spirit to change hardened heart. Believers are only able to share the Gospel truth and bear witnesses. Do not redefine “m-a-r-r-i-a-g- e” and try to contaminate the rest of world.

  • Gwamma

    Ms Hatmaker should have consulted the Word of God rather than man.

  • Meredith Washburn

    “the “LGBTQ community” is “watching how we respond, how we talk about them, how we actually feel about them in our churches.”

    More importantly, God is watching how we (Christ followers) respond and God leaves no room for compromise of our response or His word. If the Word of God does not support the way you think and respond one better change the way one thinks and responds because God and His Word have not, do not and will not change.

How to Love Others Better Than You Do
David Mills
More from The Stream
Connect with Us