It is not ‘Character Assassination’ for the Church to be the Church

The true church is never going to embrace the idea that somehow God is OK with sexual immorality.

No doubt there are many voices within the North American evangelical movement that are turning away from what the church has always believed and confessed. Hatmaker is now among them. They are trying to tell people that sexual immorality is compatible with following Jesus. And they are asking the rest of the church to accept their point of view as within the orthodox stream.

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (RNS) Columnist Jonathan Merritt is excoriating Christians who have distanced themselves from Jen Hatmaker, the evangelical author and TV personality.

“Hatmaker’s original sin is that she broke ranks with the evangelical powers-that-be on same-sex relationships,” Merritt wrote, describing an interview he did with her last Ocober. “Hatmaker did not deny a line in the Apostles Creed. She did not promote a historical heresy. She merely claimed that after a careful study of the scriptures, she had arrived at a different understanding of same-sex relationships.”

Merritt says Hatmaker has not only been “blacklisted” by conservative Christians but that her detractors have engaged in “the nastiest character assassination.” In sum, Merritt believes Hatmaker’s views should be treated as within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy and that evangelical churches and ministries are mistreating her by excluding her because of her views on sexuality.

There are more problems in Merritt’s article than I can address in a single essay, but it is worth pointing out some of the more significant mischaracterizations. The entire 2,000-year history of the Christian church has spoken univocally about homosexuality. Faithful Christians have always believed what the scriptures teach about this. Homosexuality is sexual immorality and is therefore sinful (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:10). Bible-believing Christians understand that this is an unpopular point of view today, but it is nevertheless what the church has always believed and confessed.

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