Rosaria Butterfield, a former lesbian who is now the wife of a pastor and a Christian speaker and author, has responded to fellow Christian author Jen Hatmerker’s statements regarding the LGBT community.
Back in April, Hatmaker posted the controversial statement that the church ought to embrace gay people.
“It is high time Christians opened wide their arms, wide their churches, wide their tables wide their homes to the LGBT community,” she posted on Facebook at the time.
In a recent interview, Hatmaker has expanded on her stance and has even said that she believes homosexual unions can be “holy.”
“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,” she said.
Her statements have stirred up quite a bit of controversy. LifeWay Christian Stores has stopped carrying her books and many in the Christian community have responded to her views.
The Gospel Coalition published a lengthy response by Butterfield, a former lesbian professor at Syracuse University who was very hostile to Christians and Christianity.
Butterfield came to faith in Christ in 1999, but she says that during that time of early faith and soul-searching, if she had heard Hatmaker’s words, they would have harmed her spiritually, not helped her.
“Yes, I can have Jesus and my girlfriend. Yes, I can flourish both in my tenured academic discipline (queer theory and English literature and culture) and in my church. My emotional vertigo could find normal once again,” Butterfield says she would have thought.
Hatmerker’s words, she says, would have led her to believe that Jesus wasn’t requiring her to sacrifice her sinful lifestyle, which would have sooner or later led her away from Him.
“Today, I hear Jen’s words—words meant to encourage, not discourage, to build up, not tear down, to defend the marginalized, not broker unearned power—and a thin trickle of sweat creeps down my back. 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,” Butterfield writes.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: November 1, 2016
Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the outdoors, or reading, she can be found mostly in Richmond, VA writing primarily about nature, nostalgia, faith, family, and Jane Austen.