Why are people like Glennon Doyle Melton and Jen Hatmaker so famous?

I keep seeing all these people in the culture like Rob Bell, Rachel Held Evans, Brian McLaren, Joel Osteen getting all this support from Christians – support that the people I admire like Jay Richards, William Lane Craig, Scott Klusendorf and Ryan T. Anderson don’t seem to get.

Glennon Doyle Melton in a church
Glennon Doyle Melton in a church

First, here is Glennon being celebrated in the far-left Washington Post.

Excerpt:

Christian author Glennon Doyle Melton — known as the “ultimate confessional writer” for her honest portrayals of her struggling marriage, addiction and eating disorder — has opened up with another big revelation.

She is dating again, her new partner is a woman and that woman is celebrity soccer champ Abby Wambach.

[…]Melton’s news comes three months after she announced her divorce from Craig Melton, her husband of 14 years…

[…]Glennon Doyle Melton has reiterated for years her position affirming that same-sex marriage is not sinful and celebrating love in various forms. A few Christian writers who champion LGBT rights in the church congratulated Melton on Twitter on Sunday night. (Another Christian mom and blogger, Jen Hatmaker, came under fire last month for announcing her support of same-sex marriage for the first time.)

Melton’s coming out follows fellow inspirational author and friend Elizabeth Gilbert, of “Eat, Pray, Love” fame. Gilbert announced in September she was in a romantic relationship with her female best friend, just two months after divorcing over the summer.

Both Melton and Gilbert, who had not openly been in lesbian relationships before, first shared their news on Facebook, discussed the importance of living their truth and referred to their new partners as “my person.”

The similarities reflect what fans immediately notice: Both women value transparency and share an open-life-memoir writing style. Both have undergone spiritual journeys, separations and sexual awakenings.

[…]Melton and Gilbert have appeared on her career-making book list and popular programs. During a personable Oprah Winfrey Network interview in September, Oprah called Melton a “breath of fresh air.”

[…]Gilbert and Melton met for the first time last fall, but Melton has long admired and been inspired by Gilbert. “For the past decade she has been a minister to me,” she said.

I sent this story to a young lady I admire very much, and I was greatly comforted by her reply: “She is very deceived as to the truth. ” Thank God for women who care more what the Bible says than being popular. Just because a woman is physically fit and charismatic, that doesn’t make her a role model for Bible-believing Christians. Her book is endorsed as “epic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, which is a good sign that doesn’t mean that she is reliable where it counts – defending the moral values taught in the Bible.

Brandon and Jen Hatmaker
Brandon and Jen Hatmaker (actual photo, not Photoshopped)

Here’s an article by former lesbian Rosaria Butterfield posted at The Gospel Coalition about Jen Hatmaker and her husband Brandon.

It says:

If this were 1999—the year that I was converted and walked away from the woman and lesbian community I loved—instead of 2016, Jen Hatmaker’s words about the holiness of LGBT relationships would have flooded into my world like a balm of Gilead. How amazing it would have been to have someone as radiant, knowledgeable, humble, kind, and funny as Jen saying out loud what my heart was shouting: 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.

[…]To be clear, I was not converted out of homosexuality. I was converted out of unbelief. I didn’t swap out a lifestyle. I died to a life I loved. Conversion to Christ made me face the question squarely: did my lesbianism reflect who I am (which is what I believed in 1999), or did my lesbianism distortwho I am through the fall of Adam? I learned through conversion that when something feels right and good and real and necessary—but stands against God’s Word—this reveals the particular way Adam’s sin marks my life. Our sin natures deceive us. Sin’s deception isn’t just “out there”; it’s also deep in the caverns of our hearts.

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.

[…]I only know who I really am when the Bible becomes my lens for self-reflection, and when the blood of Christ so powerfully pumps my heart whole that I can deny myself, take up the cross, and follow him.

The essential mistake that all the popular people make is that they distort the Bible in order to feel good about themselves and to be liked by other people. But sometimes, when you put being liked by other people first, you neglect the more important goal of being liked by God. Feeling good and being liked is not the same as being faithful and obedient to God. And God does not like when people misrepresent his character to non-Christians who are “looking for loopholes” in his Word. The whole point of Christianity is self-denial and self-sacrificial obedience, as modeled in Jesus, who gave up his wishes and desires by being willing to die to save others.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10: (Paul writing)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Matthew 19:1-11: (Jesus’ view of marriage)

1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.

2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”

4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,

5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?

6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?”

8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.

If you want to read reflections on these teachings that honor the plain meaning of the words, then by all means, pick up Ryan T. Anderson’s “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom” and Michael L. Brown’s “Can You Be Gay and Christian?: Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality“. It’s more important to align your beliefs with reason and evidence than with feelings and peer-approval.

Even ordinary Christians like me who are single have to say no to our desires to have sex before we are married. Although it is fashionable in the LGBT community to say “God wouldn’t make me have desires that I couldn’t fulfill” and “it’s not fair because straight people can fulfill their desires” this is baloney. I’m straight, and I have been thwarted in fulfilling my desire for sex for decades. It’s a normal Christian life to go without something you need and to be hungry. It’s not exceptional. This is obvious to anyone who reads the Bible and accepts the plain meaning of the words. Jesus didn’t tell people things that they wanted to hear, he told them hard truths that sometimes got him into a lot of trouble with sinful people. I’m really not sure why people who claim to be Christians are attracted to the exact opposite – false teachers who say things that make them feel good and negate the need for forgiveness from God, followed by repentance from sin.

5 thoughts on “Why are people like Glennon Doyle Melton and Jen Hatmaker so famous?”

  1. It’s the false Gospel of Self. They have replaced the truth I assume they once knew at least in part for what suits the world and pushes their success. People are starting to get onto their game though, I think… lots of good articles rebuking them in a loving but truthful way. The lines are being drawn though, Christian women especially are targets for this kind of deception and they are going to have to decide which gospel to follow. Thanks for the post, I feel the same way and know many others do as well

  2. For a long time now, the NYT, AP, and especially WaPo have been “giving voice” to the dissenters, those who “go against the norm/orthodox/”tried and true, compassionate, soundly biblical”. They’re the “rebels,” they buck the norm, they are “speaking out against the establishment.”

    I used to know a non-senior pastor who was rather popular. When I and others asked why he was so popular, we were met with, “He’s so witty and funny, he’s like the Christian version of David Letterman.” Then we observed that more spiritually mature Christians gravitated away from this non-senior pastor to more sound teachings. Yes, I know it’s not terribly P.C., but there you have it: not every Christian is spiritually mature nor spiritually discerning. We’re justified by faith. We’re not instantly all mature, fully sanctified, nor instantly all Christ-like. Those latter qualities take work.

    Jen Hatmaker is popular because she’s witty, sassy, and funny. William Lane Craig, Robert A. J. Gagnon, Rosaria Butterfield are not as popular except with real truth-followers. Makes me think there are people who prefer style over substance? Form over content?

    I don’t think we should be too surprised. Both Jesus and Paul warned about this.

    In days of old, the Christian church used strong terms like “false teachers” and that those who caused schisms in the church, i.e., a factious person (cf. Titus 3:10) were labeled αἱρετικός (hairetikos) — the word from which we derive “heretic.” That’s right. The church would have called them heretics… And yes, I know labeling Christians as heretics isn’t very p.c.; it turns me into the Inquisition.

  3. Great. So GDM takes Elisabeth Gilbert as her guru and “Eat Pray Love” as her Bible – and is then surprised when her marriage falls apart and she can’t heal from adultery. (Not that I’m belittling the pain adultery causes, but it still needs to be dealt with the right way – which is NOT by reading books by a woman who left her husband to find herself.)

    Do I even buy that GDM is lesbian now? Is it possible that she’s not in a relationship with a man because she’s still conflicted about loving any man other than her husband?

    Anyway, liberal Christians: take note of all the New Age waffle and spiritual deception that went into these developments. It’s not that they found the true self that God created them to be – rather that they sought deceptive guides and embraced false teachings.

    And that’s really sad, and I feel nothing but compassion for these women. But that doesn’t mean we should condone or encourage their actions or their lifestyles.

    1. She chose the adulterer. He is very handsome and probably very fun. Unfortunately, that isn’t the best character trait for a husband to have, since the husband role requires fidelity, not fun.

  4. Very well-written!
    Thank you for being bold to speak out and for sounding the trumpet to warn others about false teachers!

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