Writing about the Machine, I realized I was writing about two different facets of the issue. I really didn’t want to delete this part from that piece, but it would have really been all over the place if I hadn’t. So I made a whole new post for just this issue.
The issue that most people seemed to take the author of the CT piece to task for was using Jen Hatmaker as an example of the “crisis” of women in the church being given a large platform to teach or write without being required to submit to ecclesiastical authority. For the backstory, you can check out Jen’s repost of her husband Brandon here, and the abundance of articles and opinions you will find by Googling “Jen Hatmaker Gay Marriage.” Very long story made shorter: Jen and Brandon after much prayer and study “came out” as affirming of LGBTQ individuals as Christians. Lifeway and many other entities that formerly endorsed and advertised the couple responded by dropping them like proverbial hot potatoes. This is a picture of the dumpster behind my former workplace the weekend after Jen’s statement. You can clearly see the book that only weeks before was being promoted and advertised ripped into pieces and wedged between bags of kitchen and bathroom garbage.
To be clear, this piece is not about homosexuality, nor do I anticipate ever writing about homosexuality. That is not my area of expertise, nor is it my calling to write about or comment on for the time being. What I am called to write about right now is the machine that built Jen’s platform, put her on it, and then destroyed it right under her feet.
Before this incident, Jen wrote a fantastic book called For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. Lifeway didn’t carry it, which I thought was strange considering we had carried every other book she had written and published all of her Bible studies. I tried to figure out what the issue was by asking people above me, and all they could say was that it didn’t fit with our product standards. So I decided to read it. You know, purely for research purposes. Not because I am obsessed with Jen Hatmaker and want her to be my best friend and invite me to Supper Club or anything. Of course, FTL is a beautiful book that had me laughing and crying and posting quotes from it on Facebook like a weird stalker fangirl (let’s be clear. I am totally a weird stalker fangirl). I noticed a couple of mentions of wine and one or two extremely mild profanities, but nothing that you wouldn’t find in the fiction section of Lifeway. I am not kidding you, my manager pulled me aside and let me know he was really concerned about what I was reading and didn’t want me to be “led astray.”
That’s about the time I realized I needed to be looking for a new job.