I don’t know who you are, but my producer alerted me to the fact that you had commented on my video, and that I should definitely read it. You sound like a very busy, talented woman, so I just want to say thank you for taking the time to watch my video and respond. You spent a lot of time and effort in responding, and I would like to do you the same courtesy here. You said:
Yesterday, I was texting with a friend about how heavy hearted and deeply grieved I was by some of the hurtful things I have read in response to Jen’s interview. My friend responded by saying, “Then, you might not want to watch this: “ and included the link to your video.
I’ve gone and back and forth about whether or not to post a comment. It’s been such a loud, hard week around all this, and it is certainly not my aim to add more noise.
Jen is a very dear friend of mine and I struggle to think of a person who loves people with more authenticity and tenderness. This is why so many people from all walks of life and faith, trust her with their brokenness. Because she’s a safe person to hand the pieces to. It’s been pretty rough for those of us who love her, to watch the tsunami of ugliness crash on her shores. I certainly don’t take issue with any respectful conversation about actual disagreement, or any voices of opposition. I’m so grateful for a culture and country where we all get a voice. We all get to stand by our own convictions. Thank God for that. But it’s just human nature to want to defend and protect our friends, when they are being hurt and ridiculed. I’m sure you have friends from whom you would lay across railroad tracks, so you know what I’m talking about.
I do know what it is like, and I empathize. Since coming out for the traditional view of marriage, I have been called ugly, stupid, incompetent, disgusting, better off dead, better off muzzled, etc. I’ve been told I should be put in a lion’s pit. I’m what’s wrong with America. And, [insert words I would never put in to print here]. The internet is such an ugly place, so I can imagine that Jen has had a difficult week, and I am very sorry about that.
That said, I’m going to try and put my affection for and protection of my friend to the side here, and not respond from that emotional place.
I’m also going to try not to debate or argue the issue(s) with you. That is an endless loop of back and forth Biblical ammunition, interpretation, bias, and theological leanings. You are very clear about your position. It would be a waste of oxygen and blinking cursors for us to attempt to get on the same page. I am okay to disagree. Thankful for the space and freedom to do so.
Here’s what I do want to say to you:
You are clearly a bright, young woman. You are quick and funny. You have an interesting platform that seems like a fresh idea. Any time women find their voices outside of the typical churchy women topics that normally lull me to sleep, I want to cheer. That’s clearly what you’ve tapped into with your podcast and website. I think that’s awesome. I can recognize that you have a unique voice, and people are connecting.
But in this particular video and on this particular topic that voice sounds smug and condescending and arrogant and snarky. I almost couldn’t finish watching it because it was so awful. I did actually watch it in its entirety, as I felt I couldn’t authentically respond after having just “skimmed” it. And honestly? I feel like I can say these things to you, because it takes one to know one. Sarcasm is my love language. I get it. I get the dry blank stares at the camera, and the clever little pop up icons. This is the brand of humor I generally love. It is your shtick. You do it well.
First, thank you for watching, and for your compliment on the podcast and blog. I really appreciate that. Thank you for recognizing that we are not striving to be like every other churchy women’s group.
Secondly, I see you, like many, have been offended that I mentioned I had only “skimmed” the article prior to the video. I explained in the video that I decided I wanted to read it *with* the audience *live*, and my intent was never to only skim the article. I think that explanation has been lost on many. I’m not sure why, since I responded rather fully and read Jen’s responses almost entirely and in full. No one that will go back and read her interview will think I misrepresented her. It seems kinda crazy to me that people want to throw in a little jab on this particular point in the video. Anyway….
What’s really blown me away this week (and you did it here better than most) has been the amount of insults that have been hurled my way by people who are upset because they think I’ve been insulting. You accuse me of arrogance and condescension and call the style of video my “schtick”, as if that isn’t insulting. This would be as if I had made a video about Jen Hatmaker, and called her a wimp, a flop, a fake, and said her bleeding-heart mentality is just her “schtick”. Now, THAT would be rude and condescending and not something I would ever do. In fact, it’s not something I did. I sought to engage with her arguments, something you’ve already said you have no interest in doing. I have no interest in labeling Jen or calling her names. And yet, I continue to receive the insults, all while being told I’m the one that is insulting. Can you see the double-standard here?
But it so heartbreaking to watch someone do any shtick around this.
These are people, friend. Not material for banter.
Out of 41k views of your rude, sharp, biting, finger wagging commentary on Jen’s interview, I wonder what percentage of people who’ve seen it, would identify as LGTBQ. I wonder what percentage of them have felt so bruised and battered by the church that they can’t imagine what the arms of Jesus actually feel like, though they desperately long to. You have a right to your shtick. It’s your website. It’s your podcast. But your snark needs to be saved for topics that aren’t as tender.
Nichole, as I said in my video in regards to Jen, I applaud extreme care for the hearts of people. I do. But this is why we MUST engage on the topic at hand, and not just the feelings around it because you are asking that people consider “the arms of Jesus”. The arms of Jesus had nails pushed through them for the healing of the very sins that we are discussing. Jesus did not come to hug anyone in the LGBTQ community and encourage them to continue on in their sin, he died for these very sins! He did not sit with tax collectors and prostitutes in order that they may continue on in their sin (Romans 6:1-2), he came to save them from their sin and he called them to repent of their sin. No hug from you or I can bring peace between the LGBTQ community and Jesus. Only repentance and faith in Him can.
The intersection of sexuality and faith is deeply personal and nuanced and complex. If you know someone in your life, a friend or relative, who has taken the risk to confide in you about their orientation and to wonder aloud about whether or not they have a place at Christ’s table…if you have actually seen those tears fall, you would know the tenderness that is required. The listening. The asking. You would know intuitively that it is not fodder for an online stand up routine.
My deep-seated belief is that anyone, no matter their sin, has a seat at Christ’s table, should they repent and believe the Gospel (Luke 5:32). I have gay friends, too. I’ve heard their struggle. I’ve cried with them. The difference between you, and Jen, and I, is that I love them enough to say the hard thing to them. Nichole, you cannot love your gay friends well and withhold the Gospel from them. You just can’t.
The world is watching us. Watching the church. Watching how we respond to our gay brothers and sisters, and watching how we respond to each other…even if as Christians, we land in different places, theologically. And as a woman who has a growing platform and audience, and who claims to want to point people to the loving Gospel of Jesus, I’d love to see you put gentleness and kindness a bit higher on the list.
I am a little bit ahead of you on the road…a little older…and have had different platforms professionally over the last few decades, and I have learned this the hard way. I’ve made the mistake of trying to get a laugh from a stage, when my audience wanted me say something meaningful or transparent. Or just to say simply acknowledge my own confliction or sensitivity to an issue. I’m embarrassed to remember that girl, sometimes. She had a lot to learn, before she was instructed by humility and grace. And pain.
Thank you for your warnings. I don’t begrudge them in the slightest. I’ve found that no matter what I say, or how I say it, those on the opposing side will feel hurt and rejected. We disagree, and it’s 2016. As you’ve shown, people want to deal much more with the feeling on a topic than the actual topic itself. Buzzfeed produces videos like this all of the time that put Christians like me down, and no one blinks. Actually, I haven’t even blinked. All I have wanted to do is engage with the issues, but alas, I am a small fish in a big sea.
Please hear me. While I do not share it, I don’t begrudge you sharing your position.
The church is going to have to get confortable having more and more and more of these conversations. It’s not going away. I have had plenty of these conversations myself with people who might not share my convictions, but who share my commitment to speak with love and respect. It’s the only place to start. No one ever runs to Jesus because they’ve been belittled or “educated” or shamed. We run because we are welcome. We run because we are loved in our brokenness. We run sometimes because somebody held our hand and offered to run with us, when we were unsure about our own worthiness.
Respectfully, if I am as arrogant and condescending as you think I am, you should begrudge my position. If I am pointing people away from the Gospel, please, begrudge me that. Stand in my way if I’m barring believers from Christ’s table. The Gospel is all that matters.
People are hurting.
People need Jesus.
As a young woman with a microphone and a budding platform, please be more careful.
Nichole, please hear me. You believe I’ve made errors and you came and felt the need to correct them, so please take this as me doing the same, with the same encouraging intent. You want to hear my heart on the matter? Here it is: you have a huge responsibility, given your large audience, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don’t waste it. Don’t bring shame to the arms that were pierced for these sins. You are absolutely right, people need Jesus. Please give them that. Anyone that denies the necessity of repentance and faith in Christ is preaching another Gospel, and if you lock arms with Jen and the LGBTQ community and demand inclusion, you are preaching another Gospel, plain and simple.
It is not nuanced. There is no such thing as a “Christian thief” or a “Christian murderer” or a “Christian homosexual”. If you have been made alive in Christ, literally a new creature, you are no longer defined or bound to the sins that once held you. Paul says, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” Such were some of us, Nichole, but it not our identity any longer. Are you encouraging sinners to identify with Christ, or identify with their sin? Love for the world is enmity with God. Are you encouraging enmity with God and asking that we believe it is the loving thing to do?
Much of the response I have gotten has involved questions like, “What about gluttony? Do you care about other sins?” Well, of course I do. I do not have it out for the LGBT community in some special way. I was responding specifically to Jen’s claims in the video, which were about this topic. But again, it’s 2016, and this is a major issue the church is facing. You are correct in that we must become comfortable having these conversations. I want to offer you this article, as it deals with much of the reason why we should care about this topic, why we should talk about it, and what the actual, Biblical view is.
Honor Christ with your platform, Nichole. The dying world needs the Gospel. The hurting people you are talking about need the Gospel. Peruse my Facebook page and you’ll see that taking this stance won’t get you very many friends. I’m okay with that. Jesus said that he did not come to bring peace, but a sword, and anyone who loves his father or mother more than they love him, doesn’t belong to him (Matthew 10). Do you belong to Jesus? Are you willing to proclaim the Gospel that actually does bring peace, even when it’s hard and uncomfortable, and lose listeners? If your answer is no, I urge you to reconsider.
P.S. This took me so long to write because I had babies to attend to. I didn’t know it was you until now, but your song “Slow Down” and the accompanying video? Oh my. Tears. All the tears. Every time. Thank you so much for that song, and sweet reminder!
Link to Facebook Comment:
Thank you for not being ashamed of the gospel Summer!!
You are why the Church is dying.
Summer I cannot tell you how sad it made me to see Nicole Nordeman taking this position on this subject.
I have loved her music for years. It seemed so much deeper and more meaningful than the usual Christian music out there.
I pray your words were taken to her heart by the Holy Spirit for her sake as well as her audience.
I almost lost it early on when Nicole said of Jen Hatmaker, “Because she’s a safe person to hand the pieces to.” I am no longer friends with a “christian” person who called me UN-safe because I spoke out against her “feelings” being un-Biblical. She also has a son who expressed same-sex attraction and was then ushered into homosexuality by his own mother! Her brand of christianity says it’s OK with God to be gay. Jesus loves you and it is OK. Makes me throw up in my mouth. Matt 7:13. Christ’s true church will be growing SMALLER in the years to come. “If you lock arms with Jen and the LGBTQ community and demand inclusion, you are preaching another Gospel, plain and simple.” A. MEN. Stick with your “schtick”!
Not that I am saying you are wrong but please give me specific bible verses where Jesus said that homosexuality was wrong and should be condemned. Please but New testament or loud testament verses but ones that Jesus himself sore about it.
Clint, are the OT and the NT the words of God?
Is Jesus God?
Words by God translated incorrectly by humans. Words by God which did not include the words for homosexuality but for pedophilia which are not the same thing.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16.
When you read Scripture, you are reading the words of God, for “no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit,” 2 Peter 1:20-21
Read Matthew 19. There are several key points, among them: Jesus holds people accountable to scripture, even scripture as ancient as Genesis; there is an intention of the Creator’s met in marriage, and one men seek to separate; He created them male and female and FOR THIS CAUSE a “man” will leave *his “father” and “mother” and cleave unto *his “wife”. Each and every single one of these words (pronouns included) denote gender–marriage is intentionally linked to binary gender.
The ONLY sanctified sex is within a monogamous marriage between one man and one woman–the ONLY other option is to live a celibate life (i.e. as a “eunuch”)
As an aside, I heard a pastor once say (and had to agree with him) that since Jesus spoke of the time before His incarnation (see John 17) -when He was ONE with the Father–He was present as God the Father was raining down fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah…there was no disagreement between them.
He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 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’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
(Matthew 19:4-6 ESV)
While not a direct reprimand of homosexuality, Jesus clearly believes that marriage was made for 1 man and 1 woman from the beginning.
1Corinthians, Romans, Jesus himself says man leave and cleave to his wife. And that’s not a guy wife or a transgendered wife. It’s a FEMALE period.
Where did Jesus say sex with a child, dog or having an addiction to crack is a sin?
Exactly. Here’s the deal. State where the bible anywhere states anything other than male and female relations.
Thank you for speaking truth. I will never Condemn anyone, but I pray that those that serve will realize that living by our emotions is folly. We can love, embrace and care for those hurting , but we still must speak truth. The world seems to have forgotten that this is possible. I do it everyday with my children, lol. A simplistic explanation, I know.
Quite frankly, I HIGHLY doubt JH was truly offended by that video. She’s as snarky as the day is long. One would think she’d be able to take the same tone she dishes out.
Ah, it’s a tricky thing, that conviction. But it’s a good thing too. It can bring you right back to the feet of Jesus. I pray that is the case for both of these women.
Okay I’m coeinncvd. Let’s put it to action.
your video and response is spot on! Thank you for standing for Christ. You rock!
AMEN, sister! Preach! Thank you for standing firm in what is sound doctrine and not what makes people feel good. You are amazing. Keep up the great work! I’d love to support you any way I can. I am a photographer. If you ever need pictures. Let me know. I am happy to help further your voice in the online community.
Truth on in love sister! You give the wounds of a friend, I can see that and I hope these ladies do repent. God bless you, keep you and use your ministry for His glory.
Standing firmly on God’s word, His truths (not His feelings) is where I want to be.
I want to be a follower of Christ, I’m not a “fan” of people.
Your words were rooted in God’s truth, thanks for sharing.
Thank you for this open response, and for not waivering from the truth, Summer. It is both refreshing and encouraging, and despite your “youth”, you have wisdom that many don’t achieve with years of “Christian” living. Bless you!!
Well spoken, Summer. It is sad but also appalling to hear Christian music artists approve of sin, any sin, but particularly this sin, when it is clearly an area which requires loving boldness in our day when views have changed so rapidly among the world, and alas, even within the church. It takes real faith in the Word of God to believe that His Word is truly inspired and His moral injunctions transcend all time and culture…for our good. Struggling with same sex attraction must surely be difficult, confusing, even devastating. But we do no one favors by watering down the warnings of scripture to offer a misplaced sense of compassion. There is enslavement in living according to our own sinful predilections but there is power and freedom in Christ who changes minds and hearts. He is worthy of our submission to his will as well as the fight of sanctification for the Christian who renounces homosexuality. All those who trust His Word stand with you, Summer, including former homosexuals who are now joyfully relying on Jesus to walk in holiness and faith.
Very good and Biblical response…..very happy to call you a sister in christ…..Amen And Amen
Thank you for being bold in your convictions. The gospel is an offensive, stumbling block to the perishing. I am thankful there are young, witty, gospel-centered women left who will not bow the knee. Thankful to stand next to you as one of them. (Yes, some say I am witty- not just my kids- who know nothing of humor anyhow).
Thanks for your boldness and conviction! The gospel is an offensive, stumbling block to the perishing. I am grateful for young, witty gospel-centered women who will not bend the knee. (On my better days, I might count myself among you – when my Rodan & Fields wrinkle cream is killing it *wink* ). Stay the course.
Well done Summer.. It can’t be easy to tell the truth to the world that despises the Gospel and is far more committed to being politically correct and tolerant. Argh..do people actually realize what’s at stake here? This is life and death stuff. Yes, let’s just all take the easy, placating stance and sing “all inclusive” songs around the camp fire, whilst unrepentant sinners are going to hell for ETERNITY…. Makes me sad…and mad…and sad again…
Well done Summer for standing up for the truth in a world and unfortunately churches that are becoming more and more hostile to the Gospel..all in the name of tolerance! Argh…makes me so sad and angry. This is life and death stuff here…and so many Christians are happy to placate those who are heading down the path of destruction..and then claim that’s love? Huh?
I have never read your blog before nor have I seen the video referenced by Nicole, there are many points that I 100% agree with you, but there is one point I will concede to her, and that is the seeming arrogance she charged you with. Again, I haven’t seen your video, but I see the way in which you have responded to Nicole. Very condescending. God’s truth never changes and right is immutable, those are points where I am solidly in your corner. But what I am sensing, rather than a defense of the gospel, is a defense of your pride.
How from this response do you even get a hint of her being condescending? She was very clear in her statements and never said anything in a mean or condescending way. I thought her response was very thoughtful and gracious. If her video came across as condescending (I can see how some might think this) I don’t think it was intentional.
Crystal, no it wasn’t. Not even slightly. She simply stuck to the issues and offered refutation of the arguments. Disagreeing with someone and saying they are wrong, or pointing out where they make logical errors is not condescending. Unless you believe that to argue from a position of assuming you are correct is, in fact, condescending. In which case, anyone who argues any point with the belief they are correct is being “condescending”. Summer’s response was cordial and gracious, much more than the woman she was responding to.
This makes me wonder what Nichole was thinking when she sang about the holiness of God.
Yes, by all means, retract your statements, Summer. Because, backing down is what we do as a church. We need to think about how we feel first- How did this make Jen Hatmaker *feel*? Because, I’m pretty sure it was all about feelings when Jen Hatmaker trampled on the scriptures of the God she claims.. As a friend of Jen’s, Nicole, why aren’t *you* loving her enough to warn her?? Why aren’t you more concerned or publically coming out to rebuke her public statements as a christian yourself? why? Are you about to exchange the truth for a lie for the sake of public persona?
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”
For the sake of Jen, for the sake of your thousands of followers Nicole, for the sake of the gospel, stop it. Please take the same amount of time to go correct your “sister” in error. Before it’s too late. In the meantime, in a sea of a culture that bases everything off of *feelings*- which has led to countless other women/mommy blogs opening the door to a soft, comfy couch of heresy, how about *you* apologize to my children when they loose all the religious freedoms left because the church slowly compromised and chastised its own when *anyone* took a biblical stance…
May the Holy Spirit harken her ears to your words…which are the Lord’s truth!
This topic is fraught with so much emotion it is almost impossible to have a rational discussion with people about it. I have been thinking for some time though that we will see more “Christian entertainers” and authors lining up on the LGBT side. I am thankful for people like you who are willing to speak up for the truth. Also for former LGBT promoters who have been delivered from that lifestyle which is rebellion against God.
I have no idea where NN stand on the LGBTQ issue, but I agree with you on the theology and her on her points re your tone. We are instructed to speak the truth in love. This implies it is possible to speak the truth in an unloving way, and that is what you did, period. The word “contempt” comes to mind as I watch your response. You do a good job conveying contempt for those buying this popular lie (LGBT lifestyle is compatible with holy lifestyle) and that is not something Jesus ever modeled for us. He spoke compassionately (to all except Pharisees et al) while exhorting “go and sin no more.” I believe that’s the tone we should try to emulate if we hope to truly engage those on the other side of this debate.
I found your post through references a few friends had made to it. So glad I did. I am thankful for your entire response to this issue, but especially this: “No hug from you or I can bring peace between the LGBTQ community and Jesus. Only repentance and faith in Him can.”
I counsel women whose children are struggling with same sex attraction. These sons and daughters are raised to know God and trust Jesus, to put to death the sins of the flesh and be raised again with an identity in Christ. They are fighting inclinations that never seem to go away, praying that they will be set free in this life, hoping for the life to come where they will not battle the demons of lust and allure and affirmation of the world. The greatest enemy to these women? People in the church who whisper to their kids, “You’re okay. Your parents don’t really understand but God accepts you the way you are. They don’t really care about you as much as I do or they’d let you be happy and live out your love.” There’s your feelings-rich hug from Jen and Nichole. But as you say, there’s no hope, no peace there.
Let me tell you about phone calls the moms get in the middle of the night from their kids, filled with agony because they realize they may have a future devoid of intimacy, their dreams dashed, their life nothing but a battle 24/7. How does a mom respond when she knows her words won’t offer the temporary high of acceptance that Jen’s and Nicole’s will?
These are moms who are warriors of truth, talking gospel and scripture to their kids day after day after day, encouraging them, holding them up, praying for them, praying especially that in those moments when their kid is at his lowest, a person like Jen Hatmaker or Nichole Birdman doesn’t come along and whisper her deceptions to allure him into a life of delusion and sin.
Now you tell me which is more “loving”.
Thanks for your faithfulness to truth and to hurting but brave families everywhere.
You are so right, Laura. How can they not see that they are offering a false sense of liberation by luring them away from Christ? So very sad indeed.
Amen for standing on Gods word!! let God be true and every man a liar. Preach the truth in love. Watch out for our pride and let the Holy Spirit draw his children in! It’s great to see young people know the word of God and stand up for it!!!
In my opinion, and I could be wrong, you misread or misunderstood her comment about skimming. In my interpretation of the excerpt you posted, she was saying that she watched the video in its entirety because she herself did not want to be accused of skimming. I don’t think it was taking a jab at you. And I think the following sentence, along the lines of “it takes one to know one” was directed toward a sarcastic brand of humor versus a person who skimmed videos and/or interviews. I think you have interpreted that as a criticism where there was not necessarily any.
I agree and had the same thought.
Nichole has a song, Legacy, that I hope she can remember. I know we hear/read with our filter. But if she really hears the words, she wrote to share Christ unapologetically, the truth should compel her to speak the Gospel. It’s not about how we are perceived as Christ followers, but how we point to Him.
I think that your delivery, Summer, could be perceived as snarky. I didn’t see it that way, and I see your heart and truth as compassionate because that is the heart of the Gospel.
I think that you are young, but so was Timothy. I think the way that you speak now will not be the same 30 years from now. That is the innate result of abiding in Christ and the Holy Spirit sanctifying you. That does not mean that you are wrong now or that your delivery is sinful now. I doubt you spoke this way when you were 15, we all develop as we live in Christ. That is by His design.
So I think Nichole’s points on your delivery are moot. Of course a 30 year old has a different delivery than a 60 year old or a 15 year old. But at every age, it is important that we beg the Holy Spirit that we point to Christ and glorify Him in all that we do.
Thank you for having a public platform to teach women a cohesive Gospel and that you stand firm in the continuity of scripture.
So I’ve needed those tender arms of Jesus Nichole references. Not in sexuality, but in drinking. I didn’t need an academic lecture or “reasons” to follow Jesus; I just needed Jesus’s love. I needed to see him more clearly, to know Him better. I believe even we Christians really do get into stuck places where we exhaust our own resources for fighting and just can’t take the fight anymore. Nichole and Jen H seem to really “get” that place. It’s a worthy Christian pursuit–to walk with those in deep spiritual need. Jesus highly prioritized these, the “poor in spirit” and said theirs is the kingdom of heaven. So Christians, too, will find themselves in places of being poor in spirit. I’m pretty sure Peter felt pretty poor when that rooster crowed. Let’s never forget that–just because we are Christians doesn’t mean we have this “willing what God wants” thing down well. But there is a difference here–never in my heaviest drinking did I feel like that was a place I wanted or needed to stay. It didn’t define me. I knew I was in a bad place–but I also knew to pray that God would give me the eyes to see Him and the sin would fall away as I more clearly saw God and His goodness outweigh what I thought in those moments to be I wanted most. NO! I want Jesus most; I just fail in many moments to want Jesus most. Nobody in the church would have been loving me well if they would have been cheering on my DRINKING. CHURCH, we have to find a way to cheer on the sexual sinners and NOT cheer on their sin. It means giving them time and space to let the Holy Spirit work (the end that I think JH and NN lean towards) but we absolutely must not cheer them on in any direction but towards one of life and joy (found only in following and obeying Christ) (which is the other end that Sheologians lean towards).
Thank you Summer! It’s refreshing to see the Gospel upheld so well and with respect and gentleness. You kicked this out of the park…….thankful.
Any claim to faith in Jesus Christ that does not seek to obey Him, is no faith at all! Feigning concern for anyone, with an unwillingness to engage with scripture, is thinly veiled contempt.
“If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not practice the truth.” 1 John 1:6
“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” John 14:7
What Christ is clearly stating here is that He is God, therefore, He defines sin, not man.
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15 (Jesus)
Repent-turn away from sin
I’m surprised you didn’t know who Nichole Nordeman was at first. I’ve listened to her music all my life. And that made me especially sad to see what she had to write here. I agreed totally with your position in your video regarding Jen Hatmaker’s interview. Keep pressing on for the kingdom!
I was saying “Hurrah!” all the while I was reading this. Continue to stand firm, and share truth lovingly. I am saying a prayer for you tonight for encouragement, continued humility, and protection.
I am with you Summer. I can understand, though, why she thought that you were condescending, as speaking confidently can often come across that way. Though, it is good to check your motives and to make sure that you aren’t trying to beat the tar out of someone’s arguments just out of the desire to appear smarter than them. I struggle with this a lot. Our sinful nature even uses the truth as an instrument to stroke our ego. You have a lot of knowledge, and I pray that God would continue to keep you desiring to learn more, and not to become puffed up and arrogant. I am praying the same thing for myself.
Also, I appreciate the longevity that you have to stick it out in these controversies. It certainly takes a resilient and dedicated person to be able to continue to respond to long comments threads, but I appreciate the time you’re taking to do that.
Your verbal battle should be taken off line. It is a distraction to the defense of the Gospel. Satan will cleverly use this tennis match to distract.
You should be defending the Gospel, but instead have intertwined hurt feelings with a snarky defense. Respond to her privately.
I’ve never heard of either one of you, nor do I disagree with your defense.
It saddens me to see the layers being peeled off “Christian” women held in high esteem. Therefore keep battling to make Christ known. That’s it.
Well done, my dear. Jen Hatmaker is a snake in the grass nipping at the heels of the Bride, and we need to call that out to our sisters in Christ. If she is a true believer–and I would not rush to that judgment–her theology is very sloppy. This isn’t the first instance. In her book Seven, she wrote of a time she and her church took communion to the down-and-out side of Austin, TX. No fencing the table, just passing out the elements to all who were interested. What a dangerous game to play with unbelievers.
I had similar concerns when I wrote about her back in April: https://carmelconversations.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-serpent-in-tree-goes-twist-twist.html
You took some fiery darts from Nordeman. But please know that while she is ‘the older’, you are ‘the wiser’ by far.
The moment I saw the post was by Nichole Nordeman, I knew exactly what she was going to say. Nichole walked away from Jesus and the gospel a long time ago so I knew she would be defending the false teaching of those who want to ignore the scripture on issues of sexuality.
It’s sad…I was in Christian radio when she first came on the scene fired up about Christ. It’s sad to see someone who had such a bright light go dark because she loves the world more than she loves Jesus. Sometimes it bothers me to know that I introduced people to her music and promoted her who are now being lead astray by her devotion to the world’s teachings over Jesus.
Your video was excellent and I’m glad to see you standing strong even when the enemy sends an attack like this which is couched as being from someone wrapped in light.
As someone who grew up buying every new CD she made and going to see her anytime she came in concert to my city, I could choose to be emotionally persuaded to put stock in what she says and try to justify all the reasons to stand with her and her point of view; BUT my conscience is held captive by the Word of God and thus I must stand in agreement with your Scriptural reasoning and with your response to her. I will be praying for her.
Summer, I can’t tell you what a blessing it is to stumble on your blog and hear a women faithfully preach the gospel against a sea of “feel-good Christianity” that ignores what the Bible says. I unfortunately don’t have a good relationship with “women’s ministries” and I am constantly disappointed in the poor theology of most women speakers and pastors. Good theology is for everyone and I hope you are encouraged by the Holy Spirit to continue with your blog and podcasts because there are spiritually starving women out there that need your knowledge and perspective so that they can stand strong against the waves and winds of our darkening culture. God Bless.
Nichole said: “The world is watching us. Watching the church. Watching how we respond to our gay brothers and sisters, and watching how we respond to each other…even if as Christians, we land in different places, theologically. And as a woman who has a growing platform and audience, and who claims to want to point people to the loving Gospel of Jesus, I’d love to see you put gentleness and kindness a bit higher on the list.”
“As a woman who has a growing platform and audience”; does she not realize she just burned a bridge with over half of her audience by supporting Jen and the LGBT community outside of scriptural bounds? She cut ties with nearly everyone who made it possible for her career to exist and is now running down a road that might even be contrary to some of her own musical expressions. Jen and Nichole have departed the evangelical world in quite dramatic fashion and they will soon reap the consequences of what they’ve sown. I wish no ill will towards them but I think we need to call this what it is… apostasy.
as a young woman, I am so thankful for other Christian woman willing to speak truth in these matters, and others in this crazy society I’m living in and raising two babies in. My closest high school friend is gay and he doesn’t want to be my friend because of what I believe, because it offends him. I have always expressed a great desire to continue our friendship, but I will not be one who says “God just wants you to be happy and not suffer,” or say that traditional Christian views on the matter are archaic, because scripture doesn’t change, and God doesn’t change, and there is nothing new under the sun! I know that homosexuality involves more than just physical relations, and they are lonely, isolated, ashamed etc. and we have to love our homosexual neighbors and walk with them and encourage and love them, just like we all need support and accountability when handling our sin, but the important thing to remember is to call it sin and be true to Christ and his word. I don’t see the issue as totally different than when I was single and living in sin, searching for love in all the wrong places…no Christian in my life encouraged me to continue to live in sin and sexual immorality so that I could have companionship and feel good.
I got stuck on these early words of Nichole “This is why so many people from all walks of life and faith, trust her with their brokenness. Because she’s a safe person to hand the pieces to.” I thought that’s what Jesus was for, not Jen Hatmaker. (Or any other human, for that matter.) Jesus handled many people with tenderness, but never let them believe their sin was acceptable.
God Bless you Summer!
Your boldness will be used by the Lord to turn true Believers back to him and His Gospel. Our culture no longer possesses a valid definition of the word ‘love’ nor a valid, Biblical expression of the action of ‘loving’. It is unbelievably hard to stand-up against the culture…in fact, I believe that apart from the Lord bestowing the strength upon us to do so that it would be impossible. It is so very interesting to look back upon what has occurred culturally in America…when I graduated from high-school twenty-eight years ago homosexuality was very much “in the closet” and considered disgusting behavior by the vast majority of people. Today, if I went to my local mall with a sign proclaiming that homosexuality is disgusting I would likely be arrested…certainly I would be thought of as a fruit-loop until kingdom-come. Sin has taken a foothold on an entire culture in this generation – and not just on this issue; abortion is not reviled as murder but rather hailed as a right. I am afraid for women like Jen and Nichole and so many others…when it comes the Lord’s rebuke will be difficult to bear, to be sure – but worth it in the end for their souls.
I’m so sick of people talking about the loving arms of Christ while they themselves defend others who love their sin…these people have no understanding of the Gospel whatsoever. I’m also soooo sick of homosexuality getting the proverbial “pass”…if I told by Christian girlfriends that I was now feeling sexual tendencies for the guy next door, was feeling really conflicted about it, can’t get past it and therefore I’m “going there” -despite the fact that I am married- they would call me out and rebuke me. Sexual sin is sexual sin. No passes. Repent. Period.
All of this boils down to theological ineptness. Jesus is the door, not a doormat. It’s high time people started reading their Bibles…maybe it would help if they started in the back. 😉
Keep fightin’ the good fight Sista’ and take heart knowing that He will lose NONE of them that are His!
Thank you for speaking out! I love your snark but did not find your tone condescending or smug at all. I found you to be honest and genuine, with a solid Biblical foundation. I am a new fan and praying that many will hear the truth of your words.
Summer, I have been following your Dad’s teachings for many years. He has taught you well! i could hear James coming through your writing. Thank you for standing firm for the gospel. There aren’t many willing to do this anymore.
I know I am a tad late to this conversation, but still want to respond. I think what I want to say has already been said multiple times above, but sometimes HOW something is said, or written, makes all the difference.
I don’t disagree with your theology about homosexuality, (it’s interesting I chose to write it that way instead of saying that I agree with you, so I suppose I should say I agree; so yes, I agree–sorry I’m talking to myself–I’ll get to this later). Every time in the Bible that homosexuality is addressed, it is negative, condemning, even harsh. But how do we present “the Gospel” to those struggling with this sin? Do we bash them in the face with a Bible? “Turn or burn!” You seem like a smart person–will this be effective?
As a younger Christian, I was more “in your face” about God’s truth on all sorts of topics, but definitely this one. When I was 18, I found out that my father had been cheating on my mother for 20 of their 23 years of marriage…with other men. To say I was devastated would be quite an understatement. I shared scripture with my dad. I LOVE my dad. I told him it was a sin. I told him was going to hell. I wasn’t mean about it…I even told him that I was sharing this with him because I loved him and wanted him to go to heaven–and I did. He didn’t hear me, or he didn’t care or want to change or whatever.
Then I went into full-time ministry…with middle school students (who aren’t the most theologically-minded), and high school students (who are trying to find themselves and searching). I learned a lot about HOW to present the gospel in LOVE and in a way that could also be HEARD and ACCEPTED. I learned how to be patient with sinners–like I think Jesus is with US. I learned how to pray for the lost, love the lost, accept the lost (not their sin), and earn a right to share the truth about the hard stuff–the stuff they aren’t ready to “give up” yet. I have been a “safe person,” for a lot of young people, and for a few friends my own age. But do not confuse “safe” with “soft.” I do not bend the truth to suit someone’s struggle, but I will walk with them through it. I will love them even if they don’t repent, because Jesus does. I am called to love, He is the one who saves. It definitely takes patience and true trust in Christ.
In the name of “truth,” Christians think it is okay to be a jerk, and it’s just really not, and that’s what Nichole is talking about. And I agree. Others have posted these same sentiments above–the word she used was tenderness (which is better than me implying that you’re a jerk–sorry about that). You did make me laugh in your video-thank you for that, but then you got kind of mean…and by the end I was sad that I didn’t really like you (sorry), but wished I did because you clearly love Jesus and have a decent theological framework (at least on this topic–which so many are abandoning). I wished I did enough that I’m taking time that I don’t have to write this to you, and don’t even know if you’ll read it (sadly your producer will not be notifying you that I have responded–and even then you will only skim it at best). LOL. Sorry, I’m totally kidding. 🙂
I love Nichole Nordeman’s music, I’ve always liked the depth and realness of her lyrics–you should check it out. I’ve read a book or two by Jen Hatmaker. She is funny, and she has a crazy big heart. I don’t agree with either of them theologically on everything (and I am truly discouraged specifically at where they’re landing on this topic), but I like them. I “follow” them. I would even travel to hear them speak because they aren’t “jerks,” for the most part. They do still have some good things to say about loving others, and following Jesus that would encourage me. I could bring someone who was just getting to know Jesus along with me (someone who thought I was safe), and I know they would be welcome–they would be “safe.” They would be accepted where they were at on their journey, and hopefully pointed to Christ (for the most part).
I really wish there were some Christian women I could “follow” who are more doctrinally sound, who are more Biblical, who are funny, and witty, and accepting, and smart, but sadly it seems that maybe pride just makes them jerks? (or at least it makes them come across that way–gosh I hope I’m not coming across that way now). Be one of the women that women of this age and time are longing to follow. Care not only about WHAT you’re saying but HOW you say it. More people will listen. More people will change. More people will see Jesus. That’s the end goal right? “Souls?” At least that’s what you said. If you care about their souls, run in such a way as to ACTUALLY win them. That takes “tenderness,” and it’s not just this topic that requires it.
So I don’t know if any of that makes sense, and I don’t have all the answers either, but my two small children are screaming for my attention and dinner is supposed to be on the table in 2 mins so I need to wrap this up. Hopefully you can hear it, and hear what I think Nichole was trying to say. I’m reminded of a very familiar passage:
1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.
Go to Nichole’s Facebook page and read some of her posts. Her focus used to be on winning hearts and minds for the Lord….and it seems like her focus now is on defending “underdog” groups. She has sided with LGBTQ, She has openly supported BLM, she has taken pastors to task over the Muslim “ban”, and she has deeply offended and divided her listening base. She has done all of this under the banner of Christ’s love. She no longer has a ministry in my opinion, she is trying to have a movement. Ever seen or heard her stand up for the unborn? Me neither. She has turned into a political hack who seems ashamed of her faith and her morals…. a far cry from the girl I grew up with. It’s so ironic that her new album is called the “The Unmaking”…. cause it seems like that is what’s happening to her career.
I worked in the CCM music industry for many years, and it seems many have embraced the Emergent movement, which, in a few words, relegates scripture to allegorical status. The proliferation of the internet and especially social media has emboldened apostates to come out of the woodwork and easily find camaraderie with others of like mind. Very sad, but at least they are calling themselves out and we know who they are.
Summer, I just discovered your website courtesy of a friend that linked me to the original Nichole Nordeman post on FB…. Awesome to have a millennial true believer doing battle in the culture wars. Are you the female counterpart to “Louder With Crowder”? (lol)
I’m about a year late to this whole “conversation,” and I’ve wept more than a few times. I still know that there is a much deeper cry on the inside of me, yet I have not wanted to face it. I have been so naive. I’ve invested in CDs, concert tickets, books, gas,etc. To support CCM “artists” & Women of ‘Faith’ who I thought believed the Bible. The whole Bible. Just b/c we see see through a glass darkly or not, does not change the HOLY and sacred text. God’s Word is the most precious thing we have on this planet. Persecuted Christians around the globe would give a limb for a a scrap of what NN called “nuanced.” I am just sad. Regardless of how sad I FEEL watching Christians lead other Christians away from the NARROW WAY, I must find my strength in God’s word and by His Spirit. Jesus, help me to pray that those who think they are standing so strong, will repent and turn away from deceptipn. My apologies for the length of this post. I’m appalled at all of the “digs” that NN made to Summer in this post. I was a BIG NN fan. Bought EVERYTHING! From her Seasons T-shirt (a 1 time thing) to the veggie tales CD. Most people in my circles have STILL never heard of her. I was shocked that by her tone, she thinks that she has “arrived.” Maybe in the CCM world, but after almost 20 years, most churches have never heard of her. Perhaps they have now. I even choreographed to her lyrics, which btw my audience didn’t really understand. In the early days of her ministry, I stood in the lines to get an autograph, I now know that I had no knowledge of what she really believed. Thanks to Jen Hatmaker for blowing the doors off the beliefs of her WOF and IF Gathering buddies. I’m glad to know what these people truly believe about God, about His word. Two cannot walk together unless they are in agreement. Summer, I’m no theologian or sheologian, but YOU make me want to be BRAVE (nn lyrics). I want NOW more than ever to know the truth so that I can rightly divide the scripture in this day when Christians willfully TWIST God’s word to make it fit FEELINGS. I’m sorry these gals ganged up on you like this Summer. And this was a mean girl, group assault which you didn’t deserve. It speaks volumes about the whole Women of Faith Movement and what these women were really up to for 20 years. When 1 Woman of Faith tells her Sister, (who is already FEELING some kinda way about the Hatmaker responses…this is how my black friends would put it), “…then don’t watch this…” and sends over Summer’s video. That admission right there also speaks volumes. I wish these women had REAL friends. The kisses of an enemy are deceitful, but FAITHFUL are the wounds of a FRIEND. I’ll end with this, Summer I truly admire you. I am a young…(well not so young anymore) single, black woman who practices celebacy. Statistically, I might never have a husband or a family. This was not my life dream, I wanted the fairytale. Yet, the Bible forbids me to sexualize any relationship. What is so wrong with celebacy? 20 years ago (at my left-wing, Ivy League college), my Bible study leader was preparing to leave us after her graduation. She held us in her dorm room for hours, praying for us that we could be strong in our God & in our faith. She gave each of us gifts: scriptures that she had handwritten out on notecards. 1 of those scriptures was Hebrews 6:4-6. I memorized it b/c she said so, but I never had an inkling of what it might mean until now, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come. If they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” AND 1 Timothy 1:5-11: “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from unhypocritical faith, from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm. But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the LAWLESS and INSUBORDINATE, for the UNGODLY and for SINNERS, for the UNHOLY and PROFANE, for MURDERERS of fathers and of mothers, for MANSLAYERS, for FORNICATORS, for SODOMITES, for KIDNAPPERS, for LIARS, for PERJURERS, and if there is ANY OTHER thing that is CONTRARY to SOUND DOCTRINE, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.
For some reason, the LGBT community are the fish we want cleaned BEFORE they come to Jesus. Even though we’d be patient with others with other struggles in their lives. I know that sexual struggles and sins are a big deal to God, because they effect us at every level, emotional, spiritual and physical and also effect others. If people do not think God loves them or wants them when they’re broken and need Him, why would they reach out? Why would they seek counsel in a church? They often don’t, because they think the church hates them. If we hated premarital sex and adultery as much as we go on about gay folks, wow, we might have a lot less unwed mothers and broken families. We need to engage in relationships that make it clear we care about them as people first, not just a object we want to convert and then walk away, either leaving them thinking sin is OK or leaving them alone to wrestle. Both are really dangerous places to be. They need community to fulfill their inner longings of WHY they turned to SSA in the first place. It takes repentance but the desires are still there. If a couple gets saved that’s been living together for years, they suddenly have to break up, move out of each other’s places, and deal with the painful business of healing. Then, they have to break off the communities that they’ve been in, and that is frightening for anyone. If we don’t deal with ROOTS, we will constantly be putting band-aids on bullet wounds. They bought a lie somewhere in their lives, got hurt, or even found acceptance in the LGBT community for being different (boys who are effeminate or girls who are masculine often get accepted by the community when others tease them). If all we’re doing is beating the sheep when they’re in pain and trying their best to navigate, we refuse to walk with them, cry with them, pray with them, fast with them, and work towards holiness. It’s like surgery, and you don’t do heart surgery with a chainsaw.