A former lesbian who decided to follow Christ said Jen Hatmaker’s acceptance of the gay lifestyle would have been like a “millstone” around her neck if she heard it back when she was still a homosexual.
Writing in a blog for The Gospel Coalition, Rosaria Butterfield, author of 'The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert,' said the words that Hatmaker addressed to the LGBT community when she recently declared she believes a gay relationship can be holy unto God would have brought her deeper into sin instead of take her out of it.
“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,” Butterfield wrote. “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 referred to Hatmaker’s announcement in an interview with Religion News Service that she accepted and approved of the gay lifestyle and gay relationships.
“From a civil rights and civil liberties side and from just a human being side, any two adults have the right to choose who they want to love,” Hatmaker said. “And they should be afforded the same legal protections as any of us. I would never wish anything less for my gay friends.”
Hatmaker added that LGBT people are “our neighbors and friends” and also “brothers and sisters in Christ,” belonging to the same family as the church.
Butterfield said in her case, following Jesus made her ask serious questions: did lesbianism reflect who she was, or did it in fact distort who she really was?
She said something that “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,” she wrote.
Butterfield said her identity is not dictated by how she feels. Only God can tell her who she is.
“There is no good will between the cross and the unconverted person,” she said.
Butterfield then shared a story that appears to be in contrast to what Hatmaker had been telling the LGBT community. She said years ago, after speaking at a church, she was approached by a 75-year-old woman who had lived as a lesbian. The woman had been married to another woman for 50 years and built a family with her.
Butterfield said the woman told her something she could not forget: “I have heard the gospel, and I understand that I may lose everything. Why didn’t anyone tell me this before? Why did people I love not tell me that I would one day have to choose like this?”
Butterfield echoed in the blog what that old woman asked her.
“Why did not one person tell this dear image bearer that she could not have illicit love and gospel peace at the same time?” she wrote. “Why didn’t anyone—throughout all of these decades—tell this woman that sin and Christ cannot abide together, for the cross never makes itself an ally with the sin it must crush, because Christ took our sin upon himself and paid the ransom for its dreadful cost?”
Butterfield said where these things are concerned, Christians have failed at two things: extending genuine love to the LGBT community and sharing to them the truth about sin.
“For when we advocate for laws and policies that bless the relationships that God calls sin, we are acting as though we think ourselves more merciful than God is,” Butterfield said. “May God have mercy on us all.”