This morning before I sent my kids off to school, I guess you could say we were having church up in here. Matt may be the one who gets paid to preach, but that’s never stopped this mama from proclaiming the truth passionately to my kids. And today, even though I was teaching all of them, I was speaking especially to my girls.
I saw and read Jen Hatmaker’s recent interview discussing her politics. I also saw the many different reactions to it. I admittedly had my own. The timing of her statement was interesting to me, falling just a few days before the celebration of the historical event known as the Protestant Reformation.
Anyone who has read my blog since the beginning knows how God used the teachings of the Reformation in my young adulthood, and specifically, a book by Martin Luther that I stumbled upon surprisingly (providentially!) in my small hometown public library.
God used Martin Luther’s influence on my life to free me from man-centered theology and to drive me to the Bible.
Did you get that? He used a flawed man (Luther had some issues!) to open my eyes to see that my conscience should be captive to the Word of God alone.
Before school in the mornings, we often read Christian biographies together over breakfast. Today we were finishing one on the life of the reformer, John Calvin. A man told Calvin, “Your books are brilliant! I know I can trust whatever you say to be true.” Calvin was appalled and told the man that was the saddest statement he had ever heard. He instructed the man that God’s Word was the only standard either of them could ever trust completely.
And that was my message to my girls today. And to myself. And now to you.
1) Whatever your response to Jen Hatmaker’s statements, they should point out the fact that we must hear the Bible’s statements first and loudest. I fear our temptation is to jump on the bandwagon of another “celebrity” Christian woman with whose statements we agree instead of heeding the call that the voice we need to hear most is God’s voice through his Word.
2) Remember people are just people. There are some important things we can learn from Jen, both good and bad. And do you know that’s true about everyone? Your favorite Christian speaker, your Titus 2 mentor, your most-loved Christian blogger or author? Go back to the Bible and let it define what those helpfully good things are and what those things are that should be avoided. The Bible is our ultimate authority – not people.
3) God has given you a brain and a heart. Go back to the Bible and have both shaped and trained by his truth. And ladies, this isn’t a man’s work! This is my work. And this is your work. Let us be women with big brains and big hearts. Don’t let others do our thinking (or feeling) for us!
4) We don’t need to fear liberal politics, homosexuals, or anyone with whom we disagree. The Bible teaches us to engage the world (and the people in it!) with all its/their paradoxes, instructing us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16) Is this incident highlighting your own lack of wisdom? Is it highlighting your heart that fears those who are different from you? Are you scared of losing a comfortable, persecution-free life? I think you see the theme. Go back to the Bible for discernment and razor-sharp wisdom. Go back to the Bible to have cultivated in you the harmless spirit that characterizes a woman who doesn’t fear those who can destroy the body, but him who can destroy both the body and the soul. (Matthew 10:28)
Ladies, today, let’s have a new Reformation Day! Let us be women who read and know our Bibles, submit to its teaching, are shaped by its truth, and who live our lives carefully and lovingly in step with it. Let us be women who are bold reformers, nailing the truth into our heads and into our hearts. Let us go back to the Bible alone, together. That’s what God wants, because he knows that’s really what this world needs.