Honesty, transparency, brokenness – all blogosphere buzzwords. Everyone wants realness. We are all tired of pretentiousness. And shouldn’t we be?
When I’m in a room full of strangers, something happens. An internal scanning mechanism goes to work looking at behaviors, body language, interactions, and some indefinable quality of lucidity in the eyes. Who will engage in a meaningful conversation about something real and true?
Maybe I’m the only weirdo in the room, or perhaps God puts a searching tool in each of us to facilitate the spreading of the gospel, and those discussions are meant to lead us into the epitome of a meaningful relationship – a life hidden in Christ.
I’ve recently discovered a network of female bloggers who have a cult-like following. The common drawing denominator it seems among these bloggers is that bankable trio: honesty, transparency, brokenness – woven together with humor and wit.
When Jesus met a woman of ill repute at a well in a Samaritan town, he saw right through her. He saw past her mistakes, her labels, her insecurities, and he addressed her doubts and misunderstandings. Talk about transparency!
“He told me all the things that I have done,” she told everyone she could find with excitement (John 4:39). She couldn’t wait to tell them about the Redeemer and everything He had said and done. Because of her testimony, many came to believe in Him.
Imagine the story playing out differently. The woman forgets Jesus on her way to the townspeople. Instead of telling them about Jesus and what He said and did, she bubbles over with stories about her fragmented past and her present weaknesses.
The people become enthralled by her newfound confidence and engaging communication style, and they begin to follow her around. Her memories of the encounter with Jesus grow faint and only an occasional mention of His name is heard, but always in vain.
The Washington Post reported last month that one “Christian mom blogger” announced that she entered into a lesbian relationship with female soccer player Abby Wambach. Glennon Doyle Melton’s following is massive and growing. About 7 million readers are reached each week with her blog and social media posts.
I don’t know if Melton has had an encounter with Jesus. But if she has, she has forgotten Him. She holds little to no regard for His Word. In a Facebook chat in April, she asked her followers: “What do you want to believe? What do you need to believe? Stop waiting to believe it. And do something to make it real.”
That’s not the way it works. Our desires do not define truth nor do they steer us into Truth. On the contrary, “each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:14-15).
Melton’s announcement came just weeks after another author, blogger, and popular speaker at Christian events, Jen Hatmaker, told Religion News that she believes LGBT relationships can be holy, and the Christian community should be providing homosexual couples with marriage support and parenting help.
Both bloggers doggedly assert that their participation (directly or indirectly) in homosexual behavior is based on love.
Turning the page now to an unknown group of people in Stone Mountain, Georgia, lead pastor of Truth Tabernacle of Praise sees things quite differently. He recounts sitting in his office eight years ago with David and Yvette Thomas. David was both a friend and co-laborer – a musically gifted worship pastor working under the supervision of Pastor Bobby Atkins. David sat there that day in the presence of his wife and confessed to homosexual affairs.
In David’s mind, he was giving up. He was quitting. It was time for him to embrace the gay label. Life would be easier now. He could just be himself. He was sure he would be treated as a biblical leper, and any semblance of affection or love would only be found outside the painful, condemning confines of the church.
As betrayed as they felt, the responses of his wife, pastor, and the entire church fiercely contradicted David’s expectations.
“God is love,” Atkins explained. “He defines what it means to love someone. Our understanding and application of love means we care too much about a man or woman to let them live beneath God’s standards, which cannot be changed by society.”
In the midst of her pain, Yvette didn’t forget Jesus. She didn’t make up her own solutions or versions of truth that coincided with her desires. “I was in the throes of grief,” she said. “But my faith and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ transcended my flesh, my weariness, my weakness, and my lost dreams. The only real source of encouragement and stability was the Word of God. I knew that it would not betray me. It would not leave me or hurt me.”
Yvette didn’t have thousands or millions of “followers” to distract or idolize her. Instead, she followed. She answered Jesus’s call: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24)”
Yvette was a follower of One.
To read their inspiring story, click here.