4 concerns about Jen Hatmaker’s teachings

It’s no surprise to me that last week’s book review post, “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker, received a mixed response. Along with the many women who thanked me for posting the review, a number were also upset that I would dare to question anything about this popular speaker and teacher. Let me clear up one thing: the review was a warning not against the woman, but about how she is handling God’s Word to an international audience.

In addition to her numerous books (often used as “Bible” studies in women’s ministries), Jen Hatmaker is known for her presentations at a women’s gathering called “IF”, which I’ve warned about in the past.

My friend Christine Pack, co-founder of Sola Sisters, has allowed me to share a post she recently published on Facebook, and I’d like to see her warning get even more traction here:

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 6.33.22 PM

4 concerns about 7’s Jen Hatmaker   By Christine Pack

Like Beth Moore, Jen Hatmaker is a speaker and author from Texas. And like Moore, she also is smart, quick, funny, and has a down-home way of speaking and addressing her followers. Hatmaker is a regular speaker with the popular IF:Gathering women’s conference that is simulcast in thousands of churches annually.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 6.32.26 PMI view Jen Hatmaker as the “heir apparent” to Beth Moore’s mantle. Hatmaker has made a career out of her charismatic personality, and her ability to garner followers through social media. This (the social media aspect) is something of a new phenomenon: popular bloggers (like Hatmaker) can post something to social media, and have literally hundreds of thousands of people see it in just a few minutes. Contrast this to even the most prolific writers of centuries past (Spurgeon, Calvin, Luther, etc.). These men’s writings are still available today, but during their lives, they did not write things, or have them interacted with, in such an immediate way. With such immediacy, I fear, comes an unwise elevating of personality (“I am of Paul, I am of Apollos” 1Cor 3:4), and an unwise vetting of one’s own words (“Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few” Ecc 5:2).

In general, my chief concerns about Hatmaker are (1) her emphasis on flaws/failures, (2) her waffling on God’s word where it has spoken authoritatively, (3) her unabashed love for the Roman Catholic pope, and (4) her contribution to a works-righteous piety.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 6.36.33 PM(1) Her emphasis on flaws/failures.

Hatmaker is one of the new brand of self-styled young Christian bloggers that I have a term for: the “messy transparents.” I don’t mean this in a condescending way; I simply mean it to reflect what I see as a growing trend among Christian women bloggers to discuss their lives (there’s the transparent part) over and over as being “messy” and “complicated.” They seem to connect to other women emotionally by highlighting their own flaws and failures.

Yes, the ongoing struggle with sin is real and daily. But for myself, I desire to be with other Christian women whose lives are ordered and God-honoring. There’s a fine line there. We don’t want to shame younger women who may be struggling with getting their lives in order. We need to encourage those women. And if we ourselves are *those* women, we need to seek help with that from Christian friends whose lives are in order, and work toward getting our lives in order, which comes from honest self-reflection before the Lord, Bible study, and seeking to walk in the truths of scripture of what a Christian woman’s life should look like. Obviously, none of us will ever do that perfectly! But neither should we be taking in a daily diet of articles from women bloggers who put the messiness, flaws and failures of their own lives on display on a consistent, ongoing basis.

(2) Her waffling on God’s word.

This was most apparent to me in her March 2014 article about homosexuality in which she proclaimed her *personal* support of Biblically-defined marriage, but also claimed that there is no Christian consensus on the issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. She also characterized those who would hold strongly to the Biblical definition of marriage as engaging in a form of “theological bullying.”

(3) Her unabashed love for the Pope.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 6.32.49 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 6.33.08 PMThat is evidenced in the attached screenshots, never renounced or repented of, that are attached. Hatmaker also has a quote from Mother Teresa prominently displayed on the opening page of her personal website. The quote itself is not wrong, but it is not wise to point other Christian women to any Catholic leader as an example of Christ-likness. Christ is our head, He is our model. To say nothing of the fact that the Roman Catholic church is an apostate counterfeit of the true Church.

(4) Her contribution to a works-righteous piety.

Hatmaker, along with her fellow IF:Gathering speakers, participates regularly in conferences that present a form of piety that is strongly attached to doing good deeds, but is separated from good works as being a natural outworking of a Christian growing in the truth of God’s word, being convicted and changed by it, becoming more and more conformed to the image of Christ, and seeking to walk in newness of life, and in light of these truths.

There is a lot of “compassion on display” at the IF:Gathering conferences, with their good deeds set before the world to love and admire (“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matt 6:1).

See also:

  1. The Christian Woman’s Guide to Conversing With Bereans
  2. “Woman, just try harder!”
  3. War Room’s Priscilla Shirer’s Contemplative History, and Why It Matters
  4. Leaving Lysa: Why You Shouldn’t Be Following Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries
  5. Need help exchanging “whispers with God”?
  6. Evaluating Beth Moore’s Upcoming Live Simulcast
  7. Six reasons not to follow Christine Caine
  8. Complementarian John Piper shares teaching duties with a woman?
  9. Oleo on the buffet line is not what your women’s ministries need.
  10. In Case You Were Wondering: Are Female Bloggers Violating Scripture by “Teaching” Men?

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91 Responses to 4 concerns about Jen Hatmaker’s teachings

  1. Sola Scriptura January 21, 2016 at 10:59 pm #

    Excellent article. You did a great jib pointing out specific problems with her teaching and theology. Anyone who doesn’t understand that catholicism is patently unbiblical and is simply ancient babylonian paganism repackaged, isn’t paying attention.

    http://followingjesuschrist3.com/2014/09/24/catholicism-and-the-worship-of-mary/

  2. Wayne Nowacki January 21, 2016 at 11:27 pm #

    Glad someone is raising the alarm over this young lady. She appears to be around my age, which is the late 30’s.

    Is it just me, or are more women falling pray to the emotional trappings of these false teachers easier than men? Men are neglecting the responsibility of guarding the hearts of their homes and what their wives allow themselves to absorb on a daily basis. They are susceptible to the truth, while men are not standing up to fight and support biblical truth.

    • Jim Fletcher January 22, 2016 at 6:27 am #

      I’d say it’s even. Men by the millions are following Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Andy Stanley.

    • Leslie Hunt November 5, 2016 at 2:53 pm #

      That’s about the scariest, sexist, reactionary comment that I’ve seen in the Western world. MEN should decide what women can see, read, and hear?

      How very piggish and proprietary of you, and how very un-Christ-like of you. I hope any female in your vicinity runs for higher ground.

  3. Sarah January 22, 2016 at 1:12 am #

    So unfortunate to see articles like this. Lysa, Beth, Jen, Jennie Allen, all these women are turning or have turned hearts towards the truth of Christ. This is why Christians are just so nauseating sometimes, and I am one.

    • Amy Spreeman January 23, 2016 at 8:15 am #

      Hi Sarah,
      Christians are to hold everything up to Scripture, and that is what we are doing with the teachings, words and actions of Lysa, Beth, Jen, Jennie Allen and others who are leading Christian women astray. The real nausea should be over this, and the many women who are deceived, and not over those who are trying to do something about it – for the sake of these precious women. We are to share concerns and warn others as the Bible tells us to do.

      • Michaelle February 2, 2016 at 8:16 am #

        BUT are you taking these “issues” directly to them?

        • Amy Spreeman February 2, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

          Of course not. Matthew 18 does not apply here. These are public teachings by public celebrities, and can be publicly addressed.

          • Brianna February 2, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

            Amy,

            Matthew 18 DOES apply here. ALL teaching was public and IS public. IN fact YOUR teaching is public. Which is ironic since this entire site condemns women teaching with men present…

            Which I find ironic considering there are men commenting on your own teaching.

            Dear One…May the GRACE of Christ get ahold of your heart and the law that is CLEARLY stated in Scripture be banished from your heart.

          • Amy Spreeman February 2, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

            Brianna, read Matthew 18 again. These false teachers do not sin against me personally, nor are they in fellowship with me in my church. How could I take the next biblical steps to bring in the elders?
            We are not teachers here, nor do we have spiritual authority over any man. We are news reporters, and we share trends and happenings in the visible church.

          • Michaelle February 3, 2016 at 8:11 am #

            Yes, I have read Matthew.:)
            The point is, it is far easier to slander someone(posing them as concerns), using a potion of scripture as a weapon, instead of seeking a better understanding and/or charging the person in question in person… via email….facebook.
            Also, the missing ingredient here in charging someone is love.
            Why do we do this: love.
            I don’t read this writing and think love. “Wow, this person loved those ladies so much, that they were grieved to write this.”
            Church discipline of any kind it has been done with love.
            Instead, this writing appears petty, bee-hivish, and self-exalting in it’s nature. “OH, those poor Neo-Calvinists, look what they are doing now?”

            It’s so easy to look for differences in what we believe and chase down other people’s doctrine with a torch. But God can take care of all of this….he after all let His Holy Spirit which will teach us and remind us of all things that we need to know. Enough said. He has the final word. Scripture teaches this. After all, Paul was once Saul.

            Finally, follower’s of Christ will not agree on everything, but at the end of the day,”What is the main thing?”

            Jesus.

            Who do we love???

          • Mary Stephens October 13, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

            Amy, I think the verse you want regarding your public addressing of the public errors of these women is Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

            There are other examples of people being marked as erroneous in the New Testament as well.

  4. Jim Fletcher January 22, 2016 at 6:26 am #

    Hatmaker also endorses the race-baiter and Marxist, Cornel West. She also wrote an open letter to Trayvon Martin’s mother, apologizing for his “murder.” She is in reality a religious progressive in every way.

    • Leslie Hunt November 5, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

      …and my man, Jim…how much hatred in YOUR heart do you justify by scripture?

      Just…unbelievable!

      After seeing this site, I pray even more for a Hillary landslide.

      • rascott247 November 5, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

        So you are praying for a landslide victory for a person who supports abortion (up to the 9th month no less) who used her position to sell favors to governments that execute homosexuals and ban females from rights like education and driving and wants to import and settle these types in our communities?

        You are praying for a landslide victory for a person who purposely chose to skirt the law by hiding behind a private email server and destroyed evidence after receiving a subpoena from congress? You are praying for a landslide victory for a person who channels the dead, whose closest confidant has ties to militant Islam and whose mentor (Saul Alinsky) dedicated a book to Satan?

        How much darkness is in YOUR heart? Can you justify by scripture?

  5. Dan Starcevich January 22, 2016 at 11:17 am #

    I particularly liked the way you conceptualized a growing trend as “messy transparents”. This is not limited to women only but also I see this in male lead ministries and blogs too. I am frankly working through a theological response to this. On the one hand I think that the struggle with sin is something we all should be engaged with and is in fact a characteristic of a spiritual Christian who has not yet passed into glory. I want to be helpful and supporting to everyone who is fighting sin and leaving their old self behind and being conformed into the image of Christ. On the other hand, on-going struggles trumpeted on blogs and through the social media strikes me as largely narcissistic. It is almost as if an adulterous relationship, addiction, or questioning of theological convictions that have been largely settled since the reformation are a prerequisite for ministry rather than a reason a person is to step back and assess to see whether they are in the faith.

  6. anonymouse January 23, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    I’m with you on all but point one. So many Christians talk only about “their victories” that one might be tempted to think that they never sin anymore..which leaves no where to go for those Christians who are quietly very conscious that they still struggle with (but don’t condone, please note that), sin. In fact I would go so far as to say that this is one of the reasons that these people are so popular, because they ARE getting this, and this alone, right. If those who held to Orthodoxy and sound doctrine were more honest about this aspect of Christian life they might find their audience would grow by the grace of God, literally.

  7. Katie May January 23, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

    As I read your post, I was curious what you mean by “getting our lives in order.” In your estimation, what does that look like it look like for a Christian woman to have her life in order? I fear that when Christian women read that phrase, they can interpret that as pressure to perform a certain way not in line with personal honesty, confession, and the continual reality of transformation called for in the Believer’s life. I am actually a fan of the trend towards transparency, simply because it seems more in line with 1 John 1:8-9 than the moral behaviorism prevalent in the church in the 80’s and 90’s.

  8. Erin February 1, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

    Oh dear, m’ladies. I know that I will not change your minds here, as it seems you are following some sort of cultish Christianity, not the one full of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. But I just have to admonish you to reevaluate your hearts toward the humans you are analyzing. Perhaps you could reach out to Beth, Jenn, Jennie, Lysa, Christine, Priscilla, etc and ask to have a heart to heart convo with them and THEN have a more proper place from which to evaluate them?

    It does feel good to place oneself as “better than” another, doesn’t it? The problem is, that feeling is straight from the hater of our souls, not the Lover – the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, the One whose death and resurrection gives us freedom to pursue His kingdom.

    This article is blasphemous, critical, and just plain wrong. I was saddened to read it.

    • Kimber February 1, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

      What Erin said. ^^^ I don’t know what Bible you’re reading or what brand of “Christianity” you are being fed… but I don’t want any of what you’re having. Don’t choke on that Hatorade.

      • 7thecheryl January 26, 2017 at 9:35 am #

        Thank you…love and bless all. Jen and Beth M both have encoraged my Christian walk. If I had a very dire the problem with any ofurther them…I would bring it to their attention. ..in love. Blessings all.

    • Amanda March 13, 2016 at 12:16 am #

      Excellent. This article is legalistic at best. Very anti-Jesus. It’s a shame.

    • Sondra April 25, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

      “This article is blasphemous, critical, and just plain wrong. I was saddened to read it.”

      It does feel good to place oneself as “better than,” doesn’t it?

    • Brandi October 27, 2016 at 7:19 pm #

      I agree… so sad. As I scrolled down my heart broke further at seeing the articles piled at the end of more reasons to not follow or listen to a list of other women created in the image of Christ. Whether are sisters in the Lord is not my place to judge but reguardleas we are called to pray for the believer and unbeliever so get in your face before the LORD on behalf of them and keep your lips sealed.

      • 7thecheryl January 26, 2017 at 9:44 am #

        Yes .. yes! I mean if it were a case of jude… where these jen,Beth and pricillas were “following their even desires” that would be one thing.. but the transparency and realness is what I love.. they are on the path to holiness like us other woman.. they never claim that I have heard, to be better than us audience folk.. however they have a way with words and God has blessed them with their stage presence..
        Christians these days love to judge.. but after we have first gone to these people with love about our 4 points and they block you out coldly …. then and only then would I maybe gently say half of this and also after much prayer.. love and peace to all see you Salem ladies Feb 3 n 4 at if by enchanted forest! Church on the hill! Jesus meet us all right where we are at through these ladies, please!

  9. Christi Miller February 1, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

    Jen and all of these IF ladies have never watered down the Gospel. I sit In a living room with new Christians and mature Christians every week doing these studies. In our messy transparency we are encouraging each other to live wholeheartedly for Jesus not just pretending the outside of our cup is clean. We strive to “be all things to all people” to further the kingdom in the broken and hurting in our own neighborhoods. The church is not a hotel for good people, it’s for the broken and these studies and books are like check ups at a clinic along the way. We are building community and loving each other and the hurting along the way.
    I think it’s incredibly sad that we spend time writing articles like this and shooting down our own instead of using our gifts and talents to reach the lost. They will know us by our Love.

    • heather February 26, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

      ^^^^^ THIS. and this year’s IF: Gathering’s teachings about God’s love, grace, forgiveness, and how we should live our lives like Him and to go out and make disciples, whether that means across the room, across the street, or across the world – we just need to take that first step and trust that HE will take care of the rest. we as Christians are called to make disciples – we are called to love like Him, live like Him, and i was so encouraged by the teachings this year. it wasn’t watered down – Christ meets you where you are, you don’t have to get your life right before He will forgive you. you don’t have to have everything in order. you just have to trust Him – when He calls your name, just have faith and answer “here i am,” and GO.

  10. Anonymous February 1, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

    That terrible woman! She hasn’t publicly repented of expressing admiration for the pope. It’s too bad we can’t burn heretics like her at the stake anymore, eh? Reformed thinkers are a tiresome, self righteous lot

    • John Byde February 6, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

      I find people who hide behind “anonymous” a tiresome, self-righteous lot too.

    • Leslie Hunt November 5, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

      Anonymous…I imagine the Pope has done more in Christ’s name for the good of His people than you ever will. YOU sound like a terrible person…and tiresome and self-righteous to boot.

      I’m starting a little fire as we speak.

      • Bill Z March 5, 2017 at 9:09 pm #

        Ummm….Leslie you didn’t read Anonymous post or you don’t understand sarcasm.

  11. Erin Needham February 1, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

    You know that Catholics are Christians, right? And that the Pope is Christian? *gasp* I know, it’s a shocking revelation for many. The fact that a Christian writer supports a person who has dedicated his life to following Christ does not, in any way, sound fishy. In fact, it’s exactly as it should be. Why is this even brought up? It’s a complete non-issue.

    • Amy Spreeman February 2, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

      Erin, you need to read this White Paper on Catholicism. http://bereanresearch.org/catholicism/

      • Erin Needham February 2, 2016 at 4:47 pm #

        What makes a Christian a Christian? John 3:16, right?
        For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
        and John 14:6
        Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

        As long as those tenets are in place, nothing makes one denomination better than another. It’s all different highways on the road map to the city of salvation. One may dunk while another sprinkles, one may require or request certain articles of clothing that other do not, and one may have different traditions and customs than others. As long as you strive to love Jesus, follow Jesus, be like Jesus, and spread the word of Jesus, you are doing the right thing. I want a church that takes in all people, broken and battered, to learn about the heart and teachings of Jesus. That’s what a church does. No one is without sin, and all are welcome. That’s how Jesus wanted it.

        • Amy Spreeman February 2, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

          Erin, then there was no need for the Protestant Reformation? Catholics and Protestants might as well blend in unity?

        • Leslie Hunt November 5, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

          Amen, Erin…you have love in your heart!

      • Leslie Hunt November 5, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

        I can’t imagine anything coming out of this website as being an appropriate “white paper” on anything.

        You’re speaking for a cult, you know that?

        • Amy Spreeman November 7, 2016 at 10:37 am #

          As much as humanly possible, we are striving to shine the truth of Scripture on counterfeit Christian cults.

  12. Brianna February 1, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

    Oh Sisters (you are my Sisters in Christ, even if we don’t agree)

    Why?
    Is there anything good that comes from tearing down another person?
    Ever?

    I don’t need to defend Jen Hatmaker. Just as you do not need to tear her down or “warn” others against her teaching. Perhaps what is most beneficial here for all to look at our own “flaws” and get a bit “transparent” with ourselves. 🙂

    When we start to point fingers at someone who has dedicated their lives to following Christ, just as we ourselves have, it become apparent so very much why we need a savior. While I can not pinpoint your intention as to why you would desire to tear down one of your own sisters (or the several others that you have named in this article) in such ways, it is surely apparent that you do not understand the fullness of God’s perfect grace.

    For it is grace that gives us our rightful place with Christ. For it is grace that give us the ability to love. For it is grace that allows us to teach in Christ’s name at all.

    My dear sisters, where is the grace in this article? Why are you calling for a mutany against your own sister(s)?

    It is one thing to not like, understand or agree with one’s style. Nor are we called to all conform and agree on every area as to HOW to worship, WHERE to worship, or WHEN to worship. We are called all to only WORSHIP ONE; Jesus Christ.

    I hesitate to even say it as I do not wish for it to sound condemning, but who are YOU worshiping sisters? Because MY Jesus would not condemn a sister in such a public way. MY Jesus would not raise himself above any others (though HE had EVERY right to) on a blog post. MY Jesus would not “rally the troops” to “warn” against a sister or brother in Christ so publically.

    Like scripture tells us if we are in disagreement with a sister we should go to them. Have you gone to her? Have you spoke to her in a private place raising your concerns? Asking her about these accusations you have made in gentleness, in kindness, in grace?

    NO. I think not.

    Instead you are quite possibly some of the many who have hidden behind a screen and torn down another sister who is just following what the Lord has placed before her. 🙁

    This breaks my heart, Sisters.

    We are called to love first and foremost. THAT is THE commandment from the Lord.
    Where is the love in this sentiment you so publically have written against your sister?
    Where is the care? Where is the grace?

    As the Church we are called to unity, not uniformity.

    If her teaching style is not of your taste; ignore her. Or perhaps it is that you believe women who are not afraid of transparency do not have your fullness of understanding, as you have so give us the impression that you have, and are not yet ARRIVED. Or maybe it is just as Jen Hatmaker has admitted of herself…perhaps you too have a messy heart that is envious of your sister and her platform and it is coming out sideways?

    As I finish up this lengthy comment I wonder if you will even take one iota of it to heart…that perhaps my sisters you could be wrong? That perhaps you have been a bit hasty in your posting? Perhaps Jen Hatmaker and women like her have something you, yourselves need to learn; Humility.

    Grace and Peace to you. I wish your Spirits rest. I wish your hearts to be softened and your ears open to hearing the Gospel of Grace.

    Brianna L. George
    http://UnveiledandRevealed.com

    • Lyn February 19, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

      Brianna,

      I came across this conversation and I wanted to share something with you. Although I have never went to a public forum to share my concerns about Jen Hatmaker, I have warned my personal friends about her. After several things that Jen wrote that did not line up with scripture (like Jesus having impure thoughts), I tried to privately and lovingly contact her. She did not respond. Not only is the things she is teaching VERY alarming to me, but the fact that she did not respond also sends up red flags for me. I noticed that you are assuming that the above lady did not try to confront her privately, so I wanted you to have that fact about my experience. I am not saying all Jen says is false. However, she has said things that do not line up with scripture.

      In addition to that, I saw that you said Jesus would not condemn in a public way. However, we do have an example in the Bible where Jesus publicly condemns the Pharisees. He also warns us against false teaching (like my example above, Jen said she imagines Jesus had impure thoughts). If He really did (which He didn’t) then we are all lost and going to Hell because we don’t really have a Perfect Sacrifice.

      I hear what your heart is saying about supporting sisters in Christ and having peace, love and unity between believers. However, I also believe that we need to speak the truth in love, so others are not led astray. The truth needs to be spoken out of care and concern for those who walk on this earth with us. I believe in love and grace. I want to give love and grace. But God is so much more than love and grace. And we can’t just focus on what we like about God and forget the entirety of Who He is. He is Truth. He is Holy and Perfect and Just. He will not tolerate sin, because He is Holy and sinless. If we encounter people who try to say different, then I believe we need to share and warn of that. Our God is worthy of our devotion. Our sisters (and unbelievers as well) may need to be warned….in love….for the sake of their souls, and so that God gets the glory He deserves.

      • Amy Spreeman February 19, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

        Thank you, Lyn. Very well said, in truth and love.

    • Teresa Smith January 31, 2017 at 6:51 am #

      Amen. Well said and lovingly! Truth spoken in love!

  13. Michaelle February 1, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

    4 concerns about Jen Hatmaker’s teachings doesn’t seem to accurately title the piece of writing posted here. A more appropriate title could be, “Things that really bug me about Christian blogger, Jen Hatmaker.
    That’s fine that you find her annoying. Maybe she gets under your skin?

    Rhetorical question here, have you listened to Jen or any other IF gathering speaker? Read their books?
    Or, BETTER yet, have you taken the time to pray for them?

    Let this serve as a reminder to all women who love Jesus, that we are all part of the body of Christ.

  14. Denise T February 1, 2016 at 11:13 pm #

    I am an almost 53 year old woman who has yet to see my life “in order’. Any moment I think it is, God reminds me that my life is all of His….and sometimes things get messy so that He can teach me things. If my life was always in order, what on earth would I need Him for?

    Gals….we should be building one another up, not tearing one another down. You don’t like Jen Hatmaker or any of the others you named? That’s fine. No problem and I guarantee you that those women will not lose a bit of sleep over that. But to claim they are not getting it right? Shame on you. These women are real, raw, transparent, sincere, honest and grace-filled. That’s the camp I will dwell in, with or without order.

    Blessings and Grace all around!

    • Amy Spreeman February 2, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

      Hi Denise. This post is anything but tearing down, and has nothing to do with personal preference. It even states that this individual is nice, funny, smart, etc. What we need to do is hold the teachings up to Scripture, always. I claim that many of these teachings “aren’t getting it right” because the truth is Scripture, not my opinion. There is no shame in the truth of God’s Word.

  15. Chrissy February 2, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    My life IS messy. and the church wanted it to not be. But God seems to think otherwise. Jen Hatmaker helps me stay focused on Jesus’ love for me despite the messiness.

    • Amy Spreeman February 2, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

      Hi Chrissy, most of the time “Messy” is politically-correct code word for sin. God is never okay with sin, so we want to make sure that we’re not excusing it and saying, ‘oh well.”
      Now if you mean “messy’ as in stressful with a lot of activities clamoring for your attention, that’s a different story. 🙂

      • Pam October 26, 2016 at 8:19 am #

        I’m curious if you really think that what Jen Hatmaker means when she says messy is in. I do sometimes read her work, and I don’t disagree with everything written here, but I don’t take her messy as sin. I take it as what you said above- stressful, figuring out how to be a good mom, etc, which applies to a lot of us.

        • Eileen November 18, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

          I do not think that describing your life as getting messy at times is at all talking about sin. That’s not what was meant. First things first; we are all sinners. Those of us who have placed faith in Jesus as our sacrifice for sin, which we could never repay, are sinners saved by grace. To say life gets messy does not mean we are actively indulging in sin. No, it means life has challenges big and small. Giving ones life to Christ also means depending daily on Him for all our needs. Health, economic, family, aging parents, etc…. These are normal life challenges which get in the way of having it all together. To not be transparent means we have no accountability and then have to pretend all is well behind that Sunday sweet smile, when all you really want to do is go hide under the covers! People, we are all human, made of dust, and we do NOT ever have it all together and in order. Only Jesus has that going on which is why salvation is continual and not a one time prayer. We grow through trials, God allows real life to intersect with our faith so we learn to walk closer and depend more on Him. I will speak for myself, I am 65 and yes, my life gets messy !!

  16. Anonymous February 3, 2016 at 9:12 am #

    This is quite pharisaic. I am so glad to hear that you and those who contribute to this blog (not unlike Hatmaker’s) have your life in order. It makes all the rest of us messy people feel so much better about ourselves.

    • John Byde February 6, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

      that’s not what she said.

  17. Brandy February 3, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

    Um, this is a horrible article and I am bummed I just spent 5 minutes of my life that I will never get back reading it.

    “And if we ourselves are *those* women, we need to seek help with that from Christian friends whose lives are in order, and work toward getting our lives in order, which comes from honest self-reflection before the Lord, Bible study, and seeking to walk in the truths of scripture of what a Christian woman’s life should look like.” ?!?!? You know what…you are shaming ‘those’ women with your mindset of “what a Christian’s life should look like.” I invite flaws and failures more than “what a Christian’s life should look like” any day of the week. Otherwise, I am a Pharisee! We are all jacked up, hence the intense need for a Savior! Cast your stones, Amy, but be first aware of your position as a human…flawed and a failure! The reason so many women love Jen is because she is relatable and NOT shaming. The world tells us already we are not enough, Jen challenges us to extend a bit of grace to others and ourselves. Try it, you might be able to relax a bit!

    As for all that other stuff you wrote about, relax! Things will be okay. Don’t lose any sleep over any of that. When your life unravels at some point from your straight-laced, self-righteous, judging attitude, you might come to enjoy GRACE for what it is….a gift for all us screw-ups!

  18. Brandy February 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

    I came across this today….

    “Be humble. Be teachable.
    The world is bigger than your view of the world. And certainly, God is much bigger than your view of God.”

    What think ye?

  19. Erin February 3, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

    I am just so sad for you. You say that this article is not about tearing down anyone, yet that is exactly what you do. Prefacing an insult with a compliment does not diminish the extent of the insult. While I know all of these women you named do not need me to stand up for them, as they are strong Christian women, I felt the need to say something.

    For a long time, I, too, was one of those “put together” Christians, until I realized that I was NOT. And that fact made me yearn more for Jesus. I find it funny that you essentially call out Jen, Lysa, Jennie, Beth, and the others as heretics, yet it is their words that helped lead me back to Jesus and urged me to become more devoted as a Christian. Rather than turning me away from God’s teachings, they led me TOWARD them. I don’t mean that I was led toward their interpretation of any teachings, but they encouraged me to find the answers myself, in my Bible. The best part about them is that when they do screw up and post something on social media that maybe wasn’t a great choice, they fess up and apologize.

    I help to lead a MOPS group, and I don’t know how many women have thanked me for my transparency and told me that my honesty with my struggles as a Christian (and a human in general- you know, original sin and all) have helped lead them to be more diligent in their pursuit for Jesus. Because of this, I will continue being transparent and letting other women know that life is hard, we all struggle, and thank the Lord that we have a God big enough to handle it all and love us in spite of everything.

    I will pray for you, and I hope that someday you will see that even your ‘put together’ Christian friends are really quite messy underneath- and maybe what they really need is for you to say to them (even if it’s a whisper), “it’s okay, we’re all messy, and I love you through it anyway.” God bless you and I wish you the best in all you pursue.

    • Amy Spreeman February 3, 2016 at 8:33 pm #

      You talk of messy vs. put together. I’m more concerned with teachers correctly handling God’s Word in wisdom and obedience, teaching younger women sound doctrine. Scripture says nothing about being raw, real and transparent. Where are people getting these catch phrases?

      • Erin February 3, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

        Scripture also says nothing about blogging, airplanes, iPhones, or having our lives in order.
        In David, we see a man who is real, raw, and transparent. In the epistles, Paul expresses himself and is real, raw, and transparent. When Jesus prays the night before his crucifixion, he is real, raw, and transparent.

        An honest question: who is God to you? The trinity or the Bible?

        • Amy Spreeman February 4, 2016 at 8:53 am #

          Erin, you don’t know me even an ounce to make these sweeping judgements.
          I’ve been real, raw and transparent; you just don’t like what you’re hearing.

          • Erin February 4, 2016 at 9:24 am #

            Hi Amy,
            This is a different Erin, not the one who posted the longer comment.

            I was addressing your question about the phrases real, raw, and transparent and your statement that they cannot be found in Scripture.

            Clearly, Amy, you want to please the Lord. It’s just that you’re looking to Scripture to find blame in the ministries of women who love the Lord, love people, and are living out the calling to make disciples. Scripture is the story of God’s plan of redemption thru Christ. It is NOT to be used as a measuring stick. That’s what the law was for, but Christ came and fulfilled the law and in Him we are saints, not sinners.

            Have you ever wondered what it would be like to investigate ministers and point out on your blog the wonderful impact they are having on those they minister to? Something edifying? Have you wondered what it would be like to be fully released from the yoke of slavery that keeps you tied to criticism?

            Jesus offers new life and freedom!! Not thru painstakingly cherry picking scripture for “good Christian measurement”. But thru the Spirit, who is God! Amen!

            I am grieved that there are so many Christians who are deceived and still living under the yoke of slavery/the law. I pray that through the comments on your blog, though they may hurt, you will know in your heart, mind, and soul That the only way to freedom in Christ is Jesus plus nothing.

            Grace and peace,
            Erin

          • Amy Spreeman February 4, 2016 at 11:48 am #

            Erin, the final thing I will say is in response to this statement you made: “Scripture is the story of God’s plan of redemption thru Christ. It is NOT to be used as a measuring stick.” Erin, as wise women of God, we ARE to measure everything against Scripture. It is the only absolute truth we have. If teachers are teaching you about Jesus beyond His own breathed-out Word, then they are false teachers. The Spirit will always point you to Christ through His Word, NOT through feelings and experiences.
            And lest you believe that I am stuck in the Law and not free through Grace, you could not be more wrong. It is teachers like Jen who teach Law. Check out the two-part review (on our website) on her “7” book, and see how her legalism traps women into thinking they just need to try harder and harder and harder.
            Again, I have exceeded my two-comment limit here (I respond to critics twice, and then move on).

  20. Anoymous February 3, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

    I was always hung up on the “judging”. I felt guilty for checking and looking in scripture to see if something was true or not. I was told love love love was the answer. Then I read 1 Corinthians 5:17. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside: but as the Scriptures say, “you must remove the evil person from among you.” NLT We need to be careful many are being led astray by twisted truth. It is so easy to do because it sounds almost right. We have an obligation as Christ followers to check everything against scripture and to walk alongside others with the truth. Sometimes love is in telling and revealing the truth according to God’s Word. We live in a time that we need to really check out everyone we are listening to and following. It is my responsibility to check out what I am reading/following. Ultimately I am accountable for myself to God. I can’t blame it on anyone else. He gave me His Word and I must hide it in my heart so I will know His Truth. So investigate!

  21. Randi February 11, 2016 at 2:51 am #

    Thank you for writing this article, Amy! Spiritual discernment is so important and yes, we are to hold absolutely everything up to Scripture! I am finding more and more that when droves are flocking to something/someone, I’m probably going to be running in the opposite direction. Truth is never going to be popular, so the popular trends of the day are a cause for concern and definitely to be held up to the authority of Scripture!

  22. Amanda February 13, 2016 at 4:24 pm #

    Jen’s transparency shows normal women you don’t have to be perfect, God is perfect. To indicate that she shouldn’t be “real” with people and to suggest that she should only boast of a perfect life is why so many young people steer way from Christianity. Jen is bringing women to God, in a way that is relatable. Trying to turn people away from someone doing Gods work is potentially turning thousands away from God. The attitudes on this post is why so many reject Christianity. Above all else we should show love and leave the judgement to the one who is worthy.

    • Amy Spreeman February 13, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

      Amanda, people turn away from truth because they reject God. That’s what He says.

  23. Amanda February 13, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

    They also turn away from church because of the sophomoric judgement that exists within. Casting judgement on people who are trying to reach the unchurched by showing humanity and not “perfection” does nothing more than perpetuate the belief that Christians are judgemental hypocrites. Sure they reject God, however, you have given action without cause. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Our job as Christians as given by Jesus is to love God and love others. Then, go make disciples throughout the earth. Those mentioned in this blog and in the comments may not appeal to you but that doesn’t mean their method isn’t exactly what a struggling Christian or complete nonbeliever needs to hear. People are different and figuring out how to reach all of them is a challenge. Let’s not make it harder by fighting our own team.

    • Amy Spreeman February 15, 2016 at 9:23 am #

      Hi Amanda, I agree we need to reach the “unchurched,” but not with humanity and stories. We need to reach them with the full and real Gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes the fall and sin of man and the law that convicts us. The good news is that Jesus bled and died for our sin, and He beat death by rising again in the sight of hundreds of witnesses! This new generation of female authors and teachers on the popular conference circuit are getting rich of being real with their messy lives, but their message of “just do better try harder” is law, law, law, and is sending precious women to Hell.

      • ARC October 18, 2016 at 11:10 am #

        You know who reached the “unchurched” with humanity and stories? Jesus.

        “Sending precious women to Hell”? Wow. Just Wow. How very Christlike.

  24. Beth February 17, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

    I’m wary of people who know it all. This article makes me wary. I think eventually it will be in your “regrets” category….of it hasn’t made it there already. Thank goodness you know what others should repent of…….whatever would we do?

  25. Michelle March 3, 2016 at 11:23 am #

    Judgy much? An “ordered” life? Really? I guess you really have it all together. This type of person wouldn’t attract me to Christ. Are you trying to reach people? Getting down in the mud with them like Jesus did? Or do you just like hanging out with your own?

  26. Nik March 15, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

    This article really breaks my heart. I understand your desire for biblical truth, I really do. But, the other stuff, wow. I found this article because I was looking up info on Jen Hatmaker, I was trying to find out if she biblical and worth going to see her speak locally.I don’t look at her as a teacher, just a woman who is trying to use her platform to possibly show the unchurched, the non Christians, the Catholics…. That Jesus is love. That he loves you, with your mess. That he can take that mess and transform it. But, this perfect orderly life of a Christian, I don’t think anyone has that. Don’t you think she could possibly help women who have strayed from Jesus or never knew him, to know him, to find him again and find others, likeminded, to find a church, to grow. And don’t forget, if and when she uses scripture when she speaks, the bible tells us it will not come back void. So let’s pray Jen uses her platform to glorify Jesus, always.

  27. Kelly April 5, 2016 at 11:01 pm #

    I believe that everyone here would agree that if there’s one human being that we should solely look to for guidance, wisdom and example, it’s Jesus. Perhaps the theme of this post could have leaned more towards being careful and discerning of the people we receive guidance from rather than not trusting in Jen. Our ultimate authority comes from Scripture, no matter what. Not from speakers, not from bloggers, not even from Pastors. With that being said, God also works outside of Scripture and through other people’s words and lives, their humanity and stories. But we ALWAYS need to test what everyone around us is saying against Scripture, always. Your pastor, your mother, your neighbor, your favorite author, your favorite blogger – none of them are God. They are all flawed, just like you, just like me. Thank you Amy for sharing your convictions with us, that isn’t an easy thing to do. I don’t personally agree with your specific points, but that isn’t really the point. And the irony of these comments blasting you for blasting someone else is ridiculous.
    I also think it is important to remember that while we are called to love, like so many people are so quick to point out, we are also called to be on guard and to be disciplined. God is love, and God is also Just and Holy and He despises sin and comfortable lukewarm Christianity. Read Christian Womens books, but read the Bible more. Listen to their talks, but read the Bible and be in prayer more. Attend conferences, but do not let these be your only and ultimate source of “truth.” Seek Him first.

  28. Lori Alexander April 28, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

    We are called to judge those within the Church. We are called saints once we believe, not sinners. You become popular when you teach a watered-down Gospel such as Jen is doing. She doesn’t believe that homosexuality or gay marriage is wrong. She acts as if this was always a controversial issue in the Church. Older women are to be teaching younger women to be sober, love and obey their husbands, be chaste, pure, and keepers at home, not what Jen and many other women “Bible” teachers teach. If they taught what they were supposed to teach, the Church would be much more effective in our culture; sadly, it is not. Great article!

  29. Jeff May 24, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    A problem here is you have ‘teachers’ mixing truths with lies. Paul warns us about this over and over again in Scripture. He even tells us to rebuke them. Look up the word rebuke in the dictionary to understand how hard it truly means.

    We are warned also, that this will be more rampant and we see it and we see many come to the defense of those false teachers and ignore the very Scriptures. Don’t just take a bit of the truth, but look at everything Jen and Beth and the rest say and compare their words to what is said in Scripture. Never just accept the words of a person over the Words of God. That leads to hell.

  30. Wendy July 8, 2016 at 7:24 pm #

    ^^^finally some reasoning here. Women are so emotional(and I am one) they get their feelings hurt because someone doesn’t “like” their favorite Christian author/blogger/singer/speaker. Just test against the scriptures to see if what they say matches up! Remember narrow is the gate, that probably means your favorite person, if they have a best selling book or blog, is most likely not on the same path. Jesus warned we would be hated because of Him, not loved and adored by thousands who hark at our every word. I used to have books by everyone of the aforementioned ladies…I threw them all away and now stick to the Bible. There’s a book we can all agree on.

  31. Rebecca August 7, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

    It is really sad to see how women abandon reason and biblical thought for constant emotional reaction. I’ve really tried to find a biblical, intelligent, articulate rebuttal to this article, but all I find is basically this, “Well, this is NOT NICE. And because I don’t think it’s nice, it must be hate. And therefore, it must not be love and not what Jesus would do.” And this is exactly why bloggers like Jen Hatmaker and Glennon Doyle have the huge “Christian” following that they do. Ugh. Use the brains that God gave you, Ladies.

  32. Sara Hoefling August 17, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

    We are to praise God in our weaknesses….For when we are weak…He is strong! So sad you have to tear down a woman like Jen that loves Jesus! Even if you disagree with her….God looks at the heart….her heart is full of passion to love others and love Jesus. Be careful not to be a Pharisee and putting law on her or others!

  33. Autumn October 27, 2016 at 1:10 pm #

    Amy…for further validation of your gentle warning about Hatmaker, apparently a few days ago in an interview, she gave clear affirmation of homosexual relstionships. I have been led astray on this issue before and am thankful the Holy Spirit and Word corrected me. I pray the same will happen for Jen.

  34. June October 28, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

    Thank you Lord for eyes to see and ears to hear. Lord I pray that many women on this blog that refuse to see the truth would have their eyes opened to the truth. Satan is working very hard here to deceive a lot of people on this blog. Satan comes to seek and destroy. We are to stand in truth and light. It saddens me that so many sheep are being lead to slaughter. It’s very apparent that our churches are not doing there jobs. God must be grieving what our churches are preaching.

  35. Mindy October 28, 2016 at 5:16 pm #

    Life altering Bible study…”Be Transformed” put out by Scope Ministries.

  36. Carly October 31, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

    This article is ridiculous. The ONLY thing Jen Hatmaker has said or done that is against scripture is saying that a gay marriage can be “holy.” And I still interested in what she meant by that. This was obviously written before that came out anyway, but I was reading reviews about all that has happened with LifeWay pulling her books when I came across this. This is why Christians have such a bad rep. All of this is why. How sad that you pick this woman apart and use scripture to “back it up.” Sickening. She’s done waaaaaaay more good than you have by writing this.

    • Amy Spreeman October 31, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

      Carly, I’m sure she is a nice person who has done many “good deeds.” But she has a huge platform and has used it to push anti-biblical teachings. You should be angry at her for how she has desecrated God’s Word. We are examining her fruit, as all Christians are commanded to do.
      Jen Hatmaker has created a different god and a different gospel. She has led many lambs to stumble, including you, my sister. I pray you will continue to seek truth about what this woman teaches, and please compare it to Scripture.

      • June October 31, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

        Thank you Amy for taking a Christian stance for Christ. If we don’t stand we will fall. Praise be to God for his views of all sin. God hates all sin. Keep sharing the truth with love.

  37. Gerry November 8, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

    I remember a man that many members of my family defended as a wonderful preacher who spoke the truth when many people in society called him a wolf in sheep’s clothing. These family members pointed to all of the good he had done in the inner cities saying hateful christians didn’t have a grasp on bible teachings. His name was Jim Jones. Nuff said.

    • Manny1962 February 9, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

      Here is a perfect example! Gerry hit out of the park! Jim Jones would be a model preacher today, caring for the sheep, loving, a social justice warrior, a real salt of the earth type guy with the sheep’s best interest at heart. No one bothered to open their eyes! Everyone loved what they saw! No one questioned………….”He is a true disciple of Christ.”. Famous last words. He was very much how the Antichrist will be, only the Antichrist will make Jones look like a girl scout.

      • Maggie February 9, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

        There were also signs and wonders that accompanied the teachings of Jim Jones (originating from the pit of hell).

        • Manny1962 February 9, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

          That’s a huge red flag! When people start with signs and wonders, look out! Nine out ten there’s something rotten there!

  38. Jennifer February 9, 2017 at 11:37 am #

    Your article explains exactly why the church has lost so many members over the years. I wouldn’t trust you with any of my thoughts and worries about life and my walk with Christ.
    I’m sorry you don’t think Jen Hatmaker is a good Christian, but she has brought me closer to God than any snippy article ever has.

    • Manny1962 February 9, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

      Good afternoon Jennifer,

      With all due respect, the church hasn’t lost one member, the church is the bride of Christ, and He keeps it and none that the Father has given Him will He lose…….John 6:37

      “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

      Those that willfully leave Christ were never His. You don’t need a person to bring you closer to God, reading scripture, praying in the Spirit will bring you closer to God, the Spirit draws you and teaches you. Scripture is clear, cast your worries and doubts at His feet (not Mrs. Hatmaker or any rockstar preacher) for He supplies your needs and cares and loves His sheep!

      As for Mrs.Hatmaker, it’s plain to see what she does and represents, it’s up to you to see if her teachings and ideas match with what scripture says. Sadly, my own investigation has shown what she expounds does not move with scripture. Just because someone calls themselves “Christian” doesn’t make them so. She’s misrepresented the word of God, a very serious and dangerous trespass.

    • Manny1962 February 9, 2017 at 3:04 pm #

      http://bereanresearch.org/jen-hatmaker-christians-open-wide-churches-lgbt-community/

      Jennifer,

      Did you read this? And are you OK with Mrs. Hatmaker’s position?

  39. Manny1962 February 9, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    Addendum to above: the sheep exiting “congregations” in droves are leaving because the apostasy infecting the “church” has become so evident only the blind can’t see it!…….he who has ears to hear. Scripture is clear there will be a separation in the last days The Bride coming out of Churchianity. It’s here, it’s plain to see and will continue to grow. False teachers will multiply denying His name, and scratching the ears of goats.

  40. Jennifer February 9, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

    Yikes! Y’all are scary.
    Bye!

    • Manny1962 February 9, 2017 at 4:26 pm #

      Scary in what sense? You did not answer my question………..Did you read Mrs. Hatmaker’s stand on open wide churches?

      Jennifer I would plead you question Mrs.Hatmaker. and as Paul said, test yourself, make sure you are in the faith. It’s undescribable to face Jesus Christ without salvation. Remember, the servants of the enemy dress as angels of light. Don’t be deceived.

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