Lifeway: Jesus Wouldn’t Be Calling If They Really Had Doctrinal Guidelines

Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen tackles LifeWay Christian Resources’s announcement that they were pulling Jen Hatmaker’s books for publicaly declaring that she affirms homosexuality and gay “marriage.” According to Ahlheim, Lifeway deems it “inappropriate to sell an author with Scripturally-illicit views on homosexuality because of ‘doctrinal guidelines.’”  So how is it, he wonders, that Lifeway finds it “doctrinally tolerable to continue promoting and selling works of known false teaching by known false teachers?”  In this piece, Ahlheim discloses who some of those false teachers are.  He writes:

Wolves beware

“In a recent interview, [Hatmaker] voiced significant changes in her theology of human sexuality and the meaning and definition of marriage — changes which contradict LifeWay’s doctrinal guidelines,” LifeWay spokesman Marty King told Baptist Press today (Oct. 27). “As a result, LifeWay has discontinued selling her resources.” (Source, Baptist Press)

While many on social media and blog-sites were commending the bold stand Lifeway made in pulling Jen Hatmaker’s books after her views on the LGBT issue and her position on gay “marriage” hit the front pages of the Christian “news” media, I sat back somewhat slack-jawed.

Disregard the comment from Lifeway spokesman Marty King that implied Hatmaker had “voiced significant changes” in her interview with Religion News Service.  Her comments in that interview were not breaking news. Her positions on this issue were known quite some time before. The discerning sorts among the Christian world easily, and early, recognized the politically liberal and insufficiently biblical positions of Hatmaker. King’s statement on behalf of the 185 store media wing of the SBC was, then, inaccurate.

Though the commendations of many for Lifeway’s move to dump Hatmaker are themselves laudable, they seemed to fail to recognize the utter hypocrisy of this agency in doing so.   Indeed, while we should applaud the removal of any unbiblical, false teaching proponent from the shelves of this purported “Christian” bookstore, the positive press Lifeway generated by their bold stand for “doctrinal guidelines” is bewildering.

lifeway-adGiven what Lifeway has done with Hatmaker, when compared to what they yet allow to remain on their shelves and what they continue to promote – especially through the heresy-rich marketing sub-brand known as Lifeway Women – the tagline of the SBC agency should no longer be “Biblical Solutions for Life,” but something more akin to “Doctrinal Hypocrisy For Sure.”

Dumping an author for her unbiblical support for gay marriage and her “an LGBT relationship can be holy” attitude was certainly the right move. But, given the abundant heresy that Lifeway hawks, it shows that they are more concerned about shooting press-gaining salvos for a socially conservative evangelical constituency than they are truly concerned about “Biblical solutions for life.”  Your soul actually matters less than your perception of Lifeway’s care for it.

Lifeway deems it – again, rightly so – inappropriate to sell an author with Scripturally-illicit views on homosexuality, because of “doctrinal guidelines,’ yet they find it doctrinally tolerable to continue promoting and selling works of known false teaching by known false teachers? Are Lifeway’s doctrinal guidelines merely tied to prevalent cultural issues on which they can act and make evangelical hay, in this case with an author who wasn’t evidently sufficiently lucrative to their enterprise that her forced departure would frustrate their financial performance?  Continue reading

See also:

The Hatmakers double down on “holy” homosexual “marriage” by Amy Spreeman

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7 Responses to Lifeway: Jesus Wouldn’t Be Calling If They Really Had Doctrinal Guidelines

  1. noel rochford November 2, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

    Hi there. Solomon had wisdom given from GOD . Under the sun wisdom. You could say earthly which is also needed in lifes journey. Now the other ? was he wise in his own EYES yes i believe so otherwise he would not have made all the mistakes of marring all those women who turned him away from GOD, A man that GOD spoke personally with . Now concerning what he said in the end of ecclesastics. The writihg of many books there is no end nor the reading of them. If we look at this as a warning a prophecy type of latter day CRISIS. I read in the book of ACTS when they burnt all of their CURIOUS ARTS . UNITY here then REVIVAL IT happened then it can happen now the word of GOD says it. So what do you think. We all see it happening all around us Christian book shops every where.???? Should we add to or take away from the word of GOD . The answer is NOOOOOOOO…There was not one more wiser than SOLOMON. Yet the LILY of the field and solomon CHRISTS WORDS here.Shalom for now.

  2. Manny1962 November 2, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

    That’s what I call American Churchianity, politicized, undoctrinated, hypocritical, allowing blasphemies while censoring some to look “good.” One sad commentary on the ever rotting corpse of Churchianity!

  3. Danielle Rose November 3, 2016 at 10:43 am #

    I’m not a fan of this article. I get this guy is worried about people with different opinions having a voice , but calling them vicious wolves an deceivers is really off base.

    The fact is not everyone seeking Jesus are baptist scholars who will understand heavy theology right off the bat. Books like Jesus calling let new Christians understand Jesus in more easily. The things written are always inspired by a verse of scripture which is always written underneath. It never claims to be Jesus words– its summarizing his words for people who otherwise would never look a bible because it’s too intimidating.

    Also, with Jen Hatmaker– she doesn’t have any books that are convincing people to think the same way as her in terms of gay marriage. It’s something someone asked her in an interview and she responded saying she agrees. The Christians I know who agree also have wrestled with it for a long time– it’s never something they just come to based on what’s popular. It also changes the story when you know someone personally struggling with same sex attraction and who is wanting to follow Jesus– the issue becomes more than a far off issue but rather someone you know and love and who is wrestling with it. I’m not saying it’s right, but I’m saying as Christians Jesus gives us space to wrestle and grapple with these big questions.

    I think we need to be discerning when we read anything– whether it’s Andy Stanley or Beth Moore or Jen Hatmaker. We’re all trying to understand the bible and Jesus in our everyday life– I dont know Jesus to right people off completely when they have a certain opinion. He challenges us on it but he never writes us off as heretics.

    I’m reading a really good book right now by a woman named Sarah Bessey forwarded by Jen Hatmaker. It’s called all out of sorts, talking about how to make sense of your faith changing and growing as you grow up and as Jesus calls you out of your comfort zone. It’s really helpful for me right now, and I’m grateful for someone writing with honesty and passion for Jesus in a genuine way that’s not over my head. She’s never claiming “this is the ultimate truth” but always just telling of what Jeaus is teaching her and how she makes sense of it.

    • Molly November 3, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

      Hi Danielle, This is a great article on what the Bible says about homosexuality:
      https://carm.org/bible-homosexuality.

    • Sola Scriptura November 3, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

      Danielle, the problem is that Jesus is not who our mind or our emotions tell he is. We do not learn about him by hearing voices from heaven. We do not learn about him by reading books written by contemporary men or women. Jesus Christ is who the Bible says he is, and he is no-one else. We, as believers, live in an age when Bibles are available like never before…even to play from our phones 24 hours a day. As the prophet Jeremiah says, our hearts are deceitful…and we all know the warnings from Jesus and Paul about the false prophets and teachers that would arise at the end. i encourage you to shut off all outside teaching, especially christian books, and eat, drink and breathe the scriptures. Read the New Testament and Psalms especially, over and over again, and you will learn exactly who Jesus is and how to live the life Christ wants you to live. Paul’s letters are powerful.
      Warren B. Smith has excellent materials on the occult history of Jesus Calling and it’s inspiration, God Calling. Peace and truth through the everlasting word of God.

  4. Martha Gwen Sibert November 3, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

    I was given a copy of Jesus Calling last June. Because I had already read some serious comments about it, I threw it in the trash can. The person who gave it to me and thinks it is so wonderful is a liberal Methodist. I really don’t think I could get through to her why it is not a book that a Christian woman wants to read and follow. Sigh…

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