- I will be the first to tell you that I am no theologian. I wish I was! I would love to know all the ins and outs of the Bible and have depth of insight into God’s word.
I am a follower of Christ. Which means, I am a work in progress. It means I know I am flawed but I have accepted the wonderful blood of Jesus and live in His grace.
So where am I going with all of this?
I want to dip my toe into a pool of topics that can involve many opinions.
These are simply my thoughts. I am not qualified to be teaching or preaching on these topics. However, as a follower of Christ, I have felt the need to be a part of the conversation.
It was earlier this year that I first came across Glennon Doyle Melton. She blogs at Momastery. One of my friends had liked a quote of hers so it showed up in my news feed. The quote was about love and it really resonated with me.
I too, then, liked her Facebook page (and could see a handful of my christian friends also followed the page) so her quotes would show up in my news feed. I had read a brief description of who she was and it mentioned she was a christian. I just figured she was another christian woman shining God’s truth into the world through social media and beyond.
Her desire to be brutally honest and transparent attracted me. Her aim to be all inclusive, no matter what, and unashamedly spread love and speak love into people’s brokenness was admirable and something I desired in my own life.
After a while though, I noticed she spoke a lot about love. All the time. One of her best selling books is called Love Warrior. There’s nothing wrong with love, right? It sure fits the christian life to be talking about and acting in love…..right?
I started getting knots in my tummy whenever I read a new post by her and I began to wonder why. Why would I feel this way about a christian role model who is spreading the message of love to the world?
I prayed about it and asked God if there was any reason to this. In the days that followed, I became aware that while Glennon talks about love a lot, she doesn’t talk about Jesus’ love very much.
Okay, I am not saying that is a bad thing. There are CEO’s of big companies who may conduct their life following Jesus but not discuss him in their monthly financial meeting. There are shoe shiners who may just get on with the job of shining shoes and not discuss Jesus every minute of the day. I am a teacher at a government school and love Jesus with my whole heart but it is not encouraged to stand at the front of the classroom and preach Jesus through the math lesson. (Though imagine if I could!?)
Glennon’s blog and her books are her work and her income. So does she need to speak about Jesus all the time? Well, no….and yes. She professes to be a christian and the sole purpose of her blog and books is to spread and shine love. She attends christian women conferences as a guest speaker and has many christian people under her umbrella of influence. So, shining love is great, but unless she is shining Jesus’ love, it is all for naught.
The love in the world and the love from Jesus are two very different things.
Like I said, I only discovered her at the beginning of this year. I am not sure if there has been a shift away from Jesus’ word or if it was always rather vauge with her.
I once heard a strong Christian say to look at the fruits of someone’s life to see if they follow Christ.
The Bible says Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. We need to remain in him to bear fruit and without him we can do nothing. (John 15:5)
So I started looking at what ‘fruit’ I could see.
I know, I am putting my hand up right now to say, I live over in Australia and I do not know her personally. There is probably much about this sweet lady that I do not know. However, from what I can see, there are many great things she has initiated or been a part of. Reaching out to the outcasts and starting conversations about how to be all inclusive are just two to mention.
However, in the last few months, Glennon has also announced her divorce and in the last week has announced she is dating a woman.
Please, please, please hear me when I say, I am not hating on her or judging her. I am not hating on you or judging you either if you have had to experience a divorce or are in a homosexual relationship.
I want to reach through the screen you are reading this on and love you with the love of Christ.
Why? Because HE has loved me with His love and I KNOW how transforming it is. I know how fulfilling it is. I know how pure and radical it is. His love is all about restoring and renewing. He will build you up and put you back together. He has a plan for you that is filled with hope and a future. It is all about reconciling you to Him.
What I AM saying is this. Glennon has 648 700 followers (approximately!) on Facebook. In September her latest book, Love Warrior, reached #3 on the USA Today’s Best Seller list a little under a month from release. It has since become a #1 Best Selling book for New York Times. It has been promoted by Oprah and there are many people who are being influenced by her teachings.
People are craving love. The ideas she spouts off and shares appear to share this love. It is a love that is contrary to what we are seeing around us and people are hungry to be filled with a love that is different than what they have already experience. They want to be a part of the community. They want to love and be loved without condition, warts and all. Yay, for Glennon for cultivating a community that says yes to all of these things! I really mean that! I commend her for this.
Yes, Jesus loves us unconditionally and his salvation is free for all who choose to accept it. To the rich CEO, to the displaced refugee. It is for the married, single, divorced and homosexual.
However, unless there is transformation in your life, unless there is a committed desire to follow Christ, no matter what the cost, then it is a false love and it will leave you empty and unfulfilled.
We need to be plugged into THE source of love. Jesus Christ.
We need to be aware that when we accept Christ’s offer of salvation, there will actually be times when life will feel anything but filled with love. Jesus warns us that the world will HATE us because we love him but that we are to stand firm. (Matthew 10:22) Stand firm to his teachings and not water them down. Not explain them away or soften them with a blanket of worldly ‘love’.
Like I said, I am not a theologian. I do not have all the answers for whether being gay is God’s design or not, for all of the right or wrong reasons to end a marriage. I know these are tricky topics.
I do know that Christ loves you regardless. He loves you just the way you are. Whether you have had to go through divorce, or are dealing with your sexual identity. I know he loves you.
I also know, His love never keeps us where we are. It should always be transforming us and making us more like Him. It should always be drawing us closer to him and closer to the things he has set out for us in his word.
So whether you have over 600 000 people around you or just one, shine THAT love. Shine Jesus’ love. It will always be worth it.
It is my prayer that as we continue to walk and live out our faith that we all (including Glennon) keep our eyes on Jesus and be discerning of what we cling too as truth.
Can I pray for you?
I pray for the person reading this post. I pray you will fill them with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that your Spirit gives, so they can live a life worthy of you Lord, and please you in every way. I pray they bear fruit in every good work and would grow in the knowledge of God. I pray they be strengthened with all power according to your glorious might so they may have great endurance and patience. Oh, Lord, may they give joyful thanks to the Father who has qualified them to share in the inheritance of your holy people in the kingdom of light.
For Further Reading:
An article by Christianity Today on the same topic.