After Christian author Jen Hatmaker controversially voiced her approval for the LGBT lifestyle and gay marriage, conservative brothers Jason and David Benham urged Christians to be aware of "spiritual" leaders with false messages about sin.
In an op-ed for WND, the brothers, who were famously fired from their HGTV after voicing their opposition to same-sex marriage, warned that an "infection has set in in America - and it's far worse than just physically in the foot; it's morally in the heart."
"And those with the disinfectant - the people of God - many are refusing to love enough to share the only message that will clean it all out," they wrote. "
"The spiritual disinfectant that hurts our moral infection but heals our spiritual direction is the Gospel of Jesus," they continued. "Everyone wants times of refreshing - but if spiritual leaders don't apply the disinfectant that hurts (repent of sin and return to God), people won't experience the message that heals. This is why we were grieved last week when we read that yet another spiritual 'leader' has shelved God's disinfectant and seems fine with people limping around in spiritual pain and brokenness."
While the Benhams did not name Hatmaker by name, they linked to an article that talked about her decision to come out in support for gay marriage.
Hatmaker said last month in an interview with Religion News Service's Jonathan Merritt: "From a civil rights and civil liberties side and from just a human being side, any two adults have the right to choose who they want to love. And they should be afforded the same legal protections as any of us. I would never wish anything less for my gay friends."
She also said gay couples need marriage and parenting guidance, which the church could give them.
"From a spiritual perspective, since gay marriage is legal in all 50 states, our communities have plenty of gay couples who, just like the rest of us, need marriage support and parenting help and Christian community," Hatmaker said. "They are either going to find those resources in the church or they are not."
The speaker and author's husband, Brandon, echoed his wife's sentiment in a lengthy Facebook post: "Jen and I are 100% on the same page regarding her recent interview about our love and hope for the LGBTQ community. This is a journey we have been on together. We both believe a same-sex marriage, as a life-long monogamous commitment, can be holy before God."
He added, "Bottom line, we don't believe a committed life-long monogamous same-sex marriage violates anything seen in scripture about God's hopes for the marriage relationship."
In their op-ed, Jason and David contended that while Hatmaker's perspective on gay marriage may have shifted, the Word of God hasn't changed: "The Gospel of Jesus has not changed in over two millennia. So for 'leaders' today to exclude the sin of homosexuality in the Gospel, and even make it holy in some cases, only reveals that these are not true spiritual messengers of God.""
They concluded: "Today, we have many self-professed spiritual 'leaders' who are giving us false and misleading messages from God about sin. Yet nothing has changed about God, and nothing will ever change about His message."
LifeWay Christian Resources announced last week that it will no longer be selling books and materials written by Hatmaker due to her stance on same-sex marriage.
LifeWay spokesman Marty King later told Baptist Press that Hatmaker "voiced significant changes in her theology of human sexuality and the meaning and definition of marriage - changes which contradict LifeWay's doctrinal guidelines."
"As a result, LifeWay has discontinued selling her resources," King said.