I write a lot of reviews, interview artists, and post photographs on Backseat Writer. Yet much of what I do passes by without commentary here or anywhere else. That is, until I dared to review Fall to Grace by Jay Bakker. Because I disliked the book so much, I thought perhaps I should pass on giving my opinion. But I didn’t; I wrote a review and posted it anyway.
Instead of flying under the radar, like so much of my work, my negative review of Fall to Grace has a bunch of people up in arms (interestingly enough, all my harshest critics are men…hmmm…). Instead of sticking to the facts, some have made it personal, especially when I had the audacity to post my review on Amazon.com’s product page.
So I caved. I deleted my Amazon review because anonymous individuals called me a “gay hater” and used other choice language in referring to me. I mean, for a bunch of people who just read a book on grace, they didn’t seem to be showing me the love (or grace) Bakker intended for Christians to showcase to the world. Talk about adventures in missing the point.
Just because I disagree with Jay Bakker and don’t like his book doesn’t mean I hate Jay Bakker. I question his methods, his exegesis of Scripture, and am concerned about his teachings. However, I’m sure that Jay Bakker and I could find common ground, have a good laugh together, and I’d probably kick his butt playing Super MarioKart on Wii (OK, he’d probably beat me.) I am making an assessment of his product and the things he markets in that product, not Jay Bakker himself.
Just because I think homosexuality is a sin doesn’t mean I hate gay people. In fact, I like them a lot. I have known many fine individuals who were in same-sex relationships. And guess what? They thought I was bizarre for being a virgin! But we could still all get along and be friends.
I shouldn’t have to explain this to anyone. Unfortunately, I don’t have the pleasure of personally knowing everyone who reads Backseat Writer or my personal blog. I’d like to think that if readers stick around for a while, they will have the opportunity to see the love I have for others, for God, for the world in my writings. I want people to see my heart, maybe into the depths of my soul.
However, I do have a right to my opinion and I have a right to express that opinion, even if it isn’t popular. I welcome feedback from others. The problem is that sometimes people want to be “right” and blur the lines on what is and is not appropriate. Personal attacks are uncalled for and show small mindedness. I only ask for the respect I try to show others, even when we disagree on matters.
0 thoughts on “I don’t hate homosexuals or Jay Bakker”
Kudos to you! You have perfectly pointed out why it is so hard sometimes to state an opinion that isn’t popular. One doesn’t expect to be attacked, or drawn into a debate or choose to shoot arrows of contention. You hit the nail on the head when you said people just want to be right. But we’re not all like that!! I feel the same as you on this issue, but even if I didn’t I wouldn’t hate on you! Thanks for sharing your balance, grace and tolerance!
Wendy, thanks for your lovely and encouraging comment! 🙂
You are right on here! So sorry you got so flamed. You know we are on the same page on this. Thanks for being courageous and gracious. You rock.
Keep on keeping on Amy!
I do have a few quibbles…he credits Hebrews to Paul and really we dont know that for sure.
I’m a gay Christian who also thought Jay Bakker’s book was full of false doctrine. I wrote two reviews pointing out the gross doctrinal errors. Rest assured there are some gay Christians who are as put-off by Jay’s false teaching as you are.
While I don’t necessarily agree with your stance on the issue (nor do I necessarily agree with Jay’s stance is on the issue), I know you, Amy, and your review was just that: a book review. I’m deeply sorry that people didn’t show you grace on the subject, and I know you don’t hate Jay Bakker or homosexuals. In fact, anyone who has read anything you’ve ever written should know that you are gracious and loving, and I’m stunned that anyone would think otherwise.
Well put, Amy. I read your review of Fall to Grace and did not find it hateful at all. As a regular reader of your blog, I can say that the love of Christ shines through you. I’m sorry you were attacked but I think you’ve handled it with GRACE, disproving your attackers’ accusations. Love ya, Girl.
Dale, Jasper, Stephanie, Evangeline, thank you for your kind words. I really wasn’t trying to “preach to the choir,” just vent my frustration. I do appreciate your encouragement though and am glad you see my true intentions.
All of you are what makes writing worthwhile! 🙂
Very well stated. I hate you felt led to remove your post from Amazon because of intolerance for your stance. I am amazed at how tolerance is not respected on both sides of the fence. Keep writing and keep seeking God’s plan for you. Who know’s we may be reading a review of your book one day…
Now that I’m blogging, and about fairly non-contentious issues at that, I don’t have this problem any more. But before, when I was regularly on an ‘advice’ website, I discovered that a Christian view, however balanced, however ‘liberal’, could draw hatred from some commenters. They seemed to believe that my status as a Christian made me hateful per se, and I wonder how much that was because of the hate they had been shown by some Christians, and how much came from other sources… But I really do sympathise with your experiences. Internet users need to remember how to disagree without hating. I think the anonymity sometimes makes people wild.
The only thing that I had a problem with the review and comment exchange was that I thought that Jay laid out how he came to his understanding of the scriptures on homosexuality and on his view of Paul/James, very clearly. You disagreed with his view (which is fine) but did not take a critical review of his points and show how you come to a different understanding of the scripture.
I did not go over to Amazon and read reviews. I bought the book off of another blog post about the book and I enjoyed his view and stance. Maybe it is because, i was on the far right on the issue and I am no longer there.