Open Letter to the Belong Tour
Dear Jen, Patsy, Angela, Shauna, Nicole, and Sharon,
I attended the Belong Tour in Loveland this weekend. Knowing the substance of what many of you have written/spoken/sung in the past, I had high hopes for an uplifting weekend. I love the goals of helping women know their value, empowering them, laughing with them. Those are good things. But from where does our value come? From where does our power come? Indeed, why are we even able to laugh?
Sisters, I left wondering if you have lost your way. Where was the substance? I get that you are casting a wide net and hoping to reach many women across many segments of life—I understand you wanted everyone to feel as if they belong—but to what?
I know that you ladies know that only what is in Christ is eternal. Why didn’t you lead women to Him? I’m not suggesting it be a bible conference or something theologically in-depth—but something, anything that leads women to look up to their only Hope rather than to their own self-made goals relying on their self-made, self-pumped-up, self-motivated energy would have been better.
In an effort to reach many, you presented a false gospel. I heard over and over that I just need to try harder to remember that I am worth it and try harder to reach my goals and to go to yoga to get over whatever ails me. I feel like the women who believed everything you said will be pumped up for a few days, eager to grab hold of their best selves, to have their best life now, and then—because their hope wasn’t directed to Jesus and they didn’t seek His energy but their own—they will fail and fall and wonder what is wrong with them? They’ll wonder, “Why don’t I have energy and joy like those Belong women? They said I just have to believe that I am worth it and I would feel it, but I don’t." You ladies know that Christ is our only hope and you left Him off the stage. Women deserve better.
Lest you think I am the only one who felt this way:
Friend in Parker: “It was an opportunity to speak God’s word into the lives of women and instead so many women were fed lies about women empowerment, loving yourself, and chasing your dreams. No scripture. Very little truth. It’s disappointing and reeks of our enemy. I think it’s okay to be bummed out.”
Friend in Lone Tree: “What is this? This is not the Jen Hatmaker I know. She’s always been sold out to her faith. And Katy Perry for worship music? I am not feeling it."
I could go on with similar comments from other friends in Parker, Englewood, and Highlands Ranch. But you get the point.
We appreciate your hearts for laughter, women’s empowerment, and rocking our purpose—but the source of all of that is God Himself and you forgot that He Belongs on your tour.
Jennifer Oshman in Parker, CO
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