Bestselling Christian author Jen Hatmaker has called for Christians to welcome the LGBT community with open arms.
"It is high time Christians opened wide their arms, wide their churches, wide their tables wide their homes to the LGBT community," wrote the popular Christian speaker in a Facebook post.
Hatmaker has previously held a more conservative position on LGBT, writing in 2014 that she believed "God's original creation is how we were crafted to thrive: in marriage, in family, and in community, which has borne out for millennia in Scripture, interpretation, practice, and society (within and without church)."
In a Facebook post on April 23, the author of 7 and For the Love mourned the fact that "so great has our condemnation and exclusion been, that gay Christian teens are SEVEN TIMES more likely to commit suicide.
"Nope. No. No ma'am. Not on my watch. No more. This is so far outside the gospel of Jesus that I don't even recognize its reflection. I can't. I won't. I refuse."
Hatmaker said she believed it is time to fully include the LGBT community in churches:
"So whatever the cost and loss, this is where I am: gay teens? Gay adults? Mamas and daddies of precious gaybees? Friends and beloved neighbors of very dear LGBT folks?
"Here are my arms open wide. So wide that every last one of you can jump inside. You are so dear, so beloved, so precious and important. You matter so desperately and your life is worthy and beautiful."
She continued that there "is nothing 'wrong with you,' or in any case nothing more right or wrong than any of us, which is to say we are all hopelessly screwed up but Jesus still loves us beyond all reason and lives to make us all new, restored, whole."
The Facebook post, which finishes "My message to you today is simple, LGBT gang and all those who love you: You are loved and special and wanted and needed. The end", has received 35,000 likes and almost 7,000 shares.
In a comment on the post, Hatmaker condemns structural racism, saying that she stands "beside my minority brothers and condemn white supremacy, challenge white fragility, and fight alongside their long battle for equality, justice and dignity".