Dear Angela Simmons,
I can’t even begin to think what you are going through right now. The pressure you must be feeling, perhaps due to being the daughter of Joseph Simmons (a famous Minister and a founding member of the hip hop group Run-D.M.C); it may well be feeling like it’s crushing you. You announced your engagement to your beloved, shortly followed by the news that you are expecting a child, and the onslaught of hate, especially from the Church, has been shameful.
But know this: I don’t shame you.
I know that many years ago, you told the world on your father’s TV show that you were going to wait until marriage before you had sex. But let me say this again: I do not shame you.
As a Church, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. And the last thing we should be doing is throwing hatred and shame in your face. We should be supporting you. We may not agree with your decision to not wait until marriage, but that does not mean we hate you for your choice. We still love you. Jesus’ love for you is not contingent on what you do and don’t do - and our love as the Church should reflect that love.
Who are we to judge? Did Jesus not tell us to ‘first take the plank out of [our] own eye, and then [we] will see clearly to remove the speck from [our sister's] eye’? (Matthew 7:5 NIV)
He even calls us a hypocrite if we don’t do as such. Every single person walking on this earth makes mistakes, and God sees them as all the same - one sin isn’t worse than another. In today’s society, we have made sex to be the big sin. But God doesn’t see it this way.
And for those within the Church who are throwing hatred around and badmouthing you at every given opportunity, I would like to ask one simple question: does God not say that gossiping is a sin? That we should ‘not let any unwholesome talk come out of [our] mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs’? (Ephesians 4:29 NIV)
How on earth is it building Angela up when you hate her, despise her, and treat her as if she is an unworthy child of God? Because the truth is, we are all unworthy. None of us could ever meet God’s standard. So why are you so quick to take the upper hand? We all need Jesus. And the words that come out of our mouths should point to His love and grace and mercy - because that’s who He is. He isn’t hateful; ‘our God is full of compassion’ (Psalm 116:5 NIV).
What has happened, has happened. And God’s mission is to now restore you, heal you, and carry you through this difficult time. Jesus is looking to bring good out of this situation - He uses anything and everything to bring glory to Him. Is it not true that ‘in all things God works for the good of those who love him?' (Romans 8:28 NIV)
I applaud you for choosing to keep the precious life that is growing within you. I praise you that you have chosen to cherish what has come to be - with the amount of hatred that is being launched in your direction, you could have so easily chosen otherwise.
You, Angela Simmons, are courageous and brave. Jesus is still for you, running ahead of you, cheering you on. You can do this.
The Church doesn’t know your backstory. And in times that this, we need to show you support. James, the brother of Jesus, puts it well:
‘My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.’ (James 1:19-20 NIV)
Angela, I don’t shame you. And neither does Christ. He may not condone what has happened, but that certainly doesn’t mean that He condemns you for it. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1 NIV).
Here’s to the future; to pursuing righteousness, to resting in God’s love, and to thanking Jesus for His perfect sacrifice.
Here’s to God using this beautiful child to draw you closer to Himself.
Here’s to the Church apologising for what has happened, and to supporting you and encouraging you in Jesus Christ.
Alice is 18 and from England. She gave her life to Jesus about 5 years ago, and was baptized in July 2015. She feels that she is called to creative evangelism after receiving many prophecies from various people. She's a keen musician, photographer, writer, and speaker, and she hopes to involve all of these passions when sharing the love of Jesus to the world. She looks forward to moving to a city to attend university, engrossing herself in youth culture and wider communities.