A Bachelorette Treatise on Sin

What could possibly go wrong when you throw together a beautiful woman, a couple dozen […]

Margaret Pope / 7.19.19

What could possibly go wrong when you throw together a beautiful woman, a couple dozen handsome men, a dash of love, and a sprinkle of Christianity?! Well, on Monday night, Bachelor Nation found out as we witnessed the long-anticipated showdown between Bachelorette Hannah and contestant Luke P.—one that certainly will go down in franchise history.

Luke, a 24-year-old “import/export manager” from Gainesville, GA, was a frontrunner from the beginning, receiving the First Impression Rose on the first night of the season. He and Hannah clearly had a *connection*, but by Week Two, Luke started to stand out more for his aggressive behavior and emotional manipulation than for his devotion to the woman he supposedly was falling in love with. He constantly was at the center of the drama among the other men. Exhibit A:

Despite all of the red flags and warnings from the other men, Hannah continues to advance Luke week after week, all the way to hometown dates, making him one of the top four contestants. While in Gainesville, they attend Luke’s Sunday school class where he shares his story about his encounter with God in the shower, which caused him to turn from his wild, party-boy lifestyle to a life of faith. Hannah then meets his family, who sings his praises. After seeing Luke in his element, Hannah, who likewise is open about her Christian faith on the show, continues to fall in love with Luke, giving him a rose at the end of the episode and therefore a ticket to Fantasy Suite Week in Greece.

Luke is Hannah’s last date of the week, and they explore Santorini, apparently genuinely enjoying each other’s company. There’s talk of love and a proposal and a lifetime together. Maybe Luke is redeeming himself!

But we all knew better. Thanks to ABC’s teasers about this week’s episode, we saw fairly early in the season that this peace was fleeting, and everything was about to hit the fan. And keep in mind that it’s Fantasy Suite Week, and it doesn’t take much of an imagination to understand what these dates are for—the only time in the whole season when contestants have a night alone with the Bachelorette without the watchful eye of cameras and producers…

Luke, the master of subtlety, declares, “Let’s talk about sex,” and informs Hannah that if he finds out she’s slept with any of the other remaining contestants, he’s going to send himself home. His judgmental tone as he questioned of her faith, more or less calling her a hypocrite, is the icing on the cake.

At this point, Hannah is fuming (and it has started to thunderstorm—ABC could not have orchestrated a better setting if they tried). She retorts, if sex before marriage were his deal-breaker, then she could have sent him home countless times before for his un-husbandly characteristics, namely his pride, but she had really wanted to give him a chance—causing next-level frustration and screaming at the TV all across the country. She tells Luke that he is attempting to throw the proverbial “first stone”: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (Jn 8:7).

Luke has forgotten—as I do too, all often—that sin is sin, that we have all fallen short of the glory of God. That God doesn’t consult a scale where one sin is better or worse than another. Jesus says that anger is equivalent to murder, lust to adultery. And when we look at our condition through that lens, we’re all in trouble.

Which makes Jesus’ next words in John’s Gospel like music to the sinner’s ears: “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? … Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” Not only does he offer his forgiveness, but in that impossible command, he points us to his cross, where he who knew no sin became sin for us. Where we are made white as snow.

After the episode aired, Luke took to twitter to try to continue the conversation. He and Hannah go back and forth a few times, talking in circles, until Hannah gets the last word: