Readers on both sides of the issue of same sex attraction may be disappointed by Jackie Hill Perry’s book. She comes down clearly on the conservative side of Christianity by labeling it a sin; however, she points out that it is only one sin among many that bedevil Christians every day. Our society encourages us to turn all sorts of things into idols, and our sexual orientation is just one possibility. Any time we put “my” feelings above obedience to God’s Word, we have committed the same sin Adam and Eve fell prey to– we are worshipping another God– ourselves! She also criticizes some Christians who espouse what she calls “the heterosexual gospel” by idealizing marriage as the pinnacle of the faith. Homosexuals will never be “cured” any more than any of us will be “cured” of our sinful nature. All Christians should be affirmed whether they choose celibacy or marriage; the call from God is to love Him and love others, and this can be part of either lifestyle. (By the way, Jackie is now married to a man, but feels many with an attraction to the same sex will not see this as a possibility}.
The real message of Jackie’s book is this: it’s all about God, not us. Life is about loving God, obeying God and recognizing Him for who He is — our creator and the creator of all that exists. Our identity is based on who we are as a saint of God (here’s where the book connects with our monthly theme) and not the other people or things we might find attractive and tempting. She backs up her opinions with sound logic and Biblical references. I had no problem with her theological conclusions.
The only criticism I have of this book is that her personal story failed to engage me. She spoke about her own life in a way that seemed somewhat removed and detached. As a poet her writing style was filled with beautiful prose and interesting similes and metaphors; an unvarnished approach would have seemed more authentic to me. Of course, it could also just be my inability to connect with her life as a young, black, gay woman whose experiences have been very different from mine.
I give this book 4 stars. If you would like to purchase it, follow the link below. The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy in return for an unbiased review.