Book Report: Gay Girl, Good God

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“God isn’t calling gay people to be straight. You’d think He was by listening to the ways Christians try to encourage same-sex-attracted people within, or outside, their local churches. They dangle the possibility of heterosexual marriage above their heads, point to it like it’s heaven on a string, something to grab and get whole with. And though it’s usually well-meaning, it’s very dangerous. Why? Because it puts more emphasis on marriage as the goal of the Christian life than knowing Jesus.”

Jackie Hill Perry (Gay Girl Good God)

GGGG was a refreshing read. It’s not a theology book, though it contains some theology. It’s not a preachy, didactic come-to-Jesus story. It’s not a trite, oversimplified Gospel band-aid to “cure the gays”.

This book is not even the story of God making a gay girl straight. It’s primarily the story of a girl being pursued by a God who loves her more than any woman or man ever could.

And that’s a story we all need to hear.

Jackie Hill Perry tells her story in a way that avoids the christian cliches that feel too formulaic to be true. With honesty and authenticity she recounts snapshots of her life where God showed showed up in big ways.

Her background in poetry is evident in her writing. The spoken-word style slowed me down at first, but by chapter 2 or 3, I had fallen in love with the cadence and vivid word pictures of the book.

Readers of all backgrounds will find this narrative compelling and surprisingly relatable. We as Christians so often force an “us and them” mentality on the world in an unconscious attempt to elevate our own morality.

But Jackie’s story is the story of all of us. It’s the story of the God we all share, who loves us more than we deserve and heals us in ways we didn’t think possible.

I wish this book had been written years ago. So many well meaning Christians, in a desire to “stand on the truth,” have done more harm than good to same-sex-attracted individuals. Perhaps if Christians could have read such a book, they would have responded differently, extending God’s hand of love instead of “evangelizing” with judgement.

I hope this book challenges you to think differently on the topic of gay people in the church. And yes, before you ask, it does talk about what God says in scripture as right and wrong on the topic of same-sex attraction. I feared that if I mentioned this first, I would be perpetuating the overly-judgemental habits of my forbearers and cause readers of this review to miss the heart of this book.

The truth is that gays are not some lower level of sinner. The nature of sin is that it lies to us and blinds us to the fact that we all share the same sinful nature. If we try removing the speck from our brothers eye with a log still in our own eye, we’re just going to hurt people. That doesn’t mean we ignore the speck or the log, it means that we acknowledge the log before complaining too loudly about the speck.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:8–9

God’s primary desire for Jackie was not to make her straight. It was to show her himself—to show her a love she had never known. If God loved her so much, just maybe she could trust His Word too.

No matter where you land on same sex attraction approval or condemnation, I would encourage you to read this book. You will find Jackie’s story compelling, thought-provoking, and kind.

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