I downloaded First Steps Out: How Christians Can Respond to a Loved One's Struggle With Homosexuality from Story Cartel free for a review. I did not have to give it a positive review, but I did! Read on to see why.
I wrote this Saturday night after I finished reading the book:
This is the book I have been waiting for on this subject! I have long held out on the discussion of the church and homosexuality because I didn't hear anything like my opinion being said. I have heard hurtful comments from both sides. I have heard many clamboring to be right. I haven't heard someone from the middle trying to help both sides heal, that is until now.
Christy shares her personal battle. Her parents share their battle. They also share their healing. She is not shouting to be heard. She is clear about the purpose for the book. She is not confrontational. She is simply sharing the message, "It is OKAY to fight this." I have so much hope for the church after reading this.
Every single person who is in the Church and/or a church needs to read this!
However, there is so much more that I want to say!
I hesitated to read this book because I really thought that I would just end up angry because the book was too one sided. That totally didn't happen! She covers both sides of the issue and how both sides feel. She doesn't make either side feel bad for what they are feeling or experiencing. She doesn't make one side more right or less right. She doesn't focus on why this is happening. It is happening and pointing out blame won't help nor will proving one side right. The only thing that will help is love. And Christy McFerren does a very good job at telling us how to love when a loved one is struggling with homosexuality. She does a great job of telling the Church how to love on people struggling with homosexuality. She freely admits that not everyone struggles with it. However if they do struggle with it, then they need someone to love them.
As I was reading, I wrote notes like this...
"I don't want to assume every person who is homosexual is the same. I don't want to assume they are all in the same place or that they have all put down the struggle or put down their faith. I want to see them as individuals who are in different places in their walk of faith. I want to love them as they are because God loves me as I am. I want to listen to their struggles and have faith in their walk with God and who he is making them to be."
"Because people in this issue are still broken. Denying that does a disservice to them. It is okay to say that people are broken over this issue. Not everyone, but some are. I won't claim to have all the answers. I just want to listen and love them."
I also highlighted a bunch of things. I actually just counted them and I have 102 highlights from the book. I will share one or two of them here and be done for today. Check in next Wednesday for some more thoughts this book inspired.
Quotes from the book:
"God will completely work in anyone who stands there long enough demanding it by faith."
"Two things: Fear and religion are your enemies. DO NOT speak from them. Shut them up, strangle them to death, quite their foolish mouths! Cut. Out. Their. Tongues. Be violent against their fire!"
"Pride perpetuates shame because it traps us into a form of subjectivity - a belief that our actions are a part of us, innately valuable and sometimes unchangeable, whether sinful or not."
"I think the point is simply made that a desire for sinful things doesn't negate our salvation or salvation would be unattainable for all people."
"It is with every word we speak that we are continually professing either faith or unbelief."
"We have to learn to see others as being in a process.