- This post was originally published on on the author’s former blog. It has been moved here for archival purposes.
Jackie Hill Perry, author of “Gay Girl, Good God,” is a Christian who struggles with same-sex attraction, but chooses to live in a heterosexual marriage, denying the passions of her flesh in obedience to God. Before she knew Christ, she was in a relationship with a woman. After God called her to repent, she went to battle with herself and now shares her testimony of the transformative power of the gospel.
She wrote in her book, “I don’t believe it is wise or truthful to the power of the gospel to identify oneself by the sins of one’s past or the temptations of one’s present but rather to only be defined by the Christ who’s overcome both for those he calls his own. All men and women, including myself, that are well acquainted with sexual temptation are ultimately not what our temptation says of us. We are what Christ has done for us; therefore, our ultimate identity is very simple: We are Christians. (Gay Girl, Good God. pg. 148)”
The historic Christian faith has always affirmed the truth that repentance is a necessary aspect of salvation and sin must be forsaken, not embraced. However, as moral relativism and theological falsehoods like, “God hates the sin, but loves the sinner,” have gained popularity, lies regarding sin and identity have surged. While it is true that God loves the world in a general sense (John 3:16), the Scripture is clear that God hates evil doers (Psalm 5:5).
Last week, history was made as Troy University saw its first-ever “Trojan Pride” event to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Before the event, members of Troy Canterbury Club of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, passed out cards on campus titled, “A Prayer for Pride.” The prayer reads as follows:
“Creator, giver and sustainer of life, today let us celebrate the uniqueness of each individual. May you show your children that they are all welcome and perfect in your image, lifting up their differences as gifts. Provide strength to LGBTQ+ people to live their truths, by creating spaces that are safe and affirming to live, worship, and thrive in. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.”
This prayer is —at best — intellectually dishonest regarding the teachings of Christianity. It’s a blasphemous attempt to justify the sin that God hates.
The prayer asks that God show his children that they are all welcome and perfect in His image while disregarding important biblical truth about who is and who isn’t a child of God.
In 1 John 3:9-10, it says, “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, or is the one who does not love his brother.”
It’s not that Christians are sinless — they are not. It’s a matter of the heart’s attitude toward sin. Repentance is evident fruit of a born again Christian. Someone who has been truly changed by the blood of Jesus Christ will hate their sin, not celebrate or embrace it. They will struggle — yes, but they will war against themselves to purge their hearts and lives of sin.
Some would argue that the sexual practices of the LGBTQ+ community aren’t sin, but the Bible is also crystal clear on this issue. And no, it isn’t only this community under the wrath of God. He also condemns any sex outside of marriage, whether that be fornication, adultery, pornography, etc.
Because God is holy, He can’t allow sin to be in His presence. Praise be to God that He is also loving and merciful. He offers atonement for sin to all who repent and place their faith in Jesus Christ. Once saved, the Christian, out of delight in God and His ways, will live a life of joyful obedience to God’s call to be pure.
I understand this message is incredibly offensive, and it’s offensive far beyond the scope of the LGBTQ+ community. The gospel is offensive to nearly every person who’s walked the face of the planet. That’s because the first essential part of the gospel is that people are flawed, sinful, and in need of a change of heart, mind, and soul. But the part of the gospel that is sweet, good news is that salvation is available through Jesus Christ.
The church cannot be reduced to a social club where sin is not preached, because the doctrine of sin is the necessary precedent which persons must become aware of to receive the gospel.
“Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)”
This passage is one of my favorites in all of Scripture because it emphasizes the reality that before Christ’s work in the Christian’s life, everyone is condemned by their sin. But, through Christ, we can be set free from sin, empowered to forsake it, and live in a reconciled relationship with Him.
The “Prayer for Pride” perverts biblical concepts, mixing in statements that are found nowhere in Scripture to promote an “inclusive” version of Christianity. The reality is that Christianity, by its very nature, is exclusive.
Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
That means that anyone who rejects Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation will spend eternity in Hell. In case you’re unaware, that’s the majority of the world’s population. No atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. believes that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation. Therefore, they are excluded from the promises of Christianity and the “welcome” of God. Such is the case with those who claim Christianity but do not submit to Christ’s call for repentance — as is the case with the aforementioned prayer.
To be clear, anyone is welcome to come to Christ in repentance. Anyone is welcome to leave their former life behind and follow Jesus Christ into a life of joyful submission. Jackie Hill Perry is an excellent example of God’s transforming grace in that regard. Rest assured, no one will be welcomed by God who actively rejects and distorts His commands.