Jackie Hill Perry, one of the signers of the Nashville Statement, is someone who “struggles with same-sex attraction.” Knowing that, and the fact that her writing is featured on the website Desiring God, should prepare you for the toxic theology we are about to dive into.
In “The Heterosexual Gospel” (yes, I’m confused by that title, too), Perry writes,
Stop telling gay people that if they come to Jesus, he will make them straight.
She should’ve stopped the article right there. But of course she didn’t.
I know, I know, some of us Christians believe that we are only pointing our gay and lesbian friends to the miraculous. To the power of God to make all things and them new. Well-meaning believers, in an effort to encourage or cast vision to their same-sex attracted (SSA) friends or family, preach this gospel often. This gospel is not the good news of Jesus however, but another gospel. A gospel that I call “the heterosexual gospel.”
The heterosexual gospel is one that encourages SSA men and women to come to Jesus so that they can be straight, or it says that coming to Jesus ensures that they will be sexually attracted to the opposite sex. The ways in which this “gospel” is preached are much subtler than I’ve made it out to be. It usually sounds like, “I know you’re struggling with being gay. I can promise you, if you give your life to Jesus, he will completely deliver you from those desires because he loves you.” Or, “I know a guy that used to be gay and now he’s married. Jesus will do the same for you if you trust him.”
So far, I actually agree with Perry. That’s how some Christians do it. But you can’t “cure” someone’s sexual orientation any more than you can “cure” them of being left-handed. The attempts are futile and possibly damaging on their own.
But then Perry began preaching the same anti-gay rhetoric from a different angle.
What the gay community needs to hear is not that God will make them straight, but that Christ can make them his. In this age, they may never be “straight” (for lack of better words), but they can be holy… We must remind others (and ourselves) that Christ is ultimately calling them to himself — to know Christ, love Christ, serve Christ, honor Christ, and exalt Christ forever. When he is the aim of their repentance, and the object of their faith, they are made right with God the Father, and given the power by the Holy Spirit to deny all sin — sexual and otherwise.
In a nutshell, Perry is saying this: God won’t take away your gayness. But only with God will you have the strength to repress yourself for the rest of your life, perhaps in marriage to someone of the opposite sex whom you’ll learn to live with (a horrible idea on so many levels).
It’s the sort of advice no gay person was asking for and no gay person should heed.
Left out of Perry’s article, of course, is the fact that not all Christians agree that homosexuality is a sin, or that gay Christians can’t glorify God with their marriages the same way that straight couples can.
(Screenshot via YouTube)