Homosexuality is an inherently difficult topic for Christians to discuss and address. And it’s a thousand times harder to discuss in our culture, where sexuality is all messed up. Sam Allberry has written a short book that will help Christians navigate this topic with a biblical mindset: Is God Anti-Gay? In just 85 small pages, Allberry does a lot of good (and brave!) work in the area of Christianity and homosexuality. Here are three reasons why I highly recommend this book:
1) It is biblical. Allberry walks the readers through the basics of God’s will for marriage and sexuality. Even though he struggles with same-sex attraction, he knows that God’s Word teaches that marriage and sex are meant for man and woman. He also knows that if a Christian does not marry a person of the opposite sex, the only other God-pleasing alternative is singleness in a sexually pure way. Allberry clearly echoes Scripture: we cannot tell people that God accepts homosexual relationships, even if they are monogamous. Through many years of prayers, pain, counsel, and struggle, Allberry himself has chosen at this point to remain celibate. I commend him for walking this difficult road with an eye on Scripture and pleasing Christ.
2) It is pastoral. I was delighted to hear Allberry’s gentle and kind tone throughout the book. Too often Christians address the topic of homosexuality without compassion and empathy. But both are evident in this book. Very clearly Allberry notes that same-sex attraction and homosexuality are not unforgivable sins – they are not the worst sins in the world. It’s not like homosexuality is the “chief” sin of our day. Jesus’ blood doesn’t just wipe away sins of anger and pride and idolatry – it also wipes away sexual sins. There is definitely hope for people struggling with homosexuality. And as Allberry noted, the church should state this loudly and clearly.
3) It is a needed resource. Even though I don’t struggle in this area (I do struggle in plenty of other areas, however, so I can’t cast any stones!), I was very glad to read this book. It gave me some new insights on how to view homosexuality. For example, there is a difference between a gay lifestyle and same-sex attraction. “Gay Christian” is probably not the best term to use. For Allberry, it is an identity issue: he does not identify himself as a gay person; he identifies himself “in Christ;” he is a Christian who has to fight the sin of same-sex attraction much in the same way that I have to fight anger and doubt and about 100 other sins I don’t want to publicize! Christians do have besetting sins, we do have “thorns in the flesh,” but we find hope and strength in Christ – and we find our identity in him as we repent of our sins.
If you’re a Christian who wants a brief and helpful discussion of this topic, please get the book. Elders and pastors will need to read it as well to help them in their shepherding and counseling. If you’re a Christian who is struggling with same-sex attraction, please get this book. Your sin is forgivable; you are not a “lesser” Christian because of your struggles, and God loves you just as much as he loves his other children who struggle with their own plethora of sins and weaknesses. The ground is level at the throne of grace. Thankfully, one day all God’s people will be free from all the sins that burden them. Until then, we’ll have to struggle forward together. This book is a big help in that area: Sam Allberry, Is God Anti-Gay?
rev shane lems
covenant presbyterian church (OPC)