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Discovering the Truth About My Identity (Part 1 of 2)

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Discovering the Truth About My Identity (Part 1 of 2)

Jackie Hill Perry shares her story of her former struggles with homosexuality and how she's come to know and experience God's love and grace. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: June 23, 2020

Today's Guests

Episode Summary

Jackie Hill Perry shares her story of her former struggles with homosexuality and how she's come to know and experience God's love and grace. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: June 23, 2020

Episode Transcript

Teaser:

Person #1: I am a pianist.

Person #2: I’m a manager.

Person #3: I am a wife.

Person #4: I’m a good person.

Person #5: I am single.

Person #6: I’m a dad of two beautiful kids.

Person #7: I am from the South.

End of Teaser

John Fuller: So, how do you define yourself? On today’s Focus on the Family, our guest is Jackie Hill Perry, and she’ll share how she used to view herself and what her new identity is. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, it’s so true. One of the great struggles all of us share from time to time – and being human – is wondering who we really are. I mean, that is a fair question. Certainly, as Christians, we know that we’re made in God’s image and saved by Jesus, but there’s still a temptation to find our identity in other things that seem to matter more – our relationships, our past, our job title – that is a particularly male thing – and, uh, maybe where we’re from – the South, the North, California. That comes with a whole bunch of identity things.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: But today, Jackie Hill Perry is with us, and she’s got a powerful testimony. I love that Scripture that talks about overcoming the evil one by the blood of the lamb, Jesus’ sacrifice and their testimony, the story that Jesus gives us. I mean, those are two powerful things in this life that people can really trust in. Uh, you may not believe what you read, but when somebody says, “This is what happened in my life,” pay attention. And, uh, we’re gonna hear so many good things from Jackie Hill Perry today. In fact, her story is not only important for us to hear as we try to lovingly minister to those in the LGBTQ community. It’s also an amazing illustration of the promise we read in 2 Corinthians. It says, “If anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation. The old has passed away. The new has come.” And that’s the story.

John: Hmm. Yeah, it really is. And let me add that we’re going to be talking about some mature topics today, so parents if you’ve got younger ones, you might want to use the earbuds for this discussion. Well, Jackie Hill Perry is probably best known as a spoken word artist and, uh, her poems have thousands of views on YouTube. She’s also an author and has a book called Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been. And we have copies at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Jackie, welcome to Focus on the Family.

Mrs. Jackie Hill Perry: Thanks for having me.

Jim: Hey, uh, let’s jump right into your story. Uh, you say you started feeling this attraction toward women before you could even spell your own name.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: Um, you know, again, people are gonna be all over the spectrum of understanding this topic in the listenership and – people that really have not encountered that kind of thing and then those that have in their family. One of the – one of the more frequent requests we have here is help for parents in this area where their teen, um, has declared themselves same-sex attracted, et cetera, so this is a really important topic. Some people, I’m sure, are saying, “Why are you covering this?”

Jackie: Hmm.

Jim: We need to cover it, folks, because this is one of the deep cultural issues today. So, uh, let’s paint a picture for the listener. Um, what was that time in your life like? How old were you? What was going on?

Jackie: Yeah. Uh, I don’t remember exact age, but I know it was kindergarten, first grade, second grade.

Jim: Early.

Jackie: Somewhere near, yeah.

Jim: Yeah.

Jackie: And the best way I can frame it is that the same way in which, you know, little girls like little boys on the playground was the same way in which I liked both, you know? Um, and it wasn’t something that I saw because this is early ’90s, so it’s – it isn’t as if I was exposed to it and therefore saw it and thought, “Oh, they’re gay on TV. Let may be gay.” I’m 5.

Jim: Yeah.

Jackie: I didn’t choose those kinds of affections or attractions. But it was something that I noticed. I didn’t have a name for it until I went to church. And when I…

Jim: But let me ask you this. The, uh – you know, that attraction…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, I can remember the giddiness of thinking about girls in elementary school, but I didn’t understand what that was.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, did you have a greater sophistication of that? Did you understand what a physical attraction was?

Jackie: I’m not sure. I just knew I liked them…

Jim: OK.

Jackie: …And wanted to be near them and close to them in a way that seemed wrong. Um, and I say wrong just because I do think that the conscience speaks, you know?

Jim: Huh.

Jackie: I do think that I was young enough to know that this isn’t something that you – you expose or allow your teacher to know or tell your parents about. And I partially think that Disney movies helped me to actually be able to identify that what is happening is an affection, is an attraction, because the same way that princesses have princes is the same way I want my own princess.

Jim: Interesting.

Jackie: You know?

Jim: What was going on in your life at that time spiritually, where you – did your family go to church? What was your family life like?

Jackie: No. So, my close, intimate family is non-Christian, um, but I went to church every weekend with my Aunt Mauro, who is a Christian. She was one of the most saved – still is – one of the most saved people I’ve ever met in my life. I’ve never seen her wear one pair pants – ever.

Jim: (Laughter).

Jackie: …On Saturday, Friday, Wednesday. It don’t…

Jim: So, she’s proper.

Jackie: Oh, she’s saved-saved.

(LAUGHTER)

Jackie: And so, being around her, I think, gave me a real good foundation for who Jesus was and what He required.

Jim: And that was a good influence on you at the time…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …Or did it create this, um, kind of unwanted conflict for you? Like…

Jackie: Oh, for sure, which is, I think, a mercy, um, just because I think I had a level of conviction just because even though – you know, when you’re in Sunday school, they’re not teaching Romans 1, but they are teaching you John 3:16, which is that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish.” We’ve got to deal with the perish part.

John: Hmm.

Jackie: Like, there’s obviously some reason that Jesus had to die for sinners. And I think what I’m doing is the reason that Jesus had to die, but I don’t want to die for Him, so yeah.(Laughter)

Jim: Yeah, no, it’s true. Um, you compare your struggle with homosexuality – at some point there, I guess you’re recognizing more formally – I – again, I don’t know your age, but you compared it to the struggle of Adam and Eve. What was that comparison?

Jackie: Yeah. Um, Genesis 3, to me, has so many parallels to a lot of our own, uh, issues in life. But primarily, one of the things that stood out to me – it’s many, but one of the things that stood out to me most is how when Eve looks at the tree, she said that it looks good for food, that it’s delight to the eyes, that it desired to make one wise. That desired part was interesting. It’s like, oh, she had a affection for a created thing, and that’s literally what Romans 1 says that we do, is that we want the created thing more than we want the creator. And so, I think what I was experiencing was the fruit of what Adam brought into this world, which is that we have this desire and this lust and this affection for those things that God has told us that we don’t or we shouldn’t eat from, you know?

Jim: Yeah, and it’s every day.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, that’s part of the struggle in this life. That’s what it’s about.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: In fact, you, uh – you describe something – and I think people, if you’re struggling, which should be just about everybody with something…

Jackie: Oh, yeah.

Jim: I want you to lean into this question. You said the devil made more sense than God at this time.

Jackie: Mm hmm.

Jim: I think a lot of people that have addiction, that have desires that they’re not able to get control of can really identify with that statement. Fill it in for me.

Jackie: Yeah. I mean, because so many of God’s commands are not normative for us – I think they’re counterintuitive. I think what the devil offers makes a lot sense. Hey, “Go, uh, lie on your taxes so you don’t have to pay as much.” Like, to be honest and to give more than you make and to do all these things that I think God would have us do doesn’t make sense to us, and that’s why I think, uh, to do what God has told us to do takes faith. And so, for the person who has same-sex desires to say, “Don’t give in to those desires; crucify them; take up your cross daily and follow Jesus,” that makes absolutely no sense until you actually believe that Jesus is worth following. Until you believe that He’s worth it, then you’re willing to crucify those things that feel so right.

John: Mm. Yeah.

Jim: Yeah, it’s so true. You know, I often use this example because for me, it’s a good example. And I don’t mean to bash Peter, but before, you know, the Lord went to the cross and before the Holy Spirit was given, he’s with the Lord in the garden, strapping on his sword. He’s gonna go to battle for his Guy…

Jackie: Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

Jim: …Right? The Lord. And, you know, what a good thing a guy would do, a man.

Jackie: It looks noble.

Jim: And he’s in there – it looks noble. Bang, he was going – I don’t think he was going for the dude’s ear, number one, He was going for his throat, in my opinion. And then Jesus rebukes him and says, “Hey, you live by the sword, you die by the sword. This is not the way of My kingdom.” And then you see Stephen, who’s filled with the Holy Spirit, who’s able to pray for those who are killing him, you know, for the Lord not to hold this against them.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: I think it’s not humanly possible, frankly, to do that. I think it works against our flesh, against our nature as human beings for vengeance, for retribution, all those things. But when you’re in Christ, you do almost the opposite of what your flesh wants you to do.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: Right?

Jackie: Yeah, because that’s…

Jim: And that’s what you’re describing.

Jackie: ‘Cause you need – you need God to obey God. You know?

Jim: Right.

Jackie: And I think that’s the frustration of many that have grown up in church that deal with, uh, sexual identity, is that they have tried. Honestly, uh, I think by virtue of just wrong communication as to how to fight this, they have tried to do it in their flesh, and that is an impossible feat. When you have an affection and an attraction for women or men that will be there possibly for the rest of your life, and to have to fight and push against it, you need the resurrecting power of Jesus to help you do that.

John: Hmm.

Jim: Jackie, let me also fill in the picture for the folks that are listening about your relationship with your dad, your mom at the time, et cetera – all the stuff that’s evolving. In your early childhood, you had some really difficult experiences with men.

Jackie: Mm hmm.

Jim: Help paint that picture for us.

Jackie: Well, I mean, before – there’s my dad, who was very inconsistent. He would be in my life a year, drop out for two, be there for five months, drop out for three years. Um, and so, I think that – that just created a narrative. Like, men are not trustworthy, not consistent.

Jim: In fact, you called him the sometimes dad. That really – I mean, that’s true for all of us dads.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: We got to be careful not to become the sometime dad.

Jackie: Yeah, because he…

Jim: We got to be the all-the-time dad.

Jackie: He dropped in when it was convenient.

Jim: Right.

Jackie: …Which is so contrary to the Father, I think. Well, not I think. I know. Um, and then the other instances that I was molested – I don’t know – before I was 7, uh, which – going to therapy, uh, one thing my therapist said that stuck out to me is, she was like, “Do you ever remember being hugged or kissed or touched by your father before you were molested?” I was like, “No, I don’t.” And she was like, “That tells me that your first male affection was through abuse.”

Jim: Wow.

Jackie: And so, what does that do to the mind or even just your memory to never have experienced affection from a man in a healthy way?

John: Hmm.

Jim: And, you know, Jackie, something you mentioned in your book – and I felt this too, having an alcoholic father – um, the resiliency of a child’s heart for their parents – I mean, they can take a lot.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: You still have this unbelievable love for your mom and dad even if they harm you or ignore you or whatever it is. Isn’t it true?

Jackie: It’s hope. You always…

Jim: You always have hope for them.

Jackie: Yeah, you hope that they’ll love you back one day.

Jim: I think that’s exactly why Jesus said, you know, if your heart’s not like a child – I mean, that – that childlike hope and desire. It’s a beautiful way to say it. But you describe, uh, the day your dad said some words that cut you really deeply. What did he say?

Jackie: Mm hmm. Yeah, we were, uh, at his sister’s house. He was drinking – well, not drinking a lot, but he was drinking, and they were, you know, playing cards and all of this. And he mentioned how he notices that I don’t call him dad. You know, I just – I would never call him by a name. I would just speak, just because I didn’t think he deserved to be called dad. Um, and he said, “You know what? Something is interesting about me, which is that I love you. I love you. I love my other children. I love my wife. But if tomorrow, you guys never wanted to speak to me again, it wouldn’t bother me.”

John: Hmm.

Jackie: And he was so sincere. He wasn’t even trying to be cruel. He was being honest, and that – that scared me because it told me, “Oh, you won’t change. The hope that I have stored up for you actually is a waste of my time.”

Jim: Did it nullify the first statement, the second one? I mean, when you hear that – you’re excited about…

Jackie: It didn’t.

Jim: …The first one.

Jackie: It didn’t because my dad was an interesting person. One, uh, it’s been said that he might have been bipolar. So, that’s a factor. He was depressive. He was mildly narcissistic. So, that to me, when I became a Christian, I actually had empathy…

Jim: Yeah.

Jackie: …Because I saw a man that just was incapable of serving someone other than himself.

John: Mm.

Jackie: And so, when he told me that, it was kind of like he wanted me to understand why he can’t be as present because he just doesn’t have the ability to. That’s not to say that he – he shouldn’t have been, uh, uh, held accountable…

Jim: Right.

Jackie: …But it is to say that he needed more help than I could give (laughter).

Jim: Well, and it reminds me too, for all of us as parents, especially – you know, we can tease a lot. I think dads have that ability to tease your kids and you’re doing it for fun. Be careful…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …Because what you say can really cut their heart even in a way that’s unintentional. And you’re gonna be having that conversation 10, 15 years from that moment, and your son or daughter is gonna remember that. You’re not gonna remember it at all.

John: Mm.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: But they’re gonna say, “Dad, do you remember when you said this to me?” And you go, “What?” And, uh, I mean, that’s the kind of thing. I bet your dad, you know, if he were alive today…

Jackie: Mm hmm.

Jim: …He might say that. “Man, I never knew that I said that.” But many fathers will have that lack of recollection.

Jackie: Yeah.

John: Yeah, a good reminder today on Focus on the Family, uh, with Jim Daly. Our guest today is Jackie Hill Perry. And, uh, we’ve got her book Gay Girl, Good God, uh, at our website. Or call if we can be of help to you. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. And online we’re at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And Jackie, in light of, uh, what you experienced with men and that conversation with your dad, where were you emotionally in the aftermath of all that?

Jackie: With my father?

John: Yeah – well, just in life generally.

Jackie: Probably numb. Um, I think now I’m relearning to feel. Um, I think having a husband and having children. Um, but I think my coping mechanism was instead of me allowing people – my father, the abuse, all of this – to affect me, I’m just gonna withdraw…

John: Hmm.

Jackie: …Emotions and not feel anything…

John: OK.

Jackie: …Which is really super harmful, I think. Um, but that’s all I knew how to do at the time.

Jim: So, to pick up the story then, uh, maybe around junior high – I’m not sure. Correct me if I’m wrong. You started to dress more like a man…

Jackie: High school…

Jim: …High school.

Jackie: …Well, after high school, yeah.

Jim: And, uh – and you obviously were recognizing or accepting this same-sex attraction that you had. Was it exclusive to that? Did you only have that desire for other girls and guys were, like, not even interesting to you?

Jackie: (Laughter) I mean, they’re cute. And they were cute, um, but I think the thing that women had was they had the ability to have my emotions. Because, again, I was afraid to give my emotions to someone that would abuse them or take advantage. Um, in my entire life, women had always seemed faithful. Um, and so, for me that’s what it was. I think the, uh, dressing more masculine – honestly, I think when you grow up in this culture where you don’t want to wear dresses, the automatic thing that they tell you is “You’re being a tomboy”…

John: Mm.

Jackie: …Or “You’re acting like a boy.” Um, I think they do the same thing to boys that might lean more emotional, “You’re acting like a girl,” as if emotions are a feminine trait. They’re actually human. And so, I think we’re just reaping the fruits of not, uh, teaching what the Bible says about gender.

Jim: Well, and the obvious question is how can that be done? I mean, how do we reinforce those – the binary gender? I mean, it…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: Yeah.

Jackie: I think we need to deconstruct our understanding of gender and look at what it – look at it through the lens of Scripture. For – so…

Jim: Absolutely.

Jackie: …So does the Bible say that being a woman means you wear pink?

Jim: (Laughter) No, of course not.

Jackie: Does the Bible say that being overly emotional makes you feminine? Does the Bible – you get what I’m saying? Like, we’ve made these kinds of things Bible, and they don’t exist in the Scriptures.

Jim: That’s true.

Jackie: (Laughter).

Jim: I – I wanna come back to something you said as well, which is, um, that having a girlfriend became or felt like as natural as smiling for you.

Jackie: (Laughter) That’s a pretty line.

Jim: I mean, yeah – I mean, fill it in. What – what are you getting at?

Jackie: Yeah. The first time I interacted with a girl I thought I would be more nervous. I thought it would feel strange. I thought it would feel forced. But it felt normal to me, um, which, again, goes against Romans 1. Romans 1 calls it unnatural, but it felt natural. And so, I think this is why, uh, hearing, you know, “Homosexuality is unnatural or wrong.” I think that’s why we have to have a sense of empathy when we preach it because it is wrong by faith. I know it’s wrong, but it doesn’t feel wrong. It didn’t feel wrong ever at that time. And so, that’s why I was…

Jim: Well, that kind of goes back to your statement about the things of the enemy are more natural than the things of God…

Jackie: Absolutely.

Jim: …To our flesh.

Jackie: Absolutely.

Jim: And that’s true.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, that’s where that connects for me. Um, you have a compelling story about a time when you and your girlfriend encountered a violent man.

Jackie: (Laughter).

Jim: And this is really interesting to me. You know, I’m always – when I’m talking to somebody, I’m looking for that gold nugget.

Jackie: Mm.

Jim: What was that thing the Lord did that was profound?

Jackie: Man…

Jim: This strikes me as that moment for you in your life.

Jackie: It was one of them. We were at a hotel, and there was a guy – he was mad about something. I don’t know what he way – but he was big – bigger than me. He had muscles, and he was mean. Um, and he was, I guess, there to attack somebody. And I’m playing, you know, the masculine role, the male role in the relationship. And so, I’m supposed to be the protector.

Jim: And you’re there with your girlfriend.

Jackie: Yeah. But I had this strong sense of “I can’t protect her, and I need somebody to protect me.” And I think it was the Holy Spirit that also just brought – it just reminded me of who I actually was. Like, “You are a woman” (laughter), “And you need to become the woman that God created you to be again.” And so, it was a weird – yeah, strange little situation, but I think the Holy Spirit used it to bring me back to truth.

John: Well, you – as you’re talking, Jackie, I’m thinking about the dichotomy between the flesh and the Spirit and how natural things are and – and how we’re encouraged through our culture…

Jackie: Yeah.

John: …To follow your desires.

Jackie: Mm hmm.

John: “Just be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. It’s all good.”

Jackie: Yeah.

John: Um, that’s not the case, though.

Jackie: It’s not.

John: And Scripture is pretty clear about that.

Jackie: Yeah.

John: Was there a conviction going on in that moment?

Jackie: Well, the interesting thing about me, I think because I kinda was raised in church I was convicted the entire time. I was never at peace, uh, when I was actively a lesbian. And I think that’s – it’s just – it’s hard to do that when you’ve seen, uh, or heard stories about Jesus – when you’ve seen Him lived out in someone’s life, when you know that He has more for you, when you know that He died and rose for you. Like, it’s a hard thing, but it also felt impossible to obey Him. It’s like, “I know I’m supposed to, but I don’t know how to. And so, I’d rather just continue to be disobedient than try to force myself to be something that I – I can’t be.”

Jim: Yeah.

John: Mmm.

Jim: You know, Jackie, one of the difficult things and – you know, I’ve reached out to the LGBT community. I have a couple of really strong friends in that community, and we don’t give up on each other’s convictions, right?

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: We start almost every conversation, “Hey, I believe marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Jackie: Mm hmm.

Jim: And they’ll say, “I totally disagree” but…

Jackie: (Laughter).

Jim: …What else can we talk about?

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: You know, it’s hard to start a conversation or develop a friendship on the differences. Start in that place of humanity and what you suffer from, what – you know, what’s difficult in your life. And I think that’s where more in the Christian community if we had connection…

Jackie: Hmm.

Jim: …With people in the LGBT community, we would have that empathy.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: The point of it is, um, Jesus empathized with everyone.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: He connected…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …With the woman caught in adultery, et cetera. And the – I guess the point I’m driving toward is when we look at Scripture, what they fail to sometimes recognize is we didn’t write the book.

Jackie: Mm hmm.

Jim: I mean, it’s there for everybody to read. So, when you look at, uh, Romans 1 and Romans 2 which is convicting to the believer, you know, that “You do these very things that you accuse other people of talking about.”

Jackie: Mm hmm.

Jim: “So be careful…”

Jackie: Mm hmm.

Jim: “…When you’re a hypocrite.” I mean, that’s what that Scripture is talking about.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: And I think the point is, uh, we’re all fallen. We all fall short of fulfilling the law, and we need the grace that Jesus provides to us. Speak to that issue, though, of how you can’t tap dance (laughter) around the Scripture.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, it’s there in plain sight, especially in the New Testament.

Jackie: Yeah. I mean, you can’t. But people are trying and sort of succeeding. You have people who, because of their own passions, they will accumulate for themselves teachers, uh, who suit those passions. They have these itching ears. Um, I think the emphasis has to go back to the God of the Scriptures, you know? I think the Scriptures are repulsive if God is not explained as He is. Meaning, I think it would’ve been super helpful for me if, when people gave me the gospel, they actually told me about Jesus. They often just said, “Repent. Go to hell. God is holy. He requires this.” All of those are true. But you have not told me about the beauty of God.

Jim: The compelling reason.

Jackie: You have not told me about the beauty of Jesus. You have not even told me about the power that He would give me to be able to obey. You just told me to obey without power. And so, I think we have to get back to explaining the Bible and explaining the Jesus of the Bible in the same way that the apostles did, and the prophets did and the Psalmist did. When you look at the way they talked about God, we don’t use that same kind of language. And I think we should.

Jim: Yeah. I, uh, you know, one of those Scriptures – I had the team just pull it up – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Let me just read it and then you respond to it because, again, we’re followers of it. We’re not editors. I remember encountering a activist, a same-sex attracted activist, and he said, “When are you Christians gonna get out of your hyper medieval sexual thing and come into the 21st century?” And I just smiled. And I could tell it irritated him.

Jackie: Mm hmm.

Jim: He said, “Why are you smiling?” (Laughter).

Jackie: Mm hmm.

Jim: And I said, “We’re followers of the book. We’re not editors of the book. It’s very kind of you to want to make me the editor, but this is written by the hand of God through people over a long period of time.”

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: “And I’m sorry if it offends you.”

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: “But I would suggest it could set you free.”

Jackie: Hmm.

Jim: And, uh, let me just read 1 Corinthians here. It says, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? 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.” I mean, that’s the beautiful part.

Jackie: Mm hmm.

Jim: You were there, but implying they came out of it. In fact, it goes on to say, “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.”

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: Man, we’re all there.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: That’s the only way.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: And, uh, that’s hopefully the compelling reason to continue to speak lovingly…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …To people – not judgmentally.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: Jesus said, “I’m not here to judge the world. The Father will do that.”

Jackie: Mm. Yeah, that’s – I love that verse. I’ve taught it a lot. Um, one, to encourage Christians to when you do 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 11, don’t leave off 11 because we land on 10.

Jim: Right.

Jackie: You know, “Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” But we gotta get to 11. That’s where the hope is, “And such were some of you.” But I think another important aspect is that when Paul wrote that letter, he wrote it to a church. So, it is fascinating that he is telling the church, “You don’t be deceived about this”, um, (laughter) you know. And so, I think there’s so many things that we can glean from that. But I think one is that God is able to save anybody.

Jim: And, Jackie, those are great words. And, again, as I started this program, you’re coming from that experience. Uh, you know what it felt like when you weren’t walking with the Lord and what you were battling with.

Jackie: Mm.

Jim: And that’s one of the reasons I wanted to talk with you and hear your heart. You’ve done the journey. I’ve not had that journey. I had a different journey.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: I had my own issues, but, um, I think in this culture right now we need clear voices. And I think those that have struggled with it have come to appreciate the love of God in their life and moving toward that sanctification process. This is what makes you so powerful in the culture right now – your voice for God – so powerful right now. I want to come back next time and continue the discussion because we’ve just kind of laid the groundwork about where you’re at, what you’re experiencing. But we’ve gotta hear the rest of the story…

Jackie: (Laughter).

Jim: …Where God really, um, you know, exploded in a joyful way in your life and you came back to Him or came to Him. Um, can we do that?

Jackie: For sure.

Jim: Man, I’m telling you guys, uh, we need to be having these conversations. And I know that, um, for some of you, you’re already having these discussions because this is something you’re experiencing within your own family. If that describes you and you need help handling it, please feel free to reach out to us here at Focus. We have caring, Christian counselors who are well-versed in helping people navigate same-sex attraction issues. In fact, these are some of the most common calls we receive. And they would be honored to pray with you and help you find long-term help in your local area whether that’s for you or a family member.

John: Yeah, absolutely. You can set up a time for your complimentary counseling consultation when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Or there’s a counseling request form for you at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: And for those of you who have a heart for reaching people in the LGBTQ and equipping Christians to address these tough cultural topics, please consider coming aboard our team here at Focus. Our supporters are the fuel that keeps the ministry going and allows us to show love and care and the hope of Christ with people who may be far from Him at this time. I know times are tough. Boy, I get it. But if you can give a financial gift to the ministry of Focus for any amount, you are making ministry happen and we’ll send you a copy of Jackie’s powerful book, Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been and it’ll be our way of saying thank you.

John: And let me also mention that we have a matching gift opportunity right now. Some donors and friends of the ministry have stepped up and said, “We will match dollar for dollar any donation that comes in right now.” So, it’s a win-win. When you give today, you’ll get a copy of Jackie’s book and your donation will be doubled and go twice as far for helping marriages, um, equipping parents, and even saving baby’s lives. Again, call us today. 800-A-FAMILY. Or donate online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once again hear from Jackie Hill Perry and help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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