One of the greatest blessings God gives us is the gift of each other. All of our experiences, challenges, joys and sorrows are unique to us and are used by God to bring a diverse beauty and richness to the church that is not found in other places. The church is intended to reflect who God is to the world around us as we live and learn and interact with one another, with all our differences, as one body, His new community, united by the true gospel of Jesus Christ. So Rosaria's story is her story, but it is also His story and our story...
The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert
by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
What is it?
This book is the personal account of Rosaria Butterfield, how she came to know Jesus as her Saviour and to live for Him.
Rosaria was an "Unlikely Convert" because she was an expert and proponent of Queer Theory,
an activist for LGBTQ rights,
in a committed lesbian relationship, and regarded Christianity as an oppressive force to be challenged.
As she researched for a book on the hatred of the Religious Right in the United States against queers, she developed a friendship with a pastor and his wife, through whom she came to consider the claims of the Bible for herself. These are her "Secret Thoughts" as she frankly reflects on what it meant to her to be a lesbian, to be part of the LGBTQ community, to repent, to experience church life and culture, to face life's knocks with newfound Christian faith, to marry, be a pastor's wife, foster and adopt children, and home school. Rosaria shows how she sought to examine God's Word for her self, to put Him first, and to show His likeness as she began and continued on her journey into Christian faith.
Why read it?
Read it because:
It's a biographical account that can comfort us to know that others have walked the journey we face, and help us to build understanding and empathy with the experiences of others.
It's honest about our pride, struggles with sin, and challenges to keep the faith and grow in the midst of difficulty.
It gives a personal perspective of church experience and Christian living that helps us reflect on our own practice and culture, to bring our lives into conformity with God's Word.
There is helpful, succinct, and practical advice for Christians with gay and lesbian friends and family, for Christians with same-sex attraction, and for friends in the LGBTQ community.
The blessing it was to me:
I found it really helpful to have an honest window into Rosaria's life, to marvel again at God's awakening, saving and transforming grace.
After her conversion, Rosaria's new heart turned her mind and energy to understanding and living out what it means to be a Christian. The questions she thought through are pertinent to me too: How should I witness to my faith? How should I interact with each other believers when I attend church? What should our worship look like? What does it mean to be a Christian woman? What is marriage? What should family life be like?
So, Rosaria's personal account challenges my complacency and assumptions, encouraging me to measure my Christian practices, habits, and living against God's Word.
An important theme throughout the book is the value and cost of hospitality in gospel witness. It made me consider my own choices: How welcome is my home? Could I extend a broader welcome: more often, in new ways, to a wider range of people? What is the right balance for my home between rest and hospitality; between family time and an open door?