As a teenager and young man, Justin Lee felt deeply torn. Nicknamed "God Boy" by his peers, he knew that he was called to a life in the evangelical Christian ministry. But Lee harbored a secret: He also knew that he was gay. In this groundbreaking book, Lee recalls the events--his coming out to his parents, his experiences with the "ex-gay" movement, and his in-depth study of the Bible--that led him, eventually, to self-acceptance.
But more than just a memoir, TORN provides insightful, practical guidance for all committed Christians who wonder how to relate to gay friends or family members--or who struggle with their own sexuality. Convinced that "in a culture that sees gays and Christians as enemies, gay Christians are in a unique position to bring peace," Lee demonstrates that people of faith on both sides of the debate can respect, learn from, and love one another.
Lee, founder of Gay Christian Network, attempts to call a truce in the gays-versus-Christians cultural war with this autobiographical account. His experiences inside Christian communities, including ex-gay ministries, have convinced Lee that the church is hampering its own best intentions. The nondoctrinaire approach he offers, through examples and concrete suggestions, requires both sides to allow greater space for differing viewpoints and more open listening. He argues that gays need to be more welcoming to the religious, including gay celibates. On the other side, Christians need to change an approach that casts sexual minorities as sinners by definition and fixates on changing or healing. His tactics might seem too gentle for more radical aspirations, but his tone radiates a genuine concern and belief in progress through slow, personal evolution. The lens of one gay Christian s life helps bring home the political message, and Lee s willingness to admit that both sides have good intentions provides a much needed break from the rancor of the debate. Both LGBT individuals and Christians will benefit from the modeling of a kinder, more accommodating navigation of this culture war.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Changed my life...
This book helped me understand a lot about myself and the church. Thank you Justin for sharing your story that made me feel like I was in your shoes growing up. What an inspiration to us all... Every Christian on either side who has questions about this issue would better understand it by reading this book!
A Must Read for those wishing to serve Christ.
Thoughtful & intelligent. This book offers an insight to a minority inside a minority. It has taken me almost two decades to reach the point that this young man arrived at over a few years.
As a gay Christian who had lost all trust in the church's ability or even desire to know the real me. I find hope in the work that is being done to open communication between the LGBT & faith communities. I pray that the Lord will guild both sides to understanding & compassion for each other.
Wow! I don't know that I have ever read a more powerful book. This is an absolute must-read for everyone who has struggled with their feelings towards Christianity in today's world.