Book Review: Is God Anti-Gay?

Reed JolleyCommunity News

Is God anti-gay? And other questions about homosexuality, the Bible and same-sex attraction by Sam Allberry

 When we listen to much of today’s public discourse about homosexual preference and practice, we might conclude that the Bible, the church, and God himself are a united front against people with same-sex desire. Sam Allberry, associate pastor of St. Mary’s Church, Maidenhead, UK, has written a concise book asking the question Is God anti-gay?

What makes this book somewhat unique is that Sam Allberry is a man who has only known same-sex attraction (SSA). While growing up, the author realized that he drew closer to boys than he did to girls, that he formed closer bonds with males than with females. It was during a summer recess from school that the truth began to bite. The words began to form in my mind: I think I’m gay. It was also during this same period that Allberry got to know some Christians of his own age. They invited him to church, and Sam Allberry was born again. But he was not delivered from his SSA.

Allberry’s book is not an autobiography, but his testimony is refreshing. He rejoices that the gospel was and is good news for him. He makes a distinction that is rarely heard in our culture: Allberry makes a fundamental distinction between what he feels and what he is. He feels SSA, but he is a child of God called to holiness. The author is clear:The only context for sexual activity is heterosexual marriage. Again, Allberry doesn’t go into details, but it seems this child of God has lived a life of faithfulness and celibacy as a disciple. He also plainly answers the question the title of the book poses:

Is God anti-gay?  No.

But he is against who all of us are by nature, as those living apart from him and for ourselves. He’s anti that guy, whatever that guy looks like in each of our lives.

In other words, each of us is in need of a redeemer. And once redeemed, each of us will be called to costly sacrifice. In fact, Allberry goes so far as to say that his sacrifice is no greater than the costly sacrifice of those who are heterosexually inclined yet desire to live lives of holiness.

Allberry’s 85-page book covers way more ground that we might expect from a short treatment of an incendiary topic, and it is an excellent resource for those of us looking for biblical clarity on this timely subject. He deals with every passage in the Bible that touches on homosexual practice, showing that the biblical writers speak with one voice in condemning same-sex activity. Along the way, Allberry deals with those thorny questions we see addressed in editorials and on talk shows:

Surely a same-sex partnership is OK if it’s committed and faithful?

But Jesus never mentions homosexuality, so how can it be wrong?

Aren’t we just picking and choosing which Old Testament laws apply?

Can’t Christians just agree to differ on this?

Is God anti-gay? has a helpful section addressed to Christians experiencing same-sex attraction. Speaking tenderly and forthrightly, the author explains that same-sex feelings do not exclude us from God’s presence.

Allberry concludes with a discussion of how we should relate to those in the church with SSA. We live in an age of sexual rebellion, and we are experiencing the tragic consequences of our perversions.  The family is breaking down, our laws are demeaning the sanctity of marriage (from instituting no-fault divorce to legalizing same-sex “marriage”), and our children are growing up without the requisite boundary lines.  Allberry’s book is a valuable resource. You may want to read it for yourself. (Copies are available in our library.)