My friend Jen gave me a copy, possibly her copy because she's selfless like that of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert and I couldn't put this book down.
I was excited to read it because I knew it was going to touch on how hateful we love peddling Christians are to gay people. As a Christian, it is unsettling to me that we are called to love others, serve as Jesus did, and yet we form tightly knit clubs where we talk about how the rest of the world is going to hell in a rainbow-colored handbasket.
It also frightens me how we toss aside our Bibles for acceptance. We pretend that the Bible isn't clear about all forms of sin and life without God. It's extremism we either carry signs that say God Hates Fags or we like the serpent say "Did God Really Say?".
What does all of this have to do with this book? In The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert Rosaria Butterfield tells the story of her conversion. In doing so, she shares how a pastor and his wife ministered to her through open dialogue around their kitchen table for two years. Two years, investing in a relationship that may not even produce a convert. That was a long time spent dining with a sinner and investing and loving a person that other Christians would deem unworthy. Rosaria points us to what we are missing. Relationship building, investing in people, but it can't be for their salvation because God does the saving. It's got to be about love. It's all about love.
That's what we miss in both extremes. We don't love if we hate the sinner. We also don't truly love if ignore the sin and don't point the sinner to Christ. Both extremes are prideful and selfish. Both are safe. Building relationships, giving time, that's risky. I don't want to give you the wrong idea here. I'm still learning. I knew I needed to love, but I wasn't sure what that looked like. Thankfully, this book was full of examples. This book was also full of conviction. God convicted me and is teaching me a few things through Rosaria's words.
Lessons from The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert:
"I learned the first rule of repentance: that repentance requires greater intimacy with God than with our sin.". First, ouch then wow. I could write an entire post on this alone.
We as Christians do not know enough about sexual sin because for whatever reason of all the sins these are the ones we will not openly talk about in church. Maybe that is why they are so prevalent because they can hide out in the darkness of our hearts and our churches. Since reading this book, I have been dealing with some sexual sins that I hadn't acknowledged.
"We in the church tend to be more fearful of the (perceived) sin in the world than of the sin in our own heart.". As a younger mother growing up as a baby Christian, I experienced this firsthand. They said I needed to homeschool, I believed them. If not I was throwing my children to the wolves. Meanwhile, the wolves lived in my home and within my children.
God used the book in more than one way in my life and I plan to share it with friends and add it to our church library. I hope you'll give it a read.
I can also say that thanks to the Holy Spirit's work while reading this book I decided to start working on my Biblical Counseling Certificate.
Want to purchase The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert you can get your copy here.
Looking for other posts like this? Check out my other Christian posts.