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Book Review: ‘Is Being Gay a Sin?’ by Juliet Jacky Hodge

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Is Being Gay a Sin by Juliet Jacky HodgeWhen I first saw the title for this book, I did not know what to expect. Who was Juliet Jacky Hodge, and by asking Is Being Gay a Sin? what would the answer she provided be? At first, I expected some conservative, Bible-thumping, anti-gay author, but I also realized it could be some liberal and most likely gay person who was writing this book and seeking acceptance. In either case, the author would have an agenda and rigid viewpoint — or so I expected.

Instead, I was surprised and enticed by who the author really is. Juliet Jacky Hodge is a Christian from a fairly conservative religious background (she studied theology at Oral Roberts University). A native of Trinidad, she did not grow up in a gay-friendly atmosphere or even one where homosexuality was discussed or an issue. In fact, she did not give homosexuality much thought other than simply to accept the teachings of the churches she attended.

And then everything changed one day when Hodge attended a Bible study and became friendly with the other members, only to find out, after about six weeks’ time, that the other members were predominantly homosexual. In her own words, here is how she reacted at the Bible study to that discovery:

I was shocked by this revelation. I tried not to show my surprise openly, but when I got home, I felt devastated. Because of the religious and social culture in which I’d grown up, and based upon my own way of thinking, I thought being gay was the worst thing anyone could be.

Devastated, she went home and prayed to God, asking Him to tell her what she should do. After much soul-searching, she felt God speaking to her heart, telling her that He loved gay people as well. Later, she went back to the Bible study. She still felt troubled, but then a remarkable experience occurred for her:

As we got ready to end the meeting, I heard the Lord speak to me. As someone who had spent a great deal of time praying, that was not uncommon for me. For those who may not understand what I mean, let me clarify. It was not an outside voice I heard. The skies didn’t part and God’s voice did not boom forth. Instead, in the quiet of my heart when I have prayed, by being silent, willing to listen, and waiting, I have heard God speaking. It is an internal or inner voice that God has placed within me to guide me. God is in my heart, and similar to meditation, when I quiet myself, I feel God in my heart and stomach and then the voice of God can be heard. I believe God is always there, ready to speak to us and guide us along the path, if we are just willing to listen.

I won’t reveal what God said to her. It would be unfair to summarize the story here. But I will say that I was a bit skeptical still at a statement that God spoke to her and somewhat surprised by His words. But as I continued to read and Hodge continually calmly and logically argued her points, I felt convinced that she was telling the truth and that no other answer could be possible to the question of Is Being Gay a Sin?

Of course, not everyone will agree with Hodge’s conclusions, and some will question or perhaps even mock her claims that she has received these answers from God, but I think anyone who takes the time to read this book will be surprised and deeply moved by what is to be found in these pages. I ask that readers, before they become judgmental, take the time to this book with open hearts and minds, to let Hodge’s words seep into their hearts.

I will not go into details or reveal everything Hodge says, but I will say that one statement she made that really struck me was her discussion about how people assume heterosexuality is orthodox, the proper way to be, while homosexuals are somehow less than heterosexuals or should change to be heterosexuals. Hodge makes a tremendous point when she asks:

…what is so great about being heterosexual? Heterosexuals are just as likely to succumb to temptations of the flesh. Don’t plenty of heterosexual people also lie, cheat, steal, and commit murder? Can we honestly say that the heterosexual population at large is any better than the homosexual population? We are all human and all sinners.

Another significant question she asks is, “If the whole world were only inclusive of gay people, would Christ still have come, shed His blood, died and risen from the grave, just for gay people?”

About Tyler Tichelaar