As seen on 60 Minutes.Until Christmas Eve 1991, Mel White wasregarded by the leaders of the religious right as one of their mosttalented and productive supporters.He penned speeches for OllieNorth, was a ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell, worked with Jim Bakker.What they didn't know is that Mel White--evangelical minister,committed Christian, family man--is gay.In this book, White detailshis twenty-five years of being counseled, exorcised, electric-shocked,prayed for, and nearly driven to suicide because his church saidhomosexuality was wrong.His salvation--to be openly gay andChristian--is much more than a unique coming-out story.
"Fascinating... harrowing... a remarkable and importantstory." --Dallas Morning News ... Read more
Customer Reviews (67)
Oxymoron or just Moron
It is an oxymoron for someone to claim to be Christian and currently a sodomite.I'm not going to use the term "gay" and twist the meaning as so many others have done.Jesus will forgive you for your sins if you ask for forgiveness AND stop the sinful action/s.The New and Old Testament clearly address the sin of sodomy (or homosexuality for those not catching on) as unacceptable.Therefore to live in constant sin and claim you have no control over it and that Jesus will accept you is a false teaching.For someone to try and justify their lifestyle of sodomy through Biblical teachings is pure distortion.
Listen to the truth
It seems sad that such a book could be rated so high among those in the "Christian" community.I say this because this book runs contrary to the righteous standard of God.Have we forgotten that God created man and woman?That they should be fruitful and multiply?That never is there a mention of homosexuality in the Bible except in a negative light?Have we forgotten that God said in Leviticus 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination."1 Corinthians 6:9, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality." Jude 7, "Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire."Let us fight for the truth of the Bible and not be given over to the hardness of our heart and all manner of wickedness and immorality.
Compelling and Heart-Wrenching Story with Important Message
Mel White's autobiography is an important story for all Christians.His inside perspective of the beginnings of the fundamentalist movement is poignant.An intense read, but one that I read quickly, unable to put it down.Surprisingly still timely and pertinent some 15 years after publication.Highly recommended.
Thoughtful and further study is needed
I consider myself a Christian and also a homosexual. For me I have chosen celibacy until God decides otherwise. I know in the deepest parts of my heart that I'm a homosexual male which was at one time not the easiest thing to admit. I've known since about the age of 9. I loved a woman and probably still do, but it would be wrong of me to pursue her in any romantic fashion, even though I would give up everything for her even after these many years, because one day I would have to choose between who I am at my inner self and her. I love her too much to put her in that position and potentially cause her great pain. I'm sure that what I'm writing here is not a unique story. Many men and women struggle with their faith and their sexual orientation. Partly due to this I went through a phase of extreme homophobia. Not a proud moment of my life that I like to reflect upon, but it is the truth. Many people were injured by my behavior. Even comments can bring about great distress.
So after all this personal sharing where does this leave us? We as human beings need to encourage more studies on human sexuality. For far too long we as a species have denied study of our behaviors and we have all lost something for this. I can turn on PBS and watch, in great detail, the mating habits of almost any particular animals, but when human sexuality is portrayed in the same documentary form the labeling is quite different.
If we as a species are to continue we must closely examine all parts of ourselves even those parts we dislike the most. When it comes to the Christian faith arguments can be made on either side of the table regarding whether or not homosexuality is a sin especially when we begin to examine the Bible closer to it's original texts. Whenever a document is translated from one language to another there is always something lost. Anyone who studies French understands that there are "French" concepts that English quite can't describe. This is also true of the English language.
Whatever side of the argument you're on I encourage each side to keep reading, keep researching. Don't stop. Keep questioning your position. This book is one of the many steps in that process. I continue to challenge myself in pursuit of the truth no matter where that leads me.
Above all else we must remember our primary task as Christians. Share the story of salvation with everyone who will listen. This means we must also share the story not only with homosexuals, but with all "those" people on the margins of society and those mainstream.
you will largely get out of it what you wanted to when you were coming into it.
This is Mel White's autobiography.Mel White is an individual who grew up in a fundamentalist christian evangelical right wing home who was class president of his high school, emceed at youth for christ rallies, thought that prom was for pagans, and didn't sip a beer until his thirties.He played an integral role in the rise of the religious right, ghost-writing books for Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Billy Grahm.He made all sorts of films too, and was very successful and well known.But there was one problem, he was Gay.This is Mel's story of growing up a christian in america, and being gay.It is a telling struggle of one individual's attempt to reconcile himself to the teachings of his church and a growing movement in America.Much of the story had my eyes watering and my heart strained to feel the extreme struggle that this man had in his life, and even going through 25 years of shock therapy and psychological counseling.Married, with children, he could no longer handle the stress, strains, loniless, despair, and emptiness of being in the closet and longing for affection from a man.I was ultimately disappointed by the book, but only because it was not what I expected it to be.I can hardly fault the story of the author's life for not providing an insight that I was hoping for.Gay or Straight, Christian or not, this story of this man's life will challenge you.
My reservations with the book.
(a)In being upset about the way that what he calls the "radical right" of Falwell demonized homosexuals for the purpose of "raising money", White does a pretty good job at demonizing this radical right himself, especially towards the end of the book.Nobody likes being misrepresented, and the powerful evangelical leaders misrepresent the homosexual "agenda" at the expense of real people.Unfortunately, some of his exhortations grossly misrepresented the "radical religious right" as well.
(b) That leads me here.If the book focused more on his own life like much of it did early on it would have been excellent.But I think Mel ignored much of what he knew growing up in the midst of the religous right in order to portray their beliefs a certain way.He cited two obscure passages from the Old Testament, one about "spilling your seed" and the other about sodom and Gomorrah as the scriptures that the right uses to say that masterbation and homosexuality are evil.He explains these away and then seems to think he has settled all the questions about these issues regarding scripture as if they were the only ones.It was disappointing to have "Six other little passages" written off completely in the book as ones misrepresented just like "sodom and gomorrah".Had he either avoided dabbling in scripture altogether, or addressed ones that are more relevant and less easily straw manned, he would have been more effective in this sense.He set up two easy verses which could be torn down, and then proceeded to assert many things with in the remainder of the book.
Being that White is a skilled writer and frequent ghost-author, he would be a master of tailoring his works, ideas, and arguments to a particular intended audience.It seems apparent that this was written for the gay lobby or the theological left to help advance their position; and not necessarily win over a skeptic. This is acceptable since those details may have been peripheral to his life story, as an autobiography, but since it was also written as an indictment of the religious right ... it would be more satisfying to address these reservations more fully.
In conclusion, I think that with this book, you will largely get out of it what you wanted to when you were coming into it:
A)If you hate christians and "homophobes" then this book was a silver bullet.
B)If you are a "Bible-believing Christian" then this was a challenging story that made you think about a few things, but it would probably do nothing to convince you to change your views. " The Bible is the Bible."Mel White struggled to reconcile these things, but ultimately he couldn't.You would accuse him of "walking away from his faith" to "do what was right in his own eyes".
C)If you are struggling to reconcile your homosexuality and your Christianity, it probably didn't do much for you.It would be a wild story, but not one that answers the tougher questions that you might struggle with.
Honesty is good.This book did a lot to inject some perspective into the discussion of homosexuality within the church, but it left a lot unanswered.That is why this "debate" still remains.Read it anyway if you are interested in this aspect of Christian thinking.
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